What is Lyrica?

What is Lyrica? | Just Believe Recovery PA

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Lyrica is an FDA-approved anticonvulsant used in treating epilepsy. It also is used for treatment of fibromyalgia, herpes zoster, diabetes, or spinal cord injury.

This particular drug works by slowing down the impulses in the brain that cause seizures. Pregabalin, the drug in Lyrica, can also affect other chemicals in the brain that are associated with sending pain signals throughout the nervous system.

Before Taking Lyrica

Before taking Lyrica, there is some important information to be discussed. People who take Lyrica have mentioned severe allergic reactions. If hives or blisters appear on your skin, if you experience swelling, or have trouble breathing, call your doctor immediately.

People who are prescribed Lyrica by their doctor also need to be mindful of any changes in their mood. Some people have experienced suicidal thoughts while taking Lyrica. If you suffer from heart problems or diabetes, Lyrica can possibly cause inflammation. If you already have diabetes or heart problems, call your doctor if you experience any weight gain or swelling while on Lyrica. Particularly, swelling in the hands and feet.

If your doctor is talking about prescribing Lyrica to help treat your epilepsy, the following conditions should be discussed with your doctor:

  • Lung disease or  COPD
  • Mood disorder, depression, suicidal thoughts
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Drug or alcohol addiction

Lyrica should not be given to anyone under the age of 18 and any change in dosage should be discussed with a doctor. This medication can be potentially addictive and should not be stopped suddenly. If a patient stops using Lyrica suddenly, it could result in withdrawal symptoms.

Side Effects of Lyrica

Controlling seizures also becomes very important during pregnancy. A seizure during labor or pregnancy could be harmful to both mother and child. Doctors may prescribe Lyrica to expecting mothers for this reason.

Pregabalin, the active ingredient in Lyrica, may affect men as well. Animal studies have been conducted and the males involved in the study experienced decreased sperm count, as well as birth defects in their young.

Anyone who has been prescribed Lyrica should proceed with caution. Let your doctor know if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Unexplained muscle pain or soreness
  • Swelling of the hands or feet
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Easy bruising
  • Skin sores (if you already have diabetes)
  • Vision problems
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness/weakness
  • Weak/shallow breathing
  • blue-colored lips, fingers, and toes
  • Increased appetite
  • Dry mouth

The breathing problems associated with Lyrica can potentially be fatal. If you, or a loved one, are currently on a Lyrica regimen and experience slower breathing with long pauses, call your doctor immediately. The same caution applies if you start to experience trouble waking up or blue-colored lips. These respiratory problems are more common in patients already experiencing COPD.

How is Lyrica Taken

The most popular way to introduce Lyrica to the system is to ingest it orally. It is important to follow the directions on your prescription exactly. In some cases, your doctor may adjust your dosage. Be sure to use the medicine exactly as directed at all times, and take Lyrica with food. It also will help to take the medication at the same time everyday.

Some patients are prescribed Lyrica in liquid form. If this applies to you, take the exact amount prescribed and be sure to measure the dosage carefully with a dose-measuring spoon or dosing syringe if provided.

If you happen to miss a dose, skip it if your next dosage is coming up. Don’t take 2 doses at once. Do not drive/operate heavy machinery while taking Lyrica as well.

If you are feeling ill, and think you have possibly overdosed, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Other Drugs Affecting Lyrica

Combining Lyrica with other medications can be dangerous. This is especially true if the other medications are designed to slow breathing. Consult your doctor before using cold/allergy medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, anxiety medication, seizure medication, or any medication in the opioid family. Your doctor should be made aware of these medications, as well as any prescribed ACE inhibitors or diabetes medication.

Withdrawal Symptoms

When taking Lyrica, the medication should never be stopped suddenly. If dosages are reduced or stopped suddenly, conditions like seizures may persist. Users may also experience other withdrawal symptoms like headache, nausea, diarrhea, and insomnia.

Prolonged use of the medication may also result in addiction. A history of substance abuse will make this more common, but if you, or someone you know, feels a Lyrica dependence developing, please seek counseling. Chances of developing addiction are drastically lowered when taken as prescribed.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Patients with diabetes need to be especially careful when taking Lyrica. While the drug may have positive effects on seizures, and other epilepsy-related symptoms, it can also cause chronic symptoms of diabetic neuropathy to develop in people already suffering from that condition.

Burning, tingling, a feeling of needles sticking the skin, numbness, difficulty walking due to numbness, swallowing difficulties, sexual dysfunctions, poor digestion, bladder problems, and dizziness when standing are all possible when taking Lyrica.

Diabetic nerve pain is a serious condition. The symptoms can be painful and debilitating. Patients can often start to feel like the condition is running their life. People in this position may feel a desire to turn to Lyrica. While many people have taken Lyrica with overwhelmingly positive effects, it’s important to realize that it may not be for everybody. It’s important to have an in-depth discussion with your doctor before deciding to take Lyrica, or go on any other prolonged medication regimen.

Wrapping Up

Medications like Lyrica are amazing if taken as directed. They can deliver relief to patients with the worst of epilepsy symptoms. In fact, Lyrica may be the key to someone suffering from epilepsy beginning to live a normal life.

However, If you feel yourself, or someone you know, starting to develop a dependence on Lyrica please seek help.

The staff here at Just Believe Recovery are ready for your call and willing to help in whatever way we can. Whether you are looking to start a counseling program, or just looking for resources on how to fight addiction, we can help.

Give us a call today 888-380-0342. We look forward to helping you heal.

Just Believe Recovery is a fully licensed, Joint Commission accredited, comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment center located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania

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