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Goodbye Neurontin, HELLO Lyrica!

KimD592KKimD592 Posts: 435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Chronic Pain
This is a busy week for me. I had my PM doc today, and I have my NS tomorrow and my rheumy on Thursday. Just a little update about my PM doc appt today. He doesn't want to do another ESI injection, since the first one did absolutely nothing for me. I talked to him about the fact that I'm on 1800 mg of Neurontin per day and 1) it's not working and 2) it has increased my appetite and caused me to gain 8-10 lbs in a month and a half. I told him I think I'd like to wean off of it, so prescribed me Lyrica. He instructed me on how to wean off of the Neurontin, but he wants me to first start the Lyrica to get it in my system.

I have a couple of questions about Lyrica, though, for anyone who takes it. First of all, I asked my doctor if it'll make me drowsy, and it said it might. Well, that means it'll definitely make me drowsy, because I am a lightweight when it comes to meds and side effects. I'm very sensitive to medications. Anyway, for those who take it, do you find it makes you groggy? Secondly, how long does it take to work, assuming it's going to? I forgot to ask him that one when I was there.

So anyway, he is going to send letters to my NS, rheumy, and PCP, and he said he is curious to see what my NS has to say...as am I.

Today is a VERY bad day pain-wise. The pain is stabbing and burning and VERY intense. I just got both of my little ones to fall asleep, so I took my Oxycodone and Flexeril, and I am going to lay down. If the meds don't work, I may have to go to the ER for a shot of something, because the pain is THAT intense. I am nauseated over it, and it is wrapping around my ribcage to the front. I feel like I'm being stabbed with a searing hot knife in the ribs. I can barely take a deep breath. I'm in BAD shape today. I'm getting over a mild cold, so I'm not sure if perhaps that's causing the pain to be worse today.

Anyway, I'll update more after my appt with the NS tomorrow and my rheumy on Thursday. I just want answers. I'm still debating on whether to get a second opinion or not. I like my NS, or so I think I do. However, I find myself not completely trusting him lately, which makes me think I should probably get another opinion. I'm going to hear what he has to say and go from there.


  • Hi; and sorry you are having such a bad day.
    I do know exactly how you feel, getting them bad days in a bunch, and nothing you do or take touches the pain levels.
    Then you look at 4 or 5 very bad days in a row before you have a fairly good day.

    I'm on neurotin, so i cant help you out with the lyrica, and so far i guess it's doing the job for me, considering i also am awaiting another surgery.

    Best of luck to ya, and i hope the lyrica, does the job for you. Just a matter of getting it in your system and wait and see.
  • Thanks! I really hope the Lyrica helps. I mean, if we could at least control the pain, then maybe we can prolong the inevitable for a while longer until I can afford to take the time off of work that would be necessary after the surgery. However, if we can't find something to control the pain, I feel like surgery is my last option. The TENS unit provides minimal relief...though I'll take minimal over nothing, it's not enough to stop me from opting for the surgery. I've tried Lidoderm patches, which were a joke, PT does nothing, and the stronger pain meds make me drowsy. I am a working mom of 3 kids, and I cannot function when I take Oxycodone. Heck, even the Flexeril knocks me out. Both of these meds work, so I take them when the pain gets to be severe (like it is/was), but I cannot take them on a regular basis. I've also tried oral steroid tapers and NSAIDS, neither of which do anything. I kind of feel like I'm running out of options. But, I'm going to think positively about the Lyrica, as I did with the ESI, and pray for the best. At this point, that's all I can do.
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  • Kim,

    As far as the lyrica getting in your system and working,each person is going to be different. But it is not a med you take one day then don't take the next day, it needs to build in your system. It is good you can get some sleep with the other meds, as I can't when the pain is that bad, just hold on and hope for some relief from lying down. Flexril is another med that will help more when it has built up in your system. Did you talk to your pm doctor about switching that drug, sense it makes you so tired. There are a lot of other choices out there that might not have that effect on you. Hope the lyrica helps.
  • No, all my PM doc talked to me about was changing from the Neurontin to the Lyrica. I was faithful about taking the Neurontin, which I took religiously. I set an alarm on my phone to go off 3 times a day, at the times I take my pills.

    I wanted to give a brief update of my appt today. Basically he's not sure which disc is the culprit. Initially he thought it was T10-11, and he mentioned operating on that one. I had some concern that it might be T7-8, because that's the one had been talking about all along. Today is the first time I've heard about T10-11. I asked him what would happen if he operates on that level and I still have the pain afterwards, and he said that it would likely mean a fusion. Apparently multiple discectomy can lead to instability of the t-spine, and if they repair this one, it would be the third one, since my last surgery was a two-level discectomy. He had me point to the area that hurts, and the area is higher up than T10-11 correlates to. So, he wants me to start with the Lyrica and go for my MRI mid-November and see him back in the office December 6th. He agreed that I should get other opinions, so I already have two appts set up for a second and third opinion. One is on October 26th and the other is December 6th, although I'm going to call tomorrow and have both places put me on the cancellation list.

    So, that's about it. I still find my trust in him is fading. There have been some discrepancies in the information he's given us from time to time, and that bothers me. At one point my mom kindly asked about the fact that the surgery was considered successful when I'm still in all of this pain, and my functional ability is worse now than it was before. She wasn't placing any blame on him and was genuinely curious. However, it seemed like he spent the rest of the appt trying to convince us of why the surgery was successful. I could give two shits (pardon my french) about why the surgery was or was not successful. I want to know what we can do about this new pain, and FAST. Granted, I realize it's going to take time and that these things cannot be rushed. I honestly don't want to rush into anything. But at the same time, knowing that it'll likely be at LEAST January (likely February so I'll be eligible for short-term disability through my company) until I even have the surgery, if that's the choice I end up making, almost makes me want to cry.

    I'm in terrible pain these last couple of days. The pain easily reaches a 10 when I'm up and moving around. I honestly don't know what to do. I know I should be taking my pain meds more regularly, but how can I do that when I'm home alone with the kids all day? They make me very groggy, and I can't be passed out on the couch from the pain meds when I'm supposed to be taking care of them. I feel like my only option, really, is to suffer through it. The pain today and yesterday really has me at my breaking point. Not sure how I'm going to get through these next couple of months.
  • I too had good luck with Lyrica. On top of the back injury, I have RA and Fibro. My rheumatolgist wa the one that recommened it to me for fibro. It was the first medication that worked for me after trying a whole list of others. It reduce the muscle pain and stiffness about 50% Yeah!

    I took it for a year before the combined affect of all the medications got to me and I had to lay off to save my liver.

    For me some of the early side effects, wore off soon and it did take a few weeks before I seem to get the full benefit from it.

    I hope it will bring you some relief, as pain can be such a consuming issue.

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  • Howdy Kim,

    December marks 2 years for me and Lyrica. I was initially started on 300mg a day, and last month was bumped to 450mg a day. I am of course hoping I can reduce after surgery when my nerves are released and hopefully settle down. Now....

    Like Tamtam said, this is a drug that needs to build up in your system. When I started taking it, I was buzzy and tired for around a week, then that backed off... The pain reduction (I noticed) was felt oh...about 3 days into taking it. I know for me at least 85% of my nerve pain was knocked down! I even called my surgeon in tears thanking him for putting me on it!!! It has allowed me to function, where as without it, no way.

    I no longer get sleepy or buzzy from it. My weight gain (worth it over pain loss) is slowly coming down. I gained over 50lbs on it, but now have lost 28 of it...and still slowly sneaking back down. I hope you find it helps you. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.

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    Post Edited by Moderator haglandc

  • Thats kinda dishearting, when the doctor says maybe this one no wait maybe that one.

    My god your not and automobile, where you keep replacing parts until it gets the problem solved.

    I dont blame you if you were skeptical about using this doctor. I would be. You dont want guesses, you want facts.
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