gabapentin or lyrica

    • Anonymous
      October 15, 2011 at 11:03 am

      I have dealt with pain for a long time and nothing seems to help. I can not take anti-depressants. My doctor is going to try lyrica. Has anyone else tried it and what was your experience, side effects, did it work? If taking lyrica, do you quit gabapentin or take them both. It seems like gabapentin does not work that well for me anymore, been on it for a long time. Would appreciate any info.
      Clare in Michigan

    • Anonymous
      October 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      My insurance company would not approve Lyrica for my pain until I had tried and failed other pain medication, including Gabapentin and anti-depressants. Gabapentin did nothing to control my pain, even though I was taking 3600mg a day. Lyrica worked immediately when I started taking it in March of 2010, and still works like a charm on my pain. I did have some pretty strong side-effects for about a month at the beginning, including drowsiness, dizziness, and a feeling like I was intoxicated. The side-effects wore off after about a month, and other than some drowsiness, I have no side-effects at all now. I highly recommend Lyrica.

    • Anonymous
      October 16, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      Goodney – I failed with anti-depressants and I am wondering about Gabapentin, I take 2400 mg to 3200 mg and it seems to do nothing anymore. I am out of options for the pain, even my neuro is not sure what else to try. I am hoping that Lyrica will help me. How much did you start out with and what are you currently on? I am so tired of the pain, I feel like I have no life anymore.
      Clare in Michigan

    • Anonymous
      October 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      I started out at 50mg three times a day, and gradually worked my way up to 150mg three times a day. That is a pretty large dose, but I am a large guy. The 450mg daily dose seems to work well. When I get a flare-up of pain, I simply temporarily increase the dosage. I have taken as much as 900mg in a single day, but I must say that at that dosage the side-effects are significant. I have been very happy with the pain control on Lyrica. It really saved me, as I could not have tolerated the previous level of pain for very long.

    • Anonymous
      October 17, 2011 at 11:25 am

      I started on 3,600 mg of Neurontin back in 2002, before it even became generic. Once I got out of the hospital (after 4 months,) I weaned myself down to 1,800 mg daily. It went generic & I have stayed on Gabapentin at the same dose all of those yr. I wish I could take less or none at all, but for me it has been a lifesaver, as I have so much permanent damage to my feet. I should try Lyrica, but since Gabapentin works, why pay for a non-generic drug? I do think it contributes to my fatigue, but would Lyrica be any less as far as drowsiness as a side effect?

    • Anonymous
      October 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      My philosophy is that if you have found something that works, stick with it. If gabapentin does the trick for you, I see absolutely no need to change. I know of some people who Lyrica did nothing for, but for whom gabapentin worked wonderfully. I think it is all down to our different body chemistries and particular versions of the disease being treated. The fact that gabapentin is affordable is just another plus, as Lyrica is currently very expensive. Hence my insurance company’s requirement that I fail two other classes of pain medication before approving coverage for Lyrica.

    • Anonymous
      October 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      I did find out that my insurance will cover my Lyrica, but at a higher price. I will start it on Thursday. My gabapentin does not seem to be doing anything, not even getting side effects. I have been on it for many years. I always thought that some medicines can develop an intolerance in your body, but my doctor disagreed. Well, I was talking to my pharmacist and was telling her that gabapentin didn’t seem to work anymore and she said, your body can develop an intolerance to the medication after a while. Doctors do not know that much about medications, I have always ended up talking with my pharmacist. Doctors know what to give you and thats about it. I pray that the Lyrica will work, I don’t know how much longer I can take this pain. I have no light down the tunnel right now and don’t know what else to do. I wonder why some people get pain and some don’t. I am in good health otherwise (besides being oveweight), I have lost no strength in my arms or legs, have some numbness in feet and hands, and my last EMG came out good. My neuro is stumped and does not know what else to do. Sorry for venting, my life is actually good other than the damn pain:mad: .
      Clare in Michigan

    • Anonymous
      October 18, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      Clare, I’ve been there.
      I remember back over the Presidents’ day weekend holiday in 2010, when I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even sit down, let alone lie down and sleep. I was on gabapentin at the time because my insurance company would not approve Lyrica until I had failed two other classes of pain medications first. From the waist down I was on fire, especially from the knees down. I didn’t sleep at all over the entire three day holiday weekend. I couldn’t leave the house because we were having a blizzard and were snowed in. I paced back and forth in the house. I thought I was going to lose my mind, and could not imagine having to continue living with that kind of pain. I actually was considering suicide.
      A couple of days later I was at my pain management physician’s office. I was in so much pain that he immediately called my insurance company and demanded they approve Lyrica right away, which the insurance company did — over the phone. By that point, I had been in horrible pain for about six weeks without a break. I started on the Lyrica and had almost immediate pain relief, which continues to this day. I hope it works just as well for you.

    • Anonymous
      October 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      My recollection is that the drug company was getting ready to lose the Neurontin (gabapentin) patent and then issued Lyrica. My understanding is that they are both basically the same.

      Neurontin didn’t help me much, and neither did Lyrica. I have found neuropathic relief with other approaches however. Check with your pharmacist for accurate information.

    • Anonymous
      October 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      I am so sorry you are in pain. I tried Neurotin some years back and 3 years ago Lyrica. Both of these meds didn’t help.

      I think I’ve PM’ed you before about what I take for pain?? I see a pain management physician. Let me know it you need the info again.
      Good luck.

    • Anonymous
      October 19, 2011 at 10:38 pm

      Have you ever tried ALA Alpha Lipoic Acid. That really helped me. I felt like I was holding on to an electric fence- the buzzing, shaking, jello. I was told that was nerve pain. It wasn’t like any pain I ever had in my life. It took almost 2 months to work. But it has really helped alot.

    • Anonymous
      October 19, 2011 at 10:39 pm

      I forgot to mention water. I think drinking lots of water is good too.

    • Anonymous
      October 19, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      I was given Nortriptyline for my random, daily electric shock-like pains. I took it once, and it gave me a headache soon after. I never took it anymore. My doctor told me to take it at night. But I work graveyard shift; so that wouldn’t work. Anyway, I never heard of it being given for neuropathic pain. My doctor says in large doses, it works for depression.
      Does Gabapentin make you drowsy? I will ask my doctor if this med can work for me. What time of day do you take this medication? and how often?
      Those who have CIDP, can you describe your symptoms of pain so I can compare it with myself. Sometimes my legs feel like a dull kind of “pins and needles” when I am standing up.

    • Anonymous
      October 20, 2011 at 7:45 am


      I am so sorry you still can’t get your pain under control … I know how long you’ve been struggling!

      I started on the Lyrica and it initially helped but I couldn’t take the side effects. That’s when my doctor moved me to gabapentin and a lot of other things (as we’ve discussed in other posts … smiles).

      Good luck – my prayers are with you!

    • Anonymous
      October 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      The class of drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants are known to have pain relieving effects in some people at low doses relative to the usual for depression. I tried nortriptyline and it did reduce the pain. I had a weird side effect though (anything sweet tasted bad), so I switched to gabapentin.

      Dick S is correct: gabapentin and Lyrica (pregabalin) are very similar drugs structurally. However, they do have different effects in people, so if one does not work; works, but not well; or has noticeable side effects, it makes sense to try the other.