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Does Gabapentin Withdrawal Cause Vertigo?

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Posted on Thu, 20 Oct 2016
Question: Yes, thank you. I recently had to not take some of my melds for a veg test. The Medes I stopped abruptly were 1800 mg/day gabapentin, 1 mg/day clonazepam and 100 mg trams doll prn q-4hrs. I broke out in a horrific rash with itching and severe swelling in my extremities. My EENT physician is wondering if the glossopharyngeal neuropathy and vertigo are medication induced as the preliminary results of the veg were normal. I am miserable getting two hours sleep every night etc. your thoughts please. I have restless leg, bilateral total knee replacement fibromyalgia (my neurologist diagnosis) and type II diabetes. Thank you for any help. XXXXXXX XXXXX
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (40 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

I am not sure it was that wise to interrupt the treatment cold turkey as you seem to have done, all those drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, especially at that Gabapentin dosage which is pretty high.

Now regarding whether those drugs can cause vertigo or glossopharyngeal neuralgia....while they do not cause true vertigo, a sensation of spinning movement, they certainly can cause some dizziness which can often be mistaken for vertigo. At those dosages I do not find it hard to believe they could be associated with dizziness. I do not find it hard to believe you are having difficulty to sleep either considering the abrupt interruption.
When it comes to glossopharyngeal neuralgia though I do not agree, that is not a side effect of any of those drugs, gabapentin is one of the most common treatments for that diagnosis actually, so I do not think that is the case.

So I do believe you have to restart Gabapentin at least, but you can try to lower the dosage gradually. I am not sure what indication are taking it for, whether fibromyalgia or neuralgia, if the first an alternative medication can be gradually introduced such as an antidepressant.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3674 Questions

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Does Gabapentin Withdrawal Cause Vertigo?

Brief Answer: Read below. Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. I am not sure it was that wise to interrupt the treatment cold turkey as you seem to have done, all those drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, especially at that Gabapentin dosage which is pretty high. Now regarding whether those drugs can cause vertigo or glossopharyngeal neuralgia....while they do not cause true vertigo, a sensation of spinning movement, they certainly can cause some dizziness which can often be mistaken for vertigo. At those dosages I do not find it hard to believe they could be associated with dizziness. I do not find it hard to believe you are having difficulty to sleep either considering the abrupt interruption. When it comes to glossopharyngeal neuralgia though I do not agree, that is not a side effect of any of those drugs, gabapentin is one of the most common treatments for that diagnosis actually, so I do not think that is the case. So I do believe you have to restart Gabapentin at least, but you can try to lower the dosage gradually. I am not sure what indication are taking it for, whether fibromyalgia or neuralgia, if the first an alternative medication can be gradually introduced such as an antidepressant. I remain at your disposal for other questions.