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Old 08-06-2009, 12:18 PM
Napier Napier is offline
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Can the drug Neurontin (generic = gabapentin) work this fast?

I started taking gabapentin again last night and thought I got improvement in motor skills within hours - is that even possible?

I had part of my neck fused 11 months ago because of degenerative bone and "severe" spinal cord and nerve root compression. My problems included neck, hand and arm pain, vasiculations, clumsiness and weakness. I immediately got a great deal of relief and think the whole thing was hugely successful.

But I did retain some clumsiness and also a little of the heavy, dead feeling in my hands. In yesterday's final followup visit they thought that much might be permanent, but also thought it might be improved somewhat by a course of "Neurontin" (gabapentin), which I took a few years ago with excellent results for a back problem.

My hands felt more alive within an hour or two of taking the first dose, and also this morning. I only took 300 mg once (it's going to ramp up to 300 mg three times a day over the next week).

Is that even possible? To have noticeable improvement in hours? It's going to take hundreds of times that just to finish the ramp up!

I'm glad for whatever improvement I get, but am wondering if it's liklier I'm imagining this first impression.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:26 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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I would say it is possible based on my experience but I tend to respond to those types of drugs much faster than most people. Neurontin is a rather odd drug in that it is routinely used off-label for a whole host of disorders. Nobody really knows exactly how or why it works and individual variation on response is extremely high. It is known that it modifies GABA receptors which alcohol and benzodiazepines also alter but that stuff gets complicated. Only you and your doctor can be the judge of what you experienced but I noticed effects really quickly too. You can read about Neurontin on Wikipedia to see what it is used for which is a whole menu of approved and off-label uses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabapentin

Last edited by Shagnasty; 08-06-2009 at 01:30 PM..
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:37 PM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
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I used to take Neurontin for migraines. I can't specifically answer for your neck/back issues, but I think it's possible. I switched to Neurontin from Midrin (I'm now on Topamax) and I do not doubt your experience at all. I also have trigeminal neuralgia and my neurologist prescribed it to "cool the nerve." That is the best description I could ever come up with.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:58 AM
Liberal Liberal is offline
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Yes. I went through a period of substituting gabapentin for Lyrica (because of the cost). The pain relief was about the same. But gabapentin increased my appetite, whereas Lyrica did not. So I've gone back. it's worth the extra 35 bucks.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:34 PM
Napier Napier is offline
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Thanks! The effect seemed to wear off a bit during the day yesterday but came back with last night's dose. I think it IS real, because it felt like it was going off and coming back on again, and because you folks say it could be so fast.

BTW my "excellent results for a back problem" included improving the numbness, pain, and paralysis", but I really couldn't remember if it took hours or days or weeks to notice. I took it for maybe 4 to 12 months, can't remember just how long either. After ramping down at the end, I retained the improvement it gave me. Wonderful stuff.

I gather this use of it is off label, too. Doc said it makes the nerve put out less signal in the particular situation where it is signalling because it is being damaged somewhere along its length, among its other actions.

Sigmagirl, sorry about the tic douloureux - I hear it can be really miserable and know of somebody else taking this for it. I guess opiates are way less effective on pain that gets to the brain without going through spinal cord nerve roots, right?
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:51 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Speaking as a gabapentin prescriber, I'd say "yes".

Your response, while not typical, is not rare, either.

Hopefully, the response will continue and get stronger.
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2009, 02:57 PM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napier View Post
Sigmagirl, sorry about the tic douloureux - I hear it can be really miserable and know of somebody else taking this for it. I guess opiates are way less effective on pain that gets to the brain without going through spinal cord nerve roots, right?
Thank you. It is better in the warm weather, so right now is not so bad. Direct heat also helps a little, especially steam. When it is at its worst, a gentle breeze can be excruciating, and I have to postpone haircuts and dental visits. I have Vicodin for migraines, but it doesn't help much for this. The best thing is just keeping people from touching me! It is on only my left side, so at least my husband can kiss me!
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:09 PM
ryan ryan is offline
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I use neurontin 300mg x2 daily for diabetic neuropathy and, for me, it seems to take a week or so to fully take effect. A larger daily dose gives me an opiate-like buzz that can make it hard to concentrate so I've settled on my current dose for a couple of years now. I find that it doesn't improve my condition, but it does virtually eliminate the frequent jolts of pain I was subject to.
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2009, 10:25 PM
CC CC is offline
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sidebar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmagirl View Post
...(I'm now on Topamax)..
Ah, yes, Dope-a-max. That was my drug of last choice in trying to prevent migraines. Not only did it not work, but, boy, did I get stupid...er. Couldn't figure out the tip at a restaurant. Just lost. Major cognitive impairment. Not the ideal condition for a college professor (although I suppose my students would say they didn't detect any difference). Hope it works for you.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:47 PM
astro astro is offline
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Some have different experiences with neurontin.
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  #11  
Old 09-15-2012, 08:59 PM
LonnieS LonnieS is offline
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It is certainly possible to feel better right away, but like you said, it will take quite some time to ramp up your dosage all the way. You are a luck one though, because most people take many months to taper up their gabapentin dose for the medicine to function properly.
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2012, 09:01 PM
Postariti Postariti is offline
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Sorry to bump this. Can anyone give me an idea of how much this medicine would cost for someone without insurance?
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