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Does Lyrica cause weight gain?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 11, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Yes, weight gain is one of the most common side effects with Lyrica (generic name: pregabalin) in both adults and children. In studies that were 14 weeks long in adults, 9% of Lyrica-treated patients and 2% of placebo (inactive treatment) patients gained 7% or more over their weight at the beginning of the study. Lyrica is also linked with an increase in appetite and fluid retention.

Weight gain while you are taking Lyrica can be associated with higher doses and longer lengths of treatment. In studies, few patients (0.3%) stopped treatment due to weight gain.

Lyrica treatment may also cause peripheral edema (swelling of your hands, legs and feet), which can be associated with weight gain.

  • In studies in adults, the incidence of peripheral edema was 6% in the Lyrica group compared with 2% in the placebo (inactive treatment) group.
  • In controlled clinical trials, 0.5% of Lyrica patients and 0.2% placebo patients withdrew due to peripheral edema.

Weight gain was not associated with clinically important changes in blood pressure in short-term controlled studies, but the long-term effects of weight gain on heart safety due to Lyrica are unknown.

How does Lyrica affect weight in patients with diabetes?

Patients with diabetes treated with Lyrica gained an average of 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) compared to 0.3 kg (0.66 lb) in the placebo-treated patients.

There was a wide range of weight changes among these patients with diabetes.

  • Weight changes ranged from a weight gain of 16 kg (35 lb) to a weight loss of 16 kg (35 lb) in patients taking Lyrica. In the placebo group, weight changes ranged from a weight gain of 9 kg (19.8 lb) to a weight loss of 10 kg (22 lb).
  • In one group of 333 diabetic patients who took Lyrica for at least 2 years, the average weight gain was 5.2 kg (11.4 lb).

In controlled and open-label longer term studies, Lyrica does not appear to be linked with loss of blood sugar control (HbA1c) in patients with diabetes.

Weight gain and fluid retention are known side effects of the thiazolidinedione antidiabetic drug class. Higher frequencies of weight gain and peripheral edema were seen in diabetes patients taking both Lyrica and a thiazolidinedione medicine (examples: rosiglitazone or pioglitazone) when compared to patients taking either drug alone.

Use caution if you are taking Lyrica with a thiazolidinedione medicine, as the combination may worsen or lead to heart failure. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of the symptoms:

  • cough or shortness of breath that is new or worse
  • swelling of the ankles or legs
  • abnormal heartbeat
  • weight gain of more than five pounds in 24 hours
  • dizziness
  • fainting

What other common side effects occur with Lyrica?

Besides weight gain, other common side effects with Lyrica include:

  • dizziness
  • blurry vision
  • sleepiness
  • trouble concentrating or keeping attention
  • swelling of your hands and feet
  • dry mouth
  • feeling “high”

Lyrica can also cause some serious side effects, such as:

  • life-threatening allergic reactions
  • suicidal thoughts or actions
  • serious problems with breathing
  • swelling of your hands, legs and feet
  • sleepiness
  • dizziness

Bottom Line

  • Weight gain is a common side effect associated with Lyrica treatment. In studies, 9% of Lyrica-treated patients and 2% of placebo (inactive treatment) patients gained 7% or more compared to their weight at the beginning of the study. Lyrica is also linked with an increase in appetite and fluid retention.
  • In one group of 333 diabetic patients who took Lyrica for at least 2 years, the average weight gain was 5.2 kg (11.4 lb).
  • In studies, few patients (0.3%) stopped Lyrica treatment due to weight gain.

This is not all the information you need to know about Lyrica for safe and effective use. Review the full Lyrica (pregabalin) information here, and discuss this information and any questions with your doctor or other health care provider.

References
  • Lyrica.com. Frequently asked questions about Lyrica. Accessed Nov. 11, 2020 at https://www.lyrica.com/frequently-asked-questions
  • Lyrica [product information. Pfizer. NY, NY. Revised April 2020. Accessed Nov. 11, 2020 at http://labeling.pfizer.com/showlabeling.aspx?id=561
  • Lyrica (pregabalin) monograph. Drugs.com. Accessed Nov. 11, 2020 at https://www.drugs.com/pro/lyrica.html#s-34084-4

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