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- Lyrica (pregablin) vs. gabapentin (Neurontin) quick comparison
- What is Lyrica? What is gabapentin? How do they work?
- What are the uses for Lyrica vs. gabapentin?
- What are the side effects of Lyrica vs. gabapentin?
- Is gabapentin addictive? Is it a narcotic?
- What is the dosage of Lyrica vs. gabapentin?
- What drugs interact with Lyrica vs. gabapentin?
- Are Lyrica or gabapentin safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Lyrica (pregablin) vs. gabapentin (Neurontin) quick comparison
- Lyrica (pregablin) and gabapentin (Neurontin) are anti-epileptic medications used to treat seizures and nerve pain (neuropathic pain).
- Gabapentin also is used to treat nerve pain caused by shingles (herpes zoster).
- Other uses for Lyrica are neuropathic (nerve) pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy or postherpetic neuralgia, and fibromyalgia.
- Side effects of gabapentin and that are similar include:
- Side effects of gabapentin that are different from Lyrica include:
- Difficulty speaking
- Viral infections
- Unusual eye movements
- Jerky movements
- Side effects of Lyrica that are different from gabapentin include:
- Both gabapentin and Lyrica may interact with alcohol and drugs that cause sedation including narcotic pain medications. Gabapentin also may interact with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant, Fanatrex, and FusePag) are the brand names available for gabapentin in the US. Pregabalin is the generic name for the brand name Lyrica.
What is Lyrica? What is gabapentin? How do they work?
Gabapentin is an anti-seizure (anti-convulsant) drug that is used for preventing seizures and for treating post-herpetic neuralgia, the pain that follows an episode of shingles. Doctors do not know how gabapentin works. Gabapentin structurally resembles the neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is possible that this similarity is related to gabapentin's mechanism of action. In animal models used for testing the anticonvulsant and analgesic (anti-pain) activities of drugs, gabapentin prevents seizures and reduces pain-related responses.
Lyrica (pregabalin) is an oral medication that is chemically related to gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin). It is used for treating pain caused by neurologic diseases such as postherpetic neuralgia as well as seizures. It also is used for treating fibromyalgia.
What are the uses for Lyrica vs. gabapentin?
Lyrica is used for:
- Neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy or postherpetic neuralgia
- Spinal cord injury
- In combination with other drugs to treat partial onset seizures in adults
- Treating fibromyalgia
There are many non FDA-approved uses for gabapentin. These include:
What are the side effects of Lyrica vs. gabapentin?
Lyrica side effects
SIDE EFFECTS WARNING: Antiepileptic medications have been associated with increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.
The most common side effects of Lyrica include:
- dry mouth (xerostomia),
- edema (accumulation of fluid),
- blurred vision,
- double vision (diplopia),
- weight gain,
- fatigue (tiredness),
- abnormal gait (ataxia),
- tremor, and
- difficulty concentrating.
Other side effects include
- increased appetite,
- myoclonus (sudden, involuntary jerking of a muscle or muscle groups),
- heart failure,
- low blood pressure,
- reduced blood platelet counts, and
- increased blood creatinine kinase levels.
Increased creatinine kinase can be a sign of muscle injury, and in clinical trials three patients experienced rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle injury). Therefore, patients should report unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness to their doctors, especially if associated with fever and malaise (reduced well-being). Lyrica has rarely been associated with angioedema (swelling of the face, tongue, lips, and gums, throat and larynx).
Gabapentin side effects
The most common side effects of gabapentin are:
- Fluid retention (edema)
- Difficulty speaking
- Jerky movements
- Unusual eye movements
- Double vision
- Memory loss
Other adverse effects and serious side effects associated with gabapentin include:
Antiepileptic medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.
Is gabapentin addictive? Is it a narcotic?
Gabapentin is not an opioid narcotic, and it is not classified as a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). However, this medication does share signs and symptoms associated with drug misuse, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms of opioids like:
What is the dosage of Lyrica vs. gabapentin?
Lyrica dosage instructions
- Lyrica may be taken with or without food.
- Treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy: The initial dose for neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy is 50 mg three times a day (150 mg/day). The dose may be increased to a maximum dose of 100 mg 3 times daily (300 mg/day) after one week.
- Treating postherpetic neuralgia: The recommended dose for postherpetic neuralgia is 75-150 mg twice daily or 50-100 mg three times daily. Dosing should begin at 75 mg two times a day or 50 mg three times a day (150 mg/day). The dose may be increased to 100 mg 3 times daily (300 mg/day) after one week. If pain relief is inadequate after 2-4 weeks of treatment at 300 mg/day, the dose may be increased to 300 mg twice daily or 200 mg three times daily. Doses greater than 300 mg cause more side effects.
- Treating neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury: The dose for treating neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury is 150 to 600 mg daily. Begin dosing at 75 mg two times a day an increase to 150 mg two times daily after one week if response is inadequate. May increase to 300 mg twice daily if response is inadequate after 2 to 3 weeks.
- Treating seizures: The recommended dose for treating seizures is 150-600 mg/day divided into 2 or 3 doses, starting at 150 mg daily and increasing based on response and tolerability. The maximum dose is 600 mg/day.
- Treating fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is treated with 300-450 mg/day in 2 or 3 divided doses.
Gabapentin dosage instructions
- Gabapentin may be taken with or without food.
- Treating postherpetic neuralgia: The recommended dose for postherpetic neuralgia is 1800 mg daily in 3 divided doses (Neurontin) or 1800 mg once daily (Gralise). Gralise is not interchangeable with other gabapentin products.
- Treating seizures: Seizures are treated with 900-1800 mg/daily in 3 divided doses (Neurontin). Withdrawal of treatment should occur slowly over a week.
What drugs interact with Lyrica vs. gabapentin?
Lyrica drug interactions
- Alcohol and drugs that cause sedation may increase the sedative effects of pregabalin.
- Pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia) cause weight gain, fluid retention, and possibly heart failure. Therefore, combining pregabalin with these drugs may increase the occurrence of weight gain and fluid retention.
Gabapentin drug interactions
- Antacids reduce the concentration of gabapentin in blood. Therefore, gabapentin should be administered 2 hours or more after taking antacids.
- Morphine significantly increases blood concentrations of gabapentin and may increase central nervous system-related adverse events associated with gabapentin.
Are Lyrica or gabapentin safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- There are no adequate studies of Lyrica in pregnant women.
- It is not known whether Lyrica is excreted in breast milk.
- Doctors do not know the safety of gabapentin during pregnancy.
- Gabapentin is secreted in human breast milk; therefore, if you are pregnant you should only use this medication if the benefits outweigh the unknown risk to the fetus.
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Lyrica (pregablin) and gabapentin (Neurotin) are drugs used to prevent seizures and to treat nerve pain associated with various conditions, for example, shingles. Lyrica and gabapentin are chemically related, but researchers do not know exactly how they work. Gabapentin also has several off-label uses to treat other conditions that cause pain, and substance abuse withdrawal.
Both pain medications also treat fibromyalgia. Off-label uses (non-FDA approved) for gabapentin are hot flashes, hiccups, restless leg syndrome (RLS), hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), headaches, and diabetic neuropathy. Lyrica also treats pain associated with spinal cord injuries.
Side effects of Lyrica that are different from gabapentin include constipation, weight gain, dry mouth, constipation, breast enlargement, and edema (swelling). Side effects unique to gabapentin include viral infections, fever, speech problems, unusual eye movements, and jerky movements.
The generic name for Lyrica is pregabalin. Gabapentin is available in the US under the brand names Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant, Fanatrex, and FusePag.
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Related Disease Conditions
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Hiccups are a sudden, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm muscle. In general hiccups are just a temporary condition. Some of the causes of hiccups include certain medications, surgery, eating or drinking too much, spicy foods, diseases or conditions that irritate the nerves controlling the diaphragm, strokes, brain tumors, liver failure, and noxious fumes. There are a variety of home remedies and treatments that can be used to get rid of hiccups.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common cause for painful legs that typically eases with motion, and becomes worse and more noticeable at rest. This characteristic nighttime worsening can frequently lead to insomnia. Treatment of the symptoms of restless leg syndrome is generally with medication as well as treating any underlying condition causing restless leg syndrome.
Hot Flashes (Causes, Symptoms & Medication Treatment in Men and Women)
Hot flashes (or flushing) is the most common symptom experienced by a woman prior to and during the early stages of menopause, and often is described as the feeling of warmth that spreads over the body, often starting at the head accompanied by sweating. In the Study of Women Across America the Nation (SWAN) women had hot flashes that lasted on average 7 1/2 years. Symptoms of hot flashes include: Flushing Excessive sweating Anxiety Palpitations Diagnosis is made by taking a patient history and, at times, blood tests. Treatment options include hormone therapy, bioidentical hormone therapy, and medications. There are non-FDA approved natural home remedies such as: Black cohosh Licorice Evening primrose oil Wild yam Dong quai Hot flashes also can be caused by other conditions. Scientific studies to prove the safety and effectiveness of these products in relieving hot flashes have not been adequately performed. Consult your health-care professional before taking any herbal supplement.
Migraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping. Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
Occipital Neuralgia (Headache)
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Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points. Stress reduction, exercise, and medication are the standard treatments for fibromyalgia.
Seizures Symptoms and Types
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Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which the person has seizures. There are two kinds of seizures, focal and generalized. There are many causes of epilepsy. Treatment of epilepsy (seizures) depends upon the cause and type of seizures experienced.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Fibromyalgia
Though rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia have similar symptoms, RA is an autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome. RA symptoms include joint redness, swelling, and pain that lasts more than six weeks. Fibromyalgia symptoms include widespread pain, tingling feet or hands, depression, and bowel irritability. Home remedies for both include stress reduction, exercise, and getting enough sleep.
Cocaine and Crack Abuse
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that is smoked, snorted, and injected. Crack is cocaine that comes in a rock crystal that is heated to form vapors, which are then smoked. Cocaine has various effects on the body, including dilating pupils, constricting blood vessels, increasing body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)
Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the underarms, palms, or soles of the feet. Treatment may involve over-the-counter antiperspirants, prescription antiperspirants, iontophoresis, medications, surgery, and Botox.
Neuropathic pain is a chronic condition that leads to ongoing pain symptoms. Patients can be predisposed to developing neuropathic pain who have conditions such as: diabetes, cancer, stroke, HIV, vitamin deficiencies, shingles, and multiple sclerosis. Patient history and nerve testing are used to diagnose neuropathic pain. Antidepressants, antiseizure medications, and other types of medications are used to treat neuropathic pain. Many people with neuropathic pain are able to attain some level of relief.
Migraine vs. Headache: Differences and Similarities
Headaches are the most common reason why a person goes to the doctor or other healthcare professional for treatment. There are different types of headaches, for example, migraine, tension, and cluster headaches. The most common type of headache is tension headache. Migraine is much less common. There are few similarities between migraine and other headaches, for example, the severity of the pain can be the same, mild, moderate, or severe; and they can occur on one side or both sides of the head. However, there are many differences between migraine and other types of headaches. Migraine headaches also have different names, for example, migraine with aura and menstrual migraine. Symptoms of migraine that usually aren't experienced by a person with another type of headache include nausea, vomiting, worsens with mild exercise, debilitating pain, eye pain, throbbing head pain. Migraine trigger include light, mild exercise, strong smells, certain foods like red wine, aged cheese, smoked meats, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, alcohol, and dairy products, menstrual period, stress, oversleeping, and changes in barometric pressure. Untreated migraine attacks usually last from 4 to 72 hours, but may last for weeks. Most headaches resolve within 24-48 hours. Doctors don't know exactly what causes migraine headaches; however, other headaches like tension headaches have more specific triggers and causes. Additional tests usually are required to diagnose migraine from other types of headaches, diseases, or other medical problems. Most headaches can be treated and cured with home remedies like essential oils, massage, and over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn) or ibuprofen (Advil, Midol, Motrin). Most headaches resolve with OTC and home remedy treatment, while your doctor may need to prescribe medication to treat your migraines. If you have the "worst headache of your life," seek medical care immediately.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and those around him. Though the initial decision to use drugs is voluntary, changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person's self-control and ability to make the right decisions and increase the urge to take drugs. Drug abuse and addiction are preventable.
Seizure vs. Seizure Disorders (Differences and Similarities)
The differences between a seizure, epilepsy, and seizure disorders are confusing to many people. What makes it more confusing, is that they are not the same thing. A seizure begins suddenly, and is a symptom of another disease. When a seizure occurs there is uncontrolled activity in the brain that usually only lasts for a short period. While a seizure disorder is a medical condition, in which the person has episodes of uncontrolled activity in the brain producing symptoms that include one or more seizures. Epilepsy is considered a seizure disorder.There are two types of major seizures, generalized and partial seizure type and the symptoms depend upon the part of the brain affected, and may include: Loss of consciousness Thought disturbances Convulsions Eye rolling Stiff limbs Twitching on only one side or a portion of the body like an arm or leg. Involuntary urination or bowel movement Repetitive shaking or jerking of the body Staring into space, sometimes with eye blinking No loss of consciousness, but the person becomes confused for a few minutes A third type of seizure is called unclassified seizure.Seizure disorders are classified under two types of major seizures (generalized and partial), and a third type called unclassified seizures. There are about 40 types of named seizure disorders. The symptoms and signs are different depending on the part of the brain affected by the seizure. Examples of seizure disorders are: Febrile seizures Benign Rolandic epilepsy Catamenial epilepsy Absence seizures Frontal lobe epilepsy Epilepsy Sometimes there is a known cause for a seizure like alcohol, cocaine or other illegal drug abuse, drug reactions, a severe chemical imbalance in the blood, or medical problems like low blood pressure. Treatment, management, and prevention of seizures include medication and avoiding any known causes or common triggers. REFERENCES: CDC. "Types of Seizures." Updated: Apr 10, 2017.Harvard Health Publications; Harvard Medical School. "Generalized Seizures (Grand Mal Seizures)."
Pain Management: Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is chronic pain resulting from injury to the nervous system. The injury can be to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or the peripheral nervous system (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord).
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