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Dr. Orrange received her BA in Biology at the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters Degree in Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. She received her MD from the USC Keck School of…
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How long does Gabapentin take to work as a pain reliever?
Posted in Chronic Pain by Dr. Sharon Orrange on Aug 03, 2010
"How long does Gabapentin take to work as a pain reliever medicine for neuropathic pain. I have now built up to 5 x 300 mg a day and still feeling the pain. I have done this build up over 3 weeks!"

Many Doctors prescribe Gabapentin (Neurontin) for neuropathic pain and Diabetic neuropathy. Remember that though widely prescribed this is still an unlabeled use for Gabapentin. Three large clinical trials found Gabapentin was effective for Diabetic Neuropathy and those studies used doses of 600-1800mg a day, with 1800mg a day being the maximum dose.

Gabapentin does not work for neuropathic relief in everybody and even in the studies with the best results, 50% of people had relief of their pain. After titration up, as you have been doing, if you don’t have neuropathic pain relief in 4-8 weeks, it may not be effective for you.

To others taking Gabapentin, what has your experience been?

Dr O.



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18
I have multiple herniated disks in my neck and back that are pushing on nerves creating a lot of pain. I just started taking gabapentin 2 days ago. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones,it started working within hours of my first use. It doesn't relieve all the pain but it does relieve enough to enjoy life again, I got my first full night sleep last night that I haven't had in months.
By cnstill  Jan 17, 2014
17
I use gabapentin for hot flashes and discovered it helps me sleep and helps with psin. I want my doctor to give me more. It's 600mg a day now but I'm taking 1800mg . Does this help anyone else this way? I find this drug to be a miracle too good to ne true!
By Qball466  Sep 12, 2012
16
I have 3 severed nerves and extreme nerve damage in other nerves on my shoulder/arm from a bad injury and a doctor put me on gabapentin and I take 2400mg a day and it doesn't get rid of nerve pain for me, I've had very bad nerve damage for 4 months now and would have had nerve transfer surgery along time ago but my insurance company wouldn't pay for it. But I finally got approve last week and I'm driving 11 hours to Mayo Clinic to have nerve surgery on March 5th which is in 2 weeks or sooner? I can't wait for this to be over with but it's going to take 2-4 years to heal. But as far as gabapentin goes, it just makes me kind of sleepy, but doesn't get rid of pain for me.
By kentuckygirl502  Feb 21, 2011
15
I have peripheral neuropathy caused by the chemo drug "Taxol". It damaged the nerves in my hands and feet. My pain in both my h&f feel like a burning/walking on hot rocks -- just a pain that goes through to the bone! I get little, but some relief from gabapentin, dose of 3x300 mg. 3 x day. And I wear a duragesic pain patch. For the breakthrough pain I take a low dose of oxycodone. This combo has been about the best for me. I have a few good days, usually the best is the 2nd day after a fresh patch; but sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason why the pain gets so bad some days. Anyone else with a similar issue??
By Neuro76  Sep 08, 2010
14
Several years ago I took Gabapentin. I had horrible back pains and the doctor wanted to try something other than a narcotic. On the third day I vomited and everything I had eaten in those three days came out chewed, but not digested. Needless to say I never took another one again. Now that I'm diabetic, I am hopeful that legalized marajuana will be an option, should I need it in the future.
By Furretz  Sep 07, 2010
13
I am on gabapentin for my fibromyalgia and now have
a real problem with constipation..if U have IBs and
constipation this drug will definitely make it worse..
By june m. mclean  Aug 25, 2010
12
Please I am begging you don't ever get started using nuerotin and if you are on it get off of it. I was on it, my mother in-law was and may still be on it. Hoping she is trying to get off of it! I also have an aunt that is on a pain pump and nuero stim that was on it and we all agree it is a horrible drug that does more damage than anything positive. Please do not use it. Have been off of it for almost two years and very thankful I am off of it. I just had a boston scientific precision nuero stim put in on wednesday the 4th. I have high hopes for it. There so many options out there just please don't make Neurontin. It is addictive like some say it is not. Just please be careful!
By titanuimback  Aug 06, 2010
11
i've being on it for 12 years and it works for me.
it doesnt take all the pain away but it helps out alot.
i do have side effects from it but i can deal with the side effects easier than the pain.
what works for one person may not work for another person.
By srh1  Aug 05, 2010
10
I was prescribed it for PHN for shingles but I am using it for nerve pain in my failed foot reconstruction. I only use it before sleep, when the pain is bad from walking during the day. I have had some bad experiences with anti-seizure drugs - like Topamax for migraines. I lost 5 years of memory. It did stop the migraines. So I am wary of these neurological drugs. Still, if it helps, I would go for it. If not, try something different.
By Angela53510  Aug 05, 2010
9
My doc put me on gabapentin it has been a lifesaver for me. I haven't had any side effects, it helps my pain, I broke my arm 7 months ago and had to have 2 rods put in. Well, the ortho guys will only give typical pain meds for so long. The Neurontin also helps me sleep,, helps my depression and anxiety. I'm not sure how it works, there is A chemical in our brains, GABA, that I guess it helps release. Benzos do the same thing, I think. The good thing for me about gabapentin is it's no addictive.
By RJLC  Aug 04, 2010
8
I suffer from serious IBS with constipation and abdominal pain. Due to pains in my back, neck and other areas, my doctor recently prescribed Gabapentin. I haven't begun taking this medication, as yet, having read about the possible side affects. My question is should I follow my doctor's orders? I'm afraid that this could make my abdominal situation worse.
By TwoBsMom  Aug 04, 2010
7
Hello, I take 3600 mgs. daily of gabapentin for neuropathy in my left leg and foot. It works wonderfully for me. I have been taking it for ten years now. I could not have the life I have now without it. I know my leg and foot will never improve over where it is now. One more advantage to gabapentin over neurontin is the cost. Gabapentin is much less costly. Thank goodness!

Lorraine
By lorraine1647  Aug 04, 2010
6
I'VE BEEN TAKING GAPAPENTIN FOR FIBROMYLGIA FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS AND STILL HAVE PAIN BUT THEY SAY I HAVE TO DRINK THE THING WHAT CAN I DO IF EVERYBODY SAYS IS GOOD FOR ME..
By inieves33  Aug 04, 2010
5
Gabapentin did not do anything for my pain unless I doubled the amount prescribed. It did make me gain some weight. The research that I have done explained that they don't know how an anti-seizure medication works on damaged nerves. I guess for some it does. I used it for about 10 weeks.
By dmaspord  Aug 04, 2010
4
I have been taking it for a little over a year now and the pain relief has been miraculous for me. I have a total knee replacement that still has joint pain from some errant nerve. As soon as I started taking it, the pain was gone.
I am fortunate in that I have no side effects from it.
By sfmini  Aug 04, 2010
3
I took gabapentin three times a day for about three years for dibilitating pain. It worked well, But I also developed a stomach ulcer and gastrites from this med. Which damged many of my teeth. I know have to pay thousands of dollars fix them.

I did tell my doctor I was throwing up all the time. He said your not losing a lot of weight so I am not worried about it. Although He actually had to administer IV fluid to me a couple of times and give me meds to stop me from throwing up. He also knew I was anemiac for over a year. My dentist kept insisting it was my lack of dental hygiene was to blame. Despite the dental hygenist telling her my dental hygiene was awsome.

So if your taking gabapentin, your stomach swells up, you throw up often and can't stop. See your dr or a GI specialist right away. before you lose your teeth and develope an ulcer.
By Pius  Aug 04, 2010
2
I am prescribed 800mg 4 times daily but I only take 400mg at a time along with 10/325mg percocet. This has worked for me as far as temporary releif is concerned. I also take 15mg morphine and 15mg cymbalta twice daily for breakthrough pain. If I stay true to this cocktail, I can get thru the day ok but if I forget, boy do I pay!
By jcc  Aug 03, 2010
1
100 mg twice per day plus exercise regimen at least twice per day as well as concentration on posture to treat sciatica has been very successful.
By Room117  Aug 03, 2010
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