Lyrica is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved for use in adults with the following conditions:

Lyrica is also FDA-approved to treat partial onset seizures in children ages 1 month and older. For this purpose, Lyrica is used with other seizure drugs.

For more information on how Lyrica is used to treat these conditions, see the “Lyrica uses” section below.

Drug details

Lyrica belongs to a drug class called antiepileptic drugs. (A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way).

Lyrica comes as capsules that you swallow. Lyrica capsules are available in the following strengths:

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

It’s also available as a liquid solution that you take by mouth. But this form of Lyrica is only available in one strength: 20 mg of the drug per milliliter of liquid.

Is Lyrica a controlled substance?

Yes, Lyrica is a controlled substance. It’s classified as a schedule V prescription drug. Schedule V drugs have accepted medical uses, but they also have the potential to cause psychological or physical dependence. This means that the drug could be misused.

Government agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) set rules for how schedule V drugs may be prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacist. For more information, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Lyrica vs. Lyrica CR

Lyrica and Lyrica CR contain the same active drug: pregabalin. However, there are differences in how Lyrica and Lyrica CR work once they’re inside your body.

Lyrica CR is specially made to release pregabalin into your body slowly over time. The “CR” in Lyrica CR stands for “controlled release.”

Lyrica CR should be taken once daily. Lyrica, on the other hand, is usually taken two or three times per day. This is because it gets released into your body more quickly, which means that your body also gets rid of the drug faster.

Because the drugs work differently in your body, Lyrica and Lyrica CR shouldn’t be substituted for one another. If you were prescribed one form of the drug but you’re interested in taking the other form, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Lyrica, see the “Lyrica uses” section below.

Lyrica is a brand-name medication that contains the active drug pregabalin. This active drug is also available as a generic medication. A generic medication is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.

The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

If you’re interested in using the generic form of Lyrica, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if it comes in forms and strengths that can be used for your condition.

Lyrica can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Lyrica. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Lyrica, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of the drugs it has approved. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Lyrica, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Lyrica can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Lyrica. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist or check Lyrica’s medication guide.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Lyrica aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

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

Side effects in children

Some side effects in children taking Lyrica may be more or less common than those in adults.

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

In clinical trials, the most common side effects seen in children taking Lyrica were:

  • Increased appetite. Depending on the dosage used, increased appetite occurred in 0% to 8% of children taking Lyrica. In comparison, 0% to 4% of children taking a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) experienced increased appetite.
  • Sleepiness. Sleepiness occurred in 15% to 21% of children taking Lyrica, depending on their age. In comparison, sleepiness occurred in 9% to 14% of children taking a placebo.
  • Weight gain. Weight gain occurred in 0% to 8% of children taking Lyrica, depending on their age. In comparison, weight gain occurred in 0% to 4% of children taking a placebo.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug. Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Lyrica. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • a rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth, swelling, or redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

It isn’t known how many people may have had an allergic reaction during clinical trials of Lyrica.

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Lyrica, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Weight gain

Lyrica can cause weight gain in some people. Across clinical studies involving adults with different conditions:

  • 9% of people who took Lyrica experienced weight gain of 7% or more
  • 2% of people who took a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) experienced weight gain of 7% or more

The researchers noted that the risk of weight gain from Lyrica appeared to be related to higher dosages and how long a person took the drug for. The researchers didn’t find any significant changes to blood pressure in people who gained weight while taking Lyrica.

Lyrica may also cause swelling in your feet, hands, and legs, which can contribute to weight gain.

If you’re concerned about gaining weight during your treatment, talk with your doctor.

Sleepiness

Lyrica may cause sleepiness in some people. In clinical trials involving adults with different conditions:

  • 23% of adults who took Lyrica reported feeling sleepy
  • 8% of adults who took a placebo reported feeling sleepy

In addition:

  • 30% of adults who took Lyrica reported feeling dizzy
  • 8% of adults who took a placebo reported feeling dizzy

Sleepiness was also reported in clinical trials of children taking Lyrica. See “Side effects in children” above for more details.

Because Lyrica can make you sleepy or dizzy, it can affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. For this reason, you should avoid these and other potentially dangerous activities until you know how Lyrica affects you. Talk with your doctor about when it may be safe for you to do these activities again.

If you experience sleepiness or dizziness that’s bothersome during your treatment, talk with your doctor. They’ll work with you to find the best treatment for your condition.

Sexual side effects

You may wonder if Lyrica can cause side effects that affect you sexually.

It was noted in clinical studies that some people experienced an increase or decrease in their libido (sex drive) while taking Lyrica. It isn’t known how often this side effect may have occurred in people taking either Lyrica or a placebo (a treatment with no active drug). It’s also not known for certain whether these sexual side effects were due to Lyrica or another cause.

It’s also important to note that other side effects of Lyrica, like feeling sleepy, could affect your sex drive.

If you’re concerned about sexual side effects during your Lyrica treatment, talk with your doctor. They can help determine the cause and discuss the best treatment for you.

Blurry vision

Blurry vision could occur while taking Lyrica. Across clinical studies involving adults with different conditions:

  • 7% of adults taking Lyrica reported blurry vision
  • 2% of adults taking a placebo reported blurry vision

But in most cases, blurry vision went away as people continued taking the medication.

It isn’t known if Lyrica has any long-term effects on vision. Call your doctor if you experience any changes in your vision while taking Lyrica. Your doctor may decide to monitor your vision more frequently. If your vision changes don’t go away even with continued use of Lyrica, your doctor may have you try a different treatment for your condition.

Depression and suicide risk

Lyrica belongs to a class of medications called antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). As with other AEDs, Lyrica may raise your risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Lyrica may also increase your risk for new or worsening depression and other unusual changes in your behavior or mood.

Tell your doctor right away if you experience new or worsening:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • thoughts of suicide
  • other changes in your mood

It’s not known how many children or adults taking Lyrica may have suicidal thoughts or behaviors during clinical trials. But in clinical trials of people taking other AEDs:

  • about 0.43% of people taking an AED had suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • about 0.24% of people taking a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) had suicidal thoughts or behaviors

If you have new or worsening depression or thoughts of suicide while taking Lyrica, talk with your doctor right away. They may recommend that you switch to a different medication to treat your condition. Your doctor may also recommend other ways to help lower your suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

The Lyrica dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using Lyrica to treat
  • your age (and depending on your age, your weight)
  • the form of Lyrica you take
  • other medical conditions you may have, such as kidney problems
  • other medications you may take
  • side effects that you experience while taking the drug

Regardless of the condition that Lyrica is being used to treat, its manufacturer recommends adjusting the dosage for people with kidney problems. If you have kidney problems, talk with your doctor for more details.

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then, they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Lyrica comes as capsules that you swallow. The capsules are available in the following strengths:

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

Lyrica is also available as a liquid solution that you take by mouth. But this form of Lyrica is only available in one strength: 20 mg per milliliter.

Dosage for diabetic nerve pain

The recommended starting dosage for diabetic nerve pain in adults is 150 mg of Lyrica per day. This is taken as 50 mg three times per day.

After 1 week, your doctor may increase your dosage to 100 mg three times per day (a total of 300 mg per day). This is the maximum dosage for treating diabetic nerve pain. Your doctor will adjust your dosage as needed based on how well the drug is working for you and any side effects that you may experience.

Dosage for fibromyalgia

For treating fibromyalgia in adults, the recommended starting dosage of Lyrica is 150 mg per day. This is taken as 75 mg twice per day.

After 1 week, your doctor may increase your dosage to 150 mg twice per day (a total of 300 mg per day). Whether or not your dosage is increased will depend on how well the drug is working for you and any side effects that you may experience.

If 300 mg doesn’t work well enough for you, your doctor may further increase your dosage to 225 mg twice per day (a total of 450 mg per day). This is the maximum dosage for treating fibromyalgia.

Dosage for nerve pain after shingles

The recommended starting dosage of Lyrica for adults with nerve pain after shingles is 150 mg per day. This can be taken as 75 mg twice per day or 50 mg three times per day.

After 1 week, your doctor may increase your dosage to one of the two recommended dosages. Both options equal a total of 150 mg to 300 mg:

  • 75 mg to 150 mg two times per day
  • 50 mg to 100 mg three times per day

Whether or not your dosage is increased will depend on how well the drug is working for you and any side effects that you may experience.

After 2 to 4 weeks of taking 300 mg daily, your doctor may increase your dosage to the maximum of 600 mg daily. They’ll likely do this if you still don’t have symptom relief from the 300 mg dosage. This can either be taken as 300 mg twice per day or 200 mg three times per day.

Dosage for nerve pain from a spinal cord injury

For treating nerve pain from a spinal cord injury, the recommended starting dosage of Lyrica is 150 mg per day. This is taken as 75 mg twice per day.

After 1 week, your doctor may increase your dosage to 150 mg twice per day (a total of 300 mg per day). Whether or not your dosage is increased will depend on how well the drug is working for you and any side effects that you may experience.

If, after 2 to 3 weeks, 300 mg doesn’t work well enough for you, your doctor may further increase your dosage to 450 mg. This is the maximum dosage, and you’d take it as 225 mg twice per day.

Dosage for partial onset seizures

For treating partial onset seizures in adults*, the recommended starting dosage of Lyrica is 150 mg per day. This is taken either as 50 mg three times per day or 75 mg twice per day.

The daily maximum for treating this condition is 600 mg, divided into two or three doses.

To learn about the Lyrica dosage for treating partial onset seizures in children, see the “Children’s dosage” section below.

* For this use, Lyrica’s manufacturer defines adults as people ages 17 years and older.

Children’s dosage

For treating partial onset seizures in children, the dosage of Lyrica will depend on the child’s weight.

For children weighing 30 kilograms or more

If a child weighs 30 kilograms (kg)* or more, the recommended starting dosage is 2.5 mg per kg of body weight per day. This is divided into two or three doses per day.

For example, if a child weighs 32 kg (about 70 pounds [lb]), the recommended starting dosage would be 80 mg total per day. This could be taken as 40 mg twice daily. It could also be split into three doses per day (such as 30 mg in the morning and afternoon, and 20 mg at night).

The maximum dosage for children in this weight range is 10 mg per kg of body weight daily, with a maximum of 600 mg per day. This dosage should be divided into two or three doses per day.

* One kg is equal to about 2.2 lb.

For children weighing less than 30 kg

If a child weighs less than 30 kg*, the recommended starting dosage is 3.5 mg per kg of body weight per day. This is divided into two or three doses per day.

For example, if a child weighs 20 kg (about 44 lb), the recommended starting dosage would be 70 mg total per day. This could be taken as 35 mg twice per day. It could also be split into three doses per day (such as 20 mg in the morning and afternoon, and 10 mg at night).

The maximum dosage for children in this weight range is 14 mg per kg of body weight daily. For children ages 1 month to younger than 4 years, this should be divided into three doses per day. For children ages 4 years and older, this may be divided into two or three doses per day.

* One kg is equal to about 2.2 lb.

Dosage questions

Below are answers to some questions you may have about taking Lyrica.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a Lyrica dose, take it as soon as you remember.

But if it’s close to when you’re supposed to take your next dose, just skip the missed dose. Then, take your next dose as its regular time. You shouldn’t take two doses at once to make up for a missed dose. This could raise your risk for side effects.

To help make sure you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can also work.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Lyrica is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Lyrica is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

You may wonder how Lyrica compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here, we look at how Lyrica and gabapentin are alike and different.

Ingredients

Lyrica belongs to a drug class called antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way. Lyrica contains the active drug pregabalin.

Gabapentin is also an AED. It’s a generic medication, and it’s the active drug in some brand-name medications, including Neurontin and Gralise.

Uses

Here’s a list of conditions that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Lyrica and gabapentin to treat.

* For this purpose, Lyrica is approved for use in children ages 1 month and older. Gabapentin is approved for use in children ages 3 years and older.

Drug forms and administration

Lyrica comes as capsules that you swallow. Lyrica capsules are available in the following strengths:

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

It’s also available as a liquid solution that you take by mouth. But this form of Lyrica is only available in one strength: 20 mg of the drug per milliliter (mL) of liquid.

Gabapentin comes in three forms: capsules, tablets, and a liquid solution. All are taken by mouth. Gabapentin is available in the following strengths:

  • capsules: 100 mg, 300 mg, and 400 mg
  • tablets: 600 mg and 800 mg
  • liquid solution: 50 mg of the drug per mL of liquid

Side effects and risks

Lyrica and gabapentin have some similar side effects and others that vary. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

The following mild side effects can occur with both Lyrica and gabapentin:

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with either Lyrica or gabapentin, as well as serious side effects that both drugs may share.

  • Can occur with Lyrica:
  • Can occur with gabapentin:
    • unusual behavior (such as hostility or restlessness) in children ages 3 to 12 years
  • Can occur with both Lyrica and gabapentin:
    • vision changes

Effectiveness

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. But studies have found both Lyrica and gabapentin to be effective for nerve pain after shingles and for partial onset seizures.

Costs

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Lyrica costs much more than gabapentin. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Lyrica is a brand-name drug. It’s also available as a generic called pregabalin. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics. Gabapentin is a generic drug.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Lyrica, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label drug use is when an FDA-approved drug is used for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Alternatives for diabetic nerve pain

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat diabetic nerve pain include:

Alternatives for fibromyalgia

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat fibromyalgia include:

Alternatives for pain after shingles

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat pain after shingles include:

Alternatives for nerve pain from a spinal cord injury

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat nerve pain from a spinal cord injury include:

  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • baclofen (Lioresal)
  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • naproxen (Aleve)
  • tizanidine (Zanaflex)
  • tramadol (Ultram)

Alternatives for partial onset seizures

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat partial onset seizures include:

  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • levetiracetam (Keppra)
  • oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
  • valproate (Depakote)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Lyrica to treat certain conditions. Lyrica may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Lyrica for diabetic nerve pain

Lyrica is FDA-approved to treat diabetic nerve pain, which is also known as diabetic neuropathy. This pain happens as a result of complications from diabetes. It’s a progressive disease, which means that the symptoms get worse with time.

People with diabetes have high levels of glucose (sugar) in their blood. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage your nerves. Your nerves help your body move, communicate, breathe, and much more.

Symptoms of diabetic nerve pain include numbness, pain, tingling, or weakness in your hands or feet.

It isn’t fully known how Lyrica works to treat diabetic nerve pain. But it’s thought that it may reduce your brain’s ability to sense pain.

Effectiveness for diabetic nerve pain

Clinical studies have shown Lyrica to be effective for treating diabetic nerve pain in adults.

One study compared Lyrica taken three times per day with a placebo (a treatment with no active drug). People in this study had diabetic nerve pain as a result of either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Researchers wanted to see how effective each treatment was at reducing nerve pain.

After 5 weeks, they found that:

  • about 45% of people who took Lyrica had their pain reduced by at least 50%
  • about 10% of people who took a placebo had their pain reduced by at least 50%

Lyrica for fibromyalgia

Lyrica is FDA-approved to treat fibromyalgia. This is a chronic condition that can cause:

  • areas of tenderness
  • cognitive issues, such as trouble concentrating and recalling memories
  • general fatigue (lack of energy)
  • pain in your bones and muscles
  • sleep problems

It’s not known what causes fibromyalgia. There aren’t any tests to diagnose it, and its symptoms are often similar to those of other conditions. For this reason, fibromyalgia is often misdiagnosed and can be difficult to treat.

It’s also not known how Lyrica works to treat fibromyalgia. But it’s thought that it may reduce your brain’s ability to sense pain.

Effectiveness for fibromyalgia

Lyrica has been shown to be effective for treating fibromyalgia in adults in a 14-week clinical study. People were eligible for this study if they had an average pain score of at least 4 on an 11-point scale before joining the study.

People in the study took either Lyrica or a placebo (a treatment with no active drug). The study showed that:

  • 66.1% to 77.8% of people who took Lyrica had some level of improvement in their pain score
  • 47.6% of people who took a placebo had some level of improvement in their pain score

Lyrica for nerve pain after shingles

Lyrica is FDA-approved to treat nerve pain from shingles.

Shingles is a viral infection that’s caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox (the varicella-zoster virus). Anyone who’s had chickenpox is at risk for developing shingles at some point in their life.

Your risk for shingles may increase as you age, as shingles is most common after age 50 years. But shingles can occur in someone of any age who’s had chickenpox.

Some common symptoms of shingles include:

  • a rash resembling chickenpox but only affecting certain areas, such as the chest, abdomen (belly), back, and around the waist
  • fluid-filled blisters as part of the rash
  • constant burning, dull pain, or a sharp, stabbing pain that comes and goes

Effectiveness for nerve pain after shingles

Several clinical trials have found Lyrica to be effective for treating pain after shingles in adults.

In one 13-week trial, people rated their pain on an 11-point scale before starting treatment. To be eligible for the trial, people had to have had shingles at least 3 months before and have a pain score of at least 4. They were also allowed to take acetaminophen for pain, in addition to Lyrica or a placebo.

People in the study took either Lyrica or a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) twice daily. Researchers wanted to see how effective each treatment was at reducing people’s pain scores. At the end of the study:

  • about 20% to 35% of people who took Lyrica had their pain score reduced by at least 50%
  • about 10% of people who took a placebo had their pain score reduced by at least 50%

Lyrica for nerve pain from a spinal cord injury

Lyrica is FDA-approved to treat nerve pain from a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord carries signals back and forth between the brain and the rest of your body. It’s a vast network of cells and nerves extending from the base of your brain all the way to your lower back.

Movement and sensation depend on a functioning spinal cord. Any damage to any part of the spinal cord could permanently affect a person’s functioning. Some possible causes of a spinal cord injury include sports injuries, vehicle accidents, and gunshot wounds.

It’s not known how Lyrica works to treat nerve pain from a spinal cord injury. But it’s thought that it may reduce your brain’s ability to sense pain.

Effectiveness for nerve pain from a spinal cord injury

Two clinical trials found Lyrica to be effective for treating nerve pain from a spinal cord injury in adults.

To be eligible for these studies, people had to have nerve pain from a spinal cord injury. The pain had to have lasted for at least 3 months in a row or gone away and come back over a 6-month period. People also had to have a pain score of at least 4 on an 11-point scale.

People in this study were allowed to take other medications. Other drugs taken may have included opioids, analgesics (such as acetaminophen), muscle relaxants, and antidepressants (some of which treat nerve pain).

In one 12-week trial, people were randomly assigned to take either Lyrica or a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) every day. At the end of the trial:

  • about 30% of people who took Lyrica had their pain scores reduced by at least 30%
  • about 10% of people who took a placebo had their pain scores reduced by at least 30%

Lyrica for partial onset seizures

Lyrica is FDA-approved to treat partial onset seizures in adults and in children. (For more information about Lyrica’s use in children, see the “Lyrica and children” section below.)

For treating partial onset seizures, Lyrica is used with other seizure drugs.

It isn’t known how Lyrica works to treats partial onset seizures. But it’s thought that the drug may decrease the abnormal electrical signaling that occurs in the brain during a partial onset seizure.

About partial onset seizures

Your brain uses electrical signals to communicate with the rest of your body. During a seizure, there is a surge of electrical activity in the brain. Some types of seizure affect all of your brain or more of your brain than other types. Symptoms from different types of seizure can vary.

Partial onset seizures occur in only one part of the brain. These can be further classified as either simple focal seizures or complex partial seizures. The main difference is that someone experiencing a partial seizure remains conscious, and the episode typically lasts for under 1 minute. But with complex partial seizures, a person loses consciousness. These seizures may last for longer than 1minute.

Effectiveness for partial onset seizures

Three clinical trials found Lyrica to be effective for treating partial onset seizures in adults.

One study looked at adults taking one to three other antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) that were not effectively preventing partial onset seizures. People in the study took either Lyrica or a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) twice per day along with their other AEDs.

Researchers wanted to see how effective each treatment was at reducing the average number of seizures people experienced per month. At the end of the study, they found that:

  • at least half the adults who took Lyrica had a 35% to 51% reduction in their monthly seizures (depending on their dosage)
  • of the adults who took a placebo twice per day, none experienced any change in the number of seizures they experienced per month

Off-label uses for Lyrica

In addition to the uses listed above, Lyrica may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA. Below are examples of off-label uses for Lyrica.

Lyrica for anxiety

Lyrica isn’t FDA-approved to treat anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). But the medication may be used off-label for this purpose.

A review of clinical studies found that pregabalin (the active drug in Lyrica) can be effective for treating short-term anxiety and preventing relapse in adults with GAD.

If you have questions about treating anxiety, including the Lyrica dosage for anxiety that may be right for you, talk with your doctor.

Lyrica for opiate withdrawal

Lyrica isn’t FDA-approved for treating symptoms of opiate withdrawal, though it may be used off-label for this purpose. There isn’t enough information to determine if Lyrica is effective for treating opiate withdrawal. This is because different studies have had conflicting results.

For example, one study found taking pregabalin (the active drug in Lyrica) at a daily dose of up to 600 milligrams to be effective and safe for treating symptoms of opiate withdrawal. But another study did not find pregabalin to be any more effective than a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) for treating symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

If you have questions about treating the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, talk with your doctor.

Lyrica for restless legs syndrome

Lyrica isn’t FDA-approved to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS). But it may be used off-label to treat this condition. With RLS, you experience twitchiness and discomfort occurs in your legs, typically after going to bed.

A clinical study found that pregabalin (the active drug in Lyrica) was more effective than a placebo in treating the symptoms of RLS. The study also found that Lyrica was less likely to cause worsening of symptoms over time compared with pramipexole (Mirapex). This is a drug that’s approved for RLS.

If you have questions about using pregabalin or Lyrica for RLS, talk with your doctor.

Lyrica for sleep

Although Lyrica isn’t approved for treating sleep problems, it may be used off-label for this purpose.

A review of seven clinical trials found pregabalin (the active drug in Lyrica) to be effective for treating sleep problems related to GAD.

If you have questions about treatment for sleep issues, including the Lyrica dosage for sleep that may be right for you, talk with your doctor.

Lyrica and children

Lyrica is FDA-approved for treating partial onset seizures in children ages 1 month and older. For this purpose, it’s used with other seizure drugs.

Partial onset seizures occur in only one part of the brain. These can be further classified as either simple focal seizures or complex partial seizures. The main difference is that someone experiencing a partial seizure remains conscious, and the episode typically lasts for under 1 minute. But with complex partial seizures, a person loses consciousness. These seizures may last for longer than 1minute.

It isn’t known how Lyrica treats partial onset seizures. But it’s thought that the drug may reduce the abnormal electrical signaling that occurs in the brain during a partial onset seizure.

Effectiveness in children

Clinical studies have found Lyrica to be effective for treating partial onset seizures in children ages 1 month and older.

In children ages 4 to 16 years old:

  • at least half of the children taking Lyrica reduced the number of seizures they had every 28 days by 27.3% to 37.1% (depending on their dosage)
  • at least half of the children who took a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) reduced the number of seizures they had every 28 days by 16.9%

In children ages 1 month to 3 years old:

  • at least half of the children taking Lyrica reduced the number of seizures they had every 24 hours by 16.8% to 70% (depending on the dosage)
  • at least half of the children who took a placebo reduced the number of seizures they had every 24 hours by 22.2%

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Lyrica.

Will Lyrica make me feel ‘high’?

It’s possible that Lyrica may make you feel “high.” In a small study, people who used drugs and alcohol recreationally reported feeling “high” or euphoric (extremely happy or excited) after taking a single 450-milligram dose of Lyrica.

In larger clinical studies:

  • 4% of people who took Lyrica reported feeling euphoric
  • 1% of people who took a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) reported feeling euphoric

Although Lyrica isn’t an illicit drug, it may be misused for this reason. Because of this, anyone with a history of misusing alcohol, prescription medications, or recreational drugs should talk with their doctor before using Lyrica.

Will Lyrica show up on a drug test?

It might. Lyrica can show up on certain drug tests that specifically screen for pregabalin, which is its active drug.

Certain drug tests, such as those commonly used by employers, usually don’t screen for pregabalin. Instead, most drug tests look for drugs that are commonly misused or used illegally, including:

If you’re using Lyrica as your doctor recommends, you should have a prescription for it. If you take a drug test, bring a copy of your prescription or a doctor’s note with you. This should serve as proof that you’re using Lyrica under the direction of your doctor if Lyrica shows up on a drug test.

Is Lyrica a narcotic?

No, Lyrica isn’t a narcotic. “Narcotics” is another term for opioid pain relievers, such as oxycodone (Roxicodone).

Lyrica contains the active drug pregabalin, which isn’t an opioid. Pregabalin belongs to a class of medications known as antiepileptic drugs.

But Lyrica is a controlled substance. It’s classified as a schedule V prescription drug. Schedule V drugs have accepted medical uses, but they also have the potential to cause psychological or physical dependence. This means that the drug could be misused.

Government agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) set rules for how schedule V drugs may be prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacist.

Anyone with a history of misusing drugs or alcohol may be more likely to misuse Lyrica. If you have questions or concerns about misusing Lyrica, talk with your doctor before you start treatment.

Can I drive after taking Lyrica?

No. You shouldn’t drive after taking Lyrica, at least not until you know how the drug will affect you.

Lyrica may cause certain side effects that could affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. These side effects can include:

  • trouble concentrating
  • dizziness
  • sleepiness
  • blurred vision

If you have questions about whether or not it’s safe for you to drive while taking Lyrica, talk with your doctor.

Can I take Lyrica if I have diabetes?

Yes, Lyrica can be used in people with diabetes. The drug is approved to treat diabetic nerve pain.

But people with diabetes should pay special attention to their skin while taking Lyrica. In animal studies, Lyrica caused skin ulcers (sores).

Skin sores didn’t occur in clinical studies of humans taking Lyrica. And it’s important to note that animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you have diabetes and notice any sores or skin problems while taking Lyrica, talk with your doctor.

Lyrica may not be safe for you if you use certain other medications called thiazolidinediones to treat diabetes. Examples of thiazolidinediones include pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia).

Lyrica and thiazolidinediones can both cause swelling in your feet, hands, and legs. If you’re taking a thiazolidinedione, your doctor may decide that Lyrica isn’t safe for you. For more information, see the “Lyrica interactions” section below.

Can I take Lyrica if I have breathing conditions?

Possibly. But in some people with breathing problems, Lyrica may cause respiratory depression (slow and shallow breathing). This side effect can be life threatening.

Lyrica can also cause respiratory depression if taken with other drugs that depress the central nervous system (CNS), such as opioids.

If you have a breathing problem or are taking a CNS depressant, talk with your doctor before you start treatment with Lyrica. They’ll help determine whether or not Lyrica is safe for you to take.

If you do take Lyrica, your doctor will likely have you and the people around you watch for sedation (severe sleepiness) or worsening breathing problems.

You shouldn’t suddenly stop taking Lyrica without first talking with your doctor. This is because suddenly stopping Lyrica may cause withdrawal symptoms.

In clinical studies, some people who suddenly stopped Lyrica experienced side effects, including:

  • insomnia (trouble sleeping)
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • nausea

Because of this, you should gradually stop taking Lyrica over time. (This is known as a drug taper). Lyrica’s manufacturer recommends doing this over at least 1 week.

If you’re interested in stopping your Lyrica treatment, talk with your doctor first. They’ll help you safely taper your dosage over time.

Lyrica is Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for use in adults with the following conditions:

Lyrica is also FDA-approved to treat partial onset seizures in children ages 1 month and older. For this purpose, Lyrica is used with other seizure treatments.

It isn’t known exactly how Lyrica works to treat these conditions. But it’s thought that Lyrica works by affecting certain signals sent back and forth between your brain and the rest of your body.

How long does it take to work?

Lyrica begins working as soon as you take your dose. But your symptoms may not be relieved right away.

In clinical trials, some adults taking Lyrica for nerve pain or fibromyalgia reported a decrease in pain within 1 week of starting treatment. But it may take several weeks before the drug starts to relieve your symptoms.

How long does Lyrica stay in your system?

Once you’ve taken your last dose, Lyrica can stay in your system for about 31.5 hours.

You shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking Lyrica. Drinking alcohol during your Lyrica treatment could raise your risk for certain side effects, such as dizziness, sleepiness, and even respiratory depression. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor before you begin treatment with Lyrica.

Lyrica can interact with several other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Lyrica and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Lyrica. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Lyrica.

Before taking Lyrica, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Lyrica and opioids

Lyrica may cause respiratory depression (slow and shallow breathing) if taken with other drugs that cause sedation (severe sleepiness) or respiratory depression. Opioids are a type of drug that can cause these side effects.

Before taking Lyrica, tell your doctor if you’re taking an opioid. They’ll likely monitor you for any of the symptoms above during your treatment, or they may have you try a different medication for your condition.

Lyrica and tramadol

Tramadol is an example of an opioid medication that can cause respiratory depression and sedation. Taking Lyrica and tramadol together may increase your risk for severe side effects.

Before you take Lyrica, tell your doctor if you’re taking tramadol. They’ll likely monitor you for any symptoms of respiratory depression during your treatment, or they may have you try a different medication for your condition.

Lyrica and other drugs that can affect your central nervous system

Lyrica can affect your central nervous system (CNS). Your CNS is made up of your brain and spinal cord. Your spinal cord has nerves that your brain uses to send signals throughout your body.

A CNS depressant (such as Lyrica) can slow down your CNS. This may cause symptoms such as sedation (severe sleepiness) and respiratory depression.

Some examples of CNS depressants include:

Before you take Lyrica, talk with your doctor if you’re taking any of the drugs listed above. They’ll likely monitor you for any symptoms of sedation or respiratory depression during your treatment. Your doctor may adjust the dosage of one or more of your medications, or they may have you try a different medication for your condition.

Lyrica and certain diabetes medications

Lyrica may interact with certain diabetes drugs called thiazolidinediones.

Both thiazolidinediones and Lyrica can cause swelling in your hands, feet, and legs. Taking Lyrica with thiazolidinediones may raise your risk for swelling, as well as weight gain.

Some examples of thiazolidinediones include:

If you’re taking a thiazolidinedione, talk with your doctor before taking Lyrica. If you take these drugs together, your doctor will likely monitor you for any symptoms of swelling or unusual weight gain. Your doctor may adjust your dosage of Lyrica or the thiazolidinedione, or they may have you try a different drug to treat your condition.

Lyrica and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Lyrica. But you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Lyrica.

Lyrica and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Lyrica. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Lyrica, talk with your doctor.

As with all medications, the cost of Lyrica can vary. To find current prices for Lyrica in your area, check out GoodRx.com.

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Lyrica. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or your insurance company.

Before approving coverage for Lyrica, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Lyrica, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Lyrica, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of Lyrica, offers a co-pay savings card that may lower the cost of the drug for you. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, visit the Lyrica website.

Mail-order pharmacies

Lyrica may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of Lyrica. This means there should be less of a concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor and your insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Generic version

Lyrica is available in a generic form called pregabalin. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. To find out how the cost of pregabalin compares with the cost of Lyrica, visit GoodRx.com.

If you’ve been prescribed Lyrica and you’re interested in using pregabalin instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check your insurance plan, as it may only cover one or the other.

It isn’t known if Lyrica is safe to take while pregnant. This drug hasn’t been studied during pregnancy.

In animal studies, pregnant rats and rabbits given Lyrica gave birth to offspring with issues such as low birth weight and problems with bone formation. It’s important to note that the dose used in these studies was at least 16 times higher than the dose used in humans. Also, studies in animals don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you’re taking Lyrica and are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the manufacturer of Lyrica recommends that you discuss this with your doctor. Together, you can determine the best treatment for your condition.

Lyrica pregnancy registry

If you’re pregnant and taking Lyrica, you’re encouraged to enroll in a pregnancy registry for antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). (Lyrica belongs to a class of drugs called AEDs.)

The AED pregnancy registry collects information on the safety of using AEDs, including Lyrica, during pregnancy. This information can be helpful for doctors and people considering using these drugs during pregnancy.

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

Lyrica and fertility

It’s possible that Lyrica could affect fertility (the ability to conceive a child) in males taking the drug.

Animal studies showed that Lyrica made male rats less fertile, caused changes to their sperm, and led to problems in their offspring. But it isn’t known if these problems occur in humans. Also, animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you plan to conceive a child, be sure to talk with your doctor. They’ll help decide if Lyrica is the best treatment for your condition.

It’s not known if Lyrica is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Lyrica.

For more information about taking Lyrica during pregnancy, see the “Lyrica and pregnancy” section above.

Taking Lyrica while breastfeeding isn’t recommended. This is because Lyrica passes into breast milk. But it isn’t known what effects, if any, this can have on a breastfed child.

If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about your treatment options and the best way to feed your child.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Lyrica can lead to serious side effects.

Don’t use more Lyrica than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Depending on the condition you’re using Lyrica to treat, your doctor may prescribe other medications for you to take with Lyrica.

This is especially true if you’re using the drug to treat partial onset seizures. For treating seizures in either adults or children, Lyrica is only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for use with other seizure medications.

If you’re using Lyrica to treat a condition other than seizures, your doctor may have you take other medications with Lyrica, or they may have you use Lyrica on its own.

If you have questions about using Lyrica with other medications, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

You should take Lyrica according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

When to take

Depending on the condition it’s being used to treat, Lyrica is usually taken either twice or three times daily. It may be helpful to take your doses around mealtimes to help you remember to take them.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can also work.

Taking Lyrica with food

You may take Lyrica with or without food.

Can Lyrica be crushed, split, or chewed?

No, you shouldn’t crush, split, or chew Lyrica capsules. This could affect how your body absorbs the medication, which may affect how it works. This could also raise your risk for side effects.

Lyrica is also available as a liquid solution that you take by mouth. If you have trouble swallowing Lyrica capsules, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. The liquid solution may be an option for you. Or, your doctor may have you try a different treatment for your condition.

Before taking Lyrica, talk with your doctor about your health history. Lyrica may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Depression and other mental health conditions. As with other antiepileptic drugs, Lyrica may raise your risk for suicidal thoughts or behaviors. For people with depression and other mental health conditions, taking Lyrica may make their condition worse. Talk with your doctor about your mental health history before taking Lyrica.
  • Breathing problems. If you have breathing problems or take drugs that are central nervous system depressants (such as opioids), Lyrica may cause respiratory depression (slow and shallow breathing). In some cases, this could be life threatening. If you have a breathing problem, talk with your doctor before taking Lyrica.
  • Kidney problems. Your body gets rid of Lyrica mainly through the kidneys. Because of this, people with kidney problems usually require a lower dosage of Lyrica. This is especially true if you’re on dialysis because of your kidney problem. Before taking Lyrica, talk with your doctor about any kidney problems you currently have or have had in the past.
  • Heart problems. Lyrica may cause swelling of your feet, hands, and legs. In people with heart conditions (such as heart failure), this swelling can cause serious problems. Lyrica has also been shown to increase an interval in your heartbeat known as the PR interval. This doesn’t cause issues in most people. Before taking Lyrica, talk with your doctor about any heart problems you currently have or have had in the past.
  • Bleeding problems. Taking Lyrica may cause low levels of platelets (a type of blood cell). Your blood needs platelets to form clots. If you have a bleeding problem, let your doctor know before you take Lyrica.
  • History of drug or alcohol misuse. Lyrica can cause euphoria or a feeling of being “high.” If you have a history of misusing alcohol, prescription medications, or recreational drugs, it’s important to let your doctor know before you take Lyrica.
  • Possible increased risk of cancer. In animal studies, some mice developed tumors in their blood vessel walls when they were given Lyrica. But these types of tumors didn’t occur in humans taking the drug during clinical trials. It’s not known for sure if Lyrica causes cancer in humans. If you have any type of tumor or have an increased risk for cancer, talk with your doctor before taking Lyrica.
  • Angioedema. Lyrica may cause angioedema (swelling under the skin), including swelling of the face, mouth, and neck. This swelling can be life threatening. If you’ve ever experienced angioedema, including after taking medication, let your doctor know before you take Lyrica.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Lyrica or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take this drug. Ask your doctor about other medications that may be better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if Lyrica is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Lyrica and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s unknown if Lyrica is safe to use while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Lyrica and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Lyrica, see the “Lyrica side effects” section above.

When you get Lyrica from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, ask your pharmacist if you can still use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store it.

Lyrica capsules should be stored at room temperature, which is about 77°F (25°C), in a tightly sealed container away from light. For short periods of time, such as when traveling, Lyrica may be stored at temperatures of 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Lyrica and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps prevent the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

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.