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I just had my 2nd epidural shot today for L5 and L4 right side nerve root and was telling my doctor I was getting no relief from the 1st epidural. I also told him I'm having a hard time "just staying in bed" 90% of my awake time from pain. Getting restless and want to do more around the house.

He prescribed Neurontin 300mg and for me to take it at bedtime.
I asked if there were any psychological problems with this, he knows see a psychologist for panic attacks and other problems and I take atavan/sequel and remeron.

I read the reaction list the pharmacy gave me and that scarred me.
Almost gave me a panic attack.

I called my psychologist and left a message for her to call me.. no return call. :(

My doctor that prescribed it to me said try it.

Question to allow our great forum people.
What type of reactions did you have to it?

I know everyone is different and i'm not asking if i should try it.
I just want to know your experiences with it.

L4/5 herniation13mm sequestered fragment L5 root compromise.
L3/4 annular tear.
L2/3 3mm bulge and annular tear.
Tens mpo combo system
Epidural L4 L5 28Nov12 / 12Dec12 / 26Dec12. All no relief :( SO FAR
MicroD L4 L5 May 23 2013


  • Hi Dave,

    I am sorry to hear about your situation. I too have had round after round of steroid injection with very little success. I am a RN and injured my back in 2004. After that I had every treatment known: physical therapy, steroids, antiinflammatory, pain medication, injections; you name it, I had it! With little or no relief. In 2009 when stepping out of bed one morning, my entire left leg went numb and severely painful. I had a microdiscectomy at the L5-S1 level but it did not resolve the leg pain and numbness. Because of this I took a desk job at work (so no heavy lifting) but the disc herniated again and I ended up with fusion with instrumentation in 2010. Again, this surgery did not help the leg pain and I've been told the S1 nerve root damage is permanent.

    It was my psychiatrist who prescribed the gabapentin for me in 2009 when he saw during one of my visits how much discomfort I was in. And, he prescribed the maximum dosage. I take 1200 mg 3 times per day. I have bipolar depression and anxiety. Of all the medications I am on it is the gabapentin I couldn't live without. It doesn't work for everyone but what have you got to lose by trying it? It does not take the pain away entirely but it makes it more manageable. The biggest side effects are sleepiness and dizziness but this subsides as your body adjusts to the medication. The first time I took it I literally couldn't keep my eyes open but this got better after a few doses. Your doctor should gradually increase the dose until you achieve relief. 300 mg is a low dose. When taking this with the Remeron at bedtime it may cause even more sleepiness but no harm there. Just be careful if you get up during the night as you may be a bit unsteady. Again, this gets better as your body adjusts to the medication. I take the max dose and have no side effects anymore. As I said, the dose should be gradually increased. I too take Remeron as it helps with the leg cramps I get at night (caused from nerve root damage) but it only helps somewhat.

    Check with your pharmacist to see if there are any drug interactions with the meds you are currently on. It is ok to take with Remeron. I dont think, as a nurse, there are any major drug interactions with the other drugs, but I'm a nurse not a doctor or pharmacist and pharmacists would probably be more equipped to answer that question about interaction. In my experience pharmacists enjoy teaching so ask away!

    As a nurse, I wouldn't recommend staying in bed all the time. This can actually do more harm. Just don't do any bending or lifting while out of bed. Again, I am only a nurse and I cannot diagnose or prescibe and do not take anything I've said here as diagnosis or prescription. I am telling you this as part of my personal experience as a patient and a nurse to better inform you. (nurses love teaching, too) While in bed use heat and ice alternatingly. 20 minutes heat, 20 minutes ice. Do not use heat exclusively and for long periods as this can do more harm than good. Too much heat can irritate and inflame the surrounding tissue and cause more pain.

    Hope this info helps as you make your decision.

  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 12/13/2012 - 6:42 AM
    I was prescribed this after my 2 level ACDF instead of the Nortriptyline that I had been taking.

    I was taking 300mg tablet three times a day. I believe that it made me extremely sleepy and my sleeping at night was better than it had been for over 4 years. I then weaned down slowly until now I am off it.
    My nerve pain, particularly in my legs and feet, is getting worse again and I will talk to my surgeon next week when I see him for my post surgery follow up appointment.

    I have read that it can cause memory problems and weight gain. I don't think that these were a problem for me, but I can't remember!! LOL - sorry!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,849
    edited 12/13/2012 - 6:28 AM
    for almost 3 years now. I have not had any negatives impacts.

    Use the Spine-Health Search facility and you can read the hundreds of existing threads/posts that deal with Neurontin
    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 your comments.
    I'll try it tonight.
    Doc said to step up to taking it (300mg) in 7 days. So 300mg 3x day in a week.
    I'll see how it goes. When I had a neck injury 10 or so years ago I think I was on it. But I forget.

    Also some great news my hip and sciatic pain in my right let is SO MUCH BETTER!!!
    I think they got the juice where it needed to be when I had my epidural Wednesday.

    I hope it stays this good. Pain not all gone level 2 or so. Manageable..

    L4/5 herniation13mm sequestered fragment L5 root compromise.
    L3/4 annular tear.
    L2/3 3mm bulge and annular tear.
    Tens mpo combo system
    Epidural L4 L5 28Nov12 / 12Dec12 / 26Dec12. All no relief :( SO FAR
    MicroD L4 L5 May 23 2013
  • I was taking 3600mgs a day along with a hep of other medications. We believe that the problems i experience were due to the other medications in conjunctions. Weight gain was another personal problem i had with Gabapentin. My wife said that i sleep walked to the point it scared her. She said i would make food, sit in front of the TV, answer doors with no one there, then go right to bed and remember nothing.
  • dbhamddbham Posts: 42
    edited 12/14/2012 - 11:16 AM
    That's funny. When I was on Ambien sleeping pills I use to sleep walk and call friends in the middle of the night. Type gibberish on my facebook page.

    Last time I took Ambien I guess I called 911 and said I was going to kill my self.
    All I remember is waking up in a 5150 mental hospital. Spent 3 days there...
    Was not a fun time in my life. Hypnotic type pills dont agree with me. Hehe.
    I'm glad I have a strong wife. She puts up with my crap. :)

    We'll my sciatic pain is back today. Boooo...

    L4/5 herniation13mm sequestered fragment L5 root compromise.
    L3/4 annular tear.
    L2/3 3mm bulge and annular tear.
    Tens mpo combo system
    Epidural L4 L5 28Nov12 / 12Dec12 / 26Dec12. All no relief :( SO FAR
    MicroD L4 L5 May 23 2013
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,849
    for anyone. No wonder you were a walking zombie. Eric, are you still on that dosage?
    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
  • sjoboyssjoboy Posts: 25
    edited 12/23/2012 - 1:44 PM
    Being at such high dosage pregabalin (lyrica) may be a better alternative. You may ask your doctor.
  • You are on a whopping dose! My Dr. told me to get off of the 900mg 3x a day! I have been advised to get exercising and the Gabapentin willl cause major weight gain that puts to much pressure on the back. I lost almost 25 lbs.last year from making myself go to a spinning class. i would often cry from the pain but was determined to get this weight down. I am now on 300mg 3x daily as needed but try not to take it. It's either take it or hurt! I choose to hurt over gaining weight back. I had discectomy in 01- spinal fusion in 03 at L3-4. Now have failed back syndrome and hurt all the time! Very depressing and painfull but scared for another surgery because I could still have same or even worde problems if I do! I wish I had a plan for relief!
  • krysy_8kkrysy_8 Posts: 9
    edited 01/09/2013 - 3:47 PM
    i take 300 mg 3 times a day. (along w other stuff) i have been on it for about 2 months, i dont think it helps much.
  • I use this 3 times a day it seems to help me. It use to make me sleepy but, no longer.
  • Anyone else had a problem with weight gain after being on Neurontin? I have been on it, 300 mg 3xday, since March and have gained almost 30 pounds since August! I have IBS therefore I am not a big eater and my appetitie has seemed to decrease since the pain in my legs and feet began. (March of 2012) Other than the weight gain...I have no problems with neurontin. I have tried to do with out it just to see if it helped, after 2 days I could tell my pain was more intense... Good luck to you!

  • Can you remember how long it took for your body to get used to the Gabapentin and not get sleepy taking it?
    I have been put back into it again and am finding that I am just so sleepy. Trying to read a book, I just keep falling asleep.

  • I have just been put back onto Gabapentin (Neurontin) because I still have nerve pain and spasms since my ACDF 9 weeks ago.

    I hope it doesn't cause me to put on weight because my body is always fighting to supersize me!!
    I have put on some weight over Christmas that I am hoping to lose. My doctor told me that the reason it makes people put on weight is because it increases their appetite. If your appetite has decreased then perhaps that it not the case. As you can see from my post above, it is making me very sleepy.

  • I was started on 300 mg at bedtime. So I guess I slept off any sleepy side effects. Condition became worse so I went to 2xday, now 3xday. Maybe easing into the daily doses kept me from having any side effects, because I already had the med in my system. I swear my weight gain is due to this med. Then again, not being able to get up and "do" things probably has something to do with it. Hope you are feeling better very soon!
  • I am building up to 3 x 300mg tablets and will see how much relief I get with that. I will do the increase to 900mg a day over about a week. What sort of period of time did you build up over?

  • Look whos joining the crowd!!! I was just prescribed Neurontin 300mg 1x a day for the first week then 2x a day after that then move up to 3x a day on the third week. Have I ever mentioned I hate taking medicine. Anyways I am now on Loritab 10mg plus the Neurotin to deal with the pain. Doctor wouldn't put me back on the percocets that sort of worked. I too am worried about gaining weight as I have tried loosing what I have gained and don't want to repeat what happened in 2005 by gaining over 50 pounds in 6 months time. Im at 208 right now and want to get to 195. In 2005 I gained up to weighing 269 pounds. The side affects is what is concerning me and even though they say most are not common it will be my luck that it will affect me. The sleep I could use but the rest of the side affects I don't want any part of.
    Will try taking it Saturday night as the wife is off on Sunday, unless they put her on call.

  • I am now taking 4 tablets a day and about to increase to 5.
    I am getting some improvement, but still having pain in my hands and arms. Straight after my surgery the horrid spasms and stiffening of my legs and abdomen had gone. As I was weaned off the Gabapentin they came back. I was only taking 3 tablets a day then, but now even taking 4 a day isn't controlling these spasms.

    I will want to wean right off these tablets before I see my surgeon at the end of March, because I won't know how much the surgery has helped if I am masking the pains and symptoms.

    I think the sleepiness may be improving.

    Hope you sleep really well on Saturday night Motorcycle Rider!!
  • I am on 300mg neurontin 3x a day, I take sertraline 50 mg 1x a day I take skelaxin, oycodone valuim, and a sleeping pill! and still cant get any rest or sleep, My leg pain is horrible and just cant sleep!
    george waggoner
  • Dang George I hate to hear you are taking all those meds and still not able to sleep and rest. I hope you can find a way to find an answer to the pain and be able to rest and sleep again soon.
  • yes im on gabapentin 600mg 4x aday do seem to get amumed to this and yes serious weight gain since ive been on it !
    helen t
  • Hi all. Just chiming in on this thread. I had mu single level ACDF on 3/28 (C6-7). I had a major herniation of that disc that caused spinal cord compression and edema (swelling). Before the surgery I had neck pain, pain down my right arm, and pain in both legs and feet. Since the surgery I am only having symptoms the surgeon described as nerve flare up. My right leg is in almost constant pain. The muscles all feel tensed up from my thigh down to my toes. My calf seems to be the worst on that respect. My foot constantly feels like it is asleep. The surgeon put me on Neurontin 300mg 3x's a day. That helped for a few days, then al the pain returned all the time. He upped my bedtime dose to 600mg. Since then I have been waking up(?) after 4 hours of sleeping. going to the kitchen and making food, putting things away in odd places, using the bathroom, etc.,. When I wake up finally it seems like a dream. I am only aware of it by the fact that I find many things out of place all over the house. Is this a side effect that will go away or what?
    Let me know if you have any insight.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 05/08/2013 - 12:51 PM
    I have heard of sleep walking being a side effect of Neurontin (Gabapentin).
    I was on this medicine after my ACDF because of remaining pain and symptoms and stiffening muscle spasms. I built up to taking 3 x 300mg three times a day. That was 2700mg which is quite a high dose. I didn't ever sleep walk (as far as I know!)

    Often new meds can give side effects that will disappear as our body gets used to taking it. Similarly it can take 2 or 3 weeks before we start to feel the effect of the medicine. How long have you been taking it? Hopefully this side effect will go and you will be able to just enjoy improved symptoms and reduced pain.

  • had alot of neuropathy left side after surgery - screaming pain.. horrible.. worse than what i went IN for.. 36 days and my butt left side, still NUMB, (tingling lately, coming back??) (lateral incisions plus back incisions) was on 900 mg, in hospital, and 900 at home, and also on other pain meds for the first two weeks, developed a DVT left lower leg..was on oxy + then/ now one soma in the evening, (they tried flexeril, dont get my started on that crap) or now 2 tyl.3 not both.. but 100% appetite increase but also, quit smoking in hospital (!) have heard lyrica is worse with worse side effects. i'm walking over a mile a day sometimes two even with nerve pain and swollen ankle and most of my diet is vegs and protein, -and have gained 5 lbs...been crazy craving sugar and fats, something i stopped eating years ago, again, gabba? or not smoking.. tried to cut out my middle dose (BIG mistake) (unreal pain) i finally just cut out the late night dose, for the past few days as i think the gabba makes me kind of unfocused.. sort of adhd - i have been on welbutrin for 15+ years too...
  • 100% correct, i wanted OFF all this stuff to SEE if the surgery WORKED... unable to tell right now.. really..
  • Morphia,
    Be gentle to yourself. Nerves don't like to be mucked about and they let us know that they are not happy.

    Taking nerve meds can get us through this stage, just make sure that your surgeon knows what is going on, but then be patient with yourself.

    I came off my nerve meds (Gabapentin) very slowly before seeing my surgeon so I could tell him how I am doing with the healing without masking anything. I still had a lot of nerve pain so went back onto Nortriptyline as I had put on weight while taking the Gabapentin. I will see my surgeon again in 6 months and before that I will slowly wean off the meds again to know how I am. I am hoping that by then I will have far less pain.

    The numb area under my chin where the incision was is still a bit numb so I reckon that the nerves are still healing. My surgeon warned me that as the nerve was healing and regrowing I may feel pain and tingling there. He was absolutely correct and now I find it strangely reassuring that there is still healing of the nerves going on. He say that by 12 months I will be as far as I will go with the healing.
  • Since taking 600mg of this medication, I have nightmares....is this common? I have no idea if it is helping me or not?? I have been hurting from my hip all the way down to my feet (feels like a really bad toothache) my heels feels as if they are burning. I wake up hurting and go to bed hurting now. (again) I had L3,4 and 5 disc's removed (spinal fusion) with the rods and screws and within 9 months same type pain which always start in my knees and can barely walk. They then did a diskectomy and removed the hardware and L2 disc and arthritis. Did not hurt as badly for about a year, now my left knee and both legs ache again like a really bad toothache. I am now taking Tramadol only 50mg as needed (3x's a day) . I hurt so bad and do not know what else to do. So frustrated! I have never cried so much in my life!!!!!!. I have also had c6,7 removed (pinched nerve) and carpel tunnel surgery done on both hands. I am so miserable! Any words of encouragement
    and helpful hints would be appreciated! My spinal fusion was absolutely necessary....I could barely walk....and the shots in my back did not help at all (I had 2) I have degenerative disc disease. I have to sleep in a fetal position. My left knee feels as if a hot knife is pressing against it and the heels of my feet and ankles a burning and painful sensation....this is every single day now.
  • Hi Bettina, welcome to the forums!

    Sorry you're in so much pain---you have been through a hell of a lot.

    I tried gabapentin a couple times to try to combat the nerve pain, and each time I did NOT like the way it made me feel. I also use tramadol and am taking max allowed dosage per day (50mg 8 pills/day total). If I remember right, I also had strange dreams, but also I felt just very strange and off-kilter.

    I hope you can find some much-needed relief!

  • BettinaBBettina Posts: 3
    edited 05/15/2013 - 4:25 AM
    Thank you so much Charlie, for the kind words and responding!

  • morphia1957mmorphia1957 Posts: 84
    edited 05/16/2013 - 10:04 AM
    i hope you are feeling better... i've gone from 900 mg of the evil gabba to 200mg.. 100 a.m., and 100 pm. i do find that i am scattered and not able to concentrate well, which is bad, considering that i have to go back to work on monday... nervous and scared i won't be able to do anything once i get to my office.. the nerve pain is horrible.. i totally understand how you feel. my neuropathy stems from the left side incision but it's creepy crawly, painful and strange. i do take one soma a day, half around NOW (which i cannot do at work and still drive home) and the other half around dinner time.. i cannot take tramadol.. i feel like i am walking on a baseball. very very painful.. that is partly the surgery and the other part? the blood clot.. the achilles heel pain and toe tingling sensations are the worst... hey, we;ve got your back... i hope things are getting better..
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