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Pregabalin / Lyrica

dorset boyddorset boy Posts: 148
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Pain Medications
I am due to start pregabalin which many of you will know as Lyrica.

Is there any thing to watch out for??

I have googled it and realise that it isn't quite as bad as
gabapentin - but I am a little nervous of starting it!!

I am still working 6 days a week so starting it over "Holiday Weekend" will gve me an extra day to get used to it.


Dorset Boy


  • My daughter took Lyrica for awhile. She was very fit prior to starting it, but she gained 30 pounds and she started to have visual changes. We ended up taking her off of it. Her doctor ordered a genetic test (I can't remember the name -- something like cytochrome P450 test?) which indicated that she could not metabolize that medicine (and several others that surprised us).

    I just started Neurontin (Gabapentin) three days ago and I'm up to 600mg per day and I feel so tired and uncoordinated, but I'm hoping that will go away.

    I avoided Lyrica because of my daughter's experience, but again, we are all unique and you may tolerate it fine. It may be worth getting that P450 test done. I plan to do so as well.

    Best wishes in resolving your nerve pain. I'm assuming your doctor presribed it for neuropathic pain.

  • You're really cheered me up now !! LOL

    This is the kind of stuff that I need to know!!

    I am still working 6 days a week and drive so if there are going to be issues I need to change things to compensate!

    Any changes in mental attitude?? I was warned about this by my GP

    I can handle things better and not get panicked if I know in advance!!

    I will google the test you mentioned, as I have never heard of it.

  • I tried Lyrica for a week, I statred to feel hyper, like I was manic, my dr took me off it. I didnt feel hungry right away almost like I was speeding and couldnt sleep at night. I felt the "high" as they call it. I was on 75 mg a day for three times a day and was supposed to stair step my way up to 6 pills a day. I would take feel the high speed and then in the afternoon I would crash, then sleep for 2 solid hours. I was afraid of the weight gain!!! Good luck on giving Lyrica a try, hope it works for you, Lela
  • Thanks for your comments.

    At the moment I am starting on 75mg one a day at night, so I hope the works side effects will be whilst I am sleeping !!

    Fingers crossed it won't affect my sleep. I don't like being "out of control" so the thought of being possibly manic scares me a bit and I certainly can't afford weight gain at 90kg!!

    I too am meant to step it up in 5 day intervals up to 300mg per day

  • Ian,

    I just read your medical history and I can hardly believe you are able to drive?? Man, I complain about residual pain from my one-level fusion affecting one side of my back and one leg. Based upon all of the pain you're feeling, I'm amazed that you are working 6 days a week plus driving. More power to ya!!

    Regarding your question about mood changes, my wife and I don't recall our daughter having mood changes from Lyrica. Her doctor had her try Cymbalta next and she turned into a psychotic. We didn't even recognize our daughter because she is normally very sweet and easy-going. That's when they ordered the genetic test, and again, Cymbalta was at the top of the list of medicines that she could not metabolize.

    Take Care,
  • Strangely driving is quite comfortable - I am in my own seat that I have gotten used to!! Being a passenger is a real nightmare though and hurts like hell!!

    Everyones pain affects them differently and I can tolerate quite a lot but go wossy at the sight of a needle!! LOL I used to projectile vomit a the sight of one!! LOL

    I also tend to have my FJI's Ganglion blocks and ESI without sedation so I can talk to the pain guys as I can't get appointments to see them so this is my 6-9 monthly chance to actually talk to some one!! (which isn't good I know but this is the UK!!) Mind you I have used some choice words with them on more than one ocassion!! especially when they get the right spot!!

    I would happily not get out of bed some days and others it can take 20 mins to get out of bed others are much better and off I go!!

    I can get quite down at times which I tend ot hide at work because people don't really want to know whe they ask how you are - so I just smile and say ok etc so I know that I have to be aware of if getting depressed could happen and warn family & friends to look out for it, as I am sure I wouldn't notice it.

    Once again thanks for you comments

  • If you search Lyrica in the search thing above, and then click on forums, you will see a lot of postings about this. Everyone is different - but I always recommend going very slowly with the increases (at your own pace - not necessarily what the doctor suggests - but discuss with Dr) with this drug. I did not put on weight, but I'm not really overweight anyway - but a lot of people do - their hands and feet swell up and they retain water. Your hunger does get out of control (I'll find mysself sitting down to huge plates of food!!!) so you have to watch yourself.

    People get blurred vision, slurred speech, fuzzy brain, twitches.

    It's my happy pill, and I don't work - I sleep a lot more, I'm even more uncoordinated than usual, and when I'm tired/stressed - things fall apart quickly. I get very upset, etc. (I was never like this before).

    Also - if it doesn't work out - this pill can be hell to come off - suicidal thoughts, etc.

    But I do like this drug - it helps me get around - keeps my baseline pain at a 2 - 3.
  • Howdy all!!

    I was put on Lyrica (150mgs 2x a day) back in January, and except for the weight gain, it is a "God-send" for me! I have gained near 30 pounds, but you know what? I will take that "side effect" over the damn pain any day of the week! I could not function at the levels I was at, and other drugs (narcotics/opiates) only made me fully loopy but the pain stayed. My weight is now finally starting to come down slowly, so maybe that problem too will go away?

    Weight Gain? Yes (around 25-30 lbs)
    Leg/foot swelling? Occasionally.
    Memory problems? None
    Light Headed? Yes for the first 4 or 5 days, none now.
    Odd dreams/thoughts? None
    Sleeping? Better with it - most times sleep through the night, didn't before (1.5 hours max)
    Vision problems? Nothing beyond my normal eye changes with age.
    Depression/suicide issues? None

    I skip a couple of doses every 2 or so weeks to see if my issues have changed (better, worse, same), and I can readily feel the changes without it. So for now I don't see coming off of it. Aside from the weight, which *seems* to now be coming down slowly, I am one that is getting very good results with it. It gave me some control of my life back. Take care. :-)


    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks for the positive rundown of your experience, Brenda. I was asked by my doctor if I would like to try Lyrica. I said "no, thanks!" based upon my daughter's negative experience, but your post provides a very different and very positive perspective. As a person rapidly approaching age 50, weight gain is a challenge for me no matter what! LOL.

    You scared me a little bit when you said you skipped a couple of doses from time to time. I would caution you to check with your pharmacist about the risks of doing so. I think I understand the desire for a "reality check" as to the ongoing effectiveness, but I would hate to see you have a serious consequence due to a sudden lapse of medication. I'm no expert, but I think these types of medications need to be very carefully tapered down in dosage and should never be stopped suddenly. I say that very humbly, because I'm sure you know a lot more than I do about it. Again, I'm happy to hear about your success!!

  • Howdy Dave!! :-)

    Actually I checked with my doctor before I did my "skip 2 doses", and since for me it was for nerve pain and not seizures, he was okay with it. I've felt no ill affects with my "checking" on my nerves with this so far. I've done this off and on now since about a month after I was put on it. :-)

    You're very welcome on my 'info' post. I've seen a lot of chit chat in so far as "I've gained weight, was dizzy, swelled up" etc., so I thought I would cover what I did and didn't have happen with me. I am very glad that it was of help. :-) I was very interested with your posts as well and the genetic testing. I too am almost 50, and have found that as time goes on, my body has pretty fussy on what it will accept! Allergy changes I've noticed in the last oh 6 years or so astound me! I use to only be allergic to Penicillin and Bees, now Latex, Kiwi, most NSAIDS, and thanks to the 'rare' alcoholic treats (a shot of vodka and juice) I am now allergic to various alcohols! Grrrr... :-)

    As I said, I will take the weight gain over the nerve pain. I literally can't function on the pain levels without it. Without it, I am almost "ER" bound in 3 days! Umm...without - the pain gets so bad I have bad physiological response - see "stars" and vomit! With Lyrica, I can eat, sleep, function! Chat again soon. Take care!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Ok, so I have read the new posts and found all of the comments from various people to be hugely helpfull, thank you to you all!!!! (and keep them coming as it is early days!)

    I wish I had read them last night before I took the first dose because I was making myself a little paranoid!! LOL

    Well I can say that this morning I have almost no sciatic pain whatsoever which is such a relief that I could almost cry - with joy!!!

    I know that in a few days (Dr recommended every 5 days) I will have to step the dose up as I tend to find that my body gets used to new drugs quite quickly which is a bit of a shame but there you go!!

    I have had some side effects but I am hoping that they will ease off as quickly as they came.????

    I took the tablet at 9pm and went off to bed just after 10pm, took a little while to get off ot sleep but as I said I was nervous, Slept well until 1.30am and then woke up feeling like i had swallowed the Sahara desert!!! My tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth, well I just had to go and get a glass of water (not to mention having a quick smoke outside whilst there LOL !! Went back off to bed and really felt itchy, after a good scratch session off I went again. Well I woke up feeling bright eyed & bushy tailed - until I got out of bed and then felt a bit dizzy and very thirsty again, have drunk a lot of water this morning, eyes felt quite itchy and dry but after 2 hours this has worn off and my tongue feels back to it's normal size again. I have to say that I am feeling very very itchy this morning still, It's now 09.30am and I am at work - just the two of us in the office (I am an Estate Agent / Realtor)so i i want to scrtach away like I have fleas my colleague Tina will only sit there laughing at me - if clients come in i might be in trouble though !! LOL

    I felt a little "off" driving to work this morning but I only have to drive about 1 mile so felt safe to try it.

    Having been typing for a while now ( i am still a little slow!!)I feel quite a bit better and certainly more focused (for now lol).

    As I said in my first post on this topic its a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK (national holiday) so as well as Sunday I get Monday off too (Yeah !!!!) so hopefully before I am back on tuesday things will have died down and I am feeling good!!!!!?????

    I only have to get through a day selling at an Antiques Fair tomorrow at "Corfe Castle", a hobby of mine and then a drive to an auction on Monday night and rest in between times.

    Sorry for such along post!! but feeling no sciatic pain is such a HUGE thing for me I wanted to share it and it might also help other people that might be about to start this drug as well - yes there might be a bit of a rough patch at first but for me the benefits outweigh this so far so "onwards & upwards" as they say.

    I will post again on tuesday (don't use a computer at home - always had enough of it by the end of the working day!! and way to sore & tired by then!!)

    But Many Many Thanks Guy's & Girls and keep the comments coming!!

  • Ian, I'm very happy to hear that you are getting relief from Lyrica. That's awesome news! I'm amazed that it worked so quickly. I'm taking Neurontin and my understanding is that it can take about 2 weeks to provide any real benefit (if it's going to provide any benefit at all). I'm still ramping up the dosage. I'm only at day 4, so I have a ways to go. I did have a few pain-free hours yesterday, but I think it was a fluke. I'm not ready to say that the medicine did it.

    Man, if Lyrica works that fast, I may have to reconsider the path I'm on.

  • I was as surprised as you when i good my head together this morning and realised that there was a real benefit so soon!!

    I wasn't expecting to see any results for a while, but it does say on the blurb in the box that it can work quite quickly when mixed with pain medications.

    I am still a little concerned by th side effects - 2 hours since my last post & I am still itchy & scratching LOL but if that is as bad as it gets - hey ho!!

    I have got a little bit if twitching in the back of my calfs but yesterday I was hopping from foot to foot and resting my legs as the pain was really bad, today I can stand still and not worry, its like background static noise more than a horror movie sound track at 120 decibels !! (if that makes sense??)

    I will keep you posted here - but so far I am a happy Dorset Boy!!

    Take care

  • Dave,

    I was put on 150mg 2x's a day right out of the box, and for me, I think if memory serves, I felt a positive pain affect change by the next day! I didn't realize the full wonders of the relief I was to get for a few days.

    As for the itching and (Dorset) your itchy tongue, I would keep a hard eye on that! It was my third dose of NSAIDS were I found I was allergic! I had swelling of the arms and legs, and then the itching from head to toe! If you are getting that with Lyrica I would be real careful! Swelling/itching in the throat, you might see a medical professional to be sure you are okay, and too stop the drug to be sure. If it was just due to (scuz the pun?) nerves, then never mind all that. :-)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks for the comments.

    I am on it for neuropathic pai ie the sciatica.

    Tongue felt a little swollen earlier but back to normal now, but I am still scratching, but not quite as much as earlier - more like the kind of reaction you can get if you have changed washing powder - if you know what I mean!??!

    Still drinking like crazy - which means i'm widdling like crazy and that could be embarrassing later!! LOL

    First sign of anything serious reaction wise I will be off to the ER!!!

    Hope you all have a good weekend ad I will update you on tuesday - yeah two days off works now!!!!!!

  • Sorry didn't see at first you had your name there. :-) Glad to hear your itching and such are settling down. I was put on it when a bunch of my pre-surgery pain returned about 5 months post op. Since then I have developed protrusions in my upper Lumbar, and EMG revealed me to have "Chronic moderate motor nerve Neuropathy" in both of my legs related to L2/3. What is interesting is I could feel the back pain, and some of the outer hip, but the rest was just "weird" feelings in my legs. When I did my "skip 2 doses" to check my neck stuff, holy cow did I realize how much this (for me) wonderful drug was covering! My legs apparently hate me! (G) I hope you enjoy as much or better relief than I. Lyrica is my friend!!! Support *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I was on Lyrica for a year then took Cymbalta instead for a year. Now I started Lyrica 150 mg again yesterday and it made me sleepy last night. But I feel my leg feels better today but that could be because of the epidural I had last week also.

    I know you know about watching for side effects and trust you'll seek medical attention if the itching turns into hives or any problems breathing. I hope the side effects disappear as the days go on. Glad it's working for you already. I never thought it could work so fast but feeling better today. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Well I am really pleased with the effects so far, no sciatic pain to speak of apart from in the early evenings when the tablet is wearing off (only take it at around 9pm every day) but even that is reduced from previously!!

    Side effects have lessoned over the last few days - but I can feel a little bit paranoid and very sluggish in the mornings. Still quite itchy at times but not as bad as Saturday!! Still very dry in the eyes, nose and mouth and having to drink a lot or suck "fizzy" sweets to increase sliva production.

    If anythig were to worsen or new ones to start I would seek medical advice straight away

    I am very happy overall and unless the efects of the 75mg tablets stop working as well I don't intend to step up to 150mg tablets this weekend!!( as advised by my GP)
  • I take Lyrica too and currently I'm at 2 75mg capsules in the morning, and 2 capsules at night and I am still coherent. @)

    Seriously, I'm tolerating it well and I consider the side effects minor compared to the horrible nerve pain and muscle spasms. I sleep pretty well too but I do worry about weight gain. Take care :H
  • Thanks for posting your comment.

    I am not adverse to increasing the medication, but only when the current level stops working as well. I don't think my GP thought it would work as well for me at this low level hence she said step it up every 5 days.

    I know we all react differently to medications, but I hate having to get through the side effects all the time!! LOL I am a bit of a control freak too (but only a bit and when it involves me!!LOL).

    I have also slept better since starting this, deeper sleep with no apparent dreams but I also take oramorph at night as well.

    The only thing that I don't like is the drug "hangover" in the morning!!!!

    Nerve pain and muscle spasms are still being held at bay and overall I am still very happy with this medication!!! (5 days in!)

  • Hi Ian,

    When I was on Lyrica the only side effect I noticed was the weight gain. I really didn't get enough relief from the nerve pain in my sciatic to justify the weight gain so I stopped taking it.

    I started gabapentin (neurontin) before the lyrica and was also very sleepy like others stated above. I would be sitting and watching tv or reading the paper and pass out for 2hrs or so and not realize it. I was sleeping all the time and again was not getting enough relief from the nerve pain in my sciatic to justify this so I stopped.

    I now take cymbalta twice a day. I was taking 60mg/day for depression and my doc increased to 60mg 2/day to help with the sciatic pain. Still didn't notice a significant relief but better than lyrica or neurontin and I was already on cymbalta anyway.

    I hope the Lyrica works for you and the itching stops. You may want to check with the doc though to be sure this is not an allergic reaction.
  • Thanks for your feedback on this one!

    The itching has almost completely stopped now - I am now a week into this one!

    I should be stepping the dose upto 150mg at night, tonight but I am not going to as I still have really good relief at the current dosage (75mg) - atleast 90% better if not more - It does tend to wear off at around 6-7pm but I due to take it again at 9pm so not too bad there!!!

    I still find that I get a slight headache as soon as I have taken the tablet and I start to get a little foggy headed. Mornings I still can't get going quickly and tend to have the odd vague moment!! I am also easily pleased or amused and can go off on funny tangents whilst at work, which makes my colleague Tina crack up with laughter (there are only the two of us in the office and she is well aware of my medication and potential side effects and knows to tell me if sh"e feels something is wrong!!!!) Also my little Devil Horns" as they are called do come out more than normal when I see an opertunity to create some mischief - but never with malice!!!

    I am still very dry eyed but using a spray for this and nose & mouth are still like a desert first thing and I am either sucking boiled sweets or (the best thing!) "Skittles Crazy Sours" candy which is greatly increasing my saliva production during the day.

    Eating!!! I am having to ensure that I don't go mad, constantly craving food and eating biscuits by the packet!!! I can't afford to put on weight so again Tina is telling me if I am going too over the top!! LOL

    Speak to you soon

  • I took it for 6 months. Gosh it worked so well, I only went off when the weight gain started to affect my health. I still cried when the pain came back :(

    Now I'm finally starting to see some relief with Topamax, I'm hopeful. And topamax actually curbs my appetite, so taking the weight back off shouldn't be too hard.

  • Thanks for the feedback!

    I am going to have to be soo carefull on this one.

    I could try swapping the candy for fruit but that could have it's own side effects!!!! LOL but it wouldn't help the dry mouth syndrome!!!!

    I hope we all have as good a day as we can!!

  • Well for the last 10 days I have been loving the effects that I have had from Lyrica and most of the side effects have now worn off!! LOL

    Had a bad night last night and the leg pain is back this morning, not as bad but worse than last week so i guess it is time to step it up to 150mg at nights, I was told to do this on day 7 but held off as I didn't see a need to.

    This kind of confirms that my body gets used to new drugs all too quickly !!

    Thanks to you all for you previous messages

  • Or maybe you were so excited you stepped up your activity. I find I do that and really mess up my new medication regimens ;)

    Glad it's working!
  • you could be right, I have done a little more in the last few days!

    Strangely yesterday I did nothing - nothing at all!

    I was meant to drive me & my mom to a really big Antiques Fair about 100 miles from home but got about 15 miles and realised that I had a bugle in one of my front tyres so I turned around as we came home!! I sat & watched three DVD's back to back and then some TV - possibly it could be the inactivity that did it!! I work 6 days a week and am normally out and about doing something on a sunday so this could actually be the problem!!

    Well that might teach me to lie around doing nothing!!

    well the wheel has just been fixed a the garage and I can't wait for this evening so I can crawl back into bed!!! LOL

    I am going to swerve a "Lions Club" meeting tonight as two hours sitting in a strange chair ain't gonna help matters !!LOL

    Take care & I'll speak to you soon!

    I have just replied to your PM BTW

  • Well, sitting KILLS me! I went to my first movie theater movie since the accident yesterday! I made it, but boy I was wanting an extra vicodin after. I just waited and took some tylenol after though.

    Long drives in the car are the worst. Blech.

    Are you in physical therapy now? I asked to go back to PT after my RFTC because I think the muscles that got un-spasmed are all weak now, so maybe you need to strengthen up muscles for your new level of activity?
  • BTW, did I mention other side effects? I was fine living with them, since the pain relief was so fantastic. I would sometimes switch words- like "kitchen" instead of "office" or something. And my short term memory and processing speed were a little funky.

    I bumped up Topamax to 200 and am noticing the same, but when I went up to 150 it only lasted a few days.
  • I haven't had any PT since my last op which was 3 years ago!!!!

    I have found that my usual poor memory is even worse with the Lyrica!!

    I find myself stopping mid sentence because I can't think of the word or like you swapping words around etc.

    I really have found recenty that my memory is so bad that I have to write things down - I can forget seeing some one in the office by the next day!!!

    I should also see whether I can get a blood work out done as I haven't ever had one since my last operation - I kind of wonder what all of the drugs are doing to my insides and my main organs!!

    God only knows how my kidneys are doing !???!

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