Prescription Medications: Sciatica is a term used to describe neuropathic/nerve pain. It is a prevalent condition known as a lumbosacral radicular syndrome. Itโ€™s discomforting, numbness, and tingling, combined with sharp shooting pain that can present anywhere from the low back where the nerve begins and down the leg into the foot. The most common cause is a bulging or herniated disc. The first medical recommendations are:

  • Ice and Heat packs
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers:
  • Acetaminophen – Tylenol
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs:
  • Naproxen – Aleve
  • Ibuprofen – Advil, Motrin

However, when that is not enough, the next step usually involves prescription medications to treat the nerve pain.

Prescription Medications For Sciatica and Decompression

Prescription Medications

The following are a few prescription medications for sciatica:

When it comes to prescription medications for non-specific lower back pain, medical guidelines are in agreement. Hereโ€™s a look at what the research shows about their effectiveness.


Inflammation is a normal response of the immune system. However, the inflammation can irritate the nerves of the spinal column to the rest of the body, causing swelling and sciatica symptoms. NSAIDs are available as over-the-counter and prescription meds and can reduce inflammation, bringing relief from nerve pain, including sciatica.


Diclofenac is taken by mouth with its total daily dose or TDD and can range from 75 to 200 mg.

Side Effects

Possible short-term side effects of NSAIDs can include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness


Gabapentin is commonly used to treat diabetic neuropathy and chronic sciatica nerve pain. However, it can take some time, possibly more than two weeks, to activate, and its effectiveness relieves sciatic nerve pain for up to 3 months. It works by calming down nerve cells to relieve neuropathic/nerve pain. It calms down the nerves by lowering the amounts of chemicals in the nervous system. An overabundance of chemicals can excite the nerve cells to the point of inflammation. Substance P is a neurotransmitter and a neuromodulator that plays a role in how the body perceives pain. Gabapentin helps to lower substance P levels.


It is taken by mouth with its TDD typically between 900 to 3,600 mg, divided into multiple daily doses.

Side Effects

Common side effects include:

  • Drowsiness/sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Arms and/or Leg swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness


Like the other anti-seizure medications, topiramate is thought to relieve nerve pain by calming down the nerve cells by attaching to the glutamate receptor and preventing it from activating pain signals. Topiramate is commonly used to alleviate sciatica symptoms but may not be as effective after three months and does not lower disability from the low back and sciatic pain.


The TDD for topiramate ranges between 50 to 400 mg.

Side Effects

Side effects can include:

  • Drowsiness/sleepiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood/behavioral changes
  • Trouble with memory
  • Nervousness
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling sensations

Non-Pharmacological Sciatic Decompression

Decompression Diagnostics Specialists


Baron, R., et al. (2010). The efficacy and safety of pregabalin in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with chronic lumbosacral radiculopathy. Pain.

Dydyk AM, Conermann T. Chronic Pain. [Updated 2021 Nov 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

Oliver Enke, Heather A. New, Charles H. New, Stephanie Mathieson, Andrew J. McLachlan, Jane Latimer, Christopher G. Maher, C.-W. Christine Lin. Anticonvulsants in the treatment of low back pain and lumbar radicular pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. CMAJ Jul 2018, 190 (26) E786-E793; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.171333

Rasmussen-Barr, Eva, et al. โ€œNon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for sciatica.โ€ The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 10,10 CD012382. 15 Oct. 2016, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD012382

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Dr. Alex Jimenez
Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, functional strength training, functional medicine, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries. We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Cross-Fit Rehabilitation Systems for all ages. As an extension to dynamic rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities' premier doctors, therapist and trainers in order to provide high-level competitive athletes the options to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities. We've been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last 3 decades allowing us to restore our patients' health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs. Our programs are natural and use the body's ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living. With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age, ability or disability.