What is Lyrica?
Lyrica (pregabalin) was originally FDA approved as an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures. Pregabalin also affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system.
Lyrica is used to treat pain caused by fibromyalgia, or nerve pain in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), herpes zoster (post-herpetic neuralgia), or spinal cord injury.
Lyrica may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Lyrica can cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking this medicine and seek emergency medical help if you have hives or blisters on your skin, trouble breathing, or swelling in your face, mouth, or throat.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking Lyrica. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
If you have diabetes or heart problems, call your doctor if you have weight gain or swelling in your hands or feet while taking Lyrica.
Do not stop using this medicine suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms.
Do not change your dose without your doctor’s advice. Tell your doctor if the medication does not seem to work as well in treating your condition.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Lyrica if you are allergic to pregabalin.
To make sure Lyrica is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
a mood disorder, depression, or suicidal thoughts;
heart problems (especially congestive heart failure);
a bleeding disorder, or low levels of platelets in your blood;
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
diabetes (unless you are taking pregabalin to treat diabetic neuropathy);
drug or alcohol addiction; or
a severe allergic reaction (angioedema).
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
Pregabalin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old to treat nerve pain caused by fibromyalgia, diabetes, herpes zoster, or spinal cord injury.
Pregabalin is not approved for seizures in anyone younger than 1 month old.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking Lyrica. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Follow your doctor’s instructions about taking seizure medication if you are pregnant. Seizure control is very important during pregnancy, and having a seizure could harm both mother and baby. Do not start or stop taking this medicine without your doctor’s advice, and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of pregabalin on the baby.
Pregabalin can temporarily decrease sperm count and may affect fertility in men (your ability to have children). In animal studies, pregabalin also caused birth defects in the offspring of males treated with this medicine. However, it is not known whether these effects would occur in humans. Ask your doctor about your risk.
You should not breastfeed while using pregabalin.
How should I take Lyrica?
Take Lyrica exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take the medicine at the same time each day, with or without food.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the tablet whole.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
Do not stop using Lyrica suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor’s instructions about tapering your dose for at least 1 week before stopping completely.
In case of emergency, wear or carry medical identification to let others know you take seizure medication.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.