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Gabapentin - discontinuing

young at heartyyoung at heart Posts: 1
edited 02/23/2015 - 8:03 PM in Pain Medications
I have lumbar spinal stenosis. Steroid injections in facet joints are no longer effective. I have been taking Naproxen and limited Oxycontin. Doctor prescribed Gabapentin for nerve pain. Slight relief but big increase in appetite and somewhat reduced short term memory. I don't want to gain weight and put more pressure on my back, and memory loss is just not acceptable, therefore I have stopped taking Gabapentin. Will ask my doctor about a less troublesome pain medication. If anyone has a suggestion I would be most appreciative. Thanks.


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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,813
    Lryica (Pregabalin) and Neurontin (Gabapentin) are probably the most effective in dealing with nerve problems. They are great medications, but they do have their negatives. Without going into any major side effects of either, some of the most common complains are Weight Gain and Short term memory loss.

    For many, those are insignificant problems when weighed against nerve pain.

    Some people have used Cymbalta (even though its primary usage is as an anti-depressant)
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  • I take Topiramate (generic Topamax) for nerve pain, and it has appetite loss as a side effect. I was skeptical when my doctor suggested it as I had taken it some years before to prevent migraines and I had never heard of it being used to help with nerve pain, nor did I recall it having an effect on my back and leg pain, but surprisingly it has helped a lot! I also tried Lyrica and it was helpful, but discontinued it due to side effects. I'd recommend asking your doctor about both and seeing if either is right for you.
    º lumbar spinal fusion
    º spinal cord stimulator
    º multiple decompressions
    º lumbar laminectomy
    º osteoarthritis
    º I am not a doctor nor am I giving medical advice
  • I was prescribed 300 mg gabapentin three times (tid) a day when diagnosed with mild nerve pain from a bulging disc in my back. It worked fairly well with a couple OTC ( over the counter) meds. 4 weeks ago after receiving my second epidural injection, I woke with excoriating pain down my left leg. The doctor reluctantly gave me oral steroids but insisted I stay on 900 mg Gabapentin a day despite the huge spike in nerve pain. Fortunately my primary doctor thought this was ridiculous & increased the daily dosage. I stll am having left leg nerve pain four weeks later.
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    PAIN can CHANGE you, but NEVER let it DEFINE you.
    Treat arthritis pain
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  • Coltsfan78CColtsfan78 Posts: 182
    edited 03/04/2015 - 5:10 AM
    budnob said:
    Gabapentin is effective to treat nerve pain. Just take it as prescribed and try not to be so dependent with medication. You can have exercise and do some therapy to support the medication treatment and not to abuse it.
    Not to pick a fight or anything, but Gabapentin is NOT always effective. It can be, but it can also just not work. For whatever reason, I never got very much relief even at the highest dose of Gabapentin. I did definitely get the side-effects like weight gain, memory loss, focus problems, feeling foggy, etc...

    Lyrica works better for me, but it too has similar side effects. I'm struggling with whether I want to continue it because it is starting to cause some swelling and the memory/focus issues are really bothersome. However, I can't take Cymbalta and opiates don't touch my nerve pain. I'm not sure what's next for me, but I know that everyone reacts differently to meds, so it's a lot of trial and error.
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 324
    All these meds would be classified as anti-convulsives. It's important to give these meds time to reach the correct level in the blood stream which may take several weeks.

    I've been on all three at different times and sometimes one or 2 together. Gabapentin did little for me but gave me an enormous appetite. Topamax was my wonder drug for awhile but I was super annoyed by the problems I had finding the right word to say. Pregaba (Lyrica) is one I am on now and it seems to help but again, appetite! The med, for me, helps with what I call, background pain. I'm also on MS Contin and Percocet for the excruciating pain but I think the three meds together will eventually be what helps.

    No two individuals react the same way to medications with the highest variances being in those medications which affect neurotransmitters. It can be very frustrating to hear that one medication is great for one person but does nothing for you at all but it happens.

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 603
    I am on gabapentin & I also struggle with finding the right word to say! It's very embarrassing. I've been on it for about 5 months & I was kind of hoping these memory lapse problems would start to fade, but that hasn't occurred. My husband used to get frustrated with me. Constantly telling me ... "Don't you remember I told you"? Now he just jokes about it. I was first on amitryptline but that didn't work at all for me & gave me bad side affects. I'm on 1800mg of gabapentin & I'm thinking my doctor will have to increase it again because it's starting to not be working as well?
  • catman47ccatman47 Posts: 2
    edited 03/13/2015 - 5:50 AM
    Four yrs. ago my first neurologist prescribed gaba300mg. 3 times a day, several months later while experiencing no relief the doctor upped the dose to 5gaba300mg. daily to no avail. my neuropathy in my feet refused to go away. Several months later we parted ways and so I kept looking for a pro who could help. My next neurologist put me through extensive tests to hopefully find the cause. She prescribed me Nortryptiline? which made me feel like a zombie at times. Then Flexeril and later Lyrica, Cymbalta, and a referral to the neurosurgeon who saw the problems of my back and thought it was not the time for surgery. Finally my doctor came through with real medication, Vicodin 7.5 and for 3 years my pain meds worked well. This past summer when the State took a hardline against "Opioids" my doctors took me off the only meds that worked well. So I had to find a new pain clinic. xxxxx welcomed me to their program, They continued my Vicodin as well as Gaba600mg. 3 times a day. For many months I had relief but they too took a hardline against "Opioids" and began to wean me off 90 tablets a month but provided me with Fentynil? patches. At first it was 12.5mgh every three days later when the time came to move me off Vicodin they upped the patch to 25mgh. that knocked me out for many hours at a time, their plan was no more "Opioids" but for the catman 50mgh.of Fentynil no doubt that much would have rendered me unconcious. I was soon expelled from their program for repeatedly having positive results for cannabinoids lol, Today, I suffer through the more serious pain episodes
    with nothing more than Ibuprofen 800mg. and tears.
    Its ironic, my 3 primary doctors who stopped my "Opioid" usage promoted the virtues of Methodone, shame on them.
    anyway, thanks for sharing your story.
  • I have been fighting the the issue of numbness and feeling restless leg syndrome and after many missed diagnosis my dr. Finally sent me for MRI and found I had spinel stenosis in my neck and lower back, he put me on 300 twice daily gabipentin and I feel no relief and feel dizzy, sleepy and foggy. I asked about surgery to see if this an option he stated he did not know I was also asking about non invasive surgery he said he knew nothing about it. I guess I am asking is this a good option to look at or not cause I really don't know much about this , if any one can give me any feed back it would be greatly warranted.
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