Gabapentin: Is it worth a try?


My neurologist gave me a choice of two drugs to try. Topiramate and Gabapentin. Long story short, in the last few months I tried Nortriptyline and not only did it make me worse but it gave me an irregular heart beat. I am now on a beta blocker which is helping slightly but which I cannot increase because of low heart rate. I tried searching the forum for Gabapentin experiences but found very little.

Is anyone here taking Gabapentin? Is it helping?

Thank you!

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I have tried both gabapentin and topamax. Unfortunately, the gabapentin was given for nerve pain not vestibular issues so I can’t really be too helpful there.

I can tell you that the gabapentin did not help my nerve pain and I gained weight on it. The topamax was initially helpful but I developed tremors and am now tapering off. I’m sure you have seen the many stories on here about topamax.

Wish I could be more helpful. Hopefully others will chime in shortly. Wish you the best.

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You could check the wikis but Gabapentin only scored 7% in the Best Meds Poll on site. As @Dizzyleigh so rightly says it’s a drug used for nerve pain. It has been used generally as a migraine preventative for years I understand but it isn’t a common choice. The U.K. NHS guidelines cite Topiramate, Amitriptyline and Propranolol. It doesn’t get a mention.

Throwing out a general question on here won’t give a representative answer. All one gets is the opinions of a very few who happen to be passing. Though I appreciate there’s not much option but to try. I suggest you drop in on Dr Hain’s www.dizziness and website and search his migraine preventatives drugs list. It’s the most comprehensive Ive ever found. He makes some very pertinent comments about many of the possible alternative drugs which, considering the huge footfall through his clinic, must be well validated.

I’ve tried both. Gabapentin was also prescribed for nerve pain for me. Of the two, I’d never go back to topomax but would happily use Gabapentin again, even just as a trial for VM.

Thànk you for all your answers. I really appreciate them.

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If you want to gain weight, you may consider taking Gabapentin but, its a rare side effect. Mostly, the effects are nausea, constipation and unsteadiness. Also, it is recommended that gabapentin be prescribed with caution in the setting of heart failure.

Interestingly actually read a U.K. NHS document that stated quite specifically doctors should not prescribe Gabapentin for migraine prevention at all. No direct reason give but I suspect …
Might have something yo fo with it.

Gabapentin & Pregabalin classified as Class C controlled substances

Gaba was prescribed to me but I never took it. Been on Topamax for 6 months and hasn’t done much for my VM but also didn’t give me the horrid side effects some people mention. I also titrated pretty slowly.

Not getting horrid side effects is a win with that drug. This long ineffective though suggests maybe time for a new trial.

Totally! Read my diary - I am starting Effexor tomorrow! :grimacing:

Been there, too. I hope it works well. That one is powerful. Go low and slow.

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I will! Did it work for you?

It did until it didn’t.

Hi everyone.
The Cochrane Review says the Gabapentin doesn’t work, but my neurologist has faith in it so I have just started a trial of Gabapentin.
Effexor was never suggested to me.
Is it prescribed in the UK or are you in the US?
I am thinking about seeking a second opinion, but I pray the Gabapentin may work. I have just lost my job and I am struggling to take care for my daughter. Thank God my family is helping me out but I have become a burden to everyone.

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Hi @Deasmum . Going off topic here but just for the record as I understand you are struggling I’m U.K. based and NHS doesn’t recommend Venlafaxine (Effexor) for migraine prevention. They recommend Topiramate, Propranolol and Amitriptyline. Migraine specialist I saw dismissed Venlafaxine totally. I know one person in North East under a headache clinic who was prescribed it but no not in general use for us here at all.

Might well be worth you starting a diary on here or at least posting the more formal introduction to give yourself room to expand your history. We try to keep everything very tidy to aid future comers accessing the resource.

Thank you for the advice.I have just posted in the newbie section. As my post there shows, I have tried a long list of drugs. if the Gabapentin works for me, I will update this thread. It might help other desperate cases. I am currently on 300mg and due to increase next week.

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Absolutely. That’s the correct procedure. From my observations Gabapentin is one of those drugs where doses tend to appear large, up in the thousands of units as normal. So you may have a while to wait.

Yes, that has been one of my concerns. However, today I met a fellow VM suffered who benefitted from Gabapentin at the dosage of 900mg, so who knows?

Yes indeed that happens and of course 900mg sounds a huge dose but it’s not possible to compare different drugs based on the mg quoted. So bit misleading.

I have tried Topamax and I had the worst case of Gurd that I could imagine. I was eating white bread and drinking water because anything else triggered the Gurd. Before that I was on gabapentin and quit it because it altered my personality. I said some of the craziest things to people.

Now I’m on pregabalin (Lyrica) and Nortriptyline. But I’m taking them for sciatica, not VM. I would say that my attacks have gotten worse and more severe since taking them. But, my leg doesn’t hurt. I had the leg pain for five years until I found a neurologist that would send me to pain management.

I’m home from work today because of a severe attack. I have fallen a few times for no reason. My neurologist says it’s the neuropathy and the VM working together to make me unsteady and prone to falling. But, that’s a bit off topic, so I’ll end here.