Lyrica and neurontin for crohns disease and other health problems?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 1/19/2009 5:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I dont post awhole lot. But I have a few questons. I am a recovering addict from narcotics and meth for 3 plus years. I have some reallyserious health issues and extreme pain is part of the game with what I have. I wont even begin to list all my medical problems. But narcotics come into play sometimes as part of my treatment. My doctor knows of my addiction problems. He did put me on percocet this past year and has been weening me off. I did good with taking them as perscribed and am now off them. I flushed the rest of what I had.

He put me on neurontin and lyrica. I do know that its not narcotic. My question is there anyone else who takes these meds and if they are habbit forming? The neuronotin is a pain blocker for people that have nerve pain and also used for people with seizures. The Lyrica is used for people with Fibromyalga. What are side effects? And are there any sucess stories?

Im new to these medications and wot to know if anyone has had results with these medications.
I guess I should include here that its 75mg of lyrica and 600mg of neurontin. I take 40mg of paxil at bedtime too. I feel so absolutely useless and blah on this medicine. I cant seem to find the energy to do jack. But I can say its taking away the pain! UGHHH! I have no eergy or motivation. I have 3 kids and my youngest is 4yo. I cant sit here and be and feel like this everyday.

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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted 1/19/2009 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Sav,
I do take neurontin for the neuropathic symptoms in my feet and yes, it does make me foggy. I had to start my doses VERY slowly - even having to ask my neurologist for 100mg tabs (now I take 1600mg/day, which is a mid-level dose) and he thought I was nuts but it helped.

I am not a doctor and don't think anyone here is, but neurontin and lyrica and very similar meds and I didn't think you were supposed to be on both at the same time. Maybe there's something unusual about your situation. Lyrica is sort of a newer form of neurontin, and is supposed to have fewer side effects. I would tell your doctor what you're experiencing and see if maybe you could just try the lyrica first.

I'd suggest going to the lyrica website and reading up on dosage levels. It's fairly new and I've found doctors tend to put you on too low a dose. This has happened twice to me. 75mg of Lyrica is, to my knowledge, a starter dose and probably won't cover your pain. But if you're taking both neurontin and lyrica together, there's no way to tell which one is working and which is causing more of the side effects.

While these aren't class 2 narcotics, I believe they are technically controlled substances - I think maybe a C5. There is some potential for addiction physically, but not as much as with the percocet. Have you consulted an Addictionologist? That's an M.D. with a specialty in Addiction Medicine and they have special protocols for dealing with chronic pain. Good for you trying to stay on top of this - I know it's hard to juggle. But knowledge is power so read the websites for lyrica and neurontin, and you'll have a better idea of what they do. And then I'd suggest talking with your doctor.

Hope this helps a bit!

p.s. I'd probably be on lyrica if I could find a doctor that would give me a high enough dose so I could get off the neurontin, but also the lyrica is more expensive. It is supposed to have fewer side effects. Also, has you doctor tried cymbalta?

Pete trips again!
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 1/19/2009 8:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Sav, I'm not an expert on these meds either but I was taking Lyrica for a very short time {maybe 2 weeks} for nerve pain. I just couldn't handle it at all. It would totally knock the crap out of me. Sorry but I don't remember the dose I was on but I'm pushing 300lbs and I was way too sleepy and zoned out to function at work and forget driving. I was also taking verapamil, synthroid, lisinopril, efecsor, methadone & oxicodone at the same time so that may have added to the problem. It is also known for putting weight on those who take it, something I really don't need. Good luck, I hope you get it worked out and get dialed in on something that works for you. Big Hugs from the South!
55 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 1/2 years of depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy (Testim Gel)since 12/06 but switched to a higher dose of (Androgel) 6/08. 55 and still alive and so glad to still be here to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men. They are both serving in the US Navy, one on an aircraft carrier heading for Hong Kong and the other on a Gator Freighter stationed in Norfolk, Va. I am one proud PaPa! 

deb in indiana
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 387
   Posted 1/19/2009 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on Lyrica for 5 days it helped but i swelled up like a ballon dr. took me off it and but me on neurontin  which has really helped my nerve pain in the legs.Deb

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/19/2009 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sav,

I was on neurontin for nerve pain about 6 months. I know I got up to 1800mg/day, although it may have been higher -- it's been a year since I took it & I have been on so many meds in the last 2 years that my mind kind of spins thinking about them all. It never helped me, but it does help a lot of people. I have not yet tried Lyrica. I've had multiple docs recommend it, but at the same time, they were all to afraid to start it with me, because I am very sensitive to medications & the first couple of weeks on it can potentially be very rough, and I cannot afford the time it would take for my body to adjust in my current situation.

From my experience & what my docs have told me, it's not uncommon for the neurotin to make you feel pretty out of it for a bit every time you increase it (which is why it is usually increased very slowly over a period of time, and you are started on a low dose). It always made my head spin for about 3 days after an increase, especially for the first few hours after taking each dose. It was not fun, but it did go away once my body adjusted. If your side effects aren't going away, you may want to talk to your doctor about starting at a lower dosage, or increasing more slowly. I've heard that this sort of thing can happen with Lyrica too. If you are taking both at once, maybe it is just too much for your body to handle? I too have never heard of them being taken at the same time, as they have a fair amount of similarities. Glad to hear that it is helping your pain. Hopefully you can work something out with your doctor & your body, so that you can minimize the side effects & still get the relief!

Palady's suggestion about seeing an addictionologist is good. You might consider looking into something like that if you haven't already. It's good that you & your doctors recognize your situation & seem to be actively trying to find a solution.


Post Edited (skeye) : 1/19/2009 9:19:28 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 1/19/2009 11:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Actually as someone who is in pain and wants off all of pain meds, when I ask about Lyrica the doctors freak out like I'm asking for Cocaine or something very illegal. It really frustrates me, I've tried Neurontin but it had too many side effects, and I've heard through friends that Lyrica worked much better, but yet for some odd reason their must be a warning on that drug somewhere that says "please dont prescribe to Carmen". And I have done some research on Lyrica and eventhough it is a scheaduled drug, it's not as addicting as narcotics. See, for me, I wanted off of pain meds that's why I'm on Suboxone, and I cant take most NSAIDs cause they cause severe heartburn, which I can take Ibprofen but only once in a great while or the heartburn sets in, this includes prescribed NSAIDS, and Tylenol makes me vomit like crazy so thats off limits. And I'm already taking Cymbalta which isnt helping a whole lot, so that leaves Lyrica. Unless I'm missing something else, which in that case please please let me know, I'm SOL. And just so you know, I see a very wonderful addiction specialist that is also a family doctor (but not my regualur doctor, I just see and pay him for the Suboxone program), and he wont help me a great deal when it comes to pain, basically told me to seek out counciling, which I've tried and hasnt helped. Well enough of me rambling on, have a great day.

-hellokitty (Carmen)
I have Migraines, Pancreatic Divisum, Severe lower back pain, Fibromyalgia, Asthma from Chronic Bronchitis
Meds: Suboxone 8mg 3xday, Cymbalta 60mg @ night,
Zanaflex 2-4 mg @ night as needed, Treximet as needed,
Ventolin Albuterol Inhaler as needed which seems to be everyday.
Been on Diability since I was 22 for Migraines and chronic Pancreatitas(started the processes when I was 19, I'm 25 now) but am working to get off of it ASAP,I want to be a nurse and work at a Impatient rehab with people with addictions of all kinds

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13366
   Posted 1/19/2009 11:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sav and welcome to Healing Well. I think I saw you have crohns, me too, what a lovely disease to be stricken with, huh.
I was put on Lyrica a few years ago and it worked great for the neuropathy in my hands and feet and helped so much with the pain in those areas. But, I do have a wacky system and after a while it sort of lost its punch. Now, my PCP is the one that put me on Lyrica, I actually started out with Cymbalta and when it quit working we moved on to the Lyrica. Drs do have a tendancy to start peeps out on too low of a dose. Once we got me on the correct doseage it made a great bit of difference.
I don't know anything about taking them both at the same time. I would call my pharmacist and ask this question. If the pharmacist so no, they should not be taken together, then I would put in a call to my drs office and speak with the nurse about this..Good luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 1/20/2009 12:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I sincerly appreciate all the replies here. I have an appointment with a pain managent doctor on thusday. I am already feeling really depressed an overwhelmed tonight. I started another thread that says a little more about me here in Chronic Pain forum. I cant really think to straigh right now and dont know what else to say. Maybe tomarrow will be a better day. Thank you so much for the replies. I read and make notes to talk to my doc on thursday.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2268
   Posted 1/20/2009 1:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been on both. I'm on Lyrica now & love it. I was on both Lyrica & Neurontin together for a while and on just Neurontin for a long time. I've also been on Lyrica & Keppra (both anti-epileptics) together, so I think it's really just doctor preference. Sometimes lower doses of 2 drugs can have fewer side effects than a high dose of 1 drug (at least that's what they told me). Anyways, the Neurontin really messed me up. I know a lot of people like it. The no energy thing is pretty common. Up until I ran out of my pain meds (no money to buy more), I was on only 50mg of Lyrica at bedtime & that put me out like a light. A lot of nights when the pain wasn't so bad I wouldn't take anything.

There definitely can be psychological side effects from these meds. Here's the link to the FDA site.

If your depression really started after you started taking these meds, you need to bring that up with your doc. Even if it started before, some of your fatigue may be tied to the meds your on. I'm not really sure what options you have b/c of your history, but maybe there is something they can give you to help with the fatigue.

good luck!

PS -- Probably not a good idea to be flushing narcotics down the toilet. You really should return any unused pills to the prescribing physician. That should help eliminate cut down on some of their suspicions. :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 1/20/2009 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I had severe mood swings yestrday. I posted just a few minutes ago on the effects Im feeling and a little indepth explaination on my history of drug abuse. As for the side effect of the neurontin and lyrica in short, I have mood swings and Im eating like a horse. I also have hand trembling and I dont know how to explain it but its kinda like my arms get twitchy. Now I have noticed alot of the responses were in reference to pain in nerve endings in the hands, feet, or legs. My question is this: I dont and never have had any pain in my hands, feet, legs. My pain is all in my gut. Its constant in my lower abdomen and back. I do have Crohns in my small intestines, IBS, and spastic colon, and constant kidney stones. The pain never generates to anywhere but my gut and middle back. I had an MRI while in the hospital and it was perfect. Thankful for that for sure! So why the medicine for seizures, or fibro? I dont get it. Its like they are treatin me for something I dont have. I dont understand. I wasnt given counsel at the hospital either. Both of my docs left town that week and left me in the care of someone Ive never met. I just dont get it.Both both doctors are adament that I see a pain doctor. They said no more narcotics period.

I will say that since Ive been taking the lyrica I sleep like the dead. The 1st night home after the hospital I took my medicine and when I wnt to bed, Sometime during the night I had the most embarrasing thing happen. I had messed the bed and didnt even know till morning. OMG. I was so ashamed. I almost threw everything in the trash. But I kept taking it. It hasnt happened again yet. Anyway, enough of the gross stuff. Thanks again fo the replies. It helps to learn.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2268
   Posted 1/20/2009 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Lyrica & Neurontin are both regularly prescribed for a wide variety of pain syndromes. It is very common for drugs from other classes to be written as "preventative" medications for pain. Anti-convulsants (like Lyrica & Neurontin), anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, just to name a few are basically standard treatments for pain. Drug companies have to pay a lot extra to get medications FDA-approved for multiple conditions so they typically are only approved for only one or two conditions. Doctors are able to write them for just about any reason as long as there is at least some research out there to show it might help.
Often, these drugs were prescribed originally to people who had 2 conditions (say seizures & back pain) and the doctor who wrote it for seizures found out the patient said it also helped with their back pain. More & more docs try it and eventually it becomes a standard treatment.
Seeing a pain doc is a good idea. Even without narcotic pain meds, there are a lot of other treatments out there you could try. There are other non-narcotic prescription meds, plus many, many alternative treatments like injections, PT, OMT, behavioral medicine, etc. Besides the pain specialist, it sounds like you could benefit from someone to treat your other conditions. I would imagine the amount of pain would go down if you get rid of the kidney stones & got the GI issues better managed.

take care,

PS -- don't feel too ashamed. i have the same issue. i got a plastic cover for my mattress & wear maxi's. things are worse right now since i just had surgery & am out of my pain meds due to finances so it has been happening a couple times a day. i am trying to save up money to buy some depends. i know it's horrible & being poor just makes things seem worse, but just take things one day at a time and keep reminding yourself that if you make good choices that eventually things are bound to improve. smhair

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/18/2011 6:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I too have Crohns disease and had lots of pain with it. I started taking remicaid about 1 1/2 ago. It helped significantly with the pain, and healed my fistulas as well. I have had no Crohns complications at all since taking it.

I had to take neurontin about 6months ago for nerve pain related to a herniated disk. I felt so fuzzy all the time and went from a straight a student to solid Cs (I sometimes feel lucky to have passed courses at all). I am trying to get away from neurontin all together but have had so many reoccurances with leg pain I am almost scared to stop it all together.

Again, remicaid is a wonder for crohns. A lot of people do not like it because it does make you a little tired for a few days after the treatment, but I always schedule it on a friday and am back up and going by monday. Also this treatment is only once every 8 weeks. As far as finances, there are lots of programs that will cover the treatment if you do not have insurance. With my insurance I only pay a 35 copay (which sure beats the 8,000) without insurance.

Good luck to you. I know how hard having Crohns can be.
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