Lyrica (pregabalin) is a medication used to treat seizures, chronic pain caused by diabetic neuropathy or fibromyalgia, anxiety and social anxiety disorder. Lyrica is a controlled substance, which means it is only available by prescription. Patients taking Lyrica should be closely monitored by a physician. Patients who are allergic to pregabalin or gabapentin should not take Lyrica.
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General Side Effects
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that the most common adverse effects experienced by patients taking Lyrica are dry mouth, blurred vision, double vision, dizziness, feeling sleepy, fluid retention, weight gain and difficulty with concentration and attention. Patients taking Lyrica are at risk for accidental injury because of these side effects. Flu-like symptoms have also been reported.
The NIH reports that severe hypersensitivity reactions may occur such as angioedema (to include swelling of the throat and neck) and anaphylactic reactions. Patients experiencing any of the following adverse reactions should seek immediate medical care: facial swelling, rash, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, difficulty swallowing and loss of consciousness.
Lyrica may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Diabetic patients should closely monitor their blood sugar values.
Central Nervous System Side Effects
People taking Lyrica may experience headache, nervousness, tremor, twitching and vertigo. Muscle movements may be affected, resulting in uncoordination, unsteady gait, muscle spasms and speech disorders. The NIH warns that patients taking Lyrica are at risk for experiencing suicidal ideation. Cautious use is advised for patients with a history of suicidal ideation and depression. Abrupt cessation of Lyrica can result in seizure activity, so gradual discontinuation of the medication is advised.
Cardiovascular System Side Effects
Lyrica can cause significant edema, so cautious use is indicated for elderly patients and for patients with a history of kidney disease and congestive heart failure. Patients may also experience chest pain while taking Lyrica, and this adverse reaction should be reported to a physician.
Gastrointestinal Side Effects
Patients taking Lyrica may report constipation, gas and vomiting. An increased appetite has also been experienced.
Respiratory System Side Effects
Patients taking Lyrica may experience bronchitis or shortness of breath. Difficulty breathing should be reported to a physician immediately.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Pearson Nurse’s Drug Guide 2010; Wilson, B. A., Shannon, T. M., & Shields, K. M.; 2010.
- The Mayo Clinic