Pain Concern
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Gabapentin

Hi folks, I have been on Gabapentin for some time now for sciatica. I have been taking the 300mg yellow capsules x 5 a day ( 1500mg daily ). They have helped with the sciatica and I have experienced all the usual side effects - brain fog, sleeping a lot, bit of weight gain etc. Two weeks ago, my GP decided to change my dose to 800mg twice a day ( 1600mg daily ) so I didn't have so many to take. This dose has been given to me as a big white tablet instead of capsules. Since I started taking them, they are still helping my sciatica but I am now full of energy, losing weight and not sleeping as well. My mind is now clear as a bell and I am buzzing! Has anyone else experienced anything like this? It is almost as if I'm taking a placebo but it's still helping my sciatica. Thanks all and keep smiling.

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Hi TennysonBear,

well, I am on 3000mgs a day (5x600) and after having gone through the sleepy wall I now hardly sleep all in one go. Still have memory problems with it and really I am still in pain slightly, though more spasms seem to get through. Maybe because I'm a bit more pain free that I feel the spasms more, I don't know. I do get a buzz but it fades quite fast. Weight gain is still a problem but one I'm fighting hy eating sensibly. Hope this helps. Oh and I top up the gabapentin with Naproxen as and when needed, with food of course as it's a strong aspirin and when I mux in paracetamol I am pain free for an hour or more but, a bit doolalay with it!

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Many thanks for your reply. 3000mg is a lot and not sleeping properly either. Maybe I have just got used to it now. I still find that I forget what I was going to say which can be embarrassing but I can put up with that if it helps the pain. I also take Co-codamol 30/500 x 4 each day and I think the combination works OK. I've had some injections in my back too. Anyway, thanks again for your reply and being doolalay is great!

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hi again. Just to add or maybe ask. I find Gabapentin has 3 major side effects.

1) drowsiness, but I've found this has gone.

2) memory problems. Just look at how long I've answered back! I just cannot mind to do things. But I can still mind my childhood.

3) bowel problems. I suffer, occasionally from a loose bowel. I do blame the Gabapentin.

I could mention, despair, depression, lack of sex drive, also the opposite, appetite fluctuations. Etc. Maybe it's the pain that affects my mind to cause these things, or maybe its the drug, or maybe its a combination.

who knows. Just thought I'd add this. It may help.

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hi there ive picked mine up today had a word with the pharmacist as the tablets are not holding the pain back for the 4 hour window till the next lot so i am taking 2 once then another 2 . 2 hours later and the same for the tramadol to see if it controls the pain in my leg . at night i only take 2 codeine at 8pm i wont take tramadol at night as it sends my head of and gives me strange dreams and i stay away from strong coffee when i take my tablets as the caffein gets it in to my body faster and it sends me of my head i cant even drive when that happens as cj75s2017 says doolalay

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Yes, I find my tablets don't last long enough. I'm taking Gabapentin 800mg morning and night but I think I'm going to ask for 400mg four times a day. I've never tried Tramadol. Co-codamol make me feel a bit funny and I only take four a day. It's all very hit and miss, isn't it - we all have to work out what is best for us, not the doctors. I hope you get some relief from your pain in the future Dapar.

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well my doctor on holiday this week but the when he back on the 16th ive got to go and ask for a referral as it might be the case there a change in my spine another disc gone and what helps me at night is i have 2 pillows under my legs to raze them up to take some pressure of my spine and the worm hot water bottle . this might sound daft but when my legs throb i yous forehead on my knees and a good rub it in to the bottom off my back to .

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We all find our own ways of managing our pain. I hope you get your referral and can get some help if you feel your condition is worsening. Good luck.

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hi TennysonBear, sorry for not getting in touch sooner. You can take 36grams of gabapentin a day. The docs like to increase the level gradually as side affects, as you may know by now, aren't just great. However once your brain is used to it, this Pk is good although you do have to slow your lifestyle down, and I mean dramatically.

hope you are doing ok.

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Hi cj75s2017, thanks for your reply. My doc has changed me from tablets to capsules, same dose, and they are working well. I am only on 1600mg a day so there's a lot of scope for increasing this as and when needed. The side effects seem to have worn off a bit too. Hope you are OK.

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Hi TennysonBear, that sounds good, no pain. Hope it holds out. I'm in a bit of pain, I get very painful shocks now and then, doesn't matter what I'm doing. Like electric shocks but leave me wondering/scared it's going to come back. Hey ho, that's nerve damage for you. I have seen nerve specialist all round Scotland. One of them did say it can take 2 - 10 years to heal and then to only 75% of what it was at max. Ah well that's life I guess. It does get me down sometimes. Not much money now as can't work due to the damage.However still going.

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if it's gabapentin then it has to build up in your system. Do stick to the dosage your doctor prescribed. After about a month as for an update with your doctor about hoping the dose. I am now on 3000 mgs, but still in pain. Going to speak to the professionals soon!

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Hi TennysonBear

Yes I have had experience of Gabapetin to be honest it did not help me

I suffer from Nuothopy and now have impar ganglion blocks for nerve pain every four months .

I do find Amprtripyne helps .

I have also find anxiety causes more pain.

It's also important to get lots of rest.

Mindfulness meditation can help .

Sometimes acceptence helps also .

I have been in pain for a long time now and I think walking helps me .

It's learning to cope and distract yourself

Yoga can help .

I hope sharing this may help you a little .

Take care

B X

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Hi B, thanks so much for your reply. I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. You are right in what you say. Lots of rest does help but I feel guilty doing nothing while my husband is busy. I'm trying to accept that this is my lot but, as you know, this is very difficult. I try to walk when I can and I am a great believer in distraction. I think I am managing my condition as best I can but it's very up and down. Thanks again - it was a great comfort to hear from you. x

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Hi Tennyson, I’m taking 4x300mg 3xdaily. I get all the usual symptoms unfortunately, I certainly wish I experienced the nice side effects you speak of lol! Although I am glad to hear you are feeling better for the new dose 😊

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Hi Lynzhoppy, I think you must be on the maximum dose of Gabapentin. I hope these nice side effects continue for me and it would be great if you found something to give you some relief too. Lovely to hear from you, thanks. x

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I am yes, I think my next pain clinic appointment will be about changing from gabapentin to something else as I’m really struggling again. Thank you, I too hope I find something that gives me some relief. I’m happy they are helping you, long may it continue xx

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Hi TennysonBear

I take 3×900mg a day of gabapentin and I find it just takes the edge off the pain. My short term memory is shot! I thought I was on the highest dose but reading others posts I'm not. I'm hoping spinal injections will ease the leg pain and spasms. Good luck

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Hi Angelaangel

Yes, my short term memory is a bit of a problem too. I think 3600mg is the maximum dose. I had spinal injections in January which have definitely helped my back pain. I have another appointment at the pain clinic in June where I'm hoping they can help a bit more with my sciatica. I hope you find a treatment that helps you soon, being in pain really drags you down but I find talking to people on here is a real comfort as they are going through the same. Thanks for your reply, lovely to hear from you. x

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I'm on the same dose as you, Angelaangel, and my GP also said I was on the highest possible dose!

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Hi TennysonBear.

Isn't that strange that such a small change in the dose has changed your symptoms so much!

I take 3 x 300mg, 3 times per day (2700mg) and am so fed up with the usual side effects and probably the not so usual. Nothing resembling your new symptoms, though. I'd love just to jack them in but I know the pain in my back & legs would be beyond words. I feel like a different woman since I started taking Gabapentin and my other pain meds. Older and tired.

My GP won't send me to the pain clinic as I've since been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and he said that I'll have to learn to live with the level of pain I currently have. I got home afterhe told me that and cried so hard. I feel like my already limited word is getting smaller.

Ah well. Just have to try getting on as best I can.

Have a good day, OP and all.

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Hi Bramble, many thanks for your reply. I know it does seem strange how things have changed for me. I can't help wondering if it's something to do with the change from capsules to tablets, different manufacturer etc. Today my sciatica is bad but after reading about so many people in pain on this site, it is now making it easier for me to accept things and get on as best I can. I'm sorry your GP dismissed you in that way. I think you'll find more help and comfort from friends like me. It must be hard to understand what it's like to live with pain every day if you've never experienced it. One big change for me this week is that my husband has finally agreed to us having a cleaner - hurray! She starts on Thursday. I hope you find some relief soon. Lots of rest, distraction, be kind to yourself. Thanks again. x

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You take care, too, and so glad to hear you'll have someone to help with the cleaning. It's something we're thinking about right now, too. x

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Hi TB!

I have bipolar as well as a severe back problem/damaged nerves and I took Gabapentin and had to stop because I went 'high'! It's ok if you don't mind but I was 'out of my face' so they changed me to 'Pregabalin'. Pregabalin is from the same group but they don't make me 'high'. If you feel good on them and not 'out of control' then that's ok. If not then there are other meds you can get for the pain. Happy days!!

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Hi, thanks for your reply. I think Gabapentin lift my mood a bit which is a good thing when you're in pain. Today I'm having a painful day but there are so many people worse off than me that I'm trying to accept my lot and soldier on. Distraction works great for me too. Lovely to hear from you. Good luck. x

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I’d be concerned if my GP more than doubled my dose of medication? What has the GP said about your inexplicable highs since this dosage?!

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Hi Nellmac, my dose has only gone from 1500mg a day to 1600mg a day. The main change has been from capsules to tablets. I feel relatively normal now but I have asked my GP if I can go back on the capsules. They seem to work better. Thanks for your reply.

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Hi TennysonBear I am a chronic pain suffered of over ten years I am on morphine, Tramodol and Amitriptyline. I am waiting to see pain pharmacist. I have 2 Qs what is Gabapentin used for pain wise ? Do you think it would help me. My pain is caused by scar tissue fusion. x

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Hi Winniepooh, sorry you are having a rotten time. Gabapentin is used for nerve pain - I take it for sciatica which is caused by problems with my back and it is often used for diabetics with neuropathy. Sometimes Amitriptyline is used instead of Gabapentin so it is worth asking the question when you go for your appointment. Hope you don't have to wait too long - good luck! x

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Hi thanks for your reply I have had my Amitriptyline upped to 50mg from 30 mg and my Tramadol down to 3 still on same morphine dose but told only short term waiting to see pain pharmacist so at a loss what they might suggest??

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Mucking around when you take them helps. If I take my doses at one time I sleep by changing by few hours I'm fine strange isn't it. I tak 1800 mg a day split into 3 doses

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