Nerve Pain Meds Take Time; Be Patient

I am sure that you have noticed as you go through life the phenomenon that happens; the more you pay attention to something the more you see it happen.  Over the past few months I have been discussing nerve pain with quite a few people, and have realized that quite a few patient s stop their nerve pain medication after taking it for only 1-2 weeks.  The more I pay attention to this particular topic, the more I see that folks need some education around their nerve pain meds.

When a nerve is damaged for one reason or another, it gets activated inappropriately and sends messages to the brain that are unsolicited.  This process is similar to when an individual experiences a seizure.  During a seizure, unsolicited nerve impulses are being sent to the brain causing the epileptic reaction.  It is interesting that anti-seizure medications, which have a nerve calming effect, also work well to calm an inappropriate nerve pain impulse.

Because nerves are everywhere in our body, it really only takes a small amount of nerve damage to cause significant nerve pain.  Those of us who have even experienced a small amount of nerve pain realize how debilitating it can be.  There is an exhaustive list of what can cause nerve damage, including trauma, cancer, disease, medications and genetics.  For the purpose of this discussion, I am more interested in talking about the motivation needed to take nerve pain medications.

Nerve pain medications interfere with the signal transmission process.  This works well when the signal the medication is interfering with is a pain signal.  The issue is, many signals are constantly being sent through your nerve pathways, and quite often, some of the signals used for other body functions may be interfered with also.  This is a complex process that needs to be diagnosed and monitored by a physician. 

This category of medications has the possibility of helping decrease nerve pain; however, it is extremely important that the patient be fully aware of all the counseling information about the specific medication before they begin treatment.  This category of medications requires specific counseling around titrating the medication to the appropriate dose for the each particular patient.  It is not uncommon for a patient to experience some significant sedation for the first 1-2 weeks of therapy.  The body will usually acclimate to the side effects, however, in the titration process, each time the dose is increased the body may go through this process again. 

These medications quite often require a certain level of motivation in a patient, along with encouragement from their pharmacist that when the titration is followed appropriately, your body will most likely acclimate to the side effects.  It is not unreasonable to slowly titrate up the dose over a period of 1-2 months until the appropriate level of pain control is achieved.  Again, during this titration period you may feel sluggish, have slow thought processes, feel sleepy, and perhaps have limited reflex response. 
Have patience, take your time, and give the medication a chance!

This may be a difficult process to work through for some people; however, quite often this category of medications will provide a sustainable level of pain control much more effectively than taking a narcotic pain control regimen.

I currently have Medication SpecificCounseling SessionsTM  for medications used to treat nerve pain, including Gabapentin (NeurontinTM), Duloxetine (CymbaltaTM), Pregabalin (LyricaTM), and Carbamazepine (TegretolTM) available at  Please visit the registration area of AudibleRxTM and sign up to become a member and you will then have full access to all of the counseling sessions for a full five years.

You may also be interested in reading the following blogs:

Knee Pain
Migraine Headaches


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