What is Lyrica?
Lyrica is a prescription medicine used in adults, 18 years and older, to treat:
- pain from damaged nerves (neuropathic pain) that follows healing of shingles (a painful rash that comes after a herpes zoster infection)
- partial seizures when taken together with other seizure medicines
Lyrica has not been studied in children under the age of 18.
What are The Risks of Lyrica?
- Dizziness and sleepiness. Do not drive a car, work with machines, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Lyrica affects your alertness. Ask your doctor when it is okay to do these activities.
- Eyesight problems, including blurry vision. Call your doctor if you have any changes in your eyesight.
- Weight gain may affect the management of diabetes, Weight gain and swelling can also be a serious problem for people with heart problems.
- Unexplained muscle problems, such as muscle pain, soreness, or weakness. If you develop these symptoms, especially if you also feel sick and have a fever, tell your doctor right away.
- The most common side effects with Lyrica include dizziness, blurry vision, weight gain, sleepiness, trouble concentrating, swelling of the hands and feet and dry mouth.
What Should I Tell My Health Care Professional?
Before you start using Lyrica, tell your health care provider if you:
- have heart problems including heart failure
- have a bleeding problem or a low blood platelet count
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Lyrica may harm your unborn baby. You and your doctor will have to decide if Lyrica is right for you while you are pregnant.
- are breastfeeding. It is not known if Lyrica passes into breast milk and if it can harm your baby. You and your doctor should decide whether you should take Lyrica or breastfeed, but not both.
- plan to father a child. Animal studies showed that pregabalin, the active ingredient in Lyrica, made male animals less fertile. Also, in animal studies, birth defects occurred in the offspring of male animals who were treated with pregabalin. It is not known if these effects would happen in people.
- have diabetes. Lyrica caused skin sores in animals. Although skin sores were not seen in studies in people, if you have diabetes, you should pay extra attention to your skin while taking Lyrica and tell your doctor of any sores or skin problems.
- have abused prescription medicines, street drugs, or alcohol in the past. Lyrica may cause some people to feel "high."
Are There Any Interactions With Drugs or Foods?
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Lyrica and certain other medicines may affect each other in the way they work in your body. Be especially careful about medicines that make you sleepy (such as sleeping pills, anxiety medicines, tranquilizers and some antihistamines, pain relievers and seizure medicines.) Be sure to tell your doctor if you take:
- rosiglitazone (Avandia) or pioglitazone (Actos) for diabetes. You may have a higher chance of weight gain or swelling if these medicines are taken with Lyrica.
- any narcotic pain medicine (such as oxycodone), tranquilizers or medicines for anxiety (such as lorazepam). You may have a higher chance for dizziness and sleepiness if these medicines are taken with Lyrica.
- any medicines that make you sleepy.
How Do I Take Lyrica?
- Take Lyrica exactly as prescribed. Your doctor may adjust your dose during treatment. Do not change your dose without talking to your doctor.
- Do not stop taking Lyrica suddenly without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking Lyrica suddenly, you may have headaches, nausea, diarrhea or trouble sleeping. Talk with your doctor about how to slowly stop Lyrica.
- Lyrica is usually taken 2 or 3 times a day, depending on your medical condition. Your doctor will tell you how much Lyrica to take and when to take it. Take Lyrica at the same times each day.
- Lyrica may be taken with or without food.
- If your miss a dose by a few hours, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to your next dose, just take Lyrica at your next regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time.
- If you take too much Lyrica, call your healthcare professional or poison control center right away. You may need medical treatment right away.
- Do not drink alcohol while taking Lyrica. Lyrica and alcohol can affect each other and increase side effects such as sleepiness and dizziness.
Source: Federal Drug Administration Patient Information Sheet