I first started taking Lyrica after my second back surgery left me with permanent nerve damage early 2013. And during the following 5 years the dosage has varied, but mostly I was on the maximum dosage on 300mg morning and again at night.
Finding the right person to do successful injections was the first step
Early in 2017 my pain specialist spoke to me about various injections. She doesn’t do the injections herself, her co worker does and she knows her stuff. She also bulk bills for them and I just have to pay my hospital excess each calendar year. There are so many risks associated with the different injections and after two lots that were not at all and as effective in previous years … she was the last person I was going to let try. And there is a reason people are experts in their fields – she she is just that. Just so spot on. Read about my experience here.
During the past 5 years when I would discuss new or irritating side effects with my GP he would ask if the side effects outweighed the nerve pain. No they didn’t. No way I would say. Nerve pain is horrible. And so are the side effects, but at least I could parent with the side effects better than I could with the continuous nerve pain.
Getting to the point of reducing Lyrica
After two successful sets of injections in April and October 2017 that saw my nerve pain decreased and under control I started decreasing my Lyrica. April 2017 I was taking the highest dose of 300mg every morning and another 300mg every night. After the successful injections in April I started to decrease the lyrica slowly. First dropping to 225mg morning and night. A couple months later I trialed, with success, dropping to 150mg morning and night. By October 2017, I had tampered down to 75mg at both morning and night. But I did carry spare 75mg tablets with me at all times incase I was out and over did it and needed a third dose during a day here and there.
Now for coming off completely
I was booked in for my gastric bypass (thanks lyrica for the 50+kg weight gain) for November 9th, 2017 and so we decided to do the injections again before the surgery so that they didn’t wear off from the previous set during my recovery. So six months between. This time they last 13 months (woo hoo) before I had the next lot.
Two and a half months after my gastric bypass, 21kg down and still limited nerve pain flares, I had my next appointment with my pain specialist. Before I could even ask – she asked me if I wanted to wean off the lyrica. I almost jumped out of my chair with excitement as I was about to ask her the same thing. Yes yes and yes please!
Too many unwanted side effects that have affected me over the past 5 years that I was happy to let go of
Not only was their rapid weight gain to start then slow, continuous weight gain, but I also suffered/suffer from:
- Excessive sweating
- Brain fog/memory loss/forgetting words
- Dry mouth
- Troubles constructing simple sentences
- Random blurred vision
- Swelling of hands and feet like water retention
- Nightmares/Horrible dreams
- I know there are more – if I can I’ll come back and finish this list when/if I can
It can be so unbearable that I am scared of it returning. But I can simply call my pain specialist’s office if it does and organise the injections again when needed.
One thing I wasn’t as prepared for with my last injections in January 2019 was that because I was completely off Lyrica, so when the injections flared the nerves at first, recovery took a little longer, but it wasn’t too bad. Still better than taking Lyrica.
Have you had any troubles coming of Lyrica? There are support groups on Facebook that are brilliant with their research and support. Just Facebook search Lyrica and you will find them. 🙂
Feel free to share your stories below or contact me here if you’d prefer.
Disclaimer: This is just my own personal experience with Lyrica and permanent nerve pain. Please see you own Doctor In regards to medications and treatments.