pharmacy-compoundI spell it BDCGT!

Neuropathic pain (pain generated from the spine or nerve fibers) comes in a variety of forms and can be located anywhere on the body. It can be the result of pinched or damaged nerves especially in the lower back; diabetes; herpes zoster (Shingles) and a variety of neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and strokes. It is not pleasant no matter the cause.  The pain can be searing hot, tingling, sharp, shooting, icy cold, dull achy, stabbing or any other bizarre sensation, such as extreme sensitivity to the lightest of touch.  The more bizarre the sensation the more likely it is to be neuropathic pain.

I have had neuropathic pain for about 30 years, caused by spinal stenosis. As if this were not enough of an insult, I have had 3 episodes of shingles to complicate it even more. I have since gotten the shingles vaccine in hopes to prevent future episodes or to at least diminish the effect.  My pain initially was numbness and tingling in my left thigh, it progressed gradually to burning pain and then to a stabbing/grabbing pain like “little men with pick axes were working on my thigh especially at night”.  I tried all sorts of medications both oral and topical. Nothing seemed to stop the pain and the pain was getting worse to the point that I could hardly stand it.  I hated to wear clothes that were tight and some days having anything touch my leg was more than I could take. Does this sound familiar to any of you?

One day as I was sharing my experience with a member of my support group at Wellness House she told me about a topical, compounded cream she was using called BDCGT.  She had been using it and found it worked better than anything she had found so far for her neuropathic foot pain.  I looked it up on the internet and found that BDCGT stands for: Baclofen 2%, Diclofenac 3%, Cyclobenzaprine 2 %, Gabapentin 6% and Tetracaine 2%.  I knew all of these medications and I had tried a few over the years:

  • Baclofen is a centrally acting muscle relaxant/anti-spasm medication
  • Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory than is topically available (Voltarin)
  • Cyclobenzaprine is an oral muscle relaxant (Flexeril)
  • Gabapentin is an oral anti-seizure medication used for neuropathic pain (Neurontin)
  • Tetracaine is a numbing medication (anesthetic) that is available as a topical agent.

What did I have to lose but the pain? So, I asked my health care provider if he would consider writing the prescription.  He was more than happy to write the prescription as he is open to anything that might help me cope with my pain.  I found a compounding pharmacist in town and had the cream within 2 days.  I initially used it every 4 hours while I was awake for 3-4 days. Soon, I found that 3 times a day worked and now I use it only in the morning and at night before bed.  The pain that was severe—a 10+/10—now was dropped to mild—2/10 and occasionally it is has gone away—0/10.  I reported back to my provider about the results I had; he is excited to try it with some other patients he sees with neuropathic pain.

The cost is not prohibitive, $38/jar.  One jar lasts me about 3-4 weeks. I am appealing to my insurance company to cover the cost but even if they decide not to cover it I am more than willing to pay for it out of my own pocket because the relief is worth the cost. (shh, don’t rat me out!)

How do you spell relief?  I spell it BDCGT! What secrets have you found that helps your pain?

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