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Gabapentin and pregabalin

(24 Posts)
ExD1938 Sat 08-Feb-20 12:21:55

Apologies if this has already been covered elsewhere.
I was prescribed oromorph, (liquid morphine) 5mls per 4 hours when I fell and broke my back. I reduced this to 2.5mls every 4 hours, and now to 2,5mls every 6 hours.
I am terrified of becoming addicted and my GP prescribed co-codamol - up to 8 tablets per day - but these don't give me the relief I need.
She has now suggested pregabalin.
From what I read, this seems to be just as addictive, and I have a friend who takes it but says it doesn't help her arthritic hip at all.
What are the pro's and con's of these gaba drugs? What are the dangers of addiction?
I am in constant pain, especially at night, and a m very tired and lack stamina. I'm beginning to feel my GP is going down a list of drugs just to keep me quiet for another month - then another. I am so very very tired.

FlexibleFriend Sat 08-Feb-20 12:33:16

Why would you become addicted? the people who do become addicted continue to take morphine long after the pain has gone. I had all this come off Morphine before you become addicted from the pain clinic. I proved I wasn't addicted by reducing my dose drastically but they didn't give me anything else so after proving my point and being in agony I again increased my dose. You need pain killers, opioids cease to be effective after a while therefore if you continue taking them and they are not helping with the pain you can become addicted. I'm very limited as to what drugs I can take that work, I'm alergic to cocodomol. The dangers of addiction are the same as any drug addiction, do you still function well, do you crave your drugs etc.

Oopsadaisy3 Sat 08-Feb-20 12:38:11

I was on Morphine after a spine op, no pain, noticed that I needed it less often and so came off of it, no addiction.
It took a while for the pain to go, but honestly why live with so much pain when the drugs are there to help you? don’t listen to your friends experience, we are all different at least give them a try.
Flexiblefriend is right in her summing up.

MissAdventure Sat 08-Feb-20 12:42:50

A lot of people get great pain relief from those pills, but some don't.
What works for your friend may be very different for you.

The only way to find out is to try, and as for addiction, well as we age, some of us end up needing drugs, either psychologically or physically, to help us function.

Artdecogran Sat 08-Feb-20 12:52:22

I have taken soluble co-codamol on and off for years to help with arthritis pain. On the box is says only take for 3 days or you will become addicted. I can take for a couple of weeks and then stop for a month without any withdrawal symptoms or craving to take them. I would take what is effective for you and to cope with the pain you are feeling. As a doctor once said to me ‘only you know your body’. I would also think that once your body has healed then you could slowly wean yourself off the painkillers, don’t stop suddenly. Wishing you all the best for a pain free recovery.

LadyGracie Sat 08-Feb-20 13:17:05

I was given gabapentin following my third spinal surgery, starting as prescribed on a low dose and gradually increasing, I realised thank goodness that it was stopping me functioning, I’m not exaggerating when I say it was taking me over. I had to very gradually on my gp’s advice wean myself off it.

However I know it does help some people, my manager swore by it after a knee operation.

timetogo2016 Sat 08-Feb-20 13:29:00

ExD1938 you sound like a sensible person so I would not worry about becoming addictive to the pain killers.
I do hope you feel better soon.

QuaintIrene Sat 08-Feb-20 13:32:19

I have morphine patches for my back injury. I have no idea what would happen if I didn’t have them because I must be addicted by now, after 4 years. I don’t care. I could care for DH and have him at home. Without we would both have been in Homes. I am independent and can move enough without passing out from pain.
Now I am on my own I do intend to explore other sources of pain relief because it’s not going away and I worry about needing more and becoming zombie like.
Can you see another Doctor? I went through two in my practice before I found a good listener.
Constant pain wears you down and I do know 💐

Marydoll Sat 08-Feb-20 14:37:56

After breaking my back in two places 10 years ago , I was prescribed all sorts of opiates, to no avail.
I was eventually referred to a pain clinic, which did give me some relief and support with pain management.

Have asked for a referral to a pain clinic, as it looks like your GP is doing what you say? Remember, although trying his best, he is not an expert.

QuaintIrene Sat 08-Feb-20 14:54:48

Marydoll I forgot about the pain clinic. I was sent for acupuncture from there. Three hours of blissful relief every week.
My Doctor is interested in spinal problems and has helped me. It’s finding one who knows his stuff about a niche.
Don’t give up, OP.

Oopsminty Sat 08-Feb-20 15:06:04

Sorry to hear you're feeling so bad, ExD1938.

I've been on both Gabapentin and more recently Pregabalin for chronic pain

Neither worked for me

I came off them with no addiction issues

But we're all different and basically it's trial and error

I go privately for acupuncture. It's no cure but like QuaintIrene it helps greatly. For a while!

I have problems sleeping, but when I have acupuncture I actually fall asleep on the table!

Good luck and give the drug a chance. You never know, you may be lucky

Marydoll Sat 08-Feb-20 15:08:24

What I should have also said to the OP, is don't listen to people who say a medication doesn't work for them, so it isn't likely to work for you.
Everyone responds differently to medication, it's matter of trying until you find something which works.
You can't compare an arthritic hip to a back injury, the causes of the pain are not the same.
I hope you can get some relief.
I'm never pain free, but it's manged, so that it is bearable and I have some quality of life.
Good luck OP.

Cherrytree59 Sat 08-Feb-20 15:16:03

I take pregabalin for nerve problem in my foot.
Only medication that works for me.

I hope you get sorted ExD1938 and get on top the pain as quickly as possible shamrock

pinkquartz Sat 08-Feb-20 15:25:21

This drug has damaged my mind and body.
it is the worst medication I have ever taken.

Where do I start?
Side effects do not happen to everyone but if you get them they will always get worse and the doctors lie about this.

I have terrible memory loss, from the Pregabalin.
At it's worst when I was still taking the drug I kept buying online the same items. Never remembering I had bought anything. I couldn't see what I was doing...bizaare but true.

I still have huge gaps in my memory of events during the 3 years I took the drug. Real gaps not fog gaps.
I became very angry,
I ate very littel as I felt sick all the time but put on 3.5 stone in just 6 months.
The thing is it takes more and more of the drug to get the pain relief and the more you take the worse the side effects.
And it is very addictaive.
Coming off the drug is painful
It took me 2 years as it has to be done slowly. The pain i was in by the end was worse than before i first took it.

What I am saying is that if you get any side effects stop.
It also destroys neurons in the brain you can look this up.
It is a fact. recent studies prove this
it works by damping down the electrical activity in the brain and with the pain relief goes personality. memory, even caring.
I was like a zombie
I am still not back to normal.

There is much more to say but I am not well enough.....but I have warned everyone i know.
Do not take it if you have one side effect you will have more that is the way it works.

Also some people are fine for a while then they are not.
It was used in prisons to get people off of opiods but it made a newer worse problem

Do research but don't take it without care.

Coolgran65 Sat 08-Feb-20 15:34:31

If you need a medication for pain relief you may become dependant. That is not addiction.

Addiction is when you crave more of a drug in order to get a euphoric feeling.

tidyskatemum Sat 08-Feb-20 15:49:50

DH took cocodamol, prescribed by the GP, for several months to ease the pain in his hip. It gave him a stomach problem so he stopped taking it, resulting in a couple of days of being very twitchy and not sleeping for over a week. He's quite relieved he didn't take it for longer or he might have had real trouble with withdrawal symptoms.

ExD1938 Sat 08-Feb-20 21:26:49

I'd never heard of patches QuaintIrene how often do you use them?
Oramorph does work the best and my GP is happy for me to continue and I suppose at my age it really doesn't matter if I become addicted or dependant. All the same I'd prefer not to be taking opiates .......... dunno why.
But I do dread the long painful nights at the moment.

Juliet27 Sat 08-Feb-20 21:37:06

I was given oromorph after a hip operation but it made me nauseous. Cocodomol didn’t seem to relieve pain and the nursing staff said it doesn’t work for everyone. One of its side effects for me is constipation. It’s ibuprofen that works well for me.

SueDonim Sat 08-Feb-20 22:13:24

I’ve read that taking morphine for severe pain rarely leads to addiction, because it’s acting in a different way to when you’re taking it for kicks. I had ten days on morphine for a double leg fracture but I stopped taking it with no problem as the pain abated.

I hope your pain eases soon. flowers

FlexibleFriend Sat 08-Feb-20 22:35:47

I've been on 200mgs of morphine twice a day for over two years and I can reduce the dose without suffering any effects other than increasing pain. I certainly couldn't stop it overnight but when I reduced it I did it by reducing the dose by 10mgs a day.

QuaintIrene Sun 09-Feb-20 02:34:57

ExD1938its like a nicotine patch. One a night that gives me a steady dose throughout the night and day. The tablets would do the same, but DH had memory loss and they were safer to have in the house. He just took tablets, anything. He thought they were for him.

Marydoll Sun 09-Feb-20 08:10:15

For about ten years, I have been wearing a painkilling patch, prescribed by the pain clinic, which lasts 72 hours. This is topped up by paracetamol.
It helped has tremendously, as my pain is caused by a number of conditions. I do need the dosage increased, but I'm resisting, as it will probably affect my thinking.
It is reviewed on a regular basis, as it is a controlled drug.
I was on the highest dose of Gabapentin and it didn't even touch the pain.

Chronic, long lasting pain is so debilitating and isolating. If you had a broken leg, people would see it and sympathise, but you can't see pain. People are forever telling me how well I look, so I just smile and thank them. No point in moaning!

Here's to all we chronic pain sufferers! I would raise a glass 🥂to us, but alcohol is banned, so a cuppa ☕ it is!

travelsafar Sun 09-Feb-20 09:23:30

I take gabapentin for pain relief due to issues with y back. I started on a low dose and it has slowly been increased to 300mg x three times daily. I have no side effects and this dose has reduced the pain to a bearable point. If i do tooo much i know about it but i have learned my limitations and try to stick to them so i dont have to have the dose increased. Before going on this medication i was taking all sorts both over the counter and prescribed and none of it helped. Unless you try you dont know. So glad my GP finally prescribe them for me, my life is much better now. smile I dont worry about being addicted, as at my age i dont really care, it is about quality of life at the moment. I just see myself as being dependant on them for chronic pain relief, not addicted.

pinkquartz Sun 09-Feb-20 12:36:34

If you have no side effects then I hope you are ok.

Gabapentin is much weaker than pregabalin.
or more clearly pregabalin is 6 times stronger than Gabapentin