Lyrica - an overview
Lyrica, generic name pregabalin is a medicine that is prescribed to treat conditions that include:
- Epilepsy - This medicine has been approved by the FDA to be used with other seizure medicines to help treat certain kinds of seizures that are known as partial seizures.
- Fibromyalgia - Lyrica has been found to be beneficial in relieving pain that is caused from this illness.
- Nerve pain - Lyrica has been approved to ease chronic pain in the nerves that can be caused from a shingles outbreak or from diabetes.
Pfizer, Inc. is the maker of Lyrica.
What it does
While it isn't clear how Lyrical works in the brain to ease partial epileptic seizures, or how it works to treat fibromyalgia pain, it is known that Lyrica binds to certain calcium channels that are found in the CNS. It is thought that this is what allows it to be beneficial in treating anxiety, nerve pain and seizures. While this medication has not been approved to treat anxiety, it does have properties that make it an effective option for treating anxiety.
Many studies have been done with this medication to see if it is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia, seizures and nerve pain.
When treating Nerve Pain
There have been six studies done to evaluate how effective Lyrica is at treating nerve pain that is due to postherpetic neuralgia. These studies found that those taking the medication felt less pain when compared to those that did not take it. Some noticed rapid pain relief within about a week of beginning taking the medication.
When treating Fibromyalgia
Two separate studies found that Lyrical was effective at treating pain caused from fibromyalgia. Some people that took the medication noticed pain relief in as short as a week. Generally, the studies determined that taking 600 mg daily was no more effective than a daily dosage of 450 mg.
When treating Epilepsy
Three studies were done on Lyrica to determine how effective this medicine was at treating partial seizures that occur in those with epilepsy. These studies had participants that were taking as many as three other medicines for seizures and were still not able to control them. Depending on what dosage was taken, those that started adding Lyrica to the seizure medicines they were already taking were able to decrease the number of monthly seizures by as much as 51%.
Lyrica Secondary Effects
Taking any medication carries the risk for secondary effects. The same is true when taking Lyrica. Not all people taking this medicine will notice secondary effects and it is generally well tolerated. If you do experience secondary effects, they will likely be mild and require no treatment. Other more serious secondary effects are not as common.
Commonly reported secondary effects include:
- Problems with coordination
- Weight gain