Pregabalin (AKA Lyrica) is a non-benzodiazepine (non-tranquilizer type) medication traditionally used to treat pain resulting from damaged nerves. It is used for pain relief caused by neurological disorders like diabetes and fibromyalgia. Pregabalin is also used for treating seizures in adults.
How does Lyrica work?
Pregabalin works by inhibiting or blocking the release of too many excitatory neurotransmitters (the messengers between your nerve cells and muscles that trigger an impulse in the receiving cell—like pain). Pregabalin is also used as an anticonvulsant.
The safeness for use by pregnant ladies or lactating moms
The safety of Pregabalin in pregnant or breastfeeding women is unknown. Therefore, it should be avoided.
Potential Lyrica side effects
Pregabalin can cause kidney damage. Its use is associated with rhabdomyolysis, a severe disorder where skeletal muscles break down and release a protein called myoglobin into the bloodstream. Myoglobin can cause kidney damage. Initial symptoms are muscle pain and weakness, which may be accompanied by a fever or fatigue.
But wait, there’s more. Other side effects include anxiety, confusion, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, unusual bruising or bleeding, vision disturbances and water retention or swelling in the hands, feet or legs. Many more common and less serious side effects can occur with Pregabalin use. Up to 45 percent of people in clinical trials experienced dizziness, up to 28 percent drowsiness, and up to 20 percent reported difficulties with coordination. What’s not to love?
Dangers of drug interactions
Pregabalin will increase the effects of alcohol and CNS antidepressants such as antihistamines, muscle relaxants and prescription pain medications.
Drawbacks & limitations
Pregabalin is required by the FDA to include a warning label stating that Antiepileptic medications (like Pregabalin) have been linked to increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. If you aren’t concerned about contemplating suicide but have diabetes, Pregabalin will increase your risk of skin rashes and additional weight gain. If you have heart disease, you will have an even greater likelihood of developing side effects.
If you have kidney disease, the regular dose of Pregabalin will be too much for you. Elderly patients may require a lower dose of Pregabalin, as they may be especially sensitive to the possible side effects.