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Lyrica vs Neurontin

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,607
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:27 AM in Chronic Pain
Tuesday ... 1/27/09 ... Lyrica vs Neurontin

Hello to all folks out there suffering from pain ... in particular ... DPN (Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy).
I am 58 yrs young *s* and have suffered from this over the past 15 years.

I was taking Neurontin (a gradual build up to 3000 mgs daily) and it worked well for me, for a long time ... or I should say, "Making pain & burning. at least tolerable" ... that I could 'function'.
Then, it didn't seem to have the same effect anymore, and after being put on quite a few different drugs (one being Cymbalta, which was VERY bad for me) I was told about, and put on Lyrica by my GP.
Starting at 50, and gradually having to work up to 100 x 3 a day. It was OK for a while but, for quite some time now ... I'm finding, it's hardly doing anything for me at all ... plus, there are side effects (mentioned by some others too) that I NEVER experienced with Neurontin.
I'm planning to talk with my GP and go back to Neurontin.
My Neurologist wouldn't have a problem with this, but I'm not so sure about my GP. My Neurologist has moved out of the area, and I've yet to find another.

I have a VERY severe case of DPN, and was wondering about others & looking for some advice, help, comments etc.

Thank you to all, and please know that ... we are not alone in our pain & that there's understanding out here.

Luv & Hugs to all ... we sure do need it {*s*}



  • I have been on both and have found that the neurontin works just as well for me as the Lyrica. My nerve pain is from cervical spine surgery which left me with radiculopothy. The Lyrica was not covered by my new insurance company so I had to switch to neurontin. I take 1200mg a day and right now I can tell that it needs to be increased so will see my pcp this month about it.

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am on 300mg of Lyrica daily myself but have had great results as far as pain relief goes. =D> i had a 30 pound weight gain but am slowly taking that off. i have taken the neurontin but had no results at all. :W good luck as you search for adequate pain relief! Jenny :)
  • I also have very severe nerve pain because of a different reason. Lyrica and Neurontin did not help me too much, but I think Lyrica(300 mg's) helped more than Neurontin(3600 mg's). I also had more sides on Neurontin. I took Cymbalta as well and It didnt seem to help and I had sides with it so I stopped taking it. I have been taking Amitriptyline for a couple weeks, not sure if it has helped or not, like Cymbalta it is also an anti-depressant prescribed for nerve pain. You should maybe ask your doc about it. Good luck.
  • hi all
    i have been on both of these medications and both worked very well on nerve pain .but i put 3 stone on in 5 months and i had to stop taking them because they put me in to urinary retention!
  • I havebeen on both.
    The main difference I saw was about $140 a month.
    $10 co-pay compared to not covered by insurance.
    Both have side effects and Neurontin makes me stupid.
    As in tell me something and 2 out of 3 times I will forget it! Not, forget as in when you remind me I say, "oh, crap I forgot" But rather the deeper more disturbing, "oh, crap really? I don't remember that AT ALL!"
    I still take Neurontin at bedtime. I have gone back up to 600 mg recently. It helps me sleep and only seems to hurt my memory somewhat this way. I also notice an increase in lower back and hip pain on it! Not present when I don't take it! How about that!
    Just my luck!
    I'm going to put up a thread about my SCS trials and tribulations, I hope, soon! I'll probably go ahead and post my current lack of progress so as others will know they are not alone!
    Or is it PIECE, as in thats the way we seem to be, in pieces...most of them hurt too...
  • I've only been on lyrica 600mg day and amitriptyline for nerve pain. Lyrica caused me a large weight gain and at first felt dizzy and tired. But the side effects have mostly gone away. I've never had Neurontin before. Good luck with the Lyrica if you can get over the side effects. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hello Drea, it's been awhile since we've been in contact.I am sorry to hear that you are still suffering so much.I have also been back and forth between neurontin and lyrica, I've been on lyrica for the last 5 months and gained 15 lbs.Maybe if you switch back to neurontin it will work again for you? I've had a major setback,when I finished my 6 mo.recovery from 2 level lumbar fusion I herniated my neck pushing a 1/2 full grocery cart. I'm in recovery now for my 3rd cervical fusion.I am hoping for a few good years after this.Did you enjoy your camping season? Mine started out rough but by the end of summer I was able to walk much better.It sure takes a long time to warm up up north doesn't it? But I sure do love it up there. Sending you my best wishes.
    Keep Hope,Faith M
  • Drea,
    I am very sorry you are in so much pain. I can relate to it and know what you are going through.
    I have a lot of nerve damages in my legs, feet, colon and bladder due to my spinal surgeries. They are permanent include my dropped foot.
    Nerve pain is 24/7. I considered to have pain stimulator surgically inserted but due to my other conditions I am not allowed to do it.

    I was on Neurontin for a long time, than my body got adjusted to it and even high doses of it stopped working.
    They put me on Lurica and I got allergic reaction; it was very bad so I had to stop taking it. Than PM Dr. put me on Keppra. According to my Dr I can't expect miracles and not to feel pain at all; so whatever Keppra covers ... with rest of it I have to deal every day.

    Best of luck to you; I hope you will find some relieve for yourself!
  • In my experience lyrica or neurontin worked ok when my nerve pain was moderate but since it has been very severe neither have worked well for me. I prefer lyrica to neurontin and actually have more sides with neurontin. You may have grown a tolerance to lyrica and that is why it is not working as well, maybe a switch to neurontin will make a difference and you could maybe alternate them every year or so. Another explanation could be your nerve pain worsening for whatever reason.

  • Just wanted to jump in with the others and say that I too, preferred Lyrica to Neurontin. I've gained some weight with Lyrica but Neurontin made me light headed, sleepy and forgetful. I'll take a few extra pounds on me! :) Hope that helps. I know it's nothing new to what everyone else has said on here but I just wanted to back what they said up.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,277
    This is probably the source of one of the most posted items on this site. Both medications play their role in helping to manage nerve pain. If you were to poll members out here, you would probably find a close percentage. Personally, I think that Neurontin is the better choice

    Lryica Start at out a low dosage, lets say 50mg a day.. Then slowing build up to more than 400mg a day. While I was on a low dosage, I had no problems, as soon as the dosage increased, I started to see some new problems. My legs from the knee down started to swell. After a while, I had what some people describe as "Sausage toes"
    I had a difficult time staying alert and I could easily fall asleep in the middle of a conversation. Then of course there was this weight gain situation. I gained about 15 pounds in less that 6 weeks while on Lyrica

    Neurontin This is what I am currently on. I started out with 150mg per day and now I am at 400mg 5x day.
    It has helpe so much with my nerve pain. It has also help control my RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) I am all positive for Neurontin.
    Now, with any chemical, there is a negative side. I never had a good short term memory. But then again, I am sure there our other wives out there that see the same thing in their husbands. Its a selected memory loss!
    But seriously, we have noticed that my memory does seem to fade in and out. I am great at long term memory and when it comes to wines/gardening/computers, I can quickly come up with tons of information. (So, there is some truth behind selective hearing)

    Keep a record of your Neurontin input. Track the dosage and how you feel at the end of the day. This could be very valuable information for your doctor
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • wow, been awhile since I've been out here. I had to re-register. I started out on Neurontin for a specific pain midway in my right side SCM muscle in neck. It was ok and I took max dosage. (I am a big guy 6ft 300#). We then switched to $$$$ Lyrica and it did work better. I take 600 mg a day. I can't say about weight gain as I have been packing on the pounds but I'm sure it did not help.

    One note about sleepiness. I have been dropping off lately and was blaming my CPAP. I even had another sleep study done to increase my settings. I didn't think about the Lyrica. I told my sleep doc but ????

    I think I do build up tolerance. I like the idea of switching back and forth.
  • Hi Drea!

    I am also diabetic and originally took Lyrica for diabetic nerve pain. I still do but now also for pain related to cervical spine issues (DDD). I have upcoming surgery soon.

    Both of these meds have worked fine for me. I am currently on 400mg of Lyrica 2x a day. As far as I know I have not experienced side effects. My daughter has MS and she says Lyrica makes her quite dizzy. So, it varies among individuals.

  • I had a spinal fusion in 87. L5 S1. Not sure what else cause I can't remember. I was in surgery for almost 10 hours. I remember there was also a lot of scar tissue. I was injured by being hit by a pick up truck as a pedestrian. For the first 10 years after the surgery I was able to deal with the pain without any medicinal help. Then the pain started to increase and I was no longer able to manage without help. I went for more physical therapy and they put me on some machine. This ended up hurting me. I then started getting epidural shots. They helped for about two years, then stopped working. My orthopediest then started me on 50 mgs of demerol as needed. My pain was gradually getting worse so the dose of the demerol started to grow until I was up to 100 mgs 6x a day. Oxycotin was then introduced for the breakthrough pain. I was started at 20 mgs and as time went on I was taking it 6x per day along with the demerol. I stayed on that dose for about 5 years. Then the pain started to get so bad that I was waking up all night with pain, even with the use of Ambien and Xanax (which I was put on when I had to have a myxoma (a benign tumor inside the heart) removed. He then increased the Oxy to 40 mgs. I hated how that made me feel. My regular doc told me about other drugs like neurontin and lyrica that have become available that might help me. So I went to a rehab in Califonia to detox off the pain meds. I was also supposed to get physical therapy and acupuncture for my back there too, but it never happened. I was also being treated for depression. They started giving me suboxone, which is used for detox but is also supposed to provide pain relief and Lyrica. They started me at Lyrica at 50 mgs, 3x per day. This made me incredibly woozy. I walked into walls and had double vision. So they lowered the dose and slowly started to work up. I am now home and taking 50 mgs at bedtime and 25 mgs at breakfast and lunch. I have an appointment with my pain doc tomorrow. Ironically the pain meds never made me high and I never abused them. The lyrica is sending me into another world!

    One question I would like to know about Lyrica is the weight gain. I saw that as a side effect, but also saw increased appetite. To the people that experienced weight gain, was is becaused your appetitie increased and you were eating more or did you just gain weight? This is an extremely important issue to me because in 04 I had gastric bypass and have been maintaining a healthy weight after taking off almost 100 lbs. I don't want to gain it back, so I'm scared to death that this is going to happen after reading some posts. The lyrica is helping some with the pain so I would like to see if I can get to the point that I can tolerate it. I would appreciate any feedback.

  • I crushed my arm in a machine at work 27 months ago and have been in a great deal of pain ever since. Neither of the medications worked at all to relieve my pain. But at the same time I will say that the various doctors I have been to have tried a vast range of drugs including morphine and pain patches and none of those have worked either. I am getting ready to do a trial for a spinal cord stimulator to block the pain signals going to the brain. It may help in your case or it may not. Just a thought for you.
  • I noticed some people mentioning that they didn't notice the difference between neurontin & Lyrica.

    Bare with me on my spelling...That's something along with finding the right words or forgetting in mid sentence what I'm going to say....

    I had back surgery, fusion on L5, also have Rapid growing facet disease & other heriations--Dr said I have a 81 yr old back, I'm 54.

    My surgery was less than successful. The surgeon didn't know if I would be able walk again!! I DID!! BUT...It's been a LONG PAINFUL process--sheer determination!! I use a electric wheelchair most of the time now.

    I take 400 mg of lyrica a day...I'm thinking of upping it to 600, a mid day dose so I will Still have a Roomate!! Lyrica is my miracle drug---Period. I wouldn't be able to move without it!! ALSO I notice that it's almost impossible to do without, I don't no how Anybody could get off it?? I tried to lower mine (very slightly) & I couldn't walk & emotions went off the wall!!

    I'm wondering at this point, because "Other" things are cropping into the picture if I could have MS??
    I see that MS can come on after trauma...I've Had Trauma in my life for sure, especially after surgery.

    I have no one to talk to about this. My family & Roomate are Sick of hearing about it, but it's the only thing on my mind!! I HURT!!! Plus Now vision problems, constant weakness, sensitive to light is a Big one too. God knows I could go on :(

    What to do.....

  • Hi,
    I'm new here. I've had back pain for 40 years now. Have had 2 surgeries. 1st was fusion and fixation of S1/S2 and i have little disk left between L6 (yes a spare) and S1. Plus degenerative disk disease up to L2. With the slippage before the first surgery I was a grade 2 spondylolisthesis. Congenital they say. Pain control w/first surgery was lousy and the ray threaded fusion cages that were used aren't supposed to be used on over a grade 1 but the doctor did a laminectomy on the vertebrae above to make it work. Seems i have a very acute curve. Kinda like walking around w/a dislocated pelvis. 2nd surgery 2004. Basically a clean out. Removal of bone spurs, etc. I've been on Neurontin now for about 6 years. At one time i was taking over 3000 mg day. I'm down to 900 now. I'm worried though. I used to pride myself on my memory but now its gone. I almost feel like i'm getting alzheimers. I'm really concerned what its doing to my brain. I also suffer from severe depression due to all this pain. Without the neurontin I wouldn't be able to work or function. I've lost the ability to do so many things. Sometimes i get so down like now and i just have to reach out. Hopefully i'm not rambling too much. But i understand the pain. Believe me. I wish i didn't. I'd just like to have 1 lousy day w/o it but that's not possible. Only my faith in god keeps me going. its his strength that's getting me through because my personal strength is gone.

    Best regards to everyone.
    Sorry to be such a downer.

  • I am currently taking Lyrica just started only can stand right now is 75 mg a day I am very concerned about weight gain and am seriously wanting to change to Neurontin. I am on a 50 mg fentanyl patch and wanted to know if that would affect the potency of the patch.
  • I'm finding that my headache is getting harder to shift, and while not severe it is constant and stops me from wanting to do anything.
    It comes largely from my shoulders. I have massage therapy which helps a lot, but it is not enough.
    My GP mentioned Lyrica recently, but as the Neurontin hadn't done anything he discounted it as they are similar.
    I'm going to see him tomorrow, and after reading about Lyrica will ask for a trial of it.
    Has anyone used it and had success with general headaches?
    Hard to tell whether it is nerve or muscle as the cause, maybe a bit of both.
    So, any success stories with headache relief from Lyrica?
  • Peter B said:
    I'm finding that my headache is getting harder to shift, and while not severe it is constant and stops me from wanting to do anything.

    It comes largely from my shoulders. I have massage therapy which helps a lot, but it is not enough.
    My GP mentioned Lyrica recently, but as the Neurontin hadn't done anything he discounted it as they are similar.
    I'm going to see him tomorrow, and after reading about Lyrica will ask for a trial of it.
    Has anyone used it and had success with general headaches?
    Hard to tell whether it is nerve or muscle as the cause, maybe a bit of both.
    So, any success stories with headache relief from Lyrica?
    Howdy Peter,

    I have been taking Lyrica for a week and a half - a rather high dose as I understand(?). 300mgs a day. Most of my headaches are now connected to my issues in my C2/3. If it (the headache) is from there (base of the back of the head), the Lyrica stops that puppy in its tracks! If the headache is "generic" (muscle, stress) it does nothing for it. I hope that helps. I've never had Neurontin, so I can't speak to it. Take care.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I have very severe nerve pain. I was on max doses of Lyrica and then Neurontin, neither helped. Tegretol is superior to both IMO, I think you should at least try it if the other two hardly help as long as you can stand the sides, its much stronger IMO. Neurontin and lyrica were too weak too even touch my nerve pain, Tegretol dulls the electrical burn somewhat. When I was first sent to my current doctor I was on a huge dose of neurontin(3600mg daily), When I told him it did nothing for me he told me he wasnt a big fan of it or lyrica and this drug tegretol I never had even heard of worked much better thean them. I think its a shame more nerve pain patients dont get to try it.
  • Thanks.
    Saw my GP today and he was unsure about what to prescribe for my headache.
    I asked about Lyric and he said it was not subsidised so I'd have to pay full price-it's very expensive.
    He suggested Neurontin, which is similar but much cheaper, also not subsidised.
    Cost me $21 for 100.
    Will see how it goes.
  • Hi Peter,

    I have a friend who's tried both Lyrica and Neurontin. He said that whilst both work well, Lyrica is stronger and made him put on a ridiculous amount of weight in a very short space of time.

    Bye, Val

    PS Out of interest, are you from the US or UK (you mentioned seeing your GP)?

  • When I was on Neurontin/goubobpentin; I was titrated up over a three year period to 4000+mg per day. The one major set back with the neurontin; I was always experiencing;little to no energy, It’s true that most of the time I was on something with the neurontin. With the lyrica, again over the past three yrs. At the beginning when I started taking lyrica the start up was rough. The side effects that might occur, occured. My doc kept telling me that these side effects will go away. After I while most of them did subsided. With lyrica I am less lethargic, the short term memory loss was a little tough to get used to. I also find it(lyrica) very temperamental; .If I happen to miss my night dose. At 4 in the morning, My lovely sensations come to attack me. I had to play with the doses to get the right level I was up to 400mg/day I slowly scaled it back 325 and now I’m at my optimum level, Its been about a year at this level. I do still get flair ups, I do not increase my lyica, Usually I use something else for brake through pain,
    Lyrica helps a lot with the; itchy, burning,pins & needles ant crawlling sensations.
    With lyrica , my hands and legs feel very heavy, like they are swollen, they really are not. With respect to weight gain, hard to tell, at the same time I started lyrica I stopped smoking cigarettes. I still don’t smoke, and my weight has been pretty stable for the past year.
    Either medications are for long term use only, perhaps a life time. Like everything else in our humble existence, the ends must justify the means.
    Its what you can tolerate best.
  • AKA Carbamazepine is a fantastic drug but one that also comes with some pretty significant side effects that make treatment of chronic pain a bit more of a challenge. This was the very first drug I was given for treatment of occipital neuralgia and it was wonderfully effective for many years.

    Unfortunately it is a drug that reacts with many commonly used drugs in the treatment of chronic pain. Some of these drugs can cause the level of Tegretol in the body to rise sharply. Tegretol itself can cause many drugs to be less effective requiring larger doses to produce the same effect. One that it reacts that way with is Ultram.

    Also Tegretol is known to cause Aplastic Anemia, pancreatitis, cardio-vascular problems ... Like most drugs it has a large laundry list of side effects to monitor for.

    I took it for several years and had several drug interactions issues with it. Since it is metabolized in the liver, it can do irreversible damage to the liver. It is extremely important to have regular bloodwork and liver panels done every 6 months while taking this medication.

    JohnnyO, I'm glad that the Tegretol is helping you so much. I would hope that your doc is making certain to keep track of your bloodwork on a routine basis.

  • Yes, Tegretols setback is side effects, but I have not been effected by any of the major sides at 500 mg's per day. The only side I get which does bother me alot is I get blurry vision occasionally. But it is worth it for me because it actually works a little bit while lyrica and neurontin didnt work at all, I mean nothing, I got no benefit from them whatsoever. Tegretol isnt a miracle drug for me , it dulls the burn somewhat, but the opioids do the heavy lifting. Both together is a combination that works very well.
  • Are they the only choices?
    I'm in Australia, so hence the UK terminology, though we are slowly being taken over by Americanisms.
  • lulusheart said:
    hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am on 300mg of Lyrica daily myself but have had great results as far as pain relief goes. =D> i had a 30 pound weight gain but am slowly taking that off. i have taken the neurontin but had no results at all. :W good luck as you search for adequate pain relief! Jenny :)
    Hi Lulu,

    I was started right out of the box at 150mg 2x a day of Lyrica. The first couple of days I was light headed and tired, now I am fine with it. Weight gain...had that for a few days, now I have lost 7 pounds (?)!!! It is working great for me too! I have actually been sleeping through the night - haven't done that in I have no idea. :-) I vote YES for Lyrica here!!! :-)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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