Anyone have good experiences with either Preg... - Pain Concern

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Anyone have good experiences with either Pregabalin or Gabapentin?

Jmscant profile image

Unsure which of the two drugs to take. I get told Pregabalin is better but it seems to come with a whole host of nasty side effects. I don't know which one to use as my pain is becoming unbearable :-(

42 Replies

Hello jmscant,

They both have similar side effects but it is usual to start with Gabapentin.

Some people experience nothing yet others find either intolerable.

What has your GP or pain clinic advised?

Pat x

Hey. Ive had both, theryre pretty much the same thing but gabapentin was slightly better. However they both cause weight gain i found. I ended up coming off both because of it. Good luck and i hope u find somethin that wrks or at least helps.

Chawner profile image
Chawner in reply to Jibbajabba

Hi I'm pleased that you said gabapenton puts on weight because I have put a load of weight on with it and I honestly thought it was just me. Even though I have no appetite . What did you change to and did the weight come off.

Jibbajabba profile image
Jibbajabba in reply to Chawner

I was on pregabalin and gabapentin for 3 yrs, both put weight on me quickly like nearly 5 stones with 18 months. they made me incredibly clumsey which in turn kept makin me fall and with a twisted pelvis, damaged coccyx and damage to L4,L5 and slipped discs is not ideal so came of them. I was still on buprenorphine patches but after foot surgery then corrective surgery was diagnosed with crps so nothin wrked so came off everythin. I do use a tens machine tho and occasionally lidocaine patches wen unbareable. The weight fell off really quickly lost nearly 2 stone within a month. I also felt my nerve pain was more tollerable without the gabapentin too. Bought myself 2 dogs and just walk as much as poss to keep myself mobile plus theyre a really good distraction from the pain.

Chawner profile image
Chawner in reply to Jibbajabba

Hi there I did the dog thing too, it's great but I'm still on gabapenton and of course about 100lbs heavier than I was before I was on it.

I came off it last summer but ended up back on ot due to the pain in tease being so bad. I'm waiting to see a differant pain specialist so I'm looking forward to see what he says

Jibbajabba profile image
Jibbajabba in reply to Chawner

Well good luck and fingers crossed. Tried havin Epidurals but when the local anisthetic wore off nxt morning, i ended up fallin down the stairs and doin more damage. I do see a physio from time to time for ultrasound therapy and found that to be the only thing that has helped the most xxxx

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to Jibbajabba

Aww I'm sorry to read that. Thanks for your kind words and advice :-)

Well, I was put on Gabapentin (Neurontin) about 3 months ago and it has helped me INCREDIBLY. I definitely has helped with my nerve pain, which is what it's for. Not sure your condition/s

But I suffer with L4/L5/S1 bulging discs pressing on Sciatic nerve w/ severe pain that travels down into my right leg (and other things like Osteoarthritis) and I only tell you this so you can kind of things its capable of helping with.. But everyone is different. And as mentioned above, its usually prescribed first before the Pregabalin.. Weight gain is usually one of the symptoms I hear brought up a lot. So far, I haven't gained anything after 3 almost 4 months. Just my personal experience. Hope you can find something agreeable with you and that can help make your pain more tolerable. Well wishes.

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to JustBreathe

Hi there. It's nice to read some positive results and that you've not gained weight thus far. It worries me as I'm getting married in 3 weeks. I need something for my pain as pain killers don't realy work for me anymore. Have you been able to drink alcohol on the gabapentin? Also, how long did it take for them to start making a difference?

JustBreathe profile image
JustBreathe in reply to Jmscant

Hi. There's a potential for moderate only interaction with alcohol and Gabapentin.. So drink in small amounts. Just use a little caution when doing so.. It can increase dizziness and cause u to become a little lightheaded.

Definitely recommend starting with Gaba before Pregab.. Hope it helps u as much as it has me and congratz on your your upcoming marriage! Best wishes

JustBreathe profile image
JustBreathe in reply to Jmscant

Oh and I got relief almost right away!

JustBreathe profile image
JustBreathe in reply to Jmscant

Oh and I got relief almost right away!

I really don't like either can be very difficult to come off I take Acupan look it up it's good for nerve pain.

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to JuneRose

Thanks for sharing. I'll look it up. Thing is I don't know if mine is muscular or nerve related

gabapentin has really helped with peripheral nerve pains and aching joints. However I also take amytryptoline at night.

And no noticeable weight gain except when I feel lethargic-I try to swim regularly.

Think you'll have to try both yourself to see if they help. Some people get a good result others don't. I've tried both and the gaba did nothing. I didn't experience any particular side effects either but the GP said if you don't get a positive result after a few weeks then it's not working. I tried pregab and that didn't help my nerve pain either and gave me very troubling side effects. The worst was I couldn't form words to speak! Let us know how you get on.

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to Boozybird

Hi there. Thanks for responding. I'm concerned as I've got my wedding in 3 weeks and need relief ASAP as painkillers aren't working. I don't want to gain weight or be like a zombie on my day :-(

hi I started on Gabapentin last year but didn't like it so got changed to Pregabalin. I have found it much better the only side effect I've had is a lot of weight gain. Speak to your gap to get their advice and don't be scared to go back if you don't find that it is working or agreeing with you. X

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to Audrey201280

Hi there. How much weight did you gain and how quickly?

I've just started gabapentin for nerve pain in my ankle. I'm hoping it'll help. Bit bothered by the likelihood of gaining weight tho. I'm trying to lose 5lbs! Amitriptyline did nothing for me, except give me an awful dry mouth!

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to rowantree

Hey there. Yeah I've got both tablets to choose from. I've my wedding in 3 weeks and have to make a decision asap as to which one to trial.

Hi I take Lyrica(pregalbin) have taken it for about 12 months now,as I have peripheral neuropathy.It has been really good for me,with no side effects,or weight gain.

Good luck with whatever you decide xx

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to

Are you able to drink alcohol on them?

I started on gabapentin but couldn't tolerate it as it gave me horrible nightmares at night and hallucinations through the day. So then I tried pregabalin (lyrica) and that's been OK. As others have said, they both have the same kind of possible side effects - the most likely being extreme tiredness/"fuzzy-headedness" and weight gain.

In my case, with pregabalin, I've only used a very low dose - currently taking 100mg at night, but did go up to 175mg at night (which is still quite low). I found I couldn't tolerate it at all if taken in the morning as it made me too tired to function and I couldn't do my work (I work part-time from home).

But this low level at night has been ideal for me. It has helped a little with the pain ... but most of all it's enabled me to sleep. I had chronic insomnia before taking it. I guess if I was willing to take a higher dose, and take it in the mornings too, I'd get a better level of pain relief - but what I've been doing with it has worked fine for me. I prefer not to take too many meds and to deal with the pain by other more natural means if at all possible.

I have gained weight - but I think that might partly be due to what now looks like thyroid problems too, though the lyrica certainly will have added to this.

It's a case of trying to see what works for you (I think the docs normally try you on gabapentin first as it's cheaper), and also realising there's a "trade-off" between how much pain relief you need/want and how many side effects you're willing to put up with.

By the way, I'm now reducing my dose very gradually with the hope of coming off it altogether eventually. Now I'm (a) taking thyroid medication after discovering that might have been most of my problem, and (b) diagnosed with arthritis and not the fibromyalgia they originally said it was, I'd like to come off it if I can. I'm cutting down very, very slowly - 25mg at a time over the course of what will probably be more than a year in total (maybe two years by the time I'm off it completely).

Good luck, whatever you decide! :-)

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to CarolineC57

Hi Caroline. Thanks for sharing. I fully understand what you mean by dealing with pain naturally. I'm looking into mindfulness etc. When you mention being diagnosed with arthritis and not fibromyalgia, how did they determine what it was? What are your symptoms? I've got my wedding in 3 weeks and I'm mindful that I could put on weight on the tablets and generate side effects but I need help with pain as pain killers aren't helping. Also, are you able to drink alcohol?

CarolineC57 profile image
CarolineC57 in reply to Jmscant

Well, it's a long story about my various diagnoses, but in a nutshell ...

- First, I was diagnosed with ME/chronic fatigue syndrome back in the 1990s

- Then, around 8 years ago, I started getting lots of pain along with the fatigue

- First diagnosis was reactive arthritis, and I was told it would get better - it got worse!

- Second diagnosis was fibromyalgia - but no tests were done to rule out other things

- Then, they suggested I had polymyalgia rheumatica

- Finally, the x-rays eventually showed osteoarthritis in my knees and ankles. I've been complaining of joint pain all along (shoulders too), but the doctors kept saying "no, your joints are fine - it's just referred pain from your muscles/nerve pain"

So it's been a long haul to get to where I am now - with a clear diagnosis of osteoarthritis in my knees and ankles. My private physio thinks my shoulder pain is a rotator cuff problem.

As for the thyroid thing, well that's an even longer story but suffice to say I've seen a private doctor and now taking meds which have really helped with the fatigue (so not ME/CFS after all).

I've had to keep fighting for more tests all the time - doctors wanted of fob me off when I just *knew* there was something else going on.

As for drinking alcohol on pregabalin, no it's not advisable. It will enhance the effects of the pregabalin and you'll probably end up asleep!! With your wedding in just three weeks, if I was in that position I think I'd probably leave it until after the wedding before starting on pregabalin (or gabapentin). It will almost certainly make you quite groggy to start with - especially if you start on too high a dose. But, of course, you need to weigh up the pros and cons - that's just what I'd do if I were you.

Congrats on the impending nuptials! :-) :-)

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to CarolineC57

Hi again Caroline. Wow, you've really been through it haven't you. Your fight is inspirational. I, like yourself, was diagnosed with M.E/CFS a good 18 years ago but got over it (still to this day I'm not convinced it was that), then since then I've had a number of health issues that I've overcome such as chronic prostatitis, gastritis, and now this lower back pain and core abdominal muscle pain. I also have battled depression for many years. I'm only 34 so it's been tough. So what was your fatigue down to if it turned out not to be M.E? Did they not do scans on you when you first got the pain? Your story is why I always carry on investigating and never giving up hope as I believe there's an explanation to my pain x

Boozybird profile image
Boozybird in reply to Jmscant

With only 3 weeks to go perhaps worth sticking it out and relying on more physical therapies rather than taking something new? What have you tried? Where is your main source of pain and have you had surgery? Alcohol and gaba or pregab will enhance the effects so a glass of wine might feel more like double.... Best wishes

Sweetheart I couldn't take either. What's your diagnosis? It could help us better advise you about your meds. xxx Mitzi

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to mitziblue

Hey Mitzi. I don't have a diagnosis as such. I've seen a few specialists and it seems I've either neuropathic pain or a muscoskeletal issue. Started in my back and radiates to my core abdominal muscles :-(

mitziblue profile image
mitziblue in reply to Jmscant

Have you been to a pain clinic sweetheart? If not I'd try it. They helped my pain so that it's now bearable. I hope you get the help you need to end your suffering honey!!! Hang in there. xxx Mitzi

Curlygirl54 profile image
Curlygirl54 in reply to Jmscant

Hi jmscant,

Just seen your thread, I guess by now the nuptials are done? Congratulations

Have been taking Pregablin for about 4 1/2 years and it has helped with the neuropathic pain e/g/g the burning/stabbing sort. When I have accidentally missed one the first indication is that that type of pain starts up with a vengence instead of just being in the background. I have put on a few pounds but I think that is because I was extemely active before and now I am doing far less exercise and what I do is very gentle. I do feel very fuzzy headed if I up the dose and the first two weeks was hell but then my body seems to have adjusted to it so as long as I keep on my standard dose I am fine to drive, etc. If you are in extreme pain it is certainly worth a try.x

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to rosewine

Hiya. Thanks for that. I've some questions for you; How long did they take to start working? What side effects did/do you have? Are you able to drink alcohol on them?

I found a difference within the first two weeks. I had been in unbearable pain with every breath causing agony as I had inflammation all around my rib cage that cocodamol 30/500mg wasn't even touching. I also have osteo arthritis all down my spine, neck and in both hips and hands so I also have Butrans patches, ibuprophen and paracetamol and use the pregablin for the burning/shooting pain. I didn;t drink every night but had always enjoyed a small glass of wine with a meal and a couple at the weekend with a takeaway. I must admit initially I was in so much pain that I was literally just sitting there frightened to move so I was eating very little and the last thought on my mind was alcohol. I know it says no alcohol with the majority of drugs but I asked my GP about this and he said to see how I was and to initially just have a couple of sips and to see what effect it had and never to go over more than one large glass. I did find that whereas before two small glasses would ahve no effect on me as long as I had them with food it did seem as though the alcohol was stronger and I found one glass had the same effect as two before and made me feel slightly more tired. As my body got used to the Pregablin i could have 2 small glasses occasionally. Can I add I never ever drink and drive or drive if I have to increase the dose for any reason which I do if I have a neuropathic flare as I find the body needs a few days to get used to the increased dose. I did mention to the Pain nurse that I had a glass of wine a few days a week and he seemed fine about it with the usual proviso of leaving a couple fo days without a drink and never having more than that. I think every one is an individual and it is according to how it effects you and also what other medication you are on. Since I have been on the Butrans patches I dont actually seem to enjoy a drink so much and half a glass is normally sufficient if I do fancy a drink and I never take my Ibuprofen tablet dose together with the wine. Hope this helpsx

I've used both, and the pregabalin works best for me. You just need to see which works. I know how the pain can beat you down. I don't have a problem with side effects much, except I'm a little shake-y and my memory isn't as good as it should be. But that's a fair trade to not be in pain all day every day. There is still some pain, and those whiplashes still come, but the medicine lets me get back to my life rather than just sitting in a huddle trying not to move because it hurts so much.

hi there,

I take Pregabalin with Tramadol and I'm fortunate to have no side effects except by about 9pm I'm ready to sleep. I think the drug companies list absolute every possible side effect to cover butt.

I think each person may react differently to each drug and the only way to know is to take the advice of your doctor?

Hope that helps.


I am just moving onto 300 mg of gabapentin and so far so good. I walk every day and swim and use relaxation tape twice a day which helps'.Anyone got any solutionss for numb feet?

I find pregabalin the best. I took Gabapentin for a year but the pain relief it offered became less and less, so pain dr moved me to pregabalin. It's a good pain killer but it does affect my speech. I find it difficult to find the right words. This is the only side effect I have and it's worth it for the excellent pain relief. I think that it works best on neuropathic pain.

Jmscant profile image
Jmscant in reply to Indigo-Blue

Thanks for that. What symptoms do you suffer from etc.?

Hello All,

I've been on both at different times. To get real relief with the Gabapentin, I had to take 400 mg 4-6 times a day I was as high as a Georgia Pine! Not safe to drive, or even operate a dish washer. And yes, there is weight gain,not sure if the drug itself caused the weight gain, or if it was being so high I didn't want to move was the cause. Ponder on that :)

The Lyrica seems to work on the pain at a much lower dosage, but then there's the brain fog, not as bad as with the Gabapentin, but def too tore up to drive. I've got enough of my wits about me to look both ways before crossing the street, but the idea of even trying to put a meal together is overwhelming. So, I've cut my dosage to 50 mg morning and night. I'm hoping for a happy medium here, we will see :)

I even at one point, on Gabapentin, thought maybe this is the end for me and the docs are trying to ease me into the final stages. That's how warped this drug made me, as well as my hubby and several other people we know. My strapping 40 yr old son was on it for less than a week and told me it was either too strong or the wrong drug for him.

Both drugs are a big improvement over the old stand bys, Elavil, etc. But they still aren't the cat's pajama's


USA Housewife

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