Gabapentin-nerve Pain In Legs Because Of Spinal Stenosis

Lynn Says:

I have been reading some of the discussion threads and really would love your advice. So back in 2012 I slipped two discs with one that had a tear and I have spinal stenosis. Had wonderful docs that helped me get back to some since of normalcy. I had used Gabapentin for a period of time, then came off of it once I had an injection for my right leg nerve pain and numbness. Just a note, I have never been 100 percent probably not even 75 percent. There were times when the pain in my back was so bad, I would would just be angry. A second MRI was done last year and they told me I was not a candidate for surgery and gave me other suggestions like yoga, etc. That proved to be more harmful then good. Through it all I have tried to maintain some sort of life style and dealt with the pain with Ice, Motrin, and muscle spasm medication. Speed forward to two weeks ago, not sure what I did but the nerve pain and numbness was almost unbearable, have been seeing the chiropractor and I am back on the Gabapentin per my neurologist. I am suppose to take one three times a day (300MG) but after the three days of only taking at night, then starting to take the extra one, I found myself very tired and not able to concentrate. I am having a lot of issues with the nerve pain at night mostly but find I can't sit, I can't lay on my back, so it's not easy to do much of anything. I stand to work during the work week. That results in my legs being very fatigued. I am trying to walk daily on a treadmill. I have not increased the gabapentin because last time, it made me very tired and I didn't feel like I was all there. So I am just taking it at night. The bad thing is ---all night, I am in pain. I can't lay on my back, my left side causes my leg to pulse in pain and now my right side is doing the same. Tried my stomach last night ---no better. I am just plain tired. I have a neurology appointment on Wednesday and Physical Therapy on Friday. I want to know what if any can be done and if Gabapentin is the best for me.

5 Replies

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Verwon Says:

Hello, Lynn! How are you?

What you've described experiencing are typical side effects of Gabapentin, as listed by the FDA. You may also experience mood swings, dry mouth and weight changes.

However, side effects are usually transient and go away, once your body gets used to the medication, but they will tend to recur for a few weeks any time you raise the dosage. Thus, you've actually been prolonging your side effect experience by taking one at night, then adding another for awhile.

The only way to see if is the best choice to help you is by taking it as prescribed for 4 to 6 weeks and see if it helps and if those side effects go away, as they should.

Does anyone else have any advice to offer?

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BL Says:

You need to mention the problems you're having to your dr. Often drs also prescribe other meds to help with sleep and pain.

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Lynn Says:

Thank so much for the information. I see my neurologist tomorrow and will discuss since I have to be alert for my job. I am worried more about the pain that I am having along with the numbness. Hopefully I will get some direction on my next course of treatment. I am 51years old and very active. I have a lot of life to live with grand babies in my future! I want to be able to hold them. It is a very frustrating time for me. Any one that knows me knows that I can handle a lot don't complain but this is so getting old.

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Grace Says:

Hello. I take Gabapentin 600mg 3xdaily and I love it - I can't manage without it. There seems to be some people who can't tolerate this drug and it's not for them; while others like me get on with it fantastically. I love it most as it greatly improves my mood as well as helping my neuralgia/sciatica. All you can do is try it and see how you get on; if it's no good for you, then stop it and take something else. There are drugs similar to Gabapentin that other people have better success with. Best wishes.

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Shirle Says:

Had spinal fusion with bars and screws 2002. Told then I would be back in 2 to 4 years to finish the other surgeries. Now 2015 have sever spinal stenosis above fusion that makes it difficult to walk, sit for any length of time, stand or lay flat on my back. In July 2004 and January 2005 had open heart surgery for Myxoma in left atrium and placement of pace maker, developed aortic aneurysm , repaired January2005 and placement of Mechanical Aortic valve. So have difficulty having any testing or surgeries. Neurosurgeon recently prescribed Gabapentin to block some of the nerves in back...having difficulty taking medicine i.e. unable to focus, difficulty staying awake, dizziness and it is affecting memory...will eventually have surgery but have to have a mylogram before decision but have to inject Lovenox in abdomen before any testing. Is there another nerve block medicine that would be a replacement for the Gabapentin?

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