Gabapentin help please!


Good evening all.

First time posting on here so apologies if this had been asked before. But I've had to swap some of my medications around today because I'm not able to have my usual steroid injection. I have osteoarthritis in both my thumbs, joint hypermobility and fibromyalgia. I have been prescribed naproxen and gabapentin for the general pain in all my joints and to bring the pain in my hands to a manageable level so I'm able to continue working and functioning as normal (single mum and admin assistant so there's not really much opportunity to rest my hands)

I have a schedule for how much gabapentin to take initially but wondered if I'm best off taking it at night or during the day initially? My thinking is at night incase it makes me tired?

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,644

    Good Morning @Ederner

    I am very pleased to meet you and welcome you to the Versus Arthritis online Community. I see you have Osteoarthritis , hypermobility and Fibromyalgia and have recently had new medications prescribed.

    It's tough being a working single parent when you are in pain.

    Your query seems to be about the timing of taking your Gabapentin if i am reading correctly. I had a quick check on the NHS advice on taking it and attach it here: Gabapentin: medicine to treat epilepsy - NHS ( It suggests spacing doses out, but you are wondering whether to take it at night in case it makes you feel drowsy. I am wondering whether you are thinking only of your initial dose so you can assess how you feel on it?

    Have you considered asking to see a physiotherapist/ Occupational Therapist for help with your hands? Therapies | Benefits and how they can help | Versus Arthritis Your GP can refer you.

    best of luck and I'll leave you to meet our members.


  • jennand
    jennand Member Posts: 131

    Hello. I take Gabapentin but for a different reason ( neurological damage following surgery) Initially, I was prescribed 3 times daily but it made me so tired I had to reduce it to 2 Even then, I had to be selective about taking it if I was going out in the evening. I did try stopping it completely but the neurological pain in my legs kept me from sleeping ( along with Rh arthritis, it meant I was very uncomfortable) So now, after 11years on it, I have settled into the routine of taking 1 & 1/2 each night about an hour before bed and if my symptoms are very troublesome I take 2 I know it’s technically not recommended to take them in this way but it works for me. My Dr is aware that I do this & although he still prescribes it as 1x twice a day, he also hasn’t advised me to change my own schedule.

    My own experience is that I couldn’t function well taking them during the day, but I also couldn’t manage my pain if I didn’t take them at all. Swings & roundabouts.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,486
    edited 4. Feb 2021, 08:37

    Hi @Ederner

    Welcome to the forum from me too I am very pleased to meet you. I was a single parent to two young girls when my back finally went and after surgery tried gabapentin

    Just goes to show we are all different because it was the only medication I have ever tried which caused me no problems at all! Sadly in spite of getting up to the max dose of 3,600mg daily it did nothing for my neuropathic pain.

    I quite often take my first dose of anything new at night (unless there are explicit instructions not to) to see what happens or at a weekend when there is less reason to drive/be on the ball.

    I really really hope it helps you

    take care

  • Ederner
    Ederner Member Posts: 13

    Morning all, thank you for your replies.

    Yes it's just this initial dose that I was considering taking in the evening. I'm building the doses up slowly to three times a day (if needed that often) and hoping that I can wean that down even more once we are allowed steroid injections again.

    I've had physiotherapy before yes and while it helps a bit it doesn't really make much difference when I'm in a flare up. I have fibromyalgia too so think the Gabapentin has been given to help with that too. Luckily I'm able to work from home two days a week at the minute.

    I think I'm going to try to use it in the evening initially. It might actually help me sleep too which would be a bonus! (I get around three hours a night sleep at the minute because of pain and fibro giving me insomnia)

    Thanks again for the replies,


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,486

    Have you tried it yet? 🤞 for you

  • Parageiss
    Parageiss Member Posts: 4

    I was put on Gabapentin and it nearly ruined my life, it messed up not only mental heath but also my physical life, I had to give up my degree course as my memory failed me to the point of getting lost and one day I was driving from the Uni to a friend's house for lunch, I drove 3.5 miles through 3 sets of traffic lights down a busy duel carriageway and around 2 roundabouts and the only memory of the journey was geese. Over a period of nearly a year I went from being confident person studying for a degree to a mess who couldnt go to the shop without coming back either empty handed as I had forgot what I went for. Finally I was sent to a neurophysiologist and after a barrage of tests she took me off the Gabapentin and within a month I was back to my old self. They were fantastic for pain, but as you can understand didn't work all that well for me. I use Fentynal patches and dihydrocodine, I was on an anti-inflammation but they caused a bleed in my stomach. Along with FND I just have to suffer and get on with life. A epileptic friend who runs a successful printing business nearly lost it all after the specialist put him on them. He finally came off himand like me all went back to normal.

  • Jenwren
    Jenwren Member Posts: 9

    I have severe arthritis of both knees, lower spine & hands & also fibromyalgia. Im just coming up to my 64th birthday & cant afford to retire without pay. (why did they put the retirement age up from 60). I take Gabapentin, I dont think it helps me but can't stop just incase i feel worse. I should take it 3 times a day but it makes me feel so dizzy & sick I have to get up very early so that the dizzyness wears off before i go to work. I dont take the lunchtime one as i wouldnt be able to carry on working through the day, i do take the last dose at night even though I dont sleep very well at least im resting. I think you will be better trying the meds at night first to see how you find them.

  • Jean1234
    Jean1234 Member Posts: 10

    I have been in a lot of pain knees I burned my hand last your I got nerve pain it was horrendous I have fybromyalgia osteroparosis arthritis I felt depressed and low.and anxious gabapentin 3 per day they have changed my life they work for me side effects like all meds but I can cope as long as nerve pain as lessened hope your all feeling better soon love Jean xxxxx

  • Jean1234
    Jean1234 Member Posts: 10

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I was on Gabapentin for my OA years ago and it certainly had a negative effect mentally, when lecturing or just having a chat I would stop talking mid-sentence for a few seconds and I would not realise that I had done that. It also felt like I was in a fog a lot of the time. I reported it to the Pain Clinic and they switched me to something else before I ended up on ever increasing doses of morphine.