Lyrica is Pfizer's trade name for a drug called pregabalin. Lyrica is an anticonvulsant, or anti-seizure, drug. Lyrica is used to treat a number of symptoms and conditions. It works by slowing impulses across the brain that are involved in seizures. It also affects chemicals involved in pain signals. Here are the most common uses for the drug, the potential side effects and the risk of abuse.
This medication is used to treat pain caused by nerve damage due to diabetes, shingles infection, or spinal cord injury. This medication is also used in order to treat pain in people with fibromyalgia. It is also used with other medications to treat certain types of seizures.
How to use Lyrica
Always make sure to read Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using pregabalin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, make sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 3 times a day with or without food. Dosage is based on your medical condition, kidney function, and response to treatment.
In case you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Always follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Lyrica if you are allergic to pregabalin. Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- a mood disorder, depression, or suicidal thoughts;
- heart problems;
- a bleeding disorder;
- low levels of platelets in your blood;
- kidney disease;
- drug or alcohol addiction; or
- a severe allergic reaction.
Side Effects of Lyrica
Higher doses of Lyrica mean more side effects. The most common side effects with Lyrica are dizziness and drowsiness, and they get worse with higher doses. Other side effects include loss of balance or coordination, problems with memory or concentration, tremors, weight gain and vision problems. Lyrica withdrawal is also a well-documented downside of taking the medication. Abruptly stopping Lyrica can cause withdrawal symptoms like headache, nausea, anxiety, pain and insomnia.
Lyrica has the following side effects:
- Dizziness: The most common side effect of pregabalin is dizziness or drowsiness.
- Vision issues: Although less common than dizziness, some patients experience visual problems.
- Muscle problems: Some patients experience a lack of coordination in muscle movements, and tremor.
- Other problems: Lethargy, memory problems, euphoria, constipation, dry mouth, peripheral swelling, erectile dysfunction, and weight gain.
Before taking pregabalin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Make sure to talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart problems, kidney disease, history of an allergic reaction which included itching/swelling of the face/lips/tongue/throat (angioedema), personal or family history of a substance use disorder.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Lyrica only for the indication prescribed. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information provided applies to your personal circumstances.