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will gabapentin mask my pain too much?

g4jnwgg4jnw Posts: 7
edited 07/11/2015 - 3:51 PM in Pain Medications
had a laminectomy 30 years ago, it was simple then, pain killers, injection in back, then traction then laminectomy.

7 weeks ago i pulled my back moving a table. after 2 weeks went to the doctor, who initially thought it was cauda equina syndrome so he sent me straight in for an emergency MRI, luckily it wasn't that. now have been put on gabapentin initially 100mg 3 x per day building up to 300mg 3x per day, I do have side effects - dizziness & sickness but can probably get through that.

The diagnosis from the MRI is a "focal disc herniation in left parasagittal position at L5-S1, which causes indentation upon the thecal sac and it slightly displaces the origin of the left S1 nerve root with Schmorl’s nodule in multiple endplates plus Facet joint arthritis"

This the disc below the one i had a laminectomy on.

I have to go to see a spinal surgeon in August so the doctor put me on the gabapentin to take me up to the appointment, plus of course exercise.

Its a silly worry but i don't want the pain masked when i go to the surgeon as i want him to see me as i am so he can offer the right treatment, i would prefer surgery as the previous laminectomy took my pain away for 30 years and I've been able to have an active job.

Am i worrying to much about this, will he be able see through to the problem even if its masked? I have never been on gabapentin before so not sure how it works.

Gabapentin (Neurontin) and Pregabalin (Lyrica) are both Schedule IV and V controlled substances. They treat nerve and muscle pain caused by diabetes, shingles, fibromyalgia, or a spinal cord injury. As such, they are not considered a narcotic pain medications that will mask the pain

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  • I totally understand what you mean about wanting a doctor to see what you really deal with. If you were talking about narcotics I think you would have a decision to make, but in my opinion gabapentin is a no-brainer.

    It is not at all like pain pills and it's not like 300mg x 3 is some crazy amount. I think you should enjoy the relief you get and sit tight until August. Speaking of relief, how much does this dose help you? And how long have you been on the 300mg capsule? Hopefully those side effects go away too. Wish you well.
    Grade I Spondylolisthesis L5-S1, bilateral pars issues
    Mild Scoliois double curve
    Arthritic activity in SI area and L5 through L3
    Chronic headache
    Nerve pain
  • Hi g4jnw
    I have just recently started on pregabalin, also known as Lyrica (a relative of gabapentin I am told!). I have been prescribed it for nerve pain which is connected to L5/S1 and L4/L5.

    I would agree with 'Satchel' about using it and getting some relief. Obviously the things you need to keep a look out for are, any signs of bladder/bowel dysfunction/urine retention or loss of sensation to empty bladder or saddle numbness or bilateral numbness/weakness in your legs which does need investigating quickly to confirm not related to Cauda equina syndrome. You probably know all that as your doctor referred you for emergency MRI to check for that! :-)

    I am also on tramadol and ibuprofen for other pain and I still get break through pain when pills are due and also still feeling some nerve pain as well so try not to worry too much about pills masking the nerve pain to the point you wouldn't know if your problem was increasing.

    If you have concerns about this you can always call the consultants office you have been referred to for advice (call hospital where your appointment is and ask for the consultants secretary if you don't have a direct number already or go back to your GP.

    Good luck with symptoms settling down, I only suffered feeling of nausea on a couple of days in the first week but that seems to have settled down now.

    Hope some/all of this helps :-)
    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015

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