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Old 01-11-2011, 01:25 PM   #1
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Treating LPR/Post-Viral Vagal Neuropathy with Lyrica

Dear Thread Subscribers,

Since I suffered two severe back-to-back colds in February 2010, I've experienced myriad problems with my voice box. In June of 2010, an ENT brought it to my attention that my condition might be LPR (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux). I began treating it with 80 mg of Prilosec per day during the middle of August. In addition, I made a number of lifestyle changes such as modifying my diet, losing weight, not eating with three hours of going to bed, and sleeping with my head slightly inclined. While these treatment measures seemed to improve my symptoms to some considerable extent, they did not "cure" me of my symptoms.

Several weeks ago, another user of this forum suggested that my condition was more likely caused by nerve-damage done to my throat by the viral infections I suffered. More specifically, damage to my vagus nerve was probably sustained. The condition is called Post-Viral Vagal Neuropathy, most of the symptoms of which are identical with the symptoms of LPR.

One month ago, I saw a doctor and began treating the condition with 75 mg of Lyrica twice a day. While I can't be completely certain, I've noticed a number of positive changes since taking the medicine. My throat does not burn very much at all since taking it and it is easier for me to speak clearly. Moreover, I have no serious throat-clearing difficulty anymore. I usually temporarily feel the urge to clear my throat after eating, but it passes after I drink water. However, I have experienced some negative side effects. Instead of a widespread burning sensation, I now experience a sharp, pinching sensation at different points in my larynx, as though there are three or four very tiny pins jiggling around. Also, it's made my throat rather dry, which enhances the scratching sensation I've felt.

My first week on the Lyrica, the side-effects were more noticeable than the benefits. But, by the second week, I began to notice the benefits taking effect while the side-effects improved. My fourth week on the medicine was my best so far, and probably my best week since I became ill in February. I'm beginning my second month on the medicine now. My doctor suspects that my progress will flatline and at that point we'll decide either to switch medicines or increase the dose.

If any of you have similar problems, especially if they developed suddenly or following an upper respiratory tract infection, tell your doctor and ask about trying Lyrica or some other medicine in its category, such as Neurontin.

Last edited by Sheepdog12; 01-11-2011 at 01:25 PM.

 
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:44 PM   #2
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Re: Treating LPR/Post-Viral Vagal Neuropathy with Lyrica

Thanks for your post. I also have many problems which have been attributed to LPR. I have had a chronic cough for 8 years, which began after an upper respiratory infection. The infection cleared up, but the cough never did. I never had any reflux symptoms prior to this time. I have tried a number of the PPIs with no success.

I have an appointment this Friday with a doctor in my area that specializes in PVVN/LSN. I am hoping this could be the answer.

 
Old 01-25-2011, 08:29 PM   #3
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Re: Treating LPR/Post-Viral Vagal Neuropathy with Lyrica

Hi Sevenseas,

Good luck with your appointment. I've been on Lyrica for over six weeks now. The last two weeks were mostly better than usual. The only problems I've had since taking Lyrica I attribute to dry mouth, which is a common side-effect. While it wouldn't normally affect patients without throat problems, it left me with a sharp, pinching sensation, which is much preferable to the burning and constant throat-clearing with which I had to contend for most of last year.

I've especially felt well over the last four days and I hope that I continue to improve without any relapses or without catching another upper respiratory infection. I was doing much better until I caught a bad head cold last October.

Best.

 
Old 01-26-2011, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: Treating LPR/Post-Viral Vagal Neuropathy with Lyrica

What I would love to know sheepdog is if you had a manomtry before you started taking lyrica.

I am curious to know if your UES/LES esphogus motility was effected by the nerve damage and if the lyrica is acutally improving it. If there is not reflux present and then vagas function has to be impacted there has to be something going on with motility to give you the clearing of throat or globus which is effected by UES pressure to be elevated.

My UES resting pressure is ok but its tightening to quickly and food gets pushed down at a higher velocity and my swallowing mechenism is out of sync.

These could be causing my reflux also since the whole thing is out of whack.

Last edited by gpinzone; 01-26-2011 at 11:20 AM.

 
Old 01-26-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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Re: Treating LPR/Post-Viral Vagal Neuropathy with Lyrica

Hi,

I have not had an esophageal motility test. I wanted to have one done this summer, but my schedule would not permit it. Then, I wanted to have one done in December. I planned to meet with a General Surgeon in order to discuss an Esophyx TIF in addition to having some tests done to at least determine if I would benefit from that procedure. But his nurse never scheduled me to meet him, and now it would be too difficult to schedule an appointment to meet him. I'll have more time over the summer to have this done. I'm hoping that I won't need it.

However, throat clearing has not been an issue for me for over two months now. It began to dissolve before I started using Lyrica. But once I started using the Lyrica it improved even more. I usually only feel the urge to clear my throat for several minutes after eating, but it always passes without any intervention. Between the months of February until about the end of October in 2010, throat clearing was one of the main problems I suffered. At times, it was incessant. Now, it is hardly even a sporadic problem.

Since none of my problems began until after I suffered two URI's, and since the vagus nerve is involved in esophageal function, I would hazard the guess that the Lyrica is helping with every symptom I've experienced. This marks a stark contrast with the Prilosec. After using the Prilosec for one week, I noticed a considerable improvement, but after that I flatlined. My throat still hurt quite a bit and I still had to clear my throat 50-60 percent of the time. I'm still on Prilosec, but if I continue to feel as well as I have felt in recent days, then I'll begin to taper it down next month.

The only drawback to using Lyrica is that it causes dry mouth, which often leaves a scratching and/or sharp pinching sensation in specific parts of my larynx. These side-effects were more noticeable during the first three weeks that I took the medicine, but for most of the last 2 and a half weeks, I've felt better than usual. Over the last five days, in fact, I've consistently felt very well, apart from some mild tingling and scratching, usually during exercise or while teaching.

 
Old 01-27-2011, 06:24 AM   #6
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Re: Treating LPR/Post-Viral Vagal Neuropathy with Lyrica

Thanks! I will let everyone know what medication they prescribe and if it helps. I am hoping this will be the answer for me and hopefully a lot of other people suffering from this issue.

 
Old 01-27-2011, 06:42 AM   #7
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gpinzone HB Usergpinzone HB User
Re: Treating LPR/Post-Viral Vagal Neuropathy with Lyrica

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheepdog12 View Post
Hi,

I have not had an esophageal motility test. I will tell youone done this summer, but my schedule would not permit it. Then, I wanted to have one done in December. I planned to meet with a General Surgeon in order to discuss an Esophyx TIF in addition to having some tests done to at least determine if I would benefit from that procedure. But his nurse never scheduled me to meet him, and now it would be too difficult to schedule an appointment to meet him. I'll have more time over the summer to have this done. I'm hoping that I won't need it.

However, throat clearing has not been an issue for me for over two months now. It began to dissolve before I started using Lyrica. But once I started using the Lyrica it improved even more. I usually only feel the urge to clear my throat for several minutes after eating, but it always passes without any intervention. Between the months of February until about the end of October in 2010, throat clearing was one of the main problems I suffered. At times, it was incessant. Now, it is hardly even a sporadic problem.

Since none of my problems began until after I suffered two URI's, and since the vagus nerve is involved in esophageal function, I would hazard the guess that the Lyrica is helping with every symptom I've experienced. This marks a stark contrast with the Prilosec. After using the Prilosec for one week, I noticed a considerable improvement, but after that I flatlined. My throat still hurt quite a bit and I still had to clear my throat 50-60 percent of the time. I'm still on Prilosec, but if I continue to feel as well as I have felt in recent days, then I'll begin to taper it down next month.

The only drawback to using Lyrica is that it causes dry mouth, which often leaves a scratching and/or sharp pinching sensation in specific parts of my larynx. These side-effects were more noticeable during the first three weeks that I took the medicine, but for most of the last 2 and a half weeks, I've felt better than usual. Over the last five days, in fact, I've consistently felt very well, apart from some mild tingling and scratching, usually during exercise or while teaching.
I still think you should get the manomerty done. It will tell you whats going on with your UES and LES and swallowing mechanism. Depending on what it shows you may or may not need the Prilosec. Its better not to guess and get the test done. It takes 15 mins and the information is probably the most valuable you can take. You never know how you feel in the future and its good to have this data.

Plus, you mentioned Esophyx TIF if you have motility issues and have that operation you may loose the ability to swallow.

Last edited by gpinzone; 01-27-2011 at 06:46 AM.

 
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