Nerve Pain / Gabapentin Warning

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A Canadian study published last year, which tracked patients in Ontario from August 1997 to December 2013 who had been prescribed both opioids and gabapentin for pain, found a “substantial increase in the risk of opioid-related death.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/americas-heroin-epidemic/health-officials-are-sounding-alarm-drug-gabapentin-it-s-not-n861111

Be careful out there.......

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  • Posted

    Thanks Chico for the information.   I have taken Gabapentin for years now because of trigeminal neuralgia.  I wondered if that is why all the pain killers they have given me makes me serious sick. I tried to take a pain pill before my PT and spent the whole time in the bathroom vomiting so I didn't do that again. 

     

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  • Posted

    Oh dear,

    i have been taking gabapentin plus one opioid or another for 13yrs.  I had a very physical job and was prescribed 6 gabapentin, plus 6 Panadeine forte and a number of other opioids, e.g. OxyContin, tramodol, targin, liquid morphine and/ or others, every day.   I don’t work anymore due to Ill health but I live and drive, with no ill affect.  Am I addicted? Well, yeah, I am.  Yet still I pick my prescriptions up, all 12 of them,, every month.   So you could say, I’m an enabled drug addict.  Most people would be comatosed on a lot less intake of drugs.  Since my bilateral tkr’s over 2 yrs ago, my prescription never changed.  I can’t make up my mind if it was a good thing or a bad, that They didn’t alter my prescription.  My body is use to so much drug taking.  I know if I miss a morning dose, I have bad withdrawals that evening.  

    I know now this doesn’t really have an impact on your forwarded information, which, by the way, I found interesting.  I guess I’m just pointing out, there’s a lot out there, that are not dead, YET, from taking them.  My liver might want to argue with that lol.

    Thank you for forwarding the article.  It has made me sit up and take notice.

    Best wishes Sue

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    • Posted

      Bangkok-Johnny from Lerdsin Orthopedic center Thailand’s leading “bone hospital”. Bed # 15 on the 17 floor. TKR revision first stage completed six weeks ago. Medication:Vancomycin 500 mg x 4 times daily. Pain medication: Tramadol.

      OxyContin “Hillbilly Heroin” only hospital policy only for palliative care (terminal cancer patients). So different from USA and Sweden where OxyCodone is prescribed almost without limit. My “night medicine: Gabapentin 300 mg. After my operation I needed it. Lerdsin is a govermnment teaching hospital. No air conditioning. Only VIP. Rooms. Thailand is a tropical country. “GABA” helps me to find some sleep. Side effect slight dizziness. Shower and double espresso.Voila! “ Brainfog” gone!  I still take GABA every night - but only 1/2 capsule.   

      Once I am discharged home sweet home. A/C Yes, Gabapention NO!

      Nothing wrong with Gabapentin especially for  TKR revision patients.

       

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  • Posted

    I am glad you posted this Chico Marx about Gabapentin! I have always been a little leery about Gabapentin. I was recently given a prescription for this and do not plan on taken it (even though I had it filled). It was prescribed for my herniated disc at C-7 which is resolving with ES Tylenol, Robaxin 750 mg for a month plus neck exercises and new sleep pattern of sleeping on my back. I have known 3 close people that have used it and they all said it did not help but made them feel groggy....hard to function.
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  • Posted

    I was SHOCKED when I saw this article because docs hand out Gabapentin (Neurontin) like Skittles for any nerve pain...especially sciatica symptoms and post-TKR nerve pain.  I have a personal distaste for the nerve meds because of the weight gain and other side effects.  However, it's tough to find something effective when the pain is coming from inflamed nerves.

    I saw the article and wanted to share it so people are at least aware of what some researchers are now finding.  Combining drugs is a very touchy thing.  I was married to a pharmacist for 25 years and now to a lady who was a psychiatric nurse for 30.  They know all about this stuff because they've seen interactions first hand.  Most docs hand you the scripts and don't see the results of their actions.  Pharmacists are THE FRONT LINE for drug interaction information because their computer systems track all your prescriptions and issue warnings...docs rarely have a clue.  To get this benefit, USE ONE PHARMACY ONLY!!!  Spread your scripts out among several, and you lose the interaction detection capabilities of a single computer system.

    Just be careful...  Talk to your docs and pharmacists.  No one should be taken by surprise any longer.  This particular combination could be a problem for some or many people...not enough data yet...  Do your research and be your own medical advocate.  Ask questions...stay safe.

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  • Posted

    SHOCKED is right Chico Marx! If you read all the side effects, it is a very dangerous drug!!!

     

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    • Posted

      Talked to my friend (former horn section leader in the 13-piece, five horn blues/rock band I founded and led back in New Jersey) with the multiple doctorates in chemistry, pharmacy and pharmacokinetics and he agreed that it's a drug that should be taken with great care with special attention paid to side effects and interactions with other drugs.

      Since so many TKR and sciatica patients are given Gabapentin for nerve pain PLUS other opioids for their basic pain management, I thought the article could raise some awareness in patients about what they're actually taking and the potential risks involved.  The Canadian statistics were stunning.  US needs to look at this ASAP.

      Unfortunately, there's only a few drugs for nerve pain...

      Carbamazepine (brand name Tegretol)

      Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin)

      Oxcarbazepine (brand name Oxtellar XR, and Trileptal)

      Pregabalin (brand name Lyrica)

      Topiramate, Topamax (brand name Qudexy XR, Topamax, and Trokendi XR)

      I've taken Neurontin (20# weight gain in a month) and Lyrica (no effect).  Never again.  I've never heard of the others.  Personally, I'd try some acupuncture before I swallowed any of these things...but that's just my opinion...I'm not in that kind of pain.  However, when I did have some nerve pain in my legs after a back surgery, I used Aspercream with 4% Lidocaine and some Lidocaine patches.  It was only for 10 days but took the edge off.

      On the OTC side, this is from WebMD:

      Topical painkillers. Many over-the-counter creams and ointments are sold to relieve nerve pain. They include ingredients that work as a local anesthetic, numbing the pain in the area where you apply them. Some contain capsaicin, a painkiller derived from chili peppers. Others use different natural ingredients, like botanical oils. One advantage of topical treatments is that you can apply them precisely where you need relief.

      Painkilling medicines. Some people with neuropathic pain turn to familiar over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. While these drugs might help with mild or occasional pain, they're often not strong enough for serious nerve pain. There's also a risk that someone with chronic pain might begin to rely on these medicines too much. So, always make sure to follow the directions on the bottle. Most painkillers should never be taken for more than 10 days. If you are still in pain and want to take them for longer than that, you need to talk with your doctor -- it may be a sign that you need a different treatment.

      Supplements and vitamins. In some cases, nerve pain can be worsened -- or even caused -- by a deficiency of vitamin B12. If your doctor decides you need it, he or she might recommend injections of vitamin B12 or supplements.

       

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  • Posted

    I don't ever plan to take the gabapentin that was prescribed.....think I will throw them away. I wonder why they make you gain so much weight? Salt based?

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  • Posted

    I would be interested in what your buddy saids about weight gain.  I told my doctor I gained weight with the Gabapentin but when I tried to get off of it the trigeminal nerve pain was too much for me.  But that two years ago....maybe time to try again.    
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  • Posted

    Gabapentin and weight gain...

    "It blocks GABA (neurotransmitter) in pain fibers, but can also slow down neural transmissions overall such that you slow down activity level and metabolism. Can also cause fluid retention." - Dr. Dr. Dr. Michael Wolf, Ph.D.s in pharmacy, chemistry and pharmacokinetics, major "player" at Johnson & Johnson HQ in New Jersey and former horn section leader for the 13-piece, five horn blues/rock band that I founded and led in NJ for 7 years before moving to TX (now he runs the band). Plus he has a Doctor of Laws degree (expert witness in pharmacological-related cases) and two kids.  I don't think Mike has slept in 35 years.

    Bottom line: You gain weight because you metabolism slows down and you retain water.

    As in another reply, there is a potential published warning out now for mixing Gabapentin with opioid pain killers...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/nerve-pain-gabapentin-warning-648196

     

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  • Posted

    Thanks Chico Marx for all your research!!! My filled/unused prescription for Gabapentin is going into the trash TODAY!!!

    I don't need a slowed down metabolism, fluid retention, weight gain when I have just lost 12lbs on my diet!!!!!!!!!

    Just starting to feel good from a C-7 herniated disk. Why would I want to feel in a drugged induced state....even my pharmacist warned me about it!

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  • Posted

    Another thing about Gabapentin, the ortho doctor. (PA) that prescribed Gabapentin said it works best on a long term basis. I didn't think that was the answer when he said it....just didn't feel right. They probably get kick backs for recommending it. lol

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  • Posted

    One more thing about Gabapentin (hopefully the last), as I was disposing of it I noticed on the bottle the pharmacist added: " Carry or wear medical ID stating you are taking this medicine"; DO NOT TAKE antacids within 2 hrs of taking this medicine; may make you dizzy or drowsy; do  not drink alcohol with this, etc. etc.

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