Coming off Neurontin and Upset Stomach
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Q:  Coming off Neurontin and Upset Stomach

I have been on Neurontin for approximatey 7 months, the highest dosage at 2400mg/day. I am now gradually going off of the medicine (with my doctor's guidance).  During the past 7 months, I noticed that I would get an upset stomach (nausea, vomiting, etc) if I forgot to take a dose.  Also, now that I am gradually coming off of Neurontin, I am feeling those same symptoms as my daily dose is lowered.

My doctor says she has never heard of this happening.  Have you heard of this side effect/withdrawl symptom?  Thank you.

Dear Janice -- 
I have not heard of "withdrawal" as such, but I do have patients who notice quite strongly if they miss even a single dose; people routinely tell me that they don't have trouble remembering to take their midday dose of this medicine, unlike others, because they can tell so clearly when they have forgotten to take it.  However, they don't seem to have been describing nausea, but rather a sense of a return of their symptoms.  So, I wondered if perhaps the nausea was in some way a "return of symptoms" for you, if that's what the medication had been controlling in some way (e.g. a symptom of anxiety). 

And I definitely have seen people have trouble coming off of Neurontin.  Sometimes I'll taper the last 900 mg to zero by 100 mg steps (there is a 100mg capsule one can use for this), as slowly as 100mg per week decreases.  

Hope that addresses your question to some degree. 

Dr. Phelps

Published August, 2001 


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