Hi - just wondering if anyone has been prescribed Gabapentin for leg pain? I have been experiencing uncontrollable leg spasms, mostly when I go to bed at night. I am not able to sleep because my leg keeps jumping by itself, it makes me very restless. I have constant pain 24/7 in my back and leg and take Oxycotin and Oxycodone for pain. Anyone have anything like this?
You've got two issues here. Yes, I have been prescribed Gabapentin for sciatic pain and it really helps. I don't like the foggy head side effects, but I like the sciatic pain less. I had an L4/L5 fusion 7 weeks ago and they had me wean off of it, and I spent two completely sleepless nights due to the leg pain. I talked to my surgeon's nurse and I am back on it now. I really noticed how well it worked when I went off of it for a few days. My surgeon has told me it could take 1-2 years for the sciatic pain to improve considerably. However, the Gabapentin helps a lot for the pain but does nothing for my leg jerking/spasms.
Second, for the leg spasms/jerking, I started having this in just my left leg about 3 weeks after my sciatic pain symptoms first appeared about a year and a half ago. I basically had a phycho left leg that would jerk and flair uncontrollably when I would sit or lay down but not when I would stand (yes, I did a lot of standing!). It was almost impossible to get to sleep some nights. I got a lot of varying opinions from different doctors, but finally one said it was due to a squished nerve and he put me on Baclofen which has been a miracle drug for me. Baclofen is a muscle relaxer and antispasmodic and is commonly used for MS patients. When you talk to your doctor, ask him/her about Baclofen and tell him/her about your leg jerking/spasming. I found it is best to use the language jerking instead of spasming as they better understand what you are going through. I was also told to wean off the Baclofen after my fusion and when I got to the lower doses my psycho leg returned and I had to go back on Baclofen. My surgeon said I may need to be on it for life. The only major side effect I have had with Baclofen is tiredness, but none of the foggy brain symptoms like from Gabapentin or other bothersome side effects. When I was first put on Baclofen I had to ramp up my dose until my body was used to it after a few weeks as it initially makes you really feel out of it. Also, it immediately help with the leg jerking but it was about 6 weeks before the leg jerking mostly disappeared.
Have you already had back surgery? What level(s) are your back problems at?
Best wishes and you are welcome to private message me for more information about this.
Hi Brenda - thanks for the info, I was beginning to think I was going crazy with the psycho leg thing. I will ask my PM doctor about the Baclofen. I have had 3 surgeries. Disco/Lami in Aug 2005, ALIF Fusion at L4, L5, S1 June 2007and another Lami/Disc Nov 2007. And after going through all that I have had epidural inj, trigger point inj, accupunture, PT, Heat & Stim, etc. I still suffer in pain, the pain is in my lower back and goes to my butt and down my left leg. It seems as though the pain meds do nothing for me. I can't take the psycho leg thing, no sleep, leg just moves on its own. I was beginning to think it was a side effect from the Gabapentin.
So besides the leg spasms how are you feeling from your surgery. After I had my fusion they put me in a rehab facility for 5 weeks of PT before I could come home.
I tried it with some relief for nerve pain. It was just OK. I got really dumb and fat on it - gained 35 lbs. Not cute or fun. But, I was so dumb I didn't really care!
Now, I'm on Topamax. It has the reputation of making you lose weight. Sadly, I didn't get that side effect. I just went down to my normal weight and I'm happy with that. It really does help with my nerve pain and I'm not nearly as dumb on it.
I think gabapentin is worth a try given your symptoms, but it's not the ONLY med out there. Everyone responds differently. As you've probably heard bunches of times, it really is worth keeping a journal of all your symptoms each day. You might feel like every day is the same, but you may surprise yourself over time that they do change. Some of these meds take a couple weeks to take full effect and for you to get the full benefit.
Hi Chatterbox - geez I didn't know that weight gain was a side effect. I just lost a lot of weight from surgeries and being sick, I really don't want to gain it back again. And the medicine really ins't taking the pain away, still have leg pain and those crazy leg spasms, oh yeah did I mention charly horses too!! I think I need to call my PM doctor and let him know whats going on.
Isn't Topomax for sizures too, it sounds familiar to me.
I used to keep a journal of everything from when I had my first surgery to the last one, everything, meds, PT, pain, but now I kinda got laxed, I think its a good idea to start again.....thanks for reminding me Chatterbox!
Gabapentin can be used for seizures, too. They're both for nerve-related disorders. So, doctors try them for nerve pain, head aches and other ailments that might benefit from calming down nerves.
I ballooned immediately with gaba. Some people don't, though. Just be forewarned. Yeah, it completely stinks when you're trying to keep yourself under control with a physically-limiting injury to gain weight due to a medication. For me, it's not worth it. Maybe it sounds superficial, but I just feel so bad about myself. I was on 1200 calories a day and still gaining weight on the gaba.
In any case, I think it's great if you stay in good contact with your prescribing doc. Hopefully, s/he is a good listener.
I haven't experienced any weight gain on Gabapentin and I've been on it for almost a year. I've actually been able to lose about 10 pounds despite 3 surgeries during that timeframe. But Chatterbox is right that some people really gain weight on it. There are other similar nerve pain meds as mentioned that you could try - what works for one may not work for another. If you start having weight gain on one of the meds you could go off it or switch to another, but be sure to watch out for that possible side effect.
As far as how I'm doing after surgery, I still have great difficulty sitting or laying down as I have a lot of sciatic pain then. However, standing and walking for up to 30 minutes is going okay. I know I've got a long road ahead of me yet.
I as on Gabapentin for over a year and never gained weight, but actually lost some. But then again, when I am under stress I lose weight. And being in pain 24/7 is pretty stressful!
I saw my PM doctor today and told him about my toe twitching and charlie horses in my foot. They are all on the right foot, which is the same side with all my nerve damage. I thought maybe the Gabapentin was causing my symptoms, but I have been off the drug for over a month and they are still here He told me if they get bothersome he would put me on some medication for it. Right now, the charlie horses only come a few times per month and the twitching does not keep me awake. So, for now, i am just living with it. But it's good to know that someone here had some good luck with that other medication.
Thank you for reminding me to start a journal. It is something I should have started a LONG time ago. I am having some side effects from a new medication and I am trying to remember if I had these same effects from a similar medication I was on a few months ago. The problem is this...I have been on and off so many kinds of medicines, I cannot keep it all straight anymore (meaning...why I had to discontinue each one).
I took Gabapentin a few months ago to address tingling in both the left and right calves and feet. The tingling, the doctor believes, is due to a bulged disc in my L4-L5 region.
Something really strange happened after I started taking Gabapentin - I started to feel tingling in my left arm. Like I said earlier, all of the tingling was initially in my lower legs, but after a few weeks of Gabapentin, the tingling moved up to my left arm! To this day, I'm still not sure if the Gabapentin is the culprit for why I feel tingling in my left arm, as even though I stopped taking it, there is still tingling in my left arm.
But I would beware of funny symptoms like I just described if you're going to take Gabapentin.
Just curious, has anyone else had funny symptoms like I had, presumably from taking Gabapentin?
Thank you all for your responses, I have called my PM doctor and he told me to stop taking the Gabapentin and he wants me to come in for an office visit. I still have the charlie horses, not as frequent as before though. Will have to wait and see what my doctor is thinking to do now for the pain.....
I have but it was for pain in the knees from menscus tears and it was a MIRACLE DRUG for me, I was on Vicodin and couldn't walk from the 2nd surgery of menscus tears in the knee and after I started taking the gabapentin I was able to get up and WALK !!! They started me on 400 mgs, 3 times a day and I went up to 600mgs when I had the surgery, after 2 months went down to 400 mgs, but it seems like you might have to take more with the strong pain meds that you are on, some people say that it caused depression, I don't know I had depression but I thought that was because I couldn't walk or get out of the house for a year and a half, lol also if you are on it, its best to take extra C, B12 or the B- Complex, I also heard L-Carnitine works and 5-HTP also, but take all vitamins 2 hours after meds , if not it depletes the medication, the the medication depletes vitimans in the body also I heard to take biotin most all of these are in your dailly vitimans, but I take extral calcium for bones and 1000 mgs of B-12 and a 1000 mgs of C a day that will also give you more ENERGY too ! hope that this helps , God bless and shalom
Hi...I have been on gabepentin for 6 months and it works wonders for me...I take 300.Mg 4 times a day....wish I could get off of it. I guess I am blessed because I take nothing else. Thanks for telling about the vitamin interactions. I didn't know that....maybe that is why some days it doesn't seem to work as well...any others have this problem? I had a discectomy (second one on l5 s 1) in Dec. And was told I will need a fusion due to scar tissue issues....best wishes to all of you....backs can be pains!!