Drug Check: Gabapentin

I’ve been on 100 mg daily for three days. So far I am not impressed, but if I could give Cymbalta six months, I can give this a few weeks. I will continue taking it.

This post might be a bit boring; it’s mostly just to help me remember what I’m experiencing (and possibly help someone else who goes on it for the first time).

  • The extreme burning sensations I was experiencing in my feet and legs have gone from about a 10 to about a 2 overall. Intensity is still occasionally higher.
  • I feel slightly less pain when I don’t move, but if anything touches me the pain is actually more intense than before I started taking it. (For example, was playing with Boomer and his happy tail hit my face. It felt like I’d been smacked really hard. The intensity of the pain kind of stunned me and lingered way longer than it should have.)
  • I get weird sensations all the time anyway, but in the past three days I seem to be cycling through those sensations faster. They include: pain, burning, tinging, pins and needles (like right now, my left leg feels like it’s asleep).
  • The dizziness is out of control. I can’t walk around much, and sometimes feel like the room is spinning even when I’m sitting still. It is worse in the morning and gets better as the day goes on. (I’m guessing because I take gabapentin at night before bed.)
  • I feel extremely weak. Cannot open jars or bottles. Very unsteady of my feet. Last night I was eating a bowl of ice cream while we watched Luke Cage on Netflix, and I had to keep setting the bowl down because my arm was just too tired to hold it the whole time.
  • My hands hurt and are stiff and slightly swollen. Dexterity sucks.

UPDATE 12:05 pm: Feet are burning intensely again. Hooray.



  1. The thing about gabapentin is that it really is customizable to the needs of the patient. The problem is that finding the right dosage and timing of the dosages takes time to dial in just right. Wife has MS and has many of the symptoms you have. She takes gabapentin a 300mg pill 5 times a day. For the most part it keeps the burning, pain, and pins and needles under control. It took many months to find the right balance. If you do change your dosage, be sure to do it gradually over the course of a few days. Im afraid it wont do much for the vertigo. Thats the worst. Things don’t always work as fast as we want them to. Part of learning to adapt to things is learning how to wait. And yes that is a sucky answer.

    1. I’m with you on the “wait and see” and I don’t have any plans to give up early. For me the part that causes the most anxiety isn’t that I won’t find a workable med & dosage, but that I won’t find it before my PTO, FMLA, and short-term disability run out. If the drugs don’t get me to a point where I can think straight for 8 hours a day, I don’t know what will happen. I go back to the doctor in two weeks to see how the drug is working and determine whether an adjustment in dosage is needed. Fingers are crossed.

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