Medically reviewed on January 17, 2018.
What is pregabalin?
Pregabalin is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures. Pregabalin also affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system.
Pregabalin is used to control seizures and to treat fibromyalgia. It is also used to treat pain caused by nerve damage in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), herpes zoster (post-herpetic neuralgia), or spinal cord injury.
Pregabalin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Pregabalin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking this medicine and seek emergency medical help if you have hives or blisters on your skin, trouble breathing, or swelling in your face, mouth, or throat.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking pregabalin. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
If you have diabetes or heart problems, call your doctor if you have weight gain or swelling in your hands or feet while taking pregabalin.
Do not stop using pregabalin suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use pregabalin if you are allergic to it.
To make sure pregabalin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
heart problems (especially congestive heart failure);
low levels of platelets in your blood;
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
diabetes (unless you are taking pregabalin to treat diabetic neuropathy);
drug or alcohol addiction; or
a severe allergic reaction (angioedema).
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking pregabalin. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using topiramate. 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. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of pregabalin on the baby.
This medication can decrease sperm count and may affect fertility in men (your ability to have children). In animal studies, pregabalin also caused birth defects in the offspring of males treated with this medicine. However, it is not known whether these effects would occur in humans. Ask your doctor about your risk.
It is not known whether pregabalin passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
Pregabalin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take pregabalin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take the medicine at the same time each day, with or without food.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not stop using pregabalin suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take seizure medication.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking pregabalin?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase certain side effects of pregabalin.
This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Pregabalin side effects
Pregabalin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have: hives or blisters on your skin; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
skin sores (if you have diabetes);
swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain (especially if you have diabetes or heart problems); or
If you have diabetes, tell your doctor right away if you have any new sores or other skin problems.
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect pregabalin?
Taking pregabalin with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic (opioid) medication, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with pregabalin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.02.
More about pregabalin
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- En Español
- 965 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs
- Pregabalin Capsules
- Pregabalin Extended-Release Tablets
- Pregabalin Oral Solution
- Pregabalin (Advanced Reading)