illustration of a head splitting in two with green waves of pain radiating out

Lyrica is widely advertised on television. It’s hard to miss the commercials for fibromyalgia or diabetic nerve pain. A few years ago there was this ad featuring Terry, a retired police officer. Terry describes his diabetic nerve pain: “like thousands of needles sticking in your foot.” Then Terry is shown watering his plants and seemingly doing very well. But as with so many prescription drug commercials on television, we get to the Lyrica (Pregabalin) Side Effects. Here is the nasty part:

“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.”

We suspect that a lot of people tune out when the horrible side effects start unfolding. That’s why sales of Lyrica are in the billions of dollars. What are those Lyrica (pregabalin) side effects really like?

A Reader Reports Lyrica (Pregabalin) Side Effects:

Q. I have had terrible burning pains in my left foot and leg for many years. They were undiagnosed until a few years ago, when a new doctor diagnosed peripheral neuropathy. He prescribed Lyrica daily.

I do not take Lyrica every day, as it is too expensive. I take it only when I have an attack. The next day I am totally disorganized. I can’t remember things and have twitches all over my body. Could this be a side effect of the drug?

A. Yes. Side effects of pregabalin (Lyrica) include confusion, dizziness, sleepiness, difficulty walking, edema, blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, twitching and tremor.

Other Lyrica (Pregabalin) Side Effects:

  • Vertigo, unsteadiness, coordination problems
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal thinking, Difficulty with attention or concentration
  • Edema (fluid retention in hands or feet)
  • Weight gain
  • Digestive upset (constipation, gas)
  • Skin reactions (rash or dermatitis=immediate medical attention)
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Tremor
  • Blood disorders
  • Withdrawal symptoms (aka 'discontinuation syndrome'), seizures

Lyrica (Pregabalin) Side Effects Include Brain Fog:

It is hard to describe this adverse reaction. Here is an account from nurse Beverly in upstate, New York:

“I was on Lyrica 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! It was horrible!

“I still had pain. Lyrica 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 made me more and more depressed. I’m only 55 year’s young.

My PCP slowly tapered me off the Lyrica AND WITHIN 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!

“Living with the severe pain & my Injections are a better choice for me! What a NIGHTMARE.”

Lizzie in the UK also has cognitive problems:

“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. I don’t recognize faces of people I’ve only met a couple of times. 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.”

Never Stop Lyrica Suddenly!

Health professionals have a sanitized name for withdrawal symptoms. They call this “discontinuation syndrome.” Here are some stories from visitors to our website:

Mike in Wisconsin shares this:

“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!”

Amy runs a Facebook group:

“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.”

Share your own story about Lyrica (Pregabalin) side effects below in the comment section. If you want to read more stories, here is a link:

Lyrica Side Effects & Withdrawal are Worrisome

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  1. Geoff
    Melbourne, Australia
    Reply

    I have only been on Lyrica 75mg for 4 days and AM already experiencing some confusion and lethargy. Going to speak with my Doc about stopping ASAP.

  2. Kate
    NC
    Reply

    I was prescribed Lyrica for fibromyalgia (I also have RA), and I took it for only 48 hours; I experienced extreme itchiness in my palms, fingers, and the soles of my feet (toes included). I immediately suspected an allergic reaction, contacted my rheumatologist, who confirmed it, and discontinued the drug. I’ve now heard so many horrific stories about side effects and the after-effects of long-term use that I’m very thankful my exposure to it was so brief.

    FYI, I have not been taking any prescriptions meds for either condition for nearly 5 years now, and feel no worse than I did when I was on multiple meds, all with troubling side effects. I can only speak for myself, but I really question the efficacy of many of these drugs. Glad if they have helped some folks, but I wasn’t among that number.

  3. Sufferingsuccotash
    Reply

    Hello,

    I only took a few pills and felt like some dark force was trying to take over my being, an overwhelming feeling of having to fight for my life.

    It was like an attack on my gut, my will, my soul. At the same time voices (which I had the year before on Rivotril also) began telling me to swallow the lot and get it over and done with. Yeah, and then, at three o’clock in the morning, I think it was only the second or third night after starting these pills, I woke up with a horror vision:

    A gaunt, skinny, long-nailed, grey hand coming out of the sleeve of a middle-age cloak, the person in it hiding under a deeply drawn hood, unrecognizable but of a dark, evil nature, and the nails are scratching through my sternum trying to reach my heart to pull it out! (I wanted to add a picture I painted but it doesn’t work).

    I was wide awake shivering in a cold sweat.
    ‘Don’t sleep, for heavens’ sake, don’t fall asleep again’, I said to myself over and over again, as I was dead tired due to the early hours.

    I put on all the lights in my house, rang the doctor, who said, he couldn’t understand, but that I had to wean myself off it slowly, and that he was sorry. It took months to wean me off, crumb by crumb.
    I had said to the doctor before:’Can you prescribe this to me, really, as I have all those side effects as symptoms already anyway.’
    I had the feeling that these pills had the power to change something of my inner chemistry forever.
    But who would be intelligent enough to test that out?

    Again, I call on all those who prescribe these kinds of mind altering medications to reconsider:
    Are you sure you can guarantee for their efficacy and safety?
    Have they been tested thoroughly in Europe?
    Are you certain that these nano-particle containing pills might not be activated at a later date to do things to your patients( just like the INTEL chip who is causing huge trouble world wide at the moment) that you can’t carry the responsibility of?
    As it is possible to operate with nano-particles, how could you guarantee that the producers haven’t got something else further in mind?
    I would like to see these pills filed under ‘Chemical warfare’.

  4. Sandy
    Buffalo, NY
    Reply

    I tried Lyrica for nerve pain in my legs and I developed a side effect of my skin itching within a day or two after starting it. I called my doctor and he told me to stop taking it immediately. He prescribed something else. Be careful when you start taking it to see how you will react to it (or not).

  5. Alice
    Ecuador
    Reply

    Please do research regarding neuropathy and fat-soluble Benfotiamine. It is a B vitamin. It helps me a lot. It should be taken with a whole B Complex.

  6. Mary V
    Terrell Tx
    Reply

    I took this medication for a week about 8 years ago and almost took my own life….this was horrible for me….have diabetes now and would never take this again, I don’t care what kind of pain I’m in.

  7. Peggy
    South Carolina
    Reply

    I not only had confusion – but profound memory loss and I began to stutter. I could barely get a complete sentence spoken without stuttering – and I never had a stutter before in my life. I would be driving the car and realize I had no idea to get where I was headed. It was frightening. I weaned off the medicine and my neurosurgeon told me to avoid this “family” of meds always. It relieved my neuropathy – but made me totally unable to function mentally.

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