When a drug's side effect can prove useful for neuropathic pain

When a drug's side effect can prove useful for neuropathic pain

Despite what drug advertisements might try to convey, drugs (and supplements too) do not specifically target a particular organ or condition, but have a range of biological effects, some of which are desired and some which aren't - termed 'side effects'. Hence effective use of a drug or supplement requires that for the patient, the benefits outweigh the side effects.

One of the side effects of chemotherapy treatment and shingles is neuropathic pain, so I was interested to read this article by Maree Smith, Director, Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development and Professor of Pharmacy and Brendan Moore, Adjunct Associate Professor, both from the University of Queensland: theconversation.com/weekly-...

Ironically the article does indeed read like an advertisement as some comments have highlighted, but I hope readers appreciate after reading it, that there's a continuum of pharmacological effects from drugs/supplements and you really do need to have the guidance of someone with an understanding of both your health condition and the various effects of what you are considering taking to hopefully improve your overall health. The quote below highlights how careful observation of the pharmacological effect of the drug gabapentin, led to the development of a more specific treatment for neuropathic pain:

'Pregabalin is closely related to gabapentin, a medication developed to treat partial seizures. This is a type of epilepsy caused by a surge in nerve cell excitability in one area of the brain.

Because nerve pain and epilepsy are related by abnormal levels of nerve excitability, an American neurologist tested gabapentin on patients in the mid-1990s and found it relieved their neuropathic pain.

Pregabalin was registered by the TGA in 2005. By Acdx (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY

Subsequently, pregabalin was developed as an improved version of gabapentin.'

Has anyone been prescribed Pregabalin to reduce their neuropathic pain?


Photo: I'm glad rain water tanks don't feel pain...

7 Replies

  • After chirurgique opperation Scwannoma ,I had polyneurpathic pain .I used GABA,but i havenot good reaction.Pain stay and I had only side effects.

  • I've been prescribed Pregabalin Neil, due to my Peripheral Neuropathy.

  • Hi Neil, back in 2008 I was prescribed Gabapentin and Pregabalin for shingles pain. Unfortunately neither worked and a move was made to Oxynorm and OxyContin. These at least helped me to sleep. As I was weaning myself off these with reduced dosage I experienced my first ever Panic Attack. An extremely frightening experience which occurred several times after. I put this down to the medication but my Doctor put down to the stress of FC, giving up work etc. We agreed to differ.

    So in 'my' mind we need to be aware of the side effects of the benefits of other side effects. If you know what I mean.

    Keep well all


  • Me too I was prescribed pregabalin early on in my painful journey with CIN. It had no effect at all. After weeks of trialing different medications the pain clinic team put me on morphine patches, with Nortriptyline 50 mgs nocte. This worked for 2 yrs. For a few months I've been weaning myself off. Patches gone and now on 15 mgs of Nortriptyline. Still get some breakthrough burning but I can mostly deal with that.


  • Hi Neil . I was glad you asked if anyone else has had neuropathic pain relief from both gabapentin or Lyrica pregabalin. My experience has been very little pain relief from either one of these medications. I've been prescribed both meds starting at low doses and slowly increasing to higher doses which for me, puts me out like switching the light off, expecting to awake with some relief and being sadly disappointed. So it's sleep my life away or the only other alternative is a narcotic medication from a pain management specialist. One must be very careful about choosing this as these medications are pysiologically addictive so anyone out there who wants to abuse these meds to get 'high' you are taking it for a) the wrong reasons and b) ruining the right for others to live with less pain because of addiction abuse. That leaves Dr's. werry to subscribe and this is happening and is extremely unfortunately leaving many to suffer unnecessarily.

  • Thanks for sharing your experiences and observations about the increased difficulties of those faced with chronic pain in obtaining access to drugs that may help. It's the same situation where I live and a few years ago it only worsened when a state government reorganisation transferred pain management specialists into the section responsible for assessing the need for these drugs by those with alcohol and other drugs of dependence. That may make sense in terms of medical expertise, but as you've noted, this means those desperate for pain relief are reviewed by the same authority trying to manage desperate addicts that aren't in pain, making it much harder for those with genuine chronic pain to find relief. It can be hard enough to function well enough to seek medical help without first having to prove you aren't a narcotics addict just seeking subsidised access for your drug habit.


  • After treatment I developed chemotherapy induced pain pain. I got to see the palliative care department who prescribed pregabalin. It does have side effects which took some weeks to adjust to but it's been very effective in controlling the pain. When I tried to reduce the dose all the symptoms of pain came back very quickly. Best wishes

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