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Lyrica for break through Pain

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Pain Medications
There was talk on a different post as to whether or not Lyrica is ever RX'd for break through pain.
I take and have taken several nerve and CR narcotic meds for failed back surgeries. The med that I feel helps the most is the Lyrica. Since I hate taking Narc meds and have BTP, I wanted to take my scheduled Lyrica and additional Lyrica as needed for BTP and eliminate having to take additional narc med for BTP.
I told the doc what I wanted to do exspecially since the Lyrica works in an hours time. He said no way! It needs to only be taken on a scheduled basis. So I lost the battle!

Straker has said in many posts that he cannot take because of water retension. I have the same problem. Since the med helped the most! I needed to find away to make it work. I switched from taken daily to taken both doses every other day. Bingo! No weight Gain! But there are times during the off day that I could use maybe a pill until my scheduled daily dose the following day. And thats why I want to get info on break through pain & Lyrica.

One thing I don't understand. Why do docs push narc meds when the patient claims non narc meds are working better.. I could maybe understand if the patient is on the max dosage for the non narc med. but that is not the case.

I think these doc's know something about Lyrica that they are not telling us. Example: Lyrica or Oxy ! I would think the a doctor would rather have you maxed out on the Lyrica before even tring oxy.

For me its all about keeping your narc meds down if possible. Exspecially if you live with a life long condition. So why not max out a med that you know a patient is tolerant of?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,845
    Lyrica, being in the Nerve Pain medication is not a 'Breakthrough' medication.
    Normally, breakthrough medications are the Immediate Release narcotic medication that is used between dosages of the Extended Release narcotic pain medication.
    Examples would be:

    Oxycontin ER and Oxycodone IR (as breakthrough)
    Opana ER and Opana Normal (as breakthrough)

    I am sure that this 'classic' mode is the suggested method, but based on individual medication situations, any medication that provides a patient with relief between other medications would be considered breakthrough
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Dilauro, But someone who is already on a ER med. and has a huge fear of narc meds and history of not taking when they should. Why not try to think out of the box and provide a med that doesn't have IR properties on paper. Exspecially when the patient claims the non narc med has IR response time and good results all still within the max dose range.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,845
    about the classic and accepted definitions.

    I agree, if it works for someone then its good.
    Just as long as the medication that is being taken is addressing the correct area.

    For example if you have no nerve problem, then taking Lyrica or Neurontin would not make alot of sense. And if a person has problems with narcotics, there are other options.

    Bottom line, the mix of medications is a personal thing and has to be worked out between the patient and their doctors
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks for the email and info......
  • I take Lyrica in an "out-of-the-box" fashion. Lyrica is the best drug for relieving my pain BUT after a couple of days my hands are so swollen, I can't take off my wedding ring, my ankles look like Grandma's, my vision is blurry and I have gained 10 lbs. And no one knows why these things happen. I worry that two or so years from now some law firm will be advertizing, "Did you take Lyrica?" "Did you suffer kidney damage". Call us. So, I only take Lyrica for those really, really bad pain flares (I've been having quite a few in this nasty weather.) I take 2 75 mg. capsules. First of all, that usually puts me to sleep for twelve or more hours. When I wake up, I usually feel better but my clothes are too small (I'm exaggerating on this last point but just barely.) So when the pain is raging, I look at my stash of Lyrica and worry about the weight thing (hey its not like I'm plsying tennis 5 times a week anymore). If the pain is horrible, I take the Lyrica. If the pain is less than horrible, I take a narcotic. Susan
  • i use 300mgs of Lyrica on a daily basis. :? it keeps my sciatica away like nothing i have ever tried, including narcotic pain medication... i did gain 30 pounds which i took off and had side effects much the same as stockbroker. these have now pretty much ended, although i do get drowsy some days.. i can't see using it for breakthrough pain. i don't believe it was meant for use like that, but if it works for you and your doctor..... good luck! i do worry about what the effects will be years from now but the medication has me hooked with pain relief!!! :T Jenny :)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,845
    that you can start/stop based on your pain levels.
    Its meant to be taken in a scheduled basis.
    I had those negative effects on Lyrica when the does was increased (75mg to 300mg daily).
    Now I am on Neurontin and that has had none of the side effects that Lyrica had.
    But with either of those two medications, they should not be taken prn. Any changes in the prescribed dosage should be reviewed with your doctor
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Has the blessing of my pain management doctor. She does not want me taking it on a regular basis given the severity of the side effects I experience but since it provides such incredible relief for my nerve pain especially when I've been particularly naughty and, say, have gone trout fishing or engaged in some equally gruelling activity, she wholeheartedly endorses my taking it PRN. (Neurontin did not do the trick for me.) If I gave the impression that I was doing this on my own, without the knowledge or approval of my doc, let me correct that misimpression. I thought it would be understood that whatever I do is done in agreement and with approval of my wonderful PM doctor. Ron, you are absolutely correct that the package insert recommends that Lyrica and Neurontin and drugs of this sort be taken daily or twice daily every day. By the way, with the exception of Lyrica, these drugs were originally intended as anti-seizure medications and their use for nerve pain though now well-established, began as off-label usage, meaning used differently than the original package insert would have described. Taking the drug daily would increase and maintain a certain level of the drug in ones blood stream, as I understand it, and therefore, the drug would work better. I think the problem with taking it occasionally is that it wouldn't be as effective, not that it would be harmful. I say this with some confidence because I know my doctor would not let me do anything that would be harmful. So, I think the original question is a good one and I would encourage DDDBACK to discuss the matter more ardently with his/her physician. Susan
  • I take 300mg Lyrica daily. I was told Lyrica was in the similar family as Neurontin. I may have gained weight because of Lyrica or the gallons of ice cream I was eating as comfort food. Since then I went on Atkins diet, lost 50+ lbs and went back to work.

    I use Ultram ER 100mg for breakthrough pain (BTP).

    Skelaxin at night if I have tight muscles in my neck.
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