Can Gabapentin make neuropathy pain worse?

Posted by cwallen9 @cwallen9, Apr 16, 2019

I started getting peripheral neuropathy pain about nine months ago in my feet and hands right after I received a cervical steroid injection. I started taking gabapentin about 7 months ago. I have gradually increased my dose from 100 mg a day to 1500 mg. I can't say that it has decreased my pain at all. In fact, my pain has gotten steadily worse. I was just wondering if it is possible that gabapentin can sometimes make neuropathy pain worse. My EMG and biopsy results are negative for short fiber neuropathy so far.

Liked by Dee, Leonard

@jamesinsonoma

I to believe that gabapentin is making my PN worse. What I've experienced in the 1 month since i started Gabapentin was that the PN pain – my feet are hot and feel like the skin has shrunk. Thay also feel heavy. My doctor has been increasing the dose from 100/300/300 morning/noon/bedtime to 600/600/600. On all these dosages, the pain begins around noon and continues until to fall asleep with it. When I awake 8 hrs later there is not pain! This pattern has continued since I started on Gaba. To me that says Gaba is causing the pain. My doctor started me on Gaba because I has an impacted nerve at L5/S1. I was fortunate to have surgery on March 30, 2020 that solved that problem. However because the impacted nerver will take at least another month to heal I was told to stay on the Gapabentin for the pain. Prior to the surgery I had a nerve conduction velocity test that showed I had mild PN in both legs and feet. But the pain I feel is anything but mild. Does anyone else who takes Gabapentin have symptoms like mine? Does PN pain disappear during sleep and come back during the day?

Jump to this post

Hi James, I was originally prescribed a low dose to be taken 3xday which left me unable to remember anything so after a few days I tried taking only 200 mg. at bedtime. It has worked fine for me for 2 yrs. increasing recently to 300 mg. Strangely, I tried upping to 400 mg. at bedtime when I was having a bad day and found it didn’t really work any better so I went back to the 300 mg. During the day I found that NSAIDS or CBD salve help if needed. It seems that doctors think more is better, I read somewhere that often a lower dose of gabapentin works better for some. Helen

Liked by Leonard

REPLY
@jamesinsonoma

I to believe that gabapentin is making my PN worse. What I've experienced in the 1 month since i started Gabapentin was that the PN pain – my feet are hot and feel like the skin has shrunk. Thay also feel heavy. My doctor has been increasing the dose from 100/300/300 morning/noon/bedtime to 600/600/600. On all these dosages, the pain begins around noon and continues until to fall asleep with it. When I awake 8 hrs later there is not pain! This pattern has continued since I started on Gaba. To me that says Gaba is causing the pain. My doctor started me on Gaba because I has an impacted nerve at L5/S1. I was fortunate to have surgery on March 30, 2020 that solved that problem. However because the impacted nerver will take at least another month to heal I was told to stay on the Gapabentin for the pain. Prior to the surgery I had a nerve conduction velocity test that showed I had mild PN in both legs and feet. But the pain I feel is anything but mild. Does anyone else who takes Gabapentin have symptoms like mine? Does PN pain disappear during sleep and come back during the day?

Jump to this post

I believe in the theory of acupuncture because it was explained to me well and I have had a couple of friends who benefited from the treatment as well. It seems to block pain conduction in vital areas for a while, but it is no cure. bviously gabapentin is not helping and higher doses is not a good answer, but it is not clear to me that it makes the pain worse. if the medicine wears off overnight and you aren't moving, that is helping the pain conduction. Are you exercising? Do you find any stretching or exercise that helps the pain?
With my mild neuropathy, I find that exercise makes it go away. Massage makes a person feel better when nothing else helps, but it can be an expensive regimen. It sounds like you need a different opinion, a different therapy, and a different approach to try. Dorisena

Liked by Leonard

REPLY

I asked my pain specialist doctor if Gabapentin can make pain worse. No. Who started this thread and why didn't you ask your doctor in the first place? Peggy

REPLY
@pfbacon

I asked my pain specialist doctor if Gabapentin can make pain worse. No. Who started this thread and why didn't you ask your doctor in the first place? Peggy

Jump to this post

@pfbacon, thank you for taking this question to your pain specialist. It certainly is a valid question. Some medications can produce unwanted and unexpected side effects, and it can be useful to hear the experiences of other people. For some gabapentin works, for others it doesn't.

Gentle reminder about the Community Guidelines (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/tab/community-guidelines/). Remember to be kind and respectful. Disagreements about opinions are fine, but respect for one another is a must.

REPLY

I can't live without Gabapentin and they're trying to get it pulled off the market. They aren't being respectful – I am fighting for my life. Peggy

Liked by Leonard

REPLY
@pfbacon

I can't live without Gabapentin and they're trying to get it pulled off the market. They aren't being respectful – I am fighting for my life. Peggy

Jump to this post

@pfbacon, what a relief that gabapentin works so well for you Peggy. I can understand your fear when others experience negative impact of a drug that has been a lifesaver for you. No one is being disrespectful to you. There is no smear campaign or organized group trying to take gabapentin off the market. If you read through the posts, you'll see that members are looking for answers.

I might suggest that you unsubscribe from this discussion as it is clearly upsetting you. Please send me a message using this form and I can help you unsubscribe from this discussion, but remain subscribe to the Neuropathy group. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/contact-a-community-moderator/

REPLY

I can agree that some medicines help some people and don't help others, depending on our other ailments sometimes, and the medicine we are taking in addition to the first medicine. I am not a person to say that a medicine is not good, but I can say that a certain medicine doesn't help my condition well.
This is not disrespectful and we all can tolerate other outcomes and opinions, so long as we don't accuse others of negative motives. Once in a while I am criticized for being "rich" as a reason why I am not thoughtful of others, and that is not a fair statement, either. We are here to help each other with our experiences, good or not, and it is a thoughtful thing we do to find some answers to our health problems. We care about each other and we can learn how to have better health if we study and think about the best procedures for our individual situations. Our doctors are on our team as well. It is a journey I am willing to take and I feel I am getting better with some aspects of my health while I am getting older. Today I am planting flowers. Dorisena

REPLY
@jamesinsonoma

I to believe that gabapentin is making my PN worse. What I've experienced in the 1 month since i started Gabapentin was that the PN pain – my feet are hot and feel like the skin has shrunk. Thay also feel heavy. My doctor has been increasing the dose from 100/300/300 morning/noon/bedtime to 600/600/600. On all these dosages, the pain begins around noon and continues until to fall asleep with it. When I awake 8 hrs later there is not pain! This pattern has continued since I started on Gaba. To me that says Gaba is causing the pain. My doctor started me on Gaba because I has an impacted nerve at L5/S1. I was fortunate to have surgery on March 30, 2020 that solved that problem. However because the impacted nerver will take at least another month to heal I was told to stay on the Gapabentin for the pain. Prior to the surgery I had a nerve conduction velocity test that showed I had mild PN in both legs and feet. But the pain I feel is anything but mild. Does anyone else who takes Gabapentin have symptoms like mine? Does PN pain disappear during sleep and come back during the day?

Jump to this post

I have small fibers neuropathy, it doesn't show up on nerve conduction study. Big motor nerves do. I guess it's different type of nerves and pain you talk about, you should speak to your dr. to clarify

REPLY
@jamesinsonoma

I to believe that gabapentin is making my PN worse. What I've experienced in the 1 month since i started Gabapentin was that the PN pain – my feet are hot and feel like the skin has shrunk. Thay also feel heavy. My doctor has been increasing the dose from 100/300/300 morning/noon/bedtime to 600/600/600. On all these dosages, the pain begins around noon and continues until to fall asleep with it. When I awake 8 hrs later there is not pain! This pattern has continued since I started on Gaba. To me that says Gaba is causing the pain. My doctor started me on Gaba because I has an impacted nerve at L5/S1. I was fortunate to have surgery on March 30, 2020 that solved that problem. However because the impacted nerver will take at least another month to heal I was told to stay on the Gapabentin for the pain. Prior to the surgery I had a nerve conduction velocity test that showed I had mild PN in both legs and feet. But the pain I feel is anything but mild. Does anyone else who takes Gabapentin have symptoms like mine? Does PN pain disappear during sleep and come back during the day?

Jump to this post

@jamesinsonoma
Hello James,
I have been on various dosages up to the maximum dose of Neurontin/Gabapentin & Lyrica/pregabalin and neither worked for me. My brother is on 3,600mg (max dose but I knew someone on 7,000mg) and it helps them however researchers claim the maximum dose for Neuropathy pain is 1,800mg and is no more effective in higher doses although I have know people on higher doses who showed improvement on higher doses.
I can’t speak to whether or not gabapentin can actually make your neuropathy worse since it never affected me that way.
Nearly all if not all anticonvulsants cause memory, tiredness as well as cognitive issues.
Best of luck to you,
Jake

REPLY
@helennicola

Hi James, I was originally prescribed a low dose to be taken 3xday which left me unable to remember anything so after a few days I tried taking only 200 mg. at bedtime. It has worked fine for me for 2 yrs. increasing recently to 300 mg. Strangely, I tried upping to 400 mg. at bedtime when I was having a bad day and found it didn’t really work any better so I went back to the 300 mg. During the day I found that NSAIDS or CBD salve help if needed. It seems that doctors think more is better, I read somewhere that often a lower dose of gabapentin works better for some. Helen

Jump to this post

Hello Leonard, just an FYI, Gabapentin has a very short half-life (5-7 hours) thus most take it three times per day. Warm regards, Sunnyflower

REPLY
@helennicola

Hi James, I was originally prescribed a low dose to be taken 3xday which left me unable to remember anything so after a few days I tried taking only 200 mg. at bedtime. It has worked fine for me for 2 yrs. increasing recently to 300 mg. Strangely, I tried upping to 400 mg. at bedtime when I was having a bad day and found it didn’t really work any better so I went back to the 300 mg. During the day I found that NSAIDS or CBD salve help if needed. It seems that doctors think more is better, I read somewhere that often a lower dose of gabapentin works better for some. Helen

Jump to this post

Hi Helen, My PCP increased my dose from 300mg Gabapentin 3x/day to 600 mg 3x/day, but not all at once, because the 300 was not reducing my pain. The 600 actually increased my pain. Now I'm tapering back to 300 3x/day with the goal of eliminating Gaba entirely. According to my neurologist, some if not all of my foot pain was due to a pinched nerver at L5/S1. Surgery 2 months ago released the nerver which, I pray, is healing. I see the neurologist in June to re-evaluate the neuropathy and maybe redo the nerve Conduction Velocity, NCV, test that showed a mild PN 3 months ago. The level of pain I've had since starting Gaba has been extreme and in no way would I describe it as mild.
James

REPLY

Hi James, I hope your body heals and the pinched nerve pain you’ve been experiencing is totally eliminated or at least decreased to a level managed by NSAIDS or other non-prescriptive pain med. Please keep us informed, we love success stories! Helen 😁

REPLY

Hi Helen, Thanks for your kind words. I glad you found CBD salve and NSAIDS works. The NSAIDS work for me but CBD salve, 70% Hemp extract, 30% Aloe Vera had no affect on my neuropathy, if that is what I have. I also tried CBD gummies with no affect also DMSO cream. I had a 10% Phenytoin cream compounded which also was a bust. It seems reasonable to assume that if 4 different medicines that help other sufferers of peripheral neuropathy,PN, do not have any affect on my pain that mine is not PN or I have a particularly difficult to treat form of PN. I'll update after my mid June 2020 revisit with the Neurologist.
Regards,
James

REPLY

I am getting confused about the different types of neuropathy depending on whether it is a pinched nerve or from diabetes or surgery problems. My early neuropathy from prediabetes went away quickly with diet and mild exercise, especially before bedtime. My pinched nerve pain was confirmed with a conduction test on my arm, and I had various physical therapy to get it released and the pain gone. I took some medication for pain and inflammation and when I went off them, I couldn't sleep and worked compulsively for several days until I came down from the drugs. My doctor laughed at me. After that, I relied on the Chiropractor for sciatica, stenosis pain, and a fabulous therapist. I purchased orthotic shoes. I have not relied on pain medicine for such things because the opioids before my back surgery didn't stop the pain but I couldn't function at home to take care of myself. So for my problems I always rely on physical therapy and adjustments, and simple exercises and no pills anymore. I avoid alcohol as well. I don't have much pain anymore. Dorisena

Liked by Leonard

REPLY
@jamesinsonoma

Hi Helen, Thanks for your kind words. I glad you found CBD salve and NSAIDS works. The NSAIDS work for me but CBD salve, 70% Hemp extract, 30% Aloe Vera had no affect on my neuropathy, if that is what I have. I also tried CBD gummies with no affect also DMSO cream. I had a 10% Phenytoin cream compounded which also was a bust. It seems reasonable to assume that if 4 different medicines that help other sufferers of peripheral neuropathy,PN, do not have any affect on my pain that mine is not PN or I have a particularly difficult to treat form of PN. I'll update after my mid June 2020 revisit with the Neurologist.
Regards,
James

Jump to this post

James, do you have any diabetes or prediabetes that could cause the neuropathy? The reason I ask is that I was not aware there was such a thing with diabetes when my husband was diagnosed, and most people I have met since do not know that diabetes can cause such a condition which is relieved by diet change and exercise. My doctor never mentioned it to me. My husband's doctor told him to eat beef since he didn't like chicken so he ate one and a half pounds of prime rib a day in restaurants. It was too much of a good thing, of course and his foot went numb and he could barely walk before he died of the cancer in his spine and other conditions. Dorisena

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.