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Gabapentin

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Old 06-08-2012, 10:36 PM   #1
alexann
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Default Gabapentin

Hello:

This is another fluid retention and weight gain story.

My husband has been taking 300 mgs. of Gabapentin nightly for over 3 years and in that time he has gradually put on about 50 to 60 pounds.

He has had pitting edema on and off in his feet and legs for probabley close to 10 years. He has taken triazide 10mg. most of that time and lasix when he had bad spells. He is now on Coversyl Plus HD 8mg / 2.5mg I daily.

He has worn compresstion stockings for about 2 years of the 3-ish years he has been on gabapentin.

For the last year we have been very neglectful in getting them on as he cannot put them on himself and last yr. starting in May I had some health issues (shingles and an aortic valve replacment) and could not put them on.

By Christmas time I was getting well enough to be able to put them on but didn't, just lazy, he is so paying the price now but they are being worn everyday now.

Over the last few months he has also got what they think is fluid in his arms but not in his hands and fingers. He has gone for lab work and it has taken up to 5 tries to find a vein.

They have always had a bit of trouble finding a vein. The lab work has all come back okay so far, they took more blood on Thurs.

He went to the dr. and he put him on 40mg Lasix and that hardly did any good.

He also got weighed at 365 or 366.

He went back and the dr. told him to double the Lasix (80mg) and the next week his weight was at 380.

His arms still look the same but we thought that his feet and legs were quite a lot better.

When the dr. saw that weight gain he got really excited and started phoning speclists and he is now waiting on an appt.

This is just guessing but we wondered if the dr had got the first weight wrong because he was just peaking in from the side of the scale and not looking straight on and my hubby didn't have his glasses on at the time.

Anyway the question is I know that a lot of you take way more gabapentin than 300mgs but do you think the edema could be from it.

And have any of you had the edema in your arms or we were wondering if it could be a layer of fat being he has put on so much weight.

We retired about 3 yrs ago and he mostly sits and watches tv by the hour. The most walking he does is from his chair to the table to eat which is about 12 feet and into the bedroom which is 50 or 60 feet away. He says he can't walk much farther because of his sore back. Back is mostly sore when walking.

Sorry this is so long but thought is was all important to say to get the big picture.

Thank You so much in advance.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexann View Post
Anyway the question is I know that a lot of you take way more gabapentin than 300mgs but do you think the edema could be from it.
Everyone responds differently, but weight gain and edema are known side effects, especially longterm, so I think it's very possible.

There could be other things going on as well, e.g. diabetes and other conditions can cause edema.

I've been told, when gabapentin was prescribed for me, that the weight gain was at least partly due to the side effect of increased appetite. I don't take the gabapentin anymore, but I still have a constant battle with weight because I have back & mobility issues as well, and the extra weight only exacerbates the back issues in a vicious cycle. I follow a high protein/low carbohydrate diet that's worked better for me than others.

If it's edema in his arms, I would think you could tell by the same pressure-pitting(?) I have it in my feet, and that's another constant battle, but pressure and exercise (walking) definitely work better than not, even with a cane.

Doc
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:16 PM   #3
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I see a potentially serious thing:

Lasix depletes thiamine significantly and if a person gets
depleted they are at risk of beri beri. Doctors don't look for this because they don't know of this effect, and besides they think beri beri only occurs when people are starving.

In fact it can be found in anyone. You can have him tested for B1, or you can read up on this yourself:

Quote:
Wet beriberi

Wet beriberi affects the heart; it is sometimes fatal, as it causes a combination of heart failure and weakening of the capillary walls, which causes the peripheral tissues to become edematous. It is also characterized by:

Vasodilation leading to increased arteriovenous shunt
Peripheral edema
Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
Increased heart rate
Dyspnea on exertion
Swelling of the lower legs
from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beriberi

Increasing Lasix will only deplete further, and also lower magnesium levels as well.

more on depletions:
http://www.healingedge.net/store/art...depletion.html
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Old 06-09-2012, 03:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for your replies.

Dr. Smith: His arms don't seem to pit as much as his feet and legs, what we did notice is that his watch was getting tighter.

Also forgot to mention that on his right leg he developed two edema blisters but it is the left leg and foot that have the most edema in them.

Mrs. D: Would the Lasix cause depletion so quick as he has only been on Lasix for 16 days (9 days @ 40mg and 7 days @ 80mg). The last time he took Lasix was many years ago

He has religiously taken one a day vitamins that has 2.25 mg of Vitamin B1 in it for years.

Thanks
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:33 PM   #5
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Anything is possible. Some people have a genetic need for more thiamin than others.

I would try supplementing with up to 300mg of thiamin a day in divided doses when using Lasix.

There is a better form, that stays in the body longer which we on PN forum use. It is called benfotiamine.

Here is an example of a good brand to try:
http://www.iherb.com/Doctor-s-Best-B...Veggie-Caps/42

Most of the PNers start at 300mg a day and reduce to 150mg over time as a maintenance dose.

Lasix is very hard on the body, as far as nutrient depletion goes.
Thiamine is not the only thing it affects, as that link I gave above shows.

I'd make sure he has adequate and often kidney tests as well. Also thyroid should be checked as edema is one sign of hypothyroidism.

Gabapentin can cause carbohydrate cravings. Carbs tend to hold water in the body as well. People vary in this response. A person consuming many calories in carbohydrate/sugar content will use up thiamin quite a bit, as thiamin is a cofactor in carb metabolism. Also if he drinks alcohol, the thiamin gets used up quickly that way.

More on thiamin:
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/thiamin/
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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Default gabapentin

i have been on this drug for quite a few years. yes it and lyrica can and do cause swelling and weight gain. i am going off gabapentin now even though i have been taking it for fibro. for a long time. some thing has been causing me a problem since dec. of this year. i have to start some where. it could be something else. weight gain is a real problem. check with your dr. !
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:07 PM   #7
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Default No Side Effects

I was considering taking this medication for neuropathy. Thank you for pointing out the side effects. Are there any medications that do not have harmful side effects?
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:42 PM   #8
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I've been taking this drug since Nov. 2011. My side effects have been DEcreased appetite & no real noticed weight gain. I don't feel hungry most days & sometimes forget to eat. When I do eat, I don't feel full.

My family has strange allergies to meds & strange side effects so I might not be a help to you.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy Mac View Post
Are there any medications that do not have harmful side effects?
ALL medications have side effects. Some are temporary and can be harmful, but just because a medication has a side effect does not mean that any/everyone will experience it. Most Side effects are experienced by a minority of patients, and there are rough % figures available on that.

The best thing to do is research all prescribed medications (and supplements for that matter) and learn about potential side effects. Report any serious ones to your doctor and discuss a possible change.

Doc
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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I was also put on Gabapentin for radiculopathy. I retained water and gained weight. It also made me loopy.

My doctor took me off it, and I had done research on another drug called Topamax, so we tried it. It's GREAT. No water retention and NO feeling loopy. In fact I LOST weight on it.

Ask your doc about it. I only have to be on 400mg of it after many years of taking it and it STILL WORKS! usually by now, it would have quit working, but it hasn't!

Perhaps your doc will put your husband on it. I'm not saying that your husband will have the same results. He might have side effects. I don't know. Perhaps he'll retain water, but usually it's not so bad, from what I've read. Best of luck and God bless. Hugs,, Lee
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