Lyrica

Lyrica is the brand name for pregabalin, a medication used to treat epilepsy, neuropathic (nerve) pain, fibromyalgia, and generalized anxiety disorder (off label). Pregabalin works by reducing the number of pain signals that damaged nerves send out. This drug can help you control your symptoms but it will not cure your condition.

Is Lyrica a narcotic?

Lyrica is not a narcotic or an opioid. Lyrica is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants.

Is Lyrica addictive?

Lyrica, like most medications, has some side effects.

Lyrica may be habit forming. Research in the medical community indicates that Lyrica withdrawal has not been well documented, but if you stop taking it without gradually reducing the dosage, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Common symptoms of withdrawal include:

Does Lyrica cause depression?

For about 1 in 500 people who are taking it, Lyrica may lead to suicidal thoughts or actions.

You should call your doctor immediately if you have:

Alternatives to Lyrica for pain medication

Pain medicines (analgesics) affect different people in different ways. Always read labels thoroughly and follow the instructions, including dosage recommendations, provided by your doctor and pharmacist.

There are three main kinds of pain medications: prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), and natural.

Prescription pain medication

There are several different types of prescription pain medications:

  • anticonvulsants and antidepressants
  • opioids
  • corticosteroids
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Anticonvulsant drugs are usually used to treat seizure disorders, but have also been shown to be effective in treating neuropathic pain or fibromyalgia. Based on your diagnosis and symptoms, your doctor might prescribe gabapentin (Neurontin), milnacipran (Savella), or duloxetine (Cymbalta). The FDA has approved these three drugs and pregabalin (Lyrica) as non-opioid medications for treatment of various chronic pain syndromes.

Opioid drugs are usually used to treat acute or severe pain. Based on your diagnosis and symptoms, your doctor might prescribe morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, or codeine. Opioids are highly addictive drugs.

Corticosteroids are usually used to relieve inflamed areas, easing swelling, redness, itching, and allergic reactions. Based on your diagnosis and symptoms, your doctor might prescribe prednisone, prednisolone or methylprednisolone.

NSAIDs are usually used to relieve fever, inflammation, and swelling. Based on your diagnosis and symptoms, your doctor might prescribe celecoxib (Celebrex), flurbiprofen (Ansaid, Ocufen), oxaprozin (Daypro), sulindac (Clinoril), or one of many other prescription NSAIDs.

OTC pain medication

OTC pain medication typically falls into two categories: non-prescription NSAIDs and non-aspirin pain relievers. Non-aspirin pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), work for fevers and common pains like headaches, but do not relieve inflammation.

If you’re using OTC pain medication for long-term pain management, talk to your doctor about which one is best for you and about dosage recommendations. The most common non-aspirin pain reliever is acetaminophen (Tylenol). Popular OTC NSAIDs are aspirin (Bayer), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve).

Natural replacements

Although there is limited to no medical support for these claims, some people feel that there are natural alternatives for Lyrica including:

Outlook

Lyric is a nonnarcotic prescription drug that is somewhat habit forming and can trigger depression in some patients. If your doctor feels that Lyrica is right for your medical condition, discuss its potential side effects and how your doctor feels you should deal with them.