Gabapentin for headaches...

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Gabapentin for headaches...

Postby emmacos » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:52 pm

Hi All,

Haven't been on this site for quite a while. My daughter Helen is now 20 and has cm/sm. She had decompression surgery in 2004. She has been doing pretty well, but has started suffering daily from bad headaches again, which is compromising her ability to continue with her university course. She's currently doing a degree to train as an Occupational Therapist, though she's having doubts as to whether she can continue, as she's feeling so unwell, and the course is taking a lot out of her.

I hate seeing her feeling so ill and down, and being unable to get out and about as she likes to when she's well. She also suffers a lot from stomach pain and bloating, which again makes her feel ill and unable to function properly.

Her neuro surgeon has suggested she try Gabapentin for her headaches, which seem to be continual at the moment. Just wondered if anyone else has tried this and if it has helped at all.

Thanks. Emma.
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Re: Gabapentin for headaches...

Postby nandkmom » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:12 pm

Hi Emma! Long time since I have browsed this board and was happy to see your post. Both girls are doing well.... but with constant managment for headaches and neck pain. Kristina (now 20 also) even after a second decompression suffered from debilitating headaches. For her always at the back of the head radiating upward. She has been on Gabepentin for almost a year now and it has been a lifesaver! She takes it three time a day and tells me that if she even misses one dose the headache appears. She also gets botox injections every three months which also helps. These two together have helped lessen her headaches to what she calls "baby" headaches. Doctors think the severity of her headaches also have to do with the scoliosis in her neck which keeps those neck muscles out of whack a lot. Nicole has a lot of digestive issues (with pain and bloating) and was tested with very slow gastric emptying. She takes a variety of cocktails, mostly natural high fiber stuff to help. Hope Helen get's some relief! Karen
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Re: Gabapentin for headaches...

Postby drummergrl » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:10 pm

Emma,

I'm 21 and had decompression in 2006 for CM and have SM as well. I've been on Gabapentin for a few years at this point and have had pretty good results. I initially began taking it for nerve pain in my legs but have noticed help with my headaches as well. I'm on a fairly low dose because it makes me dizzy/drowsy, but I know that a higher dosage would probably help me even more.

I hope the Gabapentin helps her, I totally understanding how debilitating it can be to feel ill every day.
CM, SM, Scoliosis
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Re: Gabapentin for headaches...

Postby emmacos » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:57 am

Thanks for your replies. I can only hope the Gababentin helps - she's only taken it for a couple of days, and today is her first day at three times a day. She's having quite a bad time at the moment with head pain. She says shes okay if she does nothing, but as soon as she does anything slightly strenuous the head pain comes back! Shes just had an mri and her neuro is happy with it and says the csf flow is good, so I dont know what causes the head pain!

What do you think causes your daughter's stomach pain and bloating, as my daughter also suffers with that a lot nandkmum, and what does she take to help it? I think Helen also has slow gastric emptying and a sluggish bowel.

I hate seeing her feeling so ill, its horrible isnt it?!

Emma.x
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Re: Gabapentin for headaches...

Postby emmacos » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:02 pm

Hi again!

Also can I ask nandkmom, what doseage of gabapentin does Kristina take? Helen is on 300mg three times a day. Also what cocktails does she take for her slow digestion? Its a fighting battle isnt it?!!!

Emma.x
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Re: Gabapentin for headaches...

Postby nandkmom » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:55 pm

Yes constant maintenance. 300 mg 3 x day plus botox injections every three months. Because her head pain is most directly associated with her neck muscle spasms (she has congenital fusions and a crooked neck) the botox brings her the most relief. For my other daughter who is fused sugically she also notices increased headaches when her neck is tight. For her slow digestion she eats double/ tripple fiber foods: breads, cereals, and mixes fiber powders with drinks. Her stomach pain is better when she is "cleaned out" and she does resort to meds when really uncomfortable. They have told me it is possible that her syrinx (which is collapsed now) could have effected the digestive system nerves and slowed her gut. However I also beleive there are many with slow guts without any of her related conditions. I am not sure you can ever figure out what triggers headaches for sure. Even our neurosurgeon(s) said they don't really understand the mechanisms for chiari headache completely.
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Re: Gabapentin for headaches...

Postby zenkeeper » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:25 pm

I have found good result with Gaba. I am a med lightweight and find relief at 300mg.s a day. I am taking it for Occipital Neuralgia and find that it takes the O.N. related headaches away - or at least keeps them at bay.

I know my dose is REALLY low but it does help. Sometimes I add a Skelaxin in and that helps with the neck/muscle pulling on dura type headaches.
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