Side Effects of Lyrica (Pregabalin)

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Lyrica, a brand name version of the prescription drug pregabalin, is a medication used in the treatment of various conditions including pain from nerve damage, shingles, and fibromyalgia. It is also used in part to combat epileptic seizures. The side effects of Lyrica or pregabalin can include drowsiness and dizziness, swelling of the extremities, and weight gain, among many other possible side effects.

Pregabalin was originally developed to deal with neuropathic pain and seizures related to epilepsy. Today, it is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for pain from fibromyalgia. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Lyrica is the first drug for fibromyalgia approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

There are dozens of possible side effects of Lyrica or pregabalin. The NYU Medical Center reports that side effects of Lyrica are usually mild and most common during the early stages of use. For many users, side effects reduce in intensity or disappear altogether over a period of extended use. Lyrica actually has very few known drug-drug interactions, but you should tell your doctor if you are using any other medications. Alcohol should be avoided while using the medication.

The most common side effects of Lyrica include drowsiness or light-headedness, sometimes accompanied by dizziness. In increased appetite and weight gain while on Lyrica are also among the most commonly reported side effects. Another common side effect is edema, or swelling due to fluid retention in the extremities and limbs.

Less common side effects of pregabalin include blurred vision, disorientation and trouble with balance, dry mouth, urinary hesitancy, and a high or euphoria. A rare yet highly concerning side effect of Lyrica is depression that can be accompanied by thoughts of suicide.

The Mayo Clinic reports several possible side effects of Lyrica for which medical attention should be sought immediately. These include trouble with breathing, flu-like symptoms, an accelerated heart rate, hives or other skin rashes, difficulty swallowing, and sores of the mouth.

Additionally, the existence of certain medical conditions can increase the chances of side effects from Lyrica. According to the Mayo Clinic, patients with liver disease may be more susceptible to side effects from pregabalin due to a reduced ability to filter it from the body. People with heart disease could also witness a greater risk of side effects.

Lyrica, the most common brand name form of pregabalin, is used to deal with a wide variety of conditions including diabetes, epilepsy, shingles, and most recently fibromyalgia. Side effects of Lyrica do not occur in all users and when they do develop they are generally mild. However, some rare side effects like difficulty breathing and thoughts of suicide should be brought to medical attention immediately. Talk to your doctor about any side effects arise while taking Lyrica.

References:

Fibromyalgia – Medications. University of Maryland Medical Center

Pregabalin (Lyrica). NYU Medical Center.

Pregabalin (Oral Route). Mayo Clinic.

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