Lyrica is a medication prescribed for pain due to diabetic neuropathy, nerve pain related to shingles, fibromyalgia and epileptic seizures. The generic name for Lyrica is pregabalin and it belongs in a medication class called anticonvulsants. Lyrica reduces the amount of pain signals that are released by nerve damage. Lyrica cannot cure your condition, but may help control your symptoms.
Lyrica should be taken by mouth as prescribed by your physician. You can take this medication with or without food, but it needs to be taken at the same time daily. Your physician may prescribe a low dose at the beginning of your treatment and slowly increase it to a therapeutic level. You may not feel the full benefit of Lyrica for several weeks or more, but you must continue to take your medication even if you begin to feel well. Lyrica can be habit forming so you must take this medication as directed. You should not use alcohol in conjunction with Lyrica due to an increased risk of drowsiness.
Lyrica side effects can include dizziness, tiredness, dry mouth, headache, nausea, vomiting, gas, constipation, bloating, speech problems, confusion, difficulty paying attention, forgetfulness, anxiety, unsteadiness, lack of coordination, involuntary shaking of one part of your body, weakness, muscle twitching, increased appetite, weight gain, back pain and swelling of the lower legs, ankles, feet, hands and arms. If these symptoms become severe, inform your physician.
Serious Side Effects
Lyrica can also cause serious side effects like hives, rash, itching, blisters, blurred or double vision, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain and swelling of the neck, head, tongue, gums, lips, mouth, throat and face. Serious side effects related to your muscles that may accompany a fever include pain, tenderness, soreness or weakness. If you experience any of these side effects you should immediately seek medical attention. If you have diabetes, you should inspect your skin for ulcer formations and report any skin abnormalities to your physician.
If you suddenly discontinue taking Lyrica, you can experience withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, headaches, nausea, diarrhoea or seizures. If you need to stop taking Lyrica, your physician will determine how to slowly decrease your dose.
In a small number of people, about 1 in 500, suicidal thoughts and behaviour were experienced. These thoughts and behaviours can be experienced as early as a week after beginning Lyrica. Consult your physician immediately if you experience panic attacks, worsening irritability, anxiety, agitation, impulsiveness, insomnia, aggressiveness, violent behaviour, frenzied mood, withdrawal from family and friends, giving away valued possessions or if you begin thinking of killing or harming yourself or if you attempt suicide.
In animal studies, Lyrica decreases the fertility of male animals and birth defects were observed in the babies of male animals that were given Lyrica. It is unknown if Lyrica can have the same effect in humans.