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Gabapentin???


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Old 02-22-2011, 12:11 PM   #1
Afspmichelle
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Gabapentin???

Hi, I have "possible" MS and "possible" Sjogren's. My initial symptoms were numb hands (worse on left) and Numbness in my torso. The numbness in my torso quickly morphed into a constant squeeze that at times felt like it could break my ribs. The Neuro put me on 900mg 3x a day of Gabapentin to help with pain. The squeezing continued for almost a month with no relief. 3 months later I still have multiple issues with my hands and a slew of other symptoms.
I don't think the Gabapentin has helped me and may even make me a little foggy. Does anyone else have experience with this drug???

 
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:44 PM   #2
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Re: Gabapentin???

Hi,
Your doctor has prescribed you the maximum dosage for Gabapentin. It is also the known by the following brands: Fanatrex, Gabarone, and Neurontin. Gabapentin (or the brand names) is used to help control certain types of seizures in patients who have epilepsy, but it is also used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia, as well as with nerve pain caused by MS. Gabapentin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants and is used to treat seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves the pain of PHN by changing the way the body senses pain.

The medicine is not 100% perfect. There are many who find that their nerve pain is the same. As you are on the maximum dosage, if it is not helping you, you need to see your doctor. You will need to be weaned off of the medication as stopping cold-turkey can have adverse side effects.

The squeezing you described reminds me of the "ever popular, but always un-welcomed" MS Hug. As to your numb hands, for me I wear gloves in the colder weather and in the warm weather I will soak my hands in cold water. These are the only ways I have found that relieve numbness in my hands.

I had a neuro who wanted to put me on it when I was having MS caused seizures, but I decided against it after reading the side effects. My seizures are gone for now, but I am happy I did not take the medication.

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Afspmichelle (02-27-2011)
Old 02-22-2011, 03:33 PM   #3
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Re: Gabapentin???

I too, was on Gabapentin for 2 months. It turned me into a zombie and did absolutely NOTHING for my nerve pain. Lyrica, Cymbalta and something else followed, none of which did anything.

True MS pain, comes from a lesion in your head or spine, which affects your limbs, causing numbness. If it is THAT type of pain (mine is) nothing which works on nerve pain will help. IF the pain is caused by something other then a MS lesion, it might- but it may take trying a few different cocktails of drugs before you find what works...

Those drugs were originally used as Jayhawk said as anti-seziure drugs...then they were FDA approved for diabetic neuropathy pain....they are not actually MS prescribed drugs, but when your in pain- anything is worth trying.

Dont stop taking Gabapentin all at once. The dose you are on, for the time you have been on it, might cause seizures. Talk to your doctor first if you want to stop it and have him wean you down...
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Afspmichelle (02-27-2011)
Old 11-09-2011, 04:09 AM   #4
spinsinwind
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Re: Gabapentin???

Hi MS Jayhawk,

I see that you are proud to be med free! :-) I have been on neurontin and cymbalta for a year now and frankly, I'm done! I too want to be med free as the doc got me upwards of 50 pills a week will all the meds. I still have the muscle cramps and am not sleeping at all. I am going off the neurontin slowly the same way it was introduced. I am also slowly getting rid of the cymbalta. I would love any advice you may have on reducing the script pills in my medicine cabinet. I've been looking around for more "homeopathic" solutions to the cramping that keeps waking me up in the night and causing pain during my workday. I've experienced a weight gain of 20 lbs (yes, purely a vain reason to want to quit, but there it is) and the foggyiness and let's not forget the constipation that accompanies both drugs. YIKES! Can a girl get a little relief here or what? I'm on Adderol for fatigue and valium for dizziness and then there's the once a week avonex. I'm actually fine with the avonex as the side effects are almost nonexistent now. I rarely take the valium unless the dizziness gets really bad and I rarely take the adderol unless the fatigue is kicking my butt. Mostly, I am taking the valium just so I can sleep at night. My max is four hours a night before waking up with severe charlie horse cramping in my legs and feet. Thanks for letting me rant! :-) Any tips are appreciated :-)

 
Old 11-09-2011, 04:18 AM   #5
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Re: Gabapentin???

You may actually be a candidate for LDN. Low Dose NAltrexone....you should look into it and read some of my other posts . I just went off everything- including Rebif (which is the same as Avonex) and feel 100x better.

I hadnt realized how foggy my brain actually was until I got off the Interferon. Now, Im crystal clear, have a ton more enengy and no real issues to complain of. LDN isnt one of the "big name" drugs which neurologist usually think of for MS; however TONS of Neuros are using it for MS - and its dirt cheap..about 20$ a month. It has to be filled at a compounding pharmacy, this isnt something your local drug store will be able to fill; however the one I use mail orders it all over the country for 5$. Check out Skips Pharmacy and LDN for more information, or read up on some of my other posts. THis is new for me, so obviously Im kind of excited- but in the 2 months Ive been on it, Ive never felt better!
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:02 AM   #6
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Re: Gabapentin???

Hi, Herndon, VA- I know it well. I was in your neck of the woods for about 2 years.

If you plan on getting off neurontin, you will need to be weaned off of it. Some of your weight gain- if not much of it- could very well be from your meds as well as difficulty in remaining active.

Going med free- or trying LDN- are choices for you to make as they are quite personal. For me, learning my triggers and adjusting my life helped me. I think that triggers, once learned and avoided, empower the MSer to be able to enjoy a "normal" life.

Lifestyle adjustments, for example, are to avoid inflammatory foods or adjust your diet. Also, step saving or energy saving devices around your home, car, or office. You can also prioritize things to do, such as chores.

Positive attitudes and stress avoidance (lower your stress levels as low as you can) add to the med-free life.

I also spend time in prayer, study my Bible, and lean on God. Cognitive exercises help too.

As you experience flares or symptoms, do not punish or blame yourself. Take your rest, relax, and recover!
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:20 AM   #7
spinsinwind
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Re: Gabapentin???

Thank you for for inspriation! :-) I'm actually feeling very good about going off the meds. It was difficult during the time it took to actually get a diagnosis and then finally I knew it was MS. Then doc starts giving me all sorts of meds and I listened. I've done this for a year now and I realized that it just isn't neccessary and has reduced my quality of life greatly. I'm not so "down in the dumps" about my MS anymore and I'm going to manage it the best I can just like you said, finding my triggers and stress reduction.

Okay, so the stress reduction won't happen today and tomorrows not looking good for it either :-) I just got promoted and am now in charge of a property on 40 acres that is in great disprepair. Hey, at least I'll be getting my physical activity for sure. I get to meet the fire marshal first thing this morning and try to sweet talk him into not fining us or even worse. Wish me luck!

 
Old 11-10-2011, 06:49 AM   #8
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Re: Gabapentin???

Congratulations on your promotion. A great stress reducer is to delegate responsibilities and to macro-manage things. It empowers your workers and lowers stress.

Just remember that each day can bring its own challenges and to not worry about tomorrow because it is always hours away. In your position you might have better insight into the needed repairs or updates needed. Have your ADA manual ready and do the best you can do each day.
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Proud to be MED FREE!
Eternally blessed and eternally optimistic!<><

 
Old 11-21-2011, 01:54 PM   #9
beckyp12
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Re: Gabapentin???

I was told to take Gabapentin as well, high doses and it did nothing for me or my symptoms. I did not like it and it made me sleepy and out of it too!

 
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