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Questions about Neurontin

Old 01-11-2015, 11:50 AM
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Default Questions about Neurontin

This is for anyone who has taken Neurontin or any Dr's who know about this drug.

I've got severe spinal stenosis in my lumbar spine at 3 different locations and will in the near future have to have surgery.

I've been on several pain meds along with 2 epidurals which only moderately work in relieving the pain.

My pain doesn't exist if I'm sitting or sleeping it does however begin after just a few minutes of walking. Radiates out to my hips and then down the back of both legs to my feet. I also have numbness in both legs when this happens. I also experience muscle weakness.

I started taking 300 mg Neurontin Friday night and am supposed to take one nightly for a week. Then take one twice a day for a week then one three times a day after that. Will do followup with the pain dr at the end of this one month trial.

Well this stuff knocks me on my ass. Very groggy as well as not very good motor skills when I wake up during the night to urinate. (yep getting old) I do get a very good night sleep but feel kind of hung over when I first wake up.

My question is does this get better with this drug as the body get's use to it? Other medications I'm taking:

Celebrex 200 mg 2x day
Lisinorpil 20/25 1 per day for BP
Phentermine 37.5 mg to help lose weight (30 lbs in the first month lost )
Morphine ER 30 mg 2x per day
Percocet 10/325 4x per day as needed (this does help when needed)
Enbrel injections 1 2x per week (For psoriasis) Works fantastic.

Yep I'm falling apart and can't wait to have the surgery to fix this pain. But in the mean time we are chasing something to help alleviate the pain. I was told by the pain dr that I could if this Neurontin works is first to stop the morphine and see how I'm doing.

I'd really like to eliminate all of these pain meds thus I can't wait to have the surgery which probably won't be until December.

So, what say anyone who has been on Neurontin or any Dr or Pharmacist that knows something about this drug.

I can't be high as a kite for my job nor do I want to be driving the 50 miles per day round trip if this current side affects are going to continue.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
Old 01-11-2015, 11:59 AM
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Neurontin is not a pain medication.

I take 600 mg per day. Every day.

Also goes by the name gabapentin.

Was originally prescribed for epileptic seizures. Over the years has demonstrated efficacy on some neurologic issues.

I have no problems with it.

Edit: I take it for a condition called occipital neuritis.
Old 01-11-2015, 12:09 PM
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Yes I understand that it is prescribed for many different conditions. For me it's to stop the nerve pain from my stenosis.

I'm glad to hear that you have no problems taking it and that was kind of my thought that might take a few days for my body to get accustomed to taking it.

My pain Dr knows all of my meds and don't think he'd prescribe anything that would have an interaction problem. I also asked this from my Pharmacist and he thought that I'd be fine. It's just with what I'm feeling from taking it I had the questions and there's no better place to ask than THT
Old 01-11-2015, 12:12 PM
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Good luck. I take it religiously.

Perhaps I am now addicted to the drug...who knows.
Old 01-11-2015, 12:27 PM
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They gave me this stuff and I had to quit taking it, I was basically catatonic when taking it didn't even want to get off the couch. Be careful it has some wicked side effects one being suicidal thoughts. It also really affected my memory. But everybody is different and reacts differently. Good luck I know what you're going thru.

P.s. Once you've been taking it awhile do not stop taking it cold turkey, wien yourself off slowly. I quit taking it cold turkey and felt like I was gonna die had to start taking it agin and work myself off of it.
Old 01-11-2015, 12:33 PM
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My wife takes it and she experienced the same side effects as you describe, but they did improve greatly after a couple of weeks (or her body became accustomed to them). Good Luck!
Old 01-11-2015, 12:43 PM
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Thanks guy's for your input. I found the following on a website while searching

My pain management doctor started me out on neurontin a little over a year ago for damaged sciatic nerve pain from degenerated and herniated discs in my lower back. I started with one 300 mg capsule a day then slowly increased over the next 3 days to taking 3 300 mg capsules a day. At first I had similar effects, dizziness, trouble speaking and remembering, involuntarily eye movement, balance issues, even muscle twitches, basically every side effect listed on the literature that came with the prescription. But after about two weeks, maybe less, I began to get used to the medicine and the side effects slowly diminished. Now they are barely noticeable. Keep at it, it will get better. I have since gone up to 4 300 mg capsules a day. It has been a miracle for me! As bad as my back pain is, my nerve pain down my legs was beginning to overshadow that. Now I just deal mainly with back, I hardly have issues with my legs now.


Sounds like this person had pretty much the same thing I'm experiencing as far as pain goes. However my prescription is taken over more time for adding more. Not sure I'd like to go from one to three over a three day period.

The good thing is my pain Dr prescribed taking one pill at night for a week then going to one twice a day. Maybe this was to give my body time to get use to it. That said this Friday would be the first day I'm to take one in the morning as well. I think I might just wait until Saturday to see how I feel during the day and then again on Sunday so I won't be affected as much while at work. I'm to do that for a week then going to 3 times a day. I'll probably do that switch on the following Saturday as well for the same reason.

I can say that last night the second night of taking it didn't seem as bad as when I took it friday. I'm even already getting some pain relief out of it. So time will tell.

Thanks again for posting, I do appreciate it. Hopefully this will help and I'll get use to taking it. I really do need some pain relief just so I can walk and do my job without as much pain as I do have. I'm an operations manager for a manufacturing plant that builds 3 season and all season rooms. I've got two warehouses that I've got to constantly walk that total 400,000 sqft. Plus my office is upstairs. Having to constantly stop to sit for a few minutes is at the least aggravating.
Old 01-11-2015, 01:04 PM
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Wishing you the best man....it works for me.
Old 01-11-2015, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by chrispnet View Post
Wishing you the best man....it works for me.
Thank you sir
Old 01-11-2015, 01:17 PM
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I started with the same regimen and over time, the side effects have diminished. I take a lot of it, much more than you describe. It helps me. I'm surprised it was prescribed for your condition, but if it works, that's all that counts.
Old 01-11-2015, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Pez Vela View Post
I started with the same regimen and over time, the side effects have diminished. I take a lot of it, much more than you describe. It helps me. I'm surprised it was prescribed for your condition, but if it works, that's all that counts.
I think the pain dr has in mind much higher doses, and I know it's been used for helping in the same condition that I have. My main concern was the side effects and being able to do my job effectively. Glad to hear the side effects diminish. I know they make up to 800 mg caps and looks like the 300 mg dose is not very much. The narcotics aren't helping all that much. Well lets say I don't want to stop to find out. I do know if I don't take the percocets when I start hurting again it gets worse quickly. Hoping for a non narcotic solution to help me get through until surgery time. Won't see the neurosurgeon until April 8 and don't want surgery until December. Who knows he might want to do a nerve test so they can do nerve blocks on those nerves for the interim. The epidural floods of my lumbar spine haven't been very successful at all. Then there is if they want to do radiofrequency ablation. They did that before I had to have my SI joints fused. It worked the first time it was done for about 8 months until the nerves grew back. They did it a second time and it wasn't at all helpful. So they did the fusion. I was basically pain free for 2 years, until I slipped on the ice last Feb.
Old 01-11-2015, 02:46 PM
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Stick with it as prescribed and I bet you'll tolerate it well after a month or so. I wish you well. Take some solace in knowing you're not alone. Look forward to the good days. They will come.
Old 01-11-2015, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Pez Vela View Post
Stick with it as prescribed and I bet you'll tolerate it well after a month or so. I wish you well. Take some solace in knowing you're not alone. Look forward to the good days. They will come.
Yes sir and thanks
Old 01-11-2015, 07:11 PM
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I was on Gabapentin for 4 months, 600mg a day. No issues and I was feeling good (5 bad discs in my neck with extensive nerve damage). I'm 29 years old.

One day, like every day, I drove to work, got out of my truck and was heading toward my office door and next thing I knew I "snapped to" I'd guess I'd call it and I was on the ground, my coffee spilled all over me and I had no idea what the hell happened. Like someone flipped the circuit breaker off.

Weirdest feeling ever and that was the end of Gabapentin for me. Now I'm on Lyrica 150mg a day, zero nerve related issues to report, I can sleep at night. Aside from the $896 a month price tag (some of which is covered by insurance) and the fact I put on 25 pounds since March, it's been an awesome medication for me. Once I get the weight thing ironed out which is it's worst side effect, I'm hoping to get down to 50-75mg a day.

I've had a total of I believe (at last count) 11 nerve blocks or epidurals (depending on what they wanted to do at the time) in my neck. I'm happy to take a pill than have another needle jammed in my neck.
Old 01-11-2015, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Squished View Post
I was on Gabapentin for 4 months, 600mg a day. No issues and I was feeling good (5 bad discs in my neck with extensive nerve damage). I'm 29 years old.

One day, like every day, I drove to work, got out of my truck and was heading toward my office door and next thing I knew I "snapped to" I'd guess I'd call it and I was on the ground, my coffee spilled all over me and I had no idea what the hell happened. Like someone flipped the circuit breaker off.

Weirdest feeling ever and that was the end of Gabapentin for me. Now I'm on Lyrica 150mg a day, zero nerve related issues to report, I can sleep at night. Aside from the $896 a month price tag (some of which is covered by insurance) and the fact I put on 25 pounds since March, it's been an awesome medication for me. Once I get the weight thing ironed out which is it's worst side effect, I'm hoping to get down to 50-75mg a day.

I've had a total of I believe (at last count) 11 nerve blocks or epidurals (depending on what they wanted to do at the time) in my neck. I'm happy to take a pill than have another needle jammed in my neck.
That's an interesting report. So you are saying it was related to the Gabapentin? I wonder what actually happened to you when that happened. Care to elaborate on it?

To update earlier I took one and I'm not having any issues now. Probably only the first two days. I'll continue to go with this for the month and then ask about Lyrica. I'm thinking for the insurance co to pay they want us on cheaper drugs first. They did this before I got the Enbrel. I was on Methotrexate, a nasty drug and I was literally a zombie after about 3 weeks on it. The Gabapentin was only a $4 script. For instance my Enbrel is $6600 per month for 8 injections. Well that was last month I'll update next week when I get the new batch, because the month before it was $5800. The thing with these expensive drugs is this. The insurance pays their part and the pharmaceutical co pays the rest. I've got no out of pocket on the Enbrel. And the BEST part is after the first month I've got no more out of pocket with my insurance the rest of the year. I've got a $3000 deductible

You should check with Lyrica website to see if they have the copay program like Enbrel does.
Old 01-12-2015, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by davidkuhlmann View Post
That's an interesting report. So you are saying it was related to the Gabapentin? I wonder what actually happened to you when that happened. Care to elaborate on it?

To update earlier I took one and I'm not having any issues now. Probably only the first two days. I'll continue to go with this for the month and then ask about Lyrica. I'm thinking for the insurance co to pay they want us on cheaper drugs first. They did this before I got the Enbrel. I was on Methotrexate, a nasty drug and I was literally a zombie after about 3 weeks on it. The Gabapentin was only a $4 script. For instance my Enbrel is $6600 per month for 8 injections. Well that was last month I'll update next week when I get the new batch, because the month before it was $5800. The thing with these expensive drugs is this. The insurance pays their part and the pharmaceutical co pays the rest. I've got no out of pocket on the Enbrel. And the BEST part is after the first month I've got no more out of pocket with my insurance the rest of the year. I've got a $3000 deductible

You should check with Lyrica website to see if they have the copay program like Enbrel does.
I wish I had more details about what happened. After it happened, I went into my office and called the Dr. They said it's a common side effect of Gabapentin and they were pulling me off it immediately. Sometimes it happens right away, other times it takes months like my case. They said I wasn't the first, and certainly not the last it was going to happen to.

After getting on Lyrica I'm not finding myself tired much anymore, I sleep way better than when I was on gabapentin, and overall I just feel better and I'm taking much less of a dose. The biggest downside is the weight gain.
Old 01-12-2015, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Squished View Post
I wish I had more details about what happened. After it happened, I went into my office and called the Dr. They said it's a common side effect of Gabapentin and they were pulling me off it immediately. Sometimes it happens right away, other times it takes months like my case. They said I wasn't the first, and certainly not the last it was going to happen to.

After getting on Lyrica I'm not finding myself tired much anymore, I sleep way better than when I was on gabapentin, and overall I just feel better and I'm taking much less of a dose. The biggest downside is the weight gain.
So it sounds like you passed out per se? I'll try and watch for that for sure.

Make sure you check into the financial help from the parma that makes the Lyrica for payment assistance. Many of them do this, not sure how it works in their favor but It does very well in my case for Enbrel.

I certainly don't need any med to assist me with weight gain I've got another 100 or so to lose, that's why I'm taking the Phentermine and it works very well. It speeds up the metabolism and curbs the appetite. The biggest side effect of it is cotton mouth, I always drank lots of water anyway which is good.
Old 01-12-2015, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by davidkuhlmann View Post
So it sounds like you passed out per se? I'll try and watch for that for sure.

Make sure you check into the financial help from the parma that makes the Lyrica for payment assistance. Many of them do this, not sure how it works in their favor but It does very well in my case for Enbrel.

I certainly don't need any med to assist me with weight gain I've got another 100 or so to lose, that's why I'm taking the Phentermine and it works very well. It speeds up the metabolism and curbs the appetite. The biggest side effect of it is cotton mouth, I always drank lots of water anyway which is good.
Oh yeah, definitely passed out/blacked out/ whatever you want to call it. Like someone flipped a switch and shut me off. That's never happened in my life.

Phizer who makes Lyrica does pay for a good chunk of the medication. I'm left with a $50/month bill for a $900 prescription. Not terrible, but not good.

Regarding weight gain, it will happen with Lyrica. It's a silent killer in that department. I'm having weight loss surgery next month so hopefully I can shed the pounds and get back to my life.
Old 01-12-2015, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Squished View Post
Oh yeah, definitely passed out/blacked out/ whatever you want to call it. Like someone flipped a switch and shut me off. That's never happened in my life.

Phizer who makes Lyrica does pay for a good chunk of the medication. I'm left with a $50/month bill for a $900 prescription. Not terrible, but not good.

Regarding weight gain, it will happen with Lyrica. It's a silent killer in that department. I'm having weight loss surgery next month so hopefully I can shed the pounds and get back to my life.
I would think long and hard before having the weight loss surgery. My personal Dr advised me against it. So we went the Phentermine route and it works well. I lost 30 lbs in the first month and 10 the second. I'd look into this first. Most of my weight problem is I can't do any walking or exercise even elliptical machines due to the pain I get. Good luck either way you go and keep us posted if you do have the surgery.
Old 01-12-2015, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by davidkuhlmann View Post
I would think long and hard before having the weight loss surgery. My personal Dr advised me against it. So we went the Phentermine route and it works well. I lost 30 lbs in the first month and 10 the second. I'd look into this first. Most of my weight problem is I can't do any walking or exercise even elliptical machines due to the pain I get. Good luck either way you go and keep us posted if you do have the surgery.
Thanks. I've seen three surgeons for my neck and three for my weight now. Unfortunately I no longer have a choice in the matter. It's either rapidly lose the weight and cross my fingers I can drop in dosage on the Lyrica to minimize weight gain OR fast track myself to a major neck surgery involving 3+ discs. It's a 1 week recovery versus 6+ month recovery. At 30 years old I have time for neither, 6 month recovery would cause me to lose my job, my home, and probably a lot more. 1 week for the weight loss surgery is tolerable.

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