Lyrica is often prescribed to act on damaged, nerve-induced neuropathic pain. Its active ingredient, pregabalin, is reducing pain and seizures by converting the communication of nerves. It is usually given to patients with nerve pains originated by diseases such as diabetes, shingles; fibromyalgia, a type of rheumatism, and anxiety disorder. It can be used as an adjunctive therapy as well as other medications to decrease the severity of epileptic seizures. Lyrica is a medication that should be taken with extreme caution. It can only be prescribed by a specialist doctor. The decision of dose change or stopping should also be taken under the supervision of the doctor.
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What is Lyrica (Pregabalin)?
Lyrica is a medication usually prescribed for treating neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and anxiety disorder. It can also be helpful in an additional treatment for epilepsy. Its main active ingredient, pregabalin, has the power of reducing pain and seizures by changing the release of chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other.
Among auxiliary ingredients are lactose monohydrate, corn starch, talc, gelatin, titanium dioxide, red iron oxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, anhydrous colloidal silica, shellac, black iron oxide, propylene glycol and potassium hydroxide. The most common side effects include dizziness, headache, and drowsiness. (1)
This medication can also be prescribed as an additional treatment in epileptic seizures seen in adults, when the seizures cannot be controlled with the medications used.
How do you take Lyrica?
Swallow it whole by mouth and one glass of water.
Take it on an empty or full stomach.
Take it at the same time every day. If you have missed its time and the time of the other dose has not reached yet, take it as soon as you remember. Never take a double dose to compensate for the missed doses.
If you think that the effect of the medication is too strong or weak, never change the dose without consulting your doctor.
Do not quit your medications without consulting your doctor. Otherwise, you may experience side effects such as insomnia, headache, nausea, feeling sick, anxiety, excessive sweating or diarrhea.
Alcohol may increase the side effects of the medications, such as drowsiness and dizziness. So do not drink alcohol while taking the medication.
When and how much dose of Lyrica should be taken vary from person to person. So follow the doctor’s instructions.
Please inform your doctor about your prescribed and over-the-counter medications you take.
Dosage of Lyrica
Dosing varies depending on the patient’s general health status, medications he/she takes recently, the discomfort he/she experiences and the severity of the problem.
The total dose amount per day ranges from 150 mg to 600 mg, to be taken in 2 separate doses per day.
The doctor may change the dosage amount during treatment.
Dosage is adjusted especially for patients with kidney or liver failure.
It is prescribed in normal doses to patients over 65 years of age with normal kidney function.
The doctor gradually reduces the dosage for one week to minimize side effects while finishing the treatment with this medication.
Among the main side effects when the treatment is over are difficulty in sleeping, headache, nausea, anxiety, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, irritability, depression, pain, sweating, dizziness and physical addiction. (5)
Those who are allergic to pregabalin, Lyrica’s active ingredient, or other substances present in the medication, and adolescents under 18 years of age and children should not take this medication. Patients with the following conditions should take it with caution:
Elderly patients: As it can cause drowsiness and dizziness, especially in patients over 65 years of age, the risk of injury by accidental falling may increase.
Diabetes patients: If excess weight is gained during the use of the medication, the doctor may change the dosage of the diabetes medications.
Alcohol or drug addicts: Should never use more than prescribed.
In addition, patients with a history of congestive heart failure, severe liver or kidney disease should inform the doctor.
Use of Lyrica during pregnancy-breastfeeding
It is not used unless the doctor prescribes it during pregnancy.
It is necessary to be protected during sexual intercourse, since getting pregnant while taking this medication will be risky. However, if pregnancy occurs or is suspected, the doctor should be informed immediately.
Since the active ingredient and auxiliary substances of the medication pass into the milk during breastfeeding, it is recommended that the baby should not be breastfed while you use Lyrica.
Use of this drug with some drugs affecting the central nervous system may increase the risk of respiratory failure and coma. (6)
Concomitant use with narcotic painkillers such as oxycodone, medicines treating anxiety such as lorazepam, or tranquilizers may increase the severity of its side effects such as dizziness, insomnia, and reduced attention.
When taken with medicines that may cause constipation such as morphine and similar pain relievers (opioid analgesics), it may cause a decrease in intestinal function and thus problems such as constipation, intestinal obstruction.
It may intensify suicidal thoughts when taken with antiepileptic medications.
In the treatment of neuropathic pain that develops with spinal cord injury, severity of some side effects such as drowsiness may increase when taken with other painkillers and spasticity medications.
Insomnia, extreme weakness, feeling of abnormality
Blurred vision, double vision
Dizziness (vertigo), impaired balance, falling
Dry mouth, constipation, vomiting, flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, bloating in the abdomine
Feeling high, abnormality in walking
Swelling, edema in the body including arms and legs
Muscle cramps, joint pain, back pain, pain in the arm or legs, cramp in the neck
Irregularity in voluntary muscle movements
Pain in the chest
Pain in the pharynx and larynx
Loss of appetite and weight
Loss of taste
Drops or rises of blood sugar
Loss of personal identity sense, restlessness, depression, agitation, mood disorder, difficulty in finding words, hallucination, abnormal dreams, irritability, extreme state of happiness, disorder in mental activities related to knowing and comprehension, difficulty in thinking
Panic attacks, indifference in environmental impulses
Sexual dysfunctions such as increased sexual desire, late ejaculation, lack of orgasm etc.
Dry eyes, swelling in the eyes, decreased visual acuity, pain in the eyes, increased tears, eye allergy, eye fatigue
Irregular movements, weakening of reflexes, dizziness when standing up
Skin sensitivity and burning sensation
Tremors while intentional movements, loss of consciousness, fainting, sensitivity to sound/noise, feeling unwell, disruption of voluntary movements
Heart rhythm disorders, low or high blood pressure, heart failure
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