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Slimlad 04-11-2008 09:14 AM

Hello everyone,

An MRI of my cervical spine showed that I have degenerative disc disease in that area with one disc showing a posterior bulge. There is also bilateral exit foraminal narrowing in the same region.

I went to my General Practitioner (GP) after receiving the results of my MRI as my next scheduled appointment with the neurology department is not until May.

All I wanted from him was something to free me from the tingling/burning/soreness which I am experiencing on the soles of my feet and on the palms of my hands. Also in my fingertips which tingle or ***** when I touch things, such as the keys on this keyboard as I type.

He prescribed Gabapentin, 300mg one at night for one week and then an additional 300mg in the morning for the second week culminating in a third dose from then on. i.e. 900mg per day.

For some reason he referred me to a neurosurgeon and I had that appointment last Friday (4th April). The neurosurgeon gave me a very cursory examination and then showed me the MRI scan on his computer screen. He said he would not wish to operate on someone such as myself as the risks involved were not condusive to relieving my symptoms (or something like that).

When asked why I was feeling the way I was he said, "I am not a specialist in that field." He said he would write to the neurology team.

I was out of there in, what seemed to me, about 10 minutes.

The symptoms/sensations started about 18 months ago now and have got worse.

When I first started the Gabapentin, 300mg at night for a week, I thought I felt a slight relief of the tingling in my feet. Strangely, I thought, when I increased the dose to two capsules per day my hands started tingling more. By the time the third week came and I was on the full dosage of three capsules per day I Felt as though I was back to square one with no relief of anything and a strange sleepyness to boot!

Anyone else on Gabapentin for these symptoms? Do they take a while to work properly?

I dislike taking drugs if I do not need to and I am loathe to swallow these things if all they are doing is making me sleepy and poisoning my body in heaven knows what way.

I still feel very confused as to why I am getting these strange sensations as before all this started I was reasonably well.

Any comments would be welcome.

I wish everybody a good day and relief from whatever symptom is troubling you.

Take care.

shady123 05-08-2008 03:57 AM

Re: Gabapentin?
Hi Slimlad i too am on gabapentin and dihydracodene and diazapam none of these drugs are really giving me any relief. i have ddd at botom of spine l5 s1 level and they think i now have it at top of my neck ,this is going o be looked at shortly. i am having a caudle injection again in spine on monday 12th May to try and relieve but i have had them before and no joy. i get burning tingling and numbness in leg and left arm.Gabapentin is suppose to help this nerve pain!!!! I wish you luck and hope you are feeling better soon.


Aussie100 05-08-2008 03:40 PM

Re: Gabapentin?
Hi Slimlad, to give yourself the best chance of finding the culprit that is causing your nerve damage it's paramount to have a neuropathy expert on your side, there are plenty of neuro's out there that know the basics of PN but it's no were near enough, as this a specialized field of neurology, that has a huge amount of possible causes.

Originally i too was very confused about my symptoms, i was mucked about by the medical profession when i first got neuropathy, even one professor of neurology didn't have a clue, but once i found an experienced neuropathy specialist he found the cause/s in the first lot of blood tests, it was Prediabetes and low B12, none of the others even tested for low b12.

I wish you my best,
Aussie :)

Slimlad 05-11-2008 04:03 PM

Re: Gabapentin?
Thank you both, ;) Shady 123 and Aussie 100 for your time in replying to my message.

Your interest is very much appreciated.

I am still taking one 300mg capsule three times a day and, for about a week or so, felt much better. However over the past three days my hands and feet are again feeling really sore and I find that I am even kicking off my slippers in the evening as they suddenly feel so 'restrictive'. Perhaps the arrival of the warmer weather has some influence, I don't know.

I am due a six monthly review soon and am awaiting an appointment with the neurology department.

There seems to be so many variations as to what may be the cause of such symptoms. From reading of your own experiences and researching the web it certainly is bewildering.

My very best wishes.


woondog 05-11-2008 08:40 PM

Re: Gabapentin?
see if you can get your doctor to prescribe: 2 mg of hydromorphone aka dilaudid
and 10 mg of nortyiptyline both twice a day but the nortripyline should be
taken : 1 in the early morn and the other before bed. Works for me. If it does
not take the pain away in about five days, ask your doctor to up the dosage.
Having had pn for about 25 years, I've got some experience with excrutiating pain
and with the exception of three days in the past 6 months, I have had no pain.
Hallelujah! The woondog

idiogranny 05-26-2008 08:37 PM

Re: Gabapentin?
I'm also taking gabapentin 600mgs,3x daily, along with that I also take tramadol,50mgs,3x daily.They do make me drowsy, but I have gotten too it. And am for the most part am able too go about my daily routine ok, however if I sit down and relax I am likely too fall asleep. Since I have been taking these meds I have had some relief from my symptoms. I would however like more relief than either of these meds have given me. I do feel however that without either of these meds I would be more uncomfortable than I am now. I am interested in any suggestions that would futher give me more relief. I did read someones message, that they had found that they had a bulgind disk in their back. I also have a bulging disk, when I asked my neurosurgeon if that would maybe a source of my pain his reply was "when your nerves don't work they don't work, and promptly left the exam room. He left me feeling more hopeless than I had previously felt. I have suffered from this disorder for over 5 years and I am really losing my faith in the medical field. And am hating the thought of living the rest of my life this way. Sorry for going on and on. Some days are better than others and some are far worse, so I would be interested in knowing how you and others are coping with this idiopathic neuropathy.Thank-you for your time I know that I have written a very long message. Sincerely,Idiogranny

Slimlad 05-27-2008 03:47 PM

Re: Gabapentin?
Hello idiogranny,

I am sorry to hear of your long suffering and 'loss of faith' in the medical proffession. I can certainly understand that! We are led to believe, that in this day and age, the medical proffession can answer all of our questions. At least it appears that way in films! The reality is, they don't know the half of it! Even if you get a good doctor who takes the time to try and explain things you can still come away feeling as though you shouldn't have wasted their time.

Where is your bulging disc located? Cervical or elsewhere?

I still have not received my six month follow up appointment and so am no further forward at this point in time.

My hands and feet still feel very sensitive, sore, cold, hot and, strangely enough my feet sometimes feel wet of all things! When I feel my socks they are just slightly damp from increased perspiration but when walking around they feel as though my socks are really wet. Does anyone else have this?

My best wishes to all who are suffering this nagging, gnawing condition.

Take care.

Hannibal 05-28-2008 11:01 PM

Re: Gabapentin?
Hi, I have ddd, neuropathy, my feet feel wet even when they are dry , very discomforting. Also I have numbness on the sides of my head kind of feels like I am wearing a hat which is very annoying and uncomfortable also. I have lots of burning tingling all over. I wish I could get some relief but the clinic in this town is all there is and no one seem to care much. I am going to a pain specialist June 9 but I doubt I will have much luck I have had injections in my spine before and it made it worse but I suffer to the point now that I will try it again. No one can put a cause with my polyneruopaty or myositis but nerve damamge is in all extremities. It went from one leg to all in 5 mths. anyway I do have the wet feet syndrome. Hannibal

Slimlad 05-30-2008 02:26 PM

Re: Gabapentin?
Hi Hannibal,

Nice to hear from you and to know that someone else is experiencing similar sensations as I thought I was going crazy! I sometimes feel silly when I try to explain how I am feeling to friends. I get the impression that they think it's 'all in my head'.

I hope you get some answers when you go to the pain specialist on the 9th June. I certainly sympathise with you when you say no one at your local clinic seems to care. I am sure they would be more 'sympathetic' if you went in with a broken arm and pointed with a stick saying 'Fix this!' If only all complaints were so obvious perhaps then we could get results.

Best wishes.

larry1 06-04-2008 06:36 AM

Re: Gabapentin?
I have been at this neuro pain thing for 5 years. I am off all drugs except IVIG. The drugs either do not work or make you worse. Look up the side-effects and then decide if they are worth it for yourself.

I use supplements and organic diet and have no sypmtoms anymore that are a discomfort. I have gone from bed-ridden to back to work.

Gabapentin and streroids-throw them away but first see you doctor before quitting them. Is risking your life and health worth not knowing what you are taking?


larry1 06-04-2008 06:40 AM

Re: Gabapentin?
Yes to wet feet, cold feet, tingling, severe leg pain, extreme leg sensitivity, drop foot in both legs, heavy leg feeling, cannot run, and could not walk for two months.

These systoms are now gone.


burpee 06-04-2008 04:23 PM

Re: Gabapentin?
Hey Slimlad. I agree with your comments. I have yet to find any information on measuring or understanding Gabapentin use. I've heard that it can take 2 months, just to start working. I've heard other people say they noticed it the first time they used it.

I'm taking 3x300mg and have not really noticed much. I'm still trying to learn whether i could up the dose to get more effect. Sorry I can't help.

Slimlad 06-05-2008 01:39 PM

Re: Gabapentin?
Hi Larry 1,

You mean to say that all the symptoms of PN can be controlled simply by taking supplements and eating only organic food?

What is IVIG?

I have started taking 3mg vitamin B12 daily after reading of this vitamin's beneficial effects on nerves. I haven't noticed any difference as yet but then I only started a week ago.

Best wishes.

[QUOTE=larry1;3595024]I have been at this neuro pain thing for 5 years. I am off all drugs except IVIG. The drugs either do not work or make you worse. Look up the side-effects and then decide if they are worth it for yourself.

I use supplements and organic diet and have no sypmtoms anymore that are a discomfort. I have gone from bed-ridden to back to work.

Gabapentin and streroids-throw them away but first see you doctor before quitting them. Is risking your life and health worth not knowing what you are taking?


Slimlad 06-05-2008 01:49 PM

Re: Gabapentin?
Hello Burpee,

Well I have been on 300mg three times a day now for for just over two months and have noticed an ebb and flow of symptoms, sometimes better, sometimes worse.

Whether this would happen without the drug or whether the drug is helping when they are less noticable, who knows!

At the moment I feel my symptoms are gradually worsening with my hands and feet feeling very sore and various parts of my body feeling as though I have been sitting way too close to an electric heater!

I was due to return to see the neurologist in May but, when I had heard nothing about a follow up appointment this morning I called the hospital to ask if my appointment had gone missing in the post. "We have more patients than appointment slots" I was informed very politely. Looks as though I will be waiting until August before I can get any further.

Best wishes.

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