Below is a summary of my MS pain/medication experience and management. For those of you who have been following me, you know that pain is my most significant symptom. For the first five years of my MS progression, it was intense and increasing, so I was constantly increasing the medication dosage and always looking for something better. You should also know that I have had painful problems with my C-spine, independent of the MS, including a C-spine surgery in year five (and a misdiagnosed L-spine surgery in year two).
As one doctor from Stanford said, anticonvulsants have strong side effects. However, we use a cocktail of two (or more) of them so that we can get the additive benefits with less than additive side effects. Gabapentin (e.g., Neurontin or Gralise) and Pregabalin (Lyrica) are both gabapentinoids, which makes them easy to transition between. Those and Carbamazepine (Tegretol) are all anticonvulsants.
Early MS (1-2 years), increasing pain:
- 100-300 mg Gabapentin: helped me sleep at night
- 600 mg Gralise (gabapentin XR): Moderate help with daily and nightly pain.
- 1200 mg Gralise + MMJ: minor to moderate pain control
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