a foot above several upright thumb tacks

Have you seen the ad blitz for Lyrica (pregabalin)? A LOT of money is being spent trying to convince the American public that Lyrica is the answer to diabetic nerve pain. One of the most compelling commercials stars a retired policeman:

“Hi, I’m Terry and I have diabetic nerve pain. I worked a patrol unit for 17 years in the city of Baltimore. When I first started experiencing the pain it’s hard to describe because you have a numbness but yet you have the pain like thousands of needles sticking in your foot.”

This sounds awful, and indeed people with diabetic neuropathy suffer terribly. Symptoms can include:

Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

  • Burning, tingling or a feeling of needles sticking into your skin
  • Numbness in toes and feet; an inability to sense a needle prick; reduced sensitivity to temperature change
  • Difficulty walking because of numbness, pain or weakness
  • Intense stabbing jolts of pain, especially in the evening
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Poor stomach emptying, leading to feelings of fullness and bloating
  • Bladder problems
  • Dizziness on standing

It’s hardly any wonder that patients with neuropathy and nerve pain would be looking for help. A commercial like the one with Terry, the retired Baltimore police officer, is very appealing. When Terry says the “pain started subsiding” after taking Lyrica, we imagine that lots of viewers might think that they too might benefit from this drug. Are they paying attention, though, when the voice-over announcer says:

“Lyrica is not for everyone. It may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. Tell your doctor right away if you have these: new or worsening depression or unusual changes in mood or behavior, or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, changes in eye sight including blurry vision, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or skin sores from diabetes. Common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain, and swelling of hands, legs and feet. Don’t drink alcohol while taking Lyrica. Don’t drive or use machinery until you know how Lyrica affects you.”

While you listen to the on-air announcer speed through this long list of complications you see Terry working in his backyard planting and watering pretty flowers. Somehow, the scary side effects seem less worrisome in such a bucolic setting.

Here are some real stories from our website to bring the side effects into focus:

This comes from LCB:

“I started taking Lyrica 10 days ago for RLS [restless leg syndrome] and fibromyalgia. I was taking gabapentin but it had stopped working. I gained 14 pounds on the gabapentin, and now I’ve gained 5 pounds more on the Lyrica. I have edema [fluid retention] as well. I’m sleepy for most of the day and I feel like I’m dragging my body around. I have no energy. My husband tells me I’m irritable with the kids, and that I can’t seem to remember things anymore.

“All of this is quite a drastic change from my usual energetic, tireless self. I don’t like how I feel, and to make the most important point: Lyrica doesn’t seem to help much. I still have tons of pain, and RLS at night. So, I have an appointment with my doctor to ask for a change. I believe that these medicines work very well on some people, but we are all so different. It doesn’t work for me.”

T.  had a very scary story to share:

“After almost eight years on Cymbalta, it had lost the effectiveness. My doctor added Lyrica to help with fibro. Soon after, I started to have a deep depression and wanted to end the pain that I have lived with for so long. The stress of life was so great, that I attempted suicide. I was put in the hospital for four days.

“At that point, no more meds! The symptoms are what everyone has described. I feel alone and lost in my own brain fog hell. Not one of my family has a clue what a nightmare this is.”

Kathy listed these complicatons:

“I was on the drug eight months for fibromyalgia prescribed by a rheumatologist. I, too, started having problems with eyesight (my eye doctor could NOT update my lenses due to Lyrica causing severe blurriness). I also had memory loss, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. I suffer from chronic constipation due to diverticulitis, and the Lyrica was making this worse. I weaned off over a three-week period. OMG! The withdrawal was/is terrible.

“I am 9 weeks into it, and still have terrible throbbing ongoing headaches, difficulty swallowing, and went from 134 lbs to 118! I feel like I’m dying most of the time. I went to my current neurologist today and was told there were no such symptoms from Lyrica withdrawal!

“Google it, doctor! Please, if anyone reading this is considering taking Lyrica, reconsider! If you have side effects like I did, then decide to go off; you may be looking at a long recovery and NO help from a doctor. They are all denying any problems with this medication. Please read the “Lyrica Withdrawal” posts first!”

Getting off drugs that affect the central nervous system can sometimes be challenging. As we mentioned recently with our post on Abilify, the track record of psychiatry and neurology has been abysmal when it comes to studying sudden withdrawal from commonly prescribed medications. It took years for researchers to discover that when patients suddenly stopped benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) or lorazepam (Ativan) they often experienced very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ditto for antidepressants like citalopram (Celexa), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft) and venlafaxine (Effexor).

The story of Lyrica (pregabalin) withdrawal is also murky. There is very little in the medical literature on this topic. The prescribing information does mention, though, that some patients report symptoms such as insomnia, nausea, headache, anxiety, sweating or diarrhea if they stop suddenly. The advice: taper the dose over at least a week rather that stopping suddenly. We fear that such information is not always that helpful, especially since there is not much practical information about actual dosage reduction.

Lyrica Side Effects

  • Vertigo, dizziness, unsteadiness, coordination problems, abnormal gait
  • Sleepiness, fatigue
  • Confusion, abnormal thinking, difficulty with attention and concentration, accidental injury
  • Dry mouth
  • Fluid retention in hands or feet, edema
  • Blurred vision, difficulty with eyesight
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation, gas
  • Pain
  • Skin reaction, rash, dermatitis (requires immediate medical attention!)
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis), tremor
  • Blood disorders
  • Withdrawal symptoms, discontinuation syndrome, seizures

We recognize that some people with hard-to-treat neuropathy or fibromyalgia may do quite well on Lyrica and not suffer side effects. That’s great. But some patients don’t get much benefit and do suffer complications. For them, Lyrica is not a blessing.

To learn about some other approaches to neuropathy, you may want to check these links about benfotiamine (link 1 and link 2) and alpha lipoic acid.

Please share your own story about Lyrica or your experience with neuropathy and what has worked for you below so others can benefit from your experience.


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  1. Gary

    I Have been taking a combination of Lyrica and Cymbalta for about 5 years for neuropathy. Along with the pain and numbness in my feet I also experienced extremely cold feet. I recently tried acupuncture for my symptoms. The treatments have helped greatly with my cold feet. I couldn’t tell about the pain and numbness because I was still taking the Lyrica and Cymbalta. It has taken me 3 weeks to wean off the Cymbalta with minimal side effects. I plan on beginning to wean off the Lyrica today. It’s the only way I can see to tell if the acupuncture will help with my pain and numbness.

    • pan

      I had been taking Lyrica around 6 months. I started from 50mg to 150mg then one day my stomach cramped and I couldn’t eat anything.

      I stopped to take all the medicine and vitamins. First I thought I must have the stomach flu, cold and hot, sweat, diarrhoea etc…. those were not the problem on me. The most serious situation was one night I wanted to end my life because the stomach cramp and acid in my mouth made me in a lower mood I never had.

      It was lucky my dog found something wrong on me and cleared my thought. I almost used 2 weeks to clean up a part the Lyrica in my body. It is over 4 weeks now and I still having diarrhoea. I believe Lyrica need a good explanation when the Dr lets you try it.

      I am doing some simple Yoga everyday. It is quite helpful for the emotion and my neck/back pain. I did not take the Lyrica over 4 weeks and feel alright. I still have some neck and back pain but I think it is much come easily than the side effects of the Lyrica.

  2. Ann

    My day one of getting off lyrica,…everyone needs to write this to the fda, to get warning signs on this drug,…I have been a pharmacy technician for 20 years and u can just stop the drug and have all the WD in the week or drop down every week until ur off..either way ur going go get the wd’s…so for me am done with it and day one is almost over…very bad headache, hot then cold…am going to go to my Dr tomorrow and ask for some help, get medicines for the WD,.zofran for the nausea,.fiorcet for headaches…I may have to take 5 different things for a week or two…but I will not take this zombie waking drug again,..if fda gets a lots of problems with this drug they will make the bad WD known before u take it or the will take it off the market….good luck to all

  3. Cindy

    I’ve had a completely different experience. I’ve been on Lyrica since last spring for fibromyalgia I’ve suffered from since my thirties. I’m now in my fifties.

    For me it has been a great blessing, especially for the nerve pain that nothing else has helped. While I’ve had a little weight gain and some foot swelling, it pales against what I would be going through without it. Because of this, it has also helped me sleep better at night without the constant nerve pain and aggravation, nothing like at the level I’ve experienced before I started Lyrica.

    I was recently reminded how bad that was, both physically and mentally, when I skipped a few doses to make my prescription last longer. I won’t be doing that again. I realize each person is different and that it doesn’t help everyone. I honestly don’t think I could live without it, without going crazy.

  4. Susan

    I had been on Lyrica for some time now but my insurance ran out. I had NO clue how dangerous this was because I couldn’t afford this med. Well about a day after I went off I now realize that all my hot flashes and sweats and loss of sleep was not about menopause but going off the lyrica.

    About a week later I was a mess, including all of the mentioned but then the hard stuff came. I started with the vomiting and diarrhea, but even more came on which the hardest was the convulsions and when I finally went into the hospital (my fiance had to help me walk because I was so weak) my heart rate was seriously dangerous. The convulsions came on every few minutes and the doctors were running all around me. Well I was put back on gabapentin and will NEVER touch lyrica again.

    When you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest you wake up fast, oh by the way, I’m only 48, still feel I’m a little young to leave this world.

  5. Voodoo child yeah

    I have been taking Lyrica for sciatic pain and it is great. My PM doctor has slowly worked me up to 400mg a day. It gut my pain from 10+++ to 5 immediately and I can live with that until I find the cause. I don’t have any depression or weird thoughts. Sorry but it works great!!!

  6. Lesley

    I have been on Lyrica for over 5 years and currently trying to get off all my meds due to the side effects. I was successful with Oxi but Lyrica is harder. The lack of sleep is crazy living on 3 hours, so I am trying to go slower and taking 1 – 50mg away every 2 -3 weeks. Yes the pain is back but I have to find another way to deal with it because not just the financial cost but the physical cost of taking this drug is too high a price to pay. Before going on or off any meds think of the long term cost.

  7. Todd

    I’ve noticed some rarely discussed symptoms from taking lyrica, & it’s withdrawal. When I take it, I get very noticeable muscle twitching, especially in my eyelids & legs, muscle cramps in my calves, and bad head & sinus inflammation. Anyone else notice this? Also, drooling at night; never had it before. Also, when tapering down, I notice the symptoms can be the same as some of the side effects from taking it, which makes it very confusing to know where I’m at in the WD process. I’m detoxing on my own, because my docs’ advice was worthless- cut down over a week or so, ridiculously too fast. My pharmacist said there are no withdrawals!
    Does anyone know how to detox from 150 mgs. a day without noticeable wd’s- I have to function at work. Thanks.

  8. Vicky
    Wakefield, UK

    I was taking Lyrica for 6 months for a compressed nerve in my pelvis and when I started the dose at just 50mg, I immediately noticed a lot of the side effects previously mentioned here. My dose was gradually increased to 400mg a day. The excruciating pain I had been feeling in my lower back and legs was gone, I was sleeping through the night (a first for me) but I felt anxious and would cry at the drop of a hat. For me worst thing has been the brain fog. Forgetting words and how to string them together to make a sentence, losing concentration mid task or conversation and generally being a bit air headed. This is not me, this is not the person I have been for the last 29 years. I’m confident and outgoing, not afraid to open my mouth for fear of being labelled “stupid” because I can’t remember the term for the person I pay my rent to (landlord) or the person who brings our post (postman)!
    The weight gain was also a big issue for me. I’ve always lacked confidence in the way I look and the sudden gain sent me spiralling into depression.
    One week ago I took my last Lyrica. I forgot to fill the prescription before the weekend and thought I’d be able to handle the pain until the doctor opened on Monday. The pain didn’t return straight away but I spent the weekend fatigued, feverish and with a hell of a headache. When the doctors opened on Monday I was too ill to get my prescription filled. It’s Saturday again now and I still don’t have the tablets but the withdrawal symptoms have increased tenfold. I can’t eat, sleep or drink. The nausea is debilitating and the fever is making my skin feel sore. I have developed restless leg syndrome, diarrhoea, kidney pain, stomach cramps, flu symptoms and mouth sores over the last 3 days alone. My husband doesn’t know how to help me and I’m too weak to get up out of bed most days. I don’t know whether to stick it out or start taking the Lyrica again just for some relief.

    I sincerely hope that you all find the peace you’re looking for.

  9. sammy

    Who the he’ll ever approved this drug -.- I have had to go off this drug for weight gain making my pain worse while on it, and it took them 6 weeks to wean me down. The sweating, anxiety to the point I wanted to die and aching body pains were horrible. I was put back on this drug after being told that what I went through WAS NOT WITHDRAWLS OR LINKED TO THE LYRICA. So I TRUSTED doctors and I am now pregnant and have to come off it again. I am so worried for my baby and don’t know how I’m going to face this again. And this is only a few weeks after I had to severely withdraw from oxycontin 100mg a day ( which is nothing compared to this.)
    This drug needs much more regulation and doctors need educating after I had multiple doctors tell me that what I was going through was a case of mind over matter. I’ve been on it over 12 months and can’t see any easy fix for this one. And now I have to weigh up the risk of withdrawals on this baby and the risk of associated fetal complications. Right now going back to spending every morning in bed in agony seems a better option than this.

  10. lindsey

    I have been on lyrica for 2 years. I tried quitting it cold turkey and I thought I was dying… dizziness diarrhea headache that wouldn’t go away sky high blood pressure nausea vomiting stomach pain… It was horrible. I took a lyrica and the side affects stopped almost instantly… Don’t stop taking your lyrica until you talk to your doctor… they will help you decrease slowly so you wont have the withdrawal symptoms! Hope you feel better!

  11. Liz

    I was prescribes Lyrica for leg numbness & pain. I took 300mg for about five months. I gained quite a bit of weight so decided to stop taking the medication. I did not discuss this with my Dr before I discontinued the drug.

    Little did I know the hell that awaited me. Approximately five days after I stopped taking the Lyrica my scalp became very sore & it even hurt when I brushed my hair. The next day I had a headache that was so painful I thought someone was hitting me with a Sledgehammer!! The headaches & the nerve pain on my scalp got worse & I spent five weeks in bed wishing I could die. The Dr couldn’t figure out what was happening & told me I was having migraines!! My Neurologist told me I had Rheumatoid Arthritis in my neck & I probably had a pinched nerve!! He prescribed an anti seizure medication for me!!??!!

    Four days ago I was lying in bed thinking of how to take my life & end this excruciating pain, I thought about the Lyrica. The sensitivity on my scalp was exactly the same as on my leg. The headaches, however, I thought must be attributed to the nerves on my scalp being ultra sensitive. It was then I decided to start taking the Lyrica again, just to see if my theory was correct & these horrific headaches would stop. It’s now four days later & I am pain free!! No more excruciating headaches, no more scalp pain!!

    I’m now going to share my findings with my Dr & see what he has to say. I’m even going to contact the drug manufacturer to inform them of the suffering they’ve put me through. When a drug has this type of horrendous side effects when a patient is stooping the drug, it should NEVER have been approved in the first place.

  12. Sheryl s.
    Greenville sc

    We I have had a lot of pain in my left leg to the point of having it checked for blood clots.thankfully their wasn’t . And my head aches are so bad and my vision has got a lot worse. And I’ve put this all together as being Lyrica WD because I didn’t have the money to fill my prescription Thant headaches and leg pain got so bad I thought it was from my fibromyalgia that I pawn my ring to get the money.

    Well, the Doc lowers my mg from 300 ,1x a day to a 100, 2x a day. I still had a lot of swelling and pain in my left leg so I lowered it to 50, 2x a day. But then I couldn’t get my Meds filled and now my whole bodies paying for it.my head is busting at night my legs are killing me my vision is terrible , and my arms ,hands and the rest of my body can even function hardly. I’m in more pain now than I was before I started. And I take 4/5 loratabs a day that don’t even touch it hardly. This is unreal. Sand I didn’t mention not sleeping now the body temp changes. My Legs will be on fire when the rest is fine. God please help me through this. And the doc never warned me about this drug. I guess that’s what a clinic does for you. I don’t know. Hope y’all get some relief.

  13. PJ
    Calgary, Canada

    I have experienced constant chronic pain for over 40 years. I am kind of like ‘a perfect storm’ of stuff causing my neuropathic pain. I was born with one leg about two inches longer than the other, because I don’t walk with a limp, my spine and hips had to adjust to this causing scoliosis, and also balance issues. I had a very bad fall as a child and sheared off part of my SI joint, then I had an issue with my spine called tethered spinal cord, which I had surgery for in my late teens, and in my early twenties I was in a bad car accident which caused significant soft tissue damage to my neck and shoulder. As one of my pain doctors says, I’m an absolute mess and he can’t figure out how I’m even able to walk. Anyhow, after years of pain meds, sedatives, and pain treatments, one of my current pain doctors put me on Lyrica. I noticed no change at first except that for the first time in over thirty years I went from having an average of 3 hours sleep a night (due to pain keeping me awake) to sleeping 9 hours!! Wow, that was all I needed to encourage me to stay on the drug for a few months. I suffered with confusion and brain fog, as well as lethargy at first, we adjusted the dose and I went down to just 150mg taken at bedtime. That made all the difference for me, I was back to feeling like myself in the day, yet sleeping through the night. It wasn’t until a year later that I truly noticed a difference pain wise. It was summertime and I suddenly realized that I was able to ride a bike (if I had an ergonomic one), something that had become unheard of for years was now very possible. So for me, Lyrica, combined with other pain treatments has been very beneficial. I will say that due to an inescapable situation a few years ago, I happened to miss two doses, that was brutal as I started to go through withdrawal. Both of my pain doctors would agree that Lyrica should NEVER be quit cold turkey, this is a med that directly affects the brain and nervous system, PLEASE listen to your doctor and strictly follow the regimen for weaning off of this drug on their timetable. Thanks! I have been on Lyrica for about ten years now.

  14. Casey
    Scarborough, Ontario

    I’ve been disabled with major complications for over 7 years now. I’ve gone through just about every pain medication you can think of and nothing worked for me. Then I found Lyrica. It has been a God-send for me. Yes, I have some of the side effects mentioned in other posts but, compared to the unrelenting nerve pain it’s worth it. I have a tendency to become immune to drugs if I take them regularly. I only take the Lyrica (225mg) when I just can’t handle the pain anymore. It lets me sleep which is a miracle in and of itself.

    Unless I’m on the Lyrica I’m in constant pain from a major back injury in April almost 8 years ago now. I had surgery to repair two herniated discs (L4 and L5) and to repair my Sciatic nerve which had been caught between the discs and was grinding between them for two weeks. I’ve had Endometriosis since I was 17 (I’ll turn 46 this year) and have a very high pain threshold. This back injury was so bad I was literally screaming in agony. Nothing but morphine would even touch the pain. I was warned that the surgery might not be 100% effective. About 10% of the people who go through the surgery are left with residual pain. I’m one of the 10%.

    The Lyrica was like a warm soft fuzzy blanket swaddling me in pain free comfort. It’s worth the side effects to me. Yes I feel stoned but I don’t feel the pain anywhere near as much as my daily unmedicated pain. I don’t have any withdrawal symptoms because I don’t take it regularly. The pain meds that have to be taken for over a month before you feel any relief never worked for me. I have found that Lyrica and Baclofen are miracles of modern medicine. I have no feeling in my left leg below my knee as a result of 2 weeks of misdiagnosis’ except for when the burning stabbing nerve pain hits.

    My left Sciatic nerve was so damaged (to this day I don’t know what I did to cause this agony) I had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. I was screaming in agony from the minute they strapped me to the stretcher in my bedroom. They had to carry me down 50 stairs in a narrow hallway and I screamed all the way. I screamed for the 20 minutes it took to get to the closest hospital. They gave me a shot of morphine and sent me back to the first hospital I’d been to about the pain. The morphine wore out before the ambulance ride did. And I had to deal not only with the pain but with the fact that I was being sent back to a hospital that had previously misdiagnosed my condition! And, 3 years prior, this same hospital had performed the wrong surgery on my left hand and now they were sending me back to be butchered again.
    So, the solution to weening off of Lyrica is to only take it when you absolutely need it. It’s been a miracle drug for me.

  15. Dan
    London uk

    Hi all,
    I was taking 30/500 codeine tablets for the last 18 months, about 4000mg a day due to two compressed nerves in C4/C5 of my neck. With extreme pain in my upper arm prior with numbness and pinching…a bit like hitting your funny bone (elbow)pain. The surgeon who performed the shaving of my two discs a month before surgery put me on Pregabalin (2 x 150mg) a day. I immediately felt the pain had decreased dramatically and slowed down my codeine intake. My codeine went down to two 500mg tablets a night with a 150mg pregabalin.

    I had my surgery five weeks ago and regained my strength in my arms which were numb prior.

    Okay this all seems fine so far eh…. Since taking pregabalin in just two and a half months I have put on two stone(24LB). I have felt confused to the point where I am half way through a conversation and just drift off, kind of like daydreaming. My company will not let me back to work as I program things.

    I am due to go back in 4 weeks so I decided to come off from the medication. I am on at day three now and finding it so hard. My symptoms so far are throat glands swelling, fever, unbelievable feeling of sickness. Flu symptoms, diarrhoea headaches pain like I have been hit by a bus my left foot is a little numb too while I type.

    These tablets helped me prior to my op but are now causing me big problems. I am sitting up at 01.20am for the third day now. My doctor is basically a drug dealer who sedates me until I will go away. I am really stubborn and will not let this beat me.

    I know the best thing is to wean off of these but I need to go back to work in a month. From 4000mg of codeine to 300mg of pregabalin and 1000mg of codeine to nothing phew. The drugs industry is a trillion dollar business. I wish all of you love and positive thinking,
    Dan ;) 41y old from London UK.

    • bronte
      york england

      Hey, I’m on my first day of removing these from my system because of the bad side affects I was having. I was on 150mg.
      The advice I got from my lovely doctor was take a couple of days off work as it’s going to be a tough ride. And flush out your system with lots of water. Serious headaches. I mean head splitting! Sore light sensitive eyes is what I have so far. Not looking forward to tomorrow.

      • bronte
        york england

        Hey, I’m on my first day of removing these from my system because of the bad side affects I was having. I was on 150mg.
        The advice I got from my lovely doctor was take a couple of days off work as it’s going to be a tough ride. And flush out your system with lots of water. Serious headaches. I mean head splitting! Sore light sensitive eyes is what I have so far. Not looking forward to tomorrow.

        UPDATE.. Tomorrow is here. I’ve never had such horrendous nightmares in my life! Slight hallucinations and a night of feeling like I was on fire. The headaches have calmed down a bit. My mouth is sore and I feel like crap.
        I can’t believe this med is legal!
        I stopped cold turkey. I think lowering your dosage would be better if you have been on it long time.
        But you can get off it! Just keep going and believe that you can. Keep drinking lots and flush it out. Xxxxxx

  16. RL

    Im taking 100mg of Lyrica, once a day, and I am wanting to get off of it also. I was able to do this about 3 yrs ago by s l o w l y cutting back (ever 2 weeks) on the millagrams. At that time I was only taking 75 mg and then I went to 50mg, then 25mg. My Dr was never able to come up with anything that could replace the Lyrica so he talked me in to getting back on it. Now I am taking it again!
    Im really dreading this because I now know what it does when you try to break free. Please advise anyone not to take this drug!

    • NP

      Dear friend, as about Lyrica keep in mind that the placebo effect of anticipation for withdrawal, plays a major role. As of codeine, there’s a ceiling effect on 30mg, anything above that just doesn’t do anything other than side effects, so 4000mg of codeine is “criminally murderous” on behalf of your doctor. Always research, never put all of your trust on them. Wishes for a quick recovery!!

    • lindsey

      You really need to wean slowly. Lyrica changes the way your brain works and if you don’t wean off of it then you can have major problems…. Try asking your doctor if they can wean you in that amount of time. I think they can because your dose isn’t too high. I am not on 50mg twice a day I used to be on 150mg 3 times a day but I’m doing mine very slowly a decrease every 3 months… You won’t get rid of those withdrawal symptoms if you don’t wean off of it…. hope you feel better :)

  17. Melanie S.
    United States

    I am currently weaning off of lyrica. I am 24 years old and “diagnosed” with fibro. I was on it for just two months when I started noticing my inability to comprehend simple conversations. Side effects listed on the web included “mental impairment” and thats exactly what it was! This was accompanied by dizziness, nauseousness, mania, impulsiveness and impairment in my movements.

    The first week has been hellish. I am experiencing pain in my sciatic nerves, fogginess, depression, exhaustion and headaches. I cant sleep a full night without waking up with intolerable dry mouth. I was happy to see i am not alone in this because my rheumatologist assured me that it would be no problem. I am currently seeking alternative and holistic medicine practices to help alleviate my health issues.

  18. Matty g

    Hi everyone I’m so glad I found this site. I’ve been on 300mg per day for 18 months and have recently tried to stop, I started taking half doses for about a month before going cold turkey, its had been about 10 days off and I was that messed up in the head I started having suicidal thoughts and violent behaviour towards my wife and I was always angry at how I was thinking a acting I just couldn’t stop and like other posters have stated the drug is very dangerous, my wife had to stay away from me due to my irrational behavior, so over the last 24 hours I’ve gone back on full dose and just like snapped fingers I feel fine again, I’m wondering how I will ever get off this drug as the drug does not seem to give enough relief for what the side effects are but I’d rather be taking lyrica for the rest of my life then ever go through what I’ve been through trying to get off it, suicide is such a big risk with this drug yet no health professionals will tell you this because they don’t know, it’s people like us who can tell the real effects of this dangerous and deadly drug.

    Anyone thinking of trying lyrica please read through all these posts first before taking it, it may just save your life, also others have stated no one understands what’s going on when withdrawal kicks in, trying to explain it is near impossible even to your loved ones, it truly becomes a personal battle between your willpower and body and mind which I couldn’t win, I’m now stuck in the lyrica circle, please everyone don’t make the same mistake I did, don’t take it in the first instance, ask for anything else available.

  19. Brent

    Hi,I’m 30 year old male I’ve just started taking lyrica for a few months now for a nerve pain they can not explain where it is coming from I’ve been to the emergency room at least once a week for different injuries from the shooting pain in my hands and arms causing me to fall off ladders and nearly loose my hand in a brick saw. I’ve had MRI’s CT scans XRAYS etc and was told the only drug that will help with this nerve pain in my arms and hands is Lyrica. I started off on 75mgs 2 times a day and now on 150 mg 2 times a day the pain has been less however the side effects have been huge. I’ve lost 25kgs in under 2 months I can’t keep food in me with constant diarrhea, nausea, blurred vision, memory loss, and unable to get words out properly / unable to string sentences together, balance is way off and have lost my appetite and don’t want to interact with people and friends. I’m depressed and constant thoughts about suicide to end the pain. I’ve now done my own research and found Savella, Gabapentin, Cymbalta however all seem to have same sort of side effects, when i showed this to my doctor I was advised again Lryica is my best option even though I’ve told the doctors about my side effects, i desperate need to get off Lyrica ! any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated

  20. kim

    Im 52 year old female who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia eight years ago. I started on Lyrica 150 mg 2 times a day for 6 plus years and I noticed that it hasn’t been helping like it did in the beginning. So I decided with the help of my doctor to wean off of Lyrica. it was a 3 weeks process. By the third week my skin was crawling like bugs were on me. On the first day that I didn’t take Lyrica I was nauseous had diarrhea had hot flashes and I was so cold I thought I was freezing, my legs were so restless that I couldn’t keep still, I felt so depressed and I had a headache, I couldn’t eat or drink anything and became dehydrated. By the third day I called my doctor and went to see her and she told me I was indeed going through withdrawals and I needed to go off of it slower. I ended up in the emergency room because I was so dehydrated. They put me back on 75 milligrams once a day to wean off of it slower, hopefully in a couple weeks I will be free and clear of this horrible drug called lyrica….
    I had no ideal how bad this drug is.
    Blessings to everyone who is going through the withdrawals of this drug…..

    • RL
      MS, USA

      After reading your post I have decided to get off this Lyrica again. I hope and pray you have been able to get rid of this medication. Im talking to my Doctor asap about it. Im praying for you also. Please add a post to let everyone know how you did it and how you are doing now.

      • cynthia
        Belmont n.c.

        I have been taking Lyrica 150 mg. 3 x a day. It has not been helping lately, eyes burning, itching, I have more pain in my legs, can’t get my words out. I am swollen. I wish I would have never taken this drug.

  21. kim
    United States

    I’m a 52 year old female. I was on Lyrica 150 mg 2 times a day for 5+ years,for my fibromyalgia. I didn’t feel it was helping the pain of fibryalgia anymore so I stopped taking Lyrica with my doctor’s approval, weaning off of Lyrica was bad, when I took my last dose I started with Itching skin, hot flashes and cold sweats, nausea, vomiting, restless legs, insomnia, couldn’t eat or drink,headaches, ended up dehydrated. I ended up in hospital . Now I’m back taking low dose of Lyrica again to go off of it slower… I hope I can get off of this drug totally someday soon! I was never told about how bad this drug was to get off of or I would have never started taking this drug. Beware of this drug.

  22. Margaret
    Kennebunk, Maine

    I have been on 300 mg. of Lyrica a day for 7 years. Not realizing that it has been killing me slowly. I have been getting terrible body heat and body heat meltdowns for years. I have what is referred to as chicken skin arms. You take a freshly plucked chicken and feel all the little bumps where the feathers came out of and that is what my arms feel like. The biggest problem is the body heat that never, never, never quits. It’s like going thru menopause 24 -7 and I am 73.
    I went to a warm climate this summer and thought I was going to die. After many different specialist Doctors finding nothing wrong with me, my Doctor decided to stop all my medicines and supplements. I have been trying to get off Lyrica for 5 months now. I am down to 50 mg. once a day. I have splitting headaches, horrible bouts of nausea and lack the willing or ability to do anything but sit and cry. It is not getting any easier on me or my Husband. I am 73 years old and have absolutely no life other than my bed, chair, computer and tv. My Doctor, my Husband, my Family and myself at all at our wits end trying to help me. Is the and end to this????

    • Ryna
      Centurion, SA

      Margaret, I share you sentiments about Lyrica. I also ended up in emergency care for severe withdrawal symptoms, the least of which was the unbearable pain in every part of the body, the worst part being the anxiety. I am free of it now, but truly, it took me months. Will never just pop a pill again. Paracetamol is the heaviest pain killer I am taking now.

  23. arman

    I was to lazy to do anything since last year some of my friends where taking lyrica so I tried once. It would make you super hyper talk more eat more .. walk on the clouds … I took lyrica 300 for 2 months I felt am losing memory. So I stopped right away, at first 3 days I had pain all over my body just like I left morphine now I get big dizziness in my head heart burn nervous problems like any one talk to me I yell at him . Last 2 weeks been like hell for me. No doctor can help me here… They just give me an injection to put me to sleep. I am still the same condition. What shall I do? Any advice or help to recover? I am really suffering from this nervous pain. Recently got problem with stomach its burning badly.

    • Katherine


      I have been on lyrica for years. At first I only used it to help me sleep, then I started taking it as prescribed 3x a day. It did make me more social, made eating things very simple, and as it did you made me feel like I was walking on clouds. Please know that a lot of withdrawal symptoms are mental and only some are physical.

      You have to think your body is used to having this chemical and now it has to get used to not having it there or not having as much of it there. So, it is going to be an adjustment. You didn’t get hooked on it over night and you cant expect to be unhooked to it over night. But IT WILL happen.

      YOU CAN AND WILL GET BETTER and when you do, please research anything before you just take it again weather it from a doctor or friend. I too am guilty of thinking just because my doctor prescribed me something, oh suuurrreeee yeaaaah it must be ok right? WRONG. So now not only am I working on getting off of Suboxone, I am working on getting off this Lyrica as well…. But like it I said all this can be done…. and for those of y’all who are being weaned down, trust me that probably is the best way! It stops the withdrawals from being SO hardcore and all at once… imagine those awful things you are feeling but times 10 or for some even 20. It makes jumping off a lot easier when it is time. Hope everyone is well and God Bless anyone that is going through any W/d’s right now..

      • Wayne R.

        Hi everyone I cant believe what I’m reading!

        I’m taking 600mg a day now for about 1 year now it makes me feel as high as a kite , I have a compression injury in my lower spine with two flattened nerves before lyrica pain was 9/10 now pain is 5/10 i have slight weight gain but to me that is great as I’m 6’3 and now weigh 82 kg so I don’t look like a toothpick any more I have stopped lyrica instantly before and had not one single withdrawal but after 3 days my pain returns to 9/10. because off my injury I am depressed anyway but lyrica makes me feel awesome I like to skip it for a couple of days as to get that walking on the clouds feeling still with no side effects but everyone is different lyrica may not be for you I think that people need to experiment with this drug to see if it is for them it is definitely for me…

  24. David
    Tampa, FL

    I’ve been on lyrica for at least a few years, taking 50 mg. about every other day to help with the nerve pain in my legs. The worst side effect was lack of concentration.

    Recently, I thought if I boosted the intake, the pain I have in my hip/leg area would subside, but it only caused more side effects like pain around my eyes, lack of focus, and dry mouth with sores. So, I chose to get off of it and asked if I could switch to neurontin.

    The doctor prescribed for me 300 mgs. three times daily but after the first two doses, I was barely able to function. A state of confusion that was impossible to shake rushed over me. So, I dropped that too, and now I am facing the withdrawals of whatever either or both of those medications have caused me, mostly depersonalization, dizziness and confusion. The mouth sores are beginning to go away.

    I take two other meds as well, xanax and hydrocodone, for fibromyalgia, neither of which I am willing to get off, as they do help me to cope with the severe all-over-body pain that hits me every time I awaken in the morning, and at times through the day. Xanax helps me to deal slightly with the dizziness, but I know I am likely headed for an extended withdrawal from lyrica since I was on it for so long.

    I don’t recommend either neurontin or lyrica, as they both have side effects that aren’t worth the effort to try. My remaining option, which I’ve used through the years, is to get cortisone shots for the nerve pain.

    All of the above is risky, I know. But having pain is a terrible existence that can’t go away by itself, I’m afraid.

  25. Tammy

    I have Fibromyaligia, my pain started in my knees and soon after it became widespread. My family doctor had me on Cymbalta for over a year with no results, so she sent me to a rheumatologist. I was given Lyrica plus Cymbalta,sleeping pills, pain and depression medications. I don’t feel like myself anymore, the medications have taken over. Lyrica is my worse nightmare. Night sweats, weight gain, headaches and blurred vision.

    My doctor refuses to discuss changing any of my medications. I agree my pain is better but all the side affects are just as bad if not worse. Please consider all the side affects when offered Lyrica, not all medications are equal.

  26. wanda

    After taking 8 capsules of Lyrica, I had to stop. It was making me feel awful. I could not even go to work for 4 days. I could not get out of bed. Lyrica is not for my stabbing pain. After spending a $100 for the medicine I would rather live with the pain than take Lyrica. It is the weekend so I can’t talk to my doctor. I will call him Monday am. I hope I won’t have any withdrawal problems. Good luck with it.

  27. Debbie
    Melb Australia

    I have been on Lyrica for about 1 year, very low dose 75mg for nerve pain in the beginning it was working a treat, but slowely the side effects got to much to bear, blurred vision, altered speech, altered mind set, headaches, weight gain. My Dr and I decided it was time for me to come off it.
    Well what a nightmare it has been, nausea, diarrhea, major headaches, chills, feeling like I have been hit by a bus.
    I had no idea till I googled that coming off Lyrica was going to be so hard, please tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel, I still have to work and function like a human being.
    Its been 2 weeks since my last lyrica and I want to hear that feeling so sick wont last for ever.
    Thanks for listening.

  28. lisareagan

    Thought it was great at first. Finally got some sleep, had a lot less pain and felt calm and normal finally, but then the swelling came and horrible blurred vision. This was after taking it only two weeks. I decided to taper off slowly. Well, I just about lost my mind. Now I feel even worse than I started. So what I do is take it every now and then when I just can’t stand it. Only two days a month if that. I’m so scared of feeling that horror again. I feel for the poor animals and souls they decided to experiment on with this drug. I guess we are the guinea pigs now. I do not understand all of these maintenance drugs that have unbearable side effects. I guess it’s about MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!

  29. Jenn
    Woodstock Ont

    I have an autoimmune disease that has been diagnosed as Lupus or Lupus like and suffer from other diseases due to the Lupus such as Raynaud’s disease, spastic colon… To name a few. Due to all of the above forementioned I suffer greatly with chronic and quite severe at time bone/ joint pain…

    My Dr. Prescribed Lyrica to assist my pain medication in controlling my pain… I honestly couldn’t tell you if has made much of a difference in my pain levels what I can tell you is this… Without a doubt in my mind I can honestly tell you that to stop taking Lyrica suddenly can make a person extremely ill and seeing as the withdrawal from it is as bad as suddenly coming off of opiates which anyone who’s lived through that hell knows exactly what I mean…

    The shakes, the sweats, rls, sleeplessness and vomiting terribly… Therefore my suggestion from one chronically ill patient to I hope many others who may read this I would not suggest to anyone that you should suddenly quit taking this medication. Also just a quick note.. If at any time for any reason you are suffering from the horrific withdrawal off opiates that Dr’s should be telling patients just how much Lyrica can assist with the withdrawal drastically…. It will help keep away the shakes, the sweats, in my case it has helped me sleep which is almost impossible when coming off of opiates…

    I have found unbelievable relief from Lyrica during a difficult time- greatly helps!!! I hope maybe the things I have written can help someone else in a time of need

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