View Full Version : Nerve Meds - How Long Post-surgery?

Ginger W.
09-04-2008, 12:57 AM
MANY of you have taken Neurontin (generic = Gabapentin) or Lyrica for post-surgery nerve pain. I'm taking a little survey here . . .

HOW LONG were you on this stuff?

(I am so eager to be free of meds! It's my last one.)

09-04-2008, 01:02 AM
Still on 100 mg of Gabapentin 3x a day at almost 7 months post-op. Is the Lyrica bothering you, or just a personal goal to be able to say you're off everything:)?

09-04-2008, 01:05 AM
I'm not on any of these medications, but I was wondering what nerve pain feels like and when did it start for you?



Ginger W.
09-04-2008, 01:06 AM
Many people get drowsy with Lyrica. I am thinking that I get INSOMNIA from it. So, yes! I have a real concern. Today, I dropped my dose from 150 mg. to 100 mg. in hopes that I might get some shut-eye tonight!

Shell, here are my nerve pain issues:

1. Occasional bee-sting sensations on the skin of my back.

2. Itchiness, all over, but especially in legs.

3. A jittery sensation in my legs and abdomen that keeps me wanting to move around in bed.

So, I have THAT issue with sleep too! Oh. I hope I did the right thing, going down on the Lyrica!!!


09-04-2008, 01:18 AM
I'm not on any of these medications, but I was wondering what nerve pain feels like and when did it start for you?l


I started on Gabapentin when the phantom itching and ant bites started in around 3-4 weeks or so.

Currently, I have 4 places where the PDS stitches are juuuuust under the skin, trying to spit, and one is at L1 (where every seat, including my car, touches my back and sends electric shocks).

Trust me, I told Hanson "just dig 'em out ... I won't squeal because I'm numb. Promise.".

He didn't think that was such a great idea to do in clinic (we're waiting to revisit ... and if I want them cut out, it's day surgery). I think I saw him shudder when I said "But my daughter's already tried to needle/tweeze them, and I didn't even yelp once! ...".

09-04-2008, 01:21 AM
Ginger ...

Aside from the post-op nerve issues, you're describing RLS.

Have you tried Mirapax or Requip for the jumpy legs?

And, BTW, 14 weeks is pretty early to be jumping to get off a med that stops itching. Hate to tell you, but you're not even to the worst of it. Not everyone gets that .... but those who do, don't shed it early.


09-04-2008, 06:12 AM
I was weaned off the neurontin at about 5 months... Hang in there!

09-04-2008, 02:39 PM
Ginger, I'm about 8 months post-op and I'm currently on hydrocodone for the continued surgical pain in L1-sacrum area, particularly the bone donor sites in my hips. I started the Lyrica at about 3 months post-op after continuing to have numbness and tingling pain radiating down my right leg primarily. So I've been on the Lyrica (75mg) since about Mar-Apr along with Celebrex. I too found that the Lyrica made me drowsy, so I only take it at night. I too have experienced terrible bouts of insomnia, (I've seen the sun rise many a day); however, I found that the Lyrica has helped with the pain at night time as when I wake up, the pain is gone and doesn't bother me completely throughout the day, but sometimes I do have daytime flareups on the nerve pain.

So for me now, it's working for my needs. Just my two cents. I too agree that maybe you haven't given it enough time to be taking yourself off meds, I too am looking forward to the day that I can get off all these meds or at least back to my healthy supplementation substitutes!

last surgery Jan 08 (L1-Sacrum)

09-04-2008, 03:17 PM
Well, I feel like a "druggie":eek:!! I have been on Neurontin since '02 due to nerve pain across my ribs where the anterior incision was made. I "only" take a couple a day to stop the pain/tingleing. I love the stuff and it doesn't make me woozie. At this point in time, I expect to take it for ever :(, since the rib pain hasn't gotten any better.

loves to skate
09-04-2008, 03:29 PM
Hi Ginger,
I have been on Gabapentin since I managed to get off of the oxycodone at around 3 months post op and I am 9 months post op now. I take 600 mg/day and actually am waiting to hear back from my Dr. to increase it to 900 mg/day as my nerve pain seems to be increasing (pain down my legs in the areas that were numb before the surgery). It doesn't make me drowsy, but I do sleep like a baby at night for about 9 hours. Without it, I probably would take about 3 or 4 hours to fall asleep at night because of the pain. I also get RLS and the Gabapentin takes care of that for me also.

I wish that some of the people who had this surgery 2 or 3 years ago would post if they were on gabapentin or Lyrica and for how long they had to take it. I want to know if the pain ever does go away.


Chihuahua Mama
09-04-2008, 11:33 PM
Ginger, for some reason that I can't recall, my pain management doc changed me from Gabapentin to Lyrica and I am ready to tell him to change me back.

The Lyrica isn't especially handling any nerve pain that I have (and I'm not having any that I know of) but the Gabapentin worked MIRACLES on my Restless Leg Syndrome (which Pam mentioned and she sounds right-on according to what you described). I have had it since I was about 7 years old. The Gabapentin simply stopped it so even tho nerve pain isn't an issue for me (yet...never?), the RLS certainly is.

The doctor believed the Lyrica would handle insomnia for me as well, and it does make me sleepy but the 4 tablets a day he has prescribed (50 mg) seems a bit high to me. I'm not a fan of Lyrica...plus it's got a HUGE co-pay attached to it. In the meantime, my legs do the 50 yard dash every night, only I'm running in place. It's miserable!

joanne mclaurin
09-05-2008, 06:51 AM
Hi! First post. Had Harrington Rods put in in 1981, had a severe curve, don't remember the degrees. Had to wear the Milwalkee brace for two years, thought all was okay until about two years ago. I started leaning forward more and to the right. Had great pain. Then a year ago, really had problems with the neck. Went to several doctors, had MRI's, ect.. and PT. I went on the inernet and found flatback syndrome and it fit to a "t". I aways said I would never have more surgery on my back since I had so many problems with my leg, they did not know if I would be able to walk. Streched me 4 inches. I will have to have surgery, because I cannot live like this. I take Ultram for the RLS, and darvacet and percidan for really bad days.

Sorry for the misspellings, trying to get this done before I have to go on the clock at work. This is the only time I get on the computer. I am in Savannah GA. I have an appointment next month with a spinal pain doctor to see where to go from there. How do you use the smilie faces? They are so cute!

Ginger W.
09-06-2008, 12:03 AM
Dear Joanne,

Welcome to the forum! You will get lots of support here.

I understand the issue of thinking I would NOT do surgery and finally accepting the truth of the matter, which was this: I didn't really have a LIFE with all my pain issues.

I am only three months out from surgery and I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER than I did beforehand.

09-06-2008, 04:32 PM
I had to stop the Lyrica right away after being on it for about 8 months. It all of a sudden caused swelling in my legs, feet, hands, and face. I was put on gabapentin and was doing okay and after about 5 months the swelling started again. So needless to say, I can't take anything for the nerve pain. I was told my nerve pain is here to stay now that I'm 4 1/2 years out from my first surgery.

loves to skate
09-07-2008, 07:19 PM
Hi Theresa,
I guess that is not what anyone of us wanted to hear that your nerve pain is here to stay, but thanks for posting and for being honest. How do you deal with the nerve pain? Are there any other medications that help? Sally

09-08-2008, 10:35 AM

So sorry, you still have the nerve pain. Especially after all that you been through.

I used to take Lyrica for nerve pain, but it really didn't help a lot. I just quit taking it. The anti inflammatory drugs helped more. I guess it kept the swelling down enough to keep some of the pressure off the nerve.

Let us know if you find a solution.


joanne mclaurin
09-10-2008, 06:37 AM
Hi, really new to this site. but I take Neurontin at night for my restless legs. I take several other meds for pain during the day. It is weird, I take several strong meds to help with the pain, but cannot take the Neurontin during the day, it makes me goofy. It is the only thing that helps with the restless legs.

I have two Harrington Rods that were inserted in 1981. Really started having problems a year ago. Trying to decide if surgery would be worth it.

Have you had revision surgery?? If so, did it help you much?

Ginger W.
09-10-2008, 03:38 PM
Dear Joanne,

Many people with Harrington Rods have needed revision surgery. You may want to run a search using the word "Harrington" and you will find several friends traveling along the same path, especially in the "Surgical (Revision) area of the forum.

I didn't have Harrington Rods, although I had fusions without instrumentation in the 1960s. They partially took. Scoliosis surgery has come a long, long way with current methods and I bet you can get some help with your situation with a good revisionist surgeon.

Karen Ocker
09-28-2008, 01:10 PM
I tapered off neurontin, under my pain doc's direction, before I returned to work 6 months post-op. It caused short-term memory deficits in my case and I could not do my job safely in those circumstances.