Pain specialist appointmment

Just back from appointment. After much discussion and examination he wants to start me on Gabapentin and see me again after 8 weeks to review my SSRi and Maoi. Says he would plan to put me on Duloxitine instead of citalopram and amytryptaline. don't know what to think, bit nervous about changing everything although clearly what I'm on is not working! Any thoughts peeps?

Big hugs

Jo x

8 Replies

  • It depends how you feel about your fibro symptoms, how bad they are and how willing you are to go through side effects to test out the new meds. I can only give you my experience, others may have found very differently.

    I took 20mg Duloxetine once a day for a few months, then found out from GP that I should have been taking it twice daily - hadn't realised - so did take twice daily for three days but I had really bad nightmares every night, also night paralysis (night terror) when trying to wake each morning. So I googled it and found - good results from research but US reports of some very bad experiences and difficult to wean off. Also known by the name Cymbalta, not yet approved for UK use although GPs may prescribe on a discretionary basis. On the basis of its very strong effects upon my brain (sleep paraylsis...!) and the US evidence, as well as it being difficult to wean off, I decided that rather than increase the dose to what it should have been all along I would try without it. So stopped taking it 2 weeks ago and so far feel much better than while on any meds!! This weather usually eases my symptoms but I was surprised to find other symptoms have eased. For example, since starting on it last October I have had lots of viruses and also been diagnosed with vertigo, IBS, asthma and have had visual difficulties despite having new glasses. As soon as I stopped taking Duloxetine all those symptoms have completely stopped! For me, that speaks for itself. However if you are not willing to try without any meds for a while and if your fibro symptoms are so bad that you are willing to give the Duloextine a go then do as it has had some very good research results - google it to see for yourself.

    I can't comment on the other meds - I had Citalopram briefly and that didn't suit me but I know some people say it is helpful. A lot of people in the local support group take Gabapentin and say it helps but they still get pain.

    I personally would prefer to take a mild antidepressant if I actually have depression and find other ways than heavy meds to deal with the pain, but I do know a lot of people will not agree with me and say they cannot cope with their pain without meds. Ultimately only you have a sense of what you can cope with, what level of pain you experience and whether you trust your medics based on past experiences with them - if you do then why not try what they suggest.


  • Thanks Sue, that's very informative. Appreciate it.


    Jo x

  • Jo, you are welcome - but sorry, I missed out saying I was writing about Duloxetine!!

  • Hi Jo

    I have been taking the maximum dose of Gabapentin for some years now (along with other pain killers and meds).

    I have an extremely high level of pain and it is incessant. The only time I am not in pain is when I am asleep, which doesn't happen much either!

    I thought that the Gabapentin wasn't working anymore so switched to another pain med.

    Oh my word! I really didn't think my pain could get any worse. The Gabapentin definitely does take the edge off my pain and I have now restarted it.

    Due to my depression having worsened of late my GP tried me on Duloxitine (?spelling).

    I experienced serious side effects and was so bad my daughter begged me to stop taking it. However - my body doesn't tolerate antidepressants or antibiotics at all well, so I am probably not the best person to comment on it.

    I mainly wanted to say I personally would recommend you to persevere with the Gabapentin (I have read some people have side effects with this medication). The only side effect I had was some weight gain.

    I would be very interested to know what you decide.


    Lu xx

  • Thank you Lu, I will let you know.


    Jo x

  • Like with all things in life, we are all individuals and we all respond differently to our medications. What may work well for one may not work at all for another. So just give it a try and judge yourself which is bets for you.

    I want to genuinely and sincerely wish you all the best of luck with your new medications.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Thank you Ken


    Jo x

  • Jo

    Before trying any new med you might try weaning off all meds and managing with nothing except over the counter painkillers for long enough to clear your body of the old meds - maybe 6 weeks - and see what happens when you start afresh? I know doing that can be very difficult but it is equally difficult to move from one med to another and never quite know how your body is now with nothing. The assumption is always that if we get pain with meds then we will be much worse without but when our bodies have a chance to fully adjust sometimes we can be surprised - as I certainly was when I came off Duloxetine. I was (am) a bit more emotional, but not keeply depressed and not in any more pain than on it!


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