Gabapentin and Pain

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In 2001 I had severe shoulder pain and thought I was having a stroke with the facial and left hand numbness and tingling.  After almost a year of testing and I was on about 900mg gabapentin maybe more can not remember (old age lol) It was discovered that I had to have a brachial plexus decompression. I am retired from the medical field (nursing) and I could explain the brachial plexus decompression I will leave that to whom ever wants to research it.  To make a long story short all this was in 2001 and I can not recall the side effects of gabapentin using it or stopping it because I was so consumed with pain at the time.

Now 7/11/2018 I am once again in severe brachial plexus pain possibly injured due a silly fall rushing on my porch to get the phone, May 22, 2018 … This pain is above and beyond a 10. I am in tears. I have been reading people with stories about coming  off of gabapentin. I would at this point take any amount if it would make this pain even a little bit tolerable. I am slowly increasing my gabapentin to a higher dose until I can see the neurologist, possible surgery for the brachial plexus again?  

What I mainly want to say is any medications we take all have side effects while taking and when we stop them, also if the problem that the medication was given for is not taken care of then that is an issue because the nerve damage can also be causing some issues. If anyone is having severe depression and other severe reactions that you feel is caused by deleting a medication please address this with your physician and hopefully they will not just give more meds and not do something to address the medical issue. I am so sorry for all that are and have experienced these problems.

Right now I am going to go and try to address my own sever debilitating pain.

I hope and pray for you all having pain issues and other symptoms to find relief and resolve for your medical conditions. <3 hugs to all Donna 

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  • Posted

    Thank you Donna for your prayer and kind words. I'm off Gabapentin now for the past 40+ days. I was on it 14 mnths before and after back surgery due to a fall. I'm happy to be off it but still have side effects.

    I just wanted to wish you well and good luck with your surgery.

    Marie

    M

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  • Posted

    I hope you find a way to deal with your pain and get some relief. I'm one of those people who have serious concerns about gab. BTW, I was a medical secretary in radiology for 30 years, so I did look up your condition and have some understanding of it now. The problem with gab is that it was approved for an is only partly effective for 3 conditions: epilepsy, PHN (Post Herpetic Neuralgia/pain after shingles due to nerve damage) and specific types of diabetic neuropathy. It may or may not help other conditions. However it's not really a "nerve" drug, it just affects the brain and neurons so that the pain registers differently. I too felt I'd do anything to deal with the pain of my shingles at it's worse those first few weeks. Ironically, I'm not sure if it really DID help, or 1. I was too drugged to notice or 2. it started to improve on it's own.

    As you've touched on in your comments the side effects both of the drug and what happens during withdrawal are miserable: fatigue, increased pain, confusion, memory loss, blurred vision, increased emotional fragility, numbness/zombie feelings,severe depression and suicidal thoughts etc. That's the worst of what I've been through, but I could probably name about a dozen more.

    If there's ANYTHING else, a pain cream, other meds, OTC products, ice etc. please use those in conjunction with the gab to avoid taking any more than necessary. As I said, research has shown it's ineffective for most any other kinds of pain.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. Yes I agree with you. I do not think the gabapentin helped me the first time because I was still so consumed with the shoulder pain. I am doing everything you mentioned to aid in some relief from this pain. I am hoping to see the neurologist and the test and the results so I may find a way to treat this soon. As with most people I do shy away from taking any kind of drugs for pain. When I get to a certain dosage, if I feel the gab is not...not helping I will tell my doctor and gradually stop it. 

      I am on venlafaxine for depression and anxiety. I lost my son to suicide many years ago and just recently went back to therapy. That is another whole issue as I am sure you are aware. Thank you again for your input re: gabapentin. 

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    • Posted

      Donna, just wanted to share. I lost my son 4 yers ago. He was 44 and had a stroke and I too am in therapy. I take St John's Wart for anxiety. I'm not big on medication. Your son's suicide must have been a terrible experience for you. I am sorry for your loss. There is no pain like the pain of loosing a child.

      Stay well.

      Marie

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    • Posted

      I'm very sorry Donna. My brother died in a snowmobile accident and as hard as it was for me, I only had a small understanding of what it did to my parents. After reading your history of anxiety and depression, please reconsider starting the med if it's suggested. I have a working theory that many of us who are having increased depression and/or anxiety had some issues in our past with it also and that the gab was a trigger for it getting MUCH worse. I've always been a bit more tightly wound, Type A and had post-partum depression. I think before being given this drug, there should be an honest discussion from the practioner about mental health history. The drug has a warning about suicide and depression.

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