Pregabalin, also known as Lyrica, is a prescription medicine that comes in multiple dosage forms including capsules, oral solutions (liquid), and long-acting oral tablets. Your doctor or pharmacist may recommend a dosage form based on your age and disease condition.
Pregabalin can treat a variety of conditions. The drug is used as an anxiolytic (relieving anxiety or distress) and an anticonvulsant (preventing seizures or epilepsy). In this article, we will discuss every detail related to pregabalin.
What is Pregabalin used for?
Pregabalin is used for the following three conditions:
- It is used to control, prevent, and improve episodes of epilepsy or seizures by stopping the abnormal electrical activity in your brain.
- It is used to treat anxiety by inhibiting the neurotransmitter in your brain responsible for causing distress and anxiousness.
- It is used to treat chronic nerve pain by inhibiting the brain signals sent to the nerves.
How Effective Is Pregabalin?
It takes a few weeks for pregabalin to be effective and show maximum response. Pregabalin is mainly beneficial for treating epilepsy and seizures. But is also effective and can be used for anxiety and chronic neuropathic pain as an alternative treatment for those who have not responded to other therapies.
How Should I Take Pregabalin?
- If your doctor has prescribed a tablet or capsule of pregabalin, do not chew, bite, or crush the drug. Swallow the tablet as a whole with one full glass of water.
- If your doctor has prescribed an oral solution of Pregabalin, use a marked syringe, spoon, or medicine cup to measure the accurate amount of drug you are taking. Avoid using random household spoons to measure the dose as they might not be 100% accurate. This will result in incomplete dose ingestion.
- You can take the medicine with or without food. If you experience frequent nausea with the medication, take the drug with food.
- Do not discontinue taking the medicine without your pharmacist or doctor's recommendation and never take an additional dose other than the prescribed amount.
- Immediately consult your doctor if you face any severe, unusual, or continuous side effects.
- For chronic epileptic patients, it is important to take pregabalin daily. Missing a dose can trigger a seizure attack.
What Dose of Pregabalin Should I take?
The dose of pregabalin will vary depending on your disease and its severity. Hence, the dose of pregabalin is different for each patient.
That's why it is best not to take any dose without consulting your doctor and getting your own prescription for this drug.
Moreover, your doctor may adjust or reduce your dose if you are suffering from any disease or chronic illness like liver failure, kidney disease, or heart disease.
Dosage Forms And Strengths Of Pregabalin
Pregabalin is available in three different dosage forms:
- Extended-release tablets
- Oral Solution
The strengths available for capsules are:
- 25 mg
- 50 mg
- 75 mg
- 100 mg
- 150 mg
- 200 mg
- 225 mg
- 300 mg
The strengths available for extended-release tablets are:
- 82.5 mg
- 165 mg
- 330 mg
The strength of the oral solution of pregabalin is:
- 20 mg/ml
The usual dose for pregabalin is given below:
For Partial Onset Seizures
For partial-onset seizures, doctors may prescribe capsules or oral solutions.
The initial dose is 150 mg/day per oral every 8-12 hours.
For Neuropathic Pain With Spinal Cord Injury
The initial dose of pregabalin capsules for neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury is 75 mg per oral given every 12 hours. The dose may increase after one week to 300 mg per day per oral every 12 hours.
For Diabetics Peripheral Neuropathic Pain
- The dose for capsule dosage form is 50 mg per oral every 8 hours which may increase to 100 mg per oral taken after every 8 hours.
- The dose for extended-release tablets is 165 mg per oral every day.
For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The recommended dose for generalized anxiety disorder is between 150 to 600 mg daily given in two to three divided doses.
For Fibromyalgia (Body Pain)
The dose of pregabalin capsules given in fibromyalgia is 75 mg per oral given 12 hours. The dose may increase to 300-400 mg per day after a week if needed or necessary.
Why is Pregabalin Considered A Good Treatment For Pain Relief?
Pregabalin is considered a good treatment for chronic neuropathic pain as it prevents the brain chemicals from sending signals to your nerves. Blocking the signals diminishes your ability to experience pain.
What Are The Side Effects of Pregabalin?
The common side effects of pregabalin include:
- Feeling sleepy
- Amnesia (memory difficulties)
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
- Swelling in hands, arms, legs, and feet.
The serious side effects can include the above-mentioned problems becoming prolonged or severe. Make sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately in that case. Other more severe side effects of pregabalin can include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Blood in urine
- Frequent urination
- Severe dizziness or fainting
- Serious allergic reactions or anaphylaxis
How To Manage Pregabalin Side Effects?
You may experience minor pregabalin side effects for a few days until your body gets used to the therapy. These side effects are normal to occur and usually go away with time. But if they persist even after a few weeks or get severe, consult your doctor directly.
Here are some ways to manage the common side effects of pregabalin.
- You may feel dizzy and sleepy after taking pregabalin. So, try not to engage in any hectic activity during those hours. Make it your rest period or try to go for a restful activity.
- To manage diarrhea and headaches, drink plenty of water and fluids. Get more rest until your body gets used to the medicine.
- For nausea, take pregabalin in the middle of your meals.
- Pregabalin can increase your appetite, leading to weight gain. So, try eating healthy without increasing your portion size. But if it's still difficult to control and you continuously feel hungry, add more vegetables and fruits within and in between your meals. Avoid junks and carbs intake.
If you experience side effects like difficulty with erection, memory problems, or extensive mood changes, speak to your pharmacist.
Alternative Treatment Options For Pain Relief And Anxiety
Other than pregabalin, there can be other treatment options to treat chronic pain, anxiety, or seizures. People who are intolerant to pregabalin are recommended to switch to other drugs after a doctor's consultation.
- The alternative treatment options for neuropathic pain are amitriptyline and duloxetine.
- The alternative treatment option for anxiety other than pregabalin is the anti-anxiety medication buspirone.
Those who cannot take pregabalin due to any disease, intolerance, or because of severe side effects can use these drugs as an alternative therapy.
Can I Buy Pregabalin Online?
Yes. You can buy pregabalin online by completing the online ordering process from the pharmacy where you are purchasing the medicine. After entering all the required details, you will get your medicine safely delivered to your home.
When should I take Pregabalin?+
Take pregabalin after your doctor prescribes you this drug. The drug is usually given three times a day. If you are experiencing chronic neuropathic pain, anxiety, or seizures, consult your doctor for a prescription medicine according to your condition.
How long does it take for Pregabalin to work?+
It may take around 2-4 weeks for pregabalin to work and relieve symptoms associated with your illness.
Can I take Pregabalin while pregnant?+
Pregabalin is associated with a slight risk for birth abnormality in babies. However, the drug does not cause contraception.
Your doctor can better decide if taking pregabalin in pregnancy is necessary for you according to your disease severity. If the benefits of taking pregabalin overweighs its risk, your doctor may prescribe pregabalin.
Can I drive after taking Pregabalin?+
No. Do not drive after taking pregabalin. As pregabalin is an anxiolytic drug, it reduces distress and makes you feel sleepy while inducing relaxation. This can be dangerous while driving.
How long can I take Pregabalin?+
The duration of pregabalin can vary depending on your disease severity and how well you respond to this drug. You may need to take pregabalin for at least 2-4 weeks to achieve the desired response. You can continue taking pregabalin if you do not face any severe side effects and it is helping with your disease.
Does long-term use of Pregabalin have adverse effects on my health?+
Pregabalin oral capsules are commonly prescribed for long-term treatment. It doesn't cause adverse effects on health if the drug is well-tolerated and you take it according to your doctor's prescription.
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