Hi I may or may not have FM...was dx'd 12 years ago BUT now after seeing a pain management specialist we both agree that my leg pain issues are more due to DDD, & osteo or the lower back.
my question is....I've been on neurontin(gabapentin) for 5 years that helped most of the nerve pain in my legs/hips/thighs...but now even at an increased dose its NOT
my doctor wants me to switch to Lyrica...does anyone else use this for similar pain and what are the side effects and does it work?
I was on Lyrica for awhile, it worked great, I just had to quit because of the side effects. Besides gaining about 40 pounds my hands and feet swelled really bad, I now take Gabapentin 1800 mgs a day. It works but not as good as the Lyrica.
I have Fibromyalgia, facet osteoarthritis in my lumbar spine, DDD in my lower and upper back, sciatica, and nerve dysfunction diagnosed by EMG, which causes my left foot to be numb and the leg pain. Lyrica works better than Neurontin, but scaredmom330 is right about the weight gain. I had the same problem and had to quit taking both. I packed on the pounds and wasn't happy because I had just spent hundreds of dollars at Weight Watchers to lose 25lbs only to watch that money go down the toilet.
There are a couple other alternatives that are just as effective. One is Topamax, but you have to be at a high dose- at least 150-200mg. That is what I am at and what I take. It helps a lot.
Another med you could try in the same family that not a lot of doctors know about is called Keppra. It's another anti-seizure medication. My Rheumatologist is very involved in the Fibro world and conducts a lot of the drug trials. She seems to be up on all of the new treatments. Keppra is used off label. I've never tried it, but it's supposed to be very effective for pain and very easy on the system. This is a medication they prescribe to pediatric epileptics- that's how safe it is.
I would suggest either Topamax (increase very slowly- 25mg per week to ward off side effects), or Keppra. Or try the Lyrica and see how your body reacts- you may be one of the lucky ones.
One thing I forgot to mention about Lyrica as far as effectiveness is that I kept feeling that I needed to increase the dose after just a little while. It was as though my body would adjust quickly and would become immune to the strength and the pain would return. This would happen quite often. I remember not liking that and being fearful that I would top out at the highest dose too fast because the amount I needed to keep up with the pain would keep increasing.
At the same time I was gaining weight and having to visit the dept. stores every other week to buy new clothes because I was growing out of my pants and suits. I think it was at that time I got worried and decided Lyrica wasn't for me. I wasn't even at a high dose at the time, but I didn't want to get in too far over my head and I could tell that is where things were going.
But as I mentioned before, everyone is different. You can always try something and that doesn't mean you can't wean off of it and try something else you know. There are a lot of options out there. Good luck!!!
thx dusty and everyone for the info...
I sure don't need any more weight problems....I feel the use of gabapentin over the passed years has been the cause of my weight trouble now....no matter what I do I can't loose any.
So if I do try Lyrica I will watch that VERY carefully.
I live in Canada dusty, not sure if some of those meds you mentioned are even avail. here, I haven't heard of them being used...but I will question my doctor when I see him again.
thx again everyone
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