laundry, sleepwalking attack

Have you ever told your doctor about a side effect you experienced and heard that the drug doesn’t do that? Plenty of people have become extremely frustrated by that message. One reader tried to tell her physicians about a frightening episode like a sleepwalking attack, though they did not seem to take her report seriously.

Pregabalin and a Sleepwalking Attack:

Q. I was prescribed pregabalin (Lyrica) for fibromyalgia. It did not relieve my pain. Worse, it made me narcoleptic, more or less.

I was standing at the kitchen sink, actively washing dishes, and BAM! I was instantly asleep and dreaming while still in motion. Another time I was walking down the hallway carrying a basket of folded laundry to a bedroom when I had this sort of instant sleepwalking attack.

I shook myself awake both times, alarmed at what had happened. There was no forewarning other than feeling a bit tired.

I told the doctor that Lyrica had not worked and the side effects it caused. He was skeptical.

I find all too often, even otherwise great doctors seem to rely on info from drug reps. I wish they would check drug studies to see what the potential side effects can be.

Lyrica as a Cause of a Terrifying Sleepwalking Attack:

A. The prescribing information for Lyrica lists “sleep disorder” as a rare side effect. There is no explicit reference to narcolepsy in the medical literature about pregabalin. Such a sudden sleepwalking attack during the day could be quite dangerous. Thank you for letting us know about your experience.

If you have had an unexpected side effect that was not acknowledged by your prescriber, please tell us about it below.

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  1. Martie
    Oakville, Ontario

    I have taken Lyrica (75 mg twice daily) during the day with no trouble. But when I read it helps with sleep I took my 75 mg dose at bedtime as my doctor suggested. I went sleep walking at least three times that I remember. And I remember because I woke up as I crashed my head on the corner of my bed side table (I have a big goose egg bump on my head today). Then later I fell to my knees on hardwood floor and woke up from the pain (have a big bruise on my knee). Finally, still later, I crashed down onto my bottom and bruised my tail bone.
    I halved the dose the next night and didn’t sleep walk.

    Anyone ever heard of this?


    • Beth

      I started to fall out of bed last night while dreaming that I was throwing a bundled up newspaper at someone. I caught myself before I hit my bedside stand. I actually had half my body out of the bed and had to struggle to get back in the bed without completely falling out of bed. I have been having such weird vivid dreams that include people from high school forty years ago and past jobs. I just started this med this week and am on 75mg twice daily.

  2. Holly

    Two days in, the first night I voided mt bladder in bed and didn’t wake for hours after!

    Last night, I evidently sleepwalked to the kitchen, got out leftover Thanksgiving and a spoon, went back to bed and ate the entire container! In bed. My husband found me asleep this am with container on my lap, spoon still in hand.

    The car keys need to be hidden now, I’m nervous -and angry because I love that dessert and I ate it and don’t even remember TASTING it! ?

    • Trina

      I have been on Lyrica for 5 days. I suffer from a pinched sciatic nerve and back pain. Just today I didn’t remember that my husband and my daughter found me outside. I don’t remember any of it.

  3. Guera

    This happened to me . I’ve been on lyrica I have nerve damage or PHN from shingles . Just had another out break they doubled my lyrica from 150 mpg 2x day to 300 at once. I woke up in the laundry room the first time . The second time I woke up at the door with the front door open and the metal dorr still closed sitting on the stoop . Theu lowered me again . And now my heart is racing. I hate this.

  4. Rachel
    Philadelphia, PA

    I had a similar reaction to Lyrica: I instantly passed out at my kitchen table where I was working on my laptop and fell into this horrific “tunnel-dream” where I kept trying to wake myself up from one dream only to find myself in another dream, only I couldn’t tell immediately whether I was awake or still in a dream after each transition. It was almost psychedelic feeling – and since I do not enjoy that feeling – it was the very LAST time I ever took Lyrica.

  5. Lisa

    Lyrica and Neurontin both cause me to jerk, flail my arms involuntarily, and my legs even collapsed underneath me. So I have no treatment for my diabetic neuropathy which bites and stings and makes it difficult to sleep. I was taking nucynta, but the doctor I have now won’t prescribe anything for any kind of pain. I also have spinal stenosis.

    It would be great to have something which would take care of both issues. Nucynta was doing that to some extent. If anyone has any ideas, I’d appreciate the advice. When I lived in CA, I used cannabis for the neuropathy. It did a pretty good job , however it is illegal here, so I can’t do that either. I wanted to let everyone know about the side effects of Lyrica and Neurontin, also. So they could be alert to another side effect experienced by someone.

  6. Carol T.

    Just read your article in the Lakeland, FL Ledger on 4/22/ 17. I, too, had a bad reaction to Lyrica. I took it for two days, and I was acting like I was drunker than a skunk. My hubby had to walk me to the bathroom and made me sit in the recliner for at least 2 days until the Lyrica wore off. When I told my neurologist he treated me like I was crazy and did not believe me. I am fed up with drs., and the bottom line is they only spend 10 minutes with you, and THEY DON”T LISTEN TO THE PATIENT!!!!!

    • Jean
      New Jersey

      I just started yesterday taking Lyrica and today I am so dizzy and walking in to walls, I had to go out to the store and could not walk straight, people must had thought I was drunk. I am going to call the doctor tomorrow and tell him, hope he beleive,s me.

  7. Linda
    South Carolina

    In response to your article about side effects:

    Shortly after beginning Bupropion (for depression) I noticed that my balance was a bit off and I occasionally felt that I was going to “fall backwards”. When I mentioned these symptoms to my doctor he felt there was no connection between the medication and symptoms.

    I would be interested in hearing the results of your studies of Bupropion.

  8. Lana
    Red Bluff Ca.

    I may have experienced sleep walking while taking Lamital and Cymbalta together or Cymbalta the other night April 15th 2017. I defrosted 1/2 of some banana bread. I took the prescriptions then went to bed. The next morning i woke up and saw that the bread was gone! I live alone and have no animals. Um…

  9. PattyPR

    Hi! I was the person who wrote about my Lyrica experience above and I wanted to thank you profusely for posting it. I know there have to be other folks out there who have had surprising side effects from this medication and others. To add to the story – I have never fallen asleep in that manner before using Lyrica or since stopping it.

    The two instances were not the sort of “drowsy” where your eyelids get progressively heavier and you start to nod off. It was fully awake one moment, then fully asleep and dreaming the next. If I had not been startled by the sudden vivid dreams, I’m not sure I would have woken so quickly and may have fallen to the floor.

  10. mary

    Not with Lyrica, but with Toviaz ER, evidently sleep walked, brought back to bed refrigerator items. In a.m., woke up to a dreadful mess on all my bedding layers incl pillows!

    NP was not only angry when I reported incident, but told me to continue RX which I did not do. She then prescribed a different one and again had sleep disturbance problem.

  11. Ada
    McFarland, WI

    About 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with depression and, after trying, a number of antidepressants, was able to get good results with Lexapro (escitalopram). a few months later, I was diagnosed with arthritis and was advised to take Advil or other NSAID to aid with pain and inflammation.

    About a year later, I started having problems with my Lexapro seeming to be ineffective, throwing me into deep depression along with fits of anger and suicidal thoughts. I came to realize that it was when I was taking Advil continually for my arthritis pain that the Lexapro seemed to stop working. I talked to my doctor and she said that other patients also reported this, but she could not get corroboration of it from anyone else in the medical profession, nor any of the drug companies making NSAIDs or Escitalopram. We worked out a “formula” for me to take only 1 Advil along with 1 Tylenol to help with my joint pain and to spread that out over a full 7-8 hours when possible. This helped a lot.

    I credit my doctor for being open-minded and reasonable enough to believe me and her other patients and not to dismiss us. Now… 10 years later, it has been acknowledged that almost every NSAID out there can, and probably will, interfere with some, if not all, antidepressants and that doctors should monitor their patients who need to take both types of medication.

    A few years later, I went through a similar problem when I was prescribed a statin for my mildly high cholesterol and experienced joint pain. But I was with a different doctor who dismissed my claim. My only recourse was to stop the medication myself, fortunately with no ill effects. Again, a few years later, it was acknowledged as a common problem for many people who have to take statins.

    I am so sick and tired of doctors who think their patients are stupid. Because of them, it is more important than ever for a patient to stand up and advocate strongly for themselves when they feel something is not right.

  12. Linda G
    W. Montana

    My Lyrica (as well as gabapentin) side affect was a severe pain in the groin which would occur about every couple of months. I googled this and was amazed that many others had experience this as well. I don’t take this medication any longer and the pain has not happened since.

  13. Kathy

    I cannot tolerate statins. They make me feel totally spaced out and unable to function. I reported this to my doctor and the response was “they’re not supposed to do that.” We were in a circular argument. Your cholesterol is too high. I can’t tolerate statins. Your cholesterol is too high. Statins make me feel suicidal. Your cholesterol is too high. She would not consider alternatives. I therefore fired her. I took Lovaza and Welchol (still take Welchol). I also take aged garlic. Numbers aren’t great, but they’re better.

  14. Justine
    Aldershot UK

    This drug is scary i was on it it for 6 months and am now trying to get off the stuff. It took my life away. Stopped me enjoying anything. Didn’t look forward to anything. It lures you in by working well in the first few weeks then it starts to erode everything that is you. Now I’m in withdrawal​from it and it’s a nightmare but i will never go back on it. I would rather be in this state than the zombie it turned me into.

  15. Michelle Storms MD

    I, too, have had rare bizarre side effects to very low doses of meds. Physicians think I am just making it up when I tell them what I experienced. But I am not, and since I am a physician, I should have some credibility (everyone else should as well). I believe patients when they tell me how a medication affected them unless they are clearly drug-seeking.

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