Pain Medication affecting Labs.

    • Anonymous
      August 25, 2008 at 8:55 pm

      Hi Folks,

      I am stuggling with finding the right pain medication. The pain I have gets so bad if take nothing that it literally paralyzes my ankles. Alot of things I try throws the liver tests out. I am in a Jam with the pain part. Can’t take any Nsaids, ibuprofen or asprin long term.

      So far I have tried LYRICA- Had to stop due to Liver ALT/AST high. I only took 50mg 2x per day for 3 months. Some take I have seen 300mg. I can’t use it. it didn’t do that much for me anyway.

      Next I tried ULTRAM ER 300mg-That doesn’t bother my liver, Helps but only takes the edge off. much better mobility though. It is opiate base. I am going to stop this now and move on and try another. I need better pain relief.

      The doctor phoned in Neurontin at my request. I hear alot saying you have to take alot of milligrams for it to kick in. I am not sure of the mg he called in.
      I am gonna try that for 1 month, see how it does of if it throws off the liver enzymes. If it doesn’t work I can go back to ultram.

      For now I only plan to try one thing at a time so I know if it throws labs out.
      eventually I will ba able to mix I hope. I need to find other alternatives.

      LindaH said about buspar-I looked it up and tend to be more anxiety, don’t know if that drug works really on pain.

      Any ideas on the pain thing would be great. I am between a rock and a really hard place. I am sure if the liver wasn’t an issue I could find the right mix myself.

      Any 0ne else getting liver labs elevated from the Lyrica? or Other drugs??

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2008 at 4:17 am

      Because I am very sensitive to medications I cannot take any pain medication either. In extreme cases I will take one tylenol and that will have to last me the whole day. There are times when the pain is so bad I just want to pass out but instead throw up which typically makes the pain worse. However, I have developed the ability to more or less ignore the pain, I don’t let it rise to a level of consciousness where it’s the only thing I can focus on. I do my best to give the pain no value in my life; no significance; and therefore no impact. It has taken me a lot of work to get to this point and I do get breakthrough pain if I cannot find something to concentrate on or cannot sleep. The idea is to retrain your brain so that what now is perceived as moderate pain will be redefined as little to no pain by your brain. It can be done, it takes work, but the alternative isn’t much fun either.

      Good luck,


    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2008 at 4:32 am

      Hi Tim! That Ultram ER is pretty good but was too strong for me. Neurontin is usually started out at 300mgs two or three times a day. Meaning you get 900mgs to start out with.
      It does make you feel funny in the head at first.. made me feel like I was high but after a few weeks it begins to settle down and you get clearer. Me being hypersensitive to meds I have to start low doses.
      The thing with Neurontin though is that your body can get up to a very high dose. But you are gradually tapering up to the dosage. Most people the first time they take it will notice a difference right away.
      They will probably start you at the 300 3 times a day. That Buspar started out okay but my dose is way to low. So I had to go back on Neurontin. Tried all the others and they did not work for me and keep going back to neurontin.
      Buspar is an anti-depressant but can be used for neuropathy. Alot of anti-depressants can also effect the liver profiles too.
      The good thing with Neurontin is it does take the ease away. And that Ultram ER is good for pain. I think I would take both especially at bedtime. That way you are getting good relief on sleeping at night. I would not give up the Ultram ER. That is an inflammatory where neurontin is not. So you would have both helping the inflammation of the nerves.
      Stop the Ultram temporarily and try the Neurontin having the doctor increase your dosage until the pain stops. I am up to 5 pills now. And trying to get my body used to it. But you may do different than me. But keep the Ultram ER for bad nights or bad days.
      Neurontin for me is much stronger than that Lyrica. I took that too and it did nothing for me! Still had pain all day with Lyrica.
      I too would go online and research neurontin to see if it can cause liver problems. Most anti-depressants used for nerve damage can cause higher liver profiles. Neurontin is a seizure medication but is used alot for pain and nerve damage. And the thing about that drug is it can be taken in high doses. All the others have to be taken by limit. Neurontin also has a limit but the dose can be much higher. Meaning it can be increased for pain. Giving you a better chance of getting some pain relief!
      Unfortunately, you have problems with high liver profiles and that is going to limit you alot but there is something out there you still can take. I would try the Neurontin and see what happens. But I still would not give up the Ultram ER. That way you have both just in case you need it!
      Hope this helps!

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2008 at 4:37 am

      What Julie said about the pain! Just by experiencing Lupus my body has adapted to a certain pain tolerance over the years. Joint pain for me in milder forms, I can handle with no problems and mild nerve pain I can tolerate. Severe gnawing pain for serveral days. Then I have no choice but to take something. AAnd at times I have to use mind over matter.

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2008 at 9:49 am

      Well I got the generic Neurontin. OH boy, 2X300mg. I guess I’ll try this and see how it goes for a month

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2008 at 1:28 pm

      Tim, Gaba shouldn’t alter any labs. Neither should any other pain med for that matter. Why is it that you are positive that it is caused by meds? In order for a med to get approval for human use, it has to pass such high regulations, one being the effect on organs. Food can affect the lab outcomes, it isn’t tested like a medication is. I’m not saying its totally impossible, but the likelihood of one med affecting one lab number is very low. If meds have you that concerned, I would suggest using biofeedback for pain. It has absolutely no affect on labs, and you can use it anywhere, anytime and it does work. Do a search on Gene’s posts, you will get all the info and dosage info you could need on neurontin. Take care.

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2008 at 3:31 pm


      gabapentin is similar to the lyrica. Neurontin came off the “protected” list and went generic so the pharma company changed it a little, called it Lyrica and remarketed it. I take 600mg 4 x a day. After you get acclimated to the medication, they can raise it to whatever level you need.

      gabapentin will help with the neuropathic pains, the shooting pains, burning, tingling issues, sharp needle pains, etc. It will not help with sore muscles, sore tendons, etc.

      Generally there are different kinds of pains we deal with. Neuropathic pains are treated with different medications than other body pains. Some of the “mood altering” drugs also help with nerve pains. Anti-convulsants also help, in proper theraputic doses.

      Don’t give up on a treatment just because it doesn’t “read” right. And in combination some medications interact and work better.

      Hang in there, and give the Dr.s time to figure it out. CIDP is so different from patient to patient, that makes it hard on the Neuro’s to quantify and treat you. The better information you can give them, the better they can treat you. Learn as much as you can, and become a partner with your Dr.

      Good Luck,
      Dick S

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2008 at 4:00 pm

      I did a lot of labwork during the diagnosis process as we all have. Sometime last oct. the gp did a comp panel and the liver ALT was at like 120 and the AST was right behind. He thought it was viral. so I kept taking the Daypro or Nsaid. went back in two weeks, retested even higher. He phoned me while I was out at Penn State working and said stop the daypro. 4 weeks later the numbers came down.

      I started back on it again, Boom, the numbers shot up. so he took me off it and I suffered soo bad. this was before I knew I had cidp. that was when I tried the 1st steroid pack to buy me time, then cidp roared at me. I suffered off and on back on nsaids because it was the only things we figured that help immediately I eventually stopped all nsaids. still undiagnosed. then I tried asprin, that even made a difference in how I felt. was putting lydacaine patches on my lumbar to knumb me down. and usuing topical ibuprofen all over my legs.

      The inflammatory process was so bad that if I put Ibuprophen creme on my neck, it made my legs feel relief. eventually I went on Lyrica, still undiagnosed, then the labs started getting out of range. had the liver and abdomen CT scanned. all looks great. Just some meds Cause my liver to swell.
      I can drink as much beer as I want and the tests come back low. Ultarm ER was the only things so far that I have taken that my alt and ast are normal.

      I wanted to try Neurontin and see if that elevates things so I have the knowledge of what I can take. thats all. And take any suggestion from those who have been there done that. thanks

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2008 at 6:24 pm

      I have a feeling Neurontin and Ultram ER are going to be what helps you. I switched back to the drug myself and increased my dose. So far it is helping but still trying to get to the higher dose. I am seeing some relief from it. Try it out and in two weeks if you feel you need an increase call your doctor and see if he will increase it for you. They always start out at low doses because your body has to adapt to it. But I think this drug may help better for you! I had a friend that had a toxic liver and she could not take NSAID’s either. She got placed on Ultram and Neurontin and is helped her out. A Lupus buddy of mine. Miss that girl! She passed away 3 years ago from her lupus. Had CNS Lupus and went into a coma and died. She was far more worse then I was! She had that disease bad! Really bad! Hope that neurontin helps! Good luck my friend! Good luck!

    • Anonymous
      August 27, 2008 at 8:03 am

      Hi Linda,

      You may be right. Also as Dick S has said, it seems the anti convulsants like neurontin help a part of the pain. the Ultram seems to be helping more of the other pains. If I go a month with Neurontin and the labs go good. I am going to ask to combine both. that will for sure do the trick for now. I took a vicodin last night just to get me through the day, but those elevate Mr. Liver too. Once and a while is OK.
      As Far as Biofeedback, I don’t have the time, energy or focus to meditate and hope my pain goes away. sounds Like a pipe dream or not for me anyway.

      Sorry about your friend who didn’t make it. that is very sad

    • Anonymous
      August 27, 2008 at 8:33 am

      Thanks Tim! Her name was Mary Beth. She lived in PA when I lived there and we were two doors down from each other in the same neighborhood. Both of us had Lupus and never spoke to each other when we saw each other outside. One day my neighbor was talking to me and I told him I was sick with Lupus. So he introduced me to her! Ohh was Mary Beth a trip! She had a bubbly personality that would get you laughing away. We talked everyday on the phone when we were sick and would visit quite often.
      She had CNS Vasculitis. And it never really went away. Her husband came home from work one day and she had been sick for a few days but told everybody she would be okay. He came home and found her in a coma. They rushed her to the hospital where she died a few hours later. I miss her alot but she suffered with her Lupus. She really suffered. I thought I was bad until I met her and then I realized that when you think you are bad, there is someone else far more worse. A lesson I learned.
      If that Neurontin works then I would have him increase the dosage until you feel no pain! Hugs

    • Anonymous
      August 27, 2008 at 8:41 am

      As Far as Biofeedback, I don’t have the time, energy or focus to meditate and hope my pain goes away. sounds Like a pipe dream or not for me anyway.

      Well that was sort of a funny picture Tim but no, I’m not sitting around staring at a candle humming under my breath. It’s more along the lines of finding something you can concentrate on to the near exclusion of all else. In terms of what actual activities work for me it ranges from complex logic puzzles to reading and trying to understand my disease to drawing… and I typically have to alternate activities as my ability to concentrate on one wanes and I move to another. I don’t know whether it meets the actual definition of biofeedback but as a method for dealing with recalcitrant pain it works for me. I hope your medications work out for you.

    • Anonymous
      August 27, 2008 at 5:32 pm

      Hi Julie,

      Didn’t mean it that way about the boifeedback thing. I don’t understand it enough to make such a comment I guess. I just did a quick search and interpreted it more as a meditative thing focused on headaches.

      The other forum member tended to not understand how meds could affect labs and felt that all drugs were tested before they are released into the mainsteam and that there should be no reason to have a neg toleration to them. Then pointed in direction of biofeedback. Sorry Julie. No Offense to those who do Biofeedback. Whatever works for you is Good with me. Including HERBS. I should talk right. Have a good one.

    • August 27, 2008 at 10:19 pm

      Hey Julie,
      I have to say the bio feed back issue or what ever one calls it works for us too. We have developed a system of distraction when pain occurs. If Kevie is in pain be it ivig aseptic meinigitis reaction or ankle, neck shoulder fatigue, we either do guitar hero expert level, play with the dog, that works wonderfully, just hugging Ditto is therapeutic, or Kevie diverts his attentions from the pain and goes out with his friends. He keeps his mind busy and the pain burried. I have to say I am really quite proud of how he has developed his technique to conquer the pain. I try to learn from that little munchkin every day!!! Hope you guys all are feeling well.
      Dawn Kevies mom

    • Anonymous
      August 28, 2008 at 5:52 am

      Hey ya’ll,
      No offense taken Tim, as I said, I thought it was kind of a funny picture, especially when envisioning myself attempting to get up off the floor after staring at a candle. I’ll grant you that this kind of focus/concentration isn’t for everyone – I certainly haven’t been able to teach it to my husband – but not having any other choice I’ve worked hard to make it work for me.

      I agree with Dawn that puppy-therapy works well too, Ditto? What a fabulous name, I’m still giggling over that one! I am so happy Kevin is doing better – I thought of you all yesterday going through my local town – it was trash day and I saw three brand new boxes of Guitar Hero II sitting by the curb – looks like at least three families are heading back to school with some fun! I doubt I’ll ever try that, being the non-musical type, and my husband being a “real” guitar snob but I’m still hankering for a Wii-Fit, thinking if I can get myself to concentrate on regaining flexibility and strength that would be ideal. We’ll see.

      Meanwhile, recently I’ve been playing this online “game” called Fold-it that has been capturing my attention and keeping me from screaming about my leg zapping me. Basically you try to fold various proteins to their most stable state, the better you are the higher your score and the more likely you have the right architecture. Go ahead and say it – it’s a nerd’s version of entertainment – but it’s actually out there to help science, doctors and whatnot determine the structure of all these proteins. Anyway, if you are salivating at the total geekness of this check it out at [url][/url]

      and you too can become a zany geek like me and fold proteins instead of laundry. 😉

    • Anonymous
      August 28, 2008 at 8:19 am


      we all have our was to either relax or take our minds off of pain and thoughts.
      I really like playing the WII too.

      The Guitar Hero is excellent to take your mind off of things. The amount of focus required, you don’t have time to think about anything elso. I crank it up through the entertainment center and bring down the house. Cops havn’t been by yet.

      Aerosmith version is pretty good. Sadly enough I have mastered medium, Starting Hard and have yet to see an adult make it to the end of an expert. Kids are amazingly blazin fast, I have seen several do it and make it look easy.
      Too many buttons too fast, I doubt I’ll ever get past hard.

      Was thinking about a pet but I am going to wait a bit on that one. I want a chocolate lab.

    • Anonymous
      August 28, 2008 at 10:32 am

      Tim, just something else to consider (I know, like we don’t have enough already) my liver tests got way out of wack with the IVIG as well. They go up after I have it and then a few weeks later come back into line.


      PS I agree with the pet therapy, somehow Larry – our dog – always manages to make me laugh! 😀

    • Anonymous
      August 28, 2008 at 11:40 am

      Hi Marjie,
      Thanks for that info. I havn’t received IVIG yet, but, I was thinking
      that with the big protein dose that the Liver function may be affected from
      it if I go that route in the future,

      Thank you for your input.

    • Anonymous
      August 28, 2008 at 12:37 pm

      test from I phone

    • Anonymous
      August 28, 2008 at 12:51 pm

      Hey Tim,
      Let me know if you are serious about a chocolate lab. My ex husband raises them and they are the best dogs in the world. His labs are full blooded but not registered that way people can afford them. I may even be able to get you one for free. Like I said just let me know if and when you are ready.

      Take care.


    • Anonymous
      August 29, 2008 at 7:34 am

      Hi Sherry,

      That is very nice of you. Yes, we love animals. The only reason I have held off so far is that was due to allergies are really bad. I don’t think a pet could make it any worse though. I had a shelty through my childhood up until marriage and loved him. He was special. My daughter Kelly and I dog sit a Chocolate for the neighbor. We love the breed. they got theirs somewhere north of harrisburg, pa. their first lab was black and had sever hip problems and they lost her last year to renal failure from tha nsaids. Now they went chocolate. Found a good breeder, and she is the most beautiful lab I have ever seen. Her name is Marly. I would love to raise one along side of her. we are close by. Kelly has a year left and she is off to college, so I’d be on my own with one. I’ll give it more thought. This is Marly. Not my pup, but maybe one day. thanks.

    • Anonymous
      August 29, 2008 at 8:05 am


      I was administered the Gabapentin to replace the Ultram. Doc put me on two 300mg of Gab. Defineately works better for me than the lyrica. I believe it is somewhat of a low dose compared to what I hear others taking. My doctor won’t let me add the ultam back in until I go three more weeks with a satisfactory liver lab. they we can play around.

      The Gabapentin took away alot of the ache in the lower half of my legs, it makes my fingers feel a bit weird though. I am toe walkin now on both and was able to do a 30 foot mini jog/sprint. Wow, its been a while. I probably looked like Forest Gump. It made me smile with joy.

      Also managed to climb into the nose bleed level at the Eagles game last night. I almost tumbled though when it came time to go down the row into the seat, scaired the C%@^ out of me. I didn’t try leaving the seat til the game was over for fear of taking a dive. Got home at 1am so I’m Pooped.
      See Ya!