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Extruded disc and winding down Gabapentin

ry123rry123 Posts: 2
edited 11/19/2015 - 11:28 AM in Lower Back Pain
i have an extruded disc (l5-s1) pressing on the l5 nerve causing left-leg pain. this started 4 weeks ago. i am following my doctor's advice to give it 6 weeks total before doing a first esi. so i have 2 weeks left for that.
for these last 4 weeks, i have been taking ibuprofen 3x800mg and gabapentin 3x300mg daily. after 2 weeks from hell, the pain started to go down, however i have a dropped foot now, with mild pain in the early morning but not later in the day since i only stand and avoid sitting down.

i have a concern that i wont know if i am actually getting better or is it just the medication that is masking my pain. so, i decided with my dr's recommendation to wind down from these drugs gradually over 8 days. after 2 days, i am now down to 2x300 mg daily. today i started feeling more leg pain than a few days ago, even when i stand during the day.
i am curious if it could be that gabapentin can temporarily cause increased pain while withdrawing from it, or is it that the disc is still pressing badly on the nerve and nothing really improved for me. if it is the latter, i have no choice but to do an esi...

anyone have experience with temporary increase in pain during gabapentin withdrawal?

thank you!

welcome to spine-health

one of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. it is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. this is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

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here are some questions that you should answer:
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specific comments :

personal opinion, not medical advice :

as with any medication, if you do an slow reduction of a medication , drink plenty of water, there should not be a problem. but before you attempt to reduce your gabapentin,
contact your doctor for their advice.
but since you are already doing that and are beginning to experience more pain, i would contact your doctor to discuss it.
i was on neurontin for several years, the reduction from 2600mg to 300mg took me about 3 months. no problems. i have noticed from time to time an increase nerve related pain (shock, twitch, etc) that i always had before using the nerve medication.

--- ron dilauro, spine-health system moderator : 11/19/15 17:25est



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    If, for whatever reason, like needing to postpone my pain management appointment, and I'm without my neurotin, I will feel increase pain to my legs and ankles to toes.
    I would not call it withdrawl for me, as I have no other bothersome symptoms and it's for short time.

    In the past, doctor and I tried to stop the med, as I didn't like the weight gain, but then I learned to prefer weight gain for the relief of pain. It wasn't too much weight anyway.

    Funny, when I went back on it, I didn't have the weight gain issue.
    Just an example of how meds react differently, not only each individual, but for one individual being able to accept it differently at different times. It's like my experience with taking a med long term, then suddenly develop allergy. Weird. :)

    You are concerned about masking the pain...but as the day goes on, you stated you stand and avoid sitting.
    What happens when you sit?

    Sounds like your doctors are taking good care of you! , esp considering your symptoms started four weeks ago.

    Keep us posted!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • StinkfistSStinkfist Posts: 27
    edited 11/20/2015 - 1:12 AM
    Same thing happened to me as well, If I missed a dose or two the pain comes back with a vengeance. I think it just means the drug is working. I had a similar thought, oh I feel better I can stop taking these...and it came right back. I do not think it is a withdrawal as it does not get better if you continue to not take it...
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