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Lyrica Withdrawal Can Cause Seizures, Even If You Don't Have Seizure Disorders!

Updated on November 27, 2010

Lyrica And Withdrawal: Could It Be That Bad?

Withdrawal from Lyrica (pregabalin) can cause symptoms from nausea to headaches, all the way up to seizures, even if you don't have any seizure disorders, according to EMedTV. Whether these risks were evaluated by the FDA prior to the use of Lyrica for illnesses beyond seizure disorders is unclear. Lyrica was developed first for use as a treatment for epilepsy. Soon, its use was expanded to treat diabetic neuropathy and fibromyalgia; and most recently for anxiety. The medication has worked in a limited capacity for some people; others have found the medication to be a lifesaver and still many others have had some very bad side effects and must discontinue its use.

When prescribing the drug, physicians most likely tell their patients what side effects to look for when they begin taking the medication, but they generally do not inform them of what they may face if the medication must be stopped. This is an oversight that should be corrected. Patients should be informed about the effects of withdrawal prior to starting this drug, instead of being surprised and terrified if they have to stop taking it.

So Many Patients Having Problems With Lyrica!

Patients have been forthcoming with details about the side effects of Lyrica, filling internet forums with hundreds of posts. They talk about swelling, weight gain, drowsiness, dizziness, inability to function without falling asleep, mood swings, headaches, irritability and even suicidal thoughts. Occasionally, a post will appear stating that Lyrica is a miracle drug and that it has resolved their medical issues, but those posts are few and far between. The vast majority question the effectiveness and safety of Lyrica, but even though they are experiencing some pretty significant side effects, they are desperate for the medication to work. They want their pain to stop.

The TV commercials that are widely viewed and played endlessly promote the effectiveness of Lyrica, but the complaints about the drug seem to far outweigh any good that comes from its use. Long term effects are unknown and Lyrica was one of the drugs named when Pfizer settled a criminal case with the federal government. It seems the manufacturer was promoting this drug for many off-label uses to increase their sales. They paid millions of dollars to the federal government as a fine and agreed to stop paying kickbacks to doctors who would agree to prescribe the drug for conditions other than those it had been approved for.


The Horrors of Lyrica Withdrawal!

There are 15 pages of posts on the website CareCure Community that are devoted to the horrors of withdrawal problems with Lyrica; many people citing fevers, anxiety, nausea, elevated heart rate, sleepless nights, muscle spasms and seizures. That is to name a few.

Included in these posts are countless warnings to other people who may be considering Lyrica; telling them to choose another medication. Simply do not start Lyrica is what these patients are warning!

There are other websites with countless patients reporting bad experiences with this drug and the horrors of the withdrawal process. The literature that comes with the medication warns that this medication must be tapered slowly, but it does not go into details like the posts available on the internet. Some patients report that the withdrawal process can take as long as several months. They report that they have additional health problems after they stop the medication and they wonder if these problems were caused by the drug itself.

When you read a few people complaining about a medication, you can dismiss them or suggest that the complaints are isolated and insignificant. But when there are hundreds, maybe thousands of patients recounting negative experiences, perhaps the FDA should re-examine the safety of this medication.


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  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA

    I am not a doctor, but you have to stop Lyrica slowly. There are a few docs out there that read my articles- maybe they can answer. Ask Tahoedoc or cathylynn...they are the best!

  • profile image

    Vicodinightmare 5 years ago

    I just stopped taking methadone 3weeks ago and been very uncomfortable with the withdrawl syndrome. My doc wouldn't give me any of the common drugs they prescribe for opioid detox, with the exception of Clonidine for high BP. My muscle pain and anxiety got so bad that my mother gave me Lyrica to help calm me, which it did, and it helped with the pain as well. But now I am getting concerned because it's been 3 weeks and the most horrible symptoms should have subsided, but whenever I stop taking the Lyrica, the opioid withdrawl returns. Is it possible I could be experiencing Lyrica withdrawl, even if I have only been taking it for 2 weeks? And also is Lyrica withdrawl similar to opioid withdrawl??

    Anyone who can answer these questions message me at

    Thank you.

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

    Sorry to hear that you, like most of us, were not warned about Lyrica and its withdrawal effects. Be careful! Have been taking it for 2 years now, but the first few months were awful---somewhat similar to your experiences. Now I have no problems with it, BUT will NEVER try to discontinue it without help from my doctor---Stay well...

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    Nate 6 years ago

    I had a bad experiencec with Lyrica withdrawl. I didn't know it had a withdrawal once and my mail order pharmacy that my insurance requires I use did not get me my Lyrica refill ontime and I started to get sick. On the first day I simply felt some food intolerance and nausea and sleep disturances. Then the second day I had more sleep issues, and I had nausea and vomitting, and I had a whole schlew of mind issues. I was unable to understand and orient to time. I'd look at the clock and think "what does the 7:09am" mean? I would try to figure it out and it was like I forgot how to tell time. I started to lose orientation to where I was and what I was doing. I was dizzy and lightheaded. The scariest part was my racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, and confusion. I felt like I was losing my mind and was getting Alzheimers literally.

    It was scary enough at night time where I felt like I had an impending death because I was beginning to really lose my grasp on reality, and I was scared I was going to hurt myself somehow to something bad was going to happen like a seizure. At the time I thought I was having a bad flare of my Lupus or had some viral illness like meningitis. So I called my mom and dad in the middle of the night and we called for an ambulance because I was so scared.

    They took me in and at first thought I had ODed on my pain medication which was ridiculous, but I did tell them I was worried I may have taken too much of it with my mental confusion but due to my confusion in the daytime I actually seperated that day's dose into a separate pill container and only used that all day so I didn't overdose accidentally. So I thought maybe since I had been vomitting and dehydration that the pain pills concentrated in my blood stream causing issues.

    But they ended that diagnosis when I told them I was still hurting and my pupils were no dialated and I was not acting silly. I did feel a bit better after I got some IV fluids though.

    I then told them I had not been able to take my Lyrica dose for 3 days about, and they got me some Lyrica, but I don't think they ever thought it was a Lyrica withdrawl, but they gave me my missed medication anyway. They diagnosed me with Lupus flare or viral illness and they kept me overnight just in case because I was scared to be alone and without help even though I am an RN.

    Then after I started getting my Lyrica again, I felt completely normal the next afternoon, and I started to think it was the Lyrica withdrawl.

    Then it happpened again, my mail otder was 3 weeks late getting me my medication (a-holes!). So I had to start asking my docotor for samples, and I had to start cutting my dose in half from 300mg twice a day to 150mg twice a day so I wouldn't run out. I kept waiting and waiting for the medication, and I had to go to 75mg twice day, and when that happened I started feeling nauseated and food intolerant again, as well as a little brain issues. Then I got my medication that night, and I took a dose, and then another dose in the morning and I felt 100% normal again.

    So Lyrica has a scary withdrawal and I'm lucky I didn't have a seizure while I was alone.

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 7 years ago from California, USA

    For the first week I, too, thought I was going to go blind and couldn't drive. I said the same thing- Devil Drug! But then I had a day (only one) without pain. It was unbelievable because it had been so long. I decided to stay on the drug because I was hoping to have a few more pain free days. After the first three weeks, the vision disturbances went away and I regained my balance. I have maybe one day pain free every week and a half and just that small amount of time makes it worth it to me to continue taking the med. I have some side effects, swelling and a hard time staying awake, but the pain level has decreased somewhat. I don't cry anymore because of the pain. A cure? No way! Something for desperate people? Yes. I don't recommend the drug because a few pain free days every once in awhile are probably not worth the risks. Thank you for commenting!

  • profile image

    lori 7 years ago

    35 yrs old and have fibro pain...tried lyrica and I can say it's the worst meds I have ever taken. I don't drink or do drugs so I do not enjoy any of the side effects. Took it for a toatal of 3 days at a dose of 50mg...I'm so dizzy and my eyes are blurry and are sensitive to light. I can't walk without bumping into walls. I definatly can't drive and I'm having trouble typing this message. This drug is the devil!

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 7 years ago from California, USA

    Marc, For a little under 30% of the patients, Lyrica works really well! I am so happy that you found something that does work! The withdrawal problems come about when it has not worked for people and they have to stop taking the drug. I also am a diabetic with fibromyalgia and take Lyrica. When you suffer the pain of fibromyalgia, you are always looking for ways to control the pain and the risks of a drug really don't play a part because of the need for pain relief. When I began taking Lyrica, I was warned about the side effects of taking the drug, but never told what might happen if I had to STOP taking it. It has helped me to a degree; much less than it has helped you, obviously, but helped me enough to keep taking it. I have side effects from the drug itself, but like I said, some relief is better than none. I tried neurontin and that was a horrible drug for me! More research is needed for fibromyalgia and any possible cure for all of us. Right now the best we can hope for is some control of the pain and other symptoms. Good luck to you and Happy New Year!

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    Marc 7 years ago

    I have found Lyrica very helpful. I have fibromyalgia and I also suffer from depression. (I am also a diabetic). I used Lyrica with no expectations of any kind. I was so surprised when for the first time in I don't know how long I could move my head easily and what a reduction in pain. I am so happy I was not afraid to try it.