Gabapentin and Memory Loss: Howdy, Im new to... - Pain Concern

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Gabapentin and Memory Loss


Howdy, Im new to this site. I hardly ever look up forums but this is baffling for me and I need help.I so appreciate all the information and q&a shared. I am having big time problems with my memory. Im 53. Ive been on Gaba for 10 years for back pain and to stabilize mood. Ive lost several jobs because of memory function. I was in accounting for 30 years and have decided over the last year that Im UNABLE to do this occupation. Im getting a receptionist job in 2 weeks. If I wean off from 1600mg pd in 2 weeks will I have my memory back? I dont want to lose another job. Thanks

18 Replies

Welcome on board and happy to answer your questions.

You can NOT wean off 1600mg Gabapentin in 2 weeks. You will have serious withdrawals and be very very poorly. It is a drug which should have been increased slowly, even all those years ago, and withdrawn equally slowly.

It is usual to drop 1 tablet x 100mg a day...stay at that level for at least one week...maybe longer then drop another 100mg a day. This should always be reduced with guidance from your GP.

Gabapentin usually causes memory loss within the first few weeks of starting. It is one of the reasons people stop taking it. Have you had memory loss all the time you have been taken it?


Ive always been a bit ditzy, but really very noticeable after losing 3 jobs

I would say that is caused by the medication then.


Di you think my memory will return after off meds or decreased meds

Certainly if you have come off it in the early days yes.

I don't know after so long. It is certainly worth trying but you MUST reduce very very slowly


I certainly will go slow. Ill talk to doc about it. I might knock off one dose out of 4. I know that other meds might be affecting the side effects.

Lamictal,clariton,ibuprophen,prozac,Vivance, adderall,tramadol. Do you tgink maybe a combo of meds are stealing my memory? I also get so agitated if I wait more than 4 hours between doses of gaba. Thank you so much for your replies.

I don't know the side effects o some of those drugs but it is more likely to be Gabapentin.

Speak with your GP...he will advise.

It is well researched that long term use of strong drugs has little or no effect. Increases do nothing either.

My husband has recently come off high dose of the very powerful Oxycontin.. Took him 2 years. His pain is no worse without the maybe time to review your prescription meds.

Let me know how you get on


Rusty8 in reply to Bananas5

I do agree with what you are saying ie coming of the drugs I would love to my memory is awful but after years of pain and now sorting them out I and most probably a lot more people out there are scared about going back to that pain

Still have horrible pain but can control it a bit and definitely don’t want withdrawal symptoms as in hospital recently they forget to give me steroids so when I came home I although didn’t know what was happening went into withdrawal and it was horrible

Is there any answer lol

Bananas5 in reply to Rusty8

What many people don't realise is these drugs we all take were developed for short term acute in palliative care. They were never intended for chronic pain.

Only in recent years have side effects, withdrawals etc come to light.

As with any meds they must b withdrawn slower than slow. Sometimes it can take years to get thm out of your system and even stopping that final teeny weeny grain can be impossible.

Far too many GPs just tell you to stop taking them with no clue to the consequences. Trying to educate a GP is an uphill struggle.

But believe me...stopping them can be done


I do know that long term tramadol can give u memory problems to, my husband was awful on them.

Then when he tried to come off we noticed he had a problem , as in he was addicted to them and the withdrawal was horrific.... the moods and anger was out of this world ( usually placid nice man)

Now neither of us take any drugs as we found all drugs have alot of symptoms if taken for along time.

I had trouble with codeine...

not to mention the problems it can do to body , liver , kidneys....

Speak to your local Pharmacist. They spent 4 years studying drugs at degree level. The GP properly had 1 week of lectures at most on drugs. So would not know very much.

Is a site worth visiting.

Bananas5 has given a very good answer.

For memory you need to work on getting more sleep. Sleep and memory are related. Get yourself a kitchen timer and grab an hour in the early evening.

Not sure what you mean by memory function. Handling pain requires diverting attention to monitor pain. Diverting attention means not grabbing appropriate memory at the time required. So there is a learning skill to compensate and approach it differently.

You are also entering senior citizen moment age. Guarantee more of these at most problematic times. Movement and memory has a relationship. Allow the time to grab memory rather than forcing it. I cannot describe the skill. This is because there are no words to describe it. You can only investigate by trial and error.

CBC oil will help reduce pain, try 2000mg 20% drops. You get results very quickley by holding under tongue for 2mins twice a day.

I went from Gabepentin to Pregabalin, both caused memory loss, speech difficulties and went went cold turkey from all pills in 2015 after being on them for 3 years. I don't suggest you do this, but it took a couple of months before I felt better mentally, and my thinking became clearer. But I have suffered some permanent memory loss as a consequence of taking it. So please try to get off this awful drug, doctors will never tell you the truth about it. Your brain is the nerve central, it numbs nerves, so dims your thinking. Depending on why you take it, look for the root cause and go for curative approach sooner rather than later. If you cannot live without taking something for nerve pain, then consider all medications and whether the benefits outweigh the negatives.

Sorry to hear you are in pain and needing this drug, it does suck having health problems. Nerve pain being a really painful problem to have.

I hope you can find something more helpful for your pain.

Bananas5 in reply to TheLongWait

People often think pain drugs cause damage to the brain. Yes this can and does happen.

There is also evidence to show how chronic pain damages the brain cells too. They are constantly bombarding without any breaks. Cells .which, when not in use can rebuild themselves have no chance so die.

It creates a form of dementia but is rarely talked about. I have seen MRI scans of the brain showing the effects of pain meds and the different area caused by that chronic pain.


I can quite believe that. This is why I would prefer the curative approach sooner rather than later if it is indeed an option. Pain suffered for too long may just never go away, mentally it is draining. When a dead horse is flogged and flogged, the NHS will keep flogging that horse in the name of saving money. Almost all areas other than Cancer, type 2 diabetes and emergency care have been cut. Pain meds and injections are the new treatments for chronic and sometimes debilitating problems that were once operated on. People with hip and knee degeneration can tell you the same, in some areas they will no longer operate unless the person is both bed ridden and cannot sleep through pain. The NHS is largely run by sociopaths, they make horrendous decisions a decent person with morals and a conscience could never make. Chronic pain is the norm because every problem is downgraded, considered normal degeneration. It is utter tosh sometimes! Some problems are cured through surgery or made far less of a problem. Pills are not the only answer, neither is complete ignorance in the name of cost effectiveness.

If a doctor told you the truth, (my doctor often does) he/she would say these pills taken long term will damage you. Also the NHS will not operate because they don't have to. Unless severe spinal cord damage can be seen, or severe nerve damage can be 'proven'. They would rather choose being sued if you are permanently injured or cripled rather provide all with proper medical care, because it is FAR cheaper.

In one postcode area a person with the same symptoms and scan results will get surgery, in another postcode it will be 'there is nothing to be seen on the scan, you just have degeneration'. Here's some morphine in another name for you to become addicted to, and make you dopey, job done.

I feel quite angry at the way things are, the NHS should be fair to all, or they should explain why services have been cut in favour of other services. Some will try and give the term fibromyalgia to those in pain, even with a genuine proved cause. This will be the next big compensation claim the NHS and some private medical practices will face. That will mean more cuts, more pills, higher prescription charges.

It is a mess that will never be fixed. A long term underfunded NHS has led to lies and the loss of lives, horrendous drug addiction and social problems. Giving people a never ending list of prescription drugs and is like giving people cheap gin to drown their sorrows. We are heading back to the dark ages for some, and the amazing innovative treatments and modern medicine and the miracles it produces for others, soon care will only be for the rich and the few lucky ones who were wheeled into the emergency room.

Our government is inept at dealing with most issues.

i am on it and tried to come of it as like you the memory thing i did a week at a time for one tablet but then the pain came fast back so ended back on it but ive just said to someone what wood be good for one will not be good for someone else so would recommend you go see your GP and talk to him about it but all so see if you can have a pill check to see if you can come off any of them if you dont need it and see if there a alternatif you can take that doesnt have the same side effect

Sorry to hear this Happy Camper.

Idea only - check this out on Google - ‘ what vitamins or minerals does gabapentin deplete’

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be highly linked to memory loss.

Are you on any statins by any chance Happy-Camper ?

I was on pregabalin for about 4 years (3 of those were tapering off it once I’d realised what it was doing to me).

My memory and other cognitive functions were terrible when on it and have only partially improved after 2 years off it.

I’m not going to go in to all of the other issues it caused me, but suffice to say it (and gabapentin) can and does cause a whole host of mental / neurological problems.

I will never touch again.


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