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Has anyone else experienced worse pain when they take some meds to relieve pain?

Feb 22, 2015 4:39 AM

My first experience with this was a few weeks ago when my doctor and I agreed that I would try Gabapentin. I took the Neurontin at night before going to bed and woke up in excruciating pain and was incredibly irritable. I figured it was the Gabapentin because it was the only thing I had done differently. I messaged my doctor to let her know what had happened and told her I would try the Gabapentin one more time to see if I had the same experience. I took it a few days later and had the same thing happen with an incredible increase in pain. I stopped taking it right then.

Two days ago I asked my doctor if I could try Lyrica to help with the pain and she agreed. I have been in constant, unending, body-wide pain for over 3 months now. It is not joint and/or muscle pain specifically so we thought that the Lyrica might help. I took the first dose that night and woke up with double the pain that I went to bed with. I was in so much pain and so weak that I could not do things that I had done just the day before. Getting out of bed was a chore because I could not lift the covers off myself easily or without a lot of pain. I could not open any bottles or packages and had to ask my husband to open them for me. I have very little strength in my hands and arms. I have extreme pain below my neck between my shoulder blades. I also have great difficulty getting up and down because of pain around my knees.

I did not have this increase in pain when I took ibuprofen and Tramadol. I'm not supposed to take ibuprofen though because I have Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease but I needed something to take the edge off of the pain. Neither of these meds took the pain away. They only took the edge off so I didn't feel like the pain was unbearable and making me cry.

I am puzzled as to why these 2 meds (Gabapentin and Lyrica) would so drastically increase my pain and decrease my range of motion. I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this.

Also guess I should ask if anyone has any suggestions on how to reduce or completely get rid of the pain I've been having for over 3 months now. Doesn't hurt to ask.


Feb 22, 2015 7:56 AM

Hi Samantha. Oh boy, you poor thing! I definitely believe a medicine can do strange things to our bodies. I have been witness to that in 3 people close to me. It's pretty darn crazy and scary really the power of any med. Without looking up the side effects, I bet you your symptoms are in the rare list for the med but although rare, they can exist. And as you have kidney disease, then your body is not breaking down the medicine and excreting it as efficiently as it should. Listen to your body and don't take any more of it! Even if the drs don't believe you ( I've had that happen personally), it doesn't matter. They are not you and don't live in your body. You are outside the 'curve' of normal side effects, you are in the 10% that gets the rare side effects. Maybe next time you try a new medicine, try 1/2 a dose or ask for the pediatric dose of its a capsule that can't be broken in 1/2. Good luck and be careful!

Feb 22, 2015 8:07 AM

sandibeach, thank you for the response. I was going to try to continue taking the Lyrica through tomorrow but I woke up again in so much pain that getting my bed covers off was difficult and painful. I honestly thought that I wasn't going to get them off and I would have an accident by not making it to the bathroom. I'm going to check out the side effects of the Lyrica just to know but I don't care if my side effect is on there or not, I'm going to not take it this morning and stop taking it all together right now. This amount of pain is horrible. The pain between my shoulder blades is ridiculous. My thumbs hurt so bad and they are so stiff. My thumb joints are catching and clicking. I'm terrified that this amount of pain is not going to go away by stopping the Lyrica and I'll be stuck like this. I would take just going back to how I felt just 3 days ago even though that was really bad. This is worse. Thankfully my doctor believes me when I tell her how much pain I'm in and what my side effects are. She really is awesome. I did start on a very low dose of the Lyrica (50mg). I have a friend who is on 600mg/day. That dose would probably put me over the edge. Thankfully these were samples and I didn't pay anything just to try the Lyrica out. I will contact my doctor today to let her know what my pain level is and where I am hurting and also to let her know that I am stopping the Lyrica. Hopefully I have Tramadol in the mailbox and my husband will be able to get it once he shovels our very long driveway. We got about 6" of snow yesterday. I can take the Tramadol and ibuprofen again to see if it will knock down the pain some. Again, thanks for your response. It helps to know that other people understand. I am sorry that you know people who have pain also.

Feb 22, 2015 8:24 AM

I take gabapentin I haven't noticed pain from it but I have noticed on nights I sleep better I seem to hurt more. All over pain that is deep like muscle, joint, tendon and bone pain wrapped together. My joints click pop and hurt but that started before the meds. It also took me awhile for my body to get use to the gabapentin or at least that is how it seemed. Tramadol did nothing for me. Just goes to show everyone reacts different to medication. Why doesn't your doctor leave you on tramadol? Maybe there is a higher does you can take? If it gives you relief isn't that the goal? I hope they can find something to help you.

Feb 22, 2015 9:29 AM

Other than weight gain (I seem to gain weight with every medication I take), I haven't had any negative side effects from Gabapentin. I take it at night and it helps me sleep better. There are some mornings where I wake up weak and in pain, but that seems to be more related to barometric pressure and/or stress. And my morning pain was much worse before I started taking Gabapentin. Tramadol never did anything for me. Percocet helps with the pain but makes me nauseous. Norco has proven to be my best option for pain.

Feb 22, 2015 9:30 AM

Good idea on the tramadol. It comes in an ER ( extended release) form. I take the ER in the morning and regular Tramadol during the day when needed. I take CYMBALTA as well. It works really well for me especially on the nerve pain that the Tramadol doesn't touch. I do get some unpleasant side effects but for now I choose the lest pain effect. I too wake up with my fingers clicking. Think it's called trigger finger. I have had two surgically released but not going to bother anymore as they keep coming back as well as other fingers. Oh boy!

Feb 22, 2015 9:32 AM

A super hot shower in the morning helps my whole body loosen up.

Feb 22, 2015 9:59 AM

See if taking 30 min or an hour be fore laying down helps, this will help to prevent staying in upper stomach esupgugus. .. that can cause issues.

Also try having crackers, jello or if possible milk vs water, something to coat stomach.

Feb 22, 2015 10:02 AM

Hello Internettie, I have only been using Gabapentin a little over 2 weeks (straight). I don't have the increased pain. But I do sleep 12 hours and its hard to wake up. I feel lethargic & irritable beyond belief.

Oddly enough, I was checking for cheaper alternative meds via mail order, and my insurance company says the gabapentin can be replaced by Nortriptyline (Pamelor), which I am already taking for the depression symptoms. It makes me wonder if I am on too much of the same class/type of meds with the two.

Another thing, everyone is right on meds reacting different with each of us. I was on Cymbalta for 8-9 mos before my husband started researching my meds, because I was so irritated and depressed among other symptoms that were related to the "rare" side effects of cymbalta. I was taken off immediately by one of my docs. Another doc did a saliva test to see how I metabolized meds, and not only does my body not absorb & break down B vitamins, I have problem with metabolizing benzodiazipines. I have an extremely long list of med allergies/sensitivities.

Pay attention to your body and if a med is causing strange reactions then let your doc know. For reference, check out your meds at www.drugs.com. Sandibeach is likely on target with your kidney issues and not breaking down and ridding your body of meds. Good luck & God bless!

Feb 22, 2015 11:52 AM

Thank you all. The Gabapentin did make me irritable too. I am waiting on my labs to see how my kidneys are doing right now.

Since I was still in a lot of pain while taking the ibuprofen and Tramadol I wanted to see if something else would help. I guess maybe I need to just stick with them and forget about trying new things right now. The only thing I thought of adding in is Norco (a narcotic) since I took it for years without issues. I cannot be in this much pain all the time. It is debilitating and I can't do anything because of the level of pain, limited range of motion, and the loss of strength in my hand, arms and legs.

I'm going to research side effects on every single med I take. I have been using drugs.com since June of 2014. It really helps me to decide what meds to take and what side effects to watch for.

I don't feel quite as bad since I didn't take the Lyrica this morning. Ibuprofen interacts with so many of my meds and conditions that I'm trying not to take it but it really is the only thing that seems to help. I do have to take 1600mg of it though about every 4 hours. I try to limit it to early evening through morning time to help with the pain while I sleep and to get me through the evenings and the morning wakeup pain. My hubby is still trying to get the driveway shoveled so no check on the mail to see if the Tramadol is there.

I do stay up after taking my night meds so I think they have plenty of time to go through my system. I also snack when I take the meds. Showers do help but getting in the shower and moving my arms to soap up is very difficult so I'm not showering every day. I know it would help if I could do that. I'm trying to get the pain down so I can shower every day again.

I may try taking just the Tramadol to see if it is actually doing anything on its own.

I just want the pain to abate so I'm not so debilitated.

Thank you all for the responses. They are very helpful.

Feb 22, 2015 1:25 PM

Understand. How incredibly frustrating! I am concerned though about the amount of Advil you are taking specially if it's on a regular basis. Advil or any said ( prescription or otherwise) is known to be tough on the kidneys. My hematologist once told me that her nephrologist friends went on vacations to Hawaii because of NSAIDs. Sounds pretty crude and awful, but it's to show you how much the NSAIDs are responsible for kidney damage. But I know it's hard not taking it when it works well for your pain. I can't take it either due to bleeding problems and it's too bad.

Feb 22, 2015 2:33 PM

I know I should not take NSAIDS AT ALL nevermind taking 1,600mg at one time every four hours but yeah, it helps with the pain and I'm desperate for relief. I will see what my kidney function #'s are and do what is best after seeing that. I hope the Tramadol will help but I just don't seem to get relief from anything but the ibuprofen. I did tell my doctor that I was taking the 1,600mg and that I knew full well that I shouldn't be taking it at all. I have only taken that amount for a few days this past week. Usually I try to limit it to 400mg just once or twice a day. The past week has just been horrible though. I need to be persistent about getting this figured out. I can't let it take months (or years like it was for my Pulmonary Hypertension). I'm going to stay on top of figuring out what is causing this pain. Thanks again though for caring.

Feb 26, 2015 10:29 AM

Internet tie I have taken Gabapentin for yrs and for the last 4 yrs have been taking Savalla, my insurance decided after the first yr not to carry it on its formulary so they switched me to Lyrica it was pure torture for three months when I told my Dr that I needed to go back to the Savella we had to prove to the insurance that the Lyrica didn't work for me and they finally agreed to let me take it again. I have to prove every year that I need it. It's worth the fight ask your Dr to let you try the Savella and hopefully it will help you like it helps me I can't function without it. Good luck

Mar 01, 2015 11:16 AM

Have you tried herbal pain killers? Gabapentin and pregabalin are from the same family of pain killers so it is not too surprising they both have a similar side effect for you. It sounds horrendous. I would suggest researching natural pain killers. I know some people need regular morphine for their pain. So look into other pain killers not just those recommended by your doctor. You can find the medical safety sheets on line for different medications so you can look at possible side effects before trying them and also if they are viable for you to try with your other conditions. I take lycira myself and have been lucky to have minimal side effects except maybe slight!y increased memory problems. It doesn't take my pain away but makes it more barable which I have been told is the best I can ask for!

I hope you find something that works for you xx gentle hugs

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