10 Things You Should Know About Lyrica (Pregabalin)

Safe Use to Decrease Unwanted Side Effects

Lyrica (pregabalin) is an FDA-approved drug that is used to treat fibromyalgia and certain other conditions. You may have seen advertisements for Lyrica and want to know more about its benefits and precautions.

It is always important to follow directions to decrease the risk of undesirable side effects. Here are 10 things you should know about Lyrica.

Red and white capsules, such as Lyrica.
Image Source / Getty Images

Reduces Pain and Improves Function

Lyrica is not a cure for fibromyalgia, but it may help control your symptoms. It can take several weeks before you feel the benefits.

Exactly how Lyrica works is unknown. Fibromyalgia symptoms have been linked to changes in the brain that influence how people perceive pain.

People with fibromyalgia experience a heightened sensitivity to stimuli that are not normally painful to others. Some data suggests Lyrica binds to a protein in nerve cells that is responsible for the heightened sensitivity.

First Drug Approved for Fibromyalgia

Lyrica was approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia in adults 18 years and older in 2007. Marketed by Pfizer, it was previously approved for the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, post-herpetic neuralgia, and as an additional therapy for adults with partial onset seizures.

Until the approval of Lyrica capsules, no medicine was specifically approved to treat fibromyalgia. Symptoms of fibromyalgia had been treated with:

Since the approval of Lyrica, the FDA has also approved Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride) and Savella (milnacipran HCI) for treatment of fibromyalgia. These medications act as antidepressants while Lyrica does not.

Discuss Lyrica Benefits vs. Risks

Have a full discussion with your healthcare provider about the potential benefits and risks of Lyrica. People who are prescribed Lyrica must fully understand dosage, directions, side effects, and potentially serious adverse events associated with the drug.

While it may be a very beneficial drug for some people with fibromyalgia, precautions for safe use must be followed.

May Cause Common Side Effects

According to Pfizer, common side effects reported in patients taking Lyrica include:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight gain
  • Sleepiness/drowsiness
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • Dry mouth
  • Edema
  • Constipation
  • Increased appetite

Because of the possibility of dizziness or drowsiness, the drug may impair your ability to drive or operate complex machinery.

Rare But Serious Side Effects

Some people have reported allergic reactions to Lyrica, including swelling of the face, mouth, lips, gums, tongue, and neck. Others experienced trouble breathing, rash, hives, and blisters. If any of these symptoms occur, you should stop taking Lyrica immediately and seek medical care.

A small number of people, about 1 in 500, may have suicidal thoughts or actions with Lyrica, as is common for antiepileptic drugs.

Don't stop taking the medication, but contact your healthcare provider if you have such thoughts or if you have anxiety, depression, irritability, agitation, or other unusual behavior that is new or worsening.

Swelling of the hands and feet are another serious symptom, especially if you have heart problems. Consult your healthcare provider immediately.

Interactions With Other Medications

If prescribed Lyrica, you must inform your healthcare provider about all medications that you take, prescription and non-prescription, as well as any supplements. Especially important to note are ACE inhibitors, narcotics, and Avandia (rosiglitazone) or Actos (pioglitazone) for diabetes.


As with any prior significant medical problem, people who have had a drug use disorder or alcohol use disorder in the past should inform their healthcare provider. Because of the increased possibility of misuse of Lyrica in those individuals, closer monitoring may be necessary or another treatment may be preferable.

Do Not Stop Without Consulting Healthcare Provider

Lyrica should be taken at the prescribed dosage. If a dose of Lyrica is missed and it's almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Two doses of Lyrica should not be taken together.

Do not stop taking Lyrica without consulting your healthcare provider. You should continue taking the drug even after experiencing pain relief. Also, plan for refills so that the prescription does not run out.

Pregnancy and Fertility Concerns

People who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should notify their healthcare provider before starting the drug. No adequate, well-controlled studies have been conducted in pregnant humans, and use is only appropriate when the potential benefit to the person who is pregnant outweighs the possible risk to the fetus.

Male fertility may also be impacted by taking Lyrica, so this should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Studies showed that the drug made male animals less fertile. Also, birth defects occurred in the offspring of male animals who were treated with pregabalin.

Controversial Findings for Sciatica

Study results published in 2017 concluded that patients with sciatica improved to the same level whether given Lyrica (pregabalin) or placebo. While the drug has been prescribed for various nerve-related conditions, including sciatica, some researchers do not recommend its use for sciatica based on the results.

But, not all researchers agree—some think it may be useful for chronic sciatica. For certain, if you are currently taking Lyrica (pregabalin), do not stop without consulting your healthcare provider first.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How common are side effects with Lyrica?

    About 60% of people taking Lyrica experience some type of side effects. Usually they're not severe. The most common problems are dizziness and sleepiness, which affects 10% to 30% of those who take the medication.

  • What is Lyrica used for?

    It’s prescribed to decrease pain signals in the body and treat:

    • Pain from damaged nerves related to diabetes and shingles
    • Neuropathic pain from a spinal cord injury 
    • Fibromyalgia 
    • Certain types of seizures in children and adults
  • What is a typical dosage of Lyrica?

    Dosage recommendations vary depending on your condition and symptoms. Usually, though, healthcare providers start adults off with a low dose of 150 milligrams (mg) per day of Lyrica, then may gradually increase it. The maximum dose is 600 mg in a single day. Because Lyrica can be habit forming, it’s important to carefully follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Approval package for Lyrica. Approved December 30, 2004.

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  3. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Lyrica [labeling]. Updated May 2018.

  4. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Living with fibromyalgia, drugs approved to manage pain. Updated January 31, 2014

  5. Winterfeld U, Merlob P, Baud D, et al. Pregnancy outcome following maternal exposure to pregabalin may call for concern. Neurology. 2016;86(24):2251-7. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000002767

  6. Mathieson S, Maher CG, Mclachlan AJ, et al. Trial of pregabalin for acute and chronic sciatica. New England Journal of Medicine. 2017;376(12):1111-1120. doi:10.1056/nejmoa1614292

  7. Derry S, Bell RF, Straube S, Wiffen PJ, Aldington D, Moore RA. Pregabalin for neuropathic pain in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2019;(1). doi:10.1002%2F14651858.CD007076

  8. MedlinePlus. Pregabalin. Updated May 15, 2020.

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