more pain on gabapenyin

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Hi all, i started gabapentin 11th july for bilateral sciatica. I am also taking naproxen ,lansoperazole and occasional cocodamol.I have had  a bad back and sciatica since may sad.  I took gaba 100 mg twice a day then increased  6th July to 3 time a day 100 mg.  On the 9th aug i increased to 200 mg 3 x daily. My pain continued to increase i rang my Gp who stated to increase to 300 mg  3 x a day which , i did increase 28th august. So today is 3rd Sept and my pain is increasing again, i am not going to increase anymore as i  am feeling brain fog all the time and feel very drugged. I drive for a living and could not drive on a larger dose. Questions  why is my pain increasing especially in my calfs. What reducing regime should i do having been on this drug 53 days?

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi what a cocktail of drugs. Have you ever had an MRI scan of your back to find out the cause of your back pain. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Jhow, no the drs just want me to have physio which, i have been having for may months since January as i originally pulled my back in  December, the sciatica occurred during May while i was still having  physio. I have been to a chiro had 6 sessions with no benefit. I have been referred to an orthopedic Dr who i see 18th of  this month. My right leg is the worst, the pain goes from buttock  all the way to the underside of my foot, the left leg it is more buttock and  thigh but get lots of calf twitching x 
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    • Posted

      I totally agree with Babs, I am surprised a therapist would touch your back without knowing what the cause of pain is. A chiro should have arranged a scan tbh. The ortho dr will probably order  an MRi scan but u must tell him that you have seen a chiro. 

      The usual plan for a bad back is. 1 MRI scan. 2 referral to ortho or physio and sending a copy of the cd of the MRI scan .I have a bad back but have NEVER been on all those meds. Please see the ortho dr . take care. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks Jhow, my friends daughter is a physio and she said they do not do scans now unless you have  loss of bowel and bladder function or pins and needles on your privates, or your loosing weight for no reason. I checked on nice guidelines and sadly it said the same. My chiro after 6 sessions said i would need a scan and said i could ask my gp or go private with him, i asked my gp who referred me o ortho DR, if the ortho will not scan me i  may have to go private. x
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  • Posted

    Sadly despite what doctors want to believe. gab doesn’t help lower back pain. But yes it causes miserable, and worse, side effects. Without an mri or even a ct it may be hard to tell what is actually causing your pain. I would have thought the therapist would want the films or report to help determine the treatment.  I don’t know why iyour pain is increasing, but if it’s not helping I’d consider getting off it. You need to taper slowly to avoid bigger problems. Not everyone has problems but you don’t want to risk it. The brain fog, memory issues, depression and feeling like a zombie are very common. There are many other side effects I hope you don’t get. Groups I highly respect and which have helped me immensely recommend a 10% drop over 4 weeks. I take even 6-8 weeks at times and find I have fewer problems than when I did 4 weeks, but that’s just me. As you taper you may go thru a type of withdrawal where the pain increases and you have more confusion, but it will improve. By the time I start my 

    next taper I’m always better. I was at 2700 mg January of 2016 am now down to 800 mg. You’ve got this!

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    • Posted

      Hi Babs thank you for your reply, i am  getting off of gaba, its not helping all i feel is a kind of spaced out, tired and doppy feeling. I need to ring my GP to get the 100 mg capsules as i have not got many left. yesterday i took 200 mg morning and afternoon and felt a lot  less spaced out, i still took 300 mg at bed time. Babs how long have you been on gaba? i have only been on it 55 days now. x
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  • Posted

    Almost two years. I got shingles late October 2016, now have PHN, Post Herpetic Neuralgia meaning never damage and subsequent pain from the virus. I'm slowly getting better and tapering. I'm part of a group on FB about gabapentin and I have some more info. I thought you may be in the UK, and other replies make it sound like that. NICE has come out with new recommendations stating that gab does NOT work on  lower back pain and should not be prescribed. We've known that for a while. It's only FDA approved (the US regulatory body) for epilepsy, shingles/PHN pain (like  mine) and very specific type of pain caused by diabetic neuropathy. But doctors give it out like advil or tylenol. Even for shingles, it only helps about 40% of the people and the side effects are life-altering.

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    • Posted

      Hi Babs thank you again for your reply, yes i am in the UK. I spoke with my GP re coming off Gabapentin he stated as i had only been on it a short while i could taper off i and be off it in a week. I think this is a little too quick but, only took 200 mg 3 x daily yesterday and plan to do the same tomorrow and drop again Saturday. I feel fine it may be  not so good when i get down to 100 mg and stop that dose xx 
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  • Posted

    PLEASE consider going much slower. You may feel it's "only" 600 mg, but as you've had quite a few side effects from the meds as you increased, it shows that the impact on your brain is there. Groups such as benzobuddies or other taper/withdrawal groups recommend 10% every 4 weeks or more for a reason. It's to prevent serious withdrawal side effects which can include severe depression, suicidal thoughts, confusion, anger, crying jags, memory loss. This drug disrupts the neurons and it takes a while for these to heal and improve. The brain controls your entire body. Dropping too quickly may cause a MUCH more severe withdrawal which may also last for weeks or months.

    You'll be dropping more than 10% now, and the lower you go, due to bio-availability (how the body uses the drug) you may have more problems. I sincerely hope not. But once I switched from 4 week tapers to 6-8 week tapers I feel much better. IF you drop too quickly and think that increasing will help, it won't. It may make it worse as your body/brain has to adjust again, just like when you first started taking it.

    All I can do is give you advice, suggest you continue to research tapering from benzoids (technically gab isn't one, but the problems are almost identical) and hope this goes well for you.

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    • Posted

      Thanks babs, im just worried the longer im on this drug, the longer it is effecting my brain chemicals. I will go slower then my GP said  as i think 1 week is too quick. I think i will stay at 200 mg another week then  reduce the lunch time dose to 100 the following week. i hope to be off in 1 month but, will see how i go. x  
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    • Posted

      Amanda I understand the desire to get off it quickly. We've all felt that way. But after some horrible problems with the taper, I realized that I'd rather take more time and have less misery. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    I know gabapentin made my SI joint pain and bilateral leg pain worse for many years. When are physicians going to believe patients?

    I had spontaneous leg jerking and my legs hurt so much a thin sheet against my legs was intollerable. When I think of the many trigger point injections, the spinal cord stimulator surgery /generator replacement and the many nerve blocks done under floro., it makes me realize these guys are uniformed. They (insurance company) have no idea how much money was spent on my health care due to gabapentin. The ignorants think gabapentin is the answer and will keep health care costs down. Wake up! Gabapentin increased my pain and cost too many medical bills.

    So glad I am off of gabapentin and no longer have the side effects (including the increased pain).

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