Kicking Lyrica

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August 24, 2015 | 123 Comments

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  1. Sounds like sensible, rational, real world experience, knowledge and advice being given in that post.

    Something is seriously lacking in the training of Doctors. They seem unable to think for themselves or challenge the guidance they are fed. Why is it they seem to have such a blinkered approach? Whether it is neuropathy, as here, or depression, or no doubt all kinds of other conditions which they are attempting to treat, often at great expense (and maybe there’s the rub) they just seem to blindly follow whatever the latest advice is coming from the drug companies, i.e. “prescribe this new stuff”. (An over simplification, I know, but…)
    Do they never seek to build their knowledge by listening to patient experiences? Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, but what is the solution? Nationalise the drug companies? Insist all drug company testing and research data is always available to some independent expert body? The current drug approval and reporting back of “side” effects regime seems to be not fit for purpose. I don’t know what the answer is. It’s difficult and the current state of affairs is very worrying. A loss of faith in the medical profession would be a great loss to society and should not be risked.

    • Having Fibromyalgia, I’ve taken several drugs through the yrs for this problem. Starting with Zoloft. For years. I wasn’t depressed, I had pain, terrible pain, this was my downfall. So , I changed to Cymbalta, gained weight, felt terrible emotionally. Just yuk. I then went on Gabapentin, the weight stayed higher then my usual weight of 109, by 10 lbs. The doctor was sooo excited to put me on Neurotin. A new hell. A walking zombie, emotional ups and downs, like doing a stint in hell. When I went off one of these drugs, changed to another, again, each time was sooo bad, nightmares, unable to concentrate, angry, just plain awful. I am going to my doctor soon & letting her know how the Lyrica has made me feel, & perhaps also trying to wean off of Lyrica by going on Gabapentin. I really to get some semblance of normal back. So, thanks
      for the info.

    • doctors get kick backs from big pharma. how about this I have discovered seizures are caused by to much potassium in the diet. I am calling these tremors…potassium induced toxicity tremors. this is the honest truth. you need more info contact me. why has then not been made public? can not patent a cure, no money to be made, donated, no lab work, office visits, tests, the list continues.

    • I agree with your thoughts. I cannot understand why they treated me with Lyrica and continued to increase the dose when it didn’t appear to be working.

  2. Working in a U.S. law firm with injured workers, I see people being put on Lyrica and Neurontin for every type of pain imaginable — from carpal tunnel syndrome to back and knee injuries. Here’s what one ortho surgeon told me: They were told (correctly) there was a developing scandal around the overuse of opioids, and they might want to get out of the business of prescribing them. Drugs like Cymbalta, Lyrica and Neurontin were presented as risk-free solutions. They were also promoted for any type of pain that could be presented as “nerve pain” (and last time I checked, hey, no nerves, no pain!)

    We need to know more about both Neurontin and Lyrica. We have a few other reports that agree that Neurontin is easier to withdraw from than Lyrica — on the other hand there are more reports of really scary psychological side effects from Neurontin as well as Neurontin withdrawal. I learned from our clients that Neurontin makes some people dreadfully anxious and agitated — while other people get this problem when they stop. (Lyrica can cause this as well.) The FDA has actually logged more reports of suicide from Neurontin than almost any antidepressant — 2,203, with a very high confidence ratio of 11.4. Here’s what one person reported:

    “I was told to taper my dosage by one 300 mg capsule every four days starting with the evening dose. By the second night, I was having withdrawal symptoms with racing heartbeat and thoughts. I felt like I was crawling out of my skin. I broke down and took one 300 mg capsule and all my symptoms went away in about 20 minutes. I later started tapering 100 mg at a time and that produced no symptoms.”

    (By the way, they said they’d also taken oxycodone for their pain and had less trouble stopping that than either Neurontin or Lyrica! Oxycodone is a powerful opiate that causes lots of addiction so that is really saying something. They also said none of their doctors believed them about their withdrawal difficulties, insisting Neurontin was utterly harmless.)

    • Hi Johanna
      All that and more is true about Lyrica, especially the part about it being ” a harmless sub for opiates) lol. ” harmles ????? ) Hardly
      I experianced that ” brain dead zombie effect too on Lyrica.
      I take opiates for pain relief currently. I tolerate it very well and have no real problems. I have been on and off it before after surgeries. Not that big a deal for me to get off of it as long as I can manage the pain with another method or when my recovery is over and pain has subsided to a livable point.
      In my experianced opinion, opiates are far less harmful than Lyrica or neurontin.

      • I really am shocked at this attack on opioids. Is this a pharmaceutics war to get other drugs to people. We have been using opioids for thousands of years with measured success. I am sure there are abusers as is the case with everything, but who is leading this? I keep getting prescribed all these new drugs – Cymbakta, GABA, Lyrica, etc and they either have not worked or had horrible side effects. s.

        • Lol, are you living under a rock? The USA has a massive opioid dependence rate that at least is a epidemic. We are much worse off then other countries

          • I understand and agree with you. I am one of the opioid statistics. Morphine, Percs, Lyrica, and more. But the thing that sticks out to me is all of a sudden your doctor does not want to prescribe more ( granted the patient may have said something that the doctor saw as a red flag) but they will shut off the meds and now you deal with it. I have seen the same pain doctor for sixteen years. I have been able to get by by switching meds when one won’t work without increasing the dose) My issue is then you find people in pain and they know a street drug will fix it. And now you have someone that would never think of breaking the and now they are felons. All we did was have a failed surgery, bad accident, birth defect. Who should be responsible?

        • I have been on every medication for nerve pain. Had an mpfl reconstruction surgery on my left knee, surgeon botched it. At the end of my p.t. my leg literally gave out 5-8x per day. The surgeon said do h20 therapy, you’ll be fine in 2 months. I didn’t accept that. needed a second clean up surgery, now I have no cartilage in pain been on all “narcotic alternatives” all junk terrible horrific side effects, and actually narcotics are 100X safer why make legit people in pain suffer and send us to the street to get our meds like a criminal and the true junkies all get prescription pain medication???????? I live in a constant pain level 6-8 every day. Why???

        • Agreed. Is death listed on the opiod side effect. It is listed on lyrica and ten years ago it was at the being of the side effect list now it’s at the bottom? Pain sufferers as I want to suffer less but to what extreme. Lyrica was the worst experience in my life.

    • PCNG, Johanna, and others,
      Opiates will not cause (severe) dependency as long as you have severe pain. Only when you are taking more than you’d actually need to manage the pain you will get dependent because then your body will shut down the production of endorphines in order to avoid overdosing.
      Endorphines are the body’s own painkillers and chemically very close to morphine. Oxycodone will break down into morphine once digested. I have taken oxycodone, up to 200mg/day for over 7 years in combination with several other drugs like gabapentin, pregabalin, NSAIDs and paracetamol. I’ve been suffering from severe chronic pain for over 10 years. If I stop taking the opioids, I feel no worse than when I drop my daily cup of coffee, well, apart from the pain, of course. But the withdrawal symptoms are very mild. If you find yourself addicted to (medical) opiates, this is a very good indicator that you’ve consumed more than your body would ask for.

      With pregabalin (Lyrica) that’s a very different story altogether.
      Recently I’m trying to get off the Lyrica hook and that’s pretty tough. I’ve been taking 3×100 mg and tried to cut the middle one. Suddenly I get all sorts of troubles, from blurred vision to cold turkey, pain all over the body, in muscles, joints, in the head, heart racing, cold sweat, cotton mouth and throat, and even taking an “emergency” dose would help. It’s like the body demands I keep taking the same dose at the same time as usual. Never ever had experienced something like that!

      Quitting smoking is peanuts compared to this.

      I will succeed eventually but it’s a pain in …

      On the other side I must admit it is a very effective painkiller and I was glad for it until I started developing some of the more unpleasent side-effects like joint- and muscle pain, blurred vision and heart racing. So it’s time to pull the plug on Lyrica.

      I agree, some doctors are too quick prescribing stuff like this. But we also have a responsibility for ourselves as patients. We want to get rid of pain, with good reason, and that is definitely not an easy task and there will always be a price to pay. Chronic pain is a slow, mercyless and gruesome killer and there is not so much help from pharmaceutics as many would believe. The choice is actually very limited and so far, the only way painkillers can work is by numbing the nervous system and the brain. Which is a heavy price to pay no matter what.

      And opiates are still, after thousands of years, the very best and least damaging option we have – so far.

      If you don’t agree with me, I’d love to stand corrected! J
      ust tell me how.

      • Rob when I went to see my last doctor ( a pain specialist) what may be thirteen years ago I was ready to get my referral for a wheelchair. I had given up. With an assortment of medications, which he took some away and lowered doses on all but Lyrica, he increased that. The pain was stabilized. I ask the doctor where my high was, where’s the buzz? He said to me because of the level of pain I will not experience that. And in my case he said there was no up side. In time I will ask to have dosage increases. However I have been able to go this whole period without asking for an increase in doseage. Ha, yet! And I’m 62, if someone says you’ll get addicted. I will have to reply, so? From what I read I have been very lucky as to side effects. And when things do get worse I’ll deal with it. But that pain, if I had it again I don’t know what I’d do. And to have do deal with withdrawal Maybe I do know what I’d do.

    • I started taking Lyrica at the beginning of this year. I whined myself off of these pills very slowly. My Last Lyrica Dose was taken in Earily August. Once I removed Lyrica from my system I have been diagnosed with Severe Depression and I have suffered a Mental Breakdown.

    • I really wish I had found this out before, I started taking lyrica. I stopped lyric a week before Christmas 2016, cold turkey. For about the fourth time in 2016 I ended up without medication and wasn’t able to get a refill right away. I was pretty sure lyrica was causing withdrawal side effects and I was more than right.

      The withdrawal was 100 times worse than any withdrawal effects Caused by hydrocodone. My skin felt like it was burning, crawling and itching all at the same time. My body reacted like someone was running their nails down a chalk board. I had(still have) insomnia, night sweats, and finally the worse stabbing headache I have ever had. Feels like someone is trying to scoop my left eye and frontal lobe out with a melon baller.

      Even with having to use a little more hydrocodone there is no way I’ll ever go back. I will try the vitamin b-12, and wait out the other effects.

  3. Lyrica – maybe one of the best Orwellian double-speak brand names ever; lyrical, calm, soothing. I have an interest in this drug on two counts. My mother suffered from trimengial neuralgia, one of the worst head-pains possible. It is sheer bloody agony. No pain killer touches it – so her neurology team tried her on every anti-convulsant/ neuropathic pain drug known to human kind: verapamil, topiramate (which triggered the ‘everything smells and tastes like shit’ described in a recent David Healy blog). Then carbamazepine, sodium valproate – all to no avail. Gabapentin might – might – have sliced the edge off the worst of the pain sometimes, but she was never too sure. Then they tried a new tack: pregabalin, aka Lyrica. 24 hours after the first dose she sobbed all over the man in the local butcher’s shop when he asked her how she was, (my mother never cried), came home and phoned the neurology nurse who said ‘stop taking it immediately’. Lyrica could, the nurse said, make some people feel suicidal.

    And now – my good friend, in the grip of acute anxiety has been prescribed Lyrica by the psychiatrist. To take alongside the Effexor/venlafaxine she’s been on for the past 15 years, and the zopiclone (ditto). It’s so much safer, the psychiatrist has said, than the benzodiazepines, and don’t worry – you’re on a very low dose. The psychiatrist doesn’t have to listen over the phone, as I do, to my friend’s description of the dizziness, nausea, spells of fluey stuff which happen every two weeks or so – or fill in the gaps when she can’t remember the word she’s trying to use. Or to the descriptions of the three car accidents she’s had since starting Lyrica – OK, small ones so far but what about the next one? My friend always does what the doctor tells her, so is happy to carry on taking Lyrica – but it makes me steaming angry especially when I read that it is the 2nd most heavily advertised drug in the US – and what happens across the Pond is always mirrored here, despite no direct-to-consumer marketing. And Lyrica makes me tired, because I worry about my friend and it’s me who is picking up the pieces of the acute side effects, long distance.

    Lyrica – not very melodic, gentle or soothing from what I see or hear.

    • I have been taking Lyrica for about a week or two and I could not believe what I felt in that short period of time. I was taking it due to a very bad pinch nerve that still causing numbness and pain in my leg. Since I have been on Lyrica I have had sever swelling to the point my skin feels like it is going to rip open. I have gained more weight in one week then I have gained in a month or two. It was causing sever pain in my wrist that I could hardly hold anything to include myself If needed. I have even fell because my leg gave out on me. My muscles hurt and have become week and my leg constantly feel like its going to give out on me. According to my doctor I could stop it because I was on a low dose. Well it has enhanced my anger like 75% and I found my self saying I don’t care if I die I’m tired of life and that is not me. I will have to find some other means of relief I will not take this medications and don’t recommend it to anyone. The side effects are worse then what its suppose to help. This medication may help others but it is not for me at all.

    • Your friend might want to consider going to Dr. David Healy’s site http://www.RXisk.org and getting sme help with weaning off of the Effexor very slowly, based on the many years she has taken. Weaning off over many months, perhaps longer than a year might be judicious.

      • Effexor has been a lifesaver and a curse. It is so dangerous to wean off of it. The increments of mg per caspule are wide and often too dramatic for patients. It has a very short half life. Withdraw symptoms are like something out of a horror flick. The one time I weaned off I wasn’t on that high of a dose and I was in bed puking for a week. The headache is not even describable. There are patients who convulse and seize, and some have died. When I wean off my current dose I will only do it in hospital. I think we are so quick to take a medication to end our pain that we forget we are changing the chemical composition of our brains.

    • Don’t give up. Your friend must talk with the doctor. I really feel there is a combination that will work. But what sticks out to me here is that she might need to get another opinion from another doctor. There is no shame in it. And it happens more than you think. My experience with Lyrica is basically love hate relation. But more than ten years later I will still take it vs. the pain. But your friend apparently getting through this is hard, she must be honest with her doctor. I wish you luck, I have been on your end and my biggest frustration was getting “the call” and they will not listen to a freaking thing you tell them. They were basically just calling to talk. Again, Good Luck and God Bless.

  4. I would not recommend gabapentin to anyone. Took it for akathisia from ssri withdrawal. Didn’t have neuropathy. But when I tapered off of it, that’s when the burning and pain began in my feet and hands. Hasn’t improved in 1.5 years. Has gotten worse. Have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy from gabapentin withdrawal (and other nerve damage from ssri taper).

    • https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/385791/PHE-NHS_England_pregabalin_and_gabapentin_advice_Dec_2014.pdf

      This link is to NHS England/Public Health England’s advice to prescribers of gabapentin/pregabalin (Lyrica) – the document is irritating as it focuses on ‘misuse’ of both drugs – i.e abuse, for recreational purposes which neatly avoids the almost certainly bigger problem of inadvertent dependence – but, there are some interesting stats about the rise in prescription numbers. Also it states that both drugs can be tapered in a week (???!!). I dunno, sometimes I despair.

      • I know for a fact that they gabapentin & pregabalin are horrible to get off of. I’ve tried both. I would not wish this on my worse enemy. Think of it, it’s as if your brain is being rewired. Truly.
        I am not looking forward to my next few weeks. Terrified even.

        • I have been taking Lyrica 600mg per day for 3 years. The thought of stopping this drug terrifies me. The last time I tried to stop I had diarreaha (yellow stool), itchy skin, stomach bloating and cramps, anxiety and depression. I am considering stopping again but am too scared. I have a new relationship and I don’t want to tell my partner I have this horrible dependance. Can someone please tell me a safe way to taper off this stuff, I have to work full time so it’s difficult for me to get off as it makes me so sick.

          • See Anne’s link above https://www.rxisk.org/
            I am abandoning a taper after 3 months under a doctor’s supervision. I have gone from 150 mg a day down to 50 and this time was that the .2 go 2:25. Have so many more problems that are worsening I can’t tolerate the pain. In one week’s time having added back in 150 mg I’ve noticed a lot of it settling down. Please be careful. Best of luck to you.

          • I have been in Lyrics (300 mg 2X a day) with effexor for a by.be r of years. After much thought and prayer I decided that my weight gain, high bp and high cholesterol all came about after I started taking Lyrica, which led me to get off of the Lyrica. It has been a long hard road, one that I’m not to the end of yet. I hadn’t realized that I had been living in a brain fog for so long. I am completely off at this point and still going through the withdrawals. I was glad to find this site and to know that I am not alone in my struggles. All I can say is, if at all possible get off of this poison, by lowering the doses. I have been using a rub on all natural pain reliever called, Outback. It truly works. Check it out at outback.com.

        • Good Morning M.Healy Tank you for your Work!

          I’m french canadien from canada so sorry for my english. I just want to tell you, that I have de same problem the nerve problem ( burning skin and a lot of pain after I try to do the tapering of neurontin. I try 2 times in one year but I did very fast and each time it was worse. I wait 12 month and last september I did another try but very slowly. With a compound pharmacie I have oral solution to do my micro-taper every 3 weeks to 1 month. 2% each drop. I dont known if i gone be able to do it all the way down but I doing my best. My dose at start 1200mg, Now 1018 mg

          Thank you

      • Yes they Do! Why would you make such a sweeping ignorant comment? Based on what evidence? I never ever had neuropathy and now I’ve still got 3 years post discontinuation

  5. Lyrica and Neurontin are, like benzodiazepines, all are members of a class of drugs called gabaergics because they all work on the GABA system. Although not identical in action all effect the GABA system and cause similar patterns dependence and, often severe, withdrawal symptoms. Due to what is called the “kindling” effect, each time a person goes off one of these drugs, the withdrawal symptoms get worse. Therefore, it is possible to hear of people who have not encountered problems, but if they continue to take gabaergics problems will arise. I took various different types of gabaergics for over a period of 12 years before unmistakable withdrawal symptoms appeared. People often take lyrica or neurontin to ease benzo withdrawal–of course they help with the symptoms because they are so similar to benzos but they only prolong withdrawal (as do ALL substances that increase GABA levels, including herbs). Withdrawal from Neurontin or Lyrica should be handled the same way as withdrawal from benzodiazepines–SLOWLY. Check online for the “Ashton Manual” for withdrawal protocols and other information.

  6. This is the Psychiatric Times’ recent take on Lyrica: for what it’s worth …

    ‘The relative efficacy and early onset of effect of pregabalin versus commonly used benzodiazepines may represent a new therapeutic intervention for GAD as both a monotherapy (after failure of an initial monotherapy) and as an augmentation strategy. Pregabalin is renally excreted and therefore poses a low risk of drug-drug interactions, lacks withdrawal or physical dependence risk, is associated with minimal adverse effects (dizziness, weight gain, insomnia), and is safe and well tolerated. A potential role for pregabalin may be in patients who are tapering off long-term benzodiazepine monotherapy for GAD. – See more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/special-reports/pharmacological-strategies-generalized-anxiety-disorder/page/0/4#sthash.01y0pvsE.dpuf

    Sent from my iPhone

  7. I am currently tapering off Gabapentin. I was prescribed this medication to help alleviate the difficult benzo withdrawal I was experiencing. Gabapentin did nothing to help with the benzo withdrawal except that I was left with another horrific drug to withdraw from. I have learned that if I taper at a rate that my body can handle, the withdrawal symptoms are manageable. But if I taper too fast the symptoms become pretty uncomfortable. The worst being insomnia, burning skin, nausea, dizziness, and flu like symptoms. For me gabapentin withdrawal has been every bit as difficult and maybe even more so than benzos.

  8. This stuff is awful, only took it ten day for fibro gained 20 pounds I have weighed the same since 1982, felt out of body, unstable on my feet, dizzy, Dr never talked about side effects, been off three days the commercials that I used to laugh at make me cry like a baby, irritable, sad, restless, no energy, can’t imagine the withdraw with long term use!

  9. My case is a bit different. I’m a bilateral above the knee amputee with severe phantom pain. I used Neurontin for about 3 months, and my wife and friends told me that I was a different person at the end: more irritable, anxious, unfeeling. Sheesh! Not where I wanted to go at all. Stopped cold turkey and never regretted it, and had little problem with withdrawal.
    Because of that experience, I avoided taking Lyrica or other drugs to treat my phantom pain for about ten years. Walking in prostheses really helped, but crutches eventually damaged my rotator cuff muscles in my shoulders, so had to stop. Then it got nasty. I was out of other options and in intense pain, so I started with Lyrica. After five years or so on Lyrica, I’m up to 600 Mg daily, and my memory is shot. My manual dexterity is lousy, (can no longer play the guitar, my salvation for many years), writing is almost impossible, and painful to boot. Words disappear from my memory like birds flying from a wire when I try to write, and the next time it’s a different set of words. I lisp, I drool. I’m suicidal. I’m sure the effects on my personality are at least in part responsible for my deteriorating domestic relationships, but the view from the inside is murky.
    I have no idea what to do.
    If I delete the Lyrica , which does work to greatly ease the phantom pain, I’ll face a hell of agony and withdrawal. If I continue, the side effects are going to really hurt me. I fell out of my wheelchair twice last week. Now, -how does one fall out of a wheelchair? Reaching, then dropping something, grabbing for it. Simple.
    My advice? Try the other theraputic approaches first, such as B vitamins, alpha lipoic acid, hypnosis, acupuncture for sure (helped me). Don’t expect miracles. Be willing to suffer some to avoid the lyrica/neurontin.
    Yes, it’s bought me years of respite, but the costs that I can see are very high, and the costs that I cannot see are very frightening.
    If and when you run out of other options, remember it bought me almost ten years of functionality.
    Above all, remember that doctors are human beings, and are not immune to the carefully crafted (and edited) sales pitches from drug companies, so may well know little about the real world side effects of these drugs.
    My heartfelt support and sympathy to those reading this (if anyone): you wouldn’t be here if you were not in trouble.

    • Hello James Miller,

      I’m looking around trying to find some useful information on how to titrate down off Lyrica. Accidentally came across your post and while it is not trying to answer my question, it certainly made a lot of sense to me and was the first useful post I’ve found so far. Thanks. Darienne

    • Dear James,
      What a cruel bind you are in, my heart goes out to you. I am withdrawing from three years of lyrical treatment for nerve pain from trapped nerve in my neck. I stopped taking it after l had surgery to fix the problem, but fell in a heap afterwards and when l spoke to my GP he asked why l had stopped taking it. I replied that l had undergone surgery so no longer needed it. He immediately prescribed it for me again. I tried a second time to stop it and the same thing happened, only the next doctor l saw said that they want everyone to take these drugs now instead of opioid painkillers, and l was put back on lyrica again.
      Then l got wise and started looking into these websites. I have tapered off my dosage over last three months and now haven’t taken any for 5 days.
      It’s rough l cannot eat feeling so nauseated, tired and fluey but l know this will pass and l will get over this and be stronger for it. These pharmaceutical companies have a lot to answer for.

      • Jo, How many days did it take to get better? I’m in the process of getting off lyrica for 5 weeks now and it’s thrown my body into a state of tormoil. I’m slowing down the decrease of dosage but no change , still quite sick. I’m stopping it because after 2 years gabapetin / lyrica is noticed pain worse, inability to function, memory loss, hair loss, weight gain 20+ , numbness in mouth other body parts (I can handle pain, not this).
        I’m taking b vitamin, in addition to a LDN ? Not sure if LDN is making things worse or not? Any suggestions with the tapering of lyrica ? I’m wanting to go off it all and deal with consequences – this is bad what it’s doing to me.

        I’m awful glad my spouse found this site, it’s been awful in my home for all of us

        Victoria

      • Hi Jo
        Oh I am so relieved to hear you coped with the withdrawal from Lyrica. I had brain surgery and suffered debilitating facial nerve pain, eye problems and constant pain from eating or talking. After finally getting a much-sought after referral to the Pain Clinic I was immediately put on Duloxetine and Pregabalin (Lyrica). While a small amount of relief was gained at first (probably more from being heard and understood) I was recommended to up the dose of each. After nearly a year the pain hadn’t really subsided enough to warrant a weight gain of 14lbs (on a small frame) so I decided to come off them slowly. The weight continued to pile on. One day I thought I would just go for it and go through withdrawal. I had no idea how ill it would make me feel – nausea, diarrhoea, sleeplessness, nightmares, loss of appetite and I am only on Day Four so far. But reading your email has given me hope and I shall continue as I believe I must have gone through the worst. A Psychologist I saw said he thought I shouldn’t be on these drugs in the first place and unsurprisingly I felt so much better while I was seeing him. Thank you for giving your support, that is what we really need the money spending on, not more drugs.

  10. Ive been on Lyrica for about three months now. Ive had two torn ligements in my knees,have severe back pain too.Over the years of constant pain after working construction , started drinking, and drinking and drinking . was on vicadin and oxycodone too. Well my drinking got so out of control, ended up with pancreantitis and had to quit. My doctor prescribed me Vivitrol, the shot.Its supposed to block alcohol cravings and block any kind of opiodes, so now i cant take any kind of “real” pain meds, so he put me on tramadol and that lyrica shit.The vivitrol lasts a month , so i have to wait till thats out of my system.As far as that lyrica shit goes with withdrawls,Ill never know cause im getting back on some REAL pain meds!

  11. I took Lyrica 9 pills a day for about a year about 5 years ago. I got to the point where I knew what I wanted to say but the words wouldn’t come out of my mouth. My final straw was being at the store and I was trying to speak to a store clerk to ask where something was but nothing would come out of my mouth. I ran to the restroom and was mortified. The best way I can describe it was like a stroke victim that can no longer speak. My husband and children said I was so moody, they never knew when I would snap and always upset. I was constantly tired and spent tons of time in bed. Fast forward five years to the present time, there are still times when I am unable to get the words out of my mouth. Sometimes I will ask my family questions and then ask them again because I didn’t realize I had asked them. I am on no medication, that was the final medication I was willing to try. I finally found doctors that were more interested in finding the cause of my pain rather than masking it with pills. December of 2015 I had surgery on my obturator nerve. I had a very educated doctor that is the head plastic surgeon that specializes in nerve damage. I was the third patient he has ever done surgery on for the obturator nerve. Here we are exactly two months from the date of my surgery and I am 100% pain free! Best decision of my life. I had many doctors that wanted to just give me gabapentin, lyrica and even pain pills but I chose to not accept that I had to live my life on pills. I am wondering if anyone that has been off this medication for several years like I have has any lasting side effects from them. I am 35 years old and should be losing my memory. I used to remember every single detail about every conversation I had but now I forget that I even had the conversation.

    • Hi shauna, I’m not off them yet but totally understand what you are going through with the speech stuff. I’ve never been the most confident but the last year I have barely spoken to anyone outside of family and a couple of close friends as often mid sentence my mind blanks and it never comes back. I slur and avoid any contact with people for this reason. I’m also convinced my youngest son is slow with learning his speech because of me and that just makes me feel dreadful. I’m sticking at it though, down to a fraction of what I was taking, hopefully I won’t suffer this long term as I’ll never have a career again and my whole family will never have the life back I worked so hard to get them.

      • Wow! I too find it difficult to communicate. I’ve become self conscious when I speak because I can’t find the words that I’m looking for. I will be in the middle of a sentence when all of a sudden, I just have no ability to finish it…. I was worried that I might have some sort of memory issue or something. It’s a comfort to know that the problem with speaking clearly is most likely attributable to the stinkin Lyrica. Thank you for sharing.

      • I have completely stopped taking Lyrica as of August 2016. I am trying to find out what is going on in my brain for the last year, but now that I am off Lyrica, I can’t remember to pick up my son from school. I’m only 41 years old and I feel like I am 90!

    • Shauna, I know this is several months after your post, but I’m wondering how you found this surgeon? Did your family doc recommend or did you find him/her yourself? Was it an expensive surgery? Outpatient, etc.? I’m 4 years with post-herpetic neuralgia and have tried about every drug for this, including the latest on Lyrica, which I’m working at getting off because of side effects and not even that effective. I’m scared to possible\y face the pain full on again when Lyrica is done. I’ve looked into possible surgery but my doc says a Pain Mgmt doc would have to order it. I’ve been there too and all they want to do is drug me to sedation. I’m desperate and willing to try a surgery if there’s a good chance of working. I’m not finding much info online about that though. The info out there is sketchy and not convincing that it’ll work. I can’t waste anymore time or money. Any info from your end would be helpful. Thanks.

  12. Hi everyone, hopefully the earlier posters are clear of the worst. I came here in search of some comfort but only found more people in the same place as me.
    I have been taking a cocktail of pregabalin, codeine phosphate, tramadol and citalopram for the last 18months, in the highest recommended doses (600mg pregabalin, 240-300mg codeine, 400mg tramadol) for (what was believed to be) trigeminal neuralgia. The pains subsided after a particularly long spell of neuralgia so I decided to get off these hideous substances asap to get my life back (for me and my family)
    I tapered off the codeine with little problem. Then came the turn of tramadol and pregabalin, I’ve managed to get down to 200mg pregabalin and 100mg tramadol but I’ve hit a brickwall, I am a fortnight in on the lowest doses I’ve managed and it’s pure hell. As a father of 3 young children I’m really struggling, all the worst withdrawals previously mentioned by others plus more. I haven’t eaten more than a couple of biscuits in a day for well over a week, I’m not sleeping (waking frequently with the shakes and sweats), severe mood swings, constant thumping headache, inability to carry out usual day to day things. My poor girlfriend and kids have been through hell with all my neuralgia etc and now I’m just as useless because of the things that are meant to help. She has to work, kids need me during the day and I’ve just been curled under a blanket for days 🙁
    Depression setting in, empty feeling all day and night, no interest in anything (literally)
    Off to docs to try to get in rehabilitation of some kind tomorrow (if I can muster the energy)

    • Just over a week ago I was here feeling hopeless and defeated. But after some inspiration and a lot of help from my mum I think I’ve cracked it.
      I’ve been in hospital twice, put on a drip to help my hydration levels, lost over a stone (15st down to 13st12lb) and still sweating buckets. I’ve now been over 48hrs without any pregabalin and 72hrs without tramadol and I can feel my old self returning.
      Stick at it and you can get off them. Now I’m concentrating on getting some exercise daily and eating healthier hopefully the sleeping pattern will re establish itself soon. Just thought I’d give an update (even if it is jumbled!)
      I’ll check in again soon, peace.

  13. Thank you for sharing & for your suggestions! Very helpful. I have severe neuropathic pain in my entire right leg due to a failed back surgery. After the failed back surgery, I was paralyzed from the waist down. It took about 2 years before I was able to walk normally again. I had a Neurostimulator installed in my lower back to combat the severe back pain that the back surgery never repaired. The Neurostimulator works really well & helps manage the back pain & the neuropathy in my right leg. Before I had the Neurostimulator installed, I was in so much pain from the neuropathy that I asked my pain Mgmt Doc to help me find a way to block the pain. I was prescribed Lyrica. Unfortunately, the lowest Lyrica dose didn’t improve the Neuropathy, so my Doctor continued to increase the RX strength. My max daily dose was 3(200mg) every day. I couldn’t function… I became a zombie. My performance at work declined & my social life was zero because I had no energy. I finally had it with the zombie feeling & I decided that I would prefer to have the neuropathic pain in lieu of the awful side effects of Lyrica. I’m titrating down to 3(150mg). I am absolutely miserable. I am severely nauseous, have these hot/cold flashes all over my body, & I have an awful headache. It’s been 5 days since I began titrating & still feel like crap. I was hoping that most of the severe WD symptoms would go away after a few days or at least decline in severity but each day the symptoms remain constant. Ugh!! I have been taking the medication since Jan 2013 so maybe that is why the WD symptoms are so uncomfortable & unforgiving. I too wish that my Doc had informed me of the awful side effects associated with Lyrica but I received zero education. Since Lyrica isn’t an opiod, I thought it would be easy to titrate off but things couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s really disgusting that Docs just hand their patients RX’s w/o education.

    One of my Pain Mgmt Docs screwed up & gave me 3(400mg) Lyrica. Thankfully, I just happened to visit my family when I started taking the 400mg pills. My Mother found me passed out & she couldn’t wake me up. She took the pills away & I received medical attention. I’m pretty sure I would have died if my Mother hadn’t intervened. I’m very lucky.

    I have Lidoderm patches that were prescribed for my back pain & I will apply the Lidoderm patch to my leg with neuropathy & see if that will decrease the pain that is now coming back more strongly now that I have cut 25% of my daily dose. Thank you for the Lidoderm Patch suggestion. I hope it’s easier to taper off my last medication (Oxy) & be done with this brain dead zombie feeling. Best wishes & Good Luck to all that are going through WD due to Lyrica taper.

    • I forgot to mention in my post above that I can’t sleep, I have no appetite (good thing since the Lyrica caused me to gain weight), I feel depressed & have a lot of anxiety. My mind continues to obsess about things that I can’t control. I don’t want to do anything active…I too just want to lay under a blanket & sleep until the titration is complete. One day, I actually had suicidal thoughts & that scared me so much since I’m generally a very happy & carefree person when I’m not taking Lyrica & Oxy.

      • Hi,
        I’m the one who wrote the original post from which they put together this blog. I’m pleased that it’s helping some people find their way. It’s been a few weeks since you posted this but I thought I’d reach out.

        Since my taper off Lyrica, I’ve learned that I did it way too fast, tapering 400 in 4 months. I’ve read, I think on this site, that tapering should be done at 10% cuts every month or so similar to benzos. I had to fight my doctor to get a prescription for the smallest available dosage capsule of 25 mg. They told me that I should taper 100 mg at a shot and when I tried, I thought I’d lose my mind. Another thing that made it easier was to calculate the dose equivalent amount of gabapentin (you can google it) and taper that. The smallest dosage of gabapentin is 100 mg which is a less potent amount of drug than 25 mg of Lyrica. It still sucks to taper it but it wasn’t nearly as bad for me as Lyrica.

        It sounds like you are really suffering so slowing down your taper or holding constant at a dose for a while might help. I know you want to be rid of the stuff but don’t let the withdrawal hurt you. You’ll get there eventually.
        I was also on oxy and was so grateful for the stuff since it helped calm the anxiety, agitation, and panic attacks. I’m now pain free and no longer need oxy so I’m tapering off of it with the help of my amazingly supportive orthopedic surgeon who is letting me set the pace. It’s a piece of cake. I just go nice and slow, listen to my body, and don’t even feel it. Everyone’s experience is different and some people have a hard time coming off of oxy but then they don’t know what bad withdrawal is like because they haven’t been through Lyrica hell. All the best!

        • I just stipped lyrica, 2days… i was on 75mg for a month, increased to 150 another month, and 75 mg again fpr two weeks… as per doctor instructions! Two days amd i feel like hell… how can I manage the symptoms? I tk lyrica after Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis, big mistake… how can i ease the widthrwal symptoms? And how long do they last?

        • I just started decreasing my Lyrica doses, I was on 600 mg a day. My side effects are itchy skin, sweating, agitation, shortness of breath and feeling like I want to jump out of my skin. I am thankful that I’m on Oxycodone because it takes the edge off of the withdrawal, and doesn’t seem too bad, so far. This is my 5th day and I have gone from 600 to 300 mg in this time. I’m going to stay on the 300mg for another week and see how I feel. I’ve had an l5 s1 fusion 6 months ago, and was on lyrica for 2 years before that. I feel like the Lyrica actually is making my pain worse, has anybody else had this? Now that I have reduced my Lyrica my pain is reducing.

      • Hi B T.
        I hope you are doing ok. What l know about lyrica tapering is that you have to do it slowly then stay at that level so that your brain and body catch up with each other then lower the dose again and stay with that level for a month and so on…..it has taken me three months to get down from 75mg twice a day to zero. Now the hard stuff is happening for me but l will persevere, l hope you do too God bless and good luck

        • I had endocarditis, septicaemia and discitis in 2014. Operation to stabilise back left me completely numbed down right side and legs feeling as though encased in concrete, loss of balance and tinnitus. GP prescribed Lyrica for back pain and Zopiclone for insomnia. Side effects from Lyrica include drenching sweats day and night. Night cramps in legs. Muscles jumping around in legs. Fuzzy head. Weight gain. Itchy skin. Made decision to try and come off all drugs as felt I was being poisoned. Discussed coming off Lyrica with GP and was advised to reduce from 2 x 150mg to 2 x 75mg daily for one week, then down to 2 x 50mg daily for one week and finally 2 x 25mg daily for last week. Have not had an unbroken night’s sleep for months and was feeling utter despair until I found this site. Referred shoulder pain leaving me exhausted. Now feeling a lot more hopeful but wonder if a month is long enough for total weaning? Stopped Zopiclone without tapering off so have had double whammy but am now going without those. Pain from shoulder was breaking through every night even whilst taking them anyway. Is there light at the end of my particular tunnel? I am 75 years old.

  14. Since the US is tightening up an Opiods, I’d like to know if the other Drug companies are behind this? Yes, I hear we have a lot of illicit use, but the dangers seem tiny compared to the issues I have faced with the new line of drugs. I have never been suicidal or lost my mind on Oxycodone, etc.

    • I so agree with you. The war on drugs is really becoming a war on pain patients. We are treated like abusers and addicts. They have tried to tell us that antidepressants are safer options. NO! So much suffering with withdrawal and anxiety from these horrific drugs. I have refused all these drugs but paid my dues with gabapentin and Lyrica. Lyrica the worst of the two. A year long taper off each. At the end of Lyrica I have been left with painful knotted muscles in my legs. I can’t go for a walk anymore. If I do, I have terrible leg pain the next morning. It’s been four months. I take oxycodone to cover the Lyrica pain. When on 300 mg it altered my gait. I could hardly walk. I hate Lyrica. Pfizer should be sued for so many lives ruined. More succumb to damage to their eyes, hearing, muscles, minds, memories every day.

      • Lyrica has been one of the worst experiences of my life…besides weight gain and ruined eye sight…when I try to taper., which I am currently doing..I am in so much misery it’s almost impossible…God help us…this would make a perfect war time weapon..it’s that bad..and people all over the internet r saying the same ..and yet it continues to be advertised…and promoted on TV..it’s a shameful thing…

  15. I took and am still taking Lyrica for General Anxiety Disorder. My GP recommended I should eventually take 600 mg per day.
    I felt quite well for 1 month and then the initial beneficial effects disappeared and more and more unpleasant side effects showed up.Even my gait became weird and unsteady. Lethargy (extreme) not being the same person, generally feeling unwell and losing my memory. Strangely enough my anxiety actually INCREASED but I was still hoping that the good effects might appear again so I continued for another 8 months. I have now given up on this drug and am weaning myself off it. It is the very worst poison I put into my body ever and I would advise anybody against it. How could such a drug ever make it onto the market????

  16. I have been taking Lyrica for fibromyalgia for one year. It seemed to help, at first. Then, slowly, all the pain and depression and flu-like symptoms reappeared. I tried to titrate down from Lyrica two months ago, them my boyfriend died unexpectedly and I upped the dose again (200 milligrams twice a day; a total of 400 milligrams per day). I would like to get off this terrible drug, but just two days of trying to taper, I felt like I was going to die, to explode inside. My boyfriend died while I was in this state of hell.

    Question: Have any of you switched, gradually or quickly, from Lyrica to gabapentin, then slowly tapered off gabapentin? If so, what was your experience?

    Thank you for your posts. This information is so helpful and makes me feel less alone.

    • Hi,
      I’m the original poster of this article. Towards the end of my taper, I switched to the dose equivalent of gabapentin: 50 mg Lyrica = 300 mg gabapentin.

      Here is the reference: https://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/pharmacy/septoct2005/pregabalin.htm

      I found that tapering gabapentin was easier than Lyrica though it was still tough.

      If you’re looking for a support group that has more activity than here, there is a closed Facebook group called Lyrica Survivors. There are around 1300 people in the group from all over the world dealing with Lyrica problems and is a great place for support.

    • Like you Joanna, I have found this site to be very helpful. It has given me hope of getting some sort of life back. I am 75 and possibly may not have many years left. I would like to enjoy them.

  17. Has anyone tried whilst reducing the Lyrica to start on the neuropathy support formula? If so where can you buy this?
    The original post mentions this but I don’t seem to be able to find it in the UK.
    Do people really find it easier to reduce the amount of pregabeling compared to Lyrica?

    • Hi,
      I’m the one who wrote the original post. Neuropathy Support Formula is now called Nerve Renew. It helps with nerve pain, not really with the Lyrica withdrawal symptoms. It’s made by a company and I think they export to the UK. I put their website as a link below.

      Regarding pregabalin, it’s the generic name for Lyrica. If you meant gabapentin, in my experience, it was easier to taper off of it than off of Lyrica and it’s how I finished the last of my taper. 300 mg gabapentin = 50 mg Lyrica. I attached the link to my source for this conversion.

      Finally, if you are looking for a more active group who have experience dealing with all awful things Lyrica, ask to join the Lyrica Survivor’s group on Facebook. There’s always a lot of activity and it’s a good resource for all your question and also general support as you deal with this drug, it’s side effects, and tapering off of it.

      This is the website for Nerve Renew: http://www.neuropathytreatmentgroup.com/landers/5/

      This is the link on gabapentin conversion:
      https://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/pharmacy/septoct2005/pregabalin.htm

      • Did you actually try Nerve Renew? I have seen this advertised but was unwilling to try OTC treatments without consulting my GP. Does it actually work?

  18. To the moderators of the comment section:

    I’m the one who wrote the original review that you turned into this post. I’m grateful that you’ve helped me get the word out about how problematic Lyrica can be.

    I’d like to ask that you add the paragraph below to the post, if possible. I check in here every once in a while and have read comments from people asking questions and looking for support with Lyrica, however there isn’t much daily activity here but Facebook has a great group that I’d like your readers to know about.

    There is a Lyrica Survivors group that is very active on Facebook. It is a closed group so you will have to ask to join the group. There are currently over 1300 members from all over the world. It’s a great place to ask questions and find support if you are struggling with the side effects and/or withdrawal from Lyrica.

    • I don`t believe lyrica has all of the withdrawal symptoms you say. Scientific research says that while it has some serious side effects , they don´t mention anything of the effects you describe. Properly used it may work for different conditions.

      • Manuel

        By scientific research you mean drug company studies, with complete lack of access to the data?

        DH

      • Manuel,
        I’m the original poster that this blog is based on. While I’m sure there are people for whom Lyrica is very helpful and that they have minimal problems with it, I can say with absolute certainty that nothing I wrote about my experience was exaggerated in any way. The side effects and withdrawal from Lyrica was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life. I continue to call attention to the problems that Lyrica can cause because there are way too many people like you, especially doctors who don’t believe that this can happen. Too many patients are left to deal with this horror on their own. I got through the experience, barely, and now feel strongly that I need to speak up about what happened to me.

      • why don’t you take it for a few months then come off it, then come back to this forum and tell us how you don’t believe it causes all these problems?

        Regardless of what you believe or not, the struggle is real. I only hope that you don’t have to take this drug for anything, or someone you care about!! Such a stupid statement to make! Do you think everyone in this forum is lying?

  19. I have been off Lyrica for 30 months and am not taking any other medication. I have suffered the classic Windows and waves healing over that period. It has been beyond hell. Has anyone else suffered for this long post discontinuation and what are your current symptoms?

    • I took lyrica for six months it was insane, headaches, aggressiveness, anger, suicidal thoughts, hostile burning while urinating, no I have no std, and then the hives came…..I got off withdrawal was worse Thing I’ve ever been through, I had a knee stabilization surgery, and a clean up surgery to follow I’m in constant pain, doctor wana keep doing injections and they DON’T WORK!!!!!
      AMITRIPILINE =ZOMBIE GABAPENTEN=NO MEMORY WHATS LEFT IM 30 CANNOT RUN JUMP PLAY WITH MY SON AT THE PARK GO FOR A LEISURE BOAT RIDE A WALK LONGER THAN 3 BLOCKS…….WHAT CAN I DO WITH MY LIFE NOW????? I LOVE BEING A MOM BUT MY SON WILL BE IN SCHOOL AND I WANT A JOB, I CANT SIT OR STAND TOO LONG NEED CONSTANT COMPRESSION. SUGGESTIONS?????

  20. I’m currently taking lyrica for post herpetic neuralgia. Going on 4 years. Started lyrica in December. Currently taking 150mg 2/day. I want off this badly. But I’m scared of the nerve pain flaring up out of control again. I’ve tried everything available for this pain and nothing works. Lyrica controls more than the rest but the memory issues, slow thinking, lack of emotion, and just knowing it changes brain chemistry and possibly permanent changes just have me spooked. My husband is against my stopping this. I haven’t told my doc yet either. Why keep taking it if it doesn’t work al the time anyway and the side effects suck!
    I have several days left before renewal. I also have several days left of 75mg since doc increased dosage,
    I forgot to take my night dose last two nights because I worked so late. So since I already lost those, I figured I’d just start trying this now. But I’m really scared too. This pain is relentless and disabling. I add narco for pain as needed. Doc is ok refilling it since she knows me and my situation. Anybody think this is a good idea?

    • Hi Mer,
      You might want to try B vitamins and Alpha Lipoic Acid, which has been shown to help with peripheral neuropathy. I take this stuff called Nerve Renew that I buy online that I’ve found to really help my neuropathy from spinal cord damage. It doesn’t have any side effects and is worth a shot. They also sell another product called Nerve Repair Optimizer that helps with the bad flare ups I get at night. If you can point to where your pain is, prescription Lidoderm patches can really help with that.

      Norco can definitely make the neuropathic pain more manageable and your doctor is absolutely right that it is a reasonable thing to take. I don’t know if they told you (nobody told me about it) that Norco has acetominophen in it so make sure that you don’t take more than 3000 mg/ day of acetominophen per day since above that dose, it can cause liver damage. (The dosage of acetominophen is the second bigger number on the side of the bottle in mg.) As long as you stick to the Norco daily prescribed dosage and don’t take cold/flu medication or Tylenol, you will stay below this acetominophen dosage and will be fine. As far as addiction risk, keep an eye on your dosage and your psychological response to taking it and don’t increase it without discussing it with your doctor but don’t be overly worried about it. I found that opioids helped me taper off of Lyrica since it helped calm down the terrible panic attacks and agitation I experienced. Tapering off of opioids was a piece of cake and I barely noticed any withdrawal symptoms at all.

      If the side effects from Lyrica bother you then tapering to a lower dose is a good idea and there is no reason that your doctor shouldn’t support you with this. If you get to a lower dosage and you can’t control the pain in some other way, you can always increase your dosage again. None of your decisions are permanent choices! You don’t have to completely taper off of it since even going to a slightly lower dose can help with the side effects that are bothering you. Make sure you listen to your body and don’t try to taper too fast because it’ll be too awful.

      Not refilling a prescription and trying to do a rapid taper is probably a bad idea and the side effects would probably be unbearable. With regard to tapering, nobody told me that when you taper off of a drug like Lyrica, you can get something called rebound pain where the pain flares up to a higher level and then settles back down after a while. Once I understood that this was what I was experiencing, it was a bit easier to live with and I was also lucky in that it did diminish over a few weeks. Again, the B vitamins/ alpha lipoic acid and oxycodone (in your case Norco) helped me get through it.

      I hope this helps!
      Take care,
      piros444

  21. Mer, have you tried speaking frankly to your doctor? I know that’s not always possible … at least once I have been forced to make changes without telling the doctor, because they made it clear they would not listen to my concerns. But maybe you could start by discussing lowering your dose, and describe the side effects that are causing you such trouble. The doc might at least agree to that, and prescribe 75 mgs again. Which would give you more options for tapering off entirely if you have to.

    Try filling out a RxISK Report on this website. It can be really useful to assess whether the memory and mood problems are really due to the Lyrica — and convincing your doctor (if they’re willing to listen at all). Might help get past those automatic, “oh-I’m-sure-that’s-due-to-something-else-not-the-drug” reactions.

    Tapering off the drug slow and steady really is the way to go. More than once I’ve missed a dose by accident and then figured, well, I survived, so why not just stop right here? Usually a mistake. And if you do use Norco (hydrocodone) to cope with the pain coming off, KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN. It’s a synthetic opiate and very addictive, which of course you know. Avoid thinking of it as a permanent solution, and watch out for any feeling you need to up the dose …

    The Lyrica withdrawal Facebook page may have a lot of good ideas. (My own drug withdrawal experiences have been with antidepressants and amphetamines not Lyrica.) Best of luck!

  22. Took 9 weeks of tapering diazepam for gad that was ok then started on Pregabalin at only 50 mg day as I’m very sensitive to meds I have diabetes not too badly and fibromyalgia more fatigue based than pain only on Pregabalin for 14 days made me feel really bad with pm bleeding sore bleeding piles low blood platelets tiredness insomnia have had for about 9 months wobbly gait dizziness in morning will never go near this med again

  23. Hello everyone
    I am 20 yrs and i have been taking pregabalin 75 mg per day 10 tablets. And i have been doing this from 4-5 months .

    I was introduced to this drug by my friend for getting high.

    It felt good in 1st month and for some reason i was unable to get the drug . then i started experiencing those symptoms.

    so i arranged the drug somehow and never missed a day taking it.

    Now i want to just stop it.

    but i can’t

    done this 2 times

    1st time by cutting down when i reached at 5 tablets per day that day was horrible so at end of the day i had to take one more tab

    at night i realised that i can’t stop it next morning went back to 10

    yesterday i didn’t took any

    and went a long way from my home and didn’t took any pill with me..

    My stomach started panning at starting then i started sweating then headache then blury vision.

    after half the day was passed i loose my control on not going back home. .

    went back home took the pills .

    i want to stop it
    help me
    what should i do
    how should i do

    • Hi triple s,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. It sounds like your body has become physically dependent on a very high dose of Lyrica. 750 mg/day is a much higher dose than what doctors usually prescribe. To get off this drug, you will have to taper slowly. Try cutting 10% at a time, which is just one capsule, no more. You will feel awful for probably several days but it will probably be manageable. Let your body adjust until you feel well then cut another 10%. Trying to completely cut Lyrica off cold turkey or by 50% is horribly difficult and could even cause you long term physical damage as many stories I’ve read will describe. I think slow and steady is the way to go.

      Since you started taking Lyrica to get high, I think it is very important for you to also address this issue. Because you have already abused one type of drug, you are at risk of the same behavior with others. Whatever you do, don’t try to dig yourself out of this hole by using/ abusing another drug to do it. This is how many young people end up deep in drug addiction and then sometimes even dying from overdoses.

      You have called out for help, which is a really good sign. I would highly recommend finding a psychologist who specializes in addiction to help guide you. A sympathetic, knowledgeable person can make this difficult process easier to bear. He/ she can also help you work through why you started abusing Lyrica in the first place. You should also join the Facebook Lyrica Survivors page. There are lots of kind and helpful people there who can help support you.

      Please take care of yourself and stay safe!
      Piroska

  24. I want to thank all you brave people for sharing your experiences! I’m here because my elderly 4-pound chihuahua has been on lyrica for neck pain for about 7 months and he went from being a cheerful little guy to a complete zombie who wanders around the terrace lost and bumping into things. It’s getting worse and how he can’t find his way around the house either. I started weaning him off the lyrica about 4 weeks ago and it’s hard to do just 10% per month since that would mean over a year to get him off, and he’s so old he may not have a year left. Plus he can’t talk and tell me how badly he’s feeling. He’s done a lot of shivering and I can tell when he wakes up in the morning that he needs his “fix” … I call him my doggie with the DTs. He’s had nausea too. Has anyone else had stuffy nose as part of the tapering?

    To those suffering from anxiety, just a little thing about me which may or may not apply to you. Please don’t take offense; I’m trying to help! I suffered from terrible anxiety as a young person and found that Gestalt / primal scream therapy really helped. Generalized anxiety is like a pressure cooker. You have pain inside but you can’t express it because there’s a lid holding it in. My pain came from my mother’s death, but people have all kinds of reasons for pain. Just living in the world today can be very painful. Gestalt and primal scream therapy help you to blow some of it off. Try an experiment. Get on the freeway with the windows rolled up and scream. Just scream and scream and scream until you can’t scream any more. Simple experiment, see if it helps.

    Warmly,
    Helen

  25. thx for reply piros444

    as i mentioned i did it in cold turkey way
    like

    9 tabs-2days
    8tabs-2days
    7-2
    6-2
    5
    this day i loose control the feeling was awful and i think i can’t describe it.

    so again went back to 10

    what else can i do?

    can you mention any plan that i should follow

    so that i can cut it down within one month.

    • Hi again triple s,

      Unfortunately, I am not an expert on tapering off of Lyrica so all I can do is tell you what little I know from my own experience and what I’ve read about the experience of others. I tapered from 400 mg/ day to 0 mg/ day in 4 months cutting in 25 mg doses every week or so. I found this to be barely manageable with regard to the withdrawal but it was pretty horrible and looking back on it, I should have done it much more slowly. What you are trying to do isn’t what is known as cold turkey, which means that you stop all together without tapering. You’ve tried that without success so now you are trying to taper, which is a better way to go.

      You managed to get to 6 tablets per day then at 5 per day, it became too hard and you went back to the original dosage of 10 per day. This indicates that you are trying to taper too fast and undid all the tapering you accomplished in the previous days. You might try cutting 1 tablet per day and staying there for a week until the side effects aren’t so bad. Then cut 1 tablet again and stay with it until you feel better, and so on. From what you’ve described, you are trying to taper too fast and end up back where you started because of it so you are not accomplishing what you want to do.

      Remember, that as you get to a lower and lower dosage, a 1 tablet/ day cut becomes a larger and larger percentage cut of the dosage you are at. So, when you taper 1 tablet/day from 10 tablets/ day (1/10) that is a 10% taper. When you cut from 6 tablets/ day to 5 tablets/day that is a 17% taper (1/6), 1 tablet/day to 4 tablets/ day is a 20% taper (1/5), going from 2 to 1 is a 50% taper. This means that as you get to a lower and lower dosage, each taper becomes a bigger percentage cut and will be harder to do.

      If you are taking tablets, a solution to this increasing percentage problem is to cut the tablets in half with a sharp knife or pill cutter so that you taper a smaller percentage making the side effects of the withdrawal less awful. If you are taking capsules with powder inside it, you can try carefully pulling a capsule apart and pouring out part of the capsule then put it back together with the partial fill. You can carefully save the powder in a dry small container and buy some other cheap capsule over the counter drug like some vitamin or herbal supplement, dump out the contents and partially fill it with the saved Lyrica. Another thing I’ve read others have tried (I never did) was to make a suspension of the powdered drug from the capsule in water so that you can taper at a lower percentage. You can Google this, if you want more information on it.

      Unfortunately, from everything you’ve described, your goal of getting off your high dosage in one month is just not reasonable. Remember that you aren’t taking a traditional drug of abuse such as cocaine, heroin, etc. so if you turn to a doctor, psychologist, or drug abuse counselor, they definitely won’t judge you because what you are dealing with isn’t anywhere as bad as what others they treat are dealing with and they will be happy to help you. You said you are 20 years old. I’m a high school teacher and can tell you that if a former student turned to me to ask for help with a problem like yours, I would definitely do what I could to find help for him or her. So, please think about people who have been in your life: relatives, friends, neighbors, faith leaders, former teachers, etc. Is there someone who you can turn to who can help you deal with all this? One of the side effects of Lyrica that you probably can’t feel right now is that it can really affect your ability to think clearly and rationally and to make good choices. I certainly struggled with this when I was taking it and when I was tapering off of it. So, this could explain why you keep trying the same taper system over and over again without getting to a lower dosage longer term. Another person who cares about you could help you make better decisions because I think right now, as with me and so many others, Lyrica is affecting your ability to think clearly.

      I really think you need to accept that you will need to do this taper much more slowly than you would like. Unfortunately a tough withdrawal with tapering is a common side effect with Lyrica for many people who take it, no matter how you got there. Also, from what I experienced and from what I’ve read from what others have experienced, tapering too fast from Lyrica can cause major depression and even suicidal thoughts. This drug affects your brain to a major extent and you have to slowly pull it away to give your brain a chance to adjust to not having it around. If you try to do it too fast, you won’t be able to stand it and end up going back to a higher dosage, which you’ve experienced several times now. If you try to taper too fast it can potentially cause long term damage to your brain function.

      I hope this helps you understand what you are facing. Again, try tapering more slowly, cutting 1 pill or capsule every week or so. Wait until the side effects become manageable before you cut another pill. Go slowly and let your body adjust. Remember that every pill you can cut and not go back to your last dose is one step towards your goal. Don’t think about getting to 0 because that’s too far away of a goal. Think about just one pill less, wait for your body to adjust so that that is now your new dosages and you don’t have to go back to the last dose. Then, think about just the next pill to cut and not further. Again, wait for your body to get used to it. You will get to 0 eventually but it will take several months at the very least.

      I hope this helps.
      Take care and stay safe!
      piros444

  26. My Mom completed suicide a year ago while being on Lyrica for years. Should I report this to someone? If the information would prevent a future suicide, it is worth it

    • I am so sorry for your loss! Unfortunately, you are not alone in this nightmare. I’ve heard of completed suicide from both taking a constant dose of Lyrica and especially when tapering off the stuff.

      Yes, absolutely, report this to Pfizer, to your mother’s doctor, and to anyone else who will listen. Suicidal ideation and completed suicide are becoming more known as horrifying side effects of Lyrica, yet many doctors don’t know this yet. I’ve heard so many patients reporting the same experience I had, with major depression and serious suicidal ideation and that doctors simply don’t believe us when we turned to them for help with these severe side effects.

      If you can stand to deal with it, please join me in screaming your experience from the rooftops to anyone who will listen. I’m the original poster of this blog. While my pain doesn’t remotely begin to approach yours, knowing that I’ve helped spread the word about the terrible potential side effects of Lyrica has helped make some sense of my own suffering with regard to the terrible potential side effects of this drug. If this forum has made your own suffering a tiny bit less terrible then I’ve accomplished far more than I originally hoped to accomplish when I originally wrote my comments.

      All the best,
      piros444

      • This was written by a young teenager who committed suicide, and was later found by her mother after her death.

        “What has my life become? A never-ending struggle to do the instinctive, mundane tasks that should be carefree.” “But this is what I spend my worry on. Whether I can make it to the next activity, task, hour, conversation, smile. No one knows what it’s like.” End of quote.

        I wish I could put my arms around that young woman and say that I understand. How I wish.
        I really think we need to get real about our weaknesses. The appointments we can’t make, times we cannot keep. For myself, I experienced that people DO NOT understand, NOR accept. Now, I just say, I cannot make it, at least that is HONEST with ME. Seems like that goes a LONG ways, and I feel better for it. I try to accept the small but precious life I have.

  27. My husband had neck surgery and was prescribed Lyrica about 3-weeks post-op for the nerve pain he was still experiencing. He took his last dose after 30-days (no one said anything about tapering). Yesterday he said he was so tired. Like he just couldn’t wait to lie down. He also felt feverish and looked pale. In the night, he awoke with severe nerve pain in his neck. It’s this common? Will it subside?
    Thanks for any input.

  28. Prescribed Lyrica this may for anxiety 75mg x 2 daily, how I wish had never agreed to take this drug. Took for 4 weeks felt sick and dizzy, told gp wished to stop and was told could stop uimmediately, queried this but was reassured ok. I experienced cramps, insomnia, dry eyes, racing heart, now tinnitus, extreme suicide ideation, all these problems went on my notes as depression and anxiety, no gp would listen about the withdrawal effects, have been off work, muscles are wasting, can’t read or function, have no energy feels like am dying, so scared, friends find hard to understand and say am depressed, I just want to scream and cry but can’t.

  29. all I can say is how can anyone allow anybody to suffer in this way and not be accountable, I have been on lyrica 100mg x2 now for just over a year , the first time I took it I felt high for 24 hours which was a lovely break from the anxiety that I had been suffering , then after a few weeks I started to have low moods blurred vision and feelings of fatigue , 6 months after taking it I decided that I needed to come of it as it was not treating my anxiety and just causing me to suffer in different ways , well over 6 months I have managed to get down to 90 mg and the suffering I have endured is of a biblical proportion , the deep dark depression , the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness the anxiety has increased 10 fold , but what is worse of all is the suicidel thought and idealations that it has brought with it , when you have a ,loving family and a good life to be struck with this is unbelievable it has got so bad that I had to get proper help as I thought that I was a risk to my self , the nausea ,headaches sweating not sleeping I can live with they are not pleasant but compared to the rest they are liveable , what have I ever done to anyone so bad that they needed to inflict so much pain on me , my only crime was asking a doctor for help with my anxiety , please think twice before using this medication if I can spare just one person from this hell it will have been so worth it ,

    • dear terry, I too have been on pregab 2x 100 mg a day, but recently reduced slightly I can’t tell whether the suicidal thoughts, vertigo like symptoms were me or the medication, or another med, anyway I’m on less now. hope your unbearable symptoms have receded and you are on sensible meds and dosages.

  30. Hello, I have been on Lyrica for about 4 months and am about to have major surgery in three days. I forgot to ask the Dr whether it is safe to have the operation whilst on this drug. Dose 75mg twice a day. Does anyone know the answer to this, as I am afraid to ask the Dr at this late stage. I certainly don’t want the Op to be cancelled.

    I, too have been experiencing big changes such as very blurry vision, inability to remember things, general confusion and thinking that I may be getting Altzeimer’s disease or that the symptoms might be coming from one of my heart drugs or the statin I am also on. However after reading these posts I believe that Lyrica is to blame.

    I think I will just go ahead and have the operation and keep quiet about being on this awful drug and start titration after getting over the surgery. Hopefully being on it will not cause anything bad too happen.

    Thanks, Jo-an

  31. Following attendances at gp surgery querying debilitating side effects of lyrica predominantly swollen, painful, tired and unresponsive eyes, swollen face, tinnitus, all dismissed as impossible, I am now on record as requiring mental health assessment. Distraught, suicidal ideation throughout, researching methods, so exhausted haven’t slept since May, catch 22 situation, the capsules – red and black – did not even match the description on the leaflet, they could have been anything. I believe I have been poisoned. How wish could turn clock back, the constant discomfort affects every day.

  32. I was a perfectly healthy 47-year-old when I suffered a C6/C7 spinal cord injury 20 months ago. I am now a quadriplegic with two young kids suffering a great deal of emotional and physical trauma which makes it difficult to sift through what is causing various symptoms. I have been on Lyrica from the very beginning in the hospital when I wasn’t even coherent enough to know what I was taking. I have asked my physicians about getting off this medication all of whom have recommended against it due to the pain they believe I will suffer. I am incredibly grateful to find this post and all of the comments. I mistakenly missed my last five doses (Just 1 1/2 days) for the first time ever and have been suffering terribly. I’ve been trying to figure out what is causing my suffering and decided to Google this issue once I realized the missed doses. Gratefully, I am going to try to get off this medication slowly as recommended here and using some of the suggested alternatives. I’m going to insist that my doctors help me. Thank you all so much and wish me luck. Keep me in your prayers. I will do the same for you and write in with any useful updates.

  33. Now diagnosed with depressive episode, monitored closely like having guards, nobody interested in hearing about lyrica side effects. Have lost patience of GP surgery. I wasn’t like this before taking lyrica. I had a personality, could work, think, talk, laugh, read, watch tv, walk outside, go to cinema, go for meals, sleep well. My heart is broken. My son’s heart is broken, he’s lost his mum and our life. It is a nightmare of Kafkaesque proportion. I can observe my disinterest in life, the weight and effort of movement, the lethargy and confusion, I just can’t change it or bring myself back. I wish I had my life back. The noises in my head are horrible, the suicidal thoughts endless, the days terrifying, the nights worse.

  34. I have been on lyrica for 3 years now for bad anxiety. I was better, mentally. Now I realize I was feeling high all along. I had a job, went back to school and stuff. But also gained 50 lbs. I took 150 mg in the morning and 150 mg + 50 mg at night. A month ago I stopped the 50 mg cold turkey and suddenly I couldn’t leave my bed, nausea, everything was hurting. I absolutely love school but I had to stop a few weeks ago ’cause I had no motivation anymore. I can barely leave my bed.

    I’m an ex-smoker, but I can easily say that it’s a real joke next to stopping lyrica. Now i’m focusing on getting my life back on track.

    I really feel bad for each and everyone of you. This drug is hell and should’nt be suggested.
    the side effects and withdrawal are a nightmare.
    i reduced the mg a few weeks ago and people already notice a weight loss….

    I really hope you guys are hanging in there! Its one hell of a fight, but I want to believe that it’s gonna be worth it in the end.

  35. I contacted Pfizer today to ask why the capsules I took – 75mg red and black – did not match the leaflet description – white and orange. Was told they don’t do red & black capsules and that this is not normal, an urgent enquiry of the batch number has been raised. Told my gp about this today.

  36. Omg!! I’ve finally found out what can only be described as a nightmare, for me! Lyrica! I’ve been using this drug on and off for about 5yrs, prescribed for nerve pain in my neck. During the yrs I have never noticed any withdrawal symptoms, then 3 months ago I started decreasing the amount I was taking, I decided I no longer wanted to be on it since I am on percocet. I started having the worst nausea of my entire life, then the headaches started, the 2 combined caused me to think suicide. For 3 months I thought maybe I had cancer. I racked my brain trying to figure out why I’d been so sick. Thank God I decided to look up Lyrica and it’s side effects. I will never take this drug again and will certainly never praise it as a wonder drug, as I have in the past!!!!!

  37. Please be aware that Lyrica can be re-imported into the UK from other countries and Europe by ‘parallel’ companies. Check everything adds up as counterfeit pharmaceuticals can make their way into the supply chain. This may have happened in my case, Lyrica which was ‘re-imported from Slovakia, but I foolishly did not scrutinise the information. The importing company does not have a legitimate contact number on their website which is worrying. Am left with life changing side effects which may or may not be from Lyrica and very sad. Pfizer have been very interested and reported the matter to the medicines and health care regulatory agency who will investigate. Unfortunately no capsule left for them to test so goodness knows what I consumed, whether it was Lyrica and if so how much. My life is a nightmare as have been unable to work and the stress is hard to bear.
    Unfortunately no sample capsule

  38. I’ve been on 75mg for the past 18 weeks due to nerve pain in my spine. About 5 weeks ago I began getting confused at work, having panic attacks and since been slowly weened off but side effects have been exactly what everyone has discribed on here! If I hadn’t read all of your info, I would believe I was psychotic. Thanks for all your help guys. I’ve got an app. tomorrow with my gp. I was supposed to have a dose tonight but I’m not going to do that to my body. I feel like I’d be poisoning myself. Here’s hoping I can find a safer alternative.

  39. It’s not that the physicians don’t realize what this family of drugs (Gabapentin & Lyrica) is doing to the patient. Sadly, it’s that they seem to care less and less as they continue to greedily pad their pockets from the Pharmaceutical Companies. TRUTH! Western Medicine has been compromised from the inception of the compound labs. Use your God given “wise-dome” and research natural remedies FIRST. God gave us everything we need to heal ourselves on this planet!! Be encouraged. YOU can live a naturally healthy life.
    If anything, try marijuana for pain along with turmeric root for inflammation for starters along with exercise and a cleaner more organic diet.

    Believe me, I popped a pill for everything for 49 years until I finally had an awakening.
    Western medicine is killing us good people!!! WAKE UP!!!!!!

  40. I was on Lyrica 13 yrs due to hormone imbalance migraines from a complete Hysterectomy. I was taking 150mg 3 x’s a day=450mg. It got to the point where the side effects were worse than the migraines. My Neurologist did not want me to stop, but I put my foot down. I tapered down slowly for 9 months, going down 25-50 mg every 3 weeks. On 10/26/2016 took my last pill, I went for 28 days with no problems and then insomnia came knocking at my brain, from 10/24/2016 – 12/02/2016 got only 1 or 2 hours of sleep, went to ER BIG MISTAKE, I wanted a shot to help me sleep, but Doctor insisted on Zolpidem for 5 days, I slept, but come day 6 all HELL broke loose, burning skin and tingling, OMG, day 7, 6 hours of sleep, now it is day 7-8 no sleep for 2 days, I am at my wits end and beginning to not trust Doctors anymore. Lyrica withdrawal is pure HELL, I am sure in a few more weeks possible 4-8 weeks this will stop, I hope. My poor husband can’t take this anymore. I have tried OTC sleep aids does not help. Sooner or later my body will get tired and I will start sleeping again, PLEASE someone HELP.

  41. Denise, so sorry to hear you are suffering so badly, I have experienced this and they are desperate, dark days indeed. I too begged my gps for help. It will end, though it feels like it never will. Meanwhile take care of the things you can control, healthy food, water, walks etc. Wishing you all the best.

    • Thank you for your response, I am about through 11 weeks of withdrawal, not tingling as much, occasionally have some night sweats, insomnia comes & goes, but getting better. I was only getting 1 or 2 hours of sleep, then I got a weeks worth, during Christmas I did not sleep for 4 days straight, when we got home I slept for 8 days & now I have not slept for 2 days due to night sweats. I am sure this will soon end, but in the meantime I fill like crawling under a rock.

  42. I am so grateful to have found this site.
    2 1/2 years ago my doctor suggested Lyrica with the proviso, ‘if you can tolerate it.’ That should have rung alarm bells. I have tried to tolerate it hoping that my pudental nerve pain would get better. In fact it has got worse and the side effects, even though I was originally on a low dose (100mg at night), have been very unpleasant. I have managed to reduce the dose down to 75 mg at night but the withdrawal is still horrid. What is very interesting is that I have been battling blood pressure with an increased heart rate. I now realise, with much research, that this must be caused by withdrawal effects from Lyrica. I know this as I have carefully tailored my life to make sure that I should not be suffering from BP. Getting off Lyrica completely is really important as I don’t want to be on BP meds too long. Has anyone else been suffering with elevated BP and increased heart rate since being on Lyrica? Best Wishes and Thank you!!

    • Yes, my blood pressure was up after stopping Lyrica 9 days ago. I been on it for over 12 months for nerve pain from shingles in my eye and forehead/scalp which developed into PHN. I was on 6 X 75 mg pills per day. Tried getting off about 6 months ago by reducing 1 pill every 3 days. By the time I got down to 0 I had to get back on them because of the withdrawal effects. After everything stabalized again I started all over again get off them reducing down from 6X75mg one pill ever two weeks or so. My last pill was on Dec 15,,,,,,,,this has taken over 3 months…I am still having withdrawal effects, trouble sleeping, constant nausea. As far as the pain goes it has increased a little bit but is bearable much better than staying on lyrica.

      I wish I knew how long the nausea will last? Anyone have ideas it is awful.

      Let me know.

      Thanks

  43. I to have had an increase in BP readings since going off Lyrica 10 days ago.

    I have been on 6X75mg for 15 months or so for nerve pain from shingles in my left eye and forehead that developed into phn. Tried going off it this summer by tapering down a pill every three days but the withdrawal effects once I got off the last pill were so bad I started using it again 6X75mg.
    For the last three months tapered off 1 pill every two weeks or so and have been totally off Lyrica for 10 days. Have had withdrawal effect of sweats,chills, nausea, twitching etc. The pain has increased a little but not much. My short term memory is improving.

    Does anyone have any experience how long the nausea lasts, I am not eating much?

    The side effects of Lyrica that I had while taking it was, Twitching, memory loss, weight gain (which I am now losing due to the nausea). It is a very rough drug to be on and seem is also as rough to get off of.

    Thanks.

  44. Was on Lyrica 13 yrs., I had a complete hysterectomy in 2001 & 2003 I started having migraines due to a hormone imbalance. I started with 75 mg 3 x’s a day & gradually went up to 150mg 3 x’s a day. The side effects from the Lyrica we’re getting worse than the migraines.
    I am 59 now, The migraines are going away I have not had one now in over a year. I taper down very slowly going down 10% every three weeks, which took me nine months to come off Lyrica. The withdrawal symptoms have been “PURE HELL”, I have been off completely now 10 weeks (01/04/2017). I have experience insomnia, hot and cold flashes, anxiety and burning and tingling of the nerve endings in my body all over. I have started sleeping again and the nervousness is starting to taper off and the Exide he’s tapering off I am still tingling a little but not as much I go about for five days and tingle very little and then about the fourth or fifth day I’ll have about 15 hours of tingling in one day. I hope that within the next 6 weeks all this Will stop completely.

  45. My wife, mother of 6 ages 2-10, was abusing Lyrica for six months after the Dr. switched her to help her move off Oxycontin. She would abuse by taking thirty (30) at a time after reading up on how to get high off this stuff. Then she would suffer through withdrawals and try to figure out how to get more. She would get open sores on her legs, back face and arms. One had to be lanced. Then for two months, before all this came to light, she started making Poppy Seed tea in the laundryroom, which she says was way worse than the Oxy she had been abusing. Doctor now has her taking one 50mg Lyrica per day to taper, which I control. With the tea and Lyrica she had a resting heart rate of 120, slept 15 hours a day, slurred speech and a lazy eye. After two weeks she is still having detox pains, but now the mental aspects of addiction are at the forefront of the battle. She started an outpatient program for women this week and AA. I can see the women i married now and am shocked at how bad this secret had been for her.

  46. I am a so called “junior” doctor with 10 years postgrad and I really had no idea about the withdrawal effects of neither pregbalin nor gabapentin. Never prescribed them though. Don`t you think that your doctor will know much about side effects of medicines please! We only know what we are told to know. If a phrama company withholds information about a side effect of a good selling drug how do you expect that doctors would be knowing about that? Seriously? It is a money driven business where people`s lives on the platter. Doctors are blinded by the pharma company and the demand from patients are excessive. Think first a bit before you blame your doctors! If you think there is a serious side effect go to https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/ and fill out a form. It is you the patient who will know the best what the side effect are not your doctor!

    • doctor-
      I understand that doctors can’t be expected to know everything, however the almost inevitable response from doctors when we present with terrible side effects or hellish withdrawals from medications like Lyrica is to tell us that we’re depressed, or it’s all in our heads, or we’re making it up, or other people do fine. The worst of you told me straight up to stop wasting their time.

      Read through the comments here and you’ll hear countless stories of us being ignored or dismissed. The truth is, the vast majority of you simply don’t want to hear us. You see us as stupid and hysterical liars.

      After being betrayed by so many of you, I simply don’t trust doctors anymore. I find my own solutions and if I need help from a doctor I go and politely tell him what my problem is and what solution I need. He writes the appropriate prescription and I’m on my way within five minutes. He then gets to charge my insurance $285 for typing what I told him to and signing his name. Medicine is one hell of a racket!

  47. It is understandable that gps may not know the whole situation re side effects of medication, but they are recommending products and in my view it would not be unreasonable to expect that gps show some interest in what’s being reported about a product that is going to have significant impact on cognitive functioning. It is also questionable, in my view, whether the appropriate response to a desperate patient reporting withdrawal is ‘well you’re depressed’ or you’re stressed’ or ‘the medication is out of your system’. They did not listen. I had two empathetic responses in four months. One from a call out gp who told me a prescription for Lyrica would NOT have been the first response to someone presenting with my symptoms and certainly not for someone who was working full time. Second from the fantastic OH practitioner. How lucky I was that he knew about this pernicious medication and ‘got’ my situation. I was saved from losing my employment and potentially my home. This is serious, patients are simply asking to be heard.

  48. I have been suffering from chronic Migranious Neraligia .Chronic Migrane/Cluster Headaches.A localised chronic/pain that runs from the back of my right eye to my brain and seems to affect my neck the pain can last for hours and days..the periods in between are like dull pain(feels like i have a sharp scewer pushing on my Brain) .Over the years I have given up consumables that will trigger this such as,alcohol,cigarettes,all processed sugar etc…however there are many other triggers.. such as extremes in climate,solvents,unexpected stressful events..etc where i cannot escape this crippling pain
    After years of trying other medications,none of which worked(sorry, codeine and paracetamol..panedine forte works(sort of), but this is only a dull band aid..however it works , i am acutley aware of the pitfalls of opiates and stay away )
    I was prescribed Lyrica approx 18 months ago..I asked the questions from the outset..What are the side effects? and can i jump off if required
    2 doctors and my neurosurgeon told me quite clearly..There are no side effects..and you can easily stop at any time..in fact my neurosurgeon proudly proclaimed that i could safely stay on this for the rest of my life..
    So i ended up taking approx 300mg per day..150 im morning and 150 at night.For the first 2 months it seemed to be working and i had relief,but the side effect seemed large but i could apparently seem to ignore these( ringing ears..loss of memory..lerthargic..and i felt i was loosing my mind)
    Spurred on by the belief my doctor told me i could stay on lyrica for the rest of my life ..consequence free . went to see my doctor and told her i felt it was not working after 12 moths and she proposed i increase my dose to 600mg per day
    Well,the past summer here in Australia we were experiencing many heatwaves like we have never seen..35-42 C days, day after day..My headaches were increasing and out of control and the lyrica was not working for over 12 months now and it felt like it was making thisngs worse, it seemed like the drug it was doubling back on me,i felt unwell in my body and mind.I realised this is a serious drug ,so i did some research online.. and was aghast at the people who were telling their stories of depression,withdraw and i was shit scared.I have been in withdrawal from opiates and knew something of withdrawl.
    So i made my mind up and told my wife.I knew this would be difficult as i have my own business and 2 small kids too.
    I rang the local detox Unit and asked if they could help..they said no it was not a recognized drug…so i was on my own.There was no way i was going to any doctors for any more advice
    I made my mind up 16 days ago the first 3 days i halved my dose and then… jumped off cold..Locked myself in my office with a matress 12 days ago..the withdrawals were the worst..i was crippled,sweats, diahore,madness,isombnia,grinding nausea…and of course the reason why i took the medication was for headaches now they were worse than ever….couldn’t work..cant communicate
    Today I am getting better really slowly..it is one step forward and 2 steps backwards… after 12 days Lyrica free..i dont think i will be ready to go back to work next week. If i try and push myself it goes back to bad quickly.
    yesterday is the first time i could go out with my family, and after 2 hours i was a wipe out and couldn’t communicate very well.But My ears are still ringing but not nearly as bad,i am feeling emotions again.The pins and needles are lessening as the days go past
    But … you can do this!!! you can withdraw from Lyrica cold turkey !!.
    In fact i would not want to do it the other way ,it was like extending the agony in the first few days when i was in withdrawal and taking the half dose..I am glad the drug is nowhere near my body and the dollars ane nowhere near the drug companies.
    What does this drug do to you to be so bad for withdrawal??does it store in your fats to come out at a later date..this drug is truly evil.
    Lyrica is Just another side effect of the propaganda industrial civilization /capitalism requires to prop up the big players at the expense of the consumers.they only care for finacial returns..yet these are Human stories..unbelieveable
    You can do this ! and the sooner the better for me.. it is all uphill from here without lyrica in my life.All the best in your Journey
    And what for my headaches?..no idea..but i will not believe the doctors anymore the Lyrica was increasing my headaches in the end.

  49. I’ve been taking Lyrica now for a while, titrated up from 400mg per day to 450mg per day recently for nerve pain in the right leg that presents as a burning sensation. I’ve been getting really bad wobbly head, vertigo type symptoms, plus anxiety and panic attacks. Also really bad heartburn and also dry mouth and peeing loads. It does mask the burning in my leg, but I am wondering if the trade off between the benefits and the side effects is really worthwhile.

    • Hi Peter, the trade-off is not worthwhile at all. There are thousands and thousands of Lyrica users and former users who all say the same thing. Lyrica is a poison and the side-effects are numerous and horrendous.
      Go to the Lyrica Survivors Group on Facebook. It is a closed group. They have over 4000 members and are looking for testimonials to bring a class-action lawsuit against Pfizer. Very reputable group with members worldwide, and lawyers who are gathering information.

    • I have a nerve injury and know that burning feeling well. Lyrica helped but the trade off of side effects wasn’t worth it. I take B vitamins and alpha lipoic acid and gabapentin. The other thing I’ve found recently is kratom, a ground up tree leaf from SE Asia that is a relative of the coffee plant. It’s legal in most US states and you can get more info from the American kratom association. I order it online from a local supplier. It really knocks back the neuropathy so I’ve been able to cut way back on the gabapentin.

  50. Hi Guys – I, also have been taking Lyrica for probably a year and a half but only 75mg twice daily for debilitating sciatica nerve pain. However, I too, am endeavouring to come off it slowly over the next month – probably should have asked the pharmacist how to reduce it but just decided make out my own slowish plan. 1) because it is not a desirable drug to be on and 2) I have recently been informed that it is good for nerve pain but not sciatic! Therefore I might as well not waste my time taking it and wondering why it was even prescribed! Some of your stories aren’t good and I was sorry to read them and wish you/us a better scenario for the future. Being simply out of pain and not Needing to take stuff is what we all want. From a fellow sufferer – cheers, and the best of luck to you all – me too! We probably need it.

  51. I was taking Rewisca or Lyrica for GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) a daily dose of (50mg x 3) for only two and a half weeks and had to go cold turkey. The final dose taken at night, I awoke after a very disturbed nights sleep left me exhausted. I couldn’t get out of bed; chronic fatigue; blurred eyesight; stuttering; forgot things like leaving the cooker on; I couldn’t even remember my wifes name for a minute or two; slow speech; neuropathy in my back and arms had got worse; dizziness; confused, and so on.
    Had to go cold turkey as I just felt so ill. Spent the next week in bed.
    It is now 13 days after c/t and the symptoms have mostly gone. I will never take Rewisca/Lyrica ever again. Its a poison.

  52. I abused Lyrica heavily for part of 2015 and for half the year in 2016. At first, just high doses occasionally, then, taking large doses daily, sometimes breaking the pills apart and snorting the powder.

    A few times, I ran out, and the w/ds were horrific: like the worst flu imaginable, body aches, temp. fluctuations, sweats, no appetite, pain in feet and hands, vision problems, and all the rest–but perhaps worst of all–was the overall feeling of total apathy. Fortunately, these bouts were fairly short lived (at least until I got more pills). Then, a year later, my supply ran out. And it is then the real hell began.

    Same w/d symptoms–only this time they lasted for weeks, then months at a time. I have not taken L for nearly a year now—and the symptoms continue, albeit a little less severe than before.

    I have gone for weeks feeling like my old self again–only to then plunge again into the dark depths of these terrible symptoms. They are here now and have been for the last 3 weeks. I have no idea when they will leave again or if they will ever leave completely.

    So I am approaching a year of this now. Taking L is the worst decision I have ever made and I am now wondering if I have some kind of permanent damage.

  53. Dear Declan, I took prescribed Lyrica, 75mg x 2 daily for just two weeks. I experienced immediate horrific withdrawal symptoms of various kinds for six months. I thought my life was over, they were so frightening and severe I could hardly walk or breathe. I recovered as swiftly as I descended, over a few days, like coming up for air. During that time I forced myself to walk and eat. So compare the length and strength of your use. However it sounds as though you are having glimpses of recovery. Persevere, because the human body is amazing and will heal itself. Best of luck.

  54. I leaned on Lyrica for 1 year to mitigate chronic pain left over from shingles. Now I am trying to taper – it is very hard- as I prepare for a hip replacement. Do you think now is a good time to stop the lyrica since I will be on opioids for the hip pain? Or maybe too much at once? Does anyone have experience like this? Thanks !

  55. What an awful drug. After my doc prescribed gabapentin for 3 months, and suffering the side effects (which are the exact same as lyrica) and having zero effect for postherpetic neuralgia, I was then put on lyrica. The first capsule (50mg, imagine that), made my throat swell up, made my sinuses burn, my eyes hurt and burn and a feeling of heat all over my body. I talked with an emergency physician and because this was my last option (doc halted the only thing that worked for me, oxycodone, lowest dose possible, only on it for 30 days), I asked if perhaps the 25mg would be helpful yet prevent the originating reaction. He agreed it was worth a try, as did my physician.

    Over a year later, after taking only 50mg twice a day, I am now a useless zombie. I have post-it notes all over the house to remind me of things I need to get done. I can’t talk to people long enough to have a meaningful conversation because a) aphasia, b) irritability, or c) cannot hold concentration long enough to sustain a conversation. The current dose only barely takes the edge off my pain, and that is on a good day – which are few and far between. I fall asleep at the drop of a hat, cannot drive while on this medication, thus has taken from me any ability for simple tasks such as errands, appointments, visiting, etc. Brain fog, dizziness, forgetfulness, depression and weight gain has turned me into someone I don’t recognize anymore. Before this medication I was active, happy, energetic, social and looking forward to the rest of my life.

    I just want to say thank you to the real addicts who have done everything in their power to take away from the responsible patients pain control that is effective. I also want to say thank you to the physicians who are paranoid to prescribe effective pain medications to patients who are responsible with use and who have a legitimate need. Lastly, thank you to the CDC for sticking their nose into patient’s business and lives and denying them the ability to have a meaningful life free of pain. They are solely responsible for the hilarious “guidelines” for physicians to prescribe based on the “first choice” medications to treat pain. Gabapentin and Lyrica are two. The same drug minimally changed between them, so Pfizer can continue their patent and ignore hundreds of thousands of individuals who no longer have quality of life thanks to these “wonder drugs”. So, thank you Pfizer as well. Thanks for even making the smallest attempt at making IMPROVEMENTS to this POS drug, you’ve surely recouped your millions from R&D 100 times over, so maybe do the right thing and improve the drug with less side effects, or get out of the business of pain control because you’re doing a lousy job, and you’ve failed miserably (or should I say, you’ve failed millions of people who trusted in your product but now look forward to a class action lawsuit against you some day).

  56. I was on lyrica for about 4 years @ 300mg a day for fibromyalgia. I was always under the impression that it would help me. I knew I suffered from the dizziness due to the meds, but I never put my other new problems on the drug. Almost 2 years ago my legs became weak and I needed a cane, I could not seem to full my lungs with oxygen like before. And this on top of the blurriness my eye doctor said was lyrica induced, the dry mouth my dentist said was lyrica induced and the cavities that came with that. 5 weeks ago my insurance company cut me off cold turkey. My doctors hands were tied but he fought nonetheless. I accepted the risk and stopped it….the first 2 weeks were absolute hell! I could not eat and barely could drink water. Doc gave me zofran and prayed it would help. It did and now I can eat most days …..but nowhere near as much as while on lyrica ….i had gained 100 pounds in those 4 years…on my 5’3″ frame. I now am losing the weight and the original pain never really went away, but it isn’t much worse. I use topical OTC creams for now as I am waiting insurance approval on a tens unit. The worst thing, bedsides my easy irritability some days (that started ON lyrica) is my gut….it is having the worst time with the adjustment….i am taking a really b vitamin heavy multivitamin so that I am sure is helping, but some days it is like IBS wants to ruin my life….it is like angry….irritated…and it doesn’t matter if it is diarrhea or constipation, irritation and nausea are my constant companions. I know it has only be 5 weeks so there is better times ahead ….and I have to keep telling myself that at least now I have my mind and emotions back.
    I would not recommend it as a first try for sure, but I know many people feel relief while on it….hell, I did at the beginning. I just wish the companies would lie to doctors that only want to help their patients

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