Lyrica is a popular anticonvulsant containing the active ingredient pregabalin, after which the generic version is also named. Although this medication was initially developed as an antiepileptic, it is now primarily used in the treatment of nerve pain. It has analgesic, anxiolytic and sleep-regulating properties, which make it beneficial in the treatment of various conditions. In clinical studies, it has been shown to be well tolerated among patients with benign adverse effects.
As this medication is versatile in nature, a question that still often gets asked is, what is pregabalin used for? One of the main conditions this medication treats is nerve pain. Also known as neuropathic pain, nerve pain is usually the result of a health issue like vitamin B12 deficiency. This can cause harm to the nerves that convey messages to the brain. Nerve pain is a specific type of pain that can be described in the following terms:
There are a number of different types of nerve pain which include diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia. People with nerve pain are often overly sensitive to stimuli that are usually not considered to be painful by others without this condition. People with nerve pain tend to experience amplified pain signals that are often worse at night, making it difficult to sleep.
Nerve pain can interfere with essential aspects in life and some people may experience emotional drawbacks like depression, frustration and anxiety. This type of pain can, however, be effectively managed with medication. Pregabalin for pain works by disrupting signals that travel through the central nervous system so less pain is felt as a result.
Apart from nerve pain, this medication is also effective in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder, or GAD. People with GAD tend to worry excessively about various things in life like health, work, family or other similar issues. A diagnosis of GAD is usually made if, more often than not, a patient has difficulty controlling their worry and anxiety for longer than 6 months.
In a clinical trial, the efficacy of pregabalin anxiety medication was evaluated in the treatment of GAD at different doses over a period of 6 weeks. In total, 341 patients were involved in the study and they were randomly allocated to receive the following treatments:
An assessment tool called the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale was used to measure results and all pregabalin anxiety doses revealed significant improvements compared to placebo. There were no differences between the dosing groups in terms of the efficacy of anxiety treatment. The study found that all three dosages of pregabalin showed much greater effectiveness than placebo on anxiety rating scores.
The pregabalin dose varies from half a pregabalin tablet (150 mg) to two tablets (600 mg) per day. It depends on several factors such as your age, individual response to the medication as well as the condition being treated and the severity of the health issue. The following are recommended dosages for some specific conditions that can be treated with this medication:
In general, the lowest dose should be administered at the beginning of treatment. Thereafter, it can be gradually increased until you reach pregabalin 300 mg or the most suitable and effective dosage. A pregabalin dose can be taken on a full or empty stomach with some water. The doses should be evenly spread out and it is best to take a pregabalin tablet at the same time every day.
If you forget to take pregabalin, take the dose as soon as you remember, however, if it is nearly time for the next dose, just skip the forgotten dose and carry on as normal. If you buy pregabalin online and take this medication for nerve pain, it is likely that treatment will continue for several months to control symptoms. If you decide to stop treatment, the dosage should be gradually tapered to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
There are steps you can take to alleviate potential adverse effects. The most commonly experienced pregabalin side effects that may occur in more than 1 in 100 patients are included in the following table:
|Potential side effect||Advice to help manage this side effect|
|Headaches||It is safe to buy pregabalin and take this medication with traditional pain relievers like acetaminophen to relieve headache pain. Make sure you rest well and keep well hydrated to prevent headaches.|
|Sleepiness||Avoid any activities that require mental alertness and get plenty of rest if you feel sleepy during the day. This side effect typically wears off after about one or two weeks.|
|Dizziness||Avoid caffeine as it can lead to dehydration and dizziness. Also, drink plenty of liquid and try lying down until the dizziness passes as this side effect is generally short-lived.|
Side effects of this medication are typically mild and they diminish over the course of treatment.
The use of alcohol should be avoided as it can interact with this medicine and increase the degree of pregabalin side effects like dizziness.
Patients with diabetes are advised to carefully monitor their blood sugar, particularly at the beginning of treatment. This medication may interact with other medicines, especially medicines that have a sedating effect like oxycodone and lorazepam.
If you have a respiratory disorder, renal impairment or are over the age of 65, extra care should be practised. Healthcare specialists usually recommend that these groups of patients adhere to a lower dosage regimen. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised to refrain from treatment with Lyrica.
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