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What Is Lyrica Used For Back Pain

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What If I Miss A Dose

What is Pregabalin? London Pain Clinic

If you miss a dose of Lyrica, take it as soon as you remember. But if its almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your regular time. You shouldnt take two doses at the same time, as this can increase your risk of serious side effects.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Lyrica on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Do not take more Lyrica than your doctor prescribes as this can lead to serious side effects.

Lyrica Vs Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms

Experts recommend that people who are taking antiepileptic drugs taper off them gradually to reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms and increased seizures. Lyrica may be gradually discontinued over the course of at least one week, but only your prescribing physician can best determine the right timeframe/tapering schedule for you.9

If you have been misusing either or both of these medications, you could be at risk of a potentially complicated withdrawal, and should seek the help of a medical detox program or other medical professional guidance.

How Do These Drugs Work Lyrica Vs Gabapentin

Lyrica is the brand name for the drug pregabalin, and gabapentin is the name of the medication that is used in drugs such as Neurontin, Gralise, and Horizant. All of these drugs are prescribed as anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medications. Pregabalin and gabapentin are structurally similar to the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid , which is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.1

The exact way that Lyrica and gabapentin work is not well understood, but they do not appear to act on GABA neuronal systems, as one would expect given their chemical structure. Instead, they may bind to voltage-gated calcium channels in the central nervous system , which may decrease neurotransmitter release throughout the CNS.1

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Warning Disclaimer Use For Publication

WARNING: Please DO NOT STOP MEDICATIONS without first consulting a physician since doing so could be hazardous to your health.

DISCLAIMER: All material available on eHealthMe.com is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. All information is observation-only. Our phase IV clinical studies alone cannot establish cause-effect relationship. Different individuals may respond to medication in different ways. Every effort has been made to ensure that all information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. The use of the eHealthMe site and its content is at your own risk.

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How To Use Lyrica

Lyrica Pregabalin For Back Pain

Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using pregabalin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 3 times a day with or without food. The dosage is based on your medical condition, kidney function, and response to treatment. Children’s dosage is also based on weight.

If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

To reduce your risk of side effects , your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. This drug works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. It is best to take pregabalin at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day and night.

Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder . Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.

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The Bottom Line: Which Is Best For Me

Gabapentin and Lyrica are similar in their chemical composition and in the conditions they are approved to treat. However, some research studies suggest that Lyrica has some advantages, particularly with the control of certain types of pain.

Based on the current classification by the DEA, pregabalin is considered to have a higher risk for abuse and for the development of physical dependence than products containing gabapentin. The general rule is that both drugs be discontinued on a tapering schedule to avoid potential withdrawal symptoms even in individuals who use these drugs for medical reasons.

The decision to use products containing gabapentin or pregabalin should be made during a consult with ones physician. A doctor will take into account your medical history, symptoms, age, and other factors before writing a prescription. If you are prescribed either drug, always take it according to your doctors instructions and never share your prescription with other people.

How To Take It

You can take pregabalin with or without food, but it’s best to take it in the same way each day. Try to space your doses evenly through the day.

Swallow pregabalin tablets or capsules whole with a drink of water or juice. Do not chew them.

If you are taking pregabalin as a liquid, it will come with a syringe or spoon to measure your dose. If you do not have a measuring spoon or syringe, ask your pharmacist for one. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not measure the right amount.

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How Is Lyrica Taken

Lyrica capsules and liquid solution are taken by mouth. Depending on your condition, youll usually divide your daily dose into two or three smaller doses to take over the course of a day. Lyrica can be taken with or without food.

If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. Your doctor or pharmacist may also have suggestions for ways to make taking capsules easier.

You shouldnt stop taking Lyrica without first talking with your doctor. Stopping Lyrica treatment suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms. For more information, see the Lyrica and withdrawal and dependence section below.

Lyrica can cause sleepiness and dizziness. Until you know how Lyrica affects you, avoid driving a car, operating machinery, or doing other potentially dangerous activities. Also, you should avoid drinking alcohol during Lyrica treatment, as doing so increases your risk of these side effects.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Lyrica, see this article.

Common Questions About Pregabalin


It’s not clear exactly how pregabalin works.

In epilepsy, it’s thought that it stops seizures by reducing the abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

With nerve pain, it’s thought to block pain by interfering with pain messages travelling through the brain and down the spine.

In anxiety, it’s thought that it stops your brain from releasing the chemicals that make you feel anxious.

There’s no evidence that pregabalin has lasting harmful effects, even if you take it for many months or years.

Most people do not have to stay on the same brand of pregabalin as there is very little difference between brands. Talk to your doctor if you have been asked to switch to a different brand and you’re worried about it.

If your epilepsy has been hard to control in the past and the brand you are now taking is working well for you, your doctor may recommend you stay on the same one.

Some people have become addicted to pregabalin after taking it for a long time. If this happens, you will have withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking the medicine.

Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned you are becoming physically dependant on pregabalin.

Do not stop taking pregabalin suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly can cause serious problems.

If you have epilepsy, stopping pregabalin suddenly can cause seizures that will not stop.

If you are taking it for any reason and stop suddenly, you may have severe withdrawal syndrome. This can have unpleasant symptoms, including:

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Lyrica For Nerve Pain From A Spinal Cord Injury

Lyrica is FDA-approved to treat nerve pain from a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord carries signals back and forth between the brain and the rest of your body. Its a vast network of cells and nerves extending from the base of your brain all the way to your lower back.

Movement and sensation depend on a functioning spinal cord. Any damage to any part of the spinal cord could permanently affect a persons functioning. Some possible causes of a spinal cord injury include sports injuries, vehicle accidents, and gunshot wounds.

Its not known how Lyrica works to treat nerve pain from a spinal cord injury. But its thought that it may reduce your brains ability to sense pain.

Effectiveness for nerve pain from a spinal cord injury

Two clinical trials found Lyrica to be effective for treating nerve pain from a spinal cord injury in adults.

To be eligible for these studies, people had to have nerve pain from a spinal cord injury. The pain had to have lasted for at least 3 months in a row or gone away and come back over a 6-month period. People also had to have a pain score of at least 4 on an 11-point scale.

People in this study were allowed to take other medications. Other drugs taken may have included opioids, analgesics , muscle relaxants, and antidepressants .

In one 12-week trial, people were randomly assigned to take either Lyrica or a placebo every day. At the end of the trial:

Chronic Low Back Pain: Pregabalin Helps Reduce Pain And Sleep Interference

A new study suggests that pregabalin shows significantly greater improvements in pain-related interference of sleep relative to usual care in patients with chronic low back pain with accompanying neuropathic pain .

A new study suggests that pregabalin shows significantly greater improvements in pain-related interference of sleep relative to usual care in patients with chronic low back pain with accompanying neuropathic pain .

Sleep disturbance is particularly important for CLBP-NeP patients. Earlier studies have shown that patients reported significantly greater sleep disturbance and impairment of quality of life at higher pain severity levels. In Japan, nearly 30% of patients with CLBP have a NeP component. Sleep disturbance is one of the most prevalent coexisting conditions in patients with CLBP-NeP. This presents a significant challenge for treatment, because many standard analgesics including acetaminophen and NSAIDS have generally poor efficacy for NeP.

Pregabalin, manufactured by Pfizer under the brand name Lyrica and by Beximco Pharma under the brand name Nervalin, is considered first-line treatment for the treatment of pain associated with diabetic neuropathy, post-herpetic neuralgia, and central neuropathic pain. However, its use for acute pain, post-surgical chronic pain, and other potential conditions is controversial at best. The Japanese study, published in the Journal of Pain Research, was sponsored by Pfizer.

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Can I Take Lyrica If I Have Diabetes

Yes, Lyrica can be used in people with diabetes. The drug is approved to treat diabetic nerve pain.

But people with diabetes should pay special attention to their skin while taking Lyrica. In animal studies, Lyrica caused skin ulcers .

Skin sores didnt occur in clinical studies of humans taking Lyrica. And its important to note that animal studies dont always predict what will happen in humans.

If you have diabetes and notice any sores or skin problems while taking Lyrica, talk with your doctor.

Lyrica may not be safe for you if you use certain other medications called thiazolidinediones to treat diabetes. Examples of thiazolidinediones include pioglitazone and rosiglitazone .

Lyrica and thiazolidinediones can both cause swelling in your feet, hands, and legs. If youre taking a thiazolidinedione, your doctor may decide that Lyrica isnt safe for you. For more information, see the Lyrica interactions section below.

What Dosages Of Lyrica Are Used For Sleep Anxiety And Sciatica

Lyrica Medication For Sciatica

The Food and Drug Administration has not approved Lyrica to treat sleep problems, anxiety, or sciatica. If your doctor prescribed Lyrica to you for any of these conditions, its considered an off-label use. Off-label use is when a drug is prescribed to treat a condition other than whats approved by the FDA.

Studies have looked at pregabalin, the active ingredient in Lyrica, for treating these conditions. Reviews of studies have found pregabalin may be effective for treating generalized anxiety disorder but not for treating sciatica. An older review suggests the drug may be effective for treating sleep problems related to GAD.

The drugs manufacturer doesnt provide recommended dosages of Lyrica for these conditions. If your doctor prescribes Lyrica for treating sleep problems, anxiety, or sciatica, follow their dosage instructions.

If you have questions about Lyricas off-label uses, talk with your doctor.

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Existing Studies Do Not Support Use Or Show Benefits For Gabapentin

Doctors are prescribing anti-seizure and nerve pain medications for a common type of chronic low-back pain, a non-licensed use, despite a lack of studies supporting their effectiveness for that purpose, according to a new review.

The drugs, known as gabapentinoids, include gabapentin and pregabalin . Health Canada approved gabapentin to treat epilepsy that isn’t controlled by conventional therapy, and pregablin is indicated for types of nerve pain.

Both medications are also prescribed for non-licensed uses, including non-specific chronic lower back pain that doesn’t involve nerves in the legs and whose cause can’t be traced. About 90 to 95 per cent of adults experience low back pain at some point.

In Tuesday’s issue of the journal PLOS Medicine, Dr. Harsha Shanthanna, an anesthesiologist and associate professor in the anesthesia department at McMaster University in Hamilton, and his team analyzed eight randomized controlled trials on use of the drugs among adults with chronic low back pain.

“There are very few studies that allow physicians to make informed decisions. That’s probably one of the most important findings,” Shanthanna said in an interview. “Whatever studies do exist do not support its use or do not show a benefit in the form of pain relief.”

The other main finding, Shanthanna said, was that four side-effects were common with these medications:

Accessible Drug Containers And Labels

If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print or use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesnt.

If you have trouble opening medication bottles or blister packs, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Lyrica in an easy-open container. They may also have tips to help make it simpler to open the drugs container.

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Reduces Pain And Improves Function

Lyrica is not a cure for fibromyalgia, but it may help control your symptoms. It can take several weeks before you feel the benefits.

Exactly how Lyrica works is unknown. Fibromyalgia symptoms have been linked to changes in the brain that influence how people perceive pain.

People with fibromyalgia experience a heightened sensitivity to stimuli that are not normally painful to others. Some data suggests Lyrica binds to a protein in nerve cells that is responsible for the heightened sensitivity.

What Are Reasons I Shouldnt Take Lyrica

10 Questions about pregabalin (LYRICA) for pain: uses, dosages, and risks

There are a few reasons why your provider may not choose Lyrica as part of your treatment plan.


A person should not take Lyrica if they are allergic to the ingredients.

Alcohol Use

Drinking alcohol while you take Lyrica can increase the risk of sleepiness. It is best to speak with your provider if you drink alcohol.


Lyrica should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks. It is best to talk to your provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant so that they can decide the best option for you.

Studies have shown that this drug caused changes in sperm and made male rats less fertile. Birth defects were also seen in babies of rats and rabbits exposed to this medication. It is not known if this effect also happens in humans.


Lyrica does pass into human milk. Talk with your provider if you are breastfeeding as you may need to decide if you should stop taking this medication or stop breastfeeding.


This medication has not been studied in children.

Other Health Conditions

In certain individuals, the body may handle Lyrica differently. A person should inform their healthcare provider if they have:

  • Kidney problems

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Before Taking This Medicine

You should not use Lyrica if you are allergic to pregabalin.

To make sure Lyrica is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • a mood disorder, depression, or suicidal thoughts

  • heart problems

  • a bleeding disorder, or low levels of platelets in your blood

  • kidney disease

  • drug or alcohol addiction or

  • a severe allergic reaction .

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

  • Pregabalin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old to treat nerve pain caused by fibromyalgia, diabetes, herpes zoster, or spinal cord injury.

  • Pregabalin is not approved for seizures in anyone younger than 1 month old.

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking Lyrica. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Follow your doctor’s instructions about taking seizure medication if you are pregnant. Seizure control is very important during pregnancy, and having a seizure could harm both mother and baby. Do not start or stop taking this medicine without your doctor’s advice, and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of pregabalin on the baby.

You should not breastfeed while using pregabalin.

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