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I have neuropathy. Blood sugar under control, backbone seems to be okay—my doctors aren’t sure why I have it, but it hurts A LOT, especially at night. It is frequently severe. Am on gabapentin, FAA does not allow it. Does anyone else with similar condition know of an acceptable alternative—even surgical—to gabapentin?

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The guide for AMEs on neuropathy can be found here. It indicates that the AME can issue if they determine the condition is under control, your medications are acceptable, and that you have no symptoms that would interfere with flight duties.

The FAA does not publish a list of acceptable medications. You could consult with an AME and ask them what medications they would find acceptable. Note: you want a consultation. Don't fill out the medical form on MedXPress until you have discussed it with an AME beforehand! Once the actual medical process is started, the AME has to finish the process within two weeks. You will want all your ducks in a row before you start the process.

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I don't think there are any medications you can take that are acceptable to the FAA.

I did a search on the FAA medication database. The screenshot of the results are below.

Neuropathy FAA Medication.

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  • $\begingroup$ What does "NOT ALLOWED. Requires 36 hr wait after last dose" even mean? Is it allowed as long as you wait 36 hours before flying? $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 2:43
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    $\begingroup$ Also worth noting that this list is unofficial. The FAA doesn't publish a list of acceptable medications. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 3:57
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    $\begingroup$ As Chris says, putting that link up as "FAA medication database" is misleading to say the least $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 9:30
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I'm assuming you have diabetes as you mentioned blood sugar being under control. In this case the diabetes itself is most likely the root cause for the neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy cannot be reversed, it can only be treated with medication.

As you may well be aware, the possible reasons for neuropathy may be nerve pinch and other physical irritation to nerves, or a persistent inflammation. Also, in some cases people respond to certain diets very strongly, causing neuropathy or neuropathy like symptoms.

If doctors have already investigated all of these lines I'm sorry to say I have very little to offer. I've had neuropathy which was caused by my body having difficulties adapting to new mechanics, so to say, after a corrective surgery. Weight loss, exercise and physiotherapy did the trick for me.

Hoping for the best for you

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  • $\begingroup$ @TYork I also endorse what said by Jpe61: weight loss (included a drastic reduction of carbohydrates and sugars replaced with seasonal fruits and vegetables), exercise and physiotherapy. All the best 🖖 $\endgroup$
    – sophit
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 7:08

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