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.
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:
- trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart rate)
- diaphoresis (sweating)
You should call your doctor immediately if you have:
- new or worse depression
- new or worse anxiety
- new or worse irritability
- aggressive or violent behavior
- panic attacks
- an extreme increase in talking or activity (mania)
- thoughts about suicide or dying
- attempted to commit suicide
- acted on dangerous impulses
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
- 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).
Although there is limited to no medical support for these claims, some people feel that there are natural alternatives for Lyrica including: