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Generic name: pregabalin [ pre-GAB-a-lin ]
Brand names: Lyrica, Lyrica CR
Dosage forms: oral capsule, oral solution, oral extended release tablet
Drug class: Gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Aug 23, 2023.

What is pregabalin?

Pregabalin was originally FDA approved in 2004 as 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 treat pain caused by fibromyalgia, or nerve pain in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), herpes zoster (post-herpetic neuralgia), or spinal cord injury.

Pregabalin is also used with other medications to treat partial-onset seizures in adults and children aged at least 1 month.


Pregabalin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking pregabalin 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.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

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

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking pregabalin. 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.

Seizure control is very important during pregnancy, and having a seizure could harm both mother and baby. Do not start or stop taking pregabalin 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.

Pregabalin 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.

You should not breastfeed while using pregabalin.

How should I take pregabalin?

Take pregabalin exactly as prescribed by your doctor and read all medication guides or instruction sheets about pregabalin. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Take pregabalin at the same time each day, with or without food.

Swallow extended-release pregabalin tablets whole and do not crush, chew, or break them.

Measure pregabalin liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided or a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

Do not stop using pregabalin suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose for at least 1 week before stopping completely.

In case of emergency, wear or carry medical identification to let others know you take seizure medication.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of pregabalin, then take that dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

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.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how pregabalin will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

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.

Pregabalin may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Pregabalin can cause life-threatening breathing problems. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up. Breathing problems may be more likely in older adults or in people with COPD.

If you have diabetes, tell your doctor right away if you have any new sores or other skin problems.

Common side effects of pregabalin 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.

What other drugs will affect pregabalin?

Using pregabalin with other drugs that slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, cold or allergy medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect pregabalin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Popular FAQ

In clinical studies with Lyrica, some patients experienced a decrease in pain as early as the first week, which persisted during the entire study period of 5 to 13 weeks. Continue reading

Lyrica (pregabalin) will stay in your blood (plasma) for about 35 hours, but its clinical effect may wear off before this time. Studies have shown pregabalin to be detectable in urine for up to 5 to 6 days. Continue reading

Only in certain circumstances should you should stop taking Lyrica or Lyrica CR (pregabalin) right away. You should stop taking this medicine if your doctor has told you to stop immediately; you are having a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction; you have developed angioedema (swelling and build-up of fluid under your skin, usually in the facial or gential area), or you have trouble breathing (for example: shortness of breath, wheezing). If any of these reactions do occur, stop taking the medicine and call your healthcare provider or emergency medical services (911) right away. Continue reading

Lyrica (pregabalin) is a Schedule V (Schedule 5) controlled substance, the lowest schedule for abuse potential, as defined by the DEA. It is not a narcotic (opioid), but is used to treat various types of nerve pain (diabetic neuropathy, herpes zoster), as well as epilepsy, fibromyalgia and spinal cord injury. Continue reading

Yes, Lyrica (pregabalin) can cause extreme drowsiness (somnolence) and may affect your ability to drive, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities. This may lead to an injury or fall. In studies, up to 20% of children and 35% of adults experienced drowsiness as a side effect. Continue reading

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Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.