10 things you should know about Lyrica (pregabalin)

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Lyrica (pregabalin) is an FDA approved drug used to treat fibromyalgia and several other conditions. You may have seen an advertisement for Lyrica and want to know more about its benefits and precautions.

It is always important to follow the instructions to reduce the risk of unwanted side effects. Here are 10 things to know about Lyrica.

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Reduces pain and improves function.

Lyrica is not a cure for fibromyalgia, but it can help manage your symptoms. It may take several weeks before you feel the benefits.

Exactly how Lyrica works is unknown. Fibromyalgia symptoms are associated with changes in the brain that affect the way people perceive pain.

People with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to stimuli that generally do not cause pain in others. Some evidence suggests that Lyrica binds to a protein in nerve cells that is responsible for hypersensitivity .

First drug approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia

Lyrica was approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia in adults 18 years of age and older in 2007. Marketed by Pfizer, it has been previously approved for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy , post-herpetic neuralgia, and as add-on therapy for adults with partial neuralgia . seizures.

Prior to the approval of Lyrica capsules, no drugs had been specifically approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia symptoms have been treated with:

Discuss the benefits of Lyrica and the risks.

Talk to your doctor about all the possible benefits and risks of Lyrica. People who have been prescribed Lyrica must fully understand the dosage, instructions, side effects, and potentially serious side effects associated with the drug.

While this can be a very beneficial medication for some people with fibromyalgia, precautions should be taken for safe use.

It can cause common side effects.

According to Pfizer, the following side effects are common in patients taking Lyrica :

  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Weight gain
  • Drowsiness / drowsiness
  • Concentration / attention problems
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Dry mouth
  • Edema
  • Constipation
  • Increased appetite

Because of the possibility of dizziness or drowsiness, the drug may affect your ability to drive a car or operate complex machinery.

Rare but serious side effects

Allergic reactions to Lyrica have been reported by several people, including swelling of the face, mouth, lips, gums, tongue, and neck. Others have trouble breathing, skin rashes, hives, and blisters. If any of these symptoms occur, you should stop taking Lyrica immediately and seek medical attention .

A small number of people, about 1 in 500, may have suicidal thoughts or actions with Lyrica, as is often the case with antiepileptic drugs .

Do not stop taking the medicine, but contact your doctor if you have these thoughts or if you have anxiety, depression, irritability, agitation, or other unusual behavior that is new or worsens.

Swelling of the hands and feet is another serious symptom, especially if you have heart problems. See your doctor immediately.

Interaction with other medications

If you have been prescribed Lyrica, you should inform your doctor of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take and any supplements. Of particular interest are ACE inhibitors , medications, and Avandia (rosiglitazone) or Actos (pioglitazone) in diabetes.

Inappropriate use

As with any serious medical problem in the past, people who have had a drug or alcohol use disorder in the past should inform their healthcare provider. Due to the greater likelihood that Lyrica will be used incorrectly in these people, more careful monitoring may be required or another treatment may be preferred.

Don't stop without talking to your healthcare provider.

The letter should be taken in the prescribed dosage. If you miss a dose of Lyrica and it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses of Lyrica at the same time.

Do not stop taking Lyrica without consulting your doctor. You should continue taking the medicine even after experiencing pain relief. Also, schedule restocking so the recipe doesn't run out.

Problems with pregnancy and fertility.

People who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should notify their healthcare professional before taking the medication. Adequate and well-controlled studies have not been performed in pregnant women, and its use is appropriate only if the potential benefit to the pregnant woman outweighs the potential risk to the fetus.

Taking Lyrica can also affect male fertility, so you should discuss this with your healthcare provider. Studies have shown that the drug reduces male fertility. In addition, birth defects occurred in the offspring of male animals treated with pregabalin.

Controversial facts about sciatica

Results from a study published in 2017 showed that sciatica patients improved to the same level, regardless of whether they took Lyrica (pregabalin) or a placebo. Although the drug is prescribed for various nervous system conditions, including sciatica, some researchers do not recommend its use for sciatica based on the results obtained.

But not all researchers agree; some think it might be helpful for chronic sciatica. Of course, if you are taking Lyrica (pregabalin), do not stop taking it without first talking to your healthcare professional.

Frequently asked questions

  • About 60% of people who take Lyrica experience some type of side effects. They are generally not heavy. The most common problems are dizziness and drowsiness, which affect 10% to 30% of those who take medication.

  • It is prescribed to reduce pain signals in the body and treat:

    • Damaged nerve pain associated with diabetes and shingles
    • Neuropathic pain due to a spinal cord injury.
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Some types of seizures in children and adults.

  • Dosage recommendations depend on your condition and symptoms. However, typically, healthcare providers start with a low dose of 150 milligrams (mg) per day of Lyrica for adults and then gradually increase it. The maximum dose is 600 mg in one day. Since Lyrica can be habit-forming, it is important to carefully follow your doctor's advice.

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