Almost everyone wants a miracle drug for pain relief. Is Lyrica (pregabalin) that medicine? If you watch any television at all you have likely seen commercials for Lyrica. A few years ago there was a commercial involving 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.” As in so many such commercials you are supposed to “ask your doctor about Lyrica today.”
A Reader Reports Lyrica Was a Miracle Drug for Pain:
Q. When I first started taking Lyrica for severe fibromyalgia and nerve pain from diabetes, it was as though I had found a miracle drug. My husband said he had gotten his wife back.
That was three years ago, before I started thinking about death every single day. I am currently not driving because the voice in my head kept telling me to drive off the road and end it all. It was exhausting just trying to stay alive.
I’ve now been off Lyrica for about a week. I withdrew very slowly because I had tried to stop once before and suffered terribly. I reduced the dose by 25 mg for a week and waited for the worst of the withdrawal symptoms to clear before I lowered it again. A constant horrible headache, nausea, shaking and sleeplessness lasted for about ten days.
Now that I’m completely off the drug, the headache is finally gone. I still have nausea every time I move. Just taking a shower and getting dressed brings it on. I’m hoping this too will pass.
People’s Pharmacy Responds Re: Miracle Drug for Pain:
A. Pregabalin (Lyrica) is an anticonvulsant drug, but it is probably prescribed far more often to treat nerve pain. People suffering from pain after shingles may benefit from taking it. Doctors prescribe it to ease the pain of fibromyalgia.
The official prescribing information warns that Lyrica may cause suicidal thoughts or behavior, as well as anxiety, restlessness, panic attacks and irritability. It can also cause swelling of the legs, feet and hands, along with dizziness, drowsiness, trouble concentrating, blurry vision and weight gain.
People stopping Lyrica have reported headaches, nausea, trouble sleeping, anxiety and increased sweating. In other words, your frightening experience is not unusual.
Read More About Lyrica Side Effects and Withdrawal:
At last count we have heard from nearly 500 visitors to this website regarding Lyrica complications at this link. Some, like our reader above, praise Lyrica as a miracle drug for pain. Others have not been so lucky:
Amy in the U.S. notes:
“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.”
Sue in Derbyshire is concerned about cognitive impairment:
“I have been on Lyrica for 10 years. During the past year I have been more clumsy and unsteady on my feet. On occasion my memory has become shocking. I always prided myself on how good my memory was but am very worried about this right now.
“My colleague is also on Lyrica and is weaning herself off due to cognitive impairment. I have trigeminal nerve problems which include facial parasthesia on the left hand side and a consistent 24/7 tingling and sensitivity on that side of my face.
“After reading some of the comments on this website I do have a desire to reduce the amount I am taking but am worried about side effects. I am going to give it a go though. Do not want any more cognitive function deterioration.”
Paula reported teeth clenching and that triggered other reports:
“I was on Lyrica 150mg 3x a day for the terrible pain of shingles. It worked wonderfully well, helping not only with shingles pain but also with fibromyalgia pain. I slept deeply for the first time in years, and my colitis improved dramatically.
“However, l also experienced brain fog, weight gain, and incontinence. I tapered off of the Lyrica over about two weeks, and my shingles pain was gone. However, now I have night sweats, insomnia, headaches, and nausea. Worst of all, I have severe clenching of my teeth (this was not a side effect I read about). Has anyone else had this problem? My teeth and jaws really hurt, and I can’t seem to stop clenching my teeth.”
Troy in Columbia, Missouri followed up:
“For Paula – I have experienced the exact same thing as far as clenching my teeth and jaw. My memory is horrible. I do get great pain relief for my fibromyalgia and I also think it is really helping my IBS/colitis, although I am wondering whether or not that is being helped by the Movantik that I was given with the Lyrica.
“Fatigue is the worst symptom after memory problems and I have problems thinking and understanding what people are telling me sometimes. I have, however, been gaining weight. My gait is different and I’m off balance a lot.
“When my doctor gave me the prescription for Lyrica, nobody said anything about problems with withdrawal symptoms being like when you suddenly go off Xanax. I have more depression. I am much more emotional (which my therapist may love). Lyrica also ‘disinhibits’ me so I say what I feel without worrying about anyone else and engage in activity that I normally would not engage in. I do not know what to do.”
Learn More about Lyrica at these links:
If you would like to read more about Lyrica here are some Links: