Cochrane Reveiws of Gabapentoids to Relieve Pain

Here are some Cochrane reviews on the efficacy (or lack thereof) of gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica):

These medications seem mildly effective for their FDA-approved conditions, but much less so for chronic pain. Yet… I’ve found Lyrica helpful for episodic pain flares when I take it on an “as needed” basis.

8 thoughts on “Cochrane Reveiws of Gabapentoids to Relieve Pain

  1. leejcaroll

    I take it for neuropathic facial pain, phantom pain and trigeminal neuralgia. It stops the pain “tics” I used to take it daily about 1800 I think but I noticed I was losing my words. (A doc I had trusted told me “Its anxiety” I dont see him anymore) I stopped it and the words came back. I know take it prn when I have the tic pains and it seems to work. My pain doc told me that is how he prescribes it take as needed rather then daily, because of the side effects.(As I have been getting enough tics to be concerned I do now take 300 am 300 pm and that mostly works. Only me personal experience though

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    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Great that you found something that works for you!

      I’ve never even heard of a doctor prescribing it “as needed” – must be an exceptionally good one. Sorry you have to take it regularly now, but at least you’re still at a “low” dose – I’ve heard of it being prescribed up to 3000mg/day!

      And thanks for always adding your experience with it in a comment so that other folks can see how the long-time experienced “pain pros” manage our individual pain quirks.

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  2. Kathy C

    These drugs appear to work for neuropathic pain, yet they are useless for chronic pain. Some of the more sadistic physicians prescribed even higher doses of this stuff, which as been shown to amplify pain. These drugs are prescribed for all pain, since they are not opioids. Patents that report that they are ineffective are being Gas Lighted, by their physicians. This stuff was highly marketed as an alternative to opioids, with little independent research. The proliferation of this drug should have brought some kind of attention, instead thanks to deceptive marketing and industry insiders at the FDA not much research was done. There seems to be a correlation with suicides, but it is unknown if the suicides are due to untreated chronic pain or the drug itself. The research is limited by design, if they found it was the untreated chronic pain, that kind of research would not get published. The industry wants to keep their market share, even if it does kill people.

    Physicians were happy to have an alternative to prescribe, so they could avoid opioids. The people on these medications, would have experienced a lot of emotional distress when the medication failed to relieve their pain. This distress was then used to deny further treatment. This repeated failure to treat pain was never studied or identified. There have been a lot of repeated ER visits, and overdoses involving Gabapentin, but these were not studied either. the industry decided that kind of research would cut into their profits.

    Due to the continuing opiophobia, and demonization of people with chronic pain, the side effects and lack of effectiveness, could be explained away. After all anything is better than opioid addiction, that is how they marketed this drug. There is a reason the media always conflated chronic pain with addiction, it was profitable. Oddly enough, no research was done on that either, by design.

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    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Yup, anything non-opioid is being pushed as though it were a miracle. Even for good doctors facing pain patients these days, when opioids are being so severely restricted, I think it’s worth trying these other options, not with the expectation that they’ll be effective, but with hope that they can ease even a little bit of pain that would otherwise go untreated.

      I and another commenter here both find these drugs useful on an “as needed” basis, so they aren’t entirely useless. But for the vast majority of patients being put on super high doses continuously I think the side effects would not be worth it.

      Plus, people get to those high doses because lower doses didn’t help and once they’re established at a high dose, they’re afraid their pain might get worse if they stop. My mom went as high as 600mg/day on gabapentin and she’s super sensitive to all medication so that was a lot for her. But she didn’t think it was doing anything for her and she had the guts to just taper down and quit.

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  3. peter jasz

    (RE: ” ..Gabapentoids to Relieve Pain ” )

    For me, it WORSENS pain -.considerably.

    Secondly, are those ‘analgesic’ sentiments from patients -or the “published” BS ?

    pj

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. canarensis

    I took Lyrica for almost 18 months, the entire time trying to force a placebo effect b/c I sure couldn’t tell it did anything for my crps/nerve pain or other pain sources. Then my short term memory went bye-bye, almost completely. After a few months off Lyrica, it came mostly back, tho it never did completely return to pre-Lyrica norm. And it wasn’t just senility…that doesn’t happen so fast, nor does it reverse. Gabapentin didn’t work either, but I got off it a lot faster since my paranoia threshold got drastically lowered after the Lyrica experience. I wouldn’t touch either again on a bet, whether on a short or long term basis. I have had more than one doc try to force me on both again…didn’t waste any further time with those quacks (what kind of moron tries to force you back on a med that had a proven bad side effect, fa God’s sake?? A moron who refuses to listen to or believe anything a patient says).

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    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      So that’s why my short-term memory has been vanishing! I thought I was starting dementia, but now I realize it started when I started taking Lyrica. The more consistently I take it, the worse my memory gets.

      However… the problem is that Lyrica has also helped my anxiety and takes the edge off my pain. My anxiety is absolutely not tolerable, and I can’t find anything else that eases it, so I’ll just have to live without much of a short-term memory.

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      1. canarensis

        OUCH!! What a dreadful position to be in! At least it didn’t do anything positive for me in any way, so dumping it was an easy decision. I can’t even imagine what I’d have done if it had been providing notable relief.

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