How To Taper Gabapentin

Our pharmacist answers the latest question regarding how to properly taper the drug gabapentin.

Question

I am taking 600 mg of gabapentin three times a day for neuropathy. I would like to wean off it. I have been taking it for about 2 years. I have not tried to wean off it before.

Asked by Bikram On Sep 29, 2017

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Sep 29, 2017

Tapering to prevent a withdrawal syndrome or disease state worsening is suggested for a variety of different medications. More than one tapering method may be suggested, and the best approach for many drugs is unknown. Evidence is mostly anecdotal, and a more cautious approach may be needed in certain people(e.g., high dose, long treatment duration, severe disease.


As with many different medications, there is no "approved" way to taper gabapentin. Most recommendations come from various studies and the personal experiences of physicians and their patients. Having said that, there are some general guidelines out there that I can recommend.


If you are switching medications and replacing gabapentin with something else, ideally, the taper should start after new agent is at effective dose. After that, it is recommended to decrease by 25% of original dose weekly. As with all tapers, you have to monitor yourself and the side effects you experience. If you are having withdrawal symptoms, you should taper down the medication more slowly.


While there can be many different side effects associated with a gabapentin taper, the most common are anxiety, insomnia, nausea, pain and sweating.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor Of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in several publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any questions or want to connect! [email protected]; Office: 716-389-3076

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