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What Lyrica safety information should I know?

You should know that Lyrica (pregabalin), a prescription drug used to relieve nerve pain, treat fibromyalgia and manage seizures, can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction. You may experience swelling of your mouth, face or neck; a rash, blisters, hives or a hive-like swelling under the skin (called angioedema); or trouble breathing. If this occurs, stop taking Lyrica and call your doctor right away.

Don't take Lyrica if you have had an allergic reaction to it or to pregabalin, or any of its ingredients, and let your doctor know if you've ever had angioedema. Before you start taking Lyrica, give your doctor a complete medical history, including any health conditions you might have. Give him or her a list of all of your medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and any dietary or herbal supplements. Once you're on Lyrica, do not start taking another drug or supplement without talking with your doctor first. Some medications can increase your risk of having an allergic reaction to Lyrica.

Lyrica is classified as an antiepileptic drug. Some people who have taken antiepileptic drugs have had suicidal thoughts or behavior as well as mood changes and depression. If you experience any of these side effects, which are rare, call your doctor right away. Lyrica might also make you dizzy or tired, which may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid these activities until you can determine how Lyrica affects you.

Before you start taking Lyrica, tell your doctor if you or your sexual partner wants to become pregnant, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Researchers are unclear whether taking Lyrica in these situations can cause birth defects or harm a nursing baby. Talk to your doctor and weigh the pros and cons of taking Lyrica in these instances.

Take Lyrica as prescribed. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it's almost time for your next one. In that case, skip the dose you missed -- don’t double up on doses. Don't stop taking Lyrica without talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may cause unpleasant symptoms, such as headache or nausea, so your doctor may need to gradually taper your dose.
 
Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Lyrica (pregabalin) is one of three drugs approved for treating fibromyalgia (the others are duloxetine and milnacipran). Problems with Lyrica (pregabalin) can include dizziness, sleepiness, and weight gain.

It’s important to know that Lyrica (pregabalin), a prescription drug used to help control seizures, treat fibromyalgia and manage nerve pain, can have serious side effects. It can cause a dangerous, even life-threatening, allergic reaction, so you should stop taking it and call your doctor right away if you notice:

  • swelling of your face, mouth, lips, tongue, gums, throat or neck
  • trouble breathing
  • hives, blisters or a rash

You should not take this drug if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to Lyrica, pregabalin or any of Lyrica’s ingredients. Before you start taking Lyrica, give your doctor a complete medical history, and be sure to mention if you’ve ever had a condition known as angioedema, a type of allergic reaction. You should also tell him or her about all your medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, as well as any supplements you take. Some medications may increase the likelihood of having an allergic reaction or interact with Lyrica in other ways. 

Lyrica can also, rarely, cause suicidal thoughts or behavior. Tell your doctor if you start having symptoms of depression while you’re on the drug. Also tell your doctor if you notice any unusual changes in your mood or behavior, or if you have thoughts of suicide or of hurting yourself.

Lyrica can make you sleepy or dizzy, so you shouldn’t drive or engage in any other potentially dangerous activities until you know how it affects you. 

Before you start Lyrica, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, are breastfeeding or if you plan to father a child. Researchers aren’t sure if Lyrica is safe to take during pregnancy, so a woman should take it only if its possible benefits outweigh its potential risks. Lyrica may raise the risk for birth defects if a man fathers a child while on the drug, although researchers aren’t certain about this. It’s also not clear whether Lyrica passes into breast milk, so women shouldn’t take it while breastfeeding.

Take Lyrica as directed. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next one. In that case, skip the missed dose; don’t take two doses at the same time. Talk to your doctor before stopping Lyrica. He or she may need to gradually taper your dose, because stopping suddenly can cause uncomfortable symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.