Please tell me about Lyrica! Frightened!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by marw, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. marw

    marw New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    My doctor prescribed Lyrica today. He gave me a card to give the Pharmacist and I am to get Free samples then from the Pharmacist for a week, then start the Prescription he wrote.

    I ran a Search now, and found lots of you have tried it. I read and read lots of your posts. But I am still confused.
    Is this drug for burning pain and pins and needles? Because if that is what it helps, I would not need it. I have ACHES, mosltly aching muscles, or what feels like being hit by a big truck....sore all over....and cramps in my hands. Sometimes my feet are tender on the bottom, but I have already solved the foot problem by putting a heat pad on my feet all night.

    Anyway, the fear I have of trying this (I wish I hadn't even agreed to it) is that I read it is a later generation of Neurontin? Neurontin was the worst drug I ever tried!! I hallucinated so badly and was so off balance that I could not even crawl to the phone for help. I sat in a corner on the floor and was just really and truly a crazy person! I would never take another Neurontin under any circumstances. Now do I need to fear something like this with Lyrica? The docs annoy me so much about drugs, because I tell them and tell them about the terrible things that have happened, but they give me drugs anyway. I guess I do have to try things sometimes to find out. BUT ALL THE SSRI'S AND CYMBALTA AND NEURONTIN AND TOPIMAX AND ALL ANTIDEPRESSENTS, AND ETC, ETC.....the list goes on and on have produced such terrible side effects that it was awful. I sometimes end at the ER if I am able to call someone to take me. I do not want anything to tamper with my brain chemicals, unless it is just the one receptor in the brain that the Triptan meds used for Migraine help. I CAN take the Triptan class of drugs. Can also take Ativan and do, and can take Valium, but don't usually. On the other hand I cannot take many of the benzodiazapines, either. Could not take Zanax or Klonopin, for example. I can and do take Vicodin, but cannot take any asprin products or Cox2 products.

    Sorry to have gone on and on about this, but I am so sensitive to drugs. And it really scared me that this Lyrica is related to Neurontin?

    So if it is for those burning kinds that I don't have, I think I will not do it. But otherwise maybe I should try it? I am very confused.

    Any info will be greatly appreciated.


    P.S. I will not be starting the Lyrica right away, because on Monday I am having an guided-arm epidural injection in my spine for the herniated disks. I get put to sleep for this procedure, and will be temporarily in more pain in my back for a few days after until the steroids start to work. Then it is all worth it because my back usually gets MUCH better, and even the FM is better then. So it will be about a week before I try the Lyrica, if I do. Thanks.
  2. tamoley

    tamoley New Member

    I just did a search on Lyrica as well as I have some questions.

    I am currently taking Gabapentin 2700 mg's per day. I have been taking it for almost 2 years now and it really helps for nerve pain. I just got a presciption for the Lyrica, both the dr and pharmacist told me I can make the switch without a problem as the Gabapentin is a "forgiving drug" and you can stop without withdrawal symptoms. This is not what I have read on this board and other places. The drugist also told me there are fewer side effects with the Lyrica than Gabapentin and because you can get the same results with a lower dose of Lyrica it will be cheaper for me.

    The dr. that prescribed this for me is not my own dr. and now I am concerned that maybe I should just stick with the Gabapentin and wait until I can see my own dr. before I make the change.

    Has anyone out there on a high dose of Gabapentin stopped suddenly or made the switch to Lyrica? Also did the Lyrica work as well?

    I am really having second thoughts on this now.

  3. Summer3

    Summer3 New Member

    It sounds like you are very sensitive to alot of medication.
    Perhaps your concerns should be discussed with your doctor again before you take the Lyrica. It is used for fm as
    is Gabapentin as it helps with the pain receptors. Why are
    you afraid to take the Valium if it works for you?
    Addiction/drug tolerance are an issue but you have to do
    what works for you and your body. You might find you are
    sensitive to the Lyrica if you were to the Gabapentin.
    Keep the communication up with your dr and do not be afraid
    to ask questions. Poor dear I hope you can find some relief
  4. marw

    marw New Member

    Hi Summer,

    THanks for your insight. It does make sense to discuss Lyrica with my doc again. I might discuss it with my reg. doc. as well. The doc that prescribed this is the Rheumatologist, and I don't see him as often.

    I am not at all afraid of the Valium. I used to take it to sleep before I got the FM, but now it doesn't work for sleep. I never thought of taking it to see if it would help pain. Will try it. If I take while I take the Ativan, however, it will make me sleepy, but that doesn't matter during a Flare. The only thing is that I get afraid I am mixing too many things sometimes. That was the only reason I stopped. And I have to have the Ativan for Anxiety, which is one of my worst symptoms. Lately, I have been having some success with Benadryl for sleeping. But again, I worry about taking all these things together. Remember I take Vicodin, too. I am afraid I just won't wake up at all after mixing so many meds. Sorry, I guess I am a bit of a worrier when it comes to the meds! THanks for your kindness and caring.

  5. marw

    marw New Member

    Hi Chris,

    Isn't Gabapentin the same thing as Neurontin? Hope you get some answers, too.

    Good luck with it,
  6. tamoley

    tamoley New Member

    Yes. Gabapentin and Neurontin are the same drug. What I suffer from is mostly neorological symtoms. Sometimes I will get a flare in a joint and I have psoriatic arthritis in my feet. The Gabapentin does nothing for that.

    I agree that taking either one of these drugs would probably not help much for anything other than nerve pain.

  7. lin-z

    lin-z New Member

    I went to the rheumotologist(i fired him recently just for his lack of interest) and told him I thought the cymbalta wasnt working anymore. He put me on Lyrica and I worked up to 300mg a day. I did not get any bad side effects...i got a big zero... nothing. Yet another dr. is weaning me off it now.

    I also have deep achy pain and not the pins and needle type nerve pain that i think this drug is intended for. I am going for a brain and cervical spine gp said she will not accept fibro as the reason for the severity of my pain.

    i was on neurontin also at one point and was not crazy about the way it made me feel...You could try the lyrica , if you are like me ,it will help or do nothing and then you will know

    best of luck and let us know...Lindsey
  8. claudiaw

    claudiaw New Member

    My name is claudia.
    I am new here. Like you I have a low tolerance to meds. I have tried the same meds as you. My doc gave me a sample of Lyrica. It is very similar to Neurontin( the patent is running out and going generic, so they made an new improved version). I had bad side effects with neurontin as well, but I'm willing to try anything.
    What I do is buy empty capsules and then divide the dose (if you don't feel comfortable doing that, then don't or check with your doctor). I did get pain relief, but can still feel how tight my muscles are. They feel like rocks, in fact my neck and shoulder are so tight that I'm getting a migraine now.
    Lyrica made me feel a bit dizzy, with heart flutters and muscle twithches(I get all those without meds!). So I'm not sure if I will continur to take this or not.
    Most of these meds have the same side effects that I have naturally.:(
    Muscle relaxers , physical therapy and moist heat are the only things that really have helped. I also take many supplements as I was a manager of a health food store for 7 yrs. Good Luck.
  9. marw

    marw New Member

    Wendy, hi, there,

    Thanks for the good info. I'll try doing more with the Valium like you suggest. I also didn't know about keeping it in the blood-stream, so I think I have been stingy with the meds....mostly not taking enough unless I was in pain.

    Yes, I do get Flares after a day or 2 of Exercise. It drives me nuts, because it seems just as I start to get into the swing of the Exercise Program, I always get a Flare. It's like a catch 22 thing. You can't really build muscle without using the muscle enough, but when you use it enough to get a lttle sore (there is the good sore and the bad sore, so I am talking about good soreness....not anything real bad, but just lightly, that would indicate a good workout)then it seems like all hell breaks lose, and along with the soreness comes the Fibro Aches and nerve pain, too, sometimes. Baby steps are certainly the way. I didn't work out yesterday, but hope I will be able to do it today. One thing I haven't said in any of my posts is that I use to be a I get a lot of Psycyological frustration, as well as the other stuff, from this disease. Of course, I cannot dance anyway with a bad back, but I have ALWAYS DANCED at least some, and I had never been in a gym in my life until I got this FM. Now I belong to a Health Club instead of going to Ballet Studios. It is quite an adjustment...and frankly, it's boring, compared to what I used to do. But I am learning that we cannot look back. It just leads to unhappiness if we do. I also have to be careful not to overdo....always a temptation when you are feeling good to just keep on really work and sweat is what I was used to doing. My PT finally got me to stop that, but it is possible I slip up a bit there, too.

    THanks again. I just love this Board and the great people here. It's really helping!


    P.S. Yes, I will get the Alka Seltzer Gold (without Asprin). Someone told me that it is called that.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/11/2006]
  10. marw

    marw New Member

    Hi Marsha, Chris, Lindsay, and Claudia,

    Sorry not to answer your posts individully here, but I am get behind sometimes when I try to do that. Maybe I can do it a bit later. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your replies, and am planning to use the info you are giving me.

    It sounds to me like this drug Lyrica would not help me. I do sometimes have nerve pain from the herniated disks in my back, but I don't need a drug for that. I do the back exercises for it and get epidural injections periodically and that works on that. It is the FM that I need pain med for, and in me this is Aches and Pains, like I described in the pins or burning. (Hmmm....well, now I do get some burning in my side from the IBS, but I don't think that is the same thing, either, that would require a drug like Lyrica. Unless of course, it helps sleep, which is my worse thing....that and the Anxiety!)

    I did go to a neurologist a while ago (he was the one who tried the Neurontin) and I have another neurologist also that I see now and then for the Migraine. Neither one of these docs would give me a drug like Lyrica, so I think maybe my rheumatologist just does not realize the seriousness of side effects for me, even though I tell him.
    BTW: On my brain MRI, there was some dementia, but I was told it was normal for my age. Nothing else. On the EEG, there is seisure-type activity in the temporal lobe (forget which one without looking it up)but only if the test is done during an actual Migraine, otherwise it is normal. Most people with Migraine do have this brain-wave pattern, and it is not real seizures, so that is why those meds don't work. (I've tried the Anti-Seizure meds, too, and had bad side effects.)

    An interesting suggestion was made by my headache doctor one time regarding the FM, but I haven't followed through on it. There is a headache med called FROVA (in the triptan class of drugs) which has a long half-life...24 hours, I think. This is for people with recurring Migraine. He told me that "triptan" class of drugs act on serontonin receptors also, but only on one, and a different one than SSRI's and so on. He suggested maybe using this drug every 3 days and see if it had any effect on the FM. He suggested this, because when I have a Migraine, I take Imitrex (also a "triptan" but with half-life of only a few hours) it seems to kill the FM for a few hours also. Very interesting, I thought. Now, I haven't followed through because I don't think I could stand not being able to take my regular Imitrex for the Migraine, and I couldn't if I were using FROVA, and there is no guarantee FROVA would work for me on Migraine. I guess this sounds complicated but I thought I would throw it in for anyone interested. If I ever decide to try the FROVA, I will post what happens. (Note: Another thing about "Triptans" is that they can be very hard on the heart, so it is not a good idea to use them too often. I have a good heart, but I want to keep it that way.)

    Thanks again, everyone, for your good suggestions. I'll post about the Lyrica, if I decide to try it.

    Hope you are having a good and pain-free day. (smile)

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