Talking To A Doctor | LYRICA® (pregabalin) CV Safety Info | Fibromyalgia
Talking to Your Doctor
It’s very important to work closely with your doctor when managing fibromyalgia pain, whether you are in the process of getting the right diagnosis or have been managing fibromyalgia for years. The tips below may help you on the path to fibromyalgia pain relief.
Getting a proper diagnosis
Ask about your doctor’s experience with fibromyalgia
The first step to getting an accurate diagnosis is finding a doctor who has experience in diagnosing and treating fibromyalgia. Many doctors can treat fibromyalgia but some have more expertise than others. It’s okay to ask questions, your doctor is there to help you.
Find out if you need to see a specialist
Work with your regular doctor to decide whether you should see a specialist such as a rheumatologist, pain management specialist or neurologist. Specialists often have more experience with chronic pain conditions, including fibromyalgia.
Don’t get discouraged
Getting diagnosed with fibromyalgia may not happen in just 1 visit. So it is important to ask how you can help move things along. This will help you and your doctor build a strong partnership.
Ask about doctors in your health insurance plan
Your healthcare insurance provider can help you find a doctor. They can also tell you what steps to take before seeing a specialist.
Preparing for your doctor’s appointments
Keep a list of the questions you want to ask
It can be difficult to remember all your questions during your visit. Write them down beforehand and take the list with you.
Keep track of your symptoms
Write down your symptoms as they occur so you don’t forget. Include important information about your daily pain level, physical activity, sleep and prescription medications, including the dosage and how often you take them. Also jot down everything you are doing or taking to manage your pain, including over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or supplements. Try using this tracker and bring it with you to each visit.
Collect your recent test results and records
If you are seeing a new doctor or specialist, make sure you have copies of your recent lab tests and medical records.
Ongoing communication with your doctor
Taking an active role in your treatment
Your treatment is an ongoing process. It’s very important that you are aware of how it is affecting you and that you communicate this information to your doctor. Any changes or additions to your treatment should be a decision you make together.
Open communication is essential
It’s important to be completely open and honest. Your doctor needs all the information available to make treatment recommendations.
Don’t leave out details
Don’t be embarrassed to share details—your doctor will want to hear all about your symptoms, experiences, and how you feel.
Ask what additional treatment approaches may be right for you
Discuss how lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and incorporating physical activity, can help you manage your fibromyalgia pain. You may also want to discuss alternative treatments such as physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, massage, yoga and more. Work with your doctor to decide what is right for you.
Remember, you and your doctor are a team. Be sure to ask your doctor questions and keep him or her informed of your progress. This will enable your doctor to decide the best course of action to help you get the most from 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.