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Old 09-29-2005, 04:02 PM   #1
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Prescribing Depakote or Gabatril for PAIN???

To anyone out here that can help or give me some advice PLEASE? My post is lengthy but I sure hope and pray someone out there can give advice or experience on something I have written here:

My condition/ailment: I have a C5/C6 disc protrusion into left side of spinal cord and herniation at the back of same disc. Also, serious arthropathy (arthritis) in facet joints in my low back. Two yrs ago developed a very serious and unusual thoracic spine condition due to an injury (car wreck); my body has formed a 2nd central canal in my thoracic back (pushes CSF, cerebral spinal fluid up and down spinal cord) because my normal cervical (neck) canal is not pushing CSF. If I were to be struck in my mid-back near this canal, I could become paralyzed for life.

For 19 years I used the same Dr. as my family physician and switched about 3 years ago. Reason I dropped him: He would prescribe meds in which I did not have the affliction the medicine was designed for. He would tell me that it would work for what I NEEDED?

Example: 10 yrs ago he prescribed Prozac for weight loss. His advice was it would give me energy, but keep me awake if I took it after 1pm. Took it for 5 days and quit - I felt weird taking an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drug for a 15 pound weight loss.

Final reason I dropped him: He prescribed Depakote for pain control. Depakote is for EPILEPSY and I am not an epileptic. The way he wrote my prescription - I couldn't get pain meds for my back/neck UNLESS I got Depakote with other meds he had prescribed. IT STATED THIS ON THE WRITTEN PRESCRIPTION! Depakote is VERY expensive, >$80/one month and I didn't dare put it through my insurance out of pure embarassment. Consequently, never wanted this Dr. to treat me ever again. Incidentally, never took any Depakote because after reading about side effects, etc, especially for someone without epilepsy, I was too scared to take it.

Present time: After trying three different physicians over three years, I thought I finally found a good Dr. Treated now for 18 mos. by an Anesthesiologist who practices pain management and does procedures such as ESI's and nerve blocks. I haven't been able to financially afford having procedures but continue with meds and some PT.

This Dr. has now prescribed Trazadone and Gabatril for pain control. He stated same things that previous Dr. said - that the anti-epileptics help to control pain sensors in the brain, thereby you don't FEEL as much pain.

This has so upset me that I am AGAIN considering dropping him and finding another Dr. I have been very honest and even outspoken with my Dr.s (good relationships) but now I am again in the same situation.

Has anyone out here ever taken an anti-epileptic for pain? Once again, after reading about these meds - they scare me! One of the warnings is that if the patient is not an epileptic, these meds can cause seizures. Oh yeah, that sounds like fun (not).

Please someone write back? Thanks in advance!

Belle

 
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Old 09-29-2005, 05:56 PM   #2
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Re: Prescribing Depakote or Gabatril for PAIN???

Hello Belle,
I'm not sure about the depakote or the gabatril but I was given trazadone once because I was having alot of nightmares and my doctor said it would help me sleep thru the night and it did. as far as the anti-seizure meds I talk neurontin which is for seizures and it works great for the nerve pain. So maybe that med works on different things like the neurontin does. I have the same disc as you pinching on my spinal cord. so I know what kind of pain your feeling. also I was on prozac once and I did lose weight but if your not depressed I wouldn't take it to lose weight. I take wellbutrin for depression and anxiety and it is the same med as zyban to quit smoking they just print the name on the pill for each med. and that also helps to lose weight. When my doctor put me on it fpr the depression I quit smoking,quit drinking and lost 40lbs. Good luck with your doctor and maybe you could ask him about neurontin for the nerve pain. If it weren't for the neurontin I would have either broke my arm or cut it off to stop the pain.

Terri

 
Old 09-29-2005, 06:00 PM   #3
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Re: Prescribing Depakote or Gabatril for PAIN???

Belle, I am sorry for your struggles. I take pain Meds to include Neurontin or Gabapantin. It to is an ant-seizure med but is affective for neuropathic pain. I have a nerve impingment L5/S1 among other orthopedic issues. The practice is common, and for most effective. It may help you!!
JT

 
Old 09-29-2005, 06:04 PM   #4
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Re: Prescribing Depakote or Gabatril for PAIN???

Thank you so much Terri for writing me back so quickly. My Dr. presently also offered Neurontin to me during the same visit as when he offered the Gabatril. The Trazadone was for my daytime pain because I haven't been sleeping well at night, etc. etc.

Just seems like one thing leads to another ya know? LOL I hate this life the way things are - seems like one injury leads to another, one pain leads to more, and one med leads to more meds. Guess if I were about twenty years younger, I wouldn't be as worried about taking so much medicine. With the injuries as they are - I'm sure you know the drill; I can't garden, work in my yard, drive for very long, sew or sit at my computer for hours at a time like I used to, and I have had to find other things to occupy my time in the way of reading and hobbies. Jeez, even reading causes my neck to act up these days.

Anyway, thanks for the well wishes and good luck to you as well. Guess I might re-think and consider Zyban or Wellbutrin, both of which I have in my cabinet now. I smoke and want desperately to quit, but also need to drop about 30 pounds now and I remember taking it before - it makes AIR AND WATER TASTE BAD!!! Who would want to eat when everything tastes metallic!!!

Take care and God bless,
Belle

P.S. Will let you know what I decide and how it goes...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Terri43
Hello Belle,
I'm not sure about the depakote or the gabatril but I was given trazadone once because I was having alot of nightmares and my doctor said it would help me sleep thru the night and it did. as far as the anti-seizure meds I talk neurontin which is for seizures and it works great for the nerve pain. So maybe that med works on different things like the neurontin does. I have the same disc as you pinching on my spinal cord. so I know what kind of pain your feeling. also I was on prozac once and I did lose weight but if your not depressed I wouldn't take it to lose weight. I take wellbutrin for depression and anxiety and it is the same med as zyban to quit smoking they just print the name on the pill for each med. and that also helps to lose weight. When my doctor put me on it fpr the depression I quit smoking,quit drinking and lost 40lbs. Good luck with your doctor and maybe you could ask him about neurontin for the nerve pain. If it weren't for the neurontin I would have either broke my arm or cut it off to stop the pain.

Terri

 
Old 09-29-2005, 11:49 PM   #5
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Re: Prescribing Depakote or Gabatril for PAIN???

Belle

I dont know your specific drugs as I am in New Zealand. I can tell you though that teh antiepileptic neuronti works well on nerve pain. These are normally prescribed with other pain meds so do nto be alarmed. They are not prescribed in isolation. They have foudn these drugs to be good pain releievers so it may be worth a shot for oyu. I havent had an y side effects

debs

New Zealand

 
Old 09-30-2005, 06:27 AM   #6
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Re: Prescribing Depakote or Gabatril for PAIN???

Just some info for you regarding the meds?now, I really don't know exactly why that doc rxed you the depakote.But it IS a mood stabilizer and NOT an anti siezure med at all.were you possibly suffering from depression at this same time?my son takes Depakote to treat his depression and it actually is working rather well.he was also Rxed the trazadone to help him to sleep.This med is Rxed alot to help people sleep but should not be taken during the day at all for very obvious reasons.anti seizure meds are probably one of the top most rxed type meds to try and treat nerve pain,so that would not be at all unusual.i used to take neurontin for over two years but my PM doc switched me from it to gabitril when I started seeing him.Gabitril is the very same thing as neurontin but with one chemical removed to make it a much more pure and more effective form of GABA.i don't understand why your doc would have had you taking both at the same time though as they ARE the same med.unless he was giving you a choice of one or the other?it sounds like this new doc knows more what he is doing than the previous doc did.unfortunetly as chronic pain sufferers we are like guinea pigs for trying new meds and treatments.mostly out of desperation in trying to find that magic combo of pills and therepys to try and get some sort of quality of life.but as with any other patient being treated for ANYTHING,you need to ask questions about everything and anything that your doc rxes for you.Make him/her explain to you just why they are Rxing something to you.If they cannot explain just what and why they are doing what they are doing,it really IS time to move onto a doc that knows what the hell they are doing and who actually cares about you as a person and pateint.i really would at the very least,give the anti seizure meds a trial run.it really could make a huge difference in controlling your pain,honestly,The gabitril really does help me alot.and is just an adjunct to the narcotics and muscle relaxers and the therepys i use.i have a TENS unit that i started using about two months ago for my horrid levels of nerve pain and really am amazed at how well it can actually knock down a bad flare.you might want to give that a try as well.

like you, my actual spinal cord and the damage I incurred during a surgery is what is causing most of my major problems,so I know what horrid levels of pain you must be suffering and the thought of 'one hit in that bad spot"could cause you instant paralyzation.life just really sucks sometimes and we just get through our days the best we can.but when there is a med that has a good chance of helping your pain,i really do think that you owe it to yourself to at least give it a good try.This is just my opinion.

I had absolutely no side effects with the neurontin whatso ever until they upped my dose to 3600.before that,I never would have really known that I was actually taking anything.but when i was switched to the Gabitril,then i got really sleepy.but now I take it at night and it works just as well as ambien used to,honestly.it is like taking a sleeping pill for me.i have been on it for over a year and a half now,and only just recently upped the dose by 4mgs(the pills are 4mg doses)because i was not falling asleep because of the tolerance thing but it really took quite a while before that even happened.i do think this may work for you as well.just a thought.For some reason people seem to have some really diverse side effects with these two particular meds.either you hardly notice you are taking it or you doze off.but trying one and then the other if one doesn't do it for you really would be a good way to go.i really hope you can find something that works.just try and keep an open mind about certain meds that are offered to you.with the type of pain that we suffer with that is so beyond anything normal,sometimes you have to go 'way out of the box" for ways to treat it.just ask questions when you don't understand something and force that doc to tell you the info you need.Then do your own research.i wish you lots of luck.Please keep us posted on how things go,K?Marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 09-30-2005, 06:28 PM   #7
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Re: Prescribing Depakote or Gabatril for PAIN???

Depakote is also used as a migraine preventative. So if you were suffering migraines, maybe that is why you were given this med. I tried Depakote and could not stand the side effects of it. ANother med used as a migraine preventative is Topamax, but it is also used for nerve pain AND apparently for weight loss. When I started taking it I had to get approval from my insurance company - that I was not taking it as a weight loss medication. It is also an anti-seizure med. It works well as a weight loss med because it makes sweets taste horrible as well as many starchy foods.

It is not at all unusual to be prescribe these medications. They can work very well in conjunction with your other medications. I have gone off the Topamax a couple of times, but have always gone back to it despite its side effects. I doubted that it was really doing anything until I stopped taking it, lol.

Good luck to you and I hope you get to feeling better.

Va-gal

 
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