I asked my rheumy about Lyrica last summer; substituting Lyrica for Amytriptyline. I had investigated it, and found that a drug I had been taking before (dixarit) was okay to take with it, while Amytriptyline was not. Before the Amytriptyline, I had been taking dixarit to help combat hot flalshes, and it was doing a superb job. With Amytriptyline, dixatrit was "contraindicated", it seems that my blood pressure could skyrocket taking the two together. Well, recent significant pain issues have been investigated and are pointing to being related to nerve irritation and probably not fibro. So now he says that Lyrica is better for me because that's what it is designed for- nerve-related pain.
He said that the possible side-effects are weight gain, leg swelling and a sedative effect. I had the prescription filled; the pharmacists said that the leg swelling happens with people who have heart disease - I do not. That still doesn't explain the weight gain (I've just lost 21 pounds and want to keep it off!) or the sedative effect (how would I stay awake at work?). The doctor, and the pharmacist, said these side effects don't happen to everyone.
I'm so confused!!
I haven't started taking the pills. The pharmacist suggested taking only one capsule a day, at bedtime to begin with to see how it goes.
Oh, and it does a completely different job than Amytriptlyine so he doesn't want me to stop taking that.
Does this make sense? Any suggestions I can get would be greatly apprecaited. Thanks!
I have been on Lyrica for 3 years for Fibromyalgia. It does not make me sleepy at all. I did gain some weight with it, so I try to walk 3 miles a day to counter act this problem, and watch what I eat. I was on 300mg a day, when I started having problems with my feet, they would swell and when I would get up from sitting down, it would hurt like crazy, so I had to taper down to only 75mg a day and the problem stopped, I am doing fine now with no side affects.
Thanks Pam and Sammy. Yes I do have fibro but the symptoms from that are being more or less controlled by various drugs and life-style changes. So he sent me for jaw, hip and low back x-rays, a bone mineral denisty scan and a full body bone scan. Yesterday he told me that the x-rays showed arthritic degeneration but there was a comment that really concerned him, that my bones appeared "under-mineralized". I just had the bone mineral density scan done yesteray morning so we'll see just how far along that is. I had osteopenea a few years ago but it was reversed with bone building meds. I hope its only that again and not full-blown osteoporosis. I'm thinking that I should have been monitored more closely because I take pantoloc, a proton-pump inhibitor for GERD, which causes the stomach to produce essentially no acid - which is essential for absorbtion of calcium - which I take massive doses of daily, along with vitamin D3.
He says that savella is an anti-depressant and I'm doing well with amytriptyline so doesn't want to change that, and says that the Lyrica is for the pain from my bulging discs irritating nerves and for the TMJ which is getting worse despite his treatment and causing the nerves in my teeth to be hyper-sensitive.
Each Lyrica capsule is 75 mg and he wants me to take two a day; I was hoping I could take half a pill, but its a capsule, so that doesn't appear to be possible. So I guess half a dose in this case is one capsule a day.
I guess all I can do is try it out because this pain is really wearing me down and I've just about run out of sick days at work already for the year, and its barely April. My social life is almost non-existent too because I've been so miserable.
My brother takes a combination of supplements for fibro, nerve pain and peripheral neuropathy and appears to be doing okay. He can't walk much and uses a cane, but has no problem riding a bicycle so gets good exercise. But he does have a lot of trouble sleeping, so that's never been addressed.
Sorry, I'm rambling here...
Anyway, I guess I've talked myself into at least trying it out and I'll monitor the side-effects.
CWooten, Lyrica seemed like a miracle drug for me. At first I did get really tired. That lasted about 7-8 days. The only way I could describe what it did for me is to say it lowered the volume on everything and it allowed me to sleep without TMJ or Reflux--it fixed both overnight. On the head/neck/shoulder/back/hip aches and migraines, it lowered the volume--I could literally feel the migraine come on but it was just faint and never went into full blown. It also allowed me to feel good things, like my husband's touch. I lost weight with it; I just had so much more energy after than initial week that I was doing everything.
EVERYTHING but having a bowel movement -- literally had only 4 in a three-month period. In 2005 my gall bladder was checked and was perfect; in 2007 I started Lyrica, in 2008 I had to come off of it because of the constipation and right about that time we learned my gall bladder was hardened and full of stones. Another gal just posted she had her gall bladder out and she's been on Lyrica for 10 pain-free months.
I"m in severe pain right now, some serious nerve inflammation/impingement after surgery. Throughout this 13-week period I am just terrified to try new drugs. Two docs want me on gabapentin but I'm a bit terrified after Lyrica.
Cwooten, not sure how old you are, but apparently Lyrica has worse side effects for "elderly" which include gall stones and gall bladder problems, inflammation of the stomach, etc. I looked at ********** and there was info about Lyrica and side effects for the elderly.
I was 47 when I was on it... not exactly one foot in the grave. I had to have my gall bladder removed and I currently have inflammation of the stomach.
This is all such useful information to have, thank you so much. I'll be 57 in a month baserockermom. I had heart surgery at age 4 to correct a congenital defect and nothing much has gone wrong inside since then. All my health issues are what I've considered to be "mechanical", except now I find that its been fibro all along, combined with wide-spread osteoarthritis, all thanks to my Dad's genes. Lord, I look like my mom, why can't I be as healthy as she is? LOL Rambling again. Sorry.
I'll keep a close eye on the constipation issue, I guess it would be pretty hard not to. There's an herbal laxative tea that's quite good, I'll pick up a box in case I'll need it and hope it works.
I'm definitely feeling something very calming taking over me; something I haven't felt in a long time - I took the first pill around 6:30 with my supper. I just realized that there's a silly smile on my face.
Yes, I'll be very careful with this and take copious notes of how it makes me feel, and any side-effects, good and bad.
Day two is over and the worst is a little dizziness and my bowels haven't moved. i bought some prunes and have them soaking so that i can stew them tomorrow night. i trid to buy some laxative tea and the lady in the store wouldn't let me! She says its 'habit forming' - suggested the stewed prunes and a few other things i wasn't willing to spend so much money on. i also got some 'Organic Ginger Aid' tea to drink before meals that 'helps relieve digestive upsets & disturbances including flatulence, spasm, indigestion and constipation'. i'm also trying to wean myself off of the pantoloc. i think i'll try and get some advice from another board on that; i saw it once before but i forget what its called. (sorry, my i won't capitalize tonight...sigh)
Cwooten, I'm not as health conscious as some, but when I was going through all of that the doc told me to use miralex and senekot s. The list of things I tried was long--I went to the grocery store and literally tried (all in one day) everything I found that said high fiber. I continue on senekot s (which you can get in a Kroger generic for $3) because I am fairly terrified of ever going there again; take four at night. Miralex didn't do a thing for me. Water soluble magnesium (whole foods sells it -- peter gillhams natural vitality calm) also helped. Acuatlanta sells chinese supplements and they say on their site that phosphates phosphorus shows strong scientific evidence to help. Aloe and pysllium show good scientific evidence to help. I've not tried any of that, but I've like what I have gotten online from that place. Another gal on this site suggested kelloggs all bran strawberry medley -- really great tasting. That cereal and the senekot s and coming off Lyrica was what finally did it for me.
I waited way too long to get help. You are smart to start right from the beginning taking very seriously constipation. I hope it works out where you can stay on it and enjoy some serious great health.
Thanks for the advice baserockermom. I just went to the Senekot website, and Senekot is made from the same ingredient that the tea I wanted to buy has - sena. I think I'll just go to another store. 8-) I take so many pills that drinking a tea instead is a more warm and welcoming encounter. I really like the ginger tea, but no effects from it yet.
Having IBS, I have never been able to tolerate bran, and recently having found out that I'm gluten intolerant has explained this. I do have a lot of other grains in my diet though and I eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, very little cheese - and only goat and sheep as I'm also lactose intolerant. But I'm going to cut that out for awhle until things get moving again.
No dizziness yet today, so that's good. I was able to handle a whole afternoon with three of my grandkids yesterday with good humour - they're 6-1/2 and under so lots of energy and noise. Quite often I'll be on edge by the end of the visit.
Painwise I've noticed a little improvement too.
I'm not scared of it anymore so that's a good thing.
No! Not being sarcastic in the least. It really surprised me that they tasted so good. I've read that before stewed prunes started being used as a "cure", they were on the menus in very expensive restaurants, in some cases, pureed with cream and called "prune whip" - a delicious delicacy. They're only looked on with displeasure now because of the "job" they do so well.
I made up a fairly large batch of it and will eat a bit of it each night, I think before supper, to make sure things run smoothly for me for awhile.
To make it, you have to hydrate the prunes first by putting them in a coverable container, covering with cold water and put in the fridge for 24 hours. You then pour the water off, put the prunes into a pot, add about a 1/2 cup of juice of your choice (I used apple) and a bit of cinnamon. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes. (I used a half package of prunes.)
Well, the stewed prunes stopped helping after a week so I bought a box of laxative tea and stopped taking the pills on Sunday.
The nerve pain quickly reached a chilling height this week and despite my almost normal BMs, I gave in and started taking the Lyrica again yesterday; I'm also still popping 3 XS Tylenols every 4-5 hours. Sleep is a welcomed and fully drugged experience; the second I wake up, the pain pops back into my neck/jaw/face again.
Today, is the day I will hopefully find out what's causing the pain when I see the rheumy at 4PM.
Hi Christine, i also gave in and began the Lyrica again. Only 3 days and i'm going to need to stop again. Christine do you have the increased heart rate as i do when taking Lyrica? Also my mind races so fast, yesterday was like my mind was just zooming fast. I thought i'd try the Lyrica again but i do not like these symptoms at all. Wondering since you have started and stopped Lyrica in the past, if you experience the same as i'm describing?