Neurontin (Gabapentin) versus Klonopin for anxiety

I have been giving it some thought lately - serious thought. Why in the world would my doctor put me on 2 different antianxiety meds. She wants me on the Neurontin and said that I can still be on the Klonopin at a lower dose.
Now to me this now does not make sense - I know she is an excellent psychiatrist, certified in 3 different areas - Geriatric, Addiction and General Psychiatry - but the more I think about it, the more I am not seeing the logic.
In my opinion and many others, Klonopin would probably be a better choice for anxiety than Neurontin, Klonopin is also mood stabilizing, probably just as good if not better than Neurontin.
I have been on Klonopin for years and I admit to the fact that I am physically ‘addicted’ dependent - but it has been a really good medication for me, and I do not abuse it, I take low doses.
The burning question becomes, if I decide not to take the Neurontin will she be pissed - angry or do I have some input in my treatment with her? I have been really struggling with starting this med, and my gut tells me not to take it because I am very comfortable with the Klonopin - I do not want to end up over sedated ( they both are calming tranquilizing meds working on GABA, to me this is overkill, plain and simple.
I have never not taken a prescribed medication, this will be my first time.
What do I tell her or how do I face this with her? My gut tells me that I am doing the right thing

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Im on your side. i was on nerontin once for other reasons-and it knocked me out! The effects lasted for days. I know that everyone acts differently. I am also on klonopin and works well at 0.5 mil. Sounds like your pdoc is trying to slowly wean you off the klonopin--which makes total sense-they are addicting. If klonopin is working---stay on it. Its your body and you can change your mind without worrying about what your doctor would say.
My son was on neurontin for a short period and he loved it a first. But he abused it. I read somewhere that your body builds up a tolerance very fast to this med. You end up having to take more to do the job.
Good luck and go with your gut.

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Thanks @bridgecomet what you wrote means a lot to me. I really appreciate your advice and honesty- thank you
She was trying to get me off of the Klonopin yes but I think it works great for me

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They might work on different kinds of anxiety, too.

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I know that in some combinations of medicines it is better as far as side effects to take small doses of two medicines than to take a larger dose of one. This is why in the treatment of hypertension many patients are on two or three types of medicine.

I don’t know if this is the case with Neurontin and Klonopin, but why don’t you ask this doctor what her rationale is? If she thinks reducing the dose of Klonopin world lessen the chance that you might cross over into abuse then she should tell you that too.

I’m not a doctor or a pharmacist. I’m just making some uninformed guesses. Has she told you?

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I have tried to get off of the Klonopin in the past, the withdrawal symptoms were Hell. I presented myself to be more anxious than usual because I was on a lowered dose of the Klonopin- I plan on raising it to my dose of. 0.5 I wanted her to put me on a tried and true mood stabilizer - lithium but she prescribed me Neurontin instead

Have you thought about trying the Neurontin first before making a decision on which one works the best?

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Normally I would say follow your doc’s advice and give it a try. But if you feel this strongly about not taking it, I think you should have a conversation with your doctor first.

As far as benzos go, the longer you use them, the less they work. Most patients build up a tolerance within the first 2 years of treatment.

I’m taking Klonopin as well. I become tolerant to it in about 1 year. So then my doc will switch me to Valium for a year. And when I become tolerant to Valium, he switches me to Xanax. And then back to Klonopin. The point being that my anxiety is effectively treated without having to raise the dosage of any of the benzos.

Maybe this is something you can talk to your doc about. You might find that switching benzos is an effective treatment to your anxiety and moods.

PS: for most people, there is no withdrawal when switching between benzos.

Blessings,

Anthony

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What I do personally for myself is lower the Klonopn dose take it at this ridiculously low dose for a while then increase it to my usual higher dose (still a low dose) - this avoids tolerance. Keeping Klonopin or other benzos at the same dose everyday makes it not work as well - this is how you avoid tolerance.
Klonopin has mood stabilizing properties - I have always taken my medications that my doctors prescribe me but it has to make sense to me - if I feel that it does not make sense or I am feeling uncomfortable with a certain medication, I usually will have a discussion with my doctor about it.
I feel that I am an educated “consumer” - I do extensive research on most all of the psych meds - but I will not take a medication if I feel it is overkill or will not benefit me - this is our right as patients. I will not blindly take a medication if I do not see the therapeutic benefit or if I get an uneasy uncomfortable feeling about a med. I have to be on board with what the doctor is prescribing me - psychiatry is a 2 way street.
After all I am the one taking the med - side effects and all.
I do not feel that I am being stubborn or unreasonable or being a difficult patient - before I take a med I have to know the reason why I will be taking it - I look at the side effects and I see if it is proven to work.
When I mood cycle I will tend to be more anxious - the responsible thing to do is stop or slow down the cycling ( the root cause for my anxiety) and gabapentin is not approved for mood stabilization - my cycling has slowed down lately
I want to be able to talk it over with my doctor and get a chance to tell her how I feel exactly - but I will listen to what she has to say, but what I have to say is just as important

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I couldn’t agree more. It is your right to question treatment decisions. And I think that you ARE a very educated consumer. That’s why I have faith in your decision-making process to not start the Neurontin.

My point was just that your doctor should hear and understand your rationale.

When do you see her again?

Blessings,

Anthony

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I have been taking psych meds since I was a kid - for decades. I have never been in this situation before, so I am frustrated. Last time when she precribed me the Neurontin, it happened so fast and it was out of the blue, i never thought that this medication would be prescribed to me. Admittedly I did not know enough about the medication so when she told me that it was prescribed for my anxiety - in the back of my mind I thought it might be overkill since I am already taking something for my anxiety - Klonopin. She tod me that is not approved for mood stabilization and since during this time I was cycling, I was expecting a more established mood stabilizing med like lithium - she mentioned this drug to me before as a possible choice - the whole Neuronin thing took me by surprise, so I was not 100 percent comfortable with her decision, but I went a long with it anyway (my mistake)
I see her in about a week and I am going to be honest with her - tell her exactly how I feel about her decision, I should have had that conversation last time with her when she first prescribed it to me.
Frustration has settled in - but in my heart I feel that I am doing the right thing - but I will be discussing my medication situation and I will listen to what she tells me, after all she is the doctor.
Thanks @radmedtech - Anthony - you are always very supportive and understanding

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I’ve heard a lot of good things about neurontin / gabapentin for anxiety - it helps people sleep at night, has few side effects for most people, and isn’t addicting, and its very inexpensive since its generic. Whats the harm in trying it?

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I really do see your point @SzAdmin and I am not ruling it out completely, I may just end up taking it, but first I would like to have an in depth conversation with my doctor and go over this medication ( I am more informed about it now) and I am going to tell her about my symptoms - my cycling started up again today - mixed episode and I want to understand if the Neurontin can help with my subtle but chronic mood cycling - it is not FDA approved or even off label recommended for first or second line mood cycling so I want to hear what she thinks about it all. I will keep an open mind and I am not ruling it out completely, I just need some more direct answers from her - but thanks @SzAdmin I will consider taking it

I take lithium as a mood stablizer and neurontin for ‘anxiety.’ I’ve been told that neurontin users - mentally ill or not, report the side effect of a feeling of wellbeing.

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Its good to know it could make me feel good @pob but my real concern is controlling my rapid, mixed mood cycles.
I am only on 50 mg of Lamictal as my only mood stabilizer - I do know Risperdal is a pretty good mood stabilizing antipsychotic, but it not a true mood stabilizer - the question I will ask her, is the Gabapentin effective enough to control my subtle chronic mood cycling ? - I need a medication that works on the root cause of my anxiety - the rapid cycling I experience

You might google - gabapentin , mood stableizer.

Along with taking a high dose of effexor. Lithium gets rid of my minor mood swings.

I was on lithium years ago, for some reason ( I want to know the reason) she does not want to put me on lithium as a second mood stabilizer, instead she went to the antianxiety med, gabapentin - I will see her in 5 days or so, hopefully I will get some answers

Absolutely - its always a good idea to ask questions and be as fully informed as possible.

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I actually used to take 1800 mg of Neurontin per day and I think it f’d my head up more than any other medicine I’ve ever taken. I was constantly foggy, my memory loss got worse, I’d hurt myself because I’d be unsteady, and I was constantly PASSED OUT at school, in every single class every single day. I was taking it for fibro-like pains and anxiety, and while I was able to do a presentation in front of class (as if I was high out of my mind, I might add) I would never recommend this as an anxiety medicine. And I would never recommend anybody take the amount I was taking.
As for Klonopin… Been taking it for almost a year now prescribed, used to dabble in it recreationally, and while I don’t take it every day or every week even, it’s been extremely useful. The only problem I have with it is that it leaves a bad taste in my mouth sometimes. But it completely wakes me up when taken appropriately and calms me whenever I need to do things like drive and go to the store. It also relieves my headaches and stomach pains, so there’s that too.

Thanks for this Carley and Welcome to this wonderful site - I think you will like it here :smiley:

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