Highlights for pregabalin

  1. Pregabalin oral capsule is only available as a brand-name drug. It isn’t available as a generic drug. Brand name: Lyrica.
  2. Pregabalin comes as a capsule, a solution, and an extended-release tablet. All forms are taken by mouth.
  3. Pregabalin oral capsule is used to treat neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia. It’s also used to treat partial onset seizures when taken with other seizure drugs.

Important warnings

  • Hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction warning: This drug can cause serious allergic reactions. These include trouble breathing, shortness of breath, and rash, hives, and blisters on your skin. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking this drug and seek medical help right away.
  • Suicidal thinking and behavior warning: This drug can increase your risk of having suicidal thoughts and behavior. Talk to your doctor right away if you have any unusual changes in your mood or behavior, new or worsening depression, or thoughts of harming yourself.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness warning: This drug can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and blurry vision. It may affect your ability to think, see, or move. You shouldn’t drive, use machinery, or do other tasks that require alertness until you know how this drug affects you.
  • Misuse warning: Use of this drug can lead to misuse. Your risk may be greater if you have a history of drug misuse.

What is pregabalin?

Pregabalin is a prescription drug. It comes in three forms: a capsule, a solution, and an extended-release tablet. All forms are taken by mouth.

Pregabalin oral capsule is available as the brand-name drug Lyrica. It isn’t available as a generic drug.

Pregabalin oral capsule may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Pregabalin is a . Your doctor will closely monitor your use of this drug.

Why it's used

Pregabalin oral capsule is used to treat:

How it works

Pregabalin belongs to a class of drugs called anticonvulsants. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

It isn’t known exactly how pregabalin works. It’s believed to work by calming the damaged or overactive nerves in your body that may cause pain or seizures.

Pregabalin side effects

Pregabalin oral capsule can cause dizziness, sleepiness, and blurry vision. It may affect your ability to think, see, or move. You shouldn’t drive, use machinery, or do other tasks that require alertness until you know how this drug affects you.

Pregabalin can also cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of pregabalin can include:

  • dizziness
  • sleepiness
  • trouble concentrating
  • blurry vision
  • dry mouth
  • weight gain
  • swelling of your hands or feet

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Serious allergic reactions. These reactions may be life-threatening. Symptoms can include:
    • swelling of your face, mouth, lips, gums, tongue, throat, or neck
    • trouble breathing
    • rash, hives (raised bumps), or blisters
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions. Symptoms can include:
    • thoughts of suicide or dying
    • attempts to commit suicide
    • new or worsened depression or anxiety
    • feeling agitated or restless
    • panic attacks
    • trouble sleeping
    • new or worsened irritability
    • acting aggressive, angry, or violent
    • acting on dangerous impulses
    • mania (an extreme increase in activity and talking)
    • other unusual changes in behavior or mood
  • Heart problems. Symptoms can include:
    • swelling of your hands, legs, or feet
    • chest pain
  • Dizziness and sleepiness

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Pregabalin may interact with other medications

Pregabalin oral capsule can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with pregabalin are listed below.

Interactions that cause increased side effects

Taking pregabalin with certain medications may cause more side effects. These drugs include:

  • Diabetes drugs, such as rosiglitazone and pioglitazone. Taking these drugs with pregabalin may cause weight gain or swelling of your hands or feet. If you have heart problems, taking these drugs together can increase your risk of heart failure.
  • Narcotic pain drugs, such as oxycodone. Taking these drugs with pregabalin may cause dizziness and sleepiness.
  • Tranquilizers (drugs that make you sleepy) or drugs for anxiety, such as lorazepam. Taking these drugs with pregabalin may cause dizziness and sleepiness.
  • Blood pressure drugs, such as captopril, enalapril, or lisinopril. Taking these drugs with pregabalin may cause swelling and hives.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

Pregabalin warnings

This drug comes with several warnings.

Allergy warning

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your face, mouth, lips, gums, neck, throat, or tongue
  • rash, hives (raised bumps), or blisters

If you develop these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Alcohol interaction warning

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase the risk of drowsiness and dizziness from pregabalin. You shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking this drug. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with kidney problems: If you have kidney problems or a history of kidney disease, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body well. This may increase the levels of this drug and cause more side effects. Your doctor may give you a lower dosage to help avoid side effects.

For people with heart problems: Ask your doctor whether this drug is safe for you if you have heart problems, such as moderate to severe heart failure. This drug can make your condition worse. Symptoms of worsening heart problems can include swelling in your arms, legs, or feet, weight gain, and fluid retention (swelling) in your body.

For people with depression or mental health issues: If you have depression or other mental health or behavioral problems, this drug may increase your risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. You and your family should watch for new or worsened depression, unusual changes in your mood or behavior, or thoughts of harming yourself.

For people with a history of drug or alcohol misuse: Let your doctor know if you have misused prescription or street drugs or alcohol in the past. Pregabalin is a controlled substance and its use can lead to misuse.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk. Animal studies have shown that high doses of pregabalin increased the risk of negative effects to the fetus.

If you become pregnant while taking this drug, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs used during pregnancy.

For women who are breastfeeding: Pregabalin passes into breast milk in small amounts. Therefore, it may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For men with plans to father a child: Animal studies have shown that this drug caused sperm to change and made male animals less fertile. Also, birth defects were seen in the babies of male animals who were treated with this drug. It isn’t known if these problems can happen in people who take this drug.

For seniors: Your kidneys may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

For children: This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

How to take pregabalin

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Drug forms and strengths

Brand: Lyrica

  • Form: oral capsule
  • Strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 225 mg, 300 mg

Dosage for diabetic peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain due to diabetes)

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 50 mg taken three times per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor will adjust your dosage based on your response to this drug.
  • Maximum dosage: 100 mg taken three times per day (for a total of 300 mg per day).

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your kidneys may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Dosage for shingles (nerve pain due to herpes zoster)

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 75–150 mg taken two times per day, or 50–100 mg taken three times per day (for a total of 150–300 mg per day).
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor will adjust your dosage based on your response to this drug.
  • Maximum dosage: 300 mg taken two times per day, or 200 mg taken three times per day (for a total of 600 mg per day).

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your kidneys may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Dosage for partial onset seizures

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 75 mg taken two times per day, or 50 mg taken three times per day (for a total of 150 mg per day).
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor will adjust your dosage based on your response to this drug.
  • Maximum dosage: 600 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your kidneys may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Dosage for fibromyalgia

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 75 mg taken two times per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor will adjust your dosage based on your response to this drug.
  • Maximum dosage: 450 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your kidneys may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Dosage for nerve pain due to spinal cord injury

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 75 mg taken two times per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor will adjust your dosage based on your response to this drug.
  • Maximum dosage: 300 mg taken two times per day (for a total of 600 mg per day).

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your kidneys may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special dosage considerations

For people with kidney problems: If you have kidney problems, your doctor will prescribe a lower dosage or change how often you receive this drug. Your dosage will be based on your kidney function and the total dosage that’s recommended for your specific condition.

Dosage warnings

Pregabalin has been studied at doses up to 600 mg per day. However, it hasn’t been shown to be effective in some people at these higher doses. Also, doses higher than 300 mg per day cause more side effects in some people.

Your doctor may have you take up to 600 mg per day. Your dosage depends on how well your pain is controlled and how well you can tolerate this drug without having side effects.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

Take as directed

Pregabalin oral capsule is used for long-term treatment. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: Your pain or seizures won’t go away or may get worse.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms may include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • loss of control of body movements
  • tremors (constant shaking)
  • amnesia (forgetfulness or loss of memory)
  • trouble speaking
  • nervousness
  • twitching
  • headache

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working: For peripheral neuropathy, shingles, and nerve pain caused by a spinal cord injury: You should feel less burning, tingling, or numbing pain.

For fibromyalgia: You should feel less pain all over your body.

For seizures: Your seizures should be better controlled.

Important considerations for taking pregabalin

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes pregabalin for you.

General

  • You can take this drug with or without food.
  • Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor.

Storage

  • Store this drug at room temperature. Keep it between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t harm your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include your:

  • Kidney function: Your doctor may do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your doctor may lower your dosage of this drug.
  • Mental and behavioral health: You and your doctor should watch for any unusual changes in your behavior and mood. This drug can cause new mental health and behavior problems. It can also worsen problems you already have.

Availability

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead to make sure your pharmacy carries it.

Prior authorization

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Dr.China has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.