Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms - What To Expect In Gabapentin Detox
By Shim Stregosky - Midwest Detox
When used correctly and under the medical supervision of a qualified physician, Gabapentin can be a very effective drug for the treatment of nerve pain and seizures. Often prescribed under the brand names “Neurontin” or “Gralise,” Gabapentin works as an anticonvulsant and antiepileptic. However, even if you begin using Gabapentin for a legitimate purpose, addiction is still a strong possibility.
This is because Gabapentin has a high risk for abuse and comes with serious withdrawals. For this reason, doctors often require their patients to taper off of Gabapentin over time. Sadly, patients with a history of substance abuse are more likely to continue using and abusing Gabapentin in higher amounts. This abuse can increase the severity of withdrawal symptoms and pose a significant health risk.
If you or someone you love is struggling with Gabapentin addiction, you should reach out to the professionals at Midwest Detox for help. In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about Gabapentin withdrawals and what to expect during the detox process.
Gabapentin Withdrawal Timeline
There’s no one-size-fits-all withdrawal timeline for Gabapentin, which is part of what makes the withdrawal experience so frightening. You don’t know exactly how long it will last or when the worst symptoms will subside, as the length of a withdrawal can depend on a variety of factors. Your age, your level of dependency, and the size of the last dosage can all affect your withdrawal.
That said, there is a general timeline that aligns with many people’s experiences:
- Initial Onset - If you have been abusing Gabapentin, you can expect to see withdrawal symptoms begin within the first 24 to 48 hours of your last dose. Symptoms tend to be mild at the onset, though they can vary based on the length and severity of your addiction.
- Early Stages - During the first 2 to 3 days of withdrawal, the symptoms will get increasingly worse. Cravings will make it harder to resist relapsing, while generalized symptoms like anxiety, mood swings, nausea, and muscle pain will make withdrawal even more uncomfortable.
- Peak Withdrawal - Typically after the first 72 hours of withdrawal, the symptoms of Gabapentin withdrawal will reach their peak and remain that way for 1 to 2 days. All of the symptoms experienced during the onset and early stages of withdrawal will be intensified, while cravings will be stronger than at any other point in the withdrawal process.
- Subacute Withdrawal - Subacute withdrawal is similar for many different types of addictive substances. After the first 5 to 7 days, the worst of the withdrawal is usually over, but you will still have to deal with cravings, as well as persistent negative symptoms like anxiety, physical discomfort, and insomnia.
- Gradual Resolution - After about 4 weeks of detoxing, you will see that most of the withdrawal symptoms have subsided. This is a gradual process, so you won’t just wake up without any symptoms out of the blue. However, with each passing day, it will become easier to resist cravings and more comfortable to live without Gabapentin.
Just remember that no two withdrawal timelines are exactly the same. Some people may see their withdrawal symptoms subside in a few weeks, while others may experience withdrawals for a month or more. This is part of the reason why it’s so important to work with professionals to manage your withdrawal safely and effectively.
Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms
We’ve already touched on some of the most common symptoms of withdrawal like anxiety and mood swings, but let’s take a look at all of the symptoms one can experience during a Gabapentin withdrawal:
- Anxiety - Anxiety is one of the most common withdrawal symptoms among Gabapentin addicts. The anxiety can vary in intensity throughout the withdrawal, but the worst of it tends to subside after the first week or so of detox.
- Nausea - Nausea is often experienced during the peak of a Gabapentin withdrawal, though it may begin earlier or even later in the process. This can make it more difficult to keep down food or engage in regular daily activities.
- Insomnia - Sleep problems frequently occur during most types of withdrawal, and Gabapentin withdrawal is no exception. Insomnia often begins after the worst of the withdrawal symptoms have gone away, but it could start or stop at virtually any time.
- Flu-Like Symptoms - Many people undergoing Gabapentin withdrawal will experience a general malaise that mirrors the symptoms of the common flu. This may include a variety of less severe symptoms like fatigue, sweating, and chills.
- Mood Swings - It is very common for people withdrawing from Gabapentin to have extreme highs and lows. They might feel relatively calm and relaxed one moment, and anxious or aggressive the next. These swings are at their worst during the peak withdrawal stage, and they tend to subside more quickly than many of the other symptoms.
- Severe Headaches - Headaches can come and go throughout a Gabapentin withdrawal, but they are more common during the initial onset and early stages, when the body is just beginning to adjust to the withdrawal.
- Dizziness - Dizziness typically kicks in at the peak withdrawal stage, and it can make other symptoms like nausea and difficulty concentrating even worse.
- Gastrointestinal Issues - Diarrhea and/or constipation are common Gabapentin withdrawal side effects. These symptoms often go away after the first few days, but they may persist for longer in some people.
- Muscle Pain - Muscle pain is a very common form of general discomfort that sets in early during a Gabapentin withdrawal. It can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction.
- Difficulty Concentrating - As someone hits peak withdrawal from Gabapentin, it becomes increasingly difficult to think about anything other than uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This can make it even harder to concentrate on anything other than Gabapentin, which could potentially increase the risk of relapse.
Why Gabapentin Withdrawal Management Is Essential
As you can see from the timeline and symptoms outlined above, Gabapentin withdrawal doesn’t usually lead to life-threatening situations. However, this doesn’t mean that you can detox on your own. The risk of relapse is extremely high with gabapentin, and without proper withdrawal management, it’s very easy to give in to cravings and even struggle with your personal safety and mental health while battling withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal management at a detox clinic ensures that you’re in a safe, calming environment where you cannot relapse, and where you have help from trained professionals to get through the worst moments. Without this help, you’re putting your life and your sobriety at risk.
Detox Safely From Gabapentin With Midwest Detox
Are you or a loved one struggling with gabapentin addiction? Do you need a safe, comfortable, and discreet place in which to detox? Do you want to live a life free of addiction? If so, Midwest Detox is the answer. At Midwest Detox, we provide the best quality care to help you through the first days of recovery and help you feel as comfortable as possible. We also offer therapeutic amenities and counseling sessions to help you learn the skills you need to continue your recovery.
Are you in need of a private drug and alcohol detox center to begin your recovery? If so, Midwest Detox can provide everything you need to detox in a safe, comfortable environment. Visit our site or call us directly at 414-409-5200 to take the first step toward sobriety.