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    Neurontin vs Savella
    sewingpurplefreak posted:
    Since taking Savella for about 3 weeks, the change is unbelieveable for me. But now when I go to get a prescription my insurance company needs prior authorization. The Doc fills it out and the insurance co. says I have to try neurontin first, before they will cover Savella. I can pay $140 out of pocket of course, but the ins. won't cover it. I have to now decrease the Savella to start this new drug and then slowly start it. This all stinks!
    What can I expect from Neurontin? Thanks for the help.
    BamaNik responded:
    OMG that sucks! Who do the insurance companies think they are? Those are two totally different drugs!....(you can actually take them together)

    Sorry I dont have much insight on Neurontin...alot of folks here take it....I was just suddenly pissed at your insurance company. :(

    suswannaq responded:
    I am currently taking Gabapentin, generic Neurontin. Just now going through the transition up to 800mgs/3xdaily. I've yet to feel any relief, but I can take up to 1200mgs/3xdaily before the doc will give up on it. It's the first medication I've taken specifically for FM, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I've tolerated it well. The main reason you have to go so slow with dosage increase is that it can knock you out! When I first started at 100mgs, I slept for 12-14 hours a night for about a week. It also made me really drowsy during the day. Now I barely notice a difference, but I do have to take a few days to fully switch to a higher dose, like now I'm going from 600mgs to 800mgs, but for a few days I'll be taking 600-600-700, then 600-700-700 for a few days, then 700-700-700 for a few days. Then I start all over with 700-700-800, etc. It's really slow moving and really frustrating, but my doc says that alot of people get some relief as low as 300mgs. Hopefully you'll be one of those people!

    Sorry to hear your insurance company screwed you on the Savella. Something sort of similar happened to me, but it wasn't a ins comp that did the screwing, it was the drug. When I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, I was put on Lamictal first. It did *wonders*! But then I developed a rash that could've been fatal that occurs in only 1% of test subjects! And now I will never be allowed to take Lamictal again. :( However, I was put on Seroquel next and it's worked just as well!

    Good luck and I hope you get relief really, really soon!
    Your strength is in how calmly, quietly, and peacefully you face life. Be kind to yourself and others.
    sewingpurplefreak replied to suswannaq's response:
    I can''t believe the ins. co. or the doctor expect a person to take something that makes you that drowsy and work full time. I do a lot of driving in my job, this is more than a bit scarey. The Savella made me day dream a bit and have major brain delays, but not sleeply.
    Thanks for your insight.
    sewingpurplefreak replied to BamaNik's response:
    Our insurance isn't that good, but with me having FM and my husband having diabetes, we have to have it. It really makes me mad that they can decide what is going to work for my health issues on the basis of their costs. I am honestly thinking about going off the Savella and not starting the Neurontin and just wait and see what will happen then. Of course I know what will happen to me, but maybe I can get around not subjecting my body to yet another drug. How many does it take before you need to see a psychiatrist because your brain is so messed up. This is ridiculous.
    suswannaq replied to sewingpurplefreak's response:
    No problem. I take it from your other response you've been on alot of different medications for FM? Being someone who takes alot of meds now - and has taken all sorts of meds over the years - it takes LOADS to truly mess up your brain. It's your liver you want to keep tabs on! :P Just talk with your doc about your concerns with the drowsiness side effect, I'm sure he/she will be able to work with the dosage so you're not zonked. Plus, I know I said I was drowsy during the day, but not to the point of being impaired or scared to drive. I was able to function. And, who knows, maybe you won't feel all that drowsy. You'll never know until you try it, if you want to, that is...

    I don't even want to start a rant on insurance companies! I've stressed myself out enough today and it's almost time for bed, hehe.

    Again, good luck!
    Your strength is in how calmly, quietly, and peacefully you face life. Be kind to yourself and others.
    annette030 responded:
    I love neurontin, I have been on it for a bit over ten years now, I think.

    It might pay you more in the long run to learn about your insurance company and how they do things. That way you will be able to start at the bottom of their list and work your way up without paying for expensive drugs at the outset. Many drug insurance companies now make people start with the cheapest, older drugs first, and work their way up to the newer, more expensive drugs if the old ones do not work.

    My doctor and I do that anyway, I happen to agree with that philosophy. I won't use newer drugs until they have been out and widely used for at least five years, that way we know what the real side effects might be.

    Take care, Annette
    annette030 replied to sewingpurplefreak's response:
    I take all my generic neurontin for the day in one dose a few hours before bedtime. That way and the sleepiness just helps me sleep better during the night. I no longer work, but that is the best way around daytime sleepiness with neurontin that I know of.

    That is usually a short term side effect and goes away after a few weeks on a steady dose.

    Driving on many of our meds sounds scary to me.

    Take care, Annette
    BamaNik replied to sewingpurplefreak's response:
    Have you thought about calling your doctor and asking if he can work with you? Sometimes they can give you samples or work something out where you can get a voucher or something like that. I dont know what exactly....but something!!

    If you really like the Savella and dont want to start a new drug, ask them to work with you. Do some research. Talk about your concerns with the Neurontin. (it can cause drowsiness)

    Dont give up! Just because the insurance company is trying to tell you what to do doesnt mean you cant fight them on it, or find a way around it!

    Oh and the savella made me very spacey the first month I took I could stare into space and not went away.... :)
    Anjl26 responded:
    Savella and Neurotin are completely different classes of drugs that work differently, so I'm not sure why they chose that med as a "try first".

    Good news is Neurotin has a generic, Gabapentin, which will cost you a whole lot less money. (and is why they want you to try it first of course) I'm afraid that you're going to have to try it for a month to "prove" that it's not helpful.

    Ridiculous games insurance companies play.

    You could try appealing to the drug company that makes Savella, for a reduced price.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections. hugs Sharon
    jamesii responded:
    Hi, I am one of the men with fibro who takes Gabapentin. I take 300mgs 3 x per day. It makes me sleepy, if I get still or lie down for a few minutes I will nod off no matter what I do. it also can cause weight gain if you aren't careful. Other than that, I like it. I wish I didn't have to take it as I never did like taking meds.

    I was put on it as a first time drug. If it failed I would be put on something else. I complained to my dr about the sleepyness. He said, you failed on gabapentin, now I will put you on something else. I asked him to not do that as I really didn't want to start all over. I promised to continue on it and see if I adjusted to it in time. I guess I did as I don't have a big problem with it anymore.

    I am probably at a time in which I need to go up a bit on the dosage. I will have to ask about that before doing so.

    Sorry that you are being betrayed by the ins. co. That is what it is, a betrayal of the suffering masses as that is happening to a lot of people. They are trying to save money at our expense.

    Oh well, that isn't new. I hope my comments help some.

    Ark. Jim
    Lish2007 replied to jamesii's response:
    I was taking Gabapentin, generic Neurontin also and i was on it for about 6 months and it helped only for sleep, however just recently i had to get off of it because it made me nausious everytime i took them, even though i ate first and my stomach was full.
    Ever since i started it, it would make me sick only if i had an empty stomach but it changed to where it didn't matter. I didn't experience any weight gain that i noticed.

    Hope you can find a solution and that is terrible about your ins. co.

    Irmouse responded:
    Hi. I take Gabapentin which is the generic for Neurontin. Have been taking the low dose 2 xs a day. I serves me well.
    I have tried Lyrica, didn't work for me. I know that there are other things out there, but am pretty happy with what I am taking.
    It will put weight on or keep you at a higher weight than you were before starting it. I was @ 124 am now 128-30. Doesn't sound like a lot, but to me it is.
    It will also make you nod off mid day.. so I take one in the a.m. and the other one before bed time.
    Other than that I haven't had any bad side effects from using it the past 1 and a half. Before that I used it but not right along, just here an there. Gotta stay on it for it work ;(
    I am really surprised at your insurance coverage! If it's a maintenance drug you should be able to fill and refill it right along. Shame on them for making you jump through hoops.Hope that helped out some.
    Linda R.
    FrancesMary52 responded:
    Ok, I did some reading. Neurontin is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibro. The manufacturer of Neurontin was just sued for millions for false promotion of the drug for off-label uses. Doctors and insurance companies were getting kickbacks.
    I had not tried Neurontin myself.
    I did try Savella and did not like the way it made me soo very angry all the time.

    Call your insurance company, talk nice, ask a lot of questions and make friends with someone who can help.
    Whenever my insurance company gave me grief my doctor's nurse would make the calls and straighten out the mess.
    teddybear200 responded:
    Hi I also take Gabapentin / Neurontin have been for 2 years. My Dr wanted to add Savella to my mix of meds but I choose not to. One of Savella's side effects were it would raise my blood sugars - being diabetic I didn't need that to happen.

    I take 300mgs of Gabapentin at 6pm and I helps me sleep so I am not drowsy during the day.
    Some day I will soar on wings of an Eagle - Deb

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