Lyrica (pregabalin) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat the following conditions in adults:

In most cases, if Lyrica works for you, your doctor will recommend that you take it long-term.

Here are some fast facts about Lyrica:

  • Active ingredient: pregabalin
  • Drug class: anticonvulsant
  • Drug forms: oral capsule, oral solution, or oral tablet (Lyrica CR)

As with other drugs, Lyrica can cause side effects. Read on to learn about potential common, mild, and serious side effects. For a general overview of Lyrica, including details about its uses, see this article.

Note: Lyrica CR is another brand-name form of pregabalin (Lyrica’s active drug). Lyrica CR isn’t prescribed for all of the same conditions as Lyrica, and it works differently than Lyrica. This article focuses on side effects of Lyrica, not of Lyrica CR. For details about Lyrica CR, including its side effects, you can talk with your doctor.

Lyrica can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Lyrica in clinical trials:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.

Mild side effects can occur with Lyrica use. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Lyrica’s prescribing information.

Mild side effects that have been reported with Lyrica include:

Side effects of Lyrica may differ based on which condition you’re taking the drug to treat. For example, if you’re taking Lyrica for nerve pain, you may have slightly different side effects than someone taking Lyrica for seizure treatment. However, overall, most side effects of Lyrica are similar.

These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Lyrica and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.

Most side effects of Lyrica are mild. However, Lyrica may cause serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Lyrica’s prescribing information.

If you develop serious side effects while taking Lyrica, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects that have been reported and their symptoms include:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.

It’s possible for children taking Lyrica to experience similar side effects to those in adults. However, additional side effects reported in children included increased appetite. Sleepiness and weight gain were also common side effects reported in children taking Lyrica.

Note that the only condition Lyrica is approved to treat in children is partial onset seizures in those ages 1 month and older.

If you’re concerned about the side effects of Lyrica in your child, talk with your child’s doctor.

It’s possible for Lyrica to cause sexual side effects. In clinical trials, decreased libido, or lower sex drive than usual, was commonly reported. An increased libido was also reported, although this side effect was rare.

It’s also possible that a change in your libido may be due to other side effects of Lyrica. For example, Lyrica can cause you to feel sleepy or dizzy. This may cause a decrease in your libido as well.

If you have concerns about sexual side effects during treatment with Lyrica, talk with your doctor.

Lyrica may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drug’s side effects and their answers.

Do the side effects of Lyrica vary based on which strength I take, such as 25 mg, 50 mg, or 75 mg?

It’s possible that you may be at an increased risk of side effects if you take a higher dose of Lyrica. This is because taking a higher dose of medication exposes your body to more drug. And having more drug in your body can increase the possibility of side effects.

Lyrica is available in the following strengths:

  • 25 milligrams (mg)
  • 50 mg
  • 75 mg
  • 100 mg
  • 150 mg
  • 200 mg
  • 225 mg
  • 300 mg

Lyrica also comes as an oral solution that’s available in one strength: 20 mg of the drug per milliliter of liquid.

So, it’s possible that people taking a dose of 25 mg may have less side effects than someone taking a 200 mg dose. If you experience side effects during your treatment with Lyrica, talk with your doctor.

Is there a higher risk of side effects in older adults taking Lyrica?

In most cases, older adults (age 65 years or older) will experience the same risk of side effects as younger adults. In clinical trials, there weren’t any differences in the safety or effectiveness of Lyrica in elderly or older adults, compared to younger adults.

However, in older adults taking Lyrica for fibromyalgia, the following side effects were reported more often than in younger adults:

If you’re an older adult and you’re concerned about the side effects from Lyrica, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can discuss your risk of side effects and what to watch out for.

Can Lyrica cause long-term side effects?

It’s possible for Lyrica to cause long-term side effects or even permanent side effects. However, long-term side effects from this medication are not common.

Some examples of long-term side effects are depression or suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Rhabdomyolysis (which can cause damage to your organs, such as kidneys) can also lead to long-term side effects.

If you’re concerned about long-term side effects of Lyrica, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can discuss your risk of side effects with you and the best ways to treat them. In some cases, if you’re aware of the symptoms of certain side effects and treat them right away, they may not be long-term.

Are there any dangers of taking Lyrica?

Yes, there are some dangers of taking Lyrica. For example, this medication can cause sleepiness, dizziness, and blurry vision. This can impact your everyday life, including your ability to drive a car or other machinery. Due to these possible risks, it’s not recommended to drive a car, work with machines, or perform other activities until you know how the drug may affect you.

In addition, Lyrica can cause side effects, some of which can be dangerous. For example, the drug can increase your risk of depression or suicidal thoughts or behaviors. It can also increase your risk of rhabdomyolysis, which can cause long-term effects.

Lyrica is also a controlled substance. Controlled substances are regulated by the government because of their risk of misuse or dependence. Misuse of a drug means using it in a way that’s different than how it was prescribed to you. Drug dependence can occur when your body needs a medication to function as usual. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a history of drug or alcohol misuse or dependence.

However, it’s important to note that Lyrica is FDA approved and has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment option for the conditions that it was approved for. If you’re concerned about the dangers of taking Lyrica, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Are there side effects of switching from gabapentin to Lyrica?

Typically, you shouldn’t experience side effects from switching from gabapentin to Lyrica. However, abruptly stopping gabapentin may make symptoms worse. In rare cases, it may lead to new or worsening seizures.

It’s possible for your doctor to recommend switching from gabapentin to Lyrica. Both Neurontin (gabapentin) and Lyrica (pregabalin) are FDA approved to treat certain seizure conditions and conditions causing nerve pain. For example, if you’re taking gabapentin and it isn’t working to manage your nerve pain or your seizures, your doctor may recommend trying Lyrica instead.

To avoid abruptly stopping or switching your medication, your doctor may develop a plan to slowly take you off gabapentin.

It’s important to note that you should never switch medications on your own. Only stop treatment with gabapentin and switch to Lyrica if recommended by your doctor. They can advise you on the best way for you to switch medications.

If you have additional questions about switching from gabapentin to Lyrica, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more about some of the side effects that Lyrica may cause. To find out how often side effects occurred in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Lyrica.

Weight gain

You may experience weight gain during your treatment with Lyrica. Weight gain was a common side effect that people taking Lyrica reported in clinical trials.

You may be at an increased risk of weight gain if you’re taking a higher dose of Lyrica for a longer period of time. However, it’s important to note that short-term trials didn’t show an increase in blood pressure or blood sugar in people who gained weight during Lyrica treatment. And, it’s not known what effects Lyrica weight gain may have long-term.

One of the side effects of Lyrica is swelling of the arms or legs. This may increase your risk of weight gain.

In addition, children and some adults taking Lyrica may experience an increase in appetite. This appetite increase may also lead to weight gain.

What you can do

If you experience unexpected weight gain during treatment with Lyrica, talk with your doctor. They can help you determine ways to reverse weight gain or how to manage your weight.

Dizziness

It’s possible to experience dizziness from taking Lyrica. Dizziness was a common side effect reported in clinical trials of Lyrica. Symptoms of dizziness may include lightheadedness, loss of balance, or feeling like you’re spinning.

What you can do

If you experience dizziness during your treatment with Lyrica, tell your doctor. It’s not recommended to drive a car, work with machines, or perform other activities that may be dangerous while you’re taking Lyrica until you know how the drug may affect you. Your doctor can help determine when it may be safe for you to perform any of these activities after starting Lyrica.

Your doctor may also be able to help treat your dizziness. In some cases, they may recommend a different treatment option for you.

Dry mouth

It’s possible to experience a dry mouth from taking Lyrica. Dry mouth was one of the most common side effects reported in clinical trials of Lyrica. Symptoms of dry mouth may include feeling thirsty, dry tongue, or sores or cracks at the corners of your mouth or on your lips.

What you can do

Tell your doctor if you experience dry mouth during treatment with Lyrica. They may recommend certain treatments for your dry mouth, such as:

  • decreasing caffeine
  • chewing gum or candy to help your saliva
  • sipping water
  • stopping smoking or chewing tobacco
  • using an over-the-counter mouthwash to moisten your mouth

Your doctor can help determine the best ways to treat your dry mouth.

Blurry vision

You may experience blurry vision from taking Lyrica. Blurry vision was one of the most common side effects that people taking Lyrica reported in clinical trials.

What you can do

If you notice any changes in your vision during your treatment with Lyrica, including blurry vision, talk with your doctor. They may recommend having your vision checked by an eye doctor. If your blurry vision is severe or bothersome, your doctor may recommend a different treatment option for you.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, Lyrica can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:

  • skin rash
  • itching
  • flushing
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet (angioedema)
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What you can do

For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Lyrica. However, if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.

Click here for more links and local resources.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Lyrica. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These are considered drug-condition or drug-factor interactions. The conditions and factors to consider include:

Depression, mood problems or suicidal thoughts or behaviors. It’s possible for Lyrica to increase your risk of depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behaviors. And, if you have a history of these conditions, you may be at an increased risk of worsening symptoms. Your doctor can help determine if Lyrica is a safe treatment option for you.

Bleeding conditions. It’s possible for Lyrica to cause low platelet levels, which can increase your risk of bleeding. If you have any bleeding conditions, you may be at an even higher risk of these side effects. Talk with your doctor to determine if Lyrica may be a safe treatment option for you.

Kidney problems. Tell your doctor about any kidney problems that you have, including if you’re on dialysis, before starting Lyrica. This medication is removed from your body by your kidneys. And, if they aren’t working properly, you may be exposed to too much Lyrica, which can increase your risk of side effects. Your doctor may recommend a lower dose of Lyrica if you have kidney problems.

Breathing problems. Taking Lyrica may increase your risk of respiratory depression, or difficulty breathing. If you have a breathing problem that may already cause difficulty breathing, taking Lyrica may make your condition worse. In some cases, this can be very severe or even life-threatening. If you have any breathing problems, talk with your doctor. They can help determine if it’s safe for you to take Lyrica.

Heart problems. If you have any heart problems, tell your doctor before taking Lyrica. This medication can cause swelling of the arms or legs. If you have certain heart conditions, such as heart failure, this swelling may cause your heart condition to worsen. Be sure to tell your doctor about any heart problems you have before starting Lyrica. They can determine if this medication is safe for you.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Lyrica or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Lyrica. Ask your doctor what other medications may be better options for you.

History of drug or alcohol misuse. Tell your doctor if you have a history of drug or alcohol misuse. Lyrica is a controlled medication, which may cause misuse or dependence. If you have a history of drug or alcohol misuse, taking Lyrica may increase your risk. Your doctor can help determine if Lyrica is a safe treatment option for you.

Angioedema. It’s possible for Lyrica to cause angioedema, which is swelling of your face, neck, or other areas of your body. Angioedema can be severe or even life-threatening. If you have a history of angioedema, tell your doctor before taking Lyrica. It’s possible that you may be at an increased risk of this side effect.

Alcohol with Lyrica

You should not drink alcohol while taking Lyrica. Alcohol can increase your risk of side effects from Lyrica, such as dizziness, sleepiness, and blurry vision.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about drinking alcohol during your treatment with Lyrica.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Lyrica

Here’s some information about pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Lyrica.

Pregnancy. It’s not known if Lyrica is safe to take during pregnancy. At this time, there isn’t enough information on the safety of Lyrica during pregnancy to determine if the drug is safe.

Animal studies show that there may be an increased risk of congenital anomalies (also known as birth defects) in animals who took Lyrica during pregnancy. In addition, there may be an increased risk of miscarriage. However, it’s important to note that animal studies don’t always indicate what may happen in humans.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking Lyrica.

Lyrica pregnancy registry

There’s a pregnancy registry available for people who become pregnant while taking Lyrica. A pregnancy registry is a collection of data to determine if a drug may be safe to take during pregnancy. The purpose of the registry is to help determine what effects the drug may have if it’s taken during pregnancy.

To sign up for the registry, call 888-233-2334 or visit the registry website.

Breastfeeding. It’s not recommended to breastfeed while taking Lyrica. This medication likely passes into breast milk. It’s not known what effects Lyrica may have on a breast-fed child.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before taking Lyrica. They can discuss your treatment options and the best way to feed your child.

It’s possible for Lyrica to cause drug misuse. Misusing a drug means using it in a way other than how it was prescribed to you. Lyrica is a controlled substance because it has the possibility to cause misuse or dependence.

Misusing a drug can increase your risk of overdose. Lyrica overdose symptoms can be life-threatening and may include:

If you’re having trouble taking Lyrica as prescribed or if you have concerns about Lyrica misuse, talk with your doctor. They can help find a different treatment option for your condition and recommend ways to avoid misuse.

It’s possible to experience side effects from taking Lyrica. In most cases, these side effects will be mild. However, it’s possible for severe side effects to occur.

If you’d like to learn more about Lyrica, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from taking the drug.

Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today 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 another 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.