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RossJamesRRossJames Posts: 18
edited 11/06/2017 - 1:00 PM in Pain Medications

I've been diagnosed with sciatic nerve pain in my L4, L5 and I now get it in S1 which is the foot area right?

I get instant pain when I walk and the longer I walk for is the worse the pain gets, It's the same with sitting a lot of the time, I only get no pain at all when in bed. So it's pretty bad, over all I'd describe my pain as very severe. I'm also declared as unfit for work. 

Why won't my doctors give me Lyrica? Or something STRONG. I understand that it's not about the strength but about what the drugs do but they're giving me things like coedine and tramadol and period cramp tablets, I think that's the funniest one of all I've received from them. And drugs like tramadol make me feel so sick that I'd prefer to be in pain, my nan thought I was going to die the state they sent me in. 

I'm getting a steroid injection to try ease the pain next month so why can't they give me Lyrica? I obviously need it. Other people with sciatica who don't even seem to be anywhere near as bad as I am get it so it's really frustrating. Why do some people get it and others don't, am I asking them in the wrong manner or something?

Can I demand for more useful medication? 



  • Have you tried Gabapentin? Usually a doctor will try Gabapentin first (also, some insurance companies require you try Gabapentin first before they’ll pay for Lyrica). 

    In addition, Lyrica is insanely expensive for most people. My mom takes Lyrica and her co-pay is $160/month for 60 capsules.

    Gabapentin is more like $5 to $10/month. 

    Lyrica is a Schedule V and Tramodol Schedule IV so not sure why they’re going the opiod route with T3 and Tramodol. 

    I’d ask your doctor about Gabapentin. Gabapentin is not a controlled substance like the others you mentioned either.

    It can take many, many months to find the “right” medication, unfortunately. Not uncommon.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,433


    Two things to keep in mind

    • You never want to demand medication from your doctor.  Its much better to ask them what we will better for you, since your current medications do not seem to help.
    • Never assume your situation is worse than others.  We dont know the degree of your condition with never pain, just as you can understand the degree of nerve pain from another member
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,260

    Do some research on sciatica. Arm yourself with knowledge when you go to the doctor. That way you can ask questions, know more about what he's talking about and be able to discuss different meds.
    Write all of this down and take it with you. I have always done this and my doctors have always worked with me very good.

    Veritas-Health Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 745

    When norco was doing nothing for me, I saw a pm. He set up a steroid injection in my cervical. At the end of the visit, I asked him if he had something else. My pain was maxed out 24 hrs a day and I could not sleep for many days. He mentioned Lyrica. He gave me a sample and it helped me right away. I was able to sleep. It was a very small dose. My insur co pushed back initially but I guess they were used to that and pushed it through. That was 5 years ago. Still taking Lyrica but at a much higher dose. I had never heard of a nerve drug like lyrica before. I told my pt, years after that, that Lyrica saved my life.  

  • Lyrica and gabapentin are very similar.  they may be useful for you but like other meds they can have side effects.   read and then discuss with your doctor

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  • jbowerjbower wisconsin Posts: 142

    Ross, what Ron said in his comment was dead on.  You NEVER should demand or tell a doctor what medication to put you on.  That's just asking for a world of hurt.

    You didn't say what is the reason behind the nerve pain.  Is it because you have a herniated or slipped disc?  Is your sciatic nerve being pinched? How long has it been this way and is there a treatment plan in play?

    I've had two lumbar surgeries at my L5 S1 due to herniated disc pinching my sciatic nerve.  The first time around I wasn't put on Gabapentin until I met with my neurosurgeon.  They put me on Gabapentin before surgery because it's supposed to help with nerve pain.  They also put me on it because I was going to be on it for a longer period of time because of the nerve damage and how long it would take for my sciatic nerve to heal.

    I was on it for about a year.  It also took about two months for it to start helping with the nerve pain which is normal because it takes a while before you start noticing relief.  It doesn't work the same as an opiod where you feel it working right away.

    Then exactly two years later I had the same pain come back.  Same disk was herniated again and my body developed a lot of scar tissue from the first surgery.  Pinched the nerve again.  Went back to the same surgeon and back on Gabapentin.  This time after the surgery he said I may have permanent sciatic nerve damage for the rest of my life.

    He was right.  After some time they took me off Gabapentin and changed it to Lyrica as it was stronger.  I later on ended up having a Medtronic spinal cord stimulator implant because of the permanent sciatic nerve damage.  Now between my stimulator and Lyrica I have zero nerve pain.

    So as you can see there are more factors than just telling your doctor to put you on it.  If they haven't mentioned it yet there might be a reason why.  Please fill in the blanks for us to try and better understand.

    Take care,


    Taking it one day at a time, that is all we really can do while living with chronic pain.

  • I was on gabapentin for 5 months for my L5-S1 bulging disc and went to 2700mg before I weened myself off and then started Lyrica, 75mg.  After almost a month on that, I noticed improvement and for the last 5 weeks I'm continuing to improve.  For me, Lyrica was the only medication that helped.

  • I was put on gabapentin first and took it for about a month and a half. I was up to 900 mg 3x a day but it wasn't helping and i was having serious side effects from it. So I stopped that and than I was put on lyrics. I started at 75 mg for a week and after a week I was supposed to double it, but I became dizzy and felt drugged up so I stuck with the 75mg for a couple weeks until I saw my doc again, but once again it gave me zero relief. I agree with everyone else, talk to your doc about what meds you can try other than what you have now. I did that and finally was given hydrocodone for when I was in severe pain and couldn't sleep, but that took about 8 months of trying everything else, including many steroid injections, before he would prescribe me that. 

  • Lyrica worked well for me, but one of the side effects was loss of short term memory.  I had to get off of it because of that.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • ArizonaAArizona ArizonaPosts: 202

    I've been on both gabapentin and lyrica.  Unfortunately neither helped me with the nerve pain but at least the gaba didn't give me a huge apetite causing me to gain a lot of weight.  I'm still messing with the gaba experimenting with a little higher dose to see if it might help a little.  No, I don't like Lyrica.

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