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Pregabalin

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Lyrica

Pregabalin - What is it for

Pregabalin is used to control seizures (fits) and other conditions related to the nervous system. It can also be used for neuropathic (nerve) pain. Nerve pain may result from an injury to the nerves or parts of the nervous system. Nerve pain can manifest as a tingling sensation (pins and needles), stabbing pain, sharp pain or a burning sensation. It may also be used for other conditions which you can check with your doctor.

Pregabalin - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Pregabalin cause?

Like all medicines, this medication may cause some possible side effects but not everyone experiences them. Consult your healthcare professional if any of the side effects lasts more than a few days or become severe and bothersome.

The common side effects of Pregabalin include:

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, unsteadiness in walking
    • Get up slowly from sitting or lying down position to minimize dizziness
    • Do not drive or perform activities requiring alertness if affected by drowsiness
    • Inform your doctor if symptoms are intolerable or unsteadiness worsens
  • Blurred vision or other changes in vision
    • Avoid driving or engaging in activities that require concentration
    • Consult a doctor if symptom persists
  • Constipation
    • Drink more water, eat more high-fibre foods, and exercise regularly
  • Dry mouth
    • Suck on sugar-free candies or ice cubes to stimulate saliva production
  • Nausea, vomiting
    • Take the medication with or after food to reduce nausea and vomiting
    • Avoid food that is too rich, spicy or has strong smells
  • Headache
    • Take Paracetamol if needed to relieve headache
  • Increased appetite
  • Flu-like symptoms eg. fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat
    • See a doctor if symptoms persist
  • Swelling of the body including extremities (legs, arms)

If the following serious side effects happen, you should consult your healthcare professional immediately:

  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash due to Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)
    • SJS and TEN are rare and serious skin reactions. Symptoms include face swelling, blisters on skin, skin rashes that spread within hours to days. It usually occurs within the first few months (monitor closely for the first 3 months) of treatment.
    • As SJS and TEN progress rapidly, please consult your healthcare professional if you show the first sign of a rash.
  • Change in vision (blurring or loss of vision)
  • Decrease in kidney function: low urine volume, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, confusion
  • Unusual bruises or bleeding
  • Muscle cramp, joint pain, back pain, pain in limb

In rare cases, this medication may cause the following changes to a person's mental condition, especially in the first few weeks of treatment or during dose changes:

  • Worsening agitation, restlessness, violent behaviour, or
  • New or worsening thoughts of harming yourself or ending your life
  • Other changes in mood or behaviour, or new onset of confusion

Please inform your doctor as soon as possible, or for your family or caregiver to inform your doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.

Do not stop taking this medication on your own without discussing with your doctor.

It is important to note that your doctor has prescribed this medication as he/ she feels you will benefit more from taking this medication over the possible side effects that it may cause, which have a low chance of occurring. Most people take this medication without any such problems.

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Pregabalin, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if you have the following medical conditions before starting on Pregabalin:

  • Liver, kidney, heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • History of alcoholism
  • History of drug dependence or abuse
  • Drug allergies

For women: Tell your doctor if you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding. Your doctor would have discussed the potential benefits and side effects with continuing/starting this medication.

Consult your healthcare professional immediately if your seizures or pain worsen or become different after you start on this medication.

Be careful when driving or operating machinery as this medication may cause drowsiness or dizziness.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Pregabalin?

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication as it can cause excessive drowsiness.

Pregabalin - Dosage and How to Use

How should Pregabalin be used?

  • Follow the instructions on your medication label and take the medication as prescribed by your doctor.
  • You can take this medication with or without food.
  • Swallow the capsule whole with water.
  • You may not experience any benefits immediately after starting the medication as it may take up to a few weeks before this medication can exert its full effects. You should continue to take your medication regularly as instructed by your doctor even if you feel well. Stopping your medication without informing your healthcare professional may cause your condition to worsen quickly.
  • Do not stop taking or adjust the dose of this medication without consulting your healthcare professional.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only the usual dose. Do not double your dose or use extra medication to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Pregabalin - Handling

How should I handle Pregabalin safely?

Pregabalin - Storage

How should I store Pregabalin?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Pregabalin safely?

​Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing it into the rubbish chute or bin.

Pregabalin - Additional Information

  • Updated on Tuesday, August 31, 2021
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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