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How does gabapentin make you feel?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Aug 24, 2022.

Official answer


Gabapentin may make you feel a little drowsy, dizzy, or clumsy when you first start taking it. You may feel like your thinking is slower. These are common side effects of gabapentin, but they usually get better as your body adjusts to the medication. These reactions are more common if you need to take a high dose. But if you do feel dizzy, unsteady, or drowsy, avoid any activities — such as driving or operating machinery — that could be dangerous.

Many people don't feel any different when they first start taking gabapentin. Gabapentin is used to treat seizures, nerve pain, and the symptoms of restless legs syndrome. If gabapentin works for you, you may feel relief from these symptoms. Some people may also feel more anxious, irritable, depressed, angry, excited, or reckless when they first start gabapentin.

In rare cases (less than 1%), you may have feelings of death or suicide.

Gabapentin can cause other side effects that include:

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Memory problems
  • Uncontrolled eye movement
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased appetite
  • Heartburn
  • Ear, back or joint pain
  • Flu-like symptoms.

Your doctor may warn you about these possible side effects and others that can affect the way you feel. Always let someone know right away if you have thoughts of death or suicide.

If gabapentin changes the way you feel in strange or unusual ways, or causes any side effects, do not stop gabapentin on your own. Tell your doctor.

Stopping suddenly may cause a withdrawal reaction that is uncomfortable and can include anxiety, insomnia, nausea, sweating, and pain. If you are taking gabapentin to prevent seizures, stopping gabapentin suddenly may increase your risk for a seizure.

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Neurontin (gabapentin). October 2017. Available at: [Accessed August 24, 2022].
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus. Gabapentin. May 2022. Available at: [Accessed August 24, 2022].

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