Pregabalin, commonly known by its brand name Lyrica, is a prescription medication that is frequently used to treat neuropathic pain and anxiety disorders. As with many prescription drugs, however, discontinuing Lyrica use can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms for those who have become dependent on the drug.
Today, we’ll explore at length what Lyrica is, its approved medical uses, and take an insightful look at common Lyrica withdrawal symptoms experienced when stopping this medication.
What is Lyrica?
Lyrica, whose generic name is pregabalin, is classified as an anticonvulsant medication. It works by binding to certain calcium channels in the central nervous system to reduce the release of neurotransmitters involved in perceiving pain signals and regulating mood. Lyrica was initially approved by the FDA in 2004 to treat neuropathic pain associated with conditions like diabetic peripheral neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, and spinal cord injuries.
It was later found to effectively alleviate fibromyalgia and generalized anxiety disorder symptoms as well. However, like all prescription medications, Lyrica does carry risks of abuse and dependency with prolonged use that could make withdrawal difficult.
Lyrica Withdrawal: Common Symptoms
For individuals who have been taking Lyrica regularly for an extended period of time, abruptly discontinuing use can lead to physically and emotionally uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms as the body readjusts without the drug.
Some of the most regularly experienced signs of Lyrica withdrawal include insomnia, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, nausea, headaches, and flu-like sensations. Less common but still possible reactions are tremors, dizziness, changes in vision or hearing, and mood swings like depression. The severity and timeline of such symptoms may vary based on usage factors like dosage levels, treatment length, and individual physiology. However, withdrawal risks emphasize the importance of appropriately tapering off Lyrica use under medical supervision rather than stopping cold turkey.
Managing Lyrica Withdrawal Effects
To safely and efficiently overcome withdrawal challenges from Lyrica, committing to a gradual dose reduction plan overseen by a doctor is highly recommended. Gradual tapering lessens withdrawal shock for the body by allowing it to adjust to a decreasing amount of the drug in the system each day or week.
Prescriptions for alternative pain relievers and anti-anxiety options may also be utilized strategically during tapering to combat emerging withdrawal pains. Beyond traditional medical tactics, relaxation practices such as exercising, meditating, journaling thoughts and feelings, practicing deep breathing, and spending time with a support group are proven natural withdrawal techniques worth implementing.
As well, staying well-hydrated, eating nutritious whole foods, limiting triggers, and requesting medical support as needed additionally facilitates navigating the body’s readjustment period off Lyrica.
While serving essential functions for those with chronic pain or mental health conditions, the potential dependency risks of long-term Lyrica/pregabalin use cannot be understated. However, understanding what the drug does, and recognizing common Lyrica withdrawal symptoms lets both patients and healthcare professionals safely discontinue usage when medically appropriate.
With a tailored, patient-centered approach, overcoming Lyrica dependency is entirely possible. To improve your chances of a speedy and successful recovery, many individuals find relief from reputable addiction treatment centers like The Edge Treatment Center. Such facilities prioritize your health and well-being and guide you through every decision surrounding prescription medication use or withdrawal.