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magpie1970 03-05-2009 12:07 AM

Switched from Gabapentin to Lyrica ???

I have had sciatica and lower back pain since the birth of my 2nd daughter in 3/06. I have been taking hydrocodone and that has relieved the pain in my back, but when I had my 3rd daughter in 7/07 I fell several times in the hospital and the pain in the back and hip got worse. My PCP prescribed diazepam for the sciatica--doesn't really do anything but mellow me out.

Anhow, fast forward to now. I am trying to stay off the hydro as I am getting dependent/addicted to it. I have had a couple MRIs and have some issues, but no bulging or herniated discs. My neurologist put me on 300-600mg gabapentin daily for the sciatica/back pain. It worked well on the sciatica, but didn't touch the back at all, AND gave me migraines (I am used to this as I have had them since I was 12 and am 38 now, but they got more frequent). I met with her Monday and she switched me from the gabapentin to Lyrica (can't remember the doage off hand). She said that the new med should help with back and sciatica, but I'm skeptical. She gave me enough samples for 3 weeks to try and a prescription to fill if it works. However, it is a tier 3 med and the copay is $45 a month.

Has anyone used both of these meds? I'm looking for feedback on how well each worked and if you took gabapentin and also had headaches from it, did they eventually go away? I was only on it for a month, but it is less expensive and ifthe headaches will go away, I would rather stick with that med. On the other hand, did you find that lyrica worked for back and sciatic pain?

I hope all this makes sense. It's late and I've had a full day with 3 sick kids, so all my faculties aren't present.

Thanks in advance for any input.

Jema X 03-05-2009 05:34 AM

Re: Switched from Gabapentin to Lyrica ???
Hey there, lyrica is the 'big brother' to neurontin. It's made by the same company and is a slightly different formula to neurontin. It has a much higher bioavailability (meaning you need less to get a theaputic effect). It is also much 'cleaner' than neurontin and usually the side effects of drowsiness etc are much lower than neurontin. Technically it's hard to say if you'll get headaches with lyrica - the data says you shouldn't but we're all different. I take neurontin because I find the slight sedating effect really helps at night, when I was working or if I have to get up earlyn I take lyrica. You can try it and see - according to the trials, the side effects shouldn't be worse. I'd give it a go, especially as you have samples - you just might find it's the best thing you've done. Best of luck, let us know how you go.

brianpain33 03-05-2009 01:36 PM

Re: Switched from Gabapentin to Lyrica ???
I have taken both Neurontin and Lyrica. I am currently taking Lyrica after being on the maximum dose of Neurontin several years ago. I would say that the Lyrica does help with my nerve pain. Actually I would say definitely since I tried to lower it about a year ago and noticed a big increase in my pain. I am sure your doc started you on a low dose and will gradually increase it. I know what you mean about the ($45 copay) since this is what I pay as well. I end up paying about $150/month for all of my medications but they do help.


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