View Full Version : So the doctor suggested......

22-12-15, 22:57
I had my 6 month check with my GP today. BP, bloods are Ok. While my total cholestorol, HDLs and LDLs look good, my triglygerides were a bit on the high side (gotta cut out the sweets) and there were some sub type cholestorol levels (large and small LDLs) that could stand to be better. Anyway, for me and my history with heart disease, he was pleased.

We discussed my chronic pain issue. I know many here talk about being in pain but I gotta tell you, after what I've been through, I know pain intimately. I've been living with chronic pain in the 3-5 out of 10 level since treatment. It's exhausting! I take Gabapentin for neuropathy and nerve pain from chemo and it helps. However, the left side of my neck and shoulder/upper back ALWAYS hurts. There is not a day that goes by that I don't have to take an OTC pain reliever or my prescription meds for it. With the meds, it takes the pain from 3-5 to a 2-3 and it's tolerable. I did find relief with acupuncture but at $100 a pop, I just can't afford it anymore :(

Add to that lovely scenario the fact I've had what I can only describe as electrically charged insects burrowing under the skin on my neck/tapazoid area and upper shoulder blade on the side they did treatment on and it's a real picnic let me tell ya! Imagine a burning tickly itch you can't scratch!

Since it's nerve related, my doctor suggested Cymbalta, a low dose (20mg to start) as a treatment for the chronic pain. I know that some SNRIs help with that. I've taken amitriptyline for nerve pain and as a sleep aid after my first heart attack and bypass surgery. I've been doing some research and he left the decision up to me. I'm curious if any others here have used it as a chronic pain relief solution. The other benefit is that it can also help with my "scanxiety" and everyday stress related situations. It just may be beneficial in the big picture.

Positive thoughts

23-12-15, 06:24

I think I once took Cymbalta for my A/C arthritis but it wasn't effective for that for me. Regarding amitriptyline, how did you find it for pain? Another member has some kind of cramping gut pain that it has worked a charm for.

I know this hasn't been helpful, sorry. Good luck with better comments re: Cymbalta for pain.

23-12-15, 12:59
When I was I was healing from my 1st heart attack and bypass surgery, the area all around the incision got so sensitive that it hurt to wear a shirt. Also, due to some depression from everything, I was having difficulty sleeping. The amitriptyline knocked me out totally. I was asleep with an hour and didn't even remember dreaming! The added benefit was it also knocked out the nerve sensitivity within a week.

Positive thoughts

23-12-15, 13:59
My sis has been on it for fibromyalgia and it has helped with that.

23-12-15, 16:33
Thanks swgrl...

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23-12-15, 16:53
I was offered this medication last year for fibro but decided instead to go with gabapentin, in hindsight perhaps something that helps pain and anxiety would be a good option.

23-12-15, 21:58
I was offered this medication last year for fibro but decided instead to go with gabapentin, in hindsight perhaps something that helps pain and anxiety would be a good option.

Thanks Alma...That was my thought. I have the prescription and my GP is leaving it up to me to decide. Still in research mode.

Positive thoughts

31-12-15, 01:32
I've done a lot of research and have decided to hold off on Cymbalta. One of the major reasons is a major drug interaction mentioned by my GP between Buspar and Cymbalta. I have Buspar for "scanxiety" and it really does a nice job taking the edge off the stress come check up time. It's also something I can start and stop without ill effects. If I started Cymbalta, the Buspar would go by the wayside.

While the therapeutic benefits of Cymbalta would help with "scanxiety" and everyday stress, even at a low dose of 20mg, there is a ramp up and wean off aspect as well as possible side effects and there's no guarantee it would help with the pain. Also, I can always up my Gabapentin dose and see if that helps. I'm on 600-900mg a day now. I was on 1800mg a day at the peak of my cancer treatment along with opiates. My cancer team suggested I can increase the dose last visit too.

So, for now, I will deal with the chronic pain as I'm doing. Thank you to those who provided input.

Positive thoughts

31-12-15, 23:23
Good luck, FMP! :)

29-05-16, 10:27
Hi Fishmanpa,

I'm so sorry to hear about your ongoing pain issues. If there is no relief in sight, I would consider giving the duloxetine a try, even if it means stopping the buspirone. Duloxetine covers most of what buspirone does, plus may be more helpful for the pain.

Another alternative would be to swap from gabapentin to pregabalin, which is related but may be more effective.

Do take care.