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 complications:

“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. Deni
    Brisbane, QLD

    Omg! I am so annoyed that I blindly got on this evil ride. I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. I took 75mg of Lyrica last night and 75mg in the morning. I suffered such awful side effects…like I was outside my body, and I couldn’t walk properly or think or speak.
    I had an ilioinguinal nerve block done then went straight to the GP to discuss my symptoms. He gave me a script for 25mg so I can start tailoring my dose.
    I’ve reduced to 25mg day and 50mg night.
    Last night I couldn’t sleep but this morning I feel a bit less brain fog.
    I’m hopeful I can come off in the next few days and just up my tramadol dose.
    Thank you all for sharing. It’s awesome knowing you’re not on your own!
    I just wish I’d read your posts before I started Lyrica!
    Take care and God bless you! ❤🙏😇

  2. Sarah

    I stopped taking Lyrica about 4 months ago. The rls and neuopothy was helped by taking pramoxcle. I start itching like crazy, tear my skin off crazy. Welts, bumps terrible rash…it was awful and I have been trying to figure this out myself because the Doctors are NO help at all. I started taking it again two day ago, 75mg…..and the itching and rash are gone. The nausea is gone. The headaches, sweats and stmach problems are gone. I have been SO miserable that I will take my chances. My life was not good….now, it is 100% better. They’ve got me right were they want everyone.

  3. Teresa

    I was prescribed lyrica when pain pills were not taking care of my nerve pain. Drs would not increase the dose. I now do research since having
    issues with side effects from drugs I had a lot going on at that time so only looked at ‘the info from pharmacy. I quickly noticed it wasn’t helping the nerve pain.

    I was on low dose 25? I had been on it 3 weeks Dr increased the dose to twice what I was taking within short time 2 days? Pain dr recommended nerve block it made nerve pain worse! Was 3 weeks until I had relief with kidney transplant he went to close to kidney.

    I had a bruise where he put the needle in I had been very clear to stay
    away he showed where he would go!…I trusted him.

    I began severe reactions; spaced out couldnt understand what was being said my nerve pain was getting worse; couldnt talk words wouldnt come
    Out. I had depression n crying jags I was jittery and shaky.

    On some occasions I had a seizure which was not common for me to do. I was losing touch with reality. I knew I had to get off soon as possible! I cut back as slow as I could. By the time I was off had been 1 month from when I had started Lyrica.

    Then the Nightmare began!! I was not in control of myself. I will try to list what all I dealt with. Brain fog; couldn’t remember names etc; I had muscle pain felt like ,y muscles were drawing up tight; sometimes shaking was awful had night sweats; I couldnt sleep even with taking sleep pills I would go up to 3 days with no sleep. I couldn’t eat yet. I gained weight!!!…Which I can’t lose”!” I was a emotional mess!

    I was a mess physically couldnt hardly keep balance (should mention I had a kidney transplant got a deadly bacteria which I got a stroke from antibiotics the setback from Lyrica made it hard to do therapy).

    I at one point had hallucinations; can’t talk;.light headed; dizzy; I’m sure I’m leaving some out.

    It’s been 5 months. Blurry vision; hair loss; hearing loss when I had to get new one he commented I had drop in my hearing on the chart. He had on me which was alarming for me.

    Basic opinion?

    I’m researching hard for an answer to detox this drug from your system!!

  4. Tess

    With me lyrica makes me obsessive , over talking and emotionally a wreck. I’ve never been dx as manic but it sure does seem to make me that way. Normally I’m a lay back quiet person. On it I’m a vocal spinning top. These side affects are too much for my family and me to take. I’ve been on again off again on it for over 2 years. Even at a low dose of just 50 mg I’m still having these problems.

  5. Reva

    I have been on Lyrica since 2008.It was prescribed for fibro pain,and whiplash pain in my neck and shoulders.I was also given Tramadol as a booster for pain as I was taking so many over the counter drugs my doctor thought I would injure myself.In the beginning it seemed to help.I had been taking Cymbalta but it stopped working, so I was elated when the Lyrica seemed to help.It was short lived though and I can’t understand why I have stayed on it for so long.Within a few weeks I realized I was gaining significant weight(about 5 lbs a month,and it has never stopped)I always feel hungry and my eyes have felt the effects too with dry eyes and blurring vision.I do sleep better at night,but I am also on a CPAP machine now,and I wasn’t when I first started the drugs.I have the foggy thinking and loose of cognitive abilities I used to have.My ankles swell,my skin is dry and peeling all the time,my muscles are slowly weakening and I am fatigued feeling before the day is even started.I am slowly weaning myself off of both the Lyrica and Tramadol this week and hoping to have them both out of my system in a couple of weeks.I hope I will recover enough of my old functions and abilities that I can live a closer to normal life.The chronic fibro pain I can recognize,the whiplash pain I know too.The symptoms from the drugs are the confusing ones.I am tired of being confused and being in pain too.Wish me luck.

  6. Sandra R
    Pgh, pa

    Worst drug ever. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE CYMBALTA OR LYRICA. I promise you the side effects are awful, and it did nothing to help with my pain. I stopped taking LYRICA weeks ago yet still suffer from major depression, hopelessness, sadness, paranoia, and feelings of worthlessness. I’m terrified I’ll never feel right again. I have horrible short term memory loss along with a long list of awful after-effects.

    The doctors don’t want to prescribe pain pills because they’re worried about the side effects, yet still prescribe Cymbalta and Lyrica which are two of the worst drugs ever, ever put in the market. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO HELP YOU BE ABLE TO MANAGE YOUR PAIN. At no time did I notice any pain relief at all. By the way, the Dr did not believe these side effects were caused by these meds. It has been a nightmare that I’m now concerned has caused me permanent damage.

  7. Richard
    Banning Ca.

    I have relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis . To help the numbness in my left hand 15 ninths ago my neurologist prescribed lyrics 100 mg. a day. After 2 months I noticed swelling on the left side. Of abdomin. 1 month later I started forcing my urine out constantly. 1 month after that I had small constant stomach ache. The whole time my walking suffered increasingly. I went from being able to beat my. 10 yr old son in a running race to walking with a cane. After several months 3months ago my doctor doubled my dose to 200 mg. a day. Within 4weeks I had bladder pain kidney pain swollen eye lid double vision and the pain in my entire abdomin was the worst pain of my 51 yr old life. I was in er 4times in 3 weeks. The er doctors could t figure it out.because I was on lyrica 15 months. If I didn’t figure it out myself I honestly think id be DEAD. I spent :34 days in bed out of 40. I’ve been off lyrica 28 days and everytbing is back to normal. The dangerous side affects of lyrica are normal problems of multiple sclerosis. I hope to be walking better tha. I have in the past 2 years. My leg is weak hope to gain streangth back slowly. lRICA IS KILLING PEOPLE BLINDLY. Richard

    • Vaginiqua

      I decided to stop taking Lyrica cold turkey after taking 100 mg three times a day for about a year. I had no idea what the hell I was in store for. For at least three days, I was completely hallucinating. I lost all connection to reality, and could not tell the difference between my dreams and waking state. Tastes, smells, tactile sensation I had no idea what hell I was in store for.

      For at least three days, I was completely hallucinating. I lost all connection to reality, and could not tell the difference between my dreams and waking state. Tastes, smells, tactile sensations and visuals were all distorted. Everything seemed different, to the point where I couldn’t even recognize my own house. It felt like I was literally going insane. Not to mention the fight or flight response, complete loss of balance and dizziness.

      It was like benzodiazepine and opiate withdrawal combined but far worse than either of them. The only thing was that it was over when it was over. After about four days, but withdrawls went away and I got the drug out of my system and never took it again. Benzodiazepines are the hardest drug to with draw from, but Lyrica is very close. The scariest part was the psychotic break.

  8. BG

    I had been on lyrica for 6 months for herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve…started at 25mg twice a day…eventually was taking 100mg twice a day….started the weaning process 3 weeks ago and am finally off the drug….had gained 10 lbs….the side affects of the weaning process are less than pleasant….dizziness and nausea are high on the list….not sure if the drug helped with the pain, but would not recommend this drug….check out other options…..

  9. marie

    anyone having brain problems with lyrica watery eyes kike acid burning also like someone through acid in your face on times

  10. Priscilla A

    Wow is all I can say. I was put on Lyrica for my Fibromyalgia pain because I can no longer take Nsaid drugs such as meloxican or Ibuprofen because I just got diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure from complications with inflammation and I find out that Lyrica gives you inflammation do these DR know what your doing and even pay attention when you don’t have the best Health Insurance my guess is not.

  11. Beverly F.
    Upstate, NY

    I was on Lyrics for over a year. I have Pelvic Neuropathy, Sacralilitis, Chronic Pain Syndrome, and Psoriatic Arthritis. I was at a point that I would have words in my head I would want to say….. But they just wouldn’t come out of my mouth!!!! Horrible!!!! I still had pain, it brought my pain from #10 down to around #6-8 on good days. I’m also on antidepressant medication and have been for years. But being a Nurse and being taken out of work because I couldn’t walk anymore without limping in pain…. I became more depressed!!! I’m only 55 year’s young!!! My PCP slowly tapered me off the Lyrica AND WITH IN 2-3 WEEKS MY MIND FOG WAS CLEARING UP!!!!!! Now around 8 month’s later, I feel I’m back in control of my LIFE!!!! Since going off of the Lyrica I have TERRIBLE HAND & LEG TREMORS, HEADACHES, & MY YEAR OLD BIFOCALS …. forget it, I need new Glasses!!!!!! My vision is SO BLURRED!!!!! I recommend NEVER START LYRICA!!!!!! Living with the severe pain & my Injections are a better choice for me!!!!! What a NIGHTMARE!!!!!

  12. Thomas E

    On July 7th 2016, I received a torn L5-S1 disc from an auto accident. I had severe pain in my lower back and right leg due to the disc compressing both the L5 nerve and the S1 nerve. I was prescribed Gabapentin 100mg 3x daily which was increased 2700mg a day over a period of 3-4 months. After increased dosage of medication and three epidurals had failed to relieve the pain the doctor ordered a Laminectomy and Microdiscectomy on my L5 S1 disc.

    After my surgery, the doctor continue to prescribe Gabapentin at a high dosage but I still received no relief from the Gabapentin. My doctor informed me that because of the compression on the nerve for a long period of time I would most likely suffer lifelong nerve damage. After continued complaints of no relief from the Gabapentin my doctor then prescribed me Lyrica. The prescription my doctor wrote out was for 120 pills 30 day supply 150 mg capsules to be taken 2 in the morning (300mg) and 2 at night (300mg) that’s 600 mg a day.

    During the first two days I was on Lyrica I felt wonderful. My pain level which used to hover anywhere between a 9 and 10 on the Pain Scale had been dropped all the way down to a 2. I thought Lyrica was the greatest thing in the world it was able to decrease my pain whereas Gabapentin had no effect on me. I was on Lyrica for a total of 15 1/2 days when my wife had to rush me to the hospital for what appeared to be mini strokes. I was in the emergency room for over 9 hours with 3 different doctors running test that ranged anywhere from MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds of my arteries, blood test, and a lumbar puncture because they thought I had meningitis.

    It wasn’t until the third doctor that saw me noticed in my records that I was on 600 mg of Lyrica. The doctor asked me if this was a mistake and I told him no that is what my doctor prescribed to me. when I told the doctor that it wasn’t a mistake I thought he was the one that was going to have a stroke. He told me that 600mg was extremely high for someone who just started taking Lyrica. He said that 25 mg would be an appropriate dose to start out with.

    I was admitted to the hospital for 2 days so I could detox off of the Lyrica. During the 2 weeks I was on Lyrica I gained 22lbs of water weight, had memory loss, aggression towards people around me, loss of balance, and slurred speech. After I was taken off the Lyrica, I was then prescribed Pamelor which also had no pain-relieving effect.

  13. Audrey

    Please, I woulf like to receive some help ! I took Lyrica for 12 days…I stopped it 4 days ago because it made me feel bad, and I realized it caused me anorgasmia. I’m still sexually numb..I feel soooooooo anxious about it !!! Did anyone experienced the same thing ? How long does it take to recover ? Thank you

    • Brian
      Republic of Ireland

      Wow! I’ve got caudal equine. Been on 300mg twice a day for two years now. I have tried reducing the drug myself by asking for 150mg capsules (told doc I was finding the 300mg hard to swallow, but he’s reluctant to cut the dose). I cut my own dose then to 150mg twice a day and find I’m having a very rapid and irregular pulse, and awful palpitations. So afraid, I’ve taken an extra 150mg to see if it calms things.
      I’m on morphine sustained release 150mg per day, and 100mg amytrptilline per day.
      Caudal equine has left me in an awful state, but are the drugs designed to help actually killing me?

  14. Wally

    I had shingles, am diabetic, have been taking Lyrica for five-six years. The awful tingling in my feet is about gone now. Had none of the side effects listed except possibly balance a bit off right now. Have not felt need to discontinue. I’m 92 and still going strong, so I guess the Lyrica is o.k. for me.

    • Martin

      Hi i have been on lyrica for a few months and now have weaned off. However the side effects are terrible. I feel so lost, unmotivated and tierd. I hope this nightmare ends soon. I need the real me to come back. Please don’t take these….bad news.

      • Mikala
        New york

        Ive been reading a lot of forums about this, i have also spoke with a pharmacist about what im enduring, she said even if you take it for 3 weeks or 3 years, the gaba receptors in the brain have been compromised, it took me 3 months to wean off and its been 44 days since my last dose, i have heard of 2 people who have had full recovery, 1 was on it for 5 years at a high dose, took over a year to wean and 5 years to feel 100% great again,, this is unacceptable, the other took one whole year, still not acceptable.

        • Kim
          Swan Hill. Australia

          Wish me luck. I have been on lyrica for 3 weeks 2 a day (25mg each) . I have found this drug to give me more symptoms then i already had. As of today 5/5/2018 i am stopping it. My doctor doesnt believe me when i tell him about side affects. I am apprehensive but hopefully get through this. There must be other ways to control pain other than this drug?

      • Nancy

        You said, you found the words, the though I was trying to put together. The “me” is, was, I don’t know just gone. Every now and then I am back but then gone again, frozen, sobbing, lost, just as you said “lost”. Withdrawal from Lyrica is scary. I was prescribed this one year ago as opioid substitute until my face looked like I had been in a boxing match and legs swelled until skin cracked at one ankle. I took myself off rather quickly. Lyrica never helped the pain and the longer I took it the worse the side effects.
        And now this horror of withdrawal. I am afraid I will never be me again.

  15. Lizzie

    I have been on Lyrica/Pregabalin for 6 years since breaking my back and suffering a spinal cord injury and permanent paralysis from the waist down. I am in constant neuropathic pain in the form of burning and stabbing. The Pregabalin dulls the pain but it is never gone completely. To have no pain I would have to be on such a high dose that I would be like a zombie. I definitely have problems cognitively and with my memory to the point where I can’t remember the names of people I have known for years at times. I don’t recognise faces of people I’ve only met a couple of times, and I have made some embarrassing social blunders due to this. I have reduced my dose and have more mental acuity than on higher doses, but more pain, unfortunately. The withdrawal each time (only 25mg at a time) has been pure hell that has gone on for weeks. I am unsure how I will ever break free of it. I would like to see a future where I don’t take any medication but I need to find a better way of coping. I use mindfulness and sport to cope at the moment, but it is not enough.

  16. Cori RB
    New Zealand

    I was on Lyrica for Postherpetic Neuralgia (the pain/itch) that lasts after one has had a bout of Shingles, which I had in 2008. In June 2010, about a year after starting the Lyrica, and having gained about 15ks in weight and having quite a few of the the other side-effects, I happened to see Lyrica mentioned in a Newsletter which came to my e-mail regularly. The Newsletter was called “Prescription Drugs” and it stated that the makers of Lyrica were facing lawsuits regarding unreported side-effects found during tests.

    In 2013 I noticed that my eyebrows were thinning substantially. I saw a Dermatologist. He lifted up my fringe covering my forehead and immediately said I had “Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia” and prescribed quite a large dose of Cortisone tablets, which he said may halt the hair fall, but won’t reverse it. I

    I am now living in another country and had to come off Lyrica and was prescribed Gabapentin, a similar drug as one patch on my back continues to itch really badly. My hair has continued to fall out and is quite thin all over, about 3 inches back from where it used to be on my forehead and on my temples and behind my ears. I now have to wear a wig if I want to go anywhere, coz I just feel so very embarrassed.

    Has anyone else experienced HAIR LOSS on Lyrica? I think I can still find that Newsletter in my inbox from that time. Will have a look.

    • Linda

      A doctor friend of mine noticed my eyebrows were thinning and said to me, “Ah, yes, hypo- thyroid!” I had my thyroid tested, and it was a bit low but they put me on synthroid, and my hair grew back. I also gained back energy and mental acuity.

      Unfortunately, if you start thyroid medication, you have to take it forever. My sister and my mother had hypo-thyroid, and it seems to hereditary. Have your thyroid tested.

  17. Alice
    United States

    Have been taking lyrica 50mg for three days. Wish to stop now. Will I have withdrawal symptoms?

    • bev
      BC Canada

      Yup hair loss, missing eyebrows too, weight gain, brain fog, swollen feet, and did I say brain fog. haha

      • Mikala

        Yes u will have symptoms, gaba receptors are compromised, dont go back on it ever, stick with it, your going to be fine, praying for u, for all here.

    • Cathy

      I started taking Lyrica 3 weeks ago for fibromyalgia, saw my Dr. Yesterday and she took me right off them. Didn’t say anything about side effects but maybe I wasn’t on them long enough. I was taking 50 mg. 3 times a day. Did reduce some of the pain but the side effects were worse than the pain. Fatigue, depression and anxiety There were times I wanted to scream I felt so much anxiety. That was it for me, time to get off them and visit other avenues.
      Good luck

    • Lynn
      South Carolina

      I have been taking Lyrica for several years Ann’s since then I keep gaining weight, memory is bad, can’t even describe the pain just know I still have it and my hair is thin now and have few eye brows and lashes and have been going to a dermatologist for couple of treats and she had given me hydroxy meds and creams and nothing has helped. I still hurt so bad I really want to know what would habit if I just quit using Lirica all together, i habe a lout of pain so how much worse and will my hair continue falling out???

  18. Lori

    I’ve been on Lyrica for almost 10 years because I have fibromyalgia and idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. I’ve been on as little as 300mg/day and as much as 600mg/day. Currently I’m taking 200mg morning and night. My pain is gradually getting worse but I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting worse or Lyrica is beginning to make it worse. I’ve tried weaning off it a couple of other times and the first time, I couldn’t handle the withdrawals so I went back on. That was cutting 25 or 50mg each week, if I remember correctly. The last time was because my pain management doctor was starting me on oxycontin. I was too afraid of everything I heard about oxycontin, so I quit and went back on Lyrica. I’ve gained about 100lbs in the 10 years but have lost some because I went through a divorce and don’t eat as well when cooking for myself. I can’t seem to remember a whole lot and I’m so tired all the time. I’m not even sure what other side effects I do have since no one talked about them years ago and I’m so used to the way things are for me now. I want to get off Lyrica and try a vitamin B complex, turmeric curcumin, and alpha lipoic acid. Does anyone have any thoughts on this or has anyone tried it? I’m getting desperate!

    • Amanda P

      It is likely that it has stopped working for you. I was on Lyrica for 8 years for spinal chord damage, spinal fusion and Hypermobility injury pain, ended up on 600mg then my pain started to gradually increase about 2 years ago from a daily average of 5 on the 1-10 pain scale to 9 or 11! I also started to get nausea, headaches, motion sickness, felt like a zombie, numbness, dry skin, unable to shift stomach fat etc etc. Long story short, a chemist told me using that drug at that level for so many years meant it had likely ceased to work as a pain killer properly. I only found this out a year ago after missing 1 dose on a long haul flight and convulsing, sweating and being in awful head, neck and upper body pain for 9 hours.

      I then started looking into Lyrica and decided to come off it, I took my last dose 2 weeks ago. Withdrawal has taken 11 months, it has been hell. I went too aggressive at first, coming down 100mg a time for 2 weeks, eventually had to come down in much smaller amounts over a monthly cycle otherwise the shaking, sweating, nausea, anxiety, pain and rage were too violent. I wanted to kill my husband several times….he is fantastic, loving and supportive and has had me spitting and punching him several times through it all. I am not violent ever usually. We have been together 20 years and I am very lucky he did not leave me or have me locked up, but it was the drug withdrawal as I’m fine now. When you reduce your dose, within hours or days the pain increases but the pain is not from your condition (the reason you take Lyrica) it is pain due to the way Lyrica block calcium receptors….if you take opiates the effects are amplified and withdrawal is amplified too. My pain is not worse than a couple of years ago now and I am now looking at not taking any of these new synthetic drugs like gabapentin, or tramadol which nearly killed me when I took it. The worry part is that not many GPs know about the withdrawal but luckily my Dr did. I am compiling a list of people who want to tell their Pregabalin withdrawal stories and get the media behind this. It is a very widely prescribed drug and people who stop suddenly are dying or killing!

      • Mikala

        Hang in there no matter how long, do not go backwards, this type of drug makes people make compulsive decisions, plz,plz be prudent with desions

        • Amanda
          Merseyside, UK

          Update:I took my last dose of Lyrica in the beginning of Feb. The withdrawal went on for about a month but intensity of anxiety, sweating etc was weakening. Ended up on tablets for the sweating, as it was so bad I couldn’t sleep. Stopped those tablets after a couple of weeks (side effects!). I have not taken any Lyrica since 4th Feb. It is out of the house and my life.

          I still have days and mildly-sweaty nights when I feel like there is some tiny level of withdrawal going on but not too bad. I have EDS so hyperhydrosis is common but Dr has warned me that the Pregabalin may have triggered the sweating, which may never completely clear up. I feel tons better than I did on the Pregabalin and tons better than I did at the start of withdrawal.

          To anyone setting off on their withdrawal or already on it: Hang in there. Tell people what is happening because you need love and support. Do not ever reach for the tablets to make the withdrawal go away you will never get off them. I found low doses of diazapam helped on the bad days (but don’t take them too regularly as they will mess you up, too. I take them for a few days then stop for a few days.)
          In the next few weeks I will be petitioning the UK Government to look into it. Good luck, everyone!

    • Alice

      Hi Lori, I was on Lyrica for 10+ years for Fibromyalgia. I took 150 mg. a day. Had lots of side effects but it did work for the pain. then someone told me about the herb Ginger. after a week my pain was so much better. I took 6 weeks to wean myself off lyrica and I am doing better in some things but cant sleep. I also take Turmeric.

  19. Hal

    Last year, I was experiencing chronic pain in neck and shoulders. The pain was constant and I felt unwell. I could not stand the pain and started drinking after being clean and sober for over 20 yrs. After 6 months wait, I got into a pain clinic.

    My doctor and other doctors could not figure out my problem after chest xrays, blood work, etc. The dr at the pain clinic injected my neck and shoulder with nerve blockers. I woke up the next day realizing I did not have any pain….first time in over one year. Because of this finding, my doctor prescribed Lyrica. I have been on it now for over one year and have been pain free!!

    The only side effect I have is weight gain. I will take that any day over constant pain. I no longer self medicate with alcohol and enjoy life again!! Thank you Lyrica!!!!

    • john
      Chapel Hill, NC

      Hal; Your Dr ordered “nerve block” when you were not diagnosed with ‘PHN’, or diabetes, or ‘fibro’ ? And if the ‘nerve block’ cured the pain, why the Lyrica? I am very curious as I am 3 days shy of 8 months into Post-Herpetic Neuralgia [PHN] . And I am now on Lyrica upon ‘graduating’ from months of Gabapentin and I am experiencing most of the listed ‘side affects’. I will see my pain mgmt Dr for the second time on Jan 25th. Good luck to you and I hope you stay pain at least until ‘father time’ takes over.

  20. Suzanne

    I’m thinking of going if lyrica been on high dose for 4 years what worries me is if my dr disagrees what to do then

  21. Jennifer H

    I have been taking Lyrica for about a year after I had a double mastomony chemotherapy and radiation . now they told me to take three times day 50 mg or 150 mg a day. Now for past month. I have gained 20 pounds and am very irritated at the smallest of things. I go Monday December 4 to see Dr . I thought it worked at first but pain so bad now can’t hardly stand it.

    Can’t cook fold clothes wash dishes or thing like that. I look at electric lines for my way out but don’t have long enough ladder. So now with no boobs I am gaining weight and dont like that. Headache and all round full body pain and i don’t know what to do. Where do I go from here???? So tired of doctors just throwing pain meds at me I am tired of it all.

    If there is help I wish I could find it. Only thing that helps me know is beer so I can get some sleep. I feel sorry for people in such pain you try your best to make others understand but so hard to put in words how much you hurt when they don’t. Life is not good . All I can do is pray night comes fast so I can be without pain if only for a few hours a day. I pray for all here and pray your pain ends soon.

  22. Willie

    Longevity (Long Life)

    “Standard of Care” may not safely address your specific diagnosis.

    Don’t “Ingest” “Prescription Medications” until you’ve completely read the warnings, the how to use instructions, the cautions, possible side effects, prescription interactions, and be mindful of your “Medical History Does and Don’t.”

    Remember, your safety, is your primary responsibility!!!

  23. Cliff

    I was started on Lyrica for pain from multiple neck surgeries, chemo and radiation for head and neck cancer. I had been taking gabupentin ( for diabetic neuropathy) for 4 years and even upping the dose didn’t help so they put me on Lyrica. At first (the first month) everything went well then the disaster hit. I became extremely irritable (I was a happy person), became tired all the time (used to hike and have an abundance of energy) and just don’t care about anything, gained 20 pounds in 3 months and I don’t eat any differentely. I have an appointment on the 1rst of December with pain management and am going to tell them I want off. I would rather live with pain the with who I’ve become. If you’re not on it stay away!

  24. Megan

    I have been on lyrica for about a 2 years now, and have slowly weaned myself down to 75mg per day.
    Today is my 3rd day off and I can’t sit still. I’m having cramps in my stomach, pains in my head and the worst foggy brain. Lyrica is evil and I have no idea why Dr’s do not take these withdrawals more seriously!
    A few months back when I missed a few days I was in agony and was suicidal.
    I have never felt so low in my entire life and I really regret thinking Lyrica was the answer to my chronic pain.

    • Mikala

      Agreed!!! Stay away and tell everyone you know. Its being prescribed for too many ailments, i have had every side effect there is, even one part of my body as well as the entire left side of my body was paralyzed for about 30 minutes, then it stops, this is insane that docs know nothing about this? Stunning.

  25. Michael
    Toronto Canada

    Have been on 300 mg of Lyrica per day plus 50 mgs of morphine for a neck injury in May 2016. Since then my sight has gotten so bad I needed glasses I have gained 40 pounds. Between the stress of not being able to work and walking around in a constant fog life was getting bad.

    I decided 3 days ago to stop taking my meds and get my life back on track. I am going through some pretty serious withdrawals and not sleeping, my wife says im to touchy the least little thing irritates me im cold and sweating and generally having a very rough time. Think twice before you take Lyrica.

    • Craig

      Michael, I hope you’re better now. Could you please share how long the misery, depression, pain, and suicide thoughts persisted after taking final Lyrica dose? Thank you.

      • Mikala
        New york

        You should weaned slowly, but its done,,you would have experienced the same but would have taken longer, its a nightmare, tell your loved ones to support you and to overlook any moodiness, theres no explaining what we are going through, not even drs get it, keep reading these other stories and reaching out, we know and support one another,,,heres the hardest part, once anyone has had success coming off and feeling great again, they dont return here to let us know,,,we need to hear those stories too

  26. Debbie D.

    Has anyone experienced head tremors due to taking lyrica? I took lyrica for 19 months & I developed slight head tremors. I stopped taking it the 28th of September & I am still having slight head tremors & yet my doctor does not feel it has anything to do with lyrica. My pain has returned, yet I am afraid to take this damn drug again.

  27. Jo

    I started taking Lyrica approximately 3 months ago for nerve pain after surgery. All was good until I stopped taking it a few days ago. For no apparent reason started feeling very depressed. Went back to the doctor today to get another prescription. After reading all your comments think that the sooner I can wean myself off this drug the better.

    • Paula

      Don’t want to sound negative but somehow I really don’t believe some of these comments…..if someone can’t spell Australia is it a real comment from someone from Australia????

      I’ve been on Lyrica for years and have every side effect known….im in the process of weaning myself off….the side effects of coming off lyrica are so bad it’s scary….be aware…..do not go on Lyrica…..its a bad drug

    • Mikala

      Oh my do not restart, i too have had tremors, other body oarts and my brain too, like a loud vibrating air compressor, you will have success, trust in God, he will

  28. Mike

    I was on Lyrica for about a year for nerve pain, but wanted to get off of the drug because of the constant dizziness, vertigo, and weight gain it was causing me. The side effects were only making my nerve pain worse. I talked to my doc about any withdrawal side effects and he said your head might feel “off” for awhile. OFF!??!

    Well … that was just the beginning, as I had no idea the withdrawal symptoms were SO BAD. Within a week of reducing the Lyrica dose 25mg’s I went into a DEEP DEPRESSION and I had no idea why I was feeling so terrible because nothing in my life was going downhill. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, didn’t want to do anything .. it was awful! I had already been taking cymbalta at the time, so my doc bumped my dose up 30mgs and after a couple of weeks things seemed to even out. Within a few weeks of being off of it, I dropped about 15lbs. I’ve never felt such vivid depression like that…it was so bad…! Please be careful if you take Lyrica!

  29. Marilese

    Many patients wonder why Lyrica has such a detrimental effect on health and as I read the FDA’s information on Lyrica ingredients, the Titanium Dioxide caught my eye, and further reading revealed the following:
    Given the size of titanium dioxide particles as well as the electrical charge, exposure to the mineral has been linked to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation (3). An increase in oxidative stress in the body stimulates cellular and DNA damage.
    What are the ingredients In LYRICA? Active ingredient: pregabalin Inactive ingredients: LYRICA capsules: lactose monohydrate, cornstarch, talc Capsule shell: gelatin and TITANIUM DIOXIDE; Orange capsule shell: red iron oxide; White capsule shell: sodium lauryl sulfate, colloidal silicon dioxide. Colloidal silicon dioxide is a manufacturing aid that may or may not be present in the capsule shells. Imprinting ink: shellac, black iron oxide, propylene glycol, potassium hydroxide. LYRICA oral solution: methylparaben, propylparaben, monobasic sodium phosphate anhydrous, dibasic sodium phosphate anhydrous, sucralose, artificial strawberry #11545 and purified water. This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    I took Lyrica for 6 years, from 2011 to 2017 until I had black-outs and hearing problems in conjunction with non-stop hot flushes, and then discovered I was being poisoned by Lyrica. I stopped taking it in July 2017 and my hearing is back to normal, my eyes can focus and I don’t have black-outs any more.

    • Tony

      Hi Marilise, glad to hear you are feeling better after quitting Lyrica, but it must be a “horses for courses” thing, because I too was put on this following spinal surgery in 2010 and I also suffered the side-effects described by others, including the blurred vision and hearing loss. By coincidence I also quit in July and am still suffering chronic withdrawal 9 weeks later, including constant insomnia etc. Also, my vision has not yet shown any improvement and I have just had my hearing aids amplified! However, your improvement does give me hope that some recovery is possible so thanks for that.

  30. Amy

    I run a group on Facebook called Lyrica Survivors (Official) and we have thousands of people suffering from side effects and withdrawal from Lyrica. Many doctors are unaware of the withdrawal and refuse to believe patients, but it is all too real.

    • Paula

      I went looking for Lyrica Survivors Facebook page and have asked to join….looking forward to having my say

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