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Meds for Nerve Pain Spikes

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Pain Medications
I had a TLIF two weeks ago and am still in some significant pain that has been fairly well managed with oxycodone, percoset, hydrocodone, flexiril and valium. (I don't take them all of course, I take what's needed depending on what my pain level is when it's time for another dose.)

My questions is this: I'm having horrible nerve spike pain that starts in my right upper butt, into my hip and shoots down my leg to my foot. It's very debilitating when it flares which is when I sit from a standing position, stand from a sitting position and most of the time when I walk, although sometimes it's not as intense when I walk. It's never completely gone.

I mentioned this to my doc last Friday and he said to call him the end of this week if the problem persists and then he'd probably want to prescribe a nerve medicine for this, like lyrica or neurontin.

This nerve med stuff is totally new to me as I've never had to even consider taking it before. Can you guys give me some info on nerve meds including how they work for you, time it takes to build up enough in your system to work and side effects? I'm very hesitant to take yet another med, but I'm mostly walking with a walker due to the problem with my right leg and would like to try and get somewhat back to normal.

Thanks in advance for your help.


  • I have been taking anti-seizure and anti-depressant meds for nerve pain since 1998. Without them I would be in some serious discomfort. I have used 7 different meds total and do best on a large dose of Neurontin every 8 hours. When I started on them it was like a miracle drug and I noticed a difference within 24 hours. It took several weeks to build up to a dose that would keep the pain from breaking through. I did experience some sedation initially but it wore off rather quickly and then I was fine.

    I hope you find something that works for you. Glad that your recovery is coming along so well.

  • The two, Lyrica and Neurontin, are pretty similar when it comes to side effects. The main difference is costs and insurance coverage. One will often work wonderfully for some people, the other does nothing but give you side effects. It really depends on the person which one works best with the least in side effects. Sometimes neither works.

    When given the option most docs seem to go with Lyrica first as it is newer, but, with some insurance costs can be much higher for the Lyrica.

    When I was placed on Lyrica, samples, for a month I did OK on it. Come time to fill a script my doctor actually wrote scripts for both and said to use which ever came out less expensive on my insurance! He also explained all the differences I needed between the two for dosing. I ended up taking Neurontin as Lyrica was far more expensive. I took it for about a year, but never tolerated it well, especially at higher doses. It did help the pain.

    I hope you feel better soon.
  • Sorry to hear you're having this kind of nerve pain, Cath. I tried Lyrica and it worked wonderfully well to relieve the nerve pain but I quit it after a couple of weeks because of unacceptable dizziness. Was never offered Neurontin so don't know if it would work as well or have similar side effects.

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    Cathie, for me, they have been on of the more effective medications.
    I started with Lyrica several years ago. Low dosage, about 75mg a day. Slowly the doctor increased it to 150mg a day. I started having some negative effects.
    I could fall asleep in the middle of a conversation, I started to gain weight quickly and from my knees down I started swelling. My ankles almost doubled in size and my toes looked likd Knockwurst. I stop the Lryica and in 2 days things went back to normal.

    My doctor then started my on Neurontin. Some dosage, 300mg a day. Over a period of time (4 months) that was increased to 2600mg a day. Now I take 600mg in the afternoon and 600 mg at night. I know that it helps. I used to have all that tingling, stabbing pain going down my legs into my feet. Neurontin helped minimize that

    I have not had any real negative effects using Neurontin. The one thing I have noticed is that my short term memory is really bad. It was never great to start with. Ask me something that happened 20 years ago and I can give you all the details. Ask me something that you told me yesterday and there is a good chance I wont remember really what you were saying.

    I think the nerve medication along with the muscle relaxer (Soma) has really done a lot to keep things under control.
    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
  • I am so sorry to hear you are having such pain.
    My Neurologist gave me a sample bottle of Lyrica to try. I had a horrid reaction to the first pill I took. It was so bad it frightened me! My vision blurred so bad I could hardly see, my head roared, my speech was slurred and when I tried to get up out my chair I would fall back into it. It seem to take forever for it to wear off!
    I am sure my reaction is rare and I do have to be very carefull with what meds I take because of side effects.
    I do hope it helps you as it has helped others.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • Hi Cath,

    I have had really good results with Lyrica and Neurontin.

    I first started taking Lyrica, which did cause a lot of drowsiness and blurred vision for a few days. Because the Lyrica was helping my nerve pain (it was heaven-sent), I tried to sleep through the doses until my body adjusted. These side effects lasted about a week and I continued taking the Lyrica.

    After a month, my fingers and hands increasingly started to swell. I actually had to have a ring cut off, due to my finger going numb from the swelling. When my doctor heard of the swelling, she switched me over to Neurontin. To my delight, it works wonders on my nerve pain. I have had no side effects from Neurontin and I take 1200mg a day.

    Wanted to also mention that Zach takes Neurontin and it has put his Trigeminal Neuralgia on hold, for the time being. He has a little bit of memory loss at times, but that's all. He's a fun one to tease when he gets a case of the "duh's". I'll start saying random numbers out loud while he's trying to remember what he was going to say. He does the same with me, so it's all in good fun.

    Please let us know if you are prescribed one of these to take and how you are doing. I really hope it works well on your nerve pain.

    I hope you start feeling better real soon.


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