New Meds for Nerve Pain?

Hey all out there I am just wondering about other people's experience with gabapentin and/or nortriptalyine?

I have unstable veterbrae with a severely herniated disc that's pushing constantly on my L5 nerve. I am looking into having spinal fusion soon but until then I am trying everything to get my pain under control till then.

I have had an epidural and seen both a PT and chiropractor so I have taken every step possible to ease my pain.

So as of now I am left to get the med route.

My pain management Dr has perscribed me gabapentin and nortriptalyine to help get my debilitating pain under control.

So just wanting to get others opinions or experiences on these drugs??

19 Replies

  • For my granddaughter

    Amitryptaline had her like a zombie with her teachers phoning her mum asking for her to be collected from school

    Pregabalin had her in tears one minute and laughing like a hyena the next .............very disconcerting

    Gabapentin had her Mother totally suicidal and if a knife had been to hand she would have completed it

    The patient info leaflets on all the above read like a horror story as does the experience of my daughter and granddaughter

  • Thank you for the info. Luckily I am on a very low dose and it's for back nerve pain so hoping I won't have many side effects.

  • I too was on Pregabalin....and Well to put it mildly, took myself off and got to see my GP asap....and told him how Pregabalin was affecting me...I agreed to try again Gabapentin and Amitriptyline and have been on a medium dose now for just over 4 years....maybe I should be taking more, but don't want to have to Up my dose just quite yet.....these do not take away my pain , but just damp it down...I prefer to take my dose on an evening and before I'm going off to during the day I find mostly I cope with my pain....but on a evening, when I try to relax, that is when my most pain kicks in..So with my doctor's agreement I take my painkillers tabs from 6pm onwards.

  • I have been on pregabalin for a few years and am now chronically depressed, I stay in bed all day & night and have been like this well over a year. I didn't know pregabalin could do this to you.

  • Please please see your doctor about this symptom ASAP and maybe get Pregabalin changed and get something for your depression...I say get it changed as I only had 10 dys of it, and felt...Well suicidal..sorry folks if that a bit drastic....but I did and I was not the only one, a friends son was put on Pregaba and felt the same...

  • It may not be the drug. It could be the other factors around your pain and how little you can do.

  • Things will get better x

  • I have the same thing with my back but in 4 veterbrae I am on Lycia Pregabalin 150mg at night and 75 mg in the morning, I also have Fentanyl patches 75mg and I take Oromorph and to be honest the only time I am not in pain is if I lie in bed all day & night which I have taken to doing because no matter what I do I end up in agony. My surgeon wants to do decompression & fusion but I am too scared. I have had loads of operations and never been scared but this scares the life out of me. 1 thing helped when I was more mobile was, I bought an electric heater thing a bit like an electric blanket but it is small and it wraps around your back. That helped to ease the pain.

  • I am on fentanyl patches although I'm on 250 which a specialist has told me is far too much but they prescribed me them and I just wore them of course like most things I'm now immune to them and get no relief laying down or up my spine is eroding bottom three discs all I get at pain clinic is steroid nerve blocks that don't work either

  • This sounds awful for you. I'm sad to read about it. Please.....research the surgery. As I posted early from a guy in your place:

    I personally know at least 20 people who have had back surgery for the same problem I have, and out of those 20 one of those got beneficial results and the others are in worse shape, and on more & stronger drugs than they were before surgery. See what you can live with. Imagine if this was really worse.

  • I have not seen the patient leaflet for pregabalin

    but the one for Gabapentin is very loud and clear about suicide risk

    Big Pharma don't care what hell they cause

  • You seem to have an obvious physical problem that they are intending to correct with surgery. For that reason I'd think that it would be unlikely you would get good relief from any meds, though as a stop-gap they might just reduce the pain one point on the pain scale, which might be enough to keep you functioning. Nortriptylline (and amitryptylline) can both leave you a bit like a zombie for a week or two, but that does pass and they can both have a good effect on nerve pain. You can minimise the zombie effect (at least with Amitryptylline) by taking the tablet at night, 12 hours before you want to get up in the morning. You do get used to these meds and side effects disappear pretty quickly though.

    Gabapentin can take a while to increase to an effective dose, and can have more uncomfortable side effects, but again, it can be highly effective on nerve pain.

    I think it it were me, I'd go for Amitryptylline at the lowest dose of 10 mg (increasing up to 25 if required) as this is research-proven to have a good effect on pain control, gives fairly quick results, and the side effects for most people are just an annoying knocked out tiredness in the mornings that will disappear after a few days to a couple of weeks. The dosing schedule for pain is also fairly well proven (10-25 mg usually, with no additional benefits if you go over 50 mg). Nortryptylline is in the same family of meds, but hasn't got the research proof behind it and as far as I know there isn't any research evidence on what the optimum dosage level for pain control is (which is usually different from the level you would take if you were using it as an antidepressant). Gabapentin seems more likely to produce more intolerable side effects and also takes a lot longer to build up to an effective dose (and you only want it as a short term strategy until your surgery). I'm not sure why doctors are prescribing nortryptylline instead of amitryp now - seems to be a lot more common. It might be worth googling nortryp and pain control to see if there is actually some new guideline or research evidence for using it, and if so, what doses are recommended.

  • Hi there gabapentin is a good drug for some , if your started on a high dose it can make you really sleepy start off light then increase , nortrityline helps a lot mainly to get a sleep some times 10mgs help sometimes 30 , however the more I take of it the more tired I feel the next day , 10mgs and I feel ok and better for getting a sleep, depends what the pain is like and what I'm doing the following day, I so feel your pain . I'm in similar situation and it can be totally unbearable more so than bearable. I hope you manage to to get relief from the meds SA

  • I'm on gabapen 700mg 3x a day for nerve damage I don't get any pain relief from it except feel a little spaced for 10 minutes after half an hour of taking it and get headaches a lot off it. I'm hoping to try something else soon or hope it starts working but for now they just increase it by 100mg at a time.i also take naproxen 500mg twice a day and Omeprazole 20mg. I was on amitriptyline to help me sleep but it only worked for an hour or two and I was back up awake I'm now on duloxetine 30mg which help sleep a bit more. I hope u find somethin that works for u

  • I have tried them all I think! Gabapentin, Amitriptyline & Duloxetine gave me awful side effects. I am now on 300mg of Lyrica (pregabalin) and 30mg of nortriptyline. I do get some nerve pain, but they have helped. I am also on 20mg butrans patch, naproxin, citalapam and recently thyroxine. I had a spinal fusion in August last year and unfortunately despite the fusion itself being a success , I am left in just as much back pain and nerve pain. I have also had positive blood results for inflammation in the body due to all my joints aching and swelling. I am due to see a Rheumatologist next week.......And they wonder why I'm depressed.

    Good luck in finding what works for you.

  • See an Alexander Teacher. A PT (physio therapist) has very little knowledge of muscle control and spinal reflexes. Many experience of PT has never been good.

    An Alexander Teacher will not cure your problem. However, they will enable you to learn that you can reduce your problem by improving your posture and improving your muscle control.

    A McTimony chiropractor can help remove muscle spasms on the spine which are making the pain you experience worse than need be. A McTimony chiropractor uses different techniques than the standard chiropractor and are usually very gentle in there approach.

    Hope this has been helpful.

  • I noticed gabapentin woked in another way and it did help. It was not enough on it's own but it touched part of the pain opioids could not. Using both was very good.

  • Hi Ash, I have taken gabapentin for a couple of years and my biggest problem was weight gain, just piled it on. But not everyone has the same side effects. I took nortriptyline for six months and found it better than amitriptyline, it had less side effects, but the 10mg is not enough to help and I went on to 20mg. It takes a time to work, must give it about 6 weeks. Hope to get to the right meds to ease your pain.

  • Hey all so after being on the gabapentin for a month I wanted off it ASAP!! It made me feel crazy my emotions were completely out of control and it did nothing for my back pain. I did stay on the nortriptalyine since I really helps me sleep and it's helping slightly with my pain. I still take tramadol and norco for now to ease my pain till surgery. Thank you all for your input.

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