question-icon

Can Taking Gabapentin Thrice A Day Lead To Weight-gain?

default
Posted on Mon, 16 Oct 2017
Question: How much weight will I gain if I take 900mg gabapentin 3 times a day for a temazepam (restoril) taper gone wrong? My doctor wants me to possibly go up to the maximum dosage of 1,600mg 3 times per day but I read online in a research study that subjects gained 10+% of their bodyweight on 2,700mg per day taken for 12 months. I eat healthy and exercise daily (although lately my cortisol levels have been through the roof because of the benzo withdrawal symptoms, and my body is EXTREMELY weak from said symptoms so I can't exercise as much as before). I am 6'2" and weigh 185lbs. I have a tendency to gain weight on meds that's why I have to watch what I eat so carefully and exercise diligently. Was on 90mg temazepam, went down to 45mg in a period of 28 days (way too fast), started having severe withdrawal symptoms a few days after I went from 60mg to 45mg on July 30th. Symptoms have not improved despite raising temazepam to 75mg and adding 20mg valium. Over 7 weeks now and just getting worse every day. How long do you think I would need to be on the higher dose of gabapentin? And please be honest about the weight gain. One doctor told me it's weight neutral regardless of dose. Thank you so much!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar (8 hours later)
Brief Answer:
It may take three months

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX
Thanks for using Healthcaremagic.

I am sorry to know that you got untrue answers from one of the doctor and there is ongoing worsening despite increasing the restoril to 75 mg per day and adding 20 off valium.

Regarding your question I like to inform you that Gabapentin is not weight neutral for many of patients and there are reports of increasing weight about 15% in 12 months duration. However at the same time it can also cause weight loss in certain individuals.

Since you are on gabapenting for couple of weeks your response so far will determine whether you are going to gain weight or going to lose weight.

In case you have gained weight over the last few weeks I feel gabapentin is not great choice for you when it comes to weight issue. In case you have no change in weight or there is loss of weight over the last few weeks I think gabapentin will make a great choice for you.

Regarding response to gabapentin after the restoril dose reduction it may take upto 12 weeks to get restoration of your health to the previous level.

I hope this assists you.
If you have more questions I will be glad to answer you further.
If you do not have more questions, please close the discussion and if possible rate the answer for my future patients.

In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use the below mentioned link:

http://doctor.healthcaremagic.com/doctors/dr-ashok-kumar/67386

Thanks and regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Ashok Kumar (13 hours later)
Hi Dr. XXXXXXX
Thank you for your reply. When you say "it may take up to 12 weeks to get restoration of your health to the previous level" does this mean that I can taper the restoril during this 12 week period? My goal is to stabilize obviously, but I would also like to get off the restoril. What is the proper protocol for tapering off 75mg restoril when using Gabapentin as adjunctive treatment. And then what is the proper taper process to get back down to 900mg gabapentin from 2,700mg or 4,800mg daily after I'm "restored" to my previous level of health?

Thanks in advance,

Nathan
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar (11 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Yes it can be reduced even during process of restoration of health

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX
Thanks for reverting back to me with most important questions.

Although it may take upto three months but it does not mean everybody takes three months. The response of every individual is different and it is rightly possible that you may restore within a duration of four weeks.

Regarding reducing the dose of restoril the most important thing is stabilisation of symptoms. First of all we need to have a stage when there is no further worsening of symptoms and it is rightly possible that this stage will be achieved after one to two weeks of Gabapentin full dose (4800 mg per day).


Once the stabilisation is achieved restoril need to be decreased at the rate of 5 mg every two weeks. In case there is problem with the reduction the two weeks time can be increased to three weeks before taking it further down. I understand that it may take months to get completely rid of Temazepam but it is extremely important.

Following elimination of rostral gabapentin can be decreased at the rate of 300 mg every two weeks. This again may take some months but it will be much smooth in comparison of temazepam withdrawal.

I hope this answers you further.
Thanks again.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Ashok Kumar (12 hours later)
Hi Dr. XXXXXXX
Thank you for the clarification regarding the duration and dosage of gabapentin, rate of taper, and taper plan for restoril. From what I understand, if I start the full dose of 4,800mg gabapentin today, and achieve "stabilization" in 1-2 weeks, I will have to remain on that dose for an ADDITIONAL 30 weeks (Fifteen 5mg tapers at two week intervals to get down from 75mg) while I taper the temazepam at a rate of 5mg per two weeks? Then after that, I need to do a 26 week taper (4,800mg back down to my regular 900mg, or 13 tapers of 300mg at two week intervals to equate the 3,900mg reduction) to get back to my regular dosage of gabapentin? This is 56 total weeks! Almost 13 months. I stand to gain 20+ pounds even though I will be tapering the second half. As I told you, I was 8 pounds heavier on 1,500mg of Gabapentin than I am on 900mg. Are there other good options you can think of? Would adding 60mg valium daily be just as effective? I know it takes a long time to get off of as well, but it doesn't really carry the risk of weight gain like gabapentin correct?
Sorry for all the detailed questions. I greatly appreciate your expertise and time.
All the best,
Nathan
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar (38 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
I think gabapentin is better choice

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX
Thanks for follow up.

I understand that there is risk of weight gain but it does not mean that you are going to gain 20 lbs over the next one year. As stated earlier it depends from the person to person and it is rightly possible that you may lose weight rather than gaining it.

I am not in favor of valium as 20 mg of valium failed to show any effect and there is always risk of fatty tissue accumulation and toxicity which is very uncommon with gabapentin. Considering the two risks of weight gain and toxicity I will prefer weight gain rather than developing toxicity.

At the same time I like to clarify that although Valium is largely weight neutral but it does not mean it is weight neutral for everyone. It is just a statistical data and there is little meaning for individual person.

I hope this assists you.
If you have more questions I will be glad to answer you further.
If you do not have more questions, please close the discussion and if possible rate the answer for my future patients.

In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use the below mentioned link:

http://doctor.healthcaremagic.com/doctors/dr-ashok-kumar/67386

Thanks and regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Ashok Kumar (46 hours later)
Which is more likely to cause weight gain? 1,800mg (600mg 3 times per day) of gabapentin or 80mg Valium (40mg twice a day)? I have to take one or the other to manage the symptoms of protracted withdrawal syndrome from a temazepam taper done way too rapidly. I realize it will take longer to get off the valium but I'm fine with that. Thank you in advance.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar (11 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Follow up

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX
Thanks for follow up.

Both medications have equal chance of weight gain and it will completely depend on the individual profile rather than drug itself. However I must acknowledge that if the diet is modified and exercise is carried out on regular basis chance of weight gain are very low if any.

I hope this clarifiers.
Thanks again.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Ashok Kumar

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 3315 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Can Taking Gabapentin Thrice A Day Lead To Weight-gain?

Brief Answer: It may take three months Detailed Answer: Dear XXXXXXX Thanks for using Healthcaremagic. I am sorry to know that you got untrue answers from one of the doctor and there is ongoing worsening despite increasing the restoril to 75 mg per day and adding 20 off valium. Regarding your question I like to inform you that Gabapentin is not weight neutral for many of patients and there are reports of increasing weight about 15% in 12 months duration. However at the same time it can also cause weight loss in certain individuals. Since you are on gabapenting for couple of weeks your response so far will determine whether you are going to gain weight or going to lose weight. In case you have gained weight over the last few weeks I feel gabapentin is not great choice for you when it comes to weight issue. In case you have no change in weight or there is loss of weight over the last few weeks I think gabapentin will make a great choice for you. Regarding response to gabapentin after the restoril dose reduction it may take upto 12 weeks to get restoration of your health to the previous level. I hope this assists you. If you have more questions I will be glad to answer you further. If you do not have more questions, please close the discussion and if possible rate the answer for my future patients. In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use the below mentioned link: http://doctor.healthcaremagic.com/doctors/dr-ashok-kumar/67386 Thanks and regards.