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Author Topic: Neurontin, also known as Gabapentin, for Back Pain  (Read 8351 times)

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Offline HotGreek_STL

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  • Livin' la Vida Loca in Saint Louis, MO
Neurontin, also known as Gabapentin, for Back Pain
« on: January 17, 2009, 04:47:40 PM »
Hey Folks,

Forgive me if I am posting this is the worng place.

I am a fortunate guy.  I have had HIV for 16 years, still working, and I have never been hospitalized.   This is truly wonderful.  My T-Cell are over 500 and Viral load is undetectable. However,  my body has been wearing out.   I have two ruptured discs in my back, stenosis in the spinal column, and plain old arthritis   I was set to have back surgery on the 2nd of January.   I was initially having terrible pain on my left side of my lower back and left leg along with numbness, and some atrophy of my left calf muscle.   The ruptured discs in my back seemed to be the cause.  I was also losing sensation and developing muscle weakness.  The surgeon wanted to operate this past  summer but I was in a metabolic study for Actos which included exercise with a personal trainer.   She was wonderful.   My strength improved and my blood sugars came under control.  I even started to look athletic enough so I could pass for a Sicilian Drag Queen if I stopped trimming my beard. ;D

In December I went to the surgeon.  I thought my symptoms were worse because I was now hurting on the right side but not hurting on the left.  The surgeon was puzzled.  The MRI showed I should be in terrific pain.   He said with my strength improving on the left side and pain going into remission that I should not have surgery because surgery would not do anything for the right side.   He said it is not worth the risk because the surgical risk at this time but would operate if I had weakness develop on the left side and especially if I was in pain.  He said the biggest benefit from surgery would be pain relief on the Left side but again you don't fix what isn't broke.   He said I can't do anything for the Right Side so off to Pain Management.

I had been to Pain Management for about a year prior to seeing the surgeon.  They sent me to PT and did Steroid shots for my back.   However, I was getting concerned about the atrophy and weakness so that is how I was sent to the surgeon.

The Pain Management doctor just started taking Neurontin for Back Pain.  I was told to start taking 300 mg at night and then 300 mg twice a day after 5 days, and finally 300 mg three times a day after 5 more days.   I talked to my HIV doctor and he said it would be OK to go up every 7 days so I could adjust to it when I was not at work.   I work at an ER so I need to be pretty perky there!  The first week of once at night made me fairly loopy but I adjusted to it and it seems less of a problem.

I now feel super  loopy because today was the day I started taking it twice a day.  I am hoping I will adjust.   In the big picture,  my problems are a luxury.    :) 

I haven't drank in about 17 years and I am in recovery so adjusting to being buzzed weirds me out but I am doing what needs to be done.   My AA sponsor is supportive but my brain is just not used to this feeling.   What does it feel like?  A combination of being drunk, stoned on weed, and high from too much caffeine.

I am glad I don't fly a plane, perform surgery, or do any direct patient care.

I know a lot folks here have been on Neurontin, AKA gabapentin, for Neuropathy.   How has it been for you?   How long does it take to get used to this stuff?   As for my back pain, it seems like it is still there but just to the side of my main concentration.   I also take Napoxyen BID and Tylenol as needed.

Hugs from Saint Louis, MO


Below is my list of medications.  Sometimes I feel like I have enough pills to stock a Walgreen's Pharmacy!

Folic Acid       1 mg TAB      2 TABS BID
Tricor          160 mg TAB      1 TAB at HS
Actos       30 mg TAB      1 TAB at HS

Monopril     10   mg  TAB      1 TAB DAILY
Indapamide     2.5  mg  TAB      1 TAB DAILY
Aspirin       80     mg TAB      1 TAB at HS

Naproxen      500   mg  TAB      1 TAB  BID

Wellbutrin   XL       150    mg  TAB         3 TABS  DAILY

Truvada        200/300   mg   TAB        1 TAB DAILY
Reyataz        300   mg   CAP      1 CAP DAILY
Norvir               100   mg   CAP      1 CAP DAILY
Valtrex        500   mg   TAB      1 TAB at HS   


Claritin       10 mg TAB          1 TAB DAILY
Albuterol        2 PUFFS EVERY 4 HOURS AS NEEDED      

Multivitamin   1 TAB DAILY


"TO SEE WHAT IS IN FRONT OF ONE'S NOSE NEEDS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE!"  GEORGE ORWELL

Offline BT65

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Re: Neurontin, also known as Gabapentin, for Back Pain
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2009, 05:28:41 PM »
Hot Greek,

I take Gabapentin, 800 mgs 3 x a day.  It doesn't make me loopy, but I've been on it for years.  I take it for neuropathy though, not for any other pains.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Neurontin, also known as Gabapentin, for Back Pain
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 07:46:13 AM »
Hi Greek,

I can't take Neurontin because any NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) rips my stomach up.

I sometimes have back pain and my doctor prescribes Robaxin (methocarbamol 750mgs) and it works wonders for me. The label says it can cause drowsiness, but it doesn't for me. The only noticable side-effect I've had is getting slight cotton mouth about an hour after taking it, which lasts for about an hour.

Maybe you could ask your pain management people about this drug and if it would be suitable for you. Good luck - back pain is the pits.

Ann
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Offline HotGreek_STL

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  • Posts: 18
  • Livin' la Vida Loca in Saint Louis, MO
Re: Neurontin, also known as Gabapentin, for Back Pain
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 10:17:41 AM »
Update on Neurontin.

It did make me pretty loopy.  I have been off alcohol for 15 years and it really felt like I was drunk for a few days.   I am now up to 300 mg TID and I have adjusted.  My leg pain has gotten better but it is still there.

Today, I get a dental cleaning and steroid shots in my back.   Believe it or not the dental cleaning hurts more than the steroid shots.  :)
"TO SEE WHAT IS IN FRONT OF ONE'S NOSE NEEDS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE!"  GEORGE ORWELL

Offline BT65

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Re: Neurontin, also known as Gabapentin, for Back Pain
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 10:38:26 AM »
I'm glad you're able to tolerate the Neurontin alright and that it's working. 

I remember how much the dentist used to hurt.  I always thought I woud slide out of the chair whenever I'd get those Novacaine shots, yuck.

Good luck.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline HotGreek_STL

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
  • Livin' la Vida Loca in Saint Louis, MO
Re: Neurontin, also known as Gabapentin, for Back Pain
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2009, 02:02:21 AM »
UPDATE ON THE NEURONTIN

It is helping with back pain but  I am still having spasms at night so the plan is for me to gradually go up to 900mg TID.

As for side effects,  I have been forgetful and feeling buzzed.  ??? Since starting it I took my Morning Medications twice in a row because I just forget.  FYI  I do put my medications in weekly pill boxes so I am getting frustrated because I have always had good adherence with my meds. My boyfriend says I have been repeating myself.  If these symptoms do not improve, I am going to have to do something else.  Unfortunately if I have to stop I will have to gradually lower the dose to get off it.  Neurontin was initially designed as an Ant-Seizure medication so if you stop cold Turkey you can get a seizure.  AAAARGH!

Such is life.   Like many of you, I sometimes feel like I have a miniature Walgreens at my house.  The colors are like a Pittsburgh Paint Chip Sample book.

Love and Peace Out Everybody! :)

Below is my list of medications.  Sometimes I feel like I have enough pills to stock a Walgreen's Pharmacy!

Folic Acid       1 mg TAB      2 TABS BID
Tricor          160 mg TAB      1 TAB at HS
Actos       30 mg TAB      1 TAB at HS

Monopril     10   mg  TAB      1 TAB DAILY
Indapamide     2.5  mg  TAB      1 TAB DAILY
Aspirin       80     mg TAB      1 TAB at HS

Naproxen      500   mg  TAB      1 TAB  BID

Wellbutrin   XL       150    mg  TAB         3 TABS  DAILY

Truvada        200/300   mg   TAB        1 TAB DAILY
Reyataz        300   mg   CAP      1 CAP DAILY
Norvir               100   mg   CAP      1 CAP DAILY
Valtrex        500   mg   TAB      1 TAB at HS   


Claritin       10 mg TAB          1 TAB DAILY
Albuterol        2 PUFFS EVERY 4 HOURS AS NEEDED     

Multivitamin   1 TAB DAILY
"TO SEE WHAT IS IN FRONT OF ONE'S NOSE NEEDS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE!"  GEORGE ORWELL

 


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