How do you cope with Gabapentin side effects?

I've been taking tramadol, naproxin, amitriptyline, gabapentin, ducosate, senna and metformin for a number of years now. Considering the number of tablets I take on a daily basis, I'm lucky to not really suffer from many side effects, although the ducosate and senna are obviously prescribed to counteract the delightful side effects that the pain killers cause! With the exception the above, the only side effects I get are a chronic dry mouth and twitchy eyes. These are both in the list of possible side effects for gabapentin and although they are not exactly anything major - they are slowly driving me insane!!!!!

I figured I can't be the only person who has these side effects so I wondered what other people have tried to counteract them??

14 Replies

  • Hi Mistee

    I take Tramadol, Naproxin, Amitryrtyline and Gabapentin. I also suffer from dry mouth [but not the twitchy eyes]. I can sympathise dry mouth drives me nuts too.

    Sorry I have't found a way to counteract it but I personally always have a bottle of water with me wherever I go and a packet of tic tacs [or some other sweet to suck]. I always have water by my bed at night too. I also find orange juice good for my dry mouth [only its not good to drink to much of it] I don't know about you but I also have to have a drink before I can eat anything otherwise I find swallowing difficult.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful.


  • Hi Mistee

    I took Gabapentin for over 2yrs but started to loose memory! This frightened the life out of me esp when I was driving to a friends house & totally came to a blank in my mind I hadn't a clue how to get to her house - I pulled over & tried not to panic. I still have problems now. I know what I want to say but it does not always come out of my mouth properly & it can be embarrassing. My daughter is forever correcting me! My doc said very normal for this to happen! I am now on Tegratol - still in pain & have just had a procedure done 2 days ago where anesthetic was placed up my right nostril to freeze right eye socket!! Wide awake for 45 mins with 2 large cotton buds dosed in anesthic up my nostril was painful to say the least!!

    Off work today in agony!!!

  • Hi .your daughter is the same as mine.come the evening I no longer talk as its always hard to say what I mean.I must say I'm happy to hear its not only me.take care.

  • Hi lady as I have stopped taking amiltryptan because it caused awful dry mouth I take tramadol and find it excellent pain killer and no side effects. Hope you solve the problem because it was driving me mad all the time. xx

  • I ate so many sugar free mints when I was on gabapentin that I now see that you can't buy that brand in the supermarkets anymore! But that did seem to help the dry mouth.

    Not sure about the twitchy eyes. I get a twitchy eye sometimes (on my pain side) and you're right, it is very annoying and most people don't notice it. I think I stopped worrying about it a while ago and it doesn't seem so bad when it does happen.

    A lot of the other meds you're on can also cause dry mouth too. Little sips of water throughout the day can help with this.

    Don't let it grind you down.

  • Thanks guys, I always have water with me wherever I go and yes I have to drink before I can eat anything too!

  • Hi I take pregabalin for a long time but they don't do anything for me only give me dry mouth and it drives me mad, my doctor gave me synthetic saliva that might help you, but when I went to dentist he gave me a gel which his great espaicaily in the mornings has my mouth his that dry it his very unpleasant you should try biotene for dry mouth hope this will help . Have a good dat

  • Currently on Amitrptyline, Pregabalin, MST, (codeine and lactulose when needed) and I must be lucky re dry mouth - been on amitriptyline for almost a year at night re pain along with pregabalin. Pain clinic said to self regulate upto 300mg twice a day re Pregabalin and upto 100mg amitriptyline at night and touch wood no problems have got upto 40mg Amitriptyline and 100mg pregabalin and found this theraputic at the moment. Codeine only taken when required also have some dehydracodeine for really bad days when I have to stay in after no sleep but luckly that is now rare! I have a short course of Naproxin (500mg) twice a day for headaches and doc thinks they night be caused through another slight dura leak following lumpar puncture last Feb - wierd but apparaently can happen - headache now gone thank god! My main issue is blood pressure, should go down a little with meds but now rocking in at 150/110 last week and 135/100 this week so have to go back next week! Bizarre!! Anyone else found this - I AM NOT GAINING WEIGHT as a lot of people have on pregabalin/gabapentin and don't have dry mouth from amitriptyline but I have lost of coffee (for headaches helps) and plenty of water whilst taking as a school teacher!

  • I have half of my blood pressure reading high but the systolic is normal I take beta blockers and that brings it down I'm also on warfarin and amici pine and the meds keep blood pressure and fast pulse on track.

  • I found gabapentin a good painkiller but it made me very depressed so I caame off it fast. My Consultant replaced it and pregabalin (both put on weight - not wanted by an injured knee) with Topiramate. There are plenty of painkillers to try that you aren't on. Topiramate is very good: I lost 15kg in under a year without dieting and great pain relief, there are also oxcarbazepine, valproate the rest of the anti-convulsants and the opiates. Good luck

  • I can cope with dry mouth and constipation with painkillers. Amitryptilline and Gabapentin have more cognitive effects on me anyway- Energy drinks, coffee, diet cola any drink really help with the more soporific side effects Drinking more fluid and chewing gum helps salivation! Drinking helps with constipation. When taking pain meds consuming caffiene before work and all day helps if you feel dizzy or sick-it helps to regulate bowels as you will want to go after a strong beverage. I used to joke that 'I only went on my day off' Not sure if that is any help

  • I took Gabapentin for about 4 years without any particular side effects I decided to stop about 2 years ago with my Dr's blessing. I decided to discontinue it as I didn't really feel that it was adding anything to my pain relief, I suffer badly with dry mouth in the morning as I take amitryptline at night and have reduced my dose from 100mgs to 50 mgms as I was falling. As much as 3-4 times in a day and certainly falling at best several times a week I also had problems with word recall,spelling ,recognising objects and as the previous OP said this was frightening. I am now in a position where I have reduced my Meptid also and have not fallen since before Christmas My Pain Consultant suggested using the Temgesic Patch but I am scared as whilst my pain relief is not good I am frightened that the symptoms I was experiencing may recurr Don't really know what to do for the best. Was taking Meptid 6 -10 a day depending on how my pain was but now I have reduced this to 3 a day pain control rubbish. They told me that as we get older we process drugs less effectively and so they are not excreated at the same rate. I am swithering between increasing my Amitryptline or my Meptid

    I will see my GP next week to discuss my medication with him. When I had Temgesic many years ago I only took it for a few days on 2 occasions but it made my skin crawl and also I suffered very bad nausea and vomiting. I tried taking it before I got out of bed in the am and eating something before I took it but to no avail. This is long and rambling but I have just found this web site and the advice and information on here is very valuable. Any thoughts My pain is neuropathic in nature and I have had much surgery over the years as a consequence of the damage done during my forceps delivery in 1971 Incidentally I was a Midwife and you know what they say things happen !! My neuro stimulator which I have had insitu since 1992 did reduce my pain by about 50% I have been told that I will never be pain free but the aim is to make me pain tolerable. It is useful for me to communicate with others who also are experiencing chronic pain. Any views or advice would be appreciated.

  • Hi everyone sorry havn 't been on line, thanks for all replays, my doctor has referred me to a pain management, so I will see how I go, I am in pain at moment with my mouth has I had a bipioc on my tongue worried what the out come will be, I am so down cus I feel if it one thing it's another , would love to have a day with no pain. I try and look on the bright side and always tell myself there his always some worse of than me, well have a pain free day everyone and take care of your selfs x

  • So glad I found this..I'm taking gabapentin and cocodomal and naproxen for chronic pain . Been taking for about 5 years. This last few months I've noticed my mouth getting drier and then I have trouble swallowing,which scares me as my head instantly thinks I'll choke lol. Anyway after reading this it's looking like drugs. If that's the case,I will check by seeing my doc,I'll look at some other way of helping pain ..that should be gun lol. Thanks all for your help :)

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