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Old 08-18-2009, 06:26 PM
 
26,886 posts, read 38,133,169 times
Reputation: 34831

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I just went (am still going) through Shingles. Such a joy! Started in my left eye (no scarring. Yes!!) and spread across my head and nose. Wonderful disease.

My doctor gave me Gabapentin for the pain, which is cause by the Shingles virus affecting the nerves. After a while I noticed my Sciatica wasn't bothering me.

Day before yesterday I stopped taking the Gabapentin to see how the pain in my head would do. I felt pretty good until the late evening, then the stabbing pains started again. I took the med before bed and shortly after I laid down my Sciatica flared. It is always worse at noght or when I lay down. The combo is not good. Somewhere around three hours after taking it my Sciatica stopped.

That was enough for me. Today I went to the doctor about the Shingles and while I was there I mentioned the Sciatica and asked if I could stay on a low dose of the Gabapentin. He said I could take it as long as I don't have any adverse affects (suicidal tendencies) which I haven't had for six weeks.

Bye bye Sciatica.

I should mention I've gone through exercises, chiropractors, etc with no success. It used to just bother my right leg, now it alternates between them.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Rock Hill, SC
2 posts, read 12,958 times
Reputation: 13
Sorry to learn of your difficulties. It is apparent that your nerve system is involved in areas that seem to be far from each other (legs and head) but in reality it is one system. This is why it is not surprising that the drug has provided temporary relief in both areas. Unfortunately while the relief is temporary the side affects you mentioned (and others) remain a concern.
Since the problem involves the nerve system so directly, an improved function in the nerve system should be part of the solution. Not all chiropractic is the same so I suggest that you not give up too easily on it and consult a chiropractor with expertise in precision upper cervical analysis and adjusting.
Best wishes to you.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,903 posts, read 11,164,720 times
Reputation: 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
I just went (am still going) through Shingles. Such a joy! Started in my left eye (no scarring. Yes!!) and spread across my head and nose. Wonderful disease.

My doctor gave me Gabapentin for the pain, which is cause by the Shingles virus affecting the nerves. After a while I noticed my Sciatica wasn't bothering me.

Day before yesterday I stopped taking the Gabapentin to see how the pain in my head would do. I felt pretty good until the late evening, then the stabbing pains started again. I took the med before bed and shortly after I laid down my Sciatica flared. It is always worse at noght or when I lay down. The combo is not good. Somewhere around three hours after taking it my Sciatica stopped.

That was enough for me. Today I went to the doctor about the Shingles and while I was there I mentioned the Sciatica and asked if I could stay on a low dose of the Gabapentin. He said I could take it as long as I don't have any adverse affects (suicidal tendencies) which I haven't had for six weeks.

Bye bye Sciatica.

I should mention I've gone through exercises, chiropractors, etc with no success. It used to just bother my right leg, now it alternates between them.
Glad that you're pain is gone but now, instead of getting to the root of your sciatica (which, potentially, could lead you into even deeper healing), you're going to be dependent on a drug.
Is that o.k. with you?
I'm sure it's o.k. with the pharmaceutical company who manufactures the drug.
Hate to be a buzz kill but even if you don't experience side effects (and apparently this drug is relatively well tolerated) you're taking something that potentially is harmful.
Even if you're not experiencing overt/obvious side effects the fact that the drug can have this kind of effect on the human body indicates, to me, that it's not an optimum way to address an imbalance in your body.
It's one thing to take a med for short term use but for your lifetime?
But it's your body.
Just wanted to remind you:

Common Gabapentin Side Effects


Gabapentin has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the drug. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.

http://epilepsy.emedtv.com/neurontin...e-effects.html

Last edited by LadyRobyn; 08-19-2009 at 06:12 PM.. Reason: Edited to make copyright compliant...
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,280 posts, read 5,919,859 times
Reputation: 1795
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
Bye bye Sciatica.

I should mention I've gone through exercises, chiropractors, etc with no success. It used to just bother my right leg, now it alternates between them.
Sounds like you've tried many ways to deal with your sciatica. If you've finally found something that works, then more power to you.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:20 PM
 
Location: SE Florida
1,194 posts, read 3,596,325 times
Reputation: 753
The VA has prescribed a lot of meds for my Vietnam injuries and one of them is gabapentin.

I have not noticed adverse side effects and I do think this med has the ability to dramatically decrease anxiety. I have experience sciatica problems and my right leg still gets to the point of burning me and I am unable to walk if I continue to walk after a few minutes.....I have not experienced sciatica problems since taking the gabapentin. I will monitor it and let you know.....

..
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,631 posts, read 53,481,140 times
Reputation: 18538
In layman's terms, gabapentin (Neurontin for trade name) "calms" the nerves so they are not so reactive. Pain is thereby lessened and in many cases eliminated. While every med and food has side effects, this is one that has been around for a long time and is very heavily prescribed for certain types of pain b/c it works!. It is pretty safe.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:07 PM
 
26,886 posts, read 38,133,169 times
Reputation: 34831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myron Brown View Post
Sorry to learn of your difficulties. It is apparent that your nerve system is involved in areas that seem to be far from each other (legs and head) but in reality it is one system. This is why it is not surprising that the drug has provided temporary relief in both areas. Unfortunately while the relief is temporary the side affects you mentioned (and others) remain a concern.
Since the problem involves the nerve system so directly, an improved function in the nerve system should be part of the solution. Not all chiropractic is the same so I suggest that you not give up too easily on it and consult a chiropractor with expertise in precision upper cervical analysis and adjusting.
Best wishes to you.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I spent years going to Chiros. What a total waste of time and money. Half the time I came out of a "session" worse off than when I went in. Never again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteskye View Post
Glad that you're pain is gone but now, instead of getting to the root of your sciatica (which, potentially, could lead you into even deeper healing), you're going to be dependent on a drug.
Is that o.k. with you?
I'm sure it's o.k. with the pharmaceutical company who manufactures the drug.
Hate to be a buzz kill but even if you don't experience side effects (and apparently this drug is relatively well tolerated) you're taking something that potentially is harmful.
Even if you're not experiencing overt/obvious side effects the fact that the drug can have this kind of effect on the human body indicates, to me, that it's not an optimum way to address an imbalance in your body.
It's one thing to take a med for short term use but for your lifetime?
But it's your body.
Just wanted to remind you:

Common Gabapentin Side Effects


Gabapentin has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the drug. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.

Neurontin Side Effects
A buzz kill? Not sure I get the reference. There's no buzz to kill, just a feeling of relief that I can finally have some time spent without my legs hurting so much I can't sleep and sometimes can't stand up and walk. If you have the need to kill someones buzz, go elsewhere.

I assume you have never experienced extreme Sciatica. I do know what it takes to "resolve" the issue: surgery. I watched one of my brothers go through three back surgeries. Considering the Hell he experienced and the lack of relief that resulted, I'll pass.

I read through the list of side effects, Haven't had a single one. I'd say the only "side effect" I've experienced is being happy. That one's not on the list you provided.

And I'm not dependent on a drug. I can stop taking it at any time. In fact I did as a test a few days ago just to see how the pain level was from the Shingles. I'll do the same at some point in the future. Just to see how it's going.

And I'll follow my doctors advice instead of yours, thanks anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synergy1 View Post
The VA has prescribed a lot of meds for my Vietnam injuries and one of them is gabapentin.

I have not noticed adverse side effects and I do think this med has the ability to dramatically decrease anxiety. I have experience sciatica problems and my right leg still gets to the point of burning me and I am unable to walk if I continue to walk after a few minutes.....I have not experienced sciatica problems since taking the gabapentin. I will monitor it and let you know.....

..
Glad to know it's also helping you. If you have someone that can keep an eye on you, looking out for any adverse effects you should have them read the list linked to in an earlier post. While I don't get overly paranoid about such things (because my doctor said it was okay) I have a wife who watches me like a hawk just in case...
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,903 posts, read 11,164,720 times
Reputation: 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I spent years going to Chiros. What a total waste of time and money. Half the time I came out of a "session" worse off than when I went in. Never again.



A buzz kill? Not sure I get the reference. There's no buzz to kill, just a feeling of relief that I can finally have some time spent without my legs hurting so much I can't sleep and sometimes can't stand up and walk. If you have the need to kill someones buzz, go elsewhere.

I assume you have never experienced extreme Sciatica. I do know what it takes to "resolve" the issue: surgery. I watched one of my brothers go through three back surgeries. Considering the Hell he experienced and the lack of relief that resulted, I'll pass.

I read through the list of side effects, Haven't had a single one. I'd say the only "side effect" I've experienced is being happy. That one's not on the list you provided.

And I'm not dependent on a drug. I can stop taking it at any time. In fact I did as a test a few days ago just to see how the pain level was from the Shingles. I'll do the same at some point in the future. Just to see how it's going.

And I'll follow my doctors advice instead of yours, thanks anyway.


Buzz kill = bumming someone out when they are "high" ... i was being silly but intending to say that it was not my intention to bring you down.
I only wanted to remind you that long term use of a pharmaceutical drug may have side effects and even if they are not being experienced, it does not mean that the drug is an optimal form of treatment and/or that it is not creating other imbalances in your system that are less overt.
But, like SouthernBelleInUtah stated, it's effective and it is heavily prescribed and it's been around for a long time.
And i did state that it seems to be a well tolerated drug.
And surgery is not the only treatment for sciatica but i understand that deep exploration of alternative modalities is not for everyone.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:43 PM
 
14,649 posts, read 29,692,844 times
Reputation: 17216
I too have sciatica, but mine is manageable. It comes and goes, it's much worse when I am lying down, in fact I usually have to get up early because by then it's hurting too much to sleep. the good thing for me is that it does get better when I am up and start moving around. I have to stretch a lot and do exercise to really make it subside. But then I start to stiffen up again at night and it comes back and it starts over. So far I don't need any drugs, I hate to take stuff. I too, have wasted a lot of money over the years with chiropractors for my various back problems (I have other issues as well), but i do often get decent relief from a good massage therapist.

I am about to start working out at my local YMCA - going to try Pilates, and maybe some water aerobics and see if that helps. Since I have seen that exercise definitely helps me, ( I know it doesn't help everyone with problems) I feel it will be worth it.

Good luck to everyone to shares this problem, it's literally a pain in the butt!
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:33 AM
 
26,886 posts, read 38,133,169 times
Reputation: 34831
Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteskye View Post
Buzz kill = bumming someone out when they are "high" ... i was being silly but intending to say that it was not my intention to bring you down.
I only wanted to remind you that long term use of a pharmaceutical drug may have side effects and even if they are not being experienced, it does not mean that the drug is an optimal form of treatment and/or that it is not creating other imbalances in your system that are less overt.
But, like SouthernBelleInUtah stated, it's effective and it is heavily prescribed and it's been around for a long time.
And i did state that it seems to be a well tolerated drug.
And surgery is not the only treatment for sciatica but i understand that deep exploration of alternative modalities is not for everyone.
My apologies if I came across harsh. I had a bad Shingles day yesterday and I should know better than to post when I'm feeling poorly.

Considering all the things I've tried to relieve the pain from this I don't mind taking a drug for a while. It just feels so good to not lay in bed for hours trying to get the pain to stop so I can sleep. Or getting up to walk only to find that my leg hurts so much it's almost impossible to do so.

I have, as stated earlier, been through years of Chiro with no help given. I have done stretching exercises, bending exercises, butt pinch exercises, muscle strengthening in my lower back, stomach, etc, ad infinitum and have had zero relief.

Part of the problem for me was Polio in my right leg when I was four. As a result I have a prominent S curve in my spine. Oddly enough, my mother had polio in her right leg at the same age and had the same S curve. Hers was in 1912, mine was in 1952. Weird, huh? Most people would never know I had it. I was a lucky one....
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