Lyrica and gabapentin are both prescription medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat:

Lyrica has other uses, as well. It is important to note that Lyrica is a Schedule V controlled substance, which means that it has the potential to be misused.

Lyrica is a brand-name drug that’s also available as a generic called pregabalin. Gabapentin is a generic drug that’s also available under two brand names: Neurontin and Gralise.

There are some differences between the two medications, including their uses, side effects, and effectiveness for the approved conditions. These will be discussed below.

Note: For more comprehensive information about these drugs, visit our Lyrica and gabapentin articles.

Lyrica contains the active ingredient pregabalin. Gabapentin contains the active ingredient gabapentin.

Both Lyrica and gabapentin belong to a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants.

Lyrica and gabapentin are both approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the following conditions:

Both drugs can be used in children, but Lyrica is specifically approved to treat partial onset seizures in children ages 1 month and older.

Lyrica is also FDA-approved to treat:

In addition, Lyrica is commonly prescribed off-label for generalized anxiety disorder.

Both Lyrica and gabapentin come as oral capsules or an oral liquid solution.

The strengths of each form of Lyrica are:

  • oral capsule: 25 milligrams (mg), 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 225 mg, 300 mg
  • oral liquid solution: 20 mg/milliliter (mL)

The strengths of each form of gabapentin are:

  • oral capsule: 100 mg, 300 mg, 400 mg
  • oral liquid solution: (250 mg/5 mL)

The dosage of Lyrica or gabapentin that your doctor prescribes depends on:

  • the condition being treated
  • the drug form (oral capsule or oral liquid solution)
  • other health conditions you may have, such as kidney disease
  • your age

How much Lyrica equals a dose of gabapentin?

There are currently no direct dose conversions between Lyrica and gabapentin. But because Lyrica is more potent, some studies have used one-sixth of the dose of Lyrica when converting from the dose of gabapentin.

For example: A dose of 50 mg per day of Lyrica would equal 300 mg per day of gabapentin.

Note: Keep in mind that you shouldn’t switch between Lyrica and gabapentin without the guidance of your doctor. Also, be sure to talk with your doctor before you stop using Lyrica or gabapentin.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend switching from Lyrica to gabapentin or from gabapentin to Lyrica. They’ll talk with you about all your treatment options and how to slowly stop using either drug.

This is because both Lyrica and gabapentin can increase the risk of serious side effects if you suddenly stop taking them. The side effects include seizures and withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, diarrhea, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

Your doctor may need to adjust your dose a few times when switching between the drugs. Typically, when switching from gabapentin, the dosage of Lyrica is lower. This is because Lyrica is absorbed much better and faster than gabapentin. Lyrica also starts to work more quickly (in about an hour) than gabapentin.

Note: You shouldn’t switch medications without talking with your doctor.

How much Lyrica and gabapentin cost depends on the treatment plan your doctor prescribes, your insurance plan, and your pharmacy. You can find price estimates for these medications on GoodRx.com.

Lyrica is a brand-name drug that’s also available as a generic called pregabalin. Gabapentin is a generic drug that’s also available under two brand names: Neurontin and Gralise. Brand-name medications are often more expensive than generics. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn about the generic form of either drug.

Both Lyrica and gabapentin treat partial onset seizures and nerve pain that occurs after shingles. These drugs can cause some of the same side effects, as well as some different ones.

Some of these side effects are mentioned below. For more information about the side effects of the two drugs, see the Lyrica medication guide and the gabapentin drug label.

Mild side effects

The following lists address some of the most common side effects of each drug and some that both can cause.

  • Can occur with Lyrica:
    • blurred vision
  • Can occur with gabapentin:
    • nausea
  • Can occur with both Lyrica and gabapentin:
    • mild sleepiness*
    • tiredness
    • mild dizziness*
    • weight gain
    • trouble with memory or concentration
    • problems with coordination
    • swelling in your hands or feet

Most side effects of Lyrica and gabapentin are mild and go away after using either medication for a few weeks. If the side effects are bothersome or concerning, or don’t go away, talk with your doctor.

* Both Lyrica and gabapentin can cause dizziness and sleepiness. Be careful with any tasks that require concentration or focus, such as driving, until you become used to the effects of the medication.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects aren’t common with Lyrica or gabapentin, but they may occur. The following lists address the serious side effects of each drug and those that both drugs can cause.

  • Can occur with Lyrica:
    • severe sleepiness*
    • severe dizziness*
  • Can occur with gabapentin:
    • behavior changes in children ages 3 to 12 years, including hostility, restlessness, and trouble with concentration
    • difficulty sleeping
    • mood changes
  • Can occur with both Lyrica and gabapentin:
    • changes in thinking or behavior†

If you have serious side effects while using Lyrica or gabapentin, call your doctor immediately. If a side effect feels life threatening or you believe you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Note: For more information about mild and serious side effects, see the side effect sections in the Lyrica and gabapentin articles.

* Both Lyrica and gabapentin can cause dizziness and sleepiness. Be careful with any tasks that require concentration or focus, such as driving, until you become used to the effects of the medication.
† Gabapentin may cause behavior changes in children ages 3 to 12 years, including hostility, restlessness, and trouble with concentration.

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 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can call 800-799-4889.

Click here for more links and local resources.

There are few studies directly comparing how well Lyrica and gabapentin work. But studies show that both Lyrica and gabapentin are effective for treating partial onset seizures and nerve pain that occurs after shingles.

According to guidelines, Lyrica and gabapentin are recommended for treating partial onset seizures. Other guidelines recommend the two drugs as treatments for nerve pain that occurs after shingles.

For information about how the drugs performed in clinical studies, see the Lyrica and gabapentin prescribing information.

Lyrica and gabapentin may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Here, these are referred to as “warnings.” The two drugs share some warnings, but they also have different ones. Some are mentioned below.

If any of the following medical conditions or other health factors are relevant to you, talk with your doctor before using Lyrica or gabapentin.

Note: For more comprehensive information about these two drugs, visit our Lyrica and gabapentin articles.

Lyrica and gabapentin are used to treat some of the same conditions: partial onset seizures and nerve pain that occurs after shingles.

Some key points to remember when comparing the drugs include:

  • Lyrica is absorbed much better and faster than gabapentin. Lyrica also starts to work faster (in about an hour), while gabapentin takes longer to start working.
  • Both Lyrica and gabapentin may cause serious side effects, such as seizures.
  • If you suddenly stop taking either drug, you may have withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, diarrhea, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

If you’d like to learn more about Lyrica or gabapentin, talk with your doctor about their uses and effectiveness. The doctor can also explain the risks and benefits and advise about which may be right for you.

For more information about partial onset seizures, see our list of epilepsy articles. To learn more about nerve pain after shingles, see our list of shingles articles.

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 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.