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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Have questions about your condition or LYRICA (pregabalin)? Take a look below for help getting answers to frequently asked questions you may have.

LYRICA FAQs

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LYRICA is a prescription medicine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, spinal cord injury nerve pain, and pain after shingles. LYRICA (pregabalin) is also indicated to treat partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy who take 1 or more drugs for seizures.

LYRICA can help relieve diabetic nerve pain, pain after shingles, fibromyalgia pain, and spinal cord injury nerve pain.

LYRICA is a prescription medicine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is used in adults to manage fibromyalgia (chronic pain all over your body), diabetic nerve pain, or pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (pain in the feet and hands from damaged nerves caused by diabetes), spinal cord injury nerve pain, and pain after shingles. In addition, it is used together with other seizure medicines to treat partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy.

LYRICA is believed to work on damaged nerves, or calm overactive nerves, depending on your condition. It is unknown exactly how LYRICA works in the body. However, certain studies suggest that LYRICA reduces “extra” electrical signals sent out by damaged nerves in the body. The implication of these studies in humans is not known.

Take LYRICA every day as prescribed by your doctor. Here are a few ways to help make sure you take LYRICA the right way:

  • Try to take LYRICA at the same times each day
  • Consider taking LYRICA in combination with other daily activities, such as eating meals or brushing your teeth
  • You can take LYRICA with or without food
  • Do not stop taking LYRICA without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking LYRICA suddenly, you may have headaches, nausea, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, or you may feel anxious. If you have epilepsy and stop taking LYRICA suddenly, you may have seizures more often. If you and your doctor do decide you need to stop taking LYRICA, he or she will help you stop gradually.

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.

LYRICA is available in multiple strengths. Your doctor can adjust your dose to help you get the most from treatment. So it’s important to discuss your progress and any side effects you may feel with your doctor, especially in the first few weeks. Your healthcare provider may change your dose. Do not change your dose without talking to your doctor.

  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, just skip the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time
  • If you take too much LYRICA, call your healthcare provider or poison control center, or go to the nearest emergency room right away

The 2 most common side effects of LYRICA are dizziness and sleepiness. Across all clinical studies, dizziness occurred in 30% of LYRICA patients, compared with 8% of patients taking a placebo. Sleepiness occurred in 23% of LYRICA patients, compared with 8% of patients taking a placebo. For some people, dizziness and sleepiness went away over time. For others, these lasted throughout the course of the studies.

Two Most Common Side Effects with LYRICA in Clinical Studies

IndicationHow long dizziness lasted on averageHow long sleepiness lasted on average
FibromyalgiaAbout 2.5 WeeksAbout 5 Weeks
Diabetic Nerve Pain1 to 2 Weeks4 to 6 Weeks
Spinal Cord Injury Nerve PainAbout 1.5 WeeksOver 10 Weeks
Pain After Shingles1 to 7 Weeks3 to 8 Weeks
Partial Onset Seizures in Adults with Epilepsy2 to 4 Weeks4 to 8 Weeks

Other side effects in these studies include dry mouth, swelling of the hands and feet, blurred vision, weight gain, trouble concentrating, and feeling “high.” These side effects were generally mild to moderate.

LYRICA may also 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.

If you stop taking LYRICA suddenly, you may have headaches, nausea, diarrhea, or trouble sleeping. If you have epilepsy and you stop taking LYRICA suddenly, you may have seizures more often. If you and your doctor do decide you need to stop taking LYRICA, he or she will help you stop gradually.

Please see additional Important Safety Information below.

It may take time for LYRICA to work. In clinical studies in fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, spinal cord injury nerve pain, and pain after shingles, some patients experienced a decrease in pain in as early as 1 week. For others it took longer.*

If you are not feeling the pain relief you expect, there may be things your doctor can do to help. Talk to your doctor to find out if adjusting your dose may be right for you.

*Individual results may vary.

It’s important to give your doctor your full medical history. This will make sure you have the best possible experience with LYRICA. Before taking LYRICA, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you:

  • Have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Have kidney problems or get kidney dialysis
  • Have heart problems, including heart failure
  • Have a bleeding problem or a low blood platelet count
  • Have abused prescription medicines, street drugs, or alcohol in the past
  • Have ever had swelling of your face, mouth, tongue, lips, gums, neck, or throat (angioedema)
  • Plan to father a child
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if LYRICA will harm your unborn baby. You and your healthcare provider will decide if you should take LYRICA while you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking LYRICA, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. Information about the registry can also be found at the website, 

    http://www.aedpregnancyregistry.org/
    .
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. LYRICA passes into your breast milk. It is not known if LYRICA can harm your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take LYRICA. Breastfeeding is not recommended while taking LYRICA

Tell your doctor about all the medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements you take, especially medicines that make you sleepy or any medicines mentioned below:

  • Any angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, used to treat many conditions such as high blood pressure: Taking this with LYRICA may increase the chance for swelling and hives
  • Avandia (rosiglitazone), Avandamet (contains rosiglitazone and metformin), or Actos (pioglitazone) used for diabetes: Taking these with LYRICA may increase the chance of weight gain or swelling of your hands or feet
  • Any narcotic pain medicine (such as oxycodone), tranquilizers, or medicines for anxiety (such as lorazepam): Taking these with LYRICA may increase the chance for dizziness and sleepiness

 

LYRICA has a low potential for drug interaction, but does interact with some medicines. Tell your doctor about all the medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements you take, especially medicines that make you sleepy or any medicines mentioned below:

  • Any angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, used to treat many conditions such as high blood pressure: Taking this with LYRICA may increase the chance for swelling and hives
  • Avandia (rosiglitazone), Avandamet (contains rosiglitazone and metformin), or Actos (pioglitazone) used for diabetes: Taking these with LYRICA may increase the chance of weight gain or swelling of your hands or feet
  • Any narcotic pain medicine (such as oxycodone), tranquilizers, or medicines for anxiety (such as lorazepam): Taking these with LYRICA may increase the chance for dizziness and sleepiness

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them with you to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine. Do not start a new medicine without talking with your doctor.

Do not drink alcohol while taking LYRICA. LYRICA and alcohol can affect each other and increase side effects such as sleepiness and dizziness.
 

Your doctor will decide what dose is appropriate for you.Everyone is unique and may respond to LYRICA differently. LYRICA is available in multiple strengths. Your doctor can adjust your dose to help you get the most from treatment. So it’s important to discuss your progress and any side effects you may feel with your doctor, especially in the first few weeks.

The approved doses for the different indications of LYRICA are as follows:

 Number of times per day to take LYRICARecommended total starting dosageRecommended total ongoing dose based on efficacy and tolerability
Fibromyalgia2150 mg/day300 mg/day to 450 mg/day*
Diabetic nerve pain3150 mg/day300 mg/day
Spinal cord injury nerve pain2150 mg/day150 mg/day to 600 mg/day**
Pain after shingles2 or 3150 mg/day150 mg/day to 600 mg/day
Partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy2 or 3150 mg/day150 mg/day to 600 mg/day

Your doctor may make adjustments according to your needs. If you have problems with kidney function, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of LYRICA.

*Patients who do not experience sufficient pain relief with 300 mg/day may be further increased to 450 mg/day.

**Patients who do not experience sufficient pain relief following 2 to 3 weeks of treatment with 300 mg per day, and who are able to tolerate LYRICA, may be treated with up to 600 mg per day.

Patients who do not experience sufficient pain relief following 2 to 4 weeks of treatment with 300 mg per day, and who are able to tolerate LYRICA, may be treated with up to 600 mg per day.

If you miss a dose by a few hours, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Just take LYRICA at your next regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.

If you take too much LYRICA, call your doctor or poison control center, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Do not stop taking LYRICA without talking to your healthcare provider. If you stop taking LYRICA suddenly, you may have headaches, nausea, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, or you may feel anxious. If you have epilepsy and you stop taking LYRICA suddenly, you may have seizures more often. If you and your doctor do decide you need to stop taking LYRICA, he or she will help you stop gradually.

Over 9 million people have been prescribed LYRICA in the United States since its approval in 2005. LYRICA is not appropriate for everyone.

No. LYRICA is not an antidepressant. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking.

No. LYRICA is not a narcotic. But if you have had a drug or alcohol problem, you may be more likely to misuse LYRICA.

No. There is no FDA-approved generic version of LYRICA.

The US government regulates the manufacture, possession, and use of certain drugs and chemicals. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) maintains 5 schedules (or lists) of these controlled substances. The higher the schedule number, the lower the potential there is for abuse. For instance, LYRICA is a Schedule V medicine. This means it has a lower potential for abuse than a pain medicine that falls under Schedule II to IV.

FIBROMYALGIA FAQs

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Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions, affecting more than 5 million people in the US. Yet, fibromyalgia can be difficult and, at times, a frustrating journey to diagnosis and treatment.

Fibromyalgia pain is different than pain you may experience from a headache or sprained ankle. Fibromyalgia is a specific kind of pain that’s chronic, widespread, and often accompanied by tenderness. “Chronic” means that the pain lasts a long time—at least 3 months or longer. Many people experience fibromyalgia pain for years before being diagnosed. “Widespread” means that it is felt all over, in both the upper and lower parts of the body. However, many people with fibromyalgia feel their pain in specific areas of their body, such as in their shoulder or neck. And “Tenderness” means that even a small amount of pressure can cause a lot of pain.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia vary from person to person. The symptoms can be worse on some days than others. Fibromyalgia symptoms can also be affected by your level of stress or physical activity. All these factors contribute to making fibromyalgia a condition that is difficult to diagnose.

Pain symptoms of fibromyalgia

  • Deep muscle pain and soreness
  • Morning stiffness
  • Flu-like aching
  • Radiating pain
  • Sensitivity to touch

Other symptoms of fibromyalgia

  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty thinking clearly, also known as "fibro fog" among patients
  • Difficulty performing everyday tasks
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Migraine headaches

Fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. These nerves may be responsible for the chronic widespread pain and tenderness of fibromyalgia.

LYRICA is believed to calm overactive nerves. It is unknown exactly how LYRICA (pregabalin) works in the body. Animal studies suggest that LYRICA reduces "extra" electrical signals sent out by overactive nerves. The implication of these studies for humans is not known.

DIABETIC NERVE PAIN FAQs

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Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or diabetic nerve pain is caused by nerves damaged by diabetes. People living with diabetes can have elevated blood sugar levels, and over time, these elevated levels can cause permanent damage to the nerves in their feet and hands. This nerve damage can cause a distinct type of pain—diabetic nerve pain.

Diabetic nerve pain commonly occurs in a sufferer’s feet and hands. The type and intensity of the pain can vary greatly from person to person. If you have diabetes and experience any of the following symptoms, ask your doctor if you could have diabetic nerve pain.

  • Shooting
  • Burning
  • Pins and needles
  • Numbness
  • Electric shock-like
  • Throbbing
  • Tingling
  • Stinging
  • Stabbing
  • Radiating
  • Sensitive to touch
 

LYRICA (pregabalin) is believed to work within your body to calm the damaged or overactive nerves that can cause diabetic nerve pain. Although the exact mechanism of action is unknown, results from animal studies suggest that LYRICA works by calming damaged or overactive nerves that cause pain or seizures. The implication of these studies in humans is not known.

SPINAL CORD INJURY NERVE PAIN FAQs

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When you injure your spinal cord, nerves often get damaged. This can cause a specific type of pain—nerve pain from a spinal cord injury. This pain may appear months or even years after your injury. Spinal cord injury nerve pain is a chronic pain condition, and can fluctuate or get worse over time.

The site of your injury determines where you are most likely to feel nerve pain. It’s most common to feel this nerve pain at the site of your injury or anywhere below the injury. However, nerve pain from a spinal cord injury can occur in different areas of your body. Although less common, you may also feel this nerve pain above the site of your injury.

People have many ways of describing the distinct feeling of nerve pain from spinal cord injury. The most common symptoms of spinal cord injury are:

  • Burning
  • Stabbing
  • Throbbing
  • Sharp
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Electric shock-like

Spinal cord injury can damage nerves. This damage causes burning, stabbing, throbbing, sharp, and electric shock–like pain. LYRICA is believed to work on these damaged nerves. It is unknown exactly how LYRICA works in the body. Animal studies suggest that LYRICA reduces “extra” electrical signals sent out by these damaged nerves. The meaning of these studies in humans is not known.

LYRICA has a low potential for drug interaction, but does interact with some medicines. Tell your doctor about all the medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements you take, especially medicines that make you sleepy or any medicines mentioned below:

  • Any angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, used to treat many conditions such as high blood pressure: Taking this with LYRICA may increase the chance for swelling and hives
  • Avandia (rosiglitazone), Avandamet (contains rosiglitazone and metformin), or Actos (pioglitazone) used for diabetes: Taking these with LYRICA may increase the chance of weight gain or swelling of your hands or feet
  • Any narcotic pain medicine (such as oxycodone), tranquilizers or medicines for anxiety (such as lorazepam): Taking these with LYRICA may increase the chance for dizziness and sleepiness

PAIN AFTER SHINGLES FAQs

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Pain after shingles, or post herpetic neuralgia (post-her-PET-ik-noo-RAL-juh), is a common complication of shingles. Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. The same virus that causes chickenpox. If you have shingles, the virus has probably been in your body since you were a child, but has remained dormant. It may seem strange that a virus could lay dormant in your body for decades. But that’s just what this virus does. And it is pretty common. Nearly 1 in 3 people over the age of 60 will get shingles in their lifetime.

What many people don’t know is that shingles can actually cause long-lasting pain. Shingles symptoms start with a painful, blistering rash that usually forms on a person’s chest or back. However, the shingles rash will go away in time. But once it is gone, you may still experience burning, stabbing, shooting symptoms of nerve pain caused by shingles. When you have shingles, nerves can often be damaged because of your shingles rash.

This can cause a specific type of pain—nerve pain from shingles. The site of your shingles rash usually determines where you are most likely to feel nerve pain.

Some form of pain often accompanies the shingles rash, and this is typically considered normal. However, when pain persists for more than 3 months after the rash is gone, it could be nerve pain caused by shingles, which is called pain after shingles. Some people experience mild pain with shingles or they simply feel itchy. For others, the pain is intense, and the gentlest touch can be excruciating. In certain severe cases, this pain can lead to insomnia, weight loss, depression, and disability.

People have many ways of describing the distinct feeling of pain after shingles and this pain can often vary from person to person as:

  • Burning pain
  • Stabbing pain
  • Pain that feels like an electric shock
  • Shooting pain where the shingles rash used to be
  • Pain from the light touch of clothing or bed sheets

The shingles virus travels to your skin by following your nerves. Along the way, the virus damages these nerves. These damaged nerves are what cause pain after shingles. LYRICA (pregabalin) is believed to work on damaged or overactive nerves that are thought to cause nerve pain. Although it is unknown exactly how LYRICA works in the body, animal studies suggest that LYRICA reduces “extra” electrical signals sent out by these damaged nerves. The implication of these studies in humans is not known.

LYRICA has a low potential for drug interaction, but does interact with some medicines. That means LYRICA can be a part of your overall treatment regimen.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements you take, especially medicines that make you sleepy or any medicines mentioned below:

  • Any angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, used to treat many conditions such as high blood pressure: Taking this with LYRICA may increase the chance for swelling and hives
  • Avandia (rosiglitazone), Avandamet (contains rosiglitazone and metformin), or Actos (pioglitazone) used for diabetes: Taking these with LYRICA may increase the chance of weight gain or swelling of your hands or feet
  • Any narcotic pain medicine (such as oxycodone), tranquilizers or medicines for anxiety (such as lorazepam): Taking these with LYRICA may increase the chance for dizziness and sleepiness

PARTIAL ONSET SEIZURES IN ADULTS FAQs

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Seizures take place in the brain. They are the result of sudden, abnormal electrical activity. In people with epilepsy, seizures are caused by overactive nerves. A sudden increase in activity in one part of the brain can cause a partial seizure.

There are many different symptoms that come with seizures. Overall, there are 2 kinds of seizures. Generalized seizures, these take place across both sides of the brain and partial seizures, these are localized in one part of the brain. There are 2 basic types of partial seizure: simple and complex.

During simple partial seizures, a person:

  • Stays alert
  • Can answer questions and follow commands
  • Can recall what happened during the seizure

During complex partial seizures, a person:

  • Loses or has a change in consciousness
  • May not be able to answer questions or follow commands
  • Often cannot recall what happened during part or all of the seizure

Medicines, high fevers, and head injuries can all cause a seizure. But many people with epilepsy have no clear cause to point to. In all cases, the seizures are caused by an abnormal level of electrical activity in the brain.

For someone with epilepsy, calming overactive nerve cells can help control seizures, when combined with other therapies. It is unknown exactly how LYRICA works in the body. Animal studies suggest that LYRICA reduces “extra” electrical signals sent out by overactive nerves. The implication of these studies in humans is not known.

LYRICA has a low potential for drug interaction, but does interact with some medicines. Tell your doctor about all the medicines, vitamins or herbal supplements you take, especially medicines that make you sleepy or any medicines mentioned below:

  • Any angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, used to treat many conditions such as high blood pressure: Taking this with LYRICA may increase the chance for swelling and hives
  • Avandia (rosiglitazone), Avandamet (contains rosiglitazone and metformin), or Actos (pioglitazone) used for diabetes: Taking these with LYRICA may increase the chance of weight gain or swelling of your hands or feet
  • Any narcotic pain medicine (such as oxycodone), tranquilizers or medicines for anxiety (such as lorazepam): Taking these with LYRICA may increase the chance for dizziness and sleepiness