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Namenda for chronic pain?
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Namenda for chronic pain?

I don't have a question but I wanted to put this out there in hopes that it may help others.  I thought I had posted this before but I couldn't find it.  I live with severe nerve pain from a botched root canal where formaldehyde was used.  The material was squirted out the bottom of my bottom back molar into the nerve canal.  Formaldehyde does on the living, just exactly what it does on the dead....mummifies.  Unfortunately, it wasn't enough that it completely destroyed the nerve and left me numb, it left me numb and in horrific chronic pain.  

I, like many of you, take handfuls of drugs just to live thru the day and suffer side effects from the drugs is just as debilitating as the pain.  My doctor allowed me to try Namenda, which is a alzheimer drug that works by calming overactive neurons in the brain.  There has been studies to see if it helped chronic pain and most of them showed it did not.  I wanted to try it for myself and she allowed me too.  My shrink also thought it was a good idea to try.  

It did not help my nerve pain but it did help my energy level and the overwhelming "weight" of it all.  For 4 years I have done nearly nothing other than sit on the couch, watch tv, sleep, and surf the internet and for some of that time, attempt to work.  Cooking and cleaning were just not ever done.  Since taking the namenda, I have been more active - cook and clean some, have left the house more often but still only to grocery shop and get meds refilled.  I have done some Xmas shopping this year, last couple of years I did none.   I'm about to run out of the samples that the doctor gave me and if my insurance will cover it, I want to stay on it.  If they don't cover it, I will have to see how much it costs to see if I can pay for it out of pocket.  Maybe it is a coincidence that I "feel better" (and I use that term lightly) when I started taking it but I don't think so.

So, I post this so that anyone out there who is emotionally weighed down by this pain may find some help with this drug.  It is not a miracle drug and it doesn't come close to fixing me but its a little step in the right direction and I'll take whatever I can get.
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Thank you so much. It's always so helpful to hear stories like this.  I will talk to my doctor about this medication.  Take care.

There must be something that can be done to destroy the nerve. Surgery may be required. There are new advanced studies done everyday involving nerve problems. Have you sought  second and third opinions?
I truly believe that something can be done to end the misery of a painful nerve in the gum. The Dentist need to re-open the area involved and make sure that he destroys the nerve for good. Give you some antibiotics ( no doubt that you probably have a pocket of infection) that can cause a great deal of pain and can stay around for a while.

Go see an Oral Surgeon and get another opinion. I feel that it's in your best interest at this point.

I have not heard of the medication that you're taking and if it doesn't take that pain away, you should find something else that works. Granted, you like the energy...most opiates have that effect. What I'm saying is that if it's only giving you a "high" it's not the right medication for you. Why take it if your still getting no relief from the pain??

Take care,
Hi Saynono,

After I read your post I did some searching and found some helpful articles. Thank you for sharing as I was not very familiar with this medication. The following is part of what Joseph K. Vaughan, Jr., M.D. opinion on this drug and similar ones in February of 2006.

BEGIN "Since the early 1960’s more and more research has been devoted to the NMDA receptors in cell membranes and their involvement in pain as a way of blocking these harmful effects of calcium.  Ketamine (a veterinary anesthetic, primarily), dextromethorphan, amantadine, and now Namenda are the best-known medications which have been shown to have such benefits for chronic pain patients.  They are the best-known medications which are clinically available to work in such a unique fashion.

Ketamine has a history of at least some efficacy in treating chronic pain, including orofacial pain.  Specifically, ketamine was helpful to a patient with glossopharyngeal neuralgia, a pain disorder quite similar to trigeminal neuralgia, but involving the ninth cranial nerve instead of the fifth. The use of Namenda in all facial pain syndromes, headache, and other painful conditions is beginning to accelerate." END

So it has been found effective is varying degrees for some ppl. I might add that it may be relieving some of the effects of your chronic pain without you even being aware of that fact. At any rate it seems to be a fairly safe drug with few side effects. I am very glad that is has been effective for you. Again thanks so much for sharing.

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