Gabapentine withdrawal: Hi I posted... - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome

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Gabapentine withdrawal

malcolm_one profile image

Hi I posted 2 years ago when my father was withdrawing from pramipraxil. Now he has had to come of Gabapentine because of low mood and anxiety. He has taken a month to withdraw. And seems more anxious and depressed. He doesn't really have anymore rls medication to try.

He sees his Doctor tomorrow, we do need to deal with the depression.

Has anyone tryed Duloxetine, used for depression and neuropathic pain?

34 Replies

Lots and lots of people on here use tramadol. Oxycontin is another option. They are very effective against Rls in a majority of cases and would seem to be an obvious next choice for your father. Some doctors are reluctant to prescribe it and you and your father should be prepared to make a good case for it. Make sure your Gp knows just how much your father suffers and how appalling life is with untreated Rls. . It might also be helpful to print out the notes for professionals on and bring them to the Gp. If he/she is unhelpful you could ask to be referred to a consultant but stress the need for some medication in the interim.

How are your fathers iron levels? It is always worth getting serum ferritin levels checked while at the Gp as levels should be over 100 for Rls sufferers.

Good luck

Hi, Dad is 85 and frail, however his ferritin levels are always pretty good. He also has ceoliac and opioid medication could be bad for him. I believe this would not be a good route to take.

I am interested in whether Duloxetine might help or make the rls worse.

Yes, sorry I re read your post and realized I answered the wrong question. I’m not sure about duloxetine - I know a lot of Depression meds can exacerbate Rls. You will find a list on some of the Rls websites - try maybe.

I know Duloxetine is a new one on me. I know amitriptaline, should not be used.

Duloxetine will most certainly make it worse. My doc put me on 60 mg for nerve pain (unrelated to RLS) and i paced and paced night after night. We reduced it to 30 mg and it’s better but I’m still pacing a bit a few nights a week.

Dr is starting the dose at 20mg

Hope it’s ok!

Maybe Wellbutrin for the depression. It’s ok to take that with RLS.

I asked my Neurologist for opiates for RLS and they won't prescribe them for me. Too old and a fall risk. I call it age discrimination!

Yes not an option for the elderly.

I'm 73, just never thought of that as elderly. Guess I was wrong.

My dad keeps trying

It’s definitely discriminatory. I intend to live long enough to look back on my current age as being youthful but I definitely want to be able to take as many opiates when I get there as I do now.

If opiates continue to help you, you will be considered for them.

My Dad has heart problems and breathless. The opioid will suppress his respirations and constipate. Complications he doesn't need.


It is arbitrary. Dr.s are so frightened now by all the bad hype about opiates that they use artificial age cutoffs and minimize conditions ... it is discrimination.

some people are "elderly at 40 others in their 80's are running marathons."

right now it is a war on all pain patients without any realistic or comprehensive concepts of what really causes addiction. So much of the opiate propaganda is not accurate but Dr's are terrified and patients suffer.

We sorted it Duloxetine and Tamazapam he's now slept for 2 nights and most of the days.

Kaarina profile image

Hi Malcolm

There are a few past postings on Duloxetine if you use the Search button. I had a quick look and found this reply from Pippins2 to a question about it.

"Duloxetine is a SNRI type of antidepressant and the official line is it may affect RLS but is safer than the other type of antidepressants such as the SSRI s. The advice is to proceed with caution but many are able to take Duloxetine without an increase in severity in RLS symptoms"

I appreciate you are asking specifically about Duloxetine but Wellbutrin (not available in the UK) and Trazodone do not generally worsen RLS. Mirtazapine (Remeron) will worsen RLS for a small minority but not everyone.

I hope this helps.

malcolm_one profile image
malcolm_one in reply to Kaarina

Thank this has been helpful.

marsha2306 profile image
marsha2306 in reply to Kaarina

A low dose of duloxetine is ok for me (30 mg) but 60 mg was not.

Trazodone is also implicated in triggering RLS. I just read that this week, hadn't seen it before; maybe it's a new finding?

Yes there are a few entries if you search cymbalta (a brand name for duloxetine) also.

I really don't understand the comments regarding the having of bad withdrawls that is often commented about on this site from Gabapentin. I was taking Gabba for many many years for a different ailment.

I was taking 900mgs for 8 years, and then after deciding to give it away, (a choice that I made solely on my own, without the knowledge of my doctor), I seriously cannot remember having any withdrawal symptoms whatsoever.

According to the numerous posts that I am reading about on this site, it is beginning to sound to me that I was extremely fortunate.

I did however, undertake the importance of my decision quite seriously,

and did it is at an extremely slow pace. eg: I went from 900mg to 600 over a period of five to six weeks, and then down from 600 to 300 over another period of 5/6 weeks and finally down to 100 after approx another 5/6 weeks. And 2 months later I was taking none whatsoever.

I believe that if I had had any problems with any withdrawals, I would have either stopped, or sought advice from my doctor, but if my memory serves me correct, I suffered no withdrawal problems whatsoever, and I never went back to Gabba again.

Yes, it would appear that I was extremely fortunate. My heart definitely goes out to those who suffer withdrawals from any medication.

Joolsg profile image
Joolsg in reply to TEAH35

I think you withdrew in the best possible way- very, very slowly. This helps reduce any withdrawal symptoms. I suspect a lot of people try to reduce too quickly.

I take it for peripheral neuropathy, it works and the other benefit it's a anti depressant. Definitely a thumbs up from me..

Great thanks, a neurologist told my father that his RLS was caused by periferal neuropathy. So perhaps treating the cause might help the RLS 😀

RLS is not caused by peripheral neuropathy!

My father's been to a neurologist and that was the underlying cause of his RLS, that's not to say its everyones diagnosis.

Many, many neurologists are not really well educated in RLS. Please look up Dr. Christopher Early, RLS specialist at John Hopkins Hospital.

I recently stopped Gabapentin and tried low dose -- 25 mg -- tramadol with terrible results. Dizziness, low mood, lost appetite. Had to stop. Food can impact mood as reported here. Trazadone could help and often prescribed for sleep in older adults.

I have read books on peripheral neuropathy , no two people symptoms are alike . And RLS. Is just now coming to the forefront of Medical journals and studies all over the world. No exact cause has been determined, however studies are showing more and more people with neuropathy have RLS. I know I have both. I have had every test imaginable done. There is No Dr . That can say they are not linked. I only say this because this site is for people who are looking for help, not conjecture. Do not self diagnose and explore all options until relief is found and a cause and cure is found..

Hi, dad started Duloxetine and changed from zopicline to Temazapam as a seeping pill.

He has been sleeping really well.

That’s great news. Really pleased you got a good solution.

Trazodone is working quite well for me but I need relaxations exercises for sleeping moderately well.

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