What is Lyrica (pregabalin)?: Uses, side effects, and interactions

Lyrica is Pfizer’s trade name for a drug called pregabalin. Pregabalin is an anticonvulsant, or anti-seizure, drug.

Lyrica is used to treat a number of symptoms and conditions. It works by slowing impulses across the brain that are involved in seizures. It also affects chemicals involved in pain signals.

This article looks at the most common uses for the drug, the potential side effects and the risk of abuse.

Fast facts on Lyrica (pregabalin):

Uses are primarily epilepsy, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain.

Common side effects include drowsiness and fatigue.

Pregabalin interacts badly with some drugs, including opioids and alcohol.

Signs of overdose include increased heart rate.

Uses

Drowsy man rubbing his eyes.
One of the more common side effects is dizziness and drowsiness.

Commonly, Lyrica (pregabalin) has been approved in the United States to treat:

epilepsy

diabetic neuropathy pain

post-herpetic neuralgia (pain after shingles)

fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition involving widespread pain, pain in the muscles and connective tissue, and a heightened and painful response to touch.

In the European Union, pregabalin is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, but other drugs are used for this in the U.S.

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Side effects

Lyrica has the following side effects:

Dizziness: The most common side effect of pregabalin is dizziness or drowsiness.

Vision issues: Although less common than dizziness, some patients experience visual problems.

Muscle problems: Some patients experience a lack of coordination in muscle movements, disorder of speech, and tremor.

Other problems: Lethargy, memory problems, euphoria, constipation, dry mouth, peripheral swelling, loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and weight gain are sometimes experienced.

Less commonly, there may be:

depression and suicidal thoughts

confusion

agitation

hallucinations

muscle twitching

change in sensitivity to touch

increased heart rate

excessive salivating

sweating

redness

rash

muscle cramps

muscle and joint pain

urinary problems

kidney stones

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