Is Fibromyalgia Due to a Neurontin or Lyrica Deficiency

addictNeurontin (Gabapentin) like its kissing cousin Lyrica (pregabalin) are antiepileptic drugs commonly used for treating neuropathic pain, usually defined as pain due to damage to nerves. This would include post herpetic neuralgia (persistent pain experienced in an area previously affected by shingles), painful complications of diabetes, nerve injury pain, phantom limb pain, fibromyalgia and trigeminal neuralgia.
The studies released on these meds by the drugs manufacturer, Pfizer, should be, like most self-funded research, taken with a grain of salt.
Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Marcia Angell is the author of The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. But more to the point, she’s also the former Editor-in-Chief at the New England Journal of Medicine, arguably one of the most respected medical journals on earth. But after reading her article in the New York Review of Books called Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption, one wonders if any medical journal on earth is worth anybody’s respect anymore.
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”
So when we see the research studies as the one below, please keep in mind we are getting the best case results and mostly likely a very different view than the true picture of what this or that drug REALLY does or doesn’t do.
The Research on Gabapentin Reports-
This review looked at evidence from 29 studies involving 3571 participants.
file1801281015946In people with these conditions, gabapentin is associated with a moderate benefit (equivalent to at least 30% pain relief) in almost one in two patients (43%), and a substantial benefit (equivalent to at least 50% pain relief) in almost one in three (31%).
Over half of those taking gabapentin or pregabalin for neuropathic pain will not have good pain relief, in common with most chronic pain conditions. Adverse events are experienced by about two-thirds of people taking gabapentin, mainly dizziness, somnolence (sleepiness), edema (swelling), weight gain, depression, poor memory, incoordination, fatigue, and gait disturbance.
It’s no secret I’m not a fan of either of these drugs. I firmly believe they cause more harm than good. However, I’m a realist and know there are patients who benefit from these drugs, but for most the benefit comes at a cost, life draining side effects. One third of patients or a little 3 out of 9 will see a benefit, the rest will not. Doctors desperate to help their patients with fibromyalgia are happy to drink the purple Kool-Aid and buy the propaganda churned out by Pfizer.
However, soon enough doctors are confronted with fibro patients who report that this drug like the other drugs, isn’t helping. Doctors become disgruntled and start to suspect their patients are hypochondriacs or worse pill seekers.
Patients can’t help the fact they are one of the 2/3 of patients that Lyrica or Neurontin, doesn’t help. Or they are one of the many who simply can’t tolerate the drugs side effects.
Unfortunately, traditional medicine focuses on treating symptoms, not causes. With so many symptoms, often unexplained symptoms, fibro patients are at risk of being on multiple drugs, each treating one of the many symptoms. Eventually patients are taking a half a dozen or dozen drugs not knowing which if any are helpful, or just as importantly which are harmful, it becomes muddied.
Dr. Rodger Murphree's Fibro Doctor: What is Your WHYPatients often forget what they are taking the drugs are for… Even worse are doctors who gloss over a patients chart and don’t bother to do the detective work to figure out if in fact a drug is causing a side effect, contributing to their overall poor health, or if the drug is even needed. This is common with complicated patients who are in desperate need of feeling better who continually visit by doctors whose only tool to help them is the prescription pad.
I spend a considerable amount of time helping my patients sift through which if any of their drugs is helping, most are not. It is not uncommon to have patients who are taking a dozen drugs when they start working with me. Most are able to drastically reduce or totally eliminate these drugs, finding that many where actually causing more harm than good.
It may surprise you to learn that one of the potential side effects for both Neurontin and Lyrica is diffuse achy pain. Yes pain! I’ve had numerous patients wean off these drugs and discover that low and behold their pain has actually improved. Imagine that.
We are told that there are new and improved drugs on the horizon for fibromyalgia. I’ve already written about many of these drugs. I’m not optimistic.
After specializing in treating fibromyalgia for the last 18 years I firmly believe they only way to beat this chronic illness is to get healthy. Drugs don’t make you healthy, never will. They can be helpful, sometimes life saving, but the body will always perceive them as foreign invaders which eventually increase the risk of life robbing side effects.
Finding and correcting the cause(s) of your fibromyalgia symptoms should be the goal. Drugs if needed, should be used short term to manage symptoms while focusing on correcting the causes of fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, low thyroid, bankrupted stress coping chemicals, depleted essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and hormones.  
Learn more about how functional medicine is your best chance for finding and fixing the causes of your fibromyalgia
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20 replies
  1. Becky Jordan
    Becky Jordan says:

    I live in California and have been researching medical cannibus as a possible help with pain… I have fibromyalgia and Lupus (SLE)… I haven’t tried any of the applications, but was wondering your thoughts on this.. Thank you, Becky

  2. Penny PICKENS
    Penny PICKENS says:

    tired of living with all symptoms of fibro… The chronic pain and fatigue not to mention the lack of focus or so called (mocked term) “fibro fog”. Meds aren’t helping which just adds to the misery. I want “Me” back just want my “Life” back. Can you Please help me live again ?????? Sincerely Fibro Sucks
    Penny Pickens

  3. Flora Beattie
    Flora Beattie says:

    I have been living with fibro since we lost our home in a fire in 1991. I have been put on various types of drugs and need I say I’m still in pain. At times, even though I know there are worse off individuals than me, I get to feeling I don’t want to go on like this. I use to be very outgoing, loved to entertain and now I’d rather hide in my home. People who look at me cannot tell I’m in daily pain. I hide it well.
    I’m on two antidepressant drugs, a thyroid drug, Lyrica and Blood Pressure. All I want to do is sleep.
    I cannot find a doctor in my area to help.

  4. Sharon Pruett
    Sharon Pruett says:

    I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia for over 20 years and it just keeps escalating. I also have Hashimoto’s, had Avascular Necrosis and the latest diagnosis is that in addition to Fibro/CFS I have Myasthenia Gravis which presented with mostly ocular symptoms. HELP! They put me on Mestinon which seems to help some, but not always. Some days it seems to make things worse. I am at my wit’s end…ANOTHER autoimmune disease…weakness, double vision, nystagmus, in addition to the pain of the fibro and fatigue of CFS. Oh, I also have been diagnosed with Dysautonomia with Orthostatic Hypotension. Had the tilt table test and everything.
    I can’t help but think all these things are related and have been searching for the answer. Can you help me? Please?

  5. Charlene Watson
    Charlene Watson says:

    When first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia over seven years ago I was first prescribed Lyrica. I took the Lyrica no longer than a few weeks as I did not have a positive response. It caused me suicidal thoughts so the neurologist tried Neurontin. The Neurontin did help alleviate some of the pain yet if I skipped a dose I could barely walk. Within a couple months doctors increased the strength of the drug. I was worried about being on prescriptions for the remainer of my life and discussed this with the neurologist asking him what my treatment plan would be. When he responded increase the doses and for me not to skip any doses. That was the last time I went to his office. I started decreasing prescription intake until I was completely off all meds. Please continue your quest to help people with this horrid thing called Fibromyalgia. I have recently introduced SAMe supplement to daily supplements. What are your thoughts on it as I have had miraculous results.

  6. Tina Harper
    Tina Harper says:

    Hi my name is Tina. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 11 years ago. I have many of the symptoms you deceived in your posts. Mainly the thyroid post. I’ve been tested numerous times, twice a year for many years. It either comes back normal or acute. I’m tired of being in pain, hurting, being overweight, tiredness, and numerous others. The doctor has me on nurotin. I don’t like the way it dopes me up. I’m relatively young. Only 41. I can’t do things with friends due to either being tired or in severe pain. I would love to speak to you about my issues and a possible referral to a doctor in my area. I am tired of being sick and tired. Thank you for your time and information given.

  7. Kimberly Maloney
    Kimberly Maloney says:

    ive started the jumpstart program and have been feeling better,what happens when I run out of supplements for the jumpstart program. Do I just reorder or is there something else from there thank you

  8. Tracie Bradburry
    Tracie Bradburry says:

    About a month now i have been taking your fibro/chronic pain supplements even after the first week i started feeling a little better over the past month i have weaned myself off of gabapentine along with my flexrell and percocets. I have added to my supplements vitamin d and bs since taking metformin for diabetes and reading your wonderful book as a guide to help me on my recovery. and finding out how some of the meds that med doctors write to us and seeing the side effects have been horrendous. I live in Oregon state which we have medical cannibus and i find that before when i was using it with the meds that my body reacted better to them. Unfortunity i had a Doctor move away and was passed to another doctor who refused to treat me and sent me to a pain doctor and they told me that if i wanted their help i had to stop using the cannibus. And i was one of those patients that they put that scarlet red x on like i was seeking pain meds which was wrong i just wanted help.

    in closing Dr Murphree just having your book and the supplements as a tool is helping me feel much better Thank You for all of the years you have been doing what your doing

  9. Linda West
    Linda West says:

    I took Lyrica for over a couple years and a Pharmacist told me that if his wife or he had to take that drug, he would not. I was so swollen from head to toe, I could not believe the sizes of clothes I was wearing. I stopped it immediately. I did take Neurontin for a short time but it caused just the opposite on my pain making it worse. My mom took it and when the doctor increased her dosage, all of the sudden, she could not remember her name basically. Making a ton of mistakes as if she had Alzheimer’s. After reviewing her medications, I talked to her why her Neurontin had been up’d to 900 mgs and honestly, I don’t even think she knew. After getting her back down to 600, thank the good Lord above, her mind also returned. I would like to comment about having Fibromyalgia and not treating it. I need neck back and hip surgery and after I saw a wonderful doctor for my neck surgery, he told me he would not cut on me because he had noted I was not treating the Fibro and people like that do not heal correctly or quickly and they blame the surgeon. He said he didn’t want his name associated with a botched surgery. I completely understand this for him but for me, it leaves me with a ton of pain in those three areas. I did have lower back surgery and the surgeon cut through some of the wrong nerves and I lost bowel and bladder function and numbness from butt crack to my big toes. Thank the Lord the bowel function returned normally, but my bladder will never be the same. The Urologist said I was just about to the point of having to catheterize myself. Today as I look back on this, I just had a crappy surgeon because so many have told me horror stories about him. I have a very experienced surgeon that is on go with my neck when my spinal cord becomes in jeopardy and has a surgeon in his office that does “re-do” surgery on the lower back. I have seen 7 doctors over my hip (I have a torn labrum with a cyst that occurred from an injury) and I finally decided since it had been almost 6 months since the accident occurred and the last doctor was to “scared” to go in with arthroscopic because it was a tedious surgery and felt he would put me in more pain than I am today. So he tried to send me to another surgeon who does this every day. I have given up. Asked him before I left his office if I chose to do nothing what would happen. He told me it would turn arthritic and would have to have a hip transplant and that was going to happen anyway b/c of my bone issues. Just be careful what you write about your history and if you can tolerate something that helps Fibromyalgia, take it or you could find yourself in my position, no one wanting to cut on you, like myself. I have said many times since my lower back catastrophe I would have to be in a wheel chair and not be able to push myself before I would get cut on again. Never say never and good luck treating this horrible disease.

  10. Bobbie C.
    Bobbie C. says:

    Dear fellow fibro sufferers:

    I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2012 and been learning about this disease ever since. I did take Nurontin and Venlafaxine for two plus years before weaning off of them in 2014. They helped me while I was learning about this condition, but I realized they are not meant to be taken long term and have since substituted them with vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements. The most effective treatment I’ve found for myself is a change in my eating habits and walking regularly. I switched to a Mediterranean based diet and now cook all my meals from scratch; this also allowed me to lose 25 lbs. Additionally, I joined a walk club locally and have participated in an annual half marathon for the past two years! The rest of the year I enter 5k/10k races and continue to walk 6 – 8 miles every Saturday year round with my club.

    Am I free of pain? No. But I am able to manage my pain by pacing myself and scheduling rest days between active days. Of course I see my doctor every 3 – 6 months regarding my health overall and I regularly see a chiropractor and acupuncturist throughout the month. I chose to retire when I was diagnosed; I’m 63 now and living as well as possible. It is not always easy to maintain a positive outlook, but I try. I reserve my energy for being away from home, so I have help from a gardener, a housekeeper, a hair dresser and my boyfriend. Keeping my life simple and stress-free is a daily goal. I rest when I need to and my friends and family understand this is what’s best for me!

    I am grateful for the support and information provided by Dr. Murphee and other doctors in the medical community. The more you learn about your personal health, and make healthy decisions for yourself, the more in control you’ll feel about your life. This disease should not rule our lives; you are the one who makes that choice!

    Be well. Bobbie


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