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Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

Posted by Mitch F. on 1/16/03 at 20:17 (105651)

I have bi-lateral tarsal tunnel syndrome and I've been prescribed 3600 mg of it per day. After reading several posts here and other sites the dosage appears to be pretty high. Anyway, I headrd on NPR today as well in the past that the FDA has not approved Neurontin for any use other than its original epileptic treatment.

While Neurontin does seem to really help my nerve pain I was wondering if anyone has had any negative side effects from using Neurontin?

This may be because I'm getting older (I'm 37) but when I'm taking my full dose it appears to affect my short term memory - maybe I'm just imagining it but maybe not.

Re: Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

Sharon W on 1/16/03 at 22:27 (105658)

You are not imagining it. That's one of the most common side effects of Neurontin. (I have that problem, too.)

Sharon

Re: Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

Barbara S on 1/17/03 at 12:40 (105689)

Mitch,

Sharon is right you are not imagining it. I don't think I got past 900mg a day when I had to stop. Not only my short term memory, sometimes I couldn't even finish a sentence.
So if you aren't having any side effects and it is helping with your pain, you are one of the lucky ones it works for.

Barbara S.

Re: amount and side effects

Marty on 1/17/03 at 14:38 (105701)

I take 1200 mg and I'm 42 6'2' 210 LBS. Yes about 25 pounds over weight right now. Was down to 180 2 years ago. You know how it goes when you can't do anything but eat. I have heard the bigger you are or the more you weigh to more they can give you. The Neurologist suggested 2000 mg when went to him this week and I will talk to pod first because he's the one I get the refills from and I don't want to run out to soon.

I to have sort term memory loss. I'm more sensitive to light and I get confused more easily. I do sleep better.

Re: amount and side effects

Sharon W on 1/17/03 at 15:13 (105707)

Marty,

It sounds like you have SOME side effects, but they are fairly mild -- same as me. (To me, it is definitely still worth taking Neurontin, because it helps me a lot more than the side effects annoy me!)

Sometimes it is necessary to weigh the benefits that a drug offers you against the negative aspects of the side effects, and figure out which is more important. In fact, that's why we have PRESCRIPTION drugs -- so that a doctor, who presumably is more qualified to make those judgements than a layman, can take responsibility for those decisions.

Sharon

Re: amount and side effects

Marty on 1/17/03 at 18:54 (105738)

I agree Sharon. I really want to amp up my dosage from my current 1200mg to at least double that. Other here are taking more then that. I know I would have to increase slowly but to me it's worth trying once to see how bad the side effects get. I don't think it would effect me that bad like it did at first. I've been on it for over a year now so I think I can handle the increase. I'm gong to ask my Pod to amp me up more next week.

Re: Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

marie e on 1/19/03 at 20:27 (105983)

I am only on 600 mg of neurontin daily. I am working up to 900 mg a day. A little at a time. I have little spacey moments. Short term memory, names or names of things seem to elude me sometimes. That may be because of my TIA's. I startyed on 400 mg a day and had alot of problems with headaches. Now that I have graduated to a slightly higher dose my headaches are gone.

marie

Re: Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

Ed Davis, DPM on 1/22/03 at 22:01 (106408)

Mitch:
Use of Neurontin for nerve pain is an 'off label' use per the FDA. Not a big issue. I would guess that Neurontin is now used more 'off label' than 'on label.'

Neurontin has relatively few side effects. Drowsiness is a problem at higher doses. One of the biggest problems is that of refractoriness, that is, the longer the drug is used, the higher the doses needed to maintain the therapeutic effect. Your dose is quite high so if you are not getting the desired pain relief, it is time to talk to a neurologist about trying a different drug.
Ed

Re: Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

Mitch F on 1/23/03 at 09:32 (106448)

Thanks for the advice - I'll talk with my Dr. and see if I can switch to a different drug that can supress nerve pain. Thanks again.

Mitch :)

Re: Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

Sharon W on 1/16/03 at 22:27 (105658)

You are not imagining it. That's one of the most common side effects of Neurontin. (I have that problem, too.)

Sharon

Re: Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

Barbara S on 1/17/03 at 12:40 (105689)

Mitch,

Sharon is right you are not imagining it. I don't think I got past 900mg a day when I had to stop. Not only my short term memory, sometimes I couldn't even finish a sentence.
So if you aren't having any side effects and it is helping with your pain, you are one of the lucky ones it works for.

Barbara S.

Re: amount and side effects

Marty on 1/17/03 at 14:38 (105701)

I take 1200 mg and I'm 42 6'2' 210 LBS. Yes about 25 pounds over weight right now. Was down to 180 2 years ago. You know how it goes when you can't do anything but eat. I have heard the bigger you are or the more you weigh to more they can give you. The Neurologist suggested 2000 mg when went to him this week and I will talk to pod first because he's the one I get the refills from and I don't want to run out to soon.

I to have sort term memory loss. I'm more sensitive to light and I get confused more easily. I do sleep better.

Re: amount and side effects

Sharon W on 1/17/03 at 15:13 (105707)

Marty,

It sounds like you have SOME side effects, but they are fairly mild -- same as me. (To me, it is definitely still worth taking Neurontin, because it helps me a lot more than the side effects annoy me!)

Sometimes it is necessary to weigh the benefits that a drug offers you against the negative aspects of the side effects, and figure out which is more important. In fact, that's why we have PRESCRIPTION drugs -- so that a doctor, who presumably is more qualified to make those judgements than a layman, can take responsibility for those decisions.

Sharon

Re: amount and side effects

Marty on 1/17/03 at 18:54 (105738)

I agree Sharon. I really want to amp up my dosage from my current 1200mg to at least double that. Other here are taking more then that. I know I would have to increase slowly but to me it's worth trying once to see how bad the side effects get. I don't think it would effect me that bad like it did at first. I've been on it for over a year now so I think I can handle the increase. I'm gong to ask my Pod to amp me up more next week.

Re: Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

marie e on 1/19/03 at 20:27 (105983)

I am only on 600 mg of neurontin daily. I am working up to 900 mg a day. A little at a time. I have little spacey moments. Short term memory, names or names of things seem to elude me sometimes. That may be because of my TIA's. I startyed on 400 mg a day and had alot of problems with headaches. Now that I have graduated to a slightly higher dose my headaches are gone.

marie

Re: Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

Ed Davis, DPM on 1/22/03 at 22:01 (106408)

Mitch:
Use of Neurontin for nerve pain is an 'off label' use per the FDA. Not a big issue. I would guess that Neurontin is now used more 'off label' than 'on label.'

Neurontin has relatively few side effects. Drowsiness is a problem at higher doses. One of the biggest problems is that of refractoriness, that is, the longer the drug is used, the higher the doses needed to maintain the therapeutic effect. Your dose is quite high so if you are not getting the desired pain relief, it is time to talk to a neurologist about trying a different drug.
Ed

Re: Neurontin use for nerve pain issue

Mitch F on 1/23/03 at 09:32 (106448)

Thanks for the advice - I'll talk with my Dr. and see if I can switch to a different drug that can supress nerve pain. Thanks again.

Mitch :)