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Clonazepam or gabapentin

Hi

Hope everyone is as well as they can be and able to get some pleasure from this lovely weather.

My neurologist has suggested that I take eithet Gabapentin or Clonazepam (for leg stiffness). I was wondering how other people got on with one or the other?

I’ve read the side effects but if we worry to much about those we’d never take anything! I feel that other people’s first hand experiences tend to be more informative.

Thank you xx

My stiffness is caused by spasticity and they have given me baclofen for that. I thought that gabapentin was more for nerve pain.

Moyna xx

Hi Moyna

Yes, baclofen is the first choice but I tried it before and it caused depression, so he’s suggested trying one of these. And as a bonus it may help with the nerve pain as well :slight_smile:

xx

Hi Teddie, I have taken large doses of gabapentin in the past, and while it helped slightly with the nerve pain did nothing for stiffness or spacitisity. The only thing that works for me is diazapam. However we are all different and it is worth trying it.

ann x

Hi Ann

How do you get on with the diazapam? Have you had any problems with it?

x

For the last four or five years, I have been taking clonazepam (500 micrograms a night) to stop twitchy legs waking me up. I have been very happy on this drug and slept very well on it. It is marketed as an antidepressant and a sleeping pill in some countries. It is used as an anti-epilepsy drug in higher doses here.

That’s the good stuff. The bad stuff is as follows. Because it’s a sleeping pill, if you ever want to come off it, you have to gradually reduce your dose. If you just stop taking it, you get terrible ‘rebound insomnia’, although this only lasted for three nights for me. Worse than this, it is a benzodiazepine and a big, reputable study (published in the BMJ) found that taking any benzodiazepine for more than a few days increases your risk of getting Alzheimer’s. The longer you take any of these drugs, the more your risk is increased.

I’ve never tried gabapentin. Now I wonder why I haven’t.

Hi Teddie, for me diazapam works brilliantly. I am lucky that I have a good relationship with my gp and I have had a repeat prescription for the last 8 years. I find it great for spasms and stiffness,both of these cause me an enormous amount of discomfort. I take the diazapam 5mg when needed and have no problem stopping when the spasms ease up. For me its perfect but as I said different meds suit different people. It is worth trying.

ann x

Hi,

I use both baclofen and diazepam. I have good tolerance for both, and have experienced good results with no problems - except that they are becoming less effective. I don’t honestly think this is a tolerance issue (Baclofen, in particular, has low reported issues with tolerance - i.e. needing to keep increasing the dose for the same effect). So unfortunately, I think it’s a matter of the symptoms getting slowly worse, and not the drugs are getting less effective. :frowning:

I tried gabapentin (in addition to the above), with no effects either positive or negative. I started on a very low dose, which my GP considered had been too low to work.

So under her supervision, I tried again with a higher dose (three times as much). After a month of that, I still noticed no improvement.

In fact, the crunch came when I left the house in a hurry one day, and forgot all about it. Hadn’t popped any in my handbag either.

I expected dire things to happen, or at the very least symptoms to get noticeably worse - to the extent I warned a sensible friend I’d forgotten some important pills I wasn’t supposed to stop suddenly, and told her what they were, in case of trouble.

Despite my fears, I noticed no difference at all from my failure to take them, and that was the final proof for me that they weren’t working. After this incident, I weaned off the proper way.

However, everyone is different. I appear to be someone who is unresponsive to gabapentin, but you may have better luck.

Like Moyna, I was under the impression it wasn’t primarily for stiffness (spasticity) though. I didn’t notice any help with that - or with pain either.

Tina