Analgesics, Anticonvulsants, Neurological Disorders
Lyrica (pregabalin) is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures. Lyrica also affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system.Lyrica is used to control seizures and to treat fibromyalgia. It is also used to treat pain caused by nerve damage in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), herpes zoster (post-herpetic neuralgia, or neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury.
What is this medicine?
Pregabalin is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures. Lyrica also affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system.Lyrica is used to control seizures and to treat fibromyalgia. It is also used to treat pain caused by nerve damage in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), herpes zoster (post-herpetic neuralgia, or neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- bleeding problems
- heart disease, including heart failure
- history of alcohol or drug abuse
- kidney disease
- suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
- an unusual or allergic reaction to pregabalin, gabapentin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant or trying to conceive with your partner
How should I take this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. You can take this medicine with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional. Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What I have to do in case of an overdose?
If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
What may interact with this medicine?
- medicines for diabetes, like pioglitazone
- medicines used to help you sleep or relax like lorazepam, alprazolam, or diazepam
- prescription pain medicines
- rosiglitazone (Avandia, Avandamet, Avandaryl)
- heart or blood pressure medication such as benazepril (Lotensin), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and others.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What should I remember while taking this medicine?
- Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.
- Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
- You may want to keep a personal record at home of how you feel your condition is responding to treatment.
- Share all information regarding your condition with your doctor or health care professional at each visit.
- You should contact your doctor or health care professional if your seizures get worse or if you have any new types of seizures.
- Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, insomnia, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
- Do not stop taking this medicine or any of your seizure medicines unless instructed by your doctor or health care professional.Do not stop using Lyrica without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine.
- Stopping your medicine suddenly can increase your seizures or their severity.
- Wear a medical identification bracelet or chain if you are taking this medicine for seizures, and carry a card that lists all your medications.
- If you are taking Lyrica to prevent seizures, keep taking the medication even if you feel fine.
- You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Call your doctor if you have any problems with your vision while taking Lyrica.
- Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.You may have increased seizures or withdrawal symptoms such as headache, sleep problems, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
- If you have a heart condition, like congestive heart failure, and notice that you are retaining water and have swelling in your hands or feet, contact your health care provider immediately.
- The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine.
- Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care professional right away.
- Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Lyrica.
- Do not change your dose of Lyrica without your doctor's advice.
- Tell your doctor if the medication does not seem to work as well in treating your condition.
- Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you take seizure medication.
- NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
- Take Lyrica exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
- FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Lyrica will harm an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking Lyrica for seizures. Do not start or stop taking Lyrica during pregnancy without your doctor's advice.
What side effects may I notice from this medicine?
Common side effects of Lyrica include:
infection, ataxia, blurred vision, constipation, diplopia, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, peripheral edema, tremor, weight gain, visual field loss, accidental injury, and xerostomia.
Other side effects include:
abnormal gait, abnormality in thinking, amnesia, arthralgia, cognitive dysfunction, confusion, edema, neuropathy, sinusitis, speech disturbance, vertigo, visual disturbance, weakness, myasthenia, amblyopia, increased appetite, and twitching. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by pregabalin (the active ingredient contained in Lyrica). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.
Major Side Effects
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking pregabalin:
- shortness of breath
- tightness in the chest
- Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
- difficulty with swallowing
- fast heartbeat
- joint or muscle pain
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- red, irritated eyes
- skin rash
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Minor Side Effects
Some of the side effects that can occur with pregabalin may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:
- Accidental injury
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blurred vision
- burning, tingling, numbness or pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
- change in walking and balance
- difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- difficulty with speaking
- double vision
- dry mouth
- increased appetite
- lack of coordination
- loss of memory
- lower back or side pain
- painful or difficult urination
- problems with memory
- rapid weight gain
- sensation of pins and needles
- shakiness and unsteady walk
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- stabbing pain
- tingling of the hands or feet
- trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- unusual weight gain or loss
- bloated or full feeling
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, tingling feelings
- chest pain
- cold sweats
- cool, pale skin
- cough producing mucus
- decrease or change in vision
- excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
- eye disorder
- false or unusual sense of well-being
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- increased hunger
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
- loss of bladder control
- loss of strength or energy
- muscle aches and pains
- muscle twitching or jerking
- muscle weakness
- noisy breathing
- passing gas
- rhythmic movement of the muscles
- runny nose
- slurred speech
- trouble sleeping
- uncontrolled eye movements
This list may not describe all possible side effects.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.