feet hurt, nighttime leg cramps

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.

Suicidal Thoughts?

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:

Lyrica Side Effects & Withdrawal are Worrisome

Did Lyrica Trigger Scary Sleepwalking Attack?

Stopping Lyrica Suddenly Can Trigger Withdrawal Symptoms

Share your own Lyrica story below in the comment section.

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  1. Mary
    Midwest USA

    I stopped taking Lyrica in January 2017 — after being on it for years for fibromyalgia and chronic pain due to unusually severe arthritis and joint deterioration. I stopped because of the cost and joined a Facebook group for tips on how to withdraw from it.

    Once I started reducing the drug milligram by milligram, I was shocked as my memory and thought process started to regenerate. I had actually developed an “exit” plan because I was sure I had early-onset dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. I had lost the ability to speak more than simple sentences and could not think on the fly. This despite a BA in Journalism and a long time career writing online courses. I used to be being a walking Thesaurus.

    It took me 5 months to completely withdraw. Acupuncture helped with some of the most troubling symptoms. I still have severe pain, although I cannot say whether or not the pain was less while on Lyrica, but at least now I can describe it coherently. :)

    Now with the government and fifth-estate war being waged against the use of opioids for real intractable pain, I have nothing but more and more pain to look forward to. Why cannot someone figure out something that works without all of the horrific side effects?

  2. Jane
    St. Louis, MO

    Following a colostomy, I was put on 50 mg. of Lyrical, taken each morning. I have had nighttime hallucinations, and memory loss. I never thought that possibly it’s the Lyrica. I was given it for neuropathy. Does anyone know if there’s another drug for neuropathy other than Lyrica??? On the other hand, maybe 50 mg. isn’t as bad.

  3. Gerry

    Big Pharma are not in the business of curing you — They are in it for the money– There are many sources of helpful things that will help and cure your problem but they are not using them because they cannot be patented for their benefit, and our government is supporting their approach for obvious reasons. We need to put a stop to this system of medicine in order to allow better products with fewer side effects to emerge from sources that do not have those handicaps, and until that happens we will not get any improvement in medicine.

  4. Tom

    What is the alternative suggested?

  5. June
    Toronto, Ontario

    A few years ago my husband was prescribed Lyrica for shingles pain. Within a few days, he began to hallucinate, which got worse by the day. My doctor suggested taking him to the hospital, which I did.

    He was taken off the Lyrica, but had to be hospitalized for one week with a 24 hour guard because he kept trying to get up and leave the hospital in his traumatized condition. He eventually returned to normal, but still has shingles pain all these years later.

  6. Pepper

    I suffer with progressive neuropathy and sacral pain from multiple enlarged Tarlov Cysts in my Sacrum. I tried Lyrica which didnt help at all and gave me multiple side effects. Swelling in my legs up to my knees, wt gain, sleepiness, unsteady gait.

    As I weaned myself off it I felt sharp stabbing pains in my head and also in my hands and feet. It was quite frightening. Being an RN I knew I had to continue to get off this drug.

    My speech was difficult and I had trouble getting the words out. Thank God I am now off of it. I had also tried gabapentin but withdrawal was not as extreme. I can see why drug abusers are seeking this now and it is scheduled medication.

    • Nurse Tea
      Temple, GA

      Several of my patients have experienced horrible side effects of Lyrica given for a wide variety of health issues. Some have required a hospital visit. The local ER asks about it in triage the problem is so wide spread.

  7. Kerry

    I have severe peripheral neuropathy and got to the point that I didn’t want to leave the house it hurt so much. My doctor prescribed Lyrica, and almost overnight the pain was gone. I used it happily for 5 months. During that time I developed an itchy rash. By the end of 5 months parts of my body had confluent rash patches. I stopped Lyrica altogether, not wean off, and eventually the rash subsided, and the pain returned in full force. It broke my heart.

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