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Lyrica Patient Tips

How it works

Lyrica is a brand of pregabalin. Pregabalin binds to specific sites in nerve tissue which is thought to be the mechanism for its nerve-pain relieving and antiseizure properties.


Used in the treatment of nerve pain associated with diabetes, shingles infection, and spinal cord injury. Also used in the treatment of fibromyalgia and partial onset seizures.


If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • May cause dizziness, drowsiness, and affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid alcohol.
  • May cause edema, particularly in the feet or hands. This fluid retention may be noticed as weight gain, although weight gain can occur independent of fluid retention.
  • Other side effects include headache, tremor, abnormal thinking, dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, lack of energy, changes in some laboratory test results, and ECG changes.
  • Similar to other medicines used to treat seizures, Lyrica increases the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts.
  • Avoid abrupt or rapid discontinuation as discontinuation symptoms (including insomnia, nausea, headache, anxiety, increased sweating and diarrhea) have been reported. Taper dosage down gradually on a doctor's advice over a minimum of one week.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

Lyrica can help relieve nerve pain and control seizures but is likely to cause drowsiness.


  • May be taken with or without food.
  • Do not stop abruptly; discontinue slowly over at least a week. Exception is if you notice any facial or neck swelling, shortness of breath, or a skin rash then discontinue Lyrica immediately and seek urgent medical advice.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery if Lyrica makes your drowsy or impairs your judgement.
  • Notify your doctor if vision changes occur, if you experience unusual muscle pain or weakness, or if you are unexpectedly gaining weight.
  • If you are planning to father a child, be aware that an association between Lyrica and birth defects has been reported in some animal studies.

Response and Effectiveness

Peak concentrations occur within 1.5 hours and effects last for approximately eight hours. Full antiseizure or nerve-pain relieving effects may take several weeks to develop, although some people experience relief as early as the first week.


Lyrica (pregabalin) [package insert]. Revised 08/2014. Parke-Davis Div of Pfizer Inc. Accessed 02/2016

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Lyrica only for the indication prescribed.

  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. It is an informational resource designed as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2017 Revision Date: 2016-02-23 00:00:00