Diagnosing Diabetic Nerve Pain | LYRICA® (pregabalin) CV Safety Info
Diagnosing Diabetic Nerve Pain
Don’t wait to tell your doctor about your symptoms
Diabetic nerve pain, or painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, is known mostly for a shooting, burning, pins and needles pain in the feet and hands. But many people who have these symptoms don’t ask their doctor for help because they don’t realize their pain is caused by diabetes.
If you have diabetes and pain in your feet and hands, it may not be caused by your age, weight, poor circulation, or an old sports injury. It may be diabetic nerve pain—a specific type of pain caused by uncontrolled blood sugar over time or fluctuating blood sugar levels. The first step is to talk to your doctor about the pain you are feeling in your feet and hands as it will help you get the right diagnosis.
Ask your doctor if you have diabetic nerve pain
Only a doctor or a qualified healthcare professional can diagnose diabetic nerve pain so at your next doctor appointment or when you visit a clinic, ask if the pain in your feet and hands could be nerve damage caused by diabetes. Be sure to explain exactly how your pain impacts you. Your doctor will only be able to help you if you are open and honest about your symptoms. It may not be that easy to explain what you are feeling, but the more you share, the more you will help your doctor come to a proper diagnosis. Only you can take this first step towards treatment.
Diagnosing diabetic nerve pain
Your doctor may perform an exam or some tests to determine the cause of your pain. Here are some of the things your doctor may do:
- Assess your symptoms as part of a physical exam. Your doctor may check your blood pressure, heart rate, muscle strength, reflexes, and sensitivity to touch, temperature and vibration
- The American Diabetes Association recommends that your doctor perform a comprehensive foot exam every year, assessing the skin, muscles, bones, circulation and feeling in your feet
- Conduct a monofilament test. This involves touching your foot with a piece of nylon (similar to a bristle on a hairbrush) to test sensitivity and determine the extent of nerve damage
Do something about your diabetic nerve pain
Treatments are available, so make treating your pain a priority.
On the next page, you will learn how to create a treatment plan for diabetic nerve pain. Find out how LYRICA can be a part of your treatment plan.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION & INDICATIONS
LYRICA is not for everyone. LYRICA may cause serious, even life threatening, allergic reactions. Stop taking LYRICA and call your doctor right away if you have any signs of a serious allergic reaction. Some signs are swelling of your face, mouth, lips, gums, tongue, throat or neck or if you have any trouble breathing or have a rash, hives or blisters.
Drugs used to treat seizures increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. LYRICA may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Patients, family members or caregivers should call the doctor right away if they notice suicidal thoughts or actions, thoughts of self harm, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. These changes may include new or worsening depression, anxiety, restlessness, trouble sleeping, panic attacks, anger, irritability, agitation, aggression, dangerous impulses or violence, or extreme increases in activity or talking. If you have suicidal thoughts or actions, do not stop LYRICA without first talking to your doctor.
LYRICA may cause swelling of your hands, legs and feet, which can be serious for people with heart problems. LYRICA may cause dizziness and sleepiness. You should not drive or work with machines until you know how LYRICA affects you. Also, tell your doctor right away about muscle pain or problems along with feeling sick and feverish, or any changes in your eyesight including blurry vision or if you have any kidney problems or get dialysis.
Some of the most common side effects of LYRICA are dizziness, blurry vision, weight gain, sleepiness, trouble concentrating, swelling of your hands and feet, dry mouth, and feeling “high.” If you have diabetes, tell your doctor about any skin sores.
You may have a higher chance for swelling and hives if you are also taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors so tell your doctor if you are taking these medications. You may have a higher chance of swelling of your hands or feet or gaining weight if you are also taking certain diabetes medicines. Do not drink alcohol while on LYRICA. You may have a higher chance for dizziness and sleepiness if you take LYRICA with alcohol, narcotic pain medicines, or medicines for anxiety.
Before you start LYRICA, tell your doctor if you are planning to father a child, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you have had a drug or alcohol problem, you may be more likely to misuse LYRICA.
In studies, a specific type of blood vessel tumor was seen in mice, but not in rats. The meaning of these findings in humans is not known.
Do not stop taking LYRICA without talking to your doctor. If you stop suddenly you may have headaches, nausea, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, or you may feel anxious. If you have epilepsy, you may have seizures more often.
LYRICA is indicated to treat fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, spinal cord injury nerve pain and pain after shingles. LYRICA is also indicated to treat partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy who take 1 or more drugs for seizures.