November 26, 2008 at 1:32 am

Hello Carol,

On drowsiness, you almost certainly will become less drowsy. If you were on very large doses, you might be more drowsy than normal all the time, but given your doses, it is not likely.

When is your pain the worst? I ask because neuropathic pain tends to be worse in the evening, so it is best to skew the doses towards then. I think DocDavid used to suggest taking the overall dose in three divided doses, at 2, 6, and 8 pm (I probably have that wrong, but the general idea is correct). If your pain is constant throughout the day, you [I]may[/I] have to deal with some drowsiness.

As far as interactions go, it is a reasonably safe drug. Calcium does interfere with it, so it is a good idea not to take calcium supplements within two hours of taking gabapentin. One should avoid alcohol, although a small drink may not have much effect.

As with all medicines, you should check with a doctor before you stop taking it. It is not like aspirin, where the effect is short-term. It takes a while to gain the benefit of the drug, so you should plan on taking it continuously. Most of us with CIDP find that the pain is pretty severe if we miss our doses.

One effect that I had when I was at my maximum dose was that I was slow mentally. I decided to trade some pain (i.e., a lower dose) for better mental function.