Lyrica (pregabalin) is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures. Lyrica also affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system.
Lyrica is used to control seizures and to treat fibromyalgia. It is also used to treat pain caused by nerve damage in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) or herpes zoster (post-herpetic neuralgia).
You should not use Lyrica if you are allergic to pregabalin.
To make sure you can safely take Lyrica, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- congestive heart failure;
- diabetes (unless you are taking Lyrica to treat diabetic neuropathy);
- kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
- a bleeding disorder;
- low levels of platelets in your blood;
- a history of depression or suicidal thoughts;
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction; or
- if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction.
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Lyrica will harm an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking Lyrica for seizures. Do not start or stop taking Lyrica during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice.
If you become pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of Lyrica on the baby.
If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment.
It is not known whether pregabalin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Lyrica. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 18 years old.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Lyrica: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects while using Lyrica:
- muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness (especially if you also have a fever and feel tired);
- vision problems;
- easy bruising or bleeding; or
- swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain.
Less serious Lyrica side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness;
- loss of balance or coordination;
- problems with memory or concentration;
- breast swelling;
- tremors; or
- dry mouth, constipation.
This is not a complete list of Lyrica side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.