Lyrica is an anti-epileptic drug known as an anticonvulsant. It has been prescribed to control seizures and prevent fibromyalgia. Lyrica works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures. It also affects chemicals that send pain signals in the brain. Lyrica has also been used to treat nerve damage that is common in diabetics or herpes zoster, or pain associated with spinal cord injuries. It is manufactured by Pfizer and was approved by the FDA in 2004. Lyrica is only approved for patients 18 or older.
Like many antiepileptic drugs, Lyrica has been seen to cause an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In one study that looked at 44,000 individuals taking epilepsy drugs or placebos, it was discovered that patients taking the drugs were twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts or actions.
Lyrica has also been linked to side effects in male patients, including lowered fertility and increased risk of birth defects in the male’s offspring.
Serious side effects may include:
- Muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness (especially if you also have a fever and feel tired)
- Vision problems
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain
Less serious side effects may include:
- Dizziness, drowsiness
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Problems with memory or concentration
- Breast swelling
- Dry mouth, constipation