When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in May 2015, my doctor and I discussed my options for medication. As anyone with fibromyalgia and several other chronic illnesses can attest, few medications exist to treat our condition. The two major ones for fibromyalgia are Lyrica and gabapentin.

Lyrica has myriad side effects, many of which are downright frightening, including increasing your chances of being diagnosed with lymphoma. Well, I’ve already had lymphoma (yes, my health is a fascinating story), so I wasn’t eager to try that medication out. That left gabapentin.

I started taking gabapentin in June 2015. At times it seemed like the medication was helping, but another disconcerting thing started happening. I gained weight. I was 127 pounds in May 2015 and 160 in June 2016, when my husband and I decided together to stop me taking gabapentin. My husband has done a ton of research into fibromyalgia and chronic illnesses in general, and found some disturbing things about gabapentin.

So I ramped off the medication over the course of a month. You can’t just stop taking any of these medications – the withdrawal is often horrible even if you end the medication slowly. But, around the end of June, I was off gabapentin completely. Traces of it should have left my system by then too.

Brain zaps stopped, weight gain seems to have halted. I don’t feel any different; in fact, I believe I’m feeling better. And I’m taking one less medication.

A win for all.