Lyrica vs Gabapentin: Which is Better for Sciatica Pain?

two prescription bottles with pills next to them
Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Sciatica is the term for pain radiating from the low back down the back/side of your leg, sometimes with tingling. The most common cause of sciatica is a bulging or herniated disc. It affects up to 40% of adults at some point in their lives—and there is conflicting information out there on the best option for relief.

Similar to any chronic low back pain, the first place to start is with NSAIDs like naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) along with physical therapy. When NSAIDs and physical therapy aren’t enough for pain relief another medication is often added. This is where it gets tricky—as it turns out many of them don’t work well. Few treatments have been well studied for sciatica . . . and a recent study on Lyrica for acute sciatica was met with disappointing results. So, after NSAIDS, what’s the next best choice?

Hope this helps.

Dr O.

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