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Lyrica Withdrawal Symptoms + Duration

Lyrica (Pregabalin) is an anticonvulsant drug utilized primarily to treat neuropathic pain. It is also used as an adjunctive treatment option for adults with partial seizures. In countries outside of the United States, it was approved in 2007 to treat generalized anxiety disorder. Doctors also have found that it works well to treat chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia in select patients.

It was originally designed to be a more promising offshoot of the drug Gabapentin. The drug works by binding to voltage-dependent calcium channels in the central nervous system, which leads to decreases in release of various neurotransmitters including: norepinephrine, substance P, and calcitonin gene-related peptide.

Despite carrying a relatively low abuse potential, it is classified as a Schedule V drug in the United States. It is regarded as being a depressant of the central nervous system (CNS). There is some evidence suggesting that there may be initial mood-boosting effects associated with Lyrica usage, but these tend to disappear with long term use.

Many people experience an array of uncomfortable symptoms when they initially discontinue this drug. There is significant evidence of withdrawal effects, especially if a person has used the drug for a long period of time. Most doctors should know to have their patients conduct a gradual taper off of the medication to reduce severe withdrawal effects.

Factors that influence Lyrica withdrawal

When discontinuing any medication, there are various factors that play a role in the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms. These factors include things like time over which you took the drug, your dosage, how abruptly you discontinued, as well as some individual factors.

1. Time Span

How long were you on Lyrica? Those who took the drug for many years are thought to have a tougher time with discontinuation compared to those on it for shorter terms. When you are on a drug for a long period of time, your nervous system adjusts to accommodate the drug. The transition back to sober functioning is usually a longer process when you’ve taken a particular substance for a long term.

2. Dosage (150 mg, 300 mg, 450 mg, 600 mg)

Those who took a higher dose of the drug are thought to have more intense withdrawals than people on a relatively low dose. When you take a high dose on a daily basis, your body will eventually develop a tolerance to that particular dose and the drug will eventually lose effectiveness; this is inevitable.

Dosing tends to vary based on the condition being treated as well as the individual. Those who take it for pain associated with diabetic neuropathy may take between 150 mg and 300 mg daily, while someone being treated for seizures may take up to 600 mg daily.

3. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

Unfortunately many doctors aren’t even aware that there are withdrawal symptoms associated with Lyrica. This leads to them telling patients that it’s fine to discontinue the drug “cold turkey.” Those who quit the drug abruptly or “cold turkey” tend to have longer lasting withdrawals with more severe symptoms than those who conduct a gradual taper. Therefore, it is always recommended to follow some sort of tapering protocol when you plan on quitting.

For long term users, you may want to consider tapering at a rate of 10% per month. By tapering your current dose at just 10% every 4 weeks, you are giving your nervous system plenty of time to adjust to changes in dosing. If this seems too slow for you, you could consider dropping at a rate of 15% or 20% a month depending on the symptoms you’re experiencing.

4. Individual Factors

When withdrawing from any drug, it is important not to get caught up too much in others’ experiences. Some people will withdraw and not really notice any symptoms. Others will withdraw and have a very difficult time performing basic functions.

Various individual factors that are thought to influence withdrawal include individual physiology, withdrawal sensitivity, whether you are taking any other drugs, and daily habits. People who are getting daily exercise, eating healthy diets, and getting good social support are thought to recover at quicker rates than those who aren’t.

Lyrica Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below is a list of possible symptoms that may occur when you discontinue Lyrica. Keep in mind that although many of these are common symptoms, everyone is affected differently.

  • Anger: Some people have reported feeling very angry, nearly to the point of rage when they stopped this drug. Feeling angry can be a natural consequence of withdrawal from a drug that can have a calming effect. If you find yourself getting angry, keep in mind that this symptom should fade with time.
  • Anxiety: In countries outside the U.S., this drug is actually approved to treat anxiety. When a person stops taking it, they may experience a spike in anxiety. The quicker a person withdraws from the drug, the greater the anxiety is thought to be.
  • Body aches: Many people take this drug to help manage neuropathic pain. When you stop taking the drug, you may note that the original pain reemerges. The pain may even be more intense than it was when you first started taking the drug. This is because your body had become accustomed to receiving analgesic effects from the drug and it needs to reinitiate its natural pain response.
  • Chills: Some people have reported chills upon discontinuation. If you experience chills, it is likely that your nervous system is attempting to function without influence from the drug. It is unlikely that you will experience chills for longer than a couple weeks following your last dose.
  • Crying spells: Many people become depressed when they quit taking Lyrica. This is a drug that acts on neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, which may be abnormally low or altered during withdrawal. This may lead a person to experience overwhelming emotion and cry.
  • Depersonalization: You may feel as though you feel unlike your normal self or completely void of emotion. This is a zombie-like effect that some people experience when they withdraw from this medication. It’s a result of brain chemical alterations and changes following medication usage.
  • Depression: Do you feel severely depressed now that you’ve stopped taking your Lyrica? It is well documented that this drug can affect norepinephrine levels and other chemicals in the brain.  It is known that low norepinephrine and depression can be linked.  Withdrawal could lead to a temporary chemical imbalance, which results in depressive thinking. Assuming you weren’t depressed prior to taking this medication, you should eventually get better.
  • Diarrhea: Some people have reported diarrhea when stopping this medication. The diarrhea is usually accompanied by an upset stomach and shouldn’t last longer than a week or two. If you are having difficulty coping with this symptom, get yourself some Imodium (available over-the-counter).
  • Dizziness: It is normal to feel dizzy when you discontinue this drug. The dizziness is thought to be intensified if you quit cold turkey. Usually the more gradual you taper, the more dizzy sensations and/or vertigo is reduced. This will fade over time, but may be present for weeks following your last dose.
  • Fatigue: Having low energy levels are commonly noted during withdrawal. You may experience deep physical and mental exhaustion and/or lethargy. Doing seemingly everyday tasks such as cooking meals, going to work, and cleaning may seem very difficult. Keep pushing yourself through this fatigue and know that in time, it will improve.
  • Flu-like: The combination of feeling chilled, hot flashes, dizziness, headaches, and nausea can lead a person to feel like they have the flu. It is more common to feel “flu-like” if you quit cold turkey.
  • Headaches: This is a very common symptom that people cope with during withdrawal. Some people actually take this drug to help prevent migraines (despite no evidence supporting this treatment option). In any regard, dealing with headaches (mild or severe) is common during withdrawal.
  • Hot flashes: These are sudden sensations of heat throughout the body. Between these and “chills” some may have a difficult time dealing with the temperature changes that can occur during withdrawal.
  • Insomnia: Another common withdrawal symptom is the inability to fall asleep at night. You may feel tired, but unable to sleep. If this symptom becomes bad, you may want to consider some relaxation exercises and/or taking a supplement like melatonin.
  • Irritability: Things that don’t normally bother you may really irritate you during withdrawal. Realize that an irritable disposition is temporary – as your brain readjusts, this symptom should gradually subside.
  • Itching: Although this is a less common symptom to experience during withdrawal, some people do report itching.  You may initially think you have developed a rash.  This is usually caused by sensitive nerve endings as a result of drug discontinuation.  Consider taking an antihistamine until the symptom clears up.
  • Joint pain: This drug can work very well for pain management, but when a person discontinues, they may experience an increase in joint pain. It is important to understand that this is a normal symptom of withdrawal, but may very uncomfortable. Do your best to cope with the pain in your joints and keep faith that it will improve.
  • Mood swings: During withdrawal, your mood may be in constant flux. Usually people experience negative emotions such as anger, depression, anxiety, and unwanted thoughts. Moods will eventually improve and should fully stabilize in time.
  • Muscle spasms: Muscles may be more prone to spasms when you quit the drug. Although not everyone will have spasms upon stopping this medication, some people do. Realize that this is just part of the way the nervous system is reacting.
  • Nausea: The body can take some time to adapt to changes during discontinuation. In some cases, this can lead some people to experience nausea when they stop the drug. The nausea may be uncomfortable, but shouldn’t persist for an extended amount of time.
  • Panic attacks: When anxiety becomes overwhelming during withdrawal, it could lead some people to panic. It is especially common to panic when dealing with both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. It is recommended to use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing to help curb anxiety and reduce the possibility of panic.
  • Poor concentration: This is a drug that influences neurotransmitter levels such as norepinephrine. Norepinephrine can improve vigilance and concentration while a person is taking the drug. Unfortunately during withdrawal, a person may have difficulties with concentration.
  • Restlessness: You may feel especially restless when you come off of Lyrica. If you are feeling restless, the best thing you can do is to get some sort of mild exercise (e.g. walking) and/or engage in a relaxation exercise (to help decrease anxiety). In particular, many people note having restless legs.
  • Seizures: In people taking this drug for seizures, withdrawal can lead to recurrence of seizures. The seizures experienced during withdrawal may be stronger and more frequent than normal. It is important to with a doctor during withdrawal if you are prone to seizures.
  • Shortness of breath: Some individuals have experienced shortness of breath when they initially come off of the drug. This tends to be a more common side effect while taking the drug, but can also occur during withdrawal.
  • Sleep problems: You may notice changes in your sleep patterns when you first quit the drug. This is because your nervous system is attempting to balance out the changes that it is experiencing. In addition to insomnia, you may not be able to get good quality sleep and may wake up frequently throughout the night. Your sleep should improve over time.
  • Stomach pain: Many individuals report stomach pain and/or cramping when they initially stop the drug. This pain will likely be uncomfortable, and there’s no telling how long it will last, but usually improve within a couple weeks.
  • Suicidal thinking: Many people report feeling suicidal depressed when they initially withdraw from Lyrica. If you feel suicidal, it is important to recognize that the brain is temporarily chemically imbalanced during withdrawal; sometimes to a significant extent. As the brain recovers, neurotransmitter levels will be restored, but this is a gradual process. If you cannot cope with this feeling, be sure to seek professional help.
  • Sweating: You may start to sweat a lot when you first quit taking the drug. The sweating may be prevalent throughout the day and while you sleep. Sweating is a natural response exhibited by the body when undergoing withdrawal.
  • Vision changes: It is certainly possible to experience visual disturbances during withdrawal. You may note blurred vision and/or other disturbances in your field of vision. Vision should return to normal over time so try not to work yourself up.
  • Weight loss: If you gained while taking the drug, you should expect your body to fluctuate back to the pre-drug weight. The weight loss may not come overnight, but as time passes, you should drop back down to your normal weight.

Lyrica Withdrawal Duration: How long does it last?

There’s no exact timeline that can be followed for withdrawal from Lyrica. In general, withdrawal length will be subject to variation based on individual experience. Among people who have been on high doses of the drug for years, withdrawal symptoms may be more intense and longer lasting. In people who took the drug for a shorter duration at a lower dose, withdrawal symptoms may be minimal.

The half-life of pregabalin is (on average) 6.3 hours, indicating that Lyrica stays in your system for approximately 1.5 days after your final dose.  Although the drug may be fully out of your plasma, withdrawal will just be starting. The symptoms for the first few weeks of withdrawal can be very discouraging and debilitating. These symptoms are caused by your nervous system expecting to receive the drug, and scrambling to function soberly.

For some individuals the most severe withdrawal symptoms will clear up within a week. For others, it may take months to fully recover from the discontinuation effects. You may feel as if you are never going to get better, but you will. Your nervous system will be able to readjust itself back to normal functioning and symptoms will eventually fade.

In order to speed up the withdrawal process, it is recommended to engage in healthy activities such as: getting light exercise, socializing, and staying productive. Additionally it is recommended to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of rest, and consider taking supplements that promote healing. If you have gone through withdrawal from Lyrica, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.

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{ 272 comments… add one }
  • Madeleine September 1, 2014, 3:39 pm

    I took Lyrica for a year, 450mg a day for GAD and depression. It had no effect on my anxiety and when I stopped taking it my mood crashed completely. It was truly terrible, I was over whelmed with anxiety and panic attacks and awful dark depression. That was 3 years ago and I’m still struggling with my mood but I have improved somewhat. I wish I’d never taken it, it didn’t work and the withdrawal even with tapering was absolutely dreadful :(

    • Karen Alberini November 22, 2015, 6:45 pm

      I also am severely depressed and suicidal and have chronic anxiety restless no joy can’t concentrate isolation after stopping Lyrica 3 yrs ago. I was on 75 mg twice a day. I feel it robbed me of something in my brain. I lost my job as an operating room nurse. I lost 30 lbs. I was like a zombie. I felt so sad I went for shock treatments which did not work. I was never like this. I am 60 yrs old and on disability now. I fight everyday to keep moving forward. I hate Lyrica. Doctors have no idea of the withdrawal effects. This is the first site I found that talks about it. Karenalberini[at]aol.com

      • Cathy January 14, 2016, 2:19 pm

        I too, was a nurse before becoming disabled. I was on Lyrica for several years to treat my radicular neuropathy and severe degenerative disc disease. I was forced to stop cold turkey when my insurance suddenly decided not to cover the cost anymore. I thought I was seriously going to die, the withdrawal symptoms were so severe! It scared my entire family! I wish they would take the drug off the market. It can’t be good for your body if it affects it that badly when you stop. Lyrica is one scary drug!

        • Mary May 17, 2016, 3:33 am

          How long did it take for you to get over the withdrawal?

        • Leah September 2, 2016, 7:42 pm

          Hi. I’m weaning off Lyrica right now. My face is tingling, I have a headache in both temples and base of skull. I’m not holding food. And I’m tapering! I went from 300mg to 150mg to 75mg, over a period of 6 months at least. Now I’m at one 75mg cap every third day for the past month. Yesterday I started being unable to hold food down.

          I don’t feel flu-like. I eat and within 10 minutes it bounces up. I’m not sure if the headache is from hunger or side effects. I’m thinking maybe I don’t e ever want to take another one with all theses posts. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope you feel better soon. Leah

          • Tina Mills September 5, 2016, 6:28 pm

            Leah, There is a support site called Lyrica Survivors. It is a private Facebook site. Ask to join it. It is very supportive in all the side affects and symptoms. They are unbelievable and no one believes what we are going through except those on the site.

      • Allie March 10, 2016, 6:42 pm

        Hello Karen. I am so sorry to hear of your experience on Lyrica. How are you feeling now? May I ask how long you were on Lyrica for, and whether you were on any other medications? Best wishes.

      • Jason Harris July 9, 2016, 4:30 am

        Hi seen your comment. Wow I hope things are better since this post. I was on 600 mg a day for 3 and half years. I just quit 14 days ago. GOOD LUCK.

        • Greg Ellis July 11, 2016, 8:15 am

          I was put on Lyrica some 5-6 months ago, after presenting with allodynia, fatigue and rather unusual red patches on my arms and legs. Suffice to say, most of the health-care professionals who sought to give a diagnosis where baffled – one even confirming my symptoms alluding to some sort of “mystery illness.” Fibro was discounted, as was viral muscle inflammation.

          A follow up (post MRI scan) with a neurologist recently ended with me being told I should come off Lyrica – but gradually. I’m in my first week of coming off and I feel dreadful. This stuff is poison and I wonder how much the Docs are being paid to push it. It destroys lives!

          Oh – and I too lost my job on 20/06. Struggling to find words, mood swings, feeling constantly tired… seem familiar to anyone?

        • Mara October 27, 2016, 11:59 am

          I’m on the same dosage as you, for 3 years, for radiculopathy. I just started cutting my dose by 20% and am getting a buzzing feeling in my body. Not painful but uncomfortable. How long did it take you to get off and any side effects?

  • Jodie September 8, 2014, 8:44 am

    I had been taking 300mg for over four years. I before stopped cold turkey with Seroxat and felt like my world was ending. I had felt that the same would happen with Lyrica as every so often I would miss and dose and would feel awful. However, it was not near as bad as I imagined. Reading other people’s experiences online did nothing to help, as I was sure their horror stories would happen to me also.

    I tapered of 50mg a day for a week. I started with the morning dose and reduced it from 150mg by 50mg over the period of three weeks. I then was completely of the morning dose for two weeks before I began to tackle the night time dose. Again I dropped by 50mg per week over three weeks. The side effects were minimal and although I still had slight side effects they were very bearable and manageable.

    I suppose I would like people to know that it really is not so bad. I do know that everyone’s experience will be different and at different severities but my advise is as follows. Do not read up on other peoples experiences online as often they do nothing more than scare. Taper of slowly over a number of weeks and tackle the morning dose before beginning to reduce the night time dose. when you have tapered of the morning dose allow yourself two weeks before beginning to taper of the night time dose to allow your body and mind time to adapt. And best of luck.

    • Anon August 5, 2015, 2:52 pm

      Was this a schedule done in partnership with your doctor?

      • Maureen October 22, 2015, 1:16 pm

        Jodie the way you reduced sounds good to do. I was on 400mg for quite awhile and these past few weeks have begun decreasing with my Mental health carers knowledge of what I’m doing. I’m now on 75mg twice daily. I would have preferred to do it your way tackling the morning dose firstly then the night one but I’ve did both at same time which hasn’t been really good on me. I don’t think I can go any lowering even as I find I’m getting nervous feelings and having then to take one dose before lunchtime and then again same feelings before bedtime one due. How am I ever going to go Lower and even come off fully being like this?

        • Lyn March 28, 2016, 9:25 pm

          Hi maureen. You’ve done really well reducing as far as you have. I would suggest sipping at this dose for maybe a month to give your brain time to adjust. Add with anything the can be harder to do but you might find that once you get stabilized again it will happen as easily for you as before. I’m sorry you’re having a rough time at the moment. Don’t despair. You’ll get there. Best wishes.

          • Lyn March 28, 2016, 9:54 pm

            I think most people don’t suffer too badly. It’s a very widely used drug and there aren’t hundreds of thousands of people on the support pages. Those that have had bad reactions are just trying to help other ppl come off it slowly rather than cold turkey which can cause the brain trauma. Best wishes.

    • Jennie December 30, 2015, 7:50 pm

      I tapered down like you did with help from my doctor. I was on 500mg per day for 5 yrs. My doctor had me decrease the doses monthly and took 5 months for me to completely weak off the Lyrica. I haven’t had any side effects from weaning off this way.

    • Mila Vrab January 6, 2016, 6:17 pm

      This is the very first comment which is not sooo discouraging me from weaning this drug. I am on 50mg a day for 4 month. I am taking 25mg before sleep twice with 1 hour gap. Because I do believe, that I have found a more safe help in using Oil of Magnesium for RLS. I want to stop using Lyrica. Reading about all those horrid reactions is very discouraging. Can’t find any references from someone who used lower dosages and stopped.

      • Diana Schleicher February 8, 2016, 12:04 am

        I was taking 75mg at night to help me sleep; fibromyalgia pain. I wanted to go off Lyrcia, and talked to my doctor. He said yes, just quit. In two days I was a wreck! Many, if not all the withdrawal symptoms listed above. Again, saw the doctor, and started a tapering off. I have now started my third week of no Lyrcia, and I’m still having withdrawal symptoms. I can’t believe it’s taking so long. I’m not suicidal, so I will just keep going. I wish you well.

      • Debbie Armstrong February 19, 2016, 7:42 pm

        I want to get off of the Lyrica but was afraid of the side effects. The best alternative is to have your doctor help you. I am going to follow Jody’s advice and call my doctor.

      • Vicki Leighton March 21, 2016, 9:38 am

        I was on 50mg per day… one in a morning and one at night. I took just one at night for about a week then stopped. I’ve had some stomach pains and been a bit headachy but nothing debilitating. I’ve been stopped a week now.

        • Lesley November 7, 2016, 1:50 pm

          I notice this was back in March. How did you get on? Any further side effects? I was on Lyrica for 2 weeks low dose. Had stomach cramps for 2 weeks now awful anxiety. Help.

      • Fiona March 22, 2016, 11:43 pm

        Mila, Hot packs on your lower spine around the location of your tailbone can also help to relieve your RLS prior to sleep. I hope you give it a try and it helps you a little as it has me.

        • Cheryl September 25, 2016, 4:07 am

          I like the hot pack suggestion. Last night I had a hot shower, just standing under the water until the jumpy leg thing, stopped. Sadly, I was on Lyrica for severe arthritis pain. I have since had a successful hip replacement and have tried to stop taking this stuff. The side effects have been too much to cope with. Will try a tapering withdrawal now. Thanks to all who have commented here.

      • Jeanna July 18, 2016, 5:14 am

        I cold turkeyed and suffered no side effects once. That was when I was on three 50mg tablets a day. I used to take less on good days and had more control. Then a new doctor gave me it all in a one a day 150 mg and I took it regularly and consistently for six months. The withdrawals are vile this time. I think that the length of time you consistently take the drug has a major impact.

      • Angela August 31, 2016, 6:39 am

        Mila, I’m on 25 mg trying to get off it. I took my last tablet on Friday and I tell you today I am having massive withdrawal symptoms from it. Never again will I use this drug whatever my circumstances. Angela

    • Joanna February 1, 2016, 2:06 pm

      Jodie: Thank you for your comment. This is the most wise and reasonable plan I’ve read. I am meeting with my PA today to discuss a sensible way to wean off Lyrica. My new insurance doesn’t cover it and I’m waiting for Pfizer to approve a prescription at no cost, as I am on disability due to the fibromyalgia and bipolar type 2.

      • Amy February 14, 2016, 12:26 am

        Jodie, I just wanted to let you know that Pfizer has given me my prescription at no cost both in 2014 and 2015. I’m on disability and my insurance has a donut hole. Thank God because I don’t know what I would do without my Lyrica. I take 200mg twice a day.

        The whole reason I found this site is because I just accidentally missed my Lyrica for 2 or 3 days. I finally figured it out this morning but I was so nauseous and headache, felt like I got hit by a truck and couldn’t sleep. I take several different meds and put them in my pill planner. I took out all of my pill bottles and did my meds but the Lyrica bottle is white instead of brown and I somehow overlooked it.

        • Kelby June 24, 2016, 11:11 pm

          I don’t have my lyrics right now due to the “donut hole” and I’m going through horrible withdrawals thanks to medicare. If I may ask, how did you get Pfizer to cover Lyrica?

          • nikki July 10, 2016, 1:26 am

            Go to Pfizer.com print out application fill it out, take to your doc to have them fill out their part, have doc fax app and prescription to pfizer.

        • Michelle July 28, 2016, 7:04 pm

          I was on Lyrica for about 7 years for Fibromyalgia. I was exercising daily, had no side effects, and it worked fantastic at controlling my pain. Last month we had to move due to husband’s job, and new insurance won’t cover it, so I had to come off it. Even though I did it over a period of a few weeks, I literally feel like I’m dying. I have no appetite, severe sweats, sick to my stomach, shaky, anxious, etc.

          And my Fibro pain is far worse. Dr. tried to put me on gabapentin, did nothing for the pain, so now I am not on anything. I am going back to see my dr on Monday to see if she can get my insurance to pay for Lyrica again. Even without the withdrawal symptoms, my Fibro pain is so bad I can hardly get out of bed. Thank you Amy for your info on contacting Pfizer, I may be able to get help from them and get back on Lyrica just need to get some info from hubby tonight. I need this medication.

          • Angela August 31, 2016, 6:42 am

            Fibromyalgia is just a term Drs are using because they cannot come up with anything else for your symptoms. My Dr tells me the exact thing.

    • Judy Andreas March 21, 2016, 7:04 pm

      I started taking 50 mg of Lyrica in 2011… due to a terrible burning feeling that seemed to come out of nowhere. I took my dose before going to sleep each night. Then the powers that be changed the classification of the drug and I would have to go to my doctor’s office to get a new prescription. At one point I was without the Lyrica for 3 days and started withdrawing with anxiety, and sleeplessness, etc.

      Recently, I decided to taper off and started alternating between 25mg and 50mg. Finally, a month ago, I became totally free of Lyrica. I feel itchy and a bit nervous but I will tolerate it. Hopefully it won’t last too long.

      • Josie May 18, 2016, 7:58 pm

        Hi Judy, Did you find it affected your sleep when you reduced & finally withdrew? Also did you get any anxiety? Thanks, Jo

    • Debbie May 26, 2016, 8:21 pm

      I came across your comment after several very scary ones. Thank you, I’m 6 days completely off lyrica and thus far, just mild headache, little tummy butterfly like feelings and sweats on and off. I went off because I didn’t feel I needed it anymore. I have been taking for 2 years and found some great exercise for my lower back and sciatic pain. I feel better than yesterday so I’m hopeful. Thanks again for your sincere comment.

    • Allison August 6, 2016, 8:48 am

      I am currently coming off lyrica. I was on 150mg AM and PM. I found it not effective. So have decided to taper off it. I was taking it for spinal cord injury and nerve pain. Doctors keep wanting me to increase. The only thing increased was my size! I went from size 14 to 18. So I find fighting weight and looking like this as much an issue as the nerve pain. I reduce it 25mg weekly am then pm. So far no side effects, I pray it continues this way.

    • Fra22-57 September 3, 2016, 8:22 am

      Good advice to taper morning first. I have tried to taper off 50 mg in one day for the first week and been so ill last night with over breathing, spasms, fluttering of face then waking sweating and feeling ill in stomach and head with bad vision. Then unable to sleep anymore with bad diarrhea. Horrible.

    • chefgirl November 10, 2016, 4:21 pm

      Thanks for sharing a non-horrific experience! It’s so much more tempting to share bad results than when things happen as planned. I’ve been taking 300mg daily for several years for seizures and just started tapering off, by 50 mg/day over a period of 6 weeks. I’m in week 2, a bit emotional, zero short-term memory, nerve pain in my feet, clammy hands… lots of little things but can deal with it in the short term. Hopefully I’ll get through the process smoothly, we’ll see how things go in a few weeks.

      • Janet November 17, 2016, 6:26 am

        Thank you for giving me positive hope to have a fairly painless withdrawal. Only been on for 4 months to combat shingles pain.

  • cecilia September 15, 2014, 6:18 pm

    I was told that Lyrica was or is a safe drug. Maybe for some but not for me, I was horribly ill. suicidal, depression, coming and going of strong and great anxiety, sick to my stomach, ached all over, was unable to get out of bed, paranoid and the list goes on. I would never suggest this drug to anyone.
    If I ever have to withdraw from another drug such as this I will definitely be hospitalized. I got so depressed I cut on myself.

    I had to use oxycodone/oxycontin and the withdraw was easy compared to this drug lyrica. I suffer from organic brain damage from a surgery where it took 2 heart teams to get me back, this affects everything such as personality conflicts within my self, speech, depression, lack of recall, trouble remembering, anxiety as tho horrible things happening to love ones, about every 4 months I split up with my partner, withdrawal etc, this was not a pleasant experience and like I said I would not recommend this drug to anyone, and its taken me a long time to realize not all doctors are educated very well in this area.

    I thought lyrica would be safer for me than oxycodone/oxycontin.. I use to recommend this drug for pain. not again. and I always discuss the withdrawal symptons with my doctor. I did not know anything about these withdraw symptons

    • Mike December 22, 2015, 5:03 pm

      This is all so true. Only used on week and I can’t function at all. Given to FM. I have also had pituitary tumors. Feel worse than ever. How long does this go on? Not sure what to do.

      • unknown April 2, 2016, 6:37 pm

        See a naturopathic physician or herbalist.

  • Omar October 8, 2014, 2:57 am

    A friend introduced me to Lyrica, and he said I had to take more than 400mg to actually feel the high or whatever. That was 6 months from now and I still am taking the drug because I felt to hung up upon it, I felt really stupid, slow ant-social without it. So I am still taking it… it feels really bad being a prisoner to a drug that controls your brain. But believe if I was born without it, I can live without it. Learn how to make your body adapt to the change online and that’s it.

    Good Luck

  • stacie breitenbach October 9, 2014, 5:13 pm

    WOW!! let me say that I used this drug to suppress the methadone withdrawals. I should have known that it was to good to be true. I had severe withdrawals, including but not limited to, feeling weak, sweating, no sleep. HORRIBLE!!!! I have concluded that if it makes you feel better, there is certainly a downfall. Hope I feel better soon. Good luck to anyone suffering from this withdraw effect. My advice: drink lots water, it won’t make you feel better, per se, but it will help you from feeling any worse due to dehydration. If you need to, check yourself into the hospital.

    • Brooke February 10, 2016, 11:43 pm

      Do you mind me asking how long you were taking lyrica for when you used it to help you with the withdrawals? Not sure if this is a very old post, sorry if it is, but I am currently using lyrica to help me and my first week of opiate withdrawals and it has helped significantly but I’m going to stop the lyrica tomorrow so I will only have been on it for 6 days. I am curious if I should be concerned. I would greatly appreciate your advice and thoughts! Thank you?

      • bill May 21, 2016, 8:31 pm

        In my experience, if you only used the lyrica for a short time, the withdrawal from lyrica won’t be bad but the methadone takes minimum 30 days. I know first hand.

      • Rebekah September 5, 2016, 7:33 pm

        I started taking lyrica in Feb for suboxone withdraw. I had come off it before but was on pain meds then so it didn’t matter. Talk to your doctor the right one will help you. I can tell you this is nothing compared to suboxone withdrawal. Talk about pure hell on that one. I’d probably take a low dose for two or three months. Then being seven months off suboxone I am taking something for anxiety and have given up on antihistamines. I was pretty adamant not to ever take anything addictive again. Everything is a process… jump too quickly and you might fall back. Only my personal experience.

      • Shona Elliott October 15, 2016, 11:08 pm

        I took it again just for one week while a conference was on, to help with severe neuropathic pain. One week later I am suicidally depressed, can’t stop crying and am basically non functional. Hate this drug.

  • Margaret October 18, 2014, 1:55 pm

    I am suffering terrible nausea from withdrawal symptoms from Lyrica. I was on cymbalta for years and started having terrible reactions to either that or the lyrica. Completely off the cymbalta, started cutting the lyrica back. I cannot do anything but suffer. I do not dare cut back any more. My Dr. had me cutting in half for a week, then every other day for a week and then stopping. I have cut dosage in half. I feel sick to my stomach constantly. Is there anything I can take to help with this terrible feeling. I mean like a hot or cold pack etc. No more med’s for me ever, I will suffer the pain. How long can this misery last?

    • Arie December 14, 2014, 7:52 pm

      Hi Margaret, I have had severe withdrawals as well and although you may not like my recommendation, if you are in a state where medicinal marijuana is legal, I recommend getting CBD oil (it does not make you high) and taking a little bit of that. It will take the nausea right away. That is the only thing getting my through it right now.

      • Marlene January 24, 2016, 3:05 pm

        I am weening off Lyrica, and using CBD also. I am taking Lyrica for chronic pruritus (4 yrs). The CBD really helps. I am experiencing chest pain, and wondering if it is a result of getting off Lyrica. I went to ER two weeks ago to see if I was having a heart attack. The complete cardio work-up was negative. I have had headaches, and leg cramps – but is this chest pain also a result of the decrease of Lyrica in my body ?

        • Peter February 14, 2016, 5:03 am

          I just found this page and your comment is the most recent I’ve seen so far. I was on the highest dose of gabapentin for a couple of years, before starting on 600mg a day of Lyrica; that was 4 months ago. I ran out of Lyrica on Tuesday, or Wednesday. It never occurred to me that I would experience significant withdrawal symptoms, because the drug didn’t seem very effective.

          I’ve been confused, sweating constantly, irritable, apathetic, nauseous, dizzy and have pain and cramps everywhere; just to name a few. I drank and took several methocarbamol (fairly weak muscle relaxers) on Thursday night, when I thought it was just soreness from working out. I didn’t drink that much, but Friday I had a bad hangover that got worse as the day progressed.

          It’s Saturday night now and I feel worse than I did Friday. At one point the chest pain was bad enough that I thought I might be having a heart attack. That was when I remembered that I have been waiting for my Lyrica prescription to arrive on the mail for several days. My second thought, after stumbling back empty handed from the mailbox, was to see if Lyrica was the cause and not just a contributing factor.

          I think I’ve noticed every withdrawal symptom on the list and it seriously understates some of them.

          • Karalyn March 7, 2016, 11:33 am

            Hi Peter, Just wondering why you went from Gabapentin to Lyrica? I’ve just come off Ropinirole for RLS and was told that 600mg Gabapentin works well. Suffering rebound from the ropinirole I wanted to give it a go. Went to my supposed specialist and requested gabapentin. He sent me home with Lyrica.

            I wasn’t that familiar with the different names and had forgotten gabapentin is neurontin not Lyrica lol. But I thought my dr would get it right. Anyway after 2 weeks of pure hell I realized the mistake. I have since requested the right drug and have to hope the withdrawals from lyrica aren’t too bad considering I was only on it for 2.5 weeks.

            Anyway… Sorry it’s a bit longwinded but just wondering why you went to lyrica. Were you having trouble with gabapentin? Were there any side effects?

        • Barbara May 12, 2016, 5:24 pm

          I am experiencing withdrawal effects from Lyrica. I ache all over, am sweating, have lethargy and all over fatigue. I don’t know what to do about this.

  • Christina October 24, 2014, 12:15 pm

    Hi. My mother is 60 yrs old and has been taking Lyrica for a couple of years at 100mg 3x daily, she has been taking it for sciatica nerve pain and on top of that she had recently had a 1/4 of a lung removed from cancer also has an Aorta aneurysm on her heart, anxiety, depression and other medical issues. The doctor just recently discontinued 4 of her medications including the Lyrica cold turkey and she has been in non stop pain, extreme anxiety (which is bad for the aneurysm), sweating, problems seeing to walk or grab objects or to feed self and tends to walk in walls, panic attacks, problems sleeping, loss of appetite and diarrhea.

    The reason the doctors stopped this so sudden is cause her liver function tests came back very high and also come to find out the true reason may of came from the medication crestor for cholesterol and the doctor never monitored her liver functions when starting this medicine. But also the Lyrica can have some impact on the liver as its absorbed in the liver from what the pharmacist had told me. I really hope no one else has to suffer with these symptoms or watch a loved one go through this. Do some research on the reactions of starting and stopping this before even trying it.

  • Amity October 28, 2014, 11:01 pm

    I and several others I know are taking this drug, and I accidentally ran out a few days early this month. Put quite simply, the symptoms of withdrawal are so severe I can barely concentrate enough to type this, and I’m accustomed to spending hours writing & proofreading per day! I have had to actually take several days off, and I’m a “type A” personality! I may end up in the ED. I’m most concerned about the lowering of my seizure threshold – I’m taking it for 4 reasons: Fibromyalgia, Seizure Disorder, Panic Disorder, and a problem with my pituitary gland. This is BEYOND AWFUL.

    • Maureen October 22, 2015, 1:31 pm

      Amity this too happened to me I was away for a weekend and didn’t have enough to get me through the few days. I was taking 150mg twice daily I thought I would have been okay seeing it was only a few days but was I well wrong. My husband ended up having to take me to get an emergency script wrote up from the hospital doctor of the town we were staying. I’m now trying to decrease it and have got down to 75mg twice daily but like I’ve read on here my head tells me I need to take it so I don’t know how I’m ever going to stop it fully. My sleep’s awful. I empathise with all on here trying to get of Lyrica.

    • Jennifer September 3, 2016, 12:28 am

      I was doing a medication study for the next generation of Lyrica and had been on Lyrica for 3 months and the study for 1 year. The study ended Monday answer was taken off all cold turkey. I have never felt this way ever in my life. I am even a meth addict clean for 11 years and I never went through withdrawals to even compare. I called the study Doctor and they put me on Lyrica 2xs day for 5 days then once day for 5 days. Someone PLEASE tell me this will work.

      • Tina Mills September 5, 2016, 6:49 pm

        Jennifer, Lyrica is a beast. Dr is going too fast. Symptoms will be worse and worse without slowing down. You will be angry, restless, sick sick sick, no sleep, anxiety and on and on. It will take 6 months to a year to taper without suffering. I’m talking 10% every 2 weeks minimum. A support site called Lyrica Sufferers is on facebook. Ask to join it for support. The manufacturer Pfizer does not like this site so it is closed but the person who created the site will let you in after screening you.

  • lisa November 2, 2014, 12:43 am

    I’ve taken lyrica for 5 years now 400 milligrams a day. It helped with the sciatica and I was able to function again. However recently my medications were stolen. I have never felt so miserable in my life nausea, diarrhea, weakness, hanging on objects so that I don’t fall over, and I can’t seem to make up my mind whether I’m hot or cold.

  • Pete November 4, 2014, 2:55 pm

    I’ve been on Lyrica now for approximately 7 years and have decided to get off of it due to a growing list of adverse effects. I noticed that over time my body began anticipating the next dose by an hour or so as I began feeling very anxious. Then I began waking in the mornings with dry heaving, diarrhea and the chills. Also my thoughts upon waking would turn incredibly negative, bad mood swing towards my partner, rage at times and I’d enter into this mild to moderate state of depression where everything just sucks all the time.

    Sometimes I almost cried during commercials. I then moved to taking the same 225 mg amount of Lyrica but divided into three doses over a 24hr period to help offset the short half life of this drug. Within months my body began anticipating the new dosage regime so I then decided to seek professional help. I have managed to reduce my daily dosage from 225 mg to 150mg over 4 months through the use of a compound pharmacy, but have added Xanax to help offset the withdrawal. Bad days typically include mild panic attacks, high levels of anxiety, nausea and lousy sleep.

    I don’t even sleep with my partner any more because I just toss and turn all night and wake her up. I have also found that when mixed with alcohol it can be very unpredictable. A couple of beers is fine but any more than that you are playing with fire and setting yourself for deep depression the next day. Medical MJ has helped especially with sleep but I’m furious that I need it at all. My advice to anyone looking to get off this drug of if you are simply researching it due to a recommendation from your doctor, please make this decision very, very carefully as this is an awful drug to become dependent on.

    My pharmacist who specializes in getting people off drugs with nasty discontinuation syndromes says that about 20 per cent of those who take this drug will have severe issues with withdrawal. And unlike opiates that also have nasty withdrawal effects over shorter time periods, Lyrica withdrawal can last for months. I fully anticipate having to take a leave of absence from work when I finally get off this crap. The only solace I can take from all of this is that even the worst cases that I’ve read on these boards eventually recover. Good luck to everyone on this board.

    • Cynthia Long December 5, 2016, 3:21 pm

      OMG I have been on Lyrcia for 7 yrs with very good results. It did take some time to get use to it. Felt loopy sometimes. My dosage was 150 mg@ 3X day.
      The cost of the drug was taking us to the poor house. After consulting with my Dr she had me tapering off as well as adding gabapentin.

      It has been 2 months and have every side effect in withdrawal going full steam. Nauseousness constantly, daily living to much to handle. Burning, sensitive to every fabric, unending all types of fibromyalgia pain. Can’t concentrate, anxiety is through the roof. Very depressed to read this could go on for long long time.

      Makes me want to say screw it and start taking it again. No joy in doing anything. And yes I am on a depression med. Very frustrating.

  • Georgina November 6, 2014, 12:22 am

    I was hospitalized for the 4th time for chronic pancreatitis. To relieve the pain I was discharged on Lyrica 50mg twice a day… VERY low. I had to take it for 3 weeks VERY short. I stopped 3 days ago and I honestly think I am dying. Every bone feels like it is made of razors cutting through every muscle. I am disorientated, can barely move from the pain. I wake drenched in sweat. I can’t even turn in bed from the pain. I am wearing a neck brace to relieve the muscular pain in my neck. All this HELL after a very LOW dose and SHORT time… please BE AWARE. And all my thoughts and wishes to all of you above after such high doses for so long.

  • Betty November 6, 2014, 3:35 pm

    I”m trying to get off of LYRICA and the withdrawal is horrific! What do you do to get off of this stuff and not suffer? Why didn’t anyone tell us it was so ADDICTIVE?! I’m upset with my Dr. and want to get off of it. Any suggestions? If I miss ONE DOSE – I end up with a horrific headache, nausea, feeling weak and just overall horrible. Then when I take my missed dose, the side effects still remain for another day! Please give me some help. Where do you go for help?

  • David November 15, 2014, 10:23 pm

    I was on lyrica for about five years, taking it as needed, 50 mgs. daily for the most part, at times 100 mgs. per day. Nerve pain in my legs and fibromyalgia led me to get on this drug and I had very little side effects while on it for years. It was when I chose to increase my use just a bit that side effects like pain around my eyes and mouth made me think it was time to give it up. Quitting abruptly led to dizziness from hell which I am still dealing with.

    I asked my doctor to switch me to neurontin at a very small level to help me slowly detox, to get over this crazy disorientation, depersonalization and dizziness and he wrote for me 300mgs for three times a day. What a mistake that was. One day of that was enough for me, barely enduring horrible tinnitus and a zombie-like state. I asked for lower doses, as low as possible, which will likely be 100mgs once or twice a day to help control some of the pain in my legs. If the dizziness continues, I may have to drop it all cold turkey, which really sucks when I have such a demanding job.

  • Deb November 28, 2014, 12:04 am

    Hi guys. I took 150mg a day for 5 years. I stopped in August. I now am dealing with such horrible nerve damage. A month ago I had to go to the ER BECAUSE OF ITCHING, CRAWLING AND BITING PAIN that made me so sick physically and mentally. I have been taking anti depressants and antihistamines now. I have had this hellish condition for a couple of months and I have NEVER felt this horrible in my life. I only went off because it was costing me $700+ for 90 days. Had biopsies and $5000 of tests. If you are reading this I am sure it is too late. BAD DRUG. RUINING MY LIFE!

    • Donna October 5, 2016, 1:44 pm

      When you talk about the itching, crawling feeling – was it on your legs? Is it gone? If not, look into Arachnoiditis it’s one of the symptoms. I have it. There is no cure but it can be managed with the right drug protocol.

  • Julie December 2, 2014, 6:59 pm

    I have been on lyrica for 3 years 600mgs per day. 300 am 300 pm for anxiety. My Psychiatrist took me off it just over a week ago over 5 days and I’m petrified. I am in serious withdrawal feel exhausted permanently can’t sleep then keep waking. Sweating all of the time then freezing. Feel so sick and don’t want to eat at all. So so depressed and panic attacks and awful anxiety and shaking. This can’t be right.

    I’m so scared and am now seeing another Psychiatrist tomorrow. The day after I started reducing them I had a suicide attempt and just want the world to go away. Why did this doc do this to me. It’s so wrong I think I’m going to have to go back on them again. According to what I’ve read I should have reduced them by 10 per cent a month which should take 30 months to come off it. NOT 5 days!!! Don’t anyone else try this please.

    • Michelle July 28, 2016, 7:21 pm

      I wish I had the luxury of taping of 10% a month, but can’t afford almost $500 a month for several months. At least reading these posts I don’t feel like I’m dying from some unknown disease, and I am sincerely hoping I can get back on Lyrica, since I have Fibromyalgia so bad that I had to quit my job 3 years ago even with Lyrica, and that pain didn’t even come close to what I am experiencing right now.

      Gabapentin and Cymbalta did nothing for me, so it’s either Lyrica or severe pain, and I will gladly take the Lyrica for the rest of my life if need be, especially after going through these withdrawal symptoms.

  • Nancy Towne December 11, 2014, 4:24 pm

    I have decided to taper off of Lyrica because I need to lose the weight I have gained while on it. I am 3 days off of 150 mg ( I take 450 total per day). The withdrawal is just beginning today. I have diarrhea, irritability and my appetite is going down (yay)! I gained 80 lbs on this drug! My back is very bad anyway but now it is very difficult to walk. I have a small frame and this is killing me. This list is very reassuring… Just knowing what I might experience is great! Although, I admit that I am not looking forward to the pain of the Fibromyalgia returning!!! If you are going through withdrawal, hang in there!! They say it takes awhile.

  • susief December 13, 2014, 11:06 pm

    Wow. I never knew that this would be so difficult. I read the posts and some of my symptoms are mild and some are extreme. I have been on lyrica for about 7 years. I took 300 mg nightly and 150 prn in the morning for Fibromyalgia. My decision to get off lyrica was NOT a choice. My doc left the practice in July, my script ran out and the doc taking over for him said I should have plenty left therefore she rejected my refill (rx filled on 10/18 for 90 – 150 mg capsule.

    Apparently she has issues with math). That was 11 days ago. I have missed 2 days of work, headaches constantly,stomach cramps, diarrhea, debilitating fatigue, irritability and slight tremors. I also have this feeling of impending doom. I take a sleep aid so that helps with insomnia and am in pain management so I have help with the pain. But I never knew this would be so bad. It’s Christmas… I need to get stuff done but no motivation or energy.

    What pisses me off about this is that the doctor (Dr. Carey Huner) apparently has NO clue what the w/d effects are. But I will get through this and WITHOUT going back to lyrica. My kids and grandkids are coming down next weekend so I pray I can muster up enough energy to enjoy them. Any suggestions??? My heart goes out to any one attempting this. I have high hopes that this will pass as quickly as possible. Merry Christmas ALL!

  • Arie December 14, 2014, 7:47 pm

    I am in my 6th day of withdrawing from Lyrica. Although I was on a lower dose to begin with, the first two days were the worst. I experienced shivers and shaking along with mood swings, severe headache, nausea and crying. Right now I am still having mood swings where I will feel very depressed and at night I get very nauseous.
    What I recommend to everyone is to taper down very slowly. I would say even slower than 25mg capsules which is the the smallest amount the drug comes in. I have been taking out about 12mg of powder and a tiny bit more every other day.

  • Julie Dixon December 15, 2014, 7:03 am

    Thank you for all this info. I started on 75mg Lyrica for nerve pain and sciatica about 12 months ago. This was soon increased to twice daily, then 150mg twice daily. The pain relief was short lived each time. Then my feet began swelling very badly. It took a while before I realized this was the Lyrica. I don’t believe my doctor is even aware because he gave me fluid tablets, which were useless.

    I stopped cold turkey, and within 2 days my feet were back to normal. BUT… Sleepless. It has been 4 nights now without sleep which leads to all sorts of other issues. Reading through the list of symptoms I can tick off quite a few. My skin and scalp has been very itchy, I am cranky, can’t concentrate, the list goes on. Not sure if it is worth going to the doc, or just try to ride it out. At least now I know that what I am experiencing is normal.

    • Ray July 5, 2016, 3:55 pm

      Hi Julie, I’ve was on Lyrica for 18 months for sciatica pain. The first 12 months I too was on 75mg Lyrica twice a day. This was increased to 150mg twice daily for the last 6 months. Like you the pain relief was short lived each time.

      2 weeks ago I stopped cold turkey, and have experienced sleeplessness, irritability, anger & poor concentration. The worst part about all this is not being able to get a good nights sleep as it compounds the other symptoms. Im trying not to reach out for something else to help with the sleep, don’t want to become dependent on another drug.

      The first week was hell trying to sleep so the second week I planed my approach with a lot of thought. What is helping is keeping active, busy days, always something to do so when its time to sleep I’m relatively tired (still not a great sleep but better than week 1). Try sticking to a routine bed time & rise time (factor in sleep cycles).

      Eating well is important along with 20 min a day meditation. This approach seems to be helping a little a day at a time just hope it doesn’t take months like some people experience. Not sure if cold turkey is the way but now that I’ve started its best to continue. The tide has to turn some day. Best wishes with your journey. :)

  • Syndie December 21, 2014, 12:07 am

    I started on Lyrica 75mg twice a day to relieve back pain. It worked well because the nerve was impinged. I took the Lyrica for three weeks and then stopped cold turkey. I’ve been nauseated, dizzy, sweating, forgetful, have headaches, and leg weakness. I also have muscle spasms, and feel fearful and nervous. I can’t believe how ill I feel. I hope these symptoms don’t last – I can’t work or do normal daily tasks. I don’t think I’ll take it again despite how bad my back gets.

  • Sue January 8, 2015, 10:32 pm

    Hi all, I was on 600mg a day when I decided to come off them after taking for 4 years. I am so fed up of feeling drugged up. Also stopping tramadol at same time. Symptoms of withdrawal are mild: headaches, nausea, depressed and angry. I saw the doctor at the hospital this morning who says I’m withdrawing too quickly and is going to write to my gp with recommendations to help and support my withdrawals. I am now down to 300mg (from 600 to 300 over 2 weeks).

    To be honest I am coping well with the mild symptoms so hopeful I’ll be off them completely in another 2 weeks with withdrawal not getting worse. I won’t be following the advise from hospital or GP as I want off all my meds asap. I want to feel normal again! I wonder if the fact I’m also taking trazodone and amitriptyline is helping with the withdrawal symptoms from pregabalin and tramadol. I wish you all the best of luck.

    • GLOOM January 9, 2015, 6:12 pm

      Highly ambitious stopping 2 medications at once Sue. Although you may be excited to discontinue your medications, be sure to proceed with some degree of caution. The Trazodone and Amitriptyline are likely mitigating some (possibly a significant portion) of the withdrawal effects you would be experiencing had you no medication to fall back on. Wishing you nothing but the best in your withdrawals and effort to reclaim better mental functioning.

      • Celeste June 24, 2015, 12:56 pm

        I was put on Lyrica a year and a half ago for hip pain. I really didn’t want to take it, but my Dr. told me it would change my life….seriously??!! She also put me Cymbalta for migraine. She never informed me of withdrawal issues..These drugs were so expensive monthly I didn’t feel the cost was worth their usefulness. I immediately noticed the swelling, dizziness & balance issues w/Lyrica. I do a lot of hot yoga so it was interfering w/my practice.

        So I cut back slowly. Lowest dose, then every other day. Yesterday I had gone 3 days & I ached so bad I took one at bedtime. Some things that have worked for me are supplements-B Complex. Butterburr for headache and Maca Root for the horrible sweats & chills. I also take Benadryl for sleep & Cannabis is legal in my state so I occasionally use it for sleep. I use a homeopathic cream called Traumeel for the aches. It sounds like a lot of stuff, but it’s all natural.

        I use good quality supplements from Whole Foods and I must say they have really helped. I also have “brain zaps” around the time I normally take Lyrica. And I practice hot yoga 5 times a week. All of this lessens the withdrawal, but I still experience feeling crappy every night & sleep issues. I’m glad to hear that eventually it will pass as I was beginning to think I would never be able to give it up completely! Lyrica is poison!!!

  • Liz January 9, 2015, 2:26 am

    I was prescribed Lyrica five months ago for a pinched nerve in my groin. This caused my whole thigh to burn & be extremely painful. My dosage was 300mg daily. It’s now been two weeks since I stopped taking lyrica & I can honestly say, it’s been the worst two weeks of my life!! The nerve pain started in my scalp about ten days ago & is about the most painful thing I’ve had to endure, and for such a long time!!

    My whole head and face hurt so badly that I’d spend up to eight hours rocking myself back & forth. It would ease for about an hour & then start up again. Sleep has been almost impossible, catching only on hour here and there. Today the pain has diminished somewhat and I’ve been able to sleep for a longer period of time. Had I known the withdrawal symptoms of this drug for some unlucky individuals, I would NEVER have started the drug. How I wish I’d done some research prior to taking that first pill!!

    I have no idea how long this withdrawal will last, however, I’m PRAYING it will start to ease soon. Other withdrawal symptoms I’ve experienced are; stomach upset, severe anxiety and body aches. These symptoms, however, pale in comparison to the head pain I’ve suffered. I wholeheartedly advise anyone starting this drug to conduct in-depth research before deciding whether or not to take the medication. There is no way to measure how each individual will respond to stopping this drug, but unless you absolutely have no choice, at least you might be somewhat prepared for the nightmare of stopping Lyrica.

  • Alvaro January 9, 2015, 2:08 pm

    Hi! I have been taking Lyrica for one month on a doses of 75 mg a day, on prescription as a painkiller for a neuralgia. I have very quickly become numb, been down devoid of energy and had suicidal thoughts and a hypochondriac thoughts. Not knowing about side effects I decided to stop cold turkey and treat the neuralgia with ostheopathy, which helps. Quickly I felt lighter and in better spirit but after a month today of having stopped I feel terrible anxiety in situations that I could deal with before (flying, interacting).

    I have had huge emotional responses to situations and started crying. I still feel dizzy, have had electric shocks in feet and arms and for the last week have muscle seizures in arms and now muscle pain and joint pain. I keep telling myself that this will improve but it is tiring because sometimes you are invaded by all those pains, strange sensations in the spine and you still need to perform at work. I feel like at times this eats up half of my mental capacity and have then trouble to re-concentrate.

    My sleeping got terrible after one week stopping and is only now slightly improving (from 0 hours two nights in a row to 4-5 hours a night to 6-7 now). So I have changed my habits and go to sleep earlier. I also have decided to “hurt myself”, meaning increase my mental and social activity even if I do not feel like it. At least it will help feeling less strange. Like Syndie I will stay clear of this drug. The benefits do not compensate the real pain and discomfort it creates afterwards.

    I pray that soon I will be out of the woods with no more symptoms because I feel everyday that I have to fight against myself to forget the occasional spasms, pain, slight dizziness and joint pain that I constantly have. As a painkiller, this drug is not worth it for me. During treatment it makes you go so down that you cannot perform basic tasks and after treatment it has far too many side effect. Like others I am mesmerized at how easily this is prescribed by a non specialist doctor who then have no clue on what it does to you.

    2 weeks ago I visited a neurologist who told me that this drug was at the basis of my dysfunctions and that only activity would restore normality. He said he could prescribe it again but that this was what he called “the demise of medicine’ and that I’d better get going without it until things were back to normal, which may take time and effort (physical and mental by not losing faith).

  • Moira Gardner January 12, 2015, 8:44 am

    Due to nerve damage from the incision in an Arthroscopy, I have been taking Lyrica for 3 years. I started on 150 mg twice a day and eventually cut it down to 75 mg per day. Just lately the nerve damage has not felt so bad so I stopped taking it altogether and then wondered why I was feeling grumpy, anxious, can’t sleep too well and keep waking up because it feels like “my mind is jumping around” for want of a better description. I decided to Google it and I see that most people don’t stop cold turkey but after reading all the horror stories I am not going to start it again.

    • Maria January 2, 2016, 9:55 pm

      Please note that there is Lyrica Survivors support group in Facebook. I accidentally read about it in a forum, joined and had a lot of support and useful advice.

  • robert mester January 14, 2015, 6:32 pm

    I was prescribed Lyrica after gabapentin 300 mg oral capsule stopped working. I was told that my great new insurance plan, would require me to try Amitriptyline 25 MG first. The reaction from Amitriplyline was needed so that my plan would pay for the Lyrica. I come from a generation where your doctor is responsible for your medical needs. You are sick they fix it.

    No one told me about the addictive qualities of any of these drugs. Once the side effects got so mad, vision, rash, fluid retention weight gain and itchy scalp, I said enough of this. At an emergency room visit the Dr determined all my issues were a reaction to Lyrica. He said I would need to taper off of the drug. The side effects were so horrible that I did not ramp down but decided to go cold turkey.

    It has been 5 days since I took the last pill and life is very uncomfortable. I had been on the Lyrica about 6 weeks – I can only imagine what the withdrawal would have been if I had been taking this poison longer. I have talked to many people and there are no good comments about this drug… Once again the big fish eat the little fish.

  • Todd January 17, 2015, 4:53 am

    I’m tapering down from 225 mg. a day for 4 mo. As I’ve reached the lower doses now, I’m noticing bad pressure in all my sinuses, followed by head spinning dizziness for a few seconds. Also, shortness of breath. Anyone else notice this? Also, since being on Lyrica, I notice in bed I’m constantly drooling & have to constantly wipe my mouth all night. I haven’t heard anyone else mention these symptoms. Anyone?

    • Jen January 27, 2015, 11:03 pm

      YES. Especially the dizziness. I have been on Lyrica at only 150 mgs a day for neuropathy. It worked beautifully for the neuropathy, but my doc didn’t warn me about the fluid retention, which was beyond anything I have ever experienced in my 42 years of being a female. I tapered down, starting about two weeks ago; my last dose was two days ago. Yesterday wasn’t too bad, until the anxiety came screaming down out of nowhere in the middle of the night…

      Anxiety that was so bad, it literally woke me up and had me wishing I could get out if my own skin. The hot and cold flashes started in the wee hours; by this morning, they were so bad that I was either sweating or shivering, often within minutes of each other. Getting out of bed SUCKED. I was miserably fatigued and weak; my muscles and joints were all aching, and the head-spinning dizziness was unbearable.

      It got worse as the day went on; I literally lost consciousness while making lunch for my youngest, but only long enough to hit the floor. Standing up, the dizziness was so bad I knew I’d pass right back out if I stayed upright. So I have tried staying horizontal as much as possible. I tried to nap; I dozed off with some difficulty. The anxiety, temp fluctuations, extremity numbness and tingling, and drooling made it impossible to snag more than 20 minutes or so.

      I have zero patience, and am all over the place mood-wise, mostly angry. I withdrew from hydrocodone a few years ago, following extensive cancer surgery. That? Was NOTHING compared to this. I had no idea. I don’t know how I am going to manage even one more day like this, much less a potential couple of weeks. :/

    • Debbie September 29, 2015, 8:18 am

      Hi Todd, I’ve just read your comments on tapering down from Pregabalin. I was on 200mg twice a day for nerve damage, I am now down to 75mg twice a day and I must say the withdrawal symptoms are terrible. Like you I have a shortness of breath, did you also notice sore eyes? I did think that I was beginning to suffer from something else!! Hope you are feeling better, I can’t wait to feel like my old self again.

    • Margaret January 28, 2016, 5:35 am

      Todd I am drooling too. I’m only on what seems a relatively low dose of Lyrica compared to most folks on this page, nevertheless I can well identify with more than a few folks in respect of regret in beginning this drug and all it doesn’t do and do. I’ve made up my mind to go for it and live without Lyrica. Today I’ve halved the dose and will drop the dose again in a week and headache or not, I’ll eventually be rid.

      Right now and as has been the case for a few months, I’m being driven crazy with headache, gland pain eg behind my ears and around the pituitary gland. Now to say this is sore is an understement! I’ve also put on 14 lbs since beginning Lyrica last summer and despite my food intake and weight being monitored weekly, I fail to lose anything but my patience. Oh I loathe the day I began Lyrica.

  • Laura January 24, 2015, 12:56 am

    I’m not sure if I am suffering Lyrica withdrawal – but it’s the only thing my doctor can think of. I’ve been on Lyrica 200 mg/day for a year or so. 3 weeks ago I had leg surgery and sometime between my leg surgery and 12 days later, I stopped taking my Lyrica. On the 13th day I got an antibiotic for a possible infection in my incision and a new pain pill. The next day I started noticing when my hands touched anything cold, my fingers started tingling like shooting needles and itching horribly. I thought it was the antibiotic and got put on a new one.

    Well over a week and half later, I’m still itching on my fingers and toes when they get too cold or near cold water. I’ve been back on my Lyrica a week and half now. The pricking on my fingertips has stopped but now I’ve noticed my lip starts itching when I eat something too cold and most recently my eyelids start itching when I get too cold. Anyone else experience such a thing? Does anyone know how long it takes for Lyrica to get fully back in your system when you start taking it again. Ugh – this itching is driving me crazy (it’s not Raynaud’s disease because my fingers don’t turn white or purple).

  • anna January 25, 2015, 3:47 am

    Been on lyrica 50 mg for over 5 years started titrating very slowly probably too slowly! Had horrible ocular migraines, sweating, spasms, etc. – but the worst was the depression (and I am still not done stopping it)! I am taking the 50mg every other day a very small dose but was on it so long! Was easier for me to stop Xanax and Paxil when I stopped those drugs! No withdrawal at all! Hopefully I can completely stop it! We shall see but I am going slow!

  • Jamie January 26, 2015, 7:02 am

    I have been taking Lyrica for a year now. I was feeling great on the medication, but wasn’t displeased with some of the side effects. One being the weight gain. No matter what I ate, or exercised nothing seemed to work. So I thought I would come off from the Lyrica and see how things changed. Mind you as I am writing this is 1:45 in the morning and I have two boys to take care of in about 4 hours and I cannot sleep. I can say I am very fortunate that I don’t have all the withdrawal symptoms that are being discussed. However the symptoms that I am having are not easy ones.

    First one I experienced was the sweats and it lasted for a few days. Then came the sleeplessness. God help me I just want to get a good night’s rest. Also another one that seems to be taking the biggest toll on my body is not wanting to eat. Granite I enjoy the idea that it will help with the weight loss, but when you seem hungry to eat a meal with your family, it gets old fast. I maybe can get about 4-5 bites in then I am full, nauseous and miserable. Because about a half an hour later I am feeling hungry again but only a few bites.

    Then wake up to an angry belly for breakfast your body won’t allow you to have.. Grrr I am about done with this. I have come off from oxycodone cold turkey and never did it take this long to feel better. It’s so discouraging when you are trying to take back your life and become human again, it just kicks you in the butt for trying. I was so sleepy all the time and it took everything to complete everyday tasks. So now after quitting it’s no better. But I will tell you, hang in there it will get better.

    Stay active, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Try also to keep your mind active. It helps you to not think about your withdrawals. That is the most annoying part. You are counting down the days until your symptom free. Reclaim your life and not allow this medicine to control you. But don’t be ashamed if the side effects get to be too much. Go seek help and support for this. It’s better to get help especially for the anxiety and depression.

    I’m sure your family would appreciate you getting your mind right and rid your body of the suicidal thoughts and or actions. I hate the fact that this medicine is just given out so regularly and without much knowledge given to the patients. I feel the doctors really need to inform their patients. We need to be aware of what some of these medications really do. That’s what we pay them for! I pray that everyone feels better quickly and that the symptoms reside quickly. There are definitely much brighter days ahead.

  • Hanne January 26, 2015, 3:08 pm

    I’m 21. I’ve taken 200 mg x 2 a day for almost 3 months for fibromyalgia. I’m getting off it 25 mg x 2 a day every 4 days, but still the withdrawal is so so bad. I’m so nauseous I barely know what to do with myself and I’m so dizzy. My body feels more tight and achy than it usually does, which says a lot. I considered going to the emergency room a few days ago…

    Lyrics is a sh*t drug and doctors should be aware of the withdrawals and warn their patients before starting medicating them. I looked up Lyrica 1 month ago and saw everyone writing about having bad withdrawals. I thought they were joking, overreacting, or that it was a different drug than what I was on. Learning the truth was tough. Think twice before starting this drug.

  • Delores January 29, 2015, 10:36 pm

    I have been taking Lyrica for over five years 150 mg three times a day, for neuropathy pain that occurred after two major surgery’s were I lost to much blood. I was put on lyrica for the nerve pain. I started taking a drug called neuropathy which works just as well but Dr. won’t prescribe. I took the neuropathy and lyrica for six month together, then dropped one lyrica and then six months later dropped another lyrica and two months ago I stopped taking lyrica.

    Talk about awful withdrawal symptoms. After each pill that was dropped I had fuzzy vision and itching face and it felt like bugs all over me lasted about six to eight weeks for the first two pills that were dropped. But since this last pill its been eight weeks and I still have withdrawal symptoms. All the time I was on Lyrica they said “you can’t have withdrawals because it is not a narcotic.” I don’t believe that for a moment. I will get through it, but if someone had told me that vitamin b12 and other b vitamins would take care of my problems, I wouldn’t have taken this drug.

    • Todd January 30, 2015, 6:46 pm

      While I’m experiencing the same symptoms tapering off of lyrica & also have neuropathy, don’t get too excited about B vitamins helping your neuropathy. I’ve been on high dose Rx B 12, Folic Acid, & B6 pills, the active form, and they haven’t done a thing in 6 months, and I think they may be making Lyrica withdrawal more severe. I always have less withdrawals when I don’t take them.

  • Concerned Patient February 3, 2015, 12:12 pm

    I was prescribed Lyrica for back pain associated with a trapped nerve. I was on it for 5 weeks and my final dose was 75mg three times a day. Thankfully after acupuncture I had total relief of pain and dropped my dose over 10 days finishing on 25mg before bed. After stopping that I experienced 10 days of absolute hell withdrawing from this drug. Cramps, sweats, hot and cold flushes, vomiting, runs, insomnia, and extremely emotionally raw with suicidal thoughts.

    On consultation with my GP afterwards she point blank refused to record it as withdrawal and instead put down that I was allergic. I am exceptionally annoyed about this. Lyrica is a SH*T drug and should not be given for pain. I would have been better of on opiates and would have had half the withdrawal period or less. Pharma is big business and really they do not care for your health at all just the profit. IMO modern pharma companies are worse than any drug dealer.

    • Tara December 1, 2015, 4:15 pm

      Yours lasted for 10 days? Did it slowly taper throughout or did you have spikes of worsening even towards the end? I’m getting towards 10 days and was on about the same dose for the same time. Today is bad, but it got worse the day before it got slightly better last Friday too… Just trying to figure out if it’s worth fighting through and staying off or going back and tapering more.

  • Stuart February 4, 2015, 5:35 am

    Was presribed this drug for a nerve issue, but frankly I would rather have the pain than take this stuff. I have never reacted to a drug in my life, but Lyrica made me foggy…but that was the good bit. When I started weaning myself off it, I had an incident one night where I became quite disorientated so I stopped taking them. 3 weeks on and I still have: hot/cold flushes, sweats, headaches, and can’t sleep properly because of muscle spasms. I also feel sick frequently. Won’t be going back to these bad boys ever again!

  • Charlotte Leland February 6, 2015, 1:58 pm

    Withdrew cold turkey from Lyrica. Have been agonizing now with: severe nausea, fatigue, and feeling terribly sick – especially with the nausea, difficulty swallowing, and total loss of appetite. How to get rid of this agonizing nausea!

  • Lynda February 25, 2015, 4:47 am

    This site has really confirmed all the things I’ve come to on my own regarding Lyrica. I’d been on the drug for around 5 months, 100mgs twice a day for Fibro and other neurological pain. I’d suddenly become “hopelessly” depressed, irrationally emotional, zombie-like, and the Fibro pain wasn’t even being controlled anymore.

    I’d gained weight for no reason, and realized I’d been experiencing headaches, stomachaches, nausea, dizziness, blurry vision, chills and sweats at the same time (I thought this was part of my peri-menopause,) etc., for months now. So, around a week ago, I weaned off in three days, and despite the withdrawal symptoms now, I find I’d been having the same symptoms all along for months now, just didn’t realize it was the drug which was causing it. Why didn’t my doctor tell me about the drug, the side effects, the problems of withdrawing, etc?

    Simple, he wasn’t aware, he was given the same specs sheet by the drug company as came with my first prescription. I’d read it and of course nothing on the sheet mentioned anything like I’d experienced. So, I thought, it wouldn’t be a bad chance to take for relief. HA! I feel lucky that my withdrawal symptoms have been milder than being on the drug.

  • Jessee March 15, 2015, 11:59 pm

    I took Lyrica for approximately 7 years for neuropathic pain. Prior to this I was on Gabapentin but my Dr. switched me not because it was not working but because Lyrica was the new up and coming drug and supposed to be better. When it stopped working for me on Feb 21st of this year I asked to get off of it and return to Gabapentin. I was on 300mg Lyrica at night and started tapering off while adding Gabapentin.

    200mg Lyrica plus 100mg Gabapentin for one week, then 100gm Lyrica, 200mg Gabapentin week 2, 50mg Lyrica, 200m Gabapentin week 3 and now no more Lyrica, 300mg Gabapentin. The first week was fine. 2nd week I started to feel as though I was coming down with something (hot and cold, can’t regulate body temperature, indigestion) and of course the neuropathic pain got worse. Oh yes, and the anxiety. I was waking up with a knot in my stomach each morning and experienced shortness of breath and general anxiety whenever something minor happened at work.

    Week 2 was more of the same plus shortness of breath, week three those effects had lessened a bit but then headaches started, and this week my new hell is all over body aches and pains that are so intense I can’t sleep at night, neck pain and bouts of extreme impatience and anger whenever my dogs annoy me. I usually don’t get upset with them, now I am shoving them aside and swearing at them. The pain got so bad today I ended up in the emergency department thinking I was having a heart attack after pain between my shoulder blades (new area).

    Got so bad I googled it as a symptom and it recommended that if this was accompanied by shortness of breath and indigestion it was better to have heart attack ruled out. After undergoing blood tests and chest X-Ray and explaining to the emergency room doctor about the med switch, he pretty much said that the extreme pain I am living with is muscle pain caused by the withdrawal from the Lyrica. My doctor did not warn my about any of this; I believe this is because she was not aware. I will certainly be fully informing her at my next visit.

    I’ve read on other sites that some people find the withdrawal so bad that they can’t ride it out and go back on the drug. Not this girl. Although extremely hellish and unpleasant, I figure I’ve come this far, eventually it will get better. But I will tell anyone who will listen to avoid this drug if at all possible. If I had known I would have just stayed on the Gabapentin. After all, it was working and it was cheaper. Good luck to everyone and thank you for your comments. Although I don’t wish this on anyone it does make me feel better to know that I am not the only one having this problem, that I am not dying and am not going crazy.

  • Mela March 17, 2015, 8:41 am

    The first time I took Lyrica, my doctor prescribed it for Shingles in 2007. I also had fibromyalgia, so I continued the Lyrica because I noticed it helped with that. I was on 75 mg. 2x daily. But there were side effects I didn’t like and refused to live with any longer, so I stopped taking it, cold turkey, because I didn’t know better. I suffered from such severe depression that I knew I would die if I didn’t start back on the Lyrica.

    It took 3 separate attempts to get off the Lyrica, and I enlisted the help of a chiropractor, which was the best thing I did. I succeeded in getting off of that drug within a couple of weeks. I thought that was the hardest thing I ever did. That was in 2009. This last year (2014) my husband and I after 30 years of marriage got divorced. He had been engaging in behavior that is very stressful to me for the last 5 years. It became so stressful that I “failed to thrive” for a few months, and would have died if I hadn’t received help.

    These last few months the stress was so high that it brought back my fibromyalgia. I started the Lyrica again in January. I’ve managed the stress and I thought I could just stop the Lyrica again. NOT SO! This time, I don’t have the depression or the anxiety/panic attacks I experienced before. But I do have the mega-chills, joint pain, muscle pain, dizziness, sleep difficulty, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, indigestion, acid reflux (and sinus trouble that may or may not be the Lyrica).

    I thought I had caught a terrible bug from someone, but today I realized these symptoms to be the same as someone I know who is on methadone and who sometimes forgets to take her meds. She begins all these withdrawl symptoms within a few hours. So I looked on-line and, sure enough, here they are! I took a dose of Lyrica a few minutes ago, and will now wean myself off this dangerous drug. Wish me well, please, as I do for all of you. I forgot to mention a very disturbing new withdrawal symptom I began having today: blurred vision. I hope this one reverses as I wean myself off the drug.

  • Mary March 29, 2015, 11:08 pm

    Well, I am very sorry for all the peope who have posted on this board with Lyrica withdrawal. However, I am grateful for everyone who took the time to write, because it has helped me see I am not alone in my responses to the discontinuation of this drug. I had a traumatic neck injury and a couple of surgeries, neuropathy from this, in addition to having fibro and an autoimmune disease. After taking gabapentin (up to 2400mg a day), my doctor switched me to Lyrica – 7gmg a day, working up to 300mg pre day.

    At first I felt great – reduced pain, more energy, elevated mood. Then my eyesight got very blurry, depression started increasing, and pain returning. I was on Lyrica for about 3 months. Now, have had to stop due to eyesight, depression and return of nerve pain. I stopped pretty much cold turkey; didn’t know any better. I feel pretty awful; chills and hot flashes, drenching sweats at night, headaches, nausea and stomach pain, depressed, and a sit-and-stare zombie.

    It is very interesting how consistent some of these symptoms are among all of us. All of you are in my prayers, and I hope you all feel better soon. No more Lyrica for me! Ever!

  • Luka cayet March 31, 2015, 8:04 pm

    I abused lyrica for almost a year. I used to take 1025 mg a day to get the euphoric effects from it. I quit it in December 2014 3 months ago. I had no withdrawal symptoms only the insomnia which was easy to overcome it by smoking weed every night before going to bed and I used to have a hard job that required me to physically work for 16 hours a day. Which helped me to get exhausted by the time I get home. Thank god I didn’t get what people say they are getting from much less dosages than I used to take. Guys hang in there. The insomnia only lasted for less than a month.

  • Chinzia April 6, 2015, 6:09 pm

    Just 3 days into withdrawing from Lyrica cold turkey. I didn’t think that I would get any symptoms since I was only on a dose of 150 mg/day for a week and then 300 mg for 3 weeks. I have stomach pain, some nausea (not too bad), slight body aches/laziness, itchiness, and a terrible time staying asleep at night with alot of sweating. I am going to tough it out because I am not going back on this drug. I had terrible bloating, gas the whole time I took it. I decided to stop when I started getting blurred vision. Not worth it since I still was experiencing the nerve pain from my back.

    • Cathy May 10, 2016, 7:46 am

      Are you any better? I’ve just come of lyrica after being on it for only three weeks and I feel terrible this morning. How long did it take you to get back to normal?

  • Peta April 11, 2015, 7:22 pm

    So pleased that you have all shared your experiences to read on line. I am so grateful as here I am at 2am reading them all and saying in my poor battered mind ‘I am not alone’. Points mentioned in your writings resound throughout my body. Nerve sensations that I never thought possible are still ongoing at times and I am coming up to 4 weeks off the lyrica. Insomnia, oh I have it big time. The restlessness in the mind and body is freaky. Someone even mentioned the possibility of the liver absorbing damage.

    I’m finding now that my joints need popping relief. My scalp tends to have a whip crackling sensation every now and again and ‘restless legs’ jerking around while I’m trying to watch telly (‘yikes’) the brain ‘freezes’ when you go to do something and can’t remember what your wanted to do? Thank you again for your words they have helped me through another ’round of withdrawal symptoms’ that I am still trying to deal with. Best wishes to you all.

  • Mamarama April 12, 2015, 1:52 pm

    I’m so grateful to all of you who’ve posted because I don’t feel so alone. I had fusion surgery on my neck and was prescribed only 25mg of Lyrica 3x a week and took it for 8 days. Hated how it blurred my vision and fogged my brain – I needed to work again in a week and couldn’t be so mentally out of it. I’d literally forget if I’d taken it five minutes after taking it.

    As soon as I missed a dose, my heart raced. I’ve never had heart issues before. Went to the doc practically every day since then. My bpm shot up to 120/minute and my BP shot up as well. Had a lot of the the symptoms you guys describe too – sleeplessness, severe anxiety, crying, etc. One doc said my dose was so low I should be fine going cold turkey, but a few days later when I saw my primary care, she instantly pinned it as Lyrica withdrawal.

    She said it would take about a week and I’m on beta blockers and xanax to sleep, eight days later I’m finally feeling a little like myself, but my heart rate has slowed only a tiny bit. Thought I would share to show even a small amount of this drug over a short period of time can cause damage. I hope you all find relief and feel like yourselves again soon.

  • Niko April 20, 2015, 6:20 am

    I was given Lyrica by my psychiatrist starting at 25mg twice a day for my anxiety and chronic pain. I can’t even say for sure if it even had any effect because my primary found my vitamin D to be extremely low at the time of starting the drug and I began taking 1500 units of vit D at the same time. Not long after that I also began Cymbalta which is good for pain as week. After about four months my pain improved but my anxiety hasn’t.

    Not only that, but Lyrica has caused me to be very dizzy and unable to focus. I just stopped taking it and it is causing me to be very unbalanced, dizzy, unable to think clearly, irritable and giving me terrible headaches. This was only a 50mg dose twice a day! I can’t imagine the withdrawal for those who have been on high doses for a long time. Good luck if you are discontinuing this medication.

  • Lori April 28, 2015, 6:04 am

    I only took Lyrica for a couple months; 75mg twice a day. The minor reduction of my fibromyalgia symptoms was far overshadowed by confusion and extreme lethargy. My doctor suggested stopping it after giving it another 2 weeks to see if it normalized. Without thinking about it and without any suggestions from my doctor to the contrary, I stopped cold turkey. As an RN I should have known better. My only excuse is that I was truly not myself the entire time I was taking it. I’m about 72 hours into horrific withdrawal symptoms; migraines, crippling nausea, and pain worse than before I started the Lyrica all 3 days so far. I’m hoping tomorrow brings some relief.

  • John April 29, 2015, 9:39 pm

    I was on Lyrica for General Anxiery Disorder (GAD) for four years (450mg/day), and beside some minor side effects it was helping me fine. But then depression and suicidal thoughts started creeping in (well known Lyrica side effects). They got so worse that I decided to wean off of Lyrica very slowly by reducing my dosage by 10% a month.

    The first two month were okay, but after that depression, anxiety en suicidal thoughts were very scary and hard to bear. But I decided to continue my schedule, because I know staying on Lyrica would eventually result in suicide anyway. Now I’m at 225mg/day (5th month) and I wish I would die. I’m very anxious, depressed, fatigue and think about killing myself most time of the day. I’m very desperate and don’t think I will survive my slow taper any way if things will get worse.

    Staying on Lyrica will eventually result in suicide as well, just like my slow taper will. I don’t think I will survive Lyrica anyway. I have red about a class action Lawsuit against Pfizer for this, and I hope I can join them. For what reason? My life is ruined or probably won’t last much longer. Thank you Pfizer!

  • Bumble May 1, 2015, 1:34 pm

    I’m currently withdrawing from 600mg Lyrica per day whilst taking a starter dose of 100mg carbamazepine per day. I’m withdrawing because 600mg has little effect any more, and I’ve only been taking it for 6 months. My withdrawal rate is 50mg per week. The withdrawal effects have only just started to show after 4 days on 550mg, but I’m not sure which effects are carbamaepine and which are Lyrica. Needless to say, right now my neuralgia has worsened, I feel dizzy, sick and I am suffering from depersonalisation. I also feel anxiety, mild depression, and a strange tingling pressure at the front of my skull.

  • Renate Hutchinson May 7, 2015, 8:42 am

    Had swelling of gums and lips from lyrica. Had only been taking it for a month. 75mg x a day. Doctor didn’t think the reaction was from lyrica and sent me to an ENT. ENT said I should see a dentist! So I have stopped the lyrica after 4 days on half dose. Having chills and no appetite, muscle spasms, low energy. Hope the symptoms stop quickly. Looking for new doctors to go to in the future.

  • Jo May 7, 2015, 7:51 pm

    I have just read through your many letters and taken considerable comfort from the numerous accounts of reactions to pregabalin. I had developed unacceptable side effects taking 100 mg twice a day for about 6 weeks which I built up slowly. I felt ‘out of it’, had poor concentration, erratic heart beat and fluid build up at my ankles and no huge improvement in my joint pain. I suggested to my GP that I should come off the drug. I halved the dose for one week and then stopped completely last Friday.

    By Saturday I was feeling inexplicably depressed. Since then I have felt far more alert but I have had a horrid week of disturbed sleep, intense anxiety, intermittent feelings of anger and worthlessness and waves of nausea. I had no idea what was happening to me although I suspected that I might be reacting to drug withdrawal. Until this evening, I had no idea how true this was! I wish I had known what a risk I was taking when agreeing to this drug! Never again!

  • Asymmetric sleepyhead May 14, 2015, 3:03 pm

    I took 150 mg of Lyrica for four years for neuropathic pain arising form spinal cord injury. I gained 30 lbs in weight was fuzzy headed, often struggled to formulate sentences, and had terrible oedema in my legs. Then I began to develop cardiac tachycardia and arrythmia. That was enough for me, I decided to come off them as I couldn’t take the side effects anymore. I titrated down from 150 per day over six weeks.

    I had horrid side effects including insomnia and night sweats so bad I’d have to change the sheets two or three times. This lasted about three months. I’m now six months post, and I still have sweats about twice a week, I’m also on heart meds due to the cardiac problems caused by the Lyrica. My hospital consultant says it might take a year before the Lyrica finally lets go of me. My heart may or may not recover. I HATE THIS DRUG.

    • Cindy July 7, 2015, 2:29 pm

      Hi. I too am trying to withdraw from Lyrica. Went from 150mg 2x day to 25mg now. I have felt terrible since I started tapering in February. I was wondering if you were off of it yet and how you were feeling. I just need some hope of feeling normal again. If you feel like replying I would be grateful.

  • Jeanne May 22, 2015, 3:29 pm

    I was on Lyrica for three years, originally on 150mg in the morning and 150mg at night for nerve issues from cervical fusion ten years ago. The morning does was too sedating and I’ve been tapering over six months. Recently, I tapered from my single does of 150mg at night to 100mg. Foolishly, I stopped abruptly after feeling that the Lyrica wasn’t helping and was put on 10mg twice a day of Baclofen instead.

    I’m starting slowly and just taking 10mg of Baclofen at night. The next few days were terrible with stomach upset, nausea, headache and restlessness and I had to go to the ER for fluids. I was also given Ativan for the restlessness. After a week of no sleep and the worst night sweats, the Pain clinic suggested I go back on 50mg at night. This has been successful in stopping the night sweats, but I am still having trouble with appetite, digestion (noisy stomach), and shortness of breath and some trouble with anxiety.

    The Pain clinic then suggested that I go on a Scopolamine patch for nausea (which gave me dilated pupils and double vision, and I am concerned about being dependent on another med) or take 25mg in the afternoon when symptoms return. They also recommend a taper schedule of 50mg for two days and 25mg for five days, but that sounds like too fast of a taper based on my current withdrawal symptoms. Any suggestions for what I should do? Should I just try to taper down to 25mg since I’m already on nausea meds or go up to 75mg and restart a slow taper?

    I need to return to the work force and we are moving in a month and I don’t want to create greater symptom issues. I’m wondering if it’s just best to continue with a taper and get off Lyrica for good. Once people have stopped their taper, how many months after stopping are you seeing symptoms continue? This blog has been such a big help and I’d appreciate any advice.

  • Emma May 23, 2015, 3:37 pm

    I am also struggling with lyrics withdrawal that seems so cruel. I keep thinking I am over it, then something else happens. I was on the 225-300mg for a year due to neuropathic pain. It worked fantastically well after about 3 days on the meds but the longer I was on it, the more I realized I couldn’t experience enjoyment and was in a world of my own. I’ve gradually reduced it and my GP thought I was going crazy when he saw me during this phase.

    To be honest, initially I did not suspect it was the lyrica… But I felt like I was on another planet!! I have been seeing a fantastically supportive psychotherapist to help. Initially, anxiety was diagnosed but soon a pattern emerged. Every time I reduced the dose anger, anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, feeling high, depression, fatigue and nausea / headaches. Once used to the dose, it settled but then reappeared with starting the reduction again. I’ve been unable to work during this time as I’ve felt all over the place physically and mentally.

    I’ve been off the drug for 3 weeks now but how now developed gluten, lactose and egg intolerance. If I consume any of these, I end up with severe headaches and stomach problems which I suspect are due to my GI system becoming more sensitive without the drug. Does anyone know how long the symptoms persist after stopping the drug? It’s driving me mad or being able to be ‘normal.’ Prior to this I was active and completely healthy.

    I am a health care professional and am surprised how poor the education has been for me re the withdrawal. I had absolutely no problems going on the drug and thought it was a miracle worker!

  • Gordon May 24, 2015, 3:37 pm

    Awful, awful, awful. And that’s only the withdrawal symptoms after being on a low dose this drug for just a few weeks. It should be taken off the market immediately.

  • Sally Ross June 8, 2015, 1:41 pm

    Hello to everyone posting or reading this forum. I have been on pregabalin for two years, before this drug I took gabapentin. To switch from gabapentin to pregabalin I went cold turkey off the gabapentin and started on a low dose of pregabalin a few days after. Gabapentin make me drowsy and I couldn’t find my words when speaking, although it did give me some relief from the painful disc bulges I have in my neck. It was at first a relief to be on pregabalin, it worked well for pain and I could at last speak properly again…but this wasn’t to last.

    I was taking pregabalin, naproxen, and omeprazole to line my tummy, and also paracetamol and tramadol when the other two weren’t giving me enough relief from the pain. All these drugs were affecting my memory, speech, and daily life in terms of interacting with people and being independant. So, I decided to go cold turkey off the lot! Oh the pain came back in bucket loads, I got short tempered, got the mad itches, restless legs and all sorts of other niggling things like feeling very detached from everything.

    But, this was weeks ago now, the pain isn’t as bad as it was before I started taking all these drugs, I feel more myself, and I feel a hell of a lot more positive about life. It is’t easy going cold turkey, so won’t recommend it. But I do recommend people try to get drug free for a while to see if their condition has improved, or you can get help in other ways. I now do yoga every morning, it helps enormously, also walking somewhere beautiful, being at one with nature… No I’m not a hippy (haha) but I do love life, even though it isn’t always easy when in pain.

    I can only advise through my own personal experience, after a few weeks it gets better/easier. Obviously it depends on your own personal condition or reason for pain, but the withdrawals do subside and then you might wonder if the drug was doing that much for you. I do believe there is a certain amount of placebo affect with these drugs and the addiction is more mental than it is physical. So for me I am glad to be drug free at the moment…touching wood.

    I feel so much empathy for those suffering with pain and then the added complications of the drugs we become to rely on, it is always worth a try and get off them for a while, to at least know how we really feel. Please try yoga, relaxation, massage and physical therapy and everything else before deciding to take these drugs. Doctors give drugs out like sweets at times, we can often feel like there is nothing else. Talking to others in the same boat, being positive and trying to laugh till you wee as often as possible helps more than the pills most of the time.

    I know it is all easier said than done but we are all masters of our own destiny to a certain extent, time we take control and look after all the bits of ourselves that still work properly, as well as those bits going haywire. My neck is definitely haywire, but I won’t let the thing holding my head on make me lose my head. God bless you all, and I really hope you can get free from these drugs and find an alternative therapy that works for you.

    • Danielle June 30, 2016, 4:55 am

      Hi there, Are you still off Lyrica? This post was a while ago and I would LOVE to know how you are now or if the worst of it passed when you had written this?

  • Beth June 17, 2015, 6:00 pm

    Hey everyone. I’m glad I found this site. I’ve been having the same issues with Lyrica withdrawal. I know it’s the Lyrica because it has happened twice now. Once when I was on a 100mg once a day for 5 years and now when I was on 50mg once a day for less than a month. Terrible headaches, muscle spasms, crying all the time, etc. I am going to report my experience to the FDA. Patients can file reports just like doctors can and the FDA encourages it. Here is the link if anyone else is interested. It’s called the adverse event reporting system.
    http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Surveillance/AdverseDrugEffects/

    • Denise May 9, 2016, 7:41 pm

      Thank you for posting that link, Beth. I will be going to it. My husband has been taking 75 mg twice a day for 28 days for neuropathy. Getting ahold of his doctor is a nightmare – he’s not in or they put you on hold and never come back. Anyway, he ran out of lyrica and by the 2nd day he was so sick, depressed, felt foggy and just out of it.

      I found a lyrica pill under the bed while vacuuming that had been dropped, he took it (thinking he was feeling this way due to the neuropathy) and within an hour felt like himself again. That’s when I realized it was withdrawals. I finally got a hold of the Dr’s office today and he wasn’t in but his RN said, “I’ve never heard of Lyrica withdrawals, maybe he’s coming down with something”.

      So I have been reading for over an hour now, while on hold with the doctor’s office, and THERE ARE LYRICA WITHDRAWALS! I am so mad right now. How could they prescribe this and not know there are withdrawals? Doctors don’t want to prescribe the traditional pain meds because “they are addicting”.

      While typing this the nurse finally got on the phone and said, “come on in and pick up the script”. 8 hours after our initial conversation that he is experiencing withdrawals. No mention on what to do with tapering off, seeing the Doctor, nothing! I will wean him off on my own.

      My next steps: I am finding another doctor and reporting the withdrawal effects on the website you provided. This drug is dangerous. A big thanks to all who took the time to post and share.

  • Victoria Loftin June 18, 2015, 2:43 am

    I had been taking Gabapentin (generic Lyrica) for about a month. I was not feeling better so my doctor prescribed the brand name product Lyrica. I thought the generic drug was equal to Lyrica. I thought that there would be no withdrawal symptoms. I WAS WRONG! Remember, I was only taking Gabapentin for a month. I had immediate withdrawal symptoms like these shock-like restless leg movements. These are so strong that I have actually dropped things. It makes sleep impossible.

    But the worst is the NAUSEA! I cannot describe the details of this effect in uncensored messages–suffice it to say, these are very debilitating. Last but not least, my vision has deteriorated so badly that I cannot drive safely. My physician never told me any any of this. Perhaps, she thought I had not been on Gapabentin long enough for withdrawal. Her final recommendation was to take 1/2 of the generic and 1/2 of the name brand–that made it much worse.

    Presently, I am deep into withdrawal and feeling very depressed. I don’t know how anyone could feel happy with these symptoms. Mostly, I would not recommend either drug. If I were asked about its ability to improve pain, I haven’t found that to be true either. Maybe it is possible to take withdrawal insomnia drugs, anxiety drugs, and something to relieves Restless Drug Syndrome and deteriorated vision. Sounds like overkill but right now I would try it. Mostly, STAY AWAY FROM THESES DRUGS.

  • keelyb June 26, 2015, 6:48 pm

    Have been on lyrica since 2008 for GAD, it worked like a dream for me, less anxiety and panic and could resume with my life. The last few years I have reduced on my own from 200mg to 100mg. This last year has not been so good, I have felt the depression creeping back and anxiety and just want off of them. I am constantly tired, my body feels like lead and finding the right words and sentences are like hell, I just cannot articulate anything so just want to come off them and get them out of my system…reading this wondering if the withdrawal is worse and I am scared. I am coming down 25mg a month so far just had bad sleep, heart beating out of my chest, sweats and exhaustion. Carrying on with withdrawal but scared of the last pill…and what is to come after that!!!

  • Chris carlile July 6, 2015, 6:54 am

    Not had this for 4 days when I’m on 300mg twice a day and have been on since 2013. This was worst than my experience of withdrawal from tramadol, seriously!! Doctors repeat prescriptions were the errors. This is verging on a massively negative effect on my human rights; if anybody knows how this feels please tell me I’m just exaggerating,

    • tins November 5, 2015, 7:28 am

      No you’re NOT. I stopped lyrica cold turkey nearly 1 year ago. At first was I was in hell experiencing all of the side effects that I’ve been seeing on here from others. I’m still suffering with what the effects of this drug have caused. I was given it for my EM to help with burning and pain didn’t help one bit.

      In fact, it has made the EM double worse regarding burning pain but also it has made the bright red coloration of the skin on my feet and legs more intense. Lyrica has been like the kiss of death to me. I would say it’s just same as the drug heroin because it’s just as addictive and makes you feel awful in as many evil ways.

      I haven’t got back to myself as I was before the drug and I feel I never will now. I’m stuck like this. Should never have taken this poison to start with as it made the original problem worse than it had been before Lyrica. NOT HAPPY.

  • Fanta550 July 10, 2015, 12:21 pm

    The pain clinic put me on pregablin for stomach pain and they wanted me to get to 600mg a day. I got to 300mg and I tell you what they can stick these drugs where the sun doesn’t shine. I’ve managed to get myself down to 25mg a day which has been bloomin terrible. Today I have spent most the morning in bed feeling tired, sick and nervous. I am dreading coming off this last 25mg.

    I have been doing this against the drs advice because they don’t think that they are causing the problems I’m having but they are, I never felt this nervous before starting pregablin. They are the worst tablets I have ever been on and if I ever heard anyone saying the Dr has recommended they go on it I will tell them the awful experience I have had. Anyone have any ideas on how to come off the 25mg? I’m continuing to take it for a week everyday before I begin to reduce again.

    • Paul November 3, 2015, 6:26 pm

      Hello from a fellow sufferer of this awful toxic drug. I have read that you can mix the powder from the 25mg capsule in distilled water and drink half one day and finish on the second day. Don’t take my word for it, contact your doctor if possible or ask a pharmacy for advice. A compounding pharmacy will be able to provide smaller capsules than 25mg also. How long has it taken you to reduce from 600 to 25?

  • Kristina August 6, 2015, 7:18 pm

    My doctor prescribed me lyrica for consistant unexplained pain back in 2011. I started small and gradually increased my dose to 100mg in morning and 75 mg late afternoon. At first it felt like a dream come true it worked so well. I felt I had my life back but that was short lived. Slowly the pain crept up on me again and my doctor said I could up the dose.

    I had also gained 25lbs since starting and have always been tall and lean my whole life (41 yrs old). Other side effects also came into play such as brain fog, forgetting words, names etc. I felt numb all the time and mostly only negative emotions. People closest to me said I was no longer nice to be around and noticed other negative changes in my personality.

    So with all these things considered, I did not up my dose but stayed on the same dose ever since even though is was not doing much for me anymore. 4 months ago I started to wean myself off very slowly and carefully after reading about all the negative side effects of this drug. Had a hard time believing it could be that bad. Weaning off was the easy part. I got down to one 25mg pill once a day and forgot to take it a couple weeks ago just once so decided next day not to take it.

    The next day I started to feel nausea. Same thing the next day and so on. The nausea has been terrible and seems to get worse everyday! Nausea, hot flashes, pins and needles and of course all my pain is back but I expected that. This drug can help you with pain but it is just a hamster wheel. Eventually the pain will return and you will need more and more until you max out.

    I will continue to suffer through this horrible nausea but will never get back on this drug or anything similar. Not worth it to me to go through this again.

  • Sal August 9, 2015, 5:52 pm

    I was diagnosed with neuropathy at the end of 2014 and given 75mg of Lyrica by my doctor. It helped me with my pain in my feet and legs but after a few months began to taper off and my pain returned. I told this to my doctor and he told me to double up on Lyrica as I was only taking a small dosage. I increased my dosage to 150 mg day and felt a little better but also noticed swelling in my feet and ankles.

    I gained 15 lbs and began having light headaches also. I told my doctor this and he told me to taper off Lyrica slowly which I did last June (2015). I immediately began to have chest pain, joint pain and hot and cold sensations all over my body. I couldn’t think straight and had terrible insomnia. I felt like I was going to die and could barely get around my house much less go to work.

    At night when I tried to sleep I would get this terrible choking sensation in my upper chest and throat as if I was having a heart attack or stroke. This lasted for two months and now I am over the headaches and body aches but still am light headed with terrible chest pains. I feel at any time I am going to have a heart attack and have no strength to do anything.

    If this continues I am checking myself into the hospital and hopefully they can help me with this withdrawal discomfort. If there is anyone out there who is considering using this poison I would plead with them to reconsider. This is the worst hell I have experienced with any medication I can assure you. God bless all those who are suffering from this bad drug and hang in there.

    • CC September 1, 2015, 7:53 pm

      SAL! If you haven’t already, get yourself to a cardiologist and have those chest pains checked out. I went off Lyrica after about 3 months use due to the usual horrible side effects. It said on the Rx info sheet to wean off a minimum of one week. It should have said one MONTH! My w/d was as horrible as any heroin addict and the worst of it lasted 6 solid days. I thought I was dying.

      Six weeks later I went to NM for the month of Feb. I have severe fibromyalgia, and I’d found NM climate agrees with me from a previous vacation there. I was enjoying more beautiful, painfree living when one day I decided to do some volunteer work which involved repetitive motion of my upper body, cleaning & mopping (stuff I don’t do a lot of at home…).

      Now my fibro seems to follow weather patterns or barometric pressures or something. That’s why living in Tornado Alley is nearly unbearable for me. So I’d overworked all my muscles in my body, not realizing that a HUGE weather front was bearing down on Albuquerque. Suddenly, two days later, I was slammed with fibro. I went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. I couldn’t breathe in a prone position at all, and I had horrible pain in my heart area. They couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Told me to see my MD when I got home.

      Exactly 2 weeks later, after returning home, I was in our ER, A-fibbing all over the place. They ordered a helicopter to take me to the city for hospitalization. I almost died that night. They had me on IV antibiotics for a week, while they ran tests for every infectious disease they could think of. They ran out of poke spots on my arms, so they put in a PICT Line, and drained 50 vials of blood out of me in one day, before I finally got to go home. Cause of the pericarditis: Unknown.

      Well, I see a link between the intolerable side effects and horrendous withdrawal from Lyrica and my bout of pericarditis. There’s not another thing to explain it. It was the Perfect Storm: use of a drug (Lyrica) I couldn’t tolerate, withdrawal hell, vacation in a different altitude/climate, overwork of upper body muscles, and a monster weather front that dumped 2 feet of snow on us. I’ve never had a fibro attack that severe. It was like every muscle and every nerve in my chest was stretched so tight I couldn’t breathe.

      It was 2 months after I was discharged from the hospital before I started feeling any improvement at all. The pain gradually left my chest, but to this day, I can barely walk 200 feet without my legs and back going into painful fatigue/spasms. I feel like I’ll never be the same because of this poison that so many people have had so many adverse reactions to. It should be taken off the market, and we victims should be compensated for our pain and our unknown futures. BAD DRUG indeed.

      The FDA has had 37 reports of Lyrica causing pericarditis, but agrees that the number of cases is likely under-reported. Well, sure. People probably don’t put the two together, if the pericarditis occurs several months after discontinuing Lyrica. In fact, there don’t seem to be very many doctors who know much of anything about fibromyalgia or even care, in my experience. SAL Your time-line sounds like mine. You’ve been off Lyrica a couple months and are having chest pains. Go see a heart specialist, please!

      • shelly February 21, 2016, 6:19 am

        Well here I am reading and, too, withdrawing! This is pure insanity to think that a drug like this is so highly advertised on TV TO HELP FIBROMYALGIA! I was on 50 mg twice a day for one month then 75 twice a day for one month. Nov and dec 2015. At first it brought some relief, but then the horrible side effects.

        Throbbing in my knees thighs hands face and feet! I started research. Decided to quit cild turkey. Just like you all, extreme withdrawals… nausea, body aches, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness…now with about a month off, severe stomach pain, acid reflux, and CHEST PAINS LIKE I HAVE NEVER HAD! Son took me to the ER on Superbowl Sunday! Thought for sure I was having a heart attack! Nope. Unspecified chest pain.

        2 days later back to doctor… In agonizing pain in my left chest and back! Radiating to my limbs. Hot flashes, chills, back and forth! Again, not my heart. Anxiety. Today my intestinal tract is so screwed up I swear I am having a pancreatic attack! Drinking just water and antacid for GERD! Scared and miserable. Stomach killing me.

        When will this end. I pray every day for my healing! I will pray for all of you. Something has to be done for our suffering. Doctors don’t want to accept these facts! God bless and I pray for your returns to previous states!

  • Keri September 2, 2015, 3:19 am

    I was prescribed Lyrica after a prolapsed disc in my neck. I would have to say this is the worst drug ever to come off. I was taking 100mg twice a day for approx 3 months which is a low dose in the scheme of things. Well coming off this crap is a living nightmare! I’ve not slept for 3 days in a row. My skin is itchy and at night my legs are restless. I have taken lots of medication for various things over my life, but I have NEVER encountered anything like this. I will avoid this medication at all costs in future.

  • Tammy September 3, 2015, 3:08 pm

    Hi. I was on the highest dose of the drug. I wasn’t fully planning on quitting. I missed a day because I ran out. I then took one and then left them behind somewhere so only had half a dose that day. I took one the following day but when it came to the next dose I decided I may as well quit now as I had already started. I considered only taking one again the next day but instead didn’t take any. No problems. That night was horrendous. I couldn’t sleep. I felt sick. I got a headache. The next day I was cold etc. It felt like flu. I then came here to read about it and I am now writing this comment. Should I stick it out?

    • CC September 6, 2015, 8:18 pm

      Tammy, hang in there! You’ve started the withdrawal process from the highest dose, and it sounds like you’ve basically gone cold turkey. This could get really rough. If you start having chest pains, go to the ER & tell them you are in withdrawal from Lyrica and could possibly have pericarditis. (My story is above, under Sal’s comment.)

      Good luck, Tammy. I hope things aren’t as bad for you as they were for me when I quit. But I survived it and so will you. Prayer helped me. Drink lots of water; don’t let yourself get dehydrated due to the diarrhea and vomiting you may experience for days on end. Rest any & every chance you get. If you have a job, try to get a couple weeks off on medical leave, even if you have to use vacation days.Otherwise, hang tough until it passes. I don’t know any other advice. I wish I could be of more help.

      I’m sorry SO many people are going through this agony – can’t someone get a class action lawsuit going? This mass poisoning of a whole population, making us sick and weak and stupid, has a sinister flavor to me. It has to stop! Since 2012, when I was diagnosed, I’ve been fighting doctors to stay OFF expensive Lyrica for my severe fibromyalgia. I REALLY regret the day I let one talk me into trying it. I’m afraid I’ll never be the same.

  • keely September 10, 2015, 3:34 am

    I am now currently going from 75 mg to 50mg, one a week, then 2 the next week, 3 the next week etc. I am determined to get off of this crap. I have insomnia, heart palpitations, dry mouth, confusion, crying fits…please someone tell me that the symptoms go away after you have come off of lyrica? Also how do you come down from 25mg, there is no lower dose, anyone got any ideas? Thanks.

  • Jay September 14, 2015, 6:21 am

    Had my first lyrica withdrawal – OMG nasty stuff… couldn’t sleep, extreme pain, hot and cold shivers, felt like I was going to die…

  • grace September 15, 2015, 7:08 am

    I stopped taking Lyrica 3 days ago after taking 300 mls a day because 150 mls was not working for me. I was on it for 2 weeks when I began to lose my balance, my memory and terrible bloating, I gained 3 kilos in a week. Gave up cold turkey and now I’m anxious, irritable, have constant headache and wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep. Terrible back ache also. Doctors don’t seem to know enough about the awful symptoms otherwise they wouldn’t prescribe it so readily.

  • Paddy September 17, 2015, 9:13 pm

    So glad to have read all these comments. My partner is currently into week 2 of withdrawals from a high daily dose. All the symptoms here match exactly. Still having chills/flushes, sweats, weakness and no appetite.

  • Jill September 23, 2015, 12:03 am

    I was on Lyrica for 2 years at 300mg a day. I was taking it for ridiculopathy. My on Lyrica side effects were horrible blurred vision, weight gain (30lbs?) and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. I decided that my time with Lyrica needed to end and so I asked my Dr for a change in medication. Not knowing any better I stopped Lyrica cold turkey. Today is day 14 of being Lyrica free!!???

    The last 14 days have been a struggle to say the least. I cannot keep a regular body temperature. I itch and scratch myself until I bleed. I am so nauseated I can barely get out of bed. The worst part of this experience is my head… I feel I am losing a battle with will… At times I’m paranoid and others I’m just exhausted from the wheels spinning in my head. I am hoping this ride ends soon because I don’t know how much longer I can ride it.

    If I hadn’t been off Lyrica this long already I would use it in a heartbeat, because I know it would take away all this ugly that I’m feeling right now.

  • gg September 23, 2015, 2:30 am

    Get off lyrica at any cost; or don’t ever take it. I was on it 1 1/2 years. I had increasing, daily panic attacks and depression. I quit cold turkey 8 months ago and am finally over the withdrawal. The first week I laid on the couch. The comments I read here got me through it. I couldn’t believe any withdrawal could possibly be this bad. I had twitches and shaky hands.

    Even after most of the psychological effects were over, I had nervous system problems (shaky hands, etc.) I would suggest taking vitamins for your nervous system, b 6 and b 12, lecithin, calcium, magnesium, omega 3, taurine, and for depression–5-htp and st. johns’ wort. You can get over it, but it may be the hardest thing ever.

  • Jeni September 25, 2015, 2:11 am

    I want to give some long term Lyrica users hope. I took Lyrical for 10 years for fibromyalgia. My dose was 100mgs. I also took Xanax and Seroquel for sleep. When I tapered Xanax, it was really hard. The Seroquel was easier to taper than the Xanax but it was still a rough taper, especially at the end of the taper. I saved the Lyrica taper for last.

    Although I had withdrawal symptoms from tapering Xanax and Seroquel, I did not experience any withdrawal symptoms from tapering Lyrica. I did a water taper. I mixed the powder from my 100mg capsule with 100 ML of warm water and kept dropping an additional 1 ML every 2-3 days, until I had no more water to taper. I had read that Lyrica withdrawal was similar to Xanax withdrawal, but this was not the case for me. Lyrica was an easy taper, Xanax wasn’t.

    I tapered both medications very slowly and carefully and am happy to finally be medication-free. This goes to show that a medication withdrawal is a very individual thing. Don’t believe your experience will be the same experience as someone else. Write your own story! Good luck everyone.

    • Ty November 19, 2015, 4:24 pm

      Jen, would you mind expanding on the water taper? Thanks for your encouraging words!

  • Jennifer September 25, 2015, 2:56 pm

    Took 100mg of Lyrica twice a day for neuropathic pain in my left side that docs can’t figure out the source of. Started 7 months ago and it did help but as others have said I wish I’d have researched it more. I didn’t realize that brain fog, forgetting words, a general loss of desire for doing things, ankle swelling, and a 20# weight gain and climbing were from the Lyrica until I started researching online.

    I’m an RN so I knew I probably shouldn’t go cold turkey so I just halved my dose for a week to start. That wasn’t bad at all so this week I decided to just go ahead and stop….I’m about 5 days into it at this point…and WD symptoms are the most pronounced as evening wears on into bedtime…headache was a problem one night, for 4 nights I get this feeling of being chilled and low grade fever. For one day at work I stayed chilled.

    One evening I had a doom and gloom feeling and anxiety I couldn’t shake but nothing severe. Swelling all over my body has improved, my clothes are fitting better. No effect on my appetite or sleep pattern thankfully. I’m uncomfortable in my side at times but no different than when I was on Lyrica because it didn’t eliminate the pain completely.

    I just wanted to share my experiences in hopes it would help someone going through this same thing. Although my WD so far has been milder than some it has been unpleasant as it is happening especially the chills…I feel like I’m getting the flu! Good luck to all.

  • Carl October 8, 2015, 7:18 am

    Oh great! I told myself I wouldn’t read any comments, because I knew they be of mostly negative results, and sure enough, same old story, Lyrican is the worst drug to stop in the whole world. Not what I wanted to read, but I kind of knew already, because I too have decided it was time to stop taking, dahn dahn daaaahhh “Lyrica!” I have been taking 150mg three times a day for the past ten years for nerve damage from a back injury and surgery.

    I just started tapering a few days ago, and I can feel my body fighting the deficiency of Lyrica already, sweats, hot cold, nausea, shakes, anxious, I don’t know if this is such a good idea or not. On the one hand, the light at the end of the tunnel sure is bright, but the tunnel is riddled with potholes and cracks. Maybe I should just keep taking it and die grasping my last dosage, I am already taking anti anxiety and depression cancelling meds, and for about the same duration as the Lyrica, so I’m pretty sure they aren’t working as they did when I first started taking them.

    I only read five or six comments, maybe I should go read some more… That would pretty much guarantee that I won’t stop taking it. Signed: confused and without answers.

  • Charlotte October 10, 2015, 2:33 pm

    I’m currently taking 800mg of lyrica a day. I have stopped 100mg of it already for a week now. My rheumatologist put me on such a high dose after suffering from chronic pain. I have severe headaches from over medication and with regards to withdrawal symptoms I do not feel myself at all. My insides feel like they are shaking, constantly tired, crying just because I feel so sorry for myself. I have such a long way to go to be able to be rid of all the tablets as I also take others on top of lyrica. Just can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel at the moment. -Charlotte

  • Paula October 10, 2015, 11:09 pm

    I’m trying to get off Lyrica and found it best to tapper off the drug. If you don’t, the withdrawal symptoms may cause you a lot of problems and last much longer. Lyrica is not an easy drug to get off of decreasing the amount by 10-15% every 10-14 days works the best for me. The symptoms I’ve experienced are anxiety, sob, sweating, nausea, stomach pain, flu like symptoms, headaches and tension. Good luck to the rest of you trying to get off Lyrca also.

  • Johnny October 14, 2015, 12:24 am

    I’ve been on Lyrica for about 20 months due to a surgery to remove a spinal tumor (C1-C3). Woke up from surgery with left leg numb and pins and needles in hands and feet. The dose was 2x100mg daily but after a year I seemed to have developed a tolerance to it and increased to 2x125mg. Over the last year I seem to have developed muscle stiffness in my neck/shoulder and thighs. Also wake up in the morning with flu like symptoms. Muscle and joint paint. When I reduce the lyrica the symptoms get better.

    For the second time, I am trying to get off this medication as I believe the negative does not outweigh the benefits. When I tried this a year a go I experienced muscles spasms, dizziness, blurred vision and major fatigue for two months until I decide to resume. I withdrew the medication within a period of 3 weeks. Now I am trying again but trying within a period of several months. Has anybody experienced anything similar? How can I tell the difference between withdrawal symptoms and my actual surgery issues?

  • Ruth Anne October 21, 2015, 11:33 am

    I have been on a dosage of 150 mg per day for 5 years taken at bedtime. I have just recently stopped taking it for good. I thought I would share my experience with Lyrica. First of all, you will gain weight. Lyrica increases your appetite while slowing down your metabolism. Sometimes a few extra pounds are better than pain. If you take it a certain time of the day, you cannot deviate from that time since withdrawal starts with the first missed dosage.

    Withdrawal symptoms for me included extreme fatigue, diarrhea, hot flashes followed by chills. It made me dizzy so I had to take it a bedtime. Okay…coming off of it. I moved to a different state and my doctor had no idea how to get off of it, she actually told me that she was going to Google it while I got dressed after an exam….scary!!!

    She was wrong, BTW! My advice is to take about two weeks and slowly decrease your dosage until you are off. You are going to have side effects such as depression, digestive changes, etc. but they will definitely go away in time. This is a great drug for many issues as long as you take it correctly.

  • Patty Harper October 22, 2015, 5:42 pm

    I am going to be weening off lyrica with a 6wk supply from my dr. I have been taking it for 6yrs, after a surgery. It has affected me in a lot of different ways and I really don’t need it anymore. I actually have been weening myself off for a few months already. I feel so bad that all of you are having such a terrible experience coming off of it!!

    My dose was 75mg twice a day. I had him prescribe me 75mg once a day about 6mos ago, when I found out that I knew more about coming off of it than my dr. did. Nice huh? Thanks to all of you who put your comments on websites like this one. My question is… why in God’s name would your drs prescribe such high doses?? That really seems unnecessary and dangerous to all of you. I feel like we are all guinea pigs sometimes.

    I feel lucky that I’ve only been on 75mg. I’m still scared though. Wish me luck. Mentally I’m good-or at least I keep telling myself that.☺ My prayers are with all of you and I will have to let you know how my body handles it. Never give up! Never surrender!

  • jess October 29, 2015, 12:57 am

    I’ve been on lyrica 150mg twice daily for only 6 weeks and after my face swelling up like a balloon I stopped cold turkey not knowing of the withdrawals. It’s only been 4 days and I want to die. I have 2 little ones that I can barely pick up and it’s almost unbearable to dress them. I want to cut my arms off they hurt so bad. I’m nauseous, I have the runs, and I can’t stop crying. Somebody please tell me this will all be over soon.

    • Paul November 3, 2015, 6:40 pm

      Hello Jess. How are you doing with your withdrawal? Cold turkey withdrawal is not advised for anybody.

  • John November 8, 2015, 6:34 pm

    Very grateful for this blog and everyones comments. Here’s a letter I sent to my Medicaid case manager today…

    I am writing this in hopes you will read it before I come for my appointment on Monday afternoon. I want to provide a timeline background about what I have been going through this past 14 months; so I can be properly diagnosed and my medications can be adjusted accordingly. When I was living in England, I had mild depression, was home sick, would have mild anxiety at times often because of focusing on my tinnitus, and a panic attack once or twice a year, which normally stopped with Valium after a few days. But I was very functional over there and was generally peaceful inside.

    I did not feel as though I was mentally ill. I was successful in the workforce, raising my kids alone, athletic, attended church, had hobbies, relationships, humor and a general feeling of well being overall. I had a bad panic attack/breakdown accompanied by claustrophobia in England 14 months ago and returned to America. My panic attack in England lasted over six weeks/the longest one I ever had. Nothing was helping. Then just before I flew home, I was given Lyrica. Within a day, my panic attack subsided.

    After returning here Dr. Wilson said Lyrica was relatively benign because it was not a narcotic, and that if it helped in the past to stay on it. I carried on taking it along with Zoloft, Diazipam, and Bupropion. Despite the indications that warned about prescribing it to people with history of anxiety and depression. When I got off the Valium for four months and went to Elim Home a year ago, I did feel better, but still was not at all myself, especially in the morning with tremors, depression and anxiety.

    In general, this last year has been hell. I have tremors-tremble inside my chest and abdomen every morning, shake, feel deep depression, anxiety and am very restless. I think of suicidal thoughts that fleet through my mind regularly, involuntarily (never had this before), feel that life is meaningless and futile. I have lost my sense of humour. I often think I am dying or losing my mind. I struggle to focus on simple tasks, even such as reading or watching TV or listening to music. I have withdrawn from social interaction with my family and others.

    I developed a new kind of tinnitus in addition to the one I already have, which comes every morning and is a highly disturbing humming sound. I often feel like I am losing my mind and being tormented by the devil himself. I have been comforted by people/family telling me that I am still recovering from my breakdown in England, but do not believe that. I have crying spells, mood swings, and also feel depersonalized, unconcerned about others, nature, current events…

    I am in good physical shape; however, my nervous system seems out of control. I have strange anxiety that I never had before, nervousness in my stomach and chest every day, especially in the morning. I believe I have found the answer. I looked into Lyrica side effects and withdrawal symptoms. All of the above symptoms are listed on many legitimate websites, and cautioned not to be used with antidepressants.

    My Medicaid did not cover my Lyrica prescription over here in Virginia until 11/1 due to an MCO change. So I went without Lyrica for several days. I became extremely sick physically, hot and cold flashes/sweating and chills, nauseous, couldn’t sleep, has shortness of breath, continually salivated, and all the side effects I was having before from the drug but worst, especially the depression and anxiety.

    I am convinced that it has been the Lyrica that has caused my illness this last year. From what I read, it often gives you euphoria at first, so that makes sense that it helped with my claustrophobic anxiety episode just before I returned to America. And then, all these other symptoms and feelings started. I need to come off this Lyrica. From what I have read, the withdrawal short and long term can be horrible. I also want to get off Valium, but if it helps me get through the Lyrica withdrawal, then one thing at a time.

    It seems obvious that my body chemistry is sensitive to Lyrica and does not agree with it. Perhaps there is some medication that can help me withdraw from Lyrica, I have heard Percocet can help. I am thinking it would be prudent to be admitted to a qualified facility that can look at my overall history, vitals, body chemistry, and help me get well. I am thinking that I do indeed need to be admitted to one of the facilities you mentioned.

  • rieya November 9, 2015, 4:16 am

    I took lyrica for almost a year due to cervical facet syndrome. Decided to quit and it has been a few weeks now. Having a horrible time. I met a holistic doctor and he prescribed me with a few supplements and its definitely helpful. I’m having diarrhea, terrible anxiety, suicidal, body pain, shortness of breath, mood swings, insomnia and restless legs syndrome. I will never suggest lyrica to anyone!

  • Paul November 9, 2015, 2:16 pm

    Hello John, So sorry to read your story. I am in a similar situation to you with similar history and symptoms. I have posted earlier on this page describing my situation. It is only now after investigation that I also realize that lyrica was causing many of my symptoms and now that I am trying to withdraw I am experiencing horrific nausea, flu like symptoms, anxiety, dizziness, unable to regulate temperature…

    You are correct in that our nervous systems are fighting against lyrica and for me is now screaming out for the missing chemicals that it had become accustomed to for 5 months. For folk with pain and / or anxiety which is not associated with a broken nervous system, lyrica does give benefit; But for those of us with a broken nervous system, lyrica is the last drug that we need as it exacerbates the existing illness rather than helping.

    My body is now dependent on a drug that has never provided any benefit; I am determined to come off this drug but not sure how I continue reducing my dosage given my current horrific withdrawal symptoms. Good luck my friend. Have faith in your instincts to get off this drug.

    • John November 16, 2015, 2:09 am

      Thank you for the encouragement Paul. At least we know what is causing our reactions to it. I’m seeing my psych this week to discuss how best to go about getting off this. I will reply again afterwards. Peace man, I mean that, I hope we can find peace within ourselves again…

    • John November 29, 2015, 11:51 pm

      Hey Paul. I completed a week long treatment center and weened off the 200 mg/day I was on completely. I’ve been home a day now. Still feeling all the bad side effects but worst. Am looking into a longer stay treatment center. I am hoping that with patience these horrific symptoms will reside. Hope you and everyone on here eventually recovers from this drug’s effects.

      • Paul December 1, 2015, 9:32 pm

        Hello John, I am not familiar with a treatment centre. I assume this is a safe haven for withdrawal from meds? So you are not taking lyrica at all? That is a step forward. Through lots of reading I have found that withdrawal is either easy or horrific and whilst tapering does help some folk, three does not seem to be any way to avoid these horrific withdrawal effects. My aim is to reach a drug free state and see if my nervous system settles down itself.

        Easier said than done and I am already turning to diazepam to take the edge off lyrica withdrawal induced anxiety. There is a very supportive Facebook (closed) group called ‘lyrica survivors’. Good for support and tips for withdrawal from others who have suffered with this toxic drug. You have taken a big step and I do hope that you soon feel better.

  • Moe November 12, 2015, 2:59 am

    I’ve been on 300mg lyrica daily for almost 6 months, in some rare days up to 600mg. I’ve stopped and went back for it a few times, but now this is the longest I have gone without taking the drug. It’s been 8 days since I stopped lyrica cold turkey and I feel better and better with every passing day. The first day felt normal, second was okay, third and fourth are when I felt the withdrawals the most. With vitamins, healthy diet, and plenty of rest, I feel myself getting better and better every day.

    The thing that keeps me going the most is that I don’t wake up in the morning with a lump in my throat for craving it like I used to when I was on it. For those going through withdrawals, keep in mind that your system is readjusting to life without the drug, and eventually, it will go back to functioning normally without it. Good luck to all.

  • BJT November 13, 2015, 1:32 am

    I stumbled upon this blog in the middle of the night during a Lyrica withdrawal-induced insomnia attack. I was taking 400mg of Lyrica twice a day (800 total per day, which now seems very high compared to what other people were taking) to supplement my two other epilepsy meds. During my first visit with a new neurologist (one from well-respected teaching hospital), he suggested I might try weaning off the Lyrica because I was already taking two other meds, and Lyrica hadn’t been shown to be that effective on epilepsy.

    I told him everything seemed to be going OK (no break-through seizures or aura sensations), so I thought I’d leave things as they were. On my next visit with him 6 months later (about six weeks ago), I asked him to put me on a schedule to wean off Lyrica. He set up a schedule that had me completely off Lyrica in four weeks. About three weeks into the weaning, I started feeling lots of fatigue, but didn’t tie it to the Lyrica reduction.

    By the fourth week, I had diarreah, stomach pain, nausea, chills, sweats, dry heaves, and several of the other symptoms mentioned in this blog. I would wake up at 1:30/2:00 in the morning and not be able to go back to sleep. I thought I had a stomach flu, and it caused me to miss a week of work. My general practitioner ran some stool, blood, and urine tests that didn’t indicate a virus or anything causing these symptoms. Then, as I said, I discovered this website in the middle of the night.

    I brought it to the attention of my neurologist who agrees I am, apparently, experiencing some type of withdrawal. He suggests two choices for me: 1. Go back on a very small dose of Lyrica (maybe 50mg twice per day) and wean off more slowly than the 4-week schedule I just completed. Or 2. Stay where I am now and try to conquer the insomnia. (That’s what is killing me now. The other symptoms are waning.)

    My thought is that I never want to put another speck of this med in my system again, but he’s the doctor, and I feel like he was leaning toward my going back on a very low dose and going off more slowly. Other than the epilepsy, I’m of good health. I guess I feel like I’ve already come this far on the withdrawal, and I don’t want to “start all over”. Has anyone else had the experience of being completely off Lyrica for a short time, enduring the symptoms, then going back on it to help the withdrawal symptoms subside? I’m curious as to what your experiences were.

  • Kim November 18, 2015, 5:29 pm

    I started on 600mg 12 months ago after a total knee replacement. I have Rheumatoid. I had extreme diarrhea for the first two months. I started to reduce two months ago. Down to 350 mg first. Within 3 days I thought I was going crazy. Insomnia has been terrible, restless legs is driving me crazy, hot then cold sensations, itching so bad I have scratched away skin leaving scarring, my mind is so jumbled and speech has been slurred at times.

    I feel like I have been in a rheumatoid flare since I first started to taper off Lyrica. I have had so much time off work. I have been taking small amounts of endone mostly at night to deal with the pain. I am now down to 75mg of Lyrica and just don’t think I can reduce anymore. I want this nightmare to end.

  • Randy wilde November 20, 2015, 8:53 pm

    The makers of this drug and the doctors who prescribe it should be sued. I took it for 4 days topping out at 100 mg twice a day for only one day then quit because I felt so terrible. The withdrawals from this short period have made me sicker than I was when going to doctor for help with opiate withdrawals and back pain. DON’T EVER TAKE THIS DRUG.

  • Carol Paton November 24, 2015, 4:43 pm

    I hate Lyrica – I have been taking 225mg a day for awhile now and now I have decided to gradually stop it because I have been thinking I am going to die, I have panic attacks, sharp pain in my arm and chest, restless legs, no motivation at all, always fatigued, gained 50 pounds, swollen all over, no concentration and this is all BEFORE I have started withdrawing from the Lyrica.

  • Steve November 30, 2015, 5:09 am

    I’m 5 months into withdrawal after taking it for a month to treat shingles pain. I stupidly quit cold turkey. Does it seem right that I am still experiencing major anxiety and depression? I’m self employed in a stressful business and the thought of working at the moment fills me with fear.

    • Paul Hamilton December 1, 2015, 9:39 pm

      Hello Steve, That does seem like a long time especially after only 1 month on the drug. However nothing surprises me about lyrica and I have read many stories of withdrawal persisting after 1 year although this applies to people who have been using it for several years and at a high dose. What dose of lyrica did you use?

      I am withdrawing from 300mg and after over 3 months am down to 25+25 with the gaps between dropping down increasing as I near the end of lyrica. Is there any way you could take some time off work? Better to take time off whilst you are in control and it is your decision. Good luck.

      • Steve December 3, 2015, 9:41 pm

        Thanks for the reply Paul. Stupidly, I don’t recall the dose I was on. I pretty much went straight back to work after quitting the lyrica, threw myself into a busy and stressful four months at work. Then became completely non functional. I’m suspecting that this may have delayed or worsened the withdrawal. The evil drug, I’m sure, has us questioning whether our sanity has left us. How are you feeling now after a bit of tapering?

        • Paul Hamilton December 6, 2015, 7:11 pm

          Hello Steve. How are you doing? Are your symptoms subsiding at all? I am still at 25+25 after 18 days since last drop. Will not be dropping again until after the festive period. I think that whether tapering or stopping lyrica suddenly, withdrawal symptoms will be awful although maybe prolonged if tapering. I hope to be off lyrica during February which will be 6 months of hell and then who knows how long symptoms will then persist. Anxiety and nausea are the main challenges for me. Let me know how you progress. Keeping busy is a good approach but do not push yourself too much physically or mentally.

  • macie December 9, 2015, 4:41 pm

    I was on lyrica for 3 years. 600mg daily. 300mg in the morning and 300mg in the evening. I tapered down gradually over 5 weeks and when I eventually came off it I suffered greatly! My 4 main things where sweating. Insomnia. Fatigue and itching! Wow that itching got me! I literally felt like things were crawling all over my body all day!

    As for the insomnia – I was lucky to get 1-2 hours a night – on top of those I was crying a lot. Felt depressed – basically I wasn’t coping so much so I went back to my doctor and was put back on lyrica again! After all I went through! If you’ve never taken lyrica and you’re considering it – don’t bother! Try anything else! I was an opiate addict for many years and coming off that was much easier!

  • Linda December 10, 2015, 4:37 pm

    I was on gabapentin first, and got horrid leg and hip pain from that. My muscles were all knotted up and I could hardly walk. Everyone said Lyrica was better, so I withdrew from gabapentin which was miserable and got on Lyrica. At 300mg. I began having trouble walking and my muscles all spasm again. It was excruciating. So it has taken me a year of gradual dose reductions to get off this hell drug.

    I have had to use oxycodone and hydrocodone to endure the pain of the lyrica. The two drugs can alter a person’s gait and cause all sorts of misery with the sacroiliac, the gluteus maximus, quads, and calves. My quads have hurt so bad and I have had to use a rolling pin every night to get the knots out. Terrible. Today is the first day of being off the drug.

    I already got an ocular migraine (visual disturbance with a migraine sometimes), and I feel absolutely dopey. The secret to getting off this horrid drug is to buy clear gelatin capsules at the health food store and then split the doses. For the past six months, I have been on 25 mg. capsules. I would take them three times a day. Eventually, I began opening the capsules (which are not time released) and dividing them.

    I’d use a Sharpie and mark the height on the capsule. I’d reduce the dose by about 1/4 every week or so. Once, I dropped my dose 50mg. in a month and I had a hellish melt down of anxiety and severe pain (unlike my original injury). I had to increase my dose to get it under control again, which set me back months!! The manufacturer is NUTS if they think people can drop off 25 mg. at once! NO.

    It is much easier to drop the dose in small steps. Lyrica works for nerve pain, but for me, it cause some very bad muscle dysfunction (to the point of having trouble walking). I have not been able to go for a walk in over 3 years due to gabapentin and Lyrica. My nerves finally healed from a neck herniation and I am celebrating my first day off the devil drug.

  • Georgia December 11, 2015, 5:02 pm

    I was diagnosed with RSD/CRPS almost 4 years ago, which caused severe nerve pain and cramps in my toes and right forearm (dystonia). Six months later I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and six months after that I was diagnosed with lupus. I was started on 300 mg twice a day. A year later, my doctor cut my dose in half due to fluid in my lungs and low oxygen levels. I was going through withdrawals then but didn’t know it, as I was hospitalized for a septic staph infection at the time.

    Two years later, my memory and vision became so bad (I suspect from the lyrica) that I decided to taper off of it. It cost me almost double for my lyrica script, but I asked my doctor to prescribe 75 mg capsules instead of 150mgs. I began taking one less pill in the morning for a month, and then one less pill at night for a several month. I then eliminated the morning dose for a month.

    Twelve days ago I stopped it completely. The first week was hell…I actually prayed for death! I had hot flashes, cold sweats, nausea and vomiting, migraines, my nerve pain and severe muscle cramps came back, and I could not get out of bed to even shower! I am now happy to report that this week, I have been able to go visit my daughter and grandkids, went shopping and have had 2 date nights with my husband!

    I am still feeling like I am in withdrawals…but it is tolerable now. I am taking magnesium for the migraines, calcium, high doses of vitamin C, and a multivitamin, and when I feel nauseous, I have actually found that eating a snack helps. I still feel depressed…just not myself. But I will NEVER go back to taking this drug! I never want to experience the withdrawals again, and it has taken my memory and made my vision drastically worse.

    At the time that I started on it, I felt it was a miracle. I just wish I hadn’t stayed on it so long. I talked to a neurologist last month that told me this drug doesn’t know what areas of the brain to target, so it targets the entire brain! He said it is one of the most dangerous prescription drugs on the market. I hope and pray that you all stay the course and continue to wean, taper, and stay off of it!

    I for one, do not want to have symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 44 any longer…and I pray that my memory deficits are reversible! Good luck to all of you. We CAN beat this!!!

  • Dav December 14, 2015, 8:30 pm

    Don’t all despair guys, on the max 600 for years and often took more, got fed up with the munchy side effect in the end so knocked it on the head. Only took a week or so because I couldn’t be bothered to hang about tapering. Felt fine through the whole thing and the only thing pi**ing me off is the pain from an old arm injury coming back but should be able deal with. Feel desperately sad for all you guys suffering and anyone new, stay off Lyrica – cheers David, Southampton. Can I add one more thing, when I asked the doc to take pregab off my repeat prescription, he said “Well done, just starting to learn what kind of drugs this is.”

  • Angela B. December 19, 2015, 10:03 pm

    I am on day three of withdrawal from Lyrica. I had to quit cold turkey because after taking this 2 1/2 months for disc pressing the nerves severely on my spine, my hands swelled so bad I couldn’t see my knuckles, feet started swelling, itching all over and throat started to swell. Day one felt fantastic! That night couldn’t sleep and when I did had horrible nightmares and sweating profusely.

    Day two my hands felt like needles are being driven between the joints and I can barely make a fist. Today my right hand was unable to bend, now it’s late afternoon and the pain is subsiding but moving to the left hand and my jaw is hard to open. I am hoping I feel normal again. This medicine is evil and Pfizer is the devil!!! I wish everyone a life free of this drug and free of pain.

  • Judith Adshead December 24, 2015, 10:16 am

    I would say to anyone whose doctor is suggesting Pregabolin for anxiety – don’t. I have had it for 7 months with no improvement in the anxiety, but bloated stomach, weight gain, pains in arms and legs, problems with eyesight and tremors. I cut it down gradually over 3 months and am now off it completely. The anxiety is now worse, I can’t sleep because of pains in my leg and neck. I also get alternate sweats and chills, and faint feelings. I’m scared to go out. How long will it last?

  • Marlies December 26, 2015, 4:59 pm

    This drug is hellish. How can Pfizer continue producing and doctors prescribing such poison!!?? In Europe it’s widely prescribed for anxiety and a dosage of 600 mg daily seems to be the recommended amount. I am just finding out why I am feeling so awful on this drug. Have been taking it for 10 months now at 425 mg a day and reduced to 300 mg within a few days.

    Thank you for the advice to taper off just 10% per month which I will now do. Initially the poison seemed to be working quite well but this only lasted a month or so before the gradual downward spiral. Let me wish everyone on this site a successful withdrawal during 2016. With enough support on sites like this, it can be done.

  • Shek January 2, 2016, 1:57 pm

    Thanks to everyone on this site, I now understand the sudden increase in anxiety I have been experiencing, especially in the mornings. I was only on Lyrica (initially 150 mg 3 times a day, gradually tapering down to 75mg once a day). I was due to go down to 50mg a day but decided to check withdrawal symptoms and I am shocked to read that the high levels of anxiety that came on very suddenly are due to Lyrica withdrawal. At least knowing that makes it easier to deal with, and I’ve decided to take my coming off Lyrica even more slowly. I had no idea that the relatively low doses and short duration of taking this drug would lead to such severe anxiety. Thank you once again.

    • Paul January 5, 2016, 10:22 pm

      Hello Shek and thank you for sharing your experience. There are many stories of bad withdrawal from lyrica after very short spells of usage. Unfortunately those that take high doses and for long durations sometimes suffer horrific extended withdrawal. I have posted several times here and am still struggling badly on 25+25 with bad anxiety and strong nausea.

      Did you have anxiety before taking lyrica? How long have you taken to withdraw to your current level? I am forced to take 1mg of lorazepam to take the edge of the nervous feelings and especially prevent the worse of the nausea. I do not have anxious thoughts apart from worrying about how I can get through each day whilst feeling so physically ill and nervous.

      Good luck in your withdrawal. You can get a lot of info and support on a Facebook group called lyrica survivors although don’t expect lots of happy stories; the clue is in the name!

  • Shirley January 3, 2016, 9:09 pm

    I contracted GBS two years ago now and after a short while on gabapentin my doctor changed me on to lyrica. It had helped me with my nerve pain but like so many others I wanted to feel ‘normal’ again. I wasn’t even aware nor had it occurred to me that I should withdraw from it gradually. I have been taking 900mgs per day 3 x 300 mgs tablets per day for the last 22 months and wondered why I was feeling so bad this last week since stopping my medication.

    I currently still take 35 mgs of amitriptyline each night. I am suffering with periods of extreme hot and cold and my skin feels like it has worms crawling under it. I also feel sick most of the day. I put all this down to a possible infection as I had a biopsy last week but am thinking now it’s probably coming off of pregabalin. One thing for sure is I’m not going back on it now… Can anyone on a similar dose tell me how long it took them to get back to some kind of normality?

  • David January 6, 2016, 1:26 pm

    All I have to say to anyone that is on lyrica right now!!! It doesn’t matter how long or how much the dose your on…tapering is bull!! No matter what you do!! When you come off whatever dose… your prolonging the inevitable… which is what you have been reading from others… pure hell. And I’m sure many of us have been on heavy narcotics for are disabilities, and thought coming off those were a nightmare.

    Well coming off lyrica is 10 times worse with a longer withdrawal. So if you are head strong to get off this med… just stop taking it now, so you can already heal, and it will also stop Pfizer from collecting any more of your money. And for anyone reading these for research of this med… RUN AWAY AND DON’T LOOK BACK. This is not being dramatic, but telling you that this med is not worth it no matter what the doctor tells you. We were their guinea pigs.

    So if you don’t believe all of us…well I would like to hear of more success stories of getting off this med. Been on it for 3 & 1/2 years and have seen and read plenty of stories from plenty of sites that this drug has LONG TERM effects when coming off them. I’m not trying to give false hope for people that are on them, and that are working at getting off them, because there is always hope for each and everyone of us!

    Just trying to educate the ones that are researching it…to the ones that were just put on it…since now a days you can’t always trust your doctor for what he gives you. So best thing to do in that situation is ask what the side effects are to know the medication you’re being prescribed… which I am currently paying for severely by not asking!!! I pray for all of you and hope that this message will also save the lives of many more by not taking this med. God bless!!

    • Paul Hamilton January 8, 2016, 6:17 pm

      David – whilst there are stories of patients tapering for an extended time and still having awful withdrawal symptoms after taking the last dose, there is also evidence that tapering slowly helps avoid a lengthy and painful withdrawal for many. I am having an awful withdrawal after 4 months dropping from 300. I have been told that my withdrawal is too steep! Everybody is different and so each person should start slowly reducing and see how the body reacts and either speed up or slow down. As for cold turkey, this is plain dangerous and can lead to horrific symptoms and even seizures.

  • Pam January 11, 2016, 1:52 am

    I am in my second week of withdrawal from Lyrica. I tapered off by dividing my daily dosage (75 mg) in half for a few weeks then skipping a dose, then taking one dose every three days and so on. I was on Lyrica for 5 yrs for fibromyalgia. Some of the effects of withdrawal have been not sleeping, charley horses in my legs, extreme night sweats and paranoia, anxiety and depression. I am so glad that I am on my way to a lyrica-free life. I am willing to suffer through these symptoms to be free of this dangerous drug. I am planning on taking a more natural route in order to treat my fibro.

  • Linda Hall January 11, 2016, 2:39 pm

    I’ve been on Lyrica for about 9 months suffer badly with swelling of the lower extremities, one of the side effects listed for Lyrica. I take 150 mg twice a day for neurological pain associated with a condition called Arachnoiditis (failed back surgery). To be totally honest, I didn’t see much of a difference with the amount of pain I am in now and the amount of pain I was in prior to taking the medication.

    I also take 90 mg Cymbalta (once per day), 18 mg of Hydromorphone Hcl (Dilaudid) (4 times per day) and 20 mg of Baclofen (3 times per day) and despite all of that I am still in a fair amount of pain, pain that makes me break down and cry. Does anyone in this thread suffer with the same condition as me, Arachnoiditis, which is inflammation of the meninges (sheath covering the nerves) at an epidural site or site of surgery?

  • Beverly Scofield January 15, 2016, 6:27 am

    I began taking Lyrica in about 2003 when a bout with symptoms relating to chronic fatigue syndrome began and wouldn’t go away. The doc saw that Lyrica had been recently approved for CFS, so we tried it. Within a very short time, a week or less, the symptoms disappeared. I’ve taken it ever since. The diagnoses changed when a new doc began calling my malady fibromyalgia.

    I assume the Lyrica has helped several other pain issues, including diabetic neuropathy, for which I take other meds. Whew! Those of you still taking Lyrica might want to apply to Pfizer Connection-to-Care. Pfizer has provided Lyrica to me all these years. Now to the subject of withdrawal. I’ve never called it withdrawal, but I have recognized that the illness I felt whenever I was out of Lyrica sounded very much like things I had read about withdrawing “cold turkey” from recreational drugs.

    I have reported to Pfizer about the withdrawal symptoms, though. The experience is so debilitating that I’ve said I felt as bad, and in the same, as when I had the Asian flu when it first came up in California in the 1950s. I was in bed for two weeks, unable to get up to go the doctor. He came to the house. There was pain, intestinal pain, joint pain, nerve pain, and, worst of all, the depression.

    Just today I ended a period of reduced dosage or days without the Lyrica at all. I can’t really afford the emergency supplies my doc has prescribed. This year’s application for 2016 supply of Lyrica has gotten mixed up two or three times, and I’m hoping the RX is even now being processed and will arrive at my door. I’d like to do with the drug, it has to be in conjunction with a plan with my doctor, not just off the cuff.

    Good luck to all of you. Some of the accounts posted here don’t mention how much Lyrica helped your original symptoms. All interesting things to think about, though.

  • Rachel January 16, 2016, 8:02 am

    I have fibromyalgia, diabetes and the start of neuropathy. I cannot afford the medication on my own, so I get it from the company for free. Because of the start of the new year, my eligibility has expired and I have run out of it. I normally take 300mg a day. It helps me sleep, stops the “fibro itch” and lessens the neuropathy pain.

    These withdrawals are a bitch! I’m exhausted, nauseous all the time, have diarrhea, fever, chills, dizzy spells, headaches and no appetite. I really thought I had some kind of stomach bug until I found this article. I can’t wait to get back on it and end this misery.

  • Brenda January 23, 2016, 2:43 am

    After taking 50mg of Lyrica a day for about three months, I decided to taper myself off and did so in one week. Even with the low dose I was taking, I was terribly bloated, had trouble breathing, swollen feet, itchy scalp and had gained 10 lbs. My thinking seemed sluggish and my memory was terrible.

    These side effects are worse than the neuropathy I have after neck and back surgery. It was nice to initially have less pain, but it didn’t take long for the side effects to begin. My last dose was two days ago. I have hot flashes, terrible chills, headache, fatigue, depression and no appetite.

    I plan to see this through and will never take this devil drug again. I hope and pray that my thinking and memory will return and that I can drag myself out of my chair tomorrow and do a few chores. God bless all of us who are in the throes of overcoming Lyrica.

    • Robert E February 3, 2016, 5:50 am

      Hi Brenda, I’ve been in Lyrica for about 2 months pre & post Spinal neck surgery. It is a horrible drug, One I too cant wait to see the back of. The horrible side effects were never properly explained to me and I am now down to 75mg per day for 7 days then 75 mg every second day to stopping. I have encountered most of the horrible symptoms that accompany the withdrawal process. Staying as positive as possible and surrounding yourself with positive people, family and friends support is the key. It will pass and we will fully recover. Take Care.

  • Terri January 26, 2016, 1:21 am

    I’m currently in withdrawal now. I’ve been off the medication for a week now and have experienced many of the symptoms as described above. It started with a headache that gradually got worse and worse. I’ve been having the chills, sweats, nausea, sleeplessness and very vivid dreams. I didn’t even realize it was due to the lyrica until a few days after it started.

    I’ve been on lyrica for years now due to severe nerve pain in my legs from multiple sclerosis. Two years ago I had a pain pump put in to help with it and nite that I’m starting to get some relief from that plus the Percocet, well aren’t I already on enough drugs so I figured I try to get off the lyrica and eventually the Percocet which is the whole reason I got the pain pump to begin with.

    It delivers a very minute dose of morphine and clonidine directly to the spinal nerves via a small catheter inserted into my spinal column. Ago small in fact, that when I was on oral morphine, I was taking 60 to 90 mg 4x’s a day and the amount I’m on daily via the pain pump is a fraction of that, at only 3 mg per day give or take. Big difference there.

    I don’t want to be addicted to pain meds for the rest of my life. I’ve already lost too much time to them already. I want my life back, or at least a semblance of one. Anything but this where I sleep all the time. I miss my family, I miss riding my motorcycle, and most of all, I miss me. Goodbye lyrica!

  • Linda January 29, 2016, 7:03 pm

    You all have confirmed my suspicions. Have been taking Lyrica (225 mg at night) for 3-4 years now for fibromyalgia. When I was having difficulty getting it filled due to a move to a new state with new Rx coverage and difficulty getting it refilled I was off of it for 3 days. Had diarrhea, cold chills, lethargy. Was fine when I got it refilled. Have also been taking Tramadol 3x/day.

    Have been running out of both, and don’t see my new doctor for a week and a half now. I made the decision to start tapering them both back since I can’t get them refilled without seeing my new doctor. I be an with the Tramadol and now only take it occasionally when I can’t handle the pain. I stared this week to try cutting the Lyrica to every other night.

    Bingo, the symptoms I experienced when I had difficulty getting it at the beginning of the month returned. I started cutting back Sunday night. Had two days of mild diarrhea. Took it Tuesday night. Was fine Wednesday. It’s now Friday, and I’m now two nights off of it, and I have the runs, cold sweats, lethargy – both days. Trying to decide if I’ll take a dose tonight or if I’ll try cold-turkey from now on and see if I can just get it out of my system.

  • Crystal Tucker January 30, 2016, 10:49 pm

    My insurance stopped paying for lyrica and effective and I could not pay the $600.00 cost. It was a year before I felt anything like myself. I had all of these symptoms plus tumors on my adrenal glands which kept me from falling asleep for 4-5 days at a time. Brain zaps and many manic moments. The only thing to help me was fish oil 2000 mg 2x daily which I took with 2000 vitamin D oil caps a day as well.

    I thank God for it. It really did help. It almost stopped the brain zaps and help the anxiety and depression. If you have any control in the matter, wean off these drugs… it is pure hell otherwise. I will never take any drugs like this again. Good luck everyone and hang in there… one day at a time.

  • Sylvia February 12, 2016, 6:28 am

    I wish I had known about withdrawal before I ever started this medicine. I decided to stop cold turkey because of weight gain. It worked so good it was hard to know whether to stop or not. It has been the worst 10 days I’ve ever had – because I thought I had the flu and thought I was dying. I was irritable, horrible headaches, sweats freezing chills and an inability to feel. Now I know and I will taper. No amount of neuropathy pain relief is worth the benefit of this drug. I hope it never goes generic and I can’t wait to recover my body from this torture I’ve been in.

  • David Cole February 16, 2016, 8:06 pm

    I took Lyrica for 6 years, 600mg a day. I stopped suddenly due to my new insurance not going to pay for it. That’s when all hell broke loose, started having bouts of rage, severe depression, and I was even suicidal. Be very careful coming off of this crap it can kill you. It’s been about 2 weeks now and I still have headaches and severe depression and I’m angry.

  • Carlee February 17, 2016, 3:12 am

    I was prescribed Lyrica for nerve-ending pain associated with a badly broken ankle, which required surgery. I wasn’t on it for long (thankfully) and took it as advised: starting at 25mg and increasing to 75mg – then I tapered off doing the same: 75 > 50 > 25.

    Everything was fine until I got back down to taking 25mg once per day (which was Thursday last week), then I started to have a lot of trouble sleeping because I was extremely restless. By Saturday I thought I must be getting the flu because my body was aching all over. I couldn’t stay awake during the day, then couldn’t get to sleep again that night.

    By Monday, I felt really agitated. I tried to work but couldn’t sit still or concentrate for more than a few minutes. Then that made me so upset I ended up in tears and had to do meditation-style breathing to try and calm myself down. When I realized I felt on the verge of throwing a tantrum I knew I was suffering from more than a lack of sleep.

    So I started looking up advice online regarding withdrawals from pain medication, and found this article. Besides blurry vision, suicidal thoughts and a few other symptoms listed above, it describes exactly how I’ve been feeling!

    I still haven’t been able to concentrate long enough to do more than an hour’s work at a time. But I do feel better than yesterday, and yesterday was a bit better than Monday, so hopefully the effects won’t last too much longer in my case.

  • Beryl February 21, 2016, 10:59 pm

    Thank goodness I found this website! I had thought I was going nuts. I have been on Lyrica for approximately 2 years, starting off on 75 mg bd. That gave me some relief to the pain symptoms of stenosis of the spine for a while, but soon needed increasing to 150mg bd around 6 months ago. In that 6 months I have gained over 10 kg in weight, without any change to a normal sized healthy diet or change in my activity level.

    I have also started to experience very painful edema in my lower limbs, to the extent there are days I can barely walk. In an attempt to combat my weight gain and the edema I approached my Dr. who told me I needed to look at my diet, and recommended that I see a dietitian, and that weight gain can contribute to water retention. In hindsight, it seems that my Dr knew as much about the effects of Lyrica as I did!

    She then placed me on fluid retention medication…sigh. I knew there had to be another explanation, so a few days ago I started to research Lyrica and found this website, and others, confirming my suspicions that it was this medication at the root of my problems. Initially, after reading many of the comments I decided to come off the drug ‘cold turkey’, but the more I read about the withdrawal symptoms so many of you have experienced, I have decided that a reduction over a 3 week period was a better way to approach the cessation of the medication.

    I also noted that many people suggested that taking doses of vitamins; B, C, D and fish oil seems to have helped many people weather the withdrawal symptoms, as well as lots of water, to help flush the drug from the system, also adding a small pinch of salt to the water every now and then. This medication has turned my life upside down in just a few short months; I have gone from being reasonable active, reasonably slim adult to someone who doesn’t so much walk as shuffle, because of the edema, on a bad day.

    It would appear that the cure, in the case of Lyrica, is far worse than the cause for which it was prescribed. It certainly gives food for thought that when the health professionals carry on banging their collective drums about weight being one of the major health concerns of the general population, how much of it is caused by drugs/medications of this nature, and not by the perceived ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle that they like to blame?

    I am now on the 3rd day of the reduction from this medication and I’m expecting to start experiencing the full force of the withdrawal symptoms any time soon. So far all I’ve experienced is a feeling of mild anxiety, palpitations and breathlessness, but that could be due to the empathy I feel for so many of you that I have discovered who are in the same situation as myself. Hang in there all of you!

  • Anessa February 22, 2016, 7:48 am

    Hello, I have experienced quite a few of the same symptoms I have read here both on the drug and no weaning off of it. Lyrical was great for the pain. However, I missed a dose and thought I had the worst flu I’ve ever had. Also has anyone else had bleeding from little cuts that won’t stop, hair loss or eyelash loss?

    I was only on the drug a little while and noticed my hair getting thinner and thinner and I have almost no eyelashes left. A friend who works at a nursing home said most everybody was on Lyrica for a little while but is now off of it because of side effects like the bleeding, headaches, edema. A friend who works at a nursing home said most everybody was on Lyrica for a little while but is now off of it because of side effects like the bleeding, headaches, edema.

    There’s no other reason for my weird hair loss or eyelash loss or bleeding, as I don’t take any other medications or have had any other life changes. Good luck everybody, this weaning off is so tough.

  • Mary February 23, 2016, 1:40 pm

    So very grateful I googled ‘withdrawal from Lyrica’ and came upon this thread. I am coming off of Lyrica 100 mg, 3x/day. Long story short, Leukemia meds lowered my resistance to everything, so this past summer after one ‘minor’ illness after another I got a horrible case of shingles which continue to be painful to this day. (Who knows why I was not allowed the shingles vaccine.)

    In the midst of shingles I had a stroke. My doctors were seeing me regularly throughout this shingles episode and yet never properly diagnosed shingles or stroke. Off point: One doctor, who is about to replace one of my hips, had the audacity to inform me that the stroke had nothing to do with the shingles. Yet, again, *online* I found people who also had a stroke during their shingles episode.

    I could write a book about abuse and dismissive attitudes at the hands of doctors. My therapist believes me! Six months ago I was put on Lyrica by a pain doctor and now my insurance company is refusing to pay for the Lyrica anymore. I began going off it a few days ago. ‘Luckily’ my ‘regular’ PCP (primary care physician) consented to prescribe me 50 mg tabs taken two at a time instead of 100 mg tabs.

    So now I am backing off much more slowly, 50 mg at a time every 2 weeks is my plan. For several days I had backed down to 50 mg 2x/day, then found this site. So thankful. These pain meds are as bad as heroine, addiction wise. I think the medical community is being *pushed* by the drug companies to *push* these ‘legal’ meds. Lyrica certainly did ameliorate the horrible shocks of the shingles.

    Now what will cure me from the withdrawal symptoms of the Lyrica?! I have been taking a far lower dose than many people have mentioned here and I can barely cope with the withdrawal symptoms. I can’t go off it all at once so have to pay the exorbitant price of the prescription. I see why addicts turn to crime to pay for their street medications.

    So now I am back up to 100 mg 2x/day and 50 mg 1x/day (taken every 8 hours). My plan is to do this amount for 2 weeks and then back off another 50 mg for 2 weeks and so forth. It should take me 12 weeks to get off of this completely if my math is right. I am writing this hoping that it will help some other poor soul down the line.

    I finally got some sleep last night since I decided to go it more slowly. I have every symptom mentioned but one. My husband is my caregiver and he has been through his own personal hell with me. I am grateful he has cared about me through all of this because I have been horrible to live with. If I had it to do over, I would not have received chemo therapy regimen and umbilical cord blood transplant for the Leukemia back in 2011.

    I would have asked for pain meds back then and let the Leukemia have its way with me. Tired of being a guinea pig. Tired of being dependent on others. Tired of doctors and nurses and hospitals. Tired of being dismissed because I have opinions that differ from the doctors. I have realized that cancer is big business.

    It has nothing to do with curing us, and everything to do with how much the drug companies and doctors and hospitals can make off of us. I have so much more wrong with me than this site allows. Thanks for the space to vent! P.S. For what it’s worth, if it weren’t for ‘obamacare’ I would not now be covered for my ‘preexisting conditions’. I am into the system for nearly $300,000.00.

    • Tenaj February 27, 2016, 12:54 am

      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so glad you beat your cancer. I wanted to tell you that I understand your Lyrica withdraw. It is hell to come off this drug. Thank the Lord my Medicare insurance company pays for my prescription. Lyrics helps my fibromyalgia and nerve pain. I just spent a week without because I couldn’t get a ride to the pharmacy for my refill.

      I take 200mg twice a day. I cannot be without this medication. And if I ever have to be off of it… I will do a slowwwww taper. And even then I am certain it will still be hell on earth. I too am sick of doctors and hospitals and insurance companies. You take care and let me know how your taper is going.

  • Tenaj February 27, 2016, 12:40 am

    If Lyrica works for your pain than just stay on it. This is one medication you do not want to immediately stop. The withdraw is the worst withdraw I have ever experienced!! If you are using this for recreational use you are asking for trouble!!! I was just without it for one week and I was miserable… anxiety… depression… pain… insomnia.

    I could go on and on. I finally got my refill today and after just one 200mg capsule all those symptoms are gone. Please don’t misuse this drug or you will suffer when it runs out. I have fibromyalgia and nerve pain… lyrica is a miracle drug for me and I will never be without it again.

  • Tanya February 29, 2016, 5:52 am

    My 13 year old daughter has been taking Lyrica for severe nerve pain caused by nerve tissue that was inside cysts in her back against her spinal cord. She has had surgery two and a half weeks ago to remove five cysts and the nerve tissue in them. She has no more nerve pain, which is great. The problem now is getting her off the Lyrica since she doesn’t need it any more.

    We started reducing a week ago. She has had really bad headaches which I assume is a withdrawal symptom (not her usual migraines). This morning she started throwing up and has thrown up repeatedly all day. Not sure if she is sick or if this is part of the withdrawal. Has anyone else been vomiting during withdrawal or just nauseated?

    • Paul March 19, 2016, 5:12 pm

      Yes nausea is a very common withdrawal symptom although from what I have read, rarely progresses to vomiting but can happen. Hope that your daughter is feeling better soon. Lyrica withdrawal can be awful for the unlucky minority.

  • Jodi March 7, 2016, 1:15 pm

    I have been feeling off for a few weeks now and couldn’t figure out why. Then yesterday the nausea, migraine and concentration problems all came to a boil and I thought I might die. I knew it wasn’t normal but it was more than the flu. My son asked my if it could be because I had stopped taking the Lyrica and the Codeine that had been keeping my back pain at bay, cold turkey.

    I never put the two together before but it made sense. I’ve been taking 200 mg of Lyrica for 2 years now and so much Codeine daily I can’t remember. The waves of nausea have taken me over, even as I am typing. I can’t eat for fear of getting sick. But I am so tired of being dopey and drugged all the time. My Doctor didn’t mention anything about tapering off of these medications.

  • Natalie March 10, 2016, 11:01 pm

    My doctor put me on Lyrica 3 years ago when I wanted to get off of opiate pain meds. I am in my late 30’s and the reason I wanted to get off the pain meds is because I would like to have children soon. I didn’t find out until later that pregnancy on Lyrica is more dangerous than being on narcotics. So I have started weening down.

    I was on 300 MG a day and started weening down 50 MG per week. I am down to half my normal dose now and I feel like I am dying. I have trouble catching my breath, I feel like I can’t focus and I am afraid of driving. My pain is almost unbearable. I have done Suboxone detox now 3 times for opiate pain meds. That was a walk in the park compared to this.

  • melissa March 17, 2016, 12:06 am

    I have taken lyrica for 5 yrs. Past 2yrs at 300mg 3x’s day. Along with other meds for a scroll long list of diagnosis including : trigeminal neuralgia, fibromyalgia, migraine, radicular neuropathy, sciatica, sacral joint dysfunction, 2 ruptured disc, etc… Yes I am a mess. After Christmas 2015 I caught a bug, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, the works. Nothing was staying down, especially medicines.

    But after a few days I was feeling better then the sickness escalated, changed and I am still sick. I ran out of lyrica while I was sick. I called pfizer for a refill on lyrica (prescription assistance) was told I had to reapply for assistance for 2016, called my Dr. & explained how sick I was & asked that they just call it in to a nearby pharmacy. They reminded me my insurance wouldn’t cover it because my dosage exceeded the FDA’s recommended daily dosage.

    I have been so sick, dizzy, chills, vomiting, nausea, crying, stomach cramps that will double you over, body aching, joints hurt, restless legs & arms, stiff neck, constant headache, several migraines, ears stopped up & ringing, weakness, fatigue, muscles sore to touch or use, sweating, can’t sleep, lost near 30lbs in 2.5 months. But this is the part that I want people to know* I have been in a horrible depression. I have sit here day after day for the past several weeks crying my eyes out & dying inside.

    I told myself what a burden I was on my family & how they would be better off without having to worry about me all the time. I feel like such a waste of air lately. I did not understand what was happening to me until I found this site. Maybe coming off the lyrica has cleared the fog and I can see what I have actually become, a burden on my family, society, and our government.

  • Jenna March 17, 2016, 5:07 am

    I started 150 mg a year ago. I just quit taking it around a week ago and this withdrawal is horrible. I’m praying it gets better ASAP.

  • Stephanie March 22, 2016, 7:52 am

    I’m an ER nurse and have been on 50 mg twice a day for only six months for cervical radiculopathy (severe C5-6 herniation). Since having a spinal fusion several weeks ago, I no longer need the Lyrica and my neurosurgeon has started the process of weaning me off. For two weeks I’m to reduce my dose to 25 mg twice a day, and then go down to 25 mg once a day for an additional two weeks.

    So far, the insomnia and hot flashes are the worst of what I’ve been experiencing, with some tummy troubles and nervousness. I’m looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep when this is all over, and I really feel for those of you who have been on higher doses for much longer. Don’t EVER go off this drug cold turkey! It even says so on the medication insert, so talk to your doctor if they give you that instruction.

  • Denise March 25, 2016, 5:19 pm

    I took lyrica 400 mg a day for chronic nerve pain in my back for years. The best drug for my pain. I would feel a little lightheaded in morning but would pass. Do to not having insurance at present time I went cold turkey. I feel like I’m dying. Nausea diarrhea terrible back pain!!! Loss of appetite terrible stomach & chest pain.

    If I could afford it I would definitely get back on it. Can’t sleep at night due to pain. Wish there was an answer. Hopefully I can find a job with insurance to pay for it. It was a miracle drug for me. I never experienced any depression from withdrawal or any of those symptoms but the above mentioned are horrible.

  • Anon April 4, 2016, 8:46 am

    Hi. I wrote on her about a year ago when going through withdrawal. Really tough time and although I’ve now been off it for a year, still didn’t feel back to normal. Had a return of some symptoms recently… Anxiety, insomnia etc, very similar to withdrawal. Worked out from symptoms and what eased symptoms that I had a magnesium deficiency. I think that one of the reasons why people struggle coming off pregabalin is because it interferes with magnesium levels.

    There is a link between low magnesium and anxiety and depression, also a whole range of other physical problems. Just wondered whether people had tried this to help with withdrawal. Transdermally i.e. flakes in bath, was most effective for me and improving diet. Apparently once low, it can take 9-12 months to improve levels. Commonly doesn’t show on standard blood tests from GP. It’s made huge difference to me. Hope this helps other people too. Good luck.

  • Cheri April 7, 2016, 4:57 pm

    Yikes. Ive been on lyrica for about 12 years, a higher dose, and we recently got new insurance which doesn’t pay for it, so Ive been trying to wean off. It’s such a struggle, and I recognized the withdrawal right away. Chills, stomachaches, no appetite etc. I once detoxed from oxycontin, so it wasn’t a stretch to see that the effects were so similar. I sure hope it subsides pretty soon, because I just can’t go through this again! Good luck to all.

  • Shane April 8, 2016, 12:25 pm

    Hello. I’ve been using Lyrica for only 4 months. I have been taking 150mg morning and the same at night. The medication generally has treated referred pain quite well though impacts on my ability to function within the work environment. The upward swing of getting used to the medication hasn’t waned so have decided that cessation will be better than the ongoing issues of using.

    I have read that a reduction of 10% per month is the ideal way of weaning off the medication. I am headstrong and ferociously determined. I am about to start my reduction. Wish me well. I wish the same for you. I’ll come back and let you know how things are going.

    • Shane June 6, 2016, 5:17 am

      By now, I am clear of using the medication. I did reduce my use faster than the recommended means. The outbound journey was as challenging as the inbound. I’ve avoided coming back until now as by giving voice to the challenge to me meant giving power to it. It was an option that was explored and now I’m back to my usual self.

      Albeit I’m in need of an alternate means of pain management. For anyone who is ceasing use of the medication, know that the discomfort is temporary. I suggest gearing up and know what’s ahead of you. Be prepared and try not to give it too much if any voice as I think we can make things harder for ourselves when we do.

      There must be a far greater number of people out there who have no problems when using this medication and it has been presented to us as an option to try. Once you’ve started your journey away from using this medication, stick to it and get through to the other side. If you prolong the journey you may find that you’re contribution to greater challenges if you stop and start.

      We’re all different. I’m head strong. I’m determined. My heart wished for you too be the same. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Was it hard? Very. Have I succeeded? Yes.

      • Danielle June 30, 2016, 5:34 am

        Thanks so much for coming back and letting us know how it went. A lot of people write horror stories when they are in the middle of withdrawl but don’t come back to say how they are, or how it went. Really appreciated that you did that and that you are now Lyrica-free! I plan to reduce very very slowly as well so hopefully it will go well for me too.

  • ruby fallon April 8, 2016, 1:22 pm

    I want to post this to those who have not yet taken Lyrica, but again if you are reading this, too late. I am sure. Lyrica is worse worse than a methadone withdraw, ativan, ambien and all other drugs I have ever come off of. I have wondered why I am still having withdraw symptoms and I took lyrica and all the withdraw symptoms were gone and I fell asleep for hours.

    I felt like I was back to being ok until the dose started wearing off again. I was prescribed Lyrica for pain in my feet due to INJURIES thats it. I have a job that is highly an at risk job and I cannot take any chances while doing this job. I have not been working and decided to go back to work due to LACK of money. I am surely not ready to go back but I have to.

    I have had bad thoughts, my hands back and legs are killing me. I have more nerve damage now then when I started the drug but know it is temporary as I have come off this drug before because I was using more potent medications. This may be the way to go for some who don’t have to work and take drug testing.

    I suggest NEVER taking this drug and tell the doctor NO. You will either die using it end up dead in a hospital or using other drugs to get off this one. Good luck to you all.

  • Maggie April 8, 2016, 6:21 pm

    My Pain Management Doctor put me on a low dose of Lyrica for nerve pain in my ankle. After a week I was suffering with horrendous headaches and stomach aches, so I decided to take myself off this drug. Considering I was only on Lyrica for 9 days at the lowest dose, I’m amazed at the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.

    I tapered the dose over 1 week, then the horror really kicked in. Muscle pain, tingling and electric shock type pains in joints, flu like symptoms, shivering, sweating, insomnia, dry mouth, no energy but the worst thing is pain in my head, eyes and ears. Not a headache exactly but a feeling of being squeezed in a vice.

    I’m only 4 days in from the start of the withdrawal, but it’s a nightmare. I shall never take this awful drug again, the pain is preferable to this horror. I dread to think how much longer I have to endure this and feel very down about it.

  • David April 12, 2016, 2:41 pm

    I started taking Lyrica(L) 6 years ago at age 51 after a bout of shingles resulted in post herpetic neuralgia (PHN). The previous 12 months I had foot surgery, knee surgery, the flu, and a sinus infection. My immune system was severely compromised, but I was unaware of the seriousness of my health. I felt normal after I got well.

    My shingles broke out on my forehead on the the orbital nerve above my eye. The nerve pain and headaches were excruciating. After numerous pain injections, my pain specialist said I would be on L the rest of my life. I refused to believe or accept that diagnosis. I started at 800mg/d and slowly decreased my dosage to ~200mg/d in year 3, 150mg/d in year 4, 100mg/d in year 5, and just got off the drug at 50mg/d two weeks ago.

    After year 3, I started acupuncture treatments and did this for 2 1/2 years. I really believe it helped me drop my dosage. I have lower back pain, and my back pain has increased since I’ve been off the L. I hope this is only temporary, as I do not want to get back on the drug. Having said that, I don’t know if I could have survived my PHN without L.

    It really interrupted the shooting nerve pains and headaches I experienced. For those suffering with PHN, I would strongly suggest acupuncture along with L to get well as quickly as possible. I welcome any suggestions or comments. Best wishes to all.

  • Mel April 14, 2016, 11:02 pm

    This is an awful, awful drug. I have a rare disease called PGf which caused root nerve death and dislocations when I was bad. The pain team gave me OxyContin, oxynorm, fentanyl and codeine and gave me the hard word about how addictive they were. Then they added lyrica rising to 600mg a day (supposedly maximum dose but I’ve heard abusers take way more) and no mention of addiction.

    As the 5 years went by I was sick of being a zombie and so I stopped fentanyl and oxynorm cold turkey. I had a few sweats and restless leg but managed Fine and I was taking 150mg of oxynorm a day, a high dose. I’d started tapering OxyContin as that was tougher and decided to just stop lyrica as I didn’t know it was addictive. Oh my god! I thought I was dying. I started vomiting.

    Fainting, with severe diarrhea and seizures. I didn’t know what to do so I increased my OxyContin to usual level thinking it must be that. Then I got worse, my partner found me in bed shaking head to foot, covered in sweat and in agony I thought I would die. I had an emergency injection of HC as my adrenals are dead and saw a consultant immediately who told me it was lyrica.

    I couldn’t believe it! I was so angry and hurt! They immediately put me back on it but on 150mg twice a day instead of 300 as I want off it so badly now. I’m still poorly, still have an upset tummy and headaches but I can manage now: I’d rather withdraw from morphine any day and yet they push this drug as an alternative and it’s worse! I am full of hatred for the drug.

    I’ll be tapering 50mg a week until I can report back I’m well and away from this nightmare. If offered this drug run a mile! It’s not worth it – ever!!!

  • GENE GILBERT April 18, 2016, 11:56 am

    I pray for everyone that tries too stop this Drug. I took it for a broken Neck and Pain related with Nerve Damage. I took it for almost over two years. I’m on month number two without Lyrica. Now I know I don’t want too take the drug anymore.

    I also don’t want to live like I have for the past two months.!! I had my birthday being off Lyrica for two weeks. I didn’t know if I’d make it to Today. I have. I know tonight and tomorrow will be a fight. I just got too do my best and beat this thing.

    I pray to God I can. Although I’ve taken many legal and illegal drugs in my life. Nothing has changed my life like this one. F#CK LYRICA…!! Who ever this helps I’m Glad. I wish I never touched it. I feel like a Junkie. That’s the truth. Scary!!!

    • Ruth August 15, 2016, 11:18 pm

      You are not alone… 2 almost 3 years and still have full blown withdrawals, not as bad as the first year but life-changing.

  • Kylie April 25, 2016, 11:03 pm

    I have been on 600 mg of Lyrica daily for nearly 3 years for chronic nerve pain and a disease that will eventually go to my hands and spine, the only reason I am stopping the medication is because I cannot afford it anymore. It’s been 7 days and already the burning in my feet has returned and in the centre of my back. I have suffered bad diarrhea, nausea, awful thoughts and toss and turn all night.

    I have returned to have a fan on my feet to cool them down while trying to sleep. My specialist won’t put me on something else due to the fact that Lyrica being the best way to treat my condition which is easy for them to say because they aren’t the ones having to fork out the money. I don’t regret having been on it because it really has helped me after being wrongly diagnosed with gout for many years.

    It was life changing to being able to function normally and sleep without the constant pain and burning. Unfortunately I just can no longer afford it and with my symptoms returning including withdrawals to go along with it is just going to be hell.

  • Maggie April 27, 2016, 12:53 pm

    Further to my recent post, I am still going through hell with withdrawal symptoms from Pregabalin. Today is Day 23 of the nightmare with the worst things being the constant headaches which are terrible and insomnia. I saw my Pain Consultant today, who refuses to believe that these problems are due to Pregabalin, saying that in no way is the drug addictive.

    It really annoys me that the medical profession take no notice of what we, the patients, tell them. We know our own bodies after all. When I asked him for an explanation of why these symptoms had started at the exact same time as withdrawal, he couldn’t offer me any. This certainly is one hell of a horror story and at the moment I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, though I’m telling myself that this too shall pass… eventually.

  • Duncan April 28, 2016, 8:38 am

    Today’s been hell so far and it is only 09:15. I was prescribed gabapentin by my pain specialist for nerve pain in neck and arms after two neck operations. After a couple of years, the gabapentin wasn’t working and my specialist prescribed me pregabalin. I have been taking this for over 5 years, 600mg daily.

    My pain has recently got worse and I had another MRI scan which showed that my neck needed a fusion at c6-c7. Was told that I was to come off pregabalin right away, which I was keen to do. Specialist said that withdrawal symptoms were minimal and it would be fine to drop to 300mg after a week. I have done this and thought that it wasn’t too bad.

    Four days ago I stopped completely and since then my world has caved in. I am experiencing nearly all of the above and am barely functioning. My pain is unbearable along with the chills, sweats, etc. I had to admit defeat and I had to take a 300mg tablet. After 15 mins the sweats, etc. had all but disappeared.

    I have just made an appointment with my GP. In 20 days time I will have to do this properly and wean myself off this shit that is controlling me. The GP will have to give me smaller amounts as dropping 600mg in 10 days is awful. I thought I was weak but reading the other posts seems I am not. Wish everyone well in getting off this crap.

  • JD April 29, 2016, 6:03 pm

    Wow… Lots of great responses here. Glad I found this post. I’ve been on Lyrica now for 2 weeks for sciatica, degenerative disks, and arthritis in my lower back. My doctor put me on 75mg three times a day. Thankfully the pharmacist was the first one to tell me to ramp up the dose over a few days, weeks.

    I decided to start with 1 pill a day, increase to 2 a day after a week, then in the third week go up to the final 3 pills a day. Today is my last 2 pill a day schedule. After several hours of taking my first pill today (and still a few hours from taking my next one) I now feel horrible. Pain, dizziness, headache, trouble with vision, can’t concentrate, balance, etc.

    I felt this way a few time in the past week and it finally hit me today that it’s not taking the drug that’s making me feel this way, but NOT taking it that’s causing it; i.e. withdrawal. I can’t work and feel this way and I don’t want to become dependent on taking this. My prescription is for 3 months with no refill. What the heck happens when that prescription is over?

    I can’t handle the pain, but I don’t want to take this medication. Luckily I live in Canada and am going to see my doctor in the next few days to get off of this and seek referral to an MJ clinic nearby.

  • Shane McCullough May 9, 2016, 9:42 pm

    I was on 600mg of lyrica for 6 years. I came down by 50mg a week about 6 months ago and am still struggling badly to adjust. I feel chronically fatigued and any exertion totally wipes me out. I sleep a lot after work or exercise. I would advise anyone thinking of taking this drug to think again.

  • Mary May 17, 2016, 3:39 am

    I have been on 150mg for 10 years- I went to 1/2 dosage for a short period when my doc wasn’t responding to the pharmacy. (Yes my doc is difficult, so when I was out of refills I cut back on my own until I knew the issue was resolved. It took 2 weeks) – It was AWFUL. Now I am faced with a worse crisis – 1 day of meds left & my new insurance plus the Lyrica card have raised the price from $25 per month to almost $300. I can’t afford this- so after tomorrow I will be forced to quit cold turkey for good. I’m scared spitless, but I have no choice.

  • Kim May 18, 2016, 9:58 am

    Was prescribed lyrica for neuropathic pain due to disc degeneration and fibromyalgia. 200mg tds. For 3 years. I put on do much weight I decided I had to come off it for the sake of my spine and overall health. I’ve worked in operating theaters for 25 yrs, and admit I hate being a patient. With oversight of my GP I was weaned off lyrica over a month.

    But this didn’t stop the withdrawal symptoms. Itching, aches, mood swings, tears, sleep problems. It has been terrible. My pain has come back with vengeance but I’m in a catch 22 scenario. The good side is that my periods are slowly returning to normal and the oedema is slowly draining. I now have about 4 stone of excess weight to remove!

    I would never recommend lyrica. In my opinion the side effects outweigh the benefits. For those who are talking about gabapentin vs pregabalin please know that they work differently. So can’t really be compared. Thanks to all who have shared their experiences, there is comfort in not being alone! Take care!

  • msn May 24, 2016, 11:49 am

    I have been on 75mgs twice a day for 10 years. Due to our new healthcare system the cost of Lyrica has gone from $25 to $287 per month. I can’t afford that, so I am tapering off. I paid for one month, the doc gave me some 50mg samples, and next month I will suck it up and pay for 25mgs.

    I’m taking 75 at night, 50 in the morning, today is day 6, and I feel awful. My body hurts, my head feels like it is going to explode, and I feel nauseated, and my vision is all messed up. At the very least the doctor should be required to tell you how addictive a drug is when he hands it to you. I have never been addicted to anything, and this is terrible.

  • Troodle May 25, 2016, 10:47 am

    I wanted to add my experience, to balance out some of the horror stories in the comments. I was on Pregabalin for two years, prescribed for fibromyalgia. To begin with I was on 150mg, twice daily. When my fibro improved, I cut that down to 125mg at night, 100mg in the morning.

    But I improved so much that I decided to come off meds altogether – first I came off Amitriptaline, 10mg, without any ill effects at all (I cut down to 5mg for a week, then just stopped). Next I started tapering the Pregabalin, 25mg per week, alternating between tapering the morning and evening dose (ie. one week I reduced the morning dose by 25mg, the next week I reduced the evening dose by 25mg). This took 7 weeks, until I was taking on 25mg at night only, so I just stopped completely.

    I think if I’d alternated one night on, one night off, it might have been a little easier, but I figured I might as well get it over with. 36 hours after the final dose, my stomach started playing up, bloating, hurting, and then major diarrhea. This was three days ago. It’s still very uncomfortable, but I have stopped the diarrhea with Imodium.

    I’m achy, but otherwise okay. As far as I can make out, this may continue for a week or so, so I will come back and report progress again. I suspect that those of us who haven’t experienced really horrifying withdrawals may have something in common (I wish I could confirm this theory!) – we are still taking some other form of neurotransmitter medication (i.e. antidepressants).

    I am still taking Mirtazapine (45mg), for clinical depression (which is under control, but I have no intention of trying to come off the antidepressant, and in fact have been told by my GP that with my history, I’m on it for life, which is totally fine by me). I also still take mild co drydamol (10/300mg) daily, which I think also takes the edge off the symptoms.

    • Troodle May 27, 2016, 12:03 pm

      Update: it’s now been six days since my last dose, and I’m almost back to normal. So don’t despair, people!

  • Kaitlyn May 31, 2016, 8:38 pm

    My name is Kaitlyn, and I have been taking Lyrica 75mg for about six months, twice away, sometimes three times for spinal problems. I recently saw a doctor who said that nerve problems are not my problems and took me off. I slowed down to 1 Lyrica a day for a week, and I recently stopped completely.

    This is the most pain I have ever felt, I feel like my stomach is going to explode. I can’t sleep, and barely eating. Is this normal? I have a lot of heat flashes, and feel sick and like I’m going to vomit all the time. I can’t exercise or anything, so how else do I go about trying to calm down the withdrawals? I hope everyone feels better!

  • Marilyn Winkley June 4, 2016, 1:01 pm

    Has anyone experienced onset of eczema or eczema-like symptoms while withdrawing from lyrica?

  • Gwen H. June 5, 2016, 8:42 pm

    Someone needs to educate our doctors on the fact that Lyrica can cause withdrawals. When I told my doctor, he said to me that he had never heard of this and attributed all of my symptoms to my having a bad gallbladder. He also went on to tell me to stop trying to make my own diagnosis and called me and “assailed”.

    I was already feeling horrible only to go there and leave feeling worse. I’ve been on 600mg per day for the past four years. I feel like I’m at the end of my rope and I really don’t know who to turn to for help. Can anyone out there please tell me how I can get help for myself?

    This is my second full week of being of of Lyrica, cold turkey and I’m still feeling almost as if I just no longer want to be here. My body is so exhausted from going through all of these changes. Can someone PLEASE HELP ME?

  • Helen June 10, 2016, 5:58 am

    Thank you to everyone who as posted here. I have a 15-year-old sweet old chihuahua who was transitioned from gabapentin to lyrica about 5 months ago. He’s loopy, has trouble walking, stares into space and bumps into walls. I thought he had mental problems but now I’m thinking maybe it’s the lyrica. Your withdrawal stories are terrifying, given that it’s not possible to explain to a dog why he is feeling these things. I’m going to try the super super slow taper (10% per month) on him. Thanks again to you brave souls!

  • Denise Book June 10, 2016, 8:10 pm

    I have been on Lyrica for 13 yrs for migraines due to hormone imbalance from complete hysterectomy. Over the last 3 yrs I have been trying to get my neurologist to get me off Lyrica, because I wanted to try something else. He wouldn’t listen so I had to put my foot down. I was taking 150mg 3 x’s a day, which is 450mg a day.

    March 2016 I started tapering off the lyrica slowly, I am now down to 75mg once a day & I am experiencing diarrhea but not all the time, insomnia for 1st 2 days & tingling/itching. I am taking this Benadryl and Buspirone to help with withdrawal. I sent an email to nurse practitioner at my GP and ask what I could do to help with the withdrawl.

    • Denise Book June 12, 2016, 6:18 pm

      I was doing good on my tapering from my Lyrica until I got down to 75 mg a day and I started tingling and having bits of insomnia. I have spoken with my GP and she has given me suggestions on what to do about tapering and also with sleeping, suggested I take natural sleep aid called Melatonin, as long as I exercise, eat right, keep active and get sleep I should be able to get through the withdrawals. Tapering off Lyrica is hard but you can do it slowly. Pray for us all.

  • David Daniels June 11, 2016, 7:52 am

    I have been taking Lyrica for many years, it was prescribed for TMJ pain by my GP. Now I also have Diabetic neuropathy and 3 prolapsed discs. The dose has been increased from 75 mgs twice daily to up to 400mgs daily. I take 300mgs but it is making me high. I have tried to reduce it, but then I cannot sleep and feel wide awake.

  • Enough Already June 13, 2016, 7:15 pm

    My husband is taking 75mg bid for femeral nerve damage. He began on 3 1/2 weeks ago. He has so many side affects we are taking him off. He has muscle weakness in his legs and lost muscle mass in his arms (can’t tell about legs as he has lymphedema which started around the same time). He can hardly walk and can’t stand for more then a minute. Has anyone had muscle weakness / loss of strength in the legs? I am wondering how this improved once you were off lyrica?

    • Leena June 16, 2016, 3:08 am

      Hi, sorry to hear about your husband. Yes I experienced extended and severe weakness in my legs (vertigo etc) which caused me not to want to take on this drug Lyrica, many times over these past 6 yrs (see my comment to editor). When I dropped my dosage due to this unbearable reason of muscle weakness (fuzzy headed ness etc), my neurologist was very cross and warned me that it would take a few years on Lyrica, to cure my condition of prolonged damaging nerve pain and its consequences.

      So, unhappily, I persevered (on 350mg). The drug does have awful side effects, and it lost me my career and participation etc, however, 6 costly years later, I am slowly coming off the drug as it’s done its task! Your husband has been put on it early in the piece, therefore it’ll be much more effective in its task and sooner to heal/manage his condition. So hopefully, he’ll mange on a lower dose and for a shorter time frame and in the end, be glad for this drug named Lyrica!

  • Leena June 16, 2016, 2:55 am

    I have been on Lyrica for at least 6 yrs, 350mg/day, for complex regional pain syndrome – which compounded badly over time and debilitated me, due to very very late diagnosis of the on going Nerve pain arising for a foot OP gone wrong. Lyrica is a powerful drug. Drs are barely trained for it’s use – consider just how very recently (not even a decade yet) that this drug was released for use outside of epilepsy, which has a completely different regime and application.

    We are the pole bearers, so thank you so much, first of all to the writer of this site, for the clear description of each of the possible withdrawal symptoms etc. And the sensible advice and way you’ve written. Yesterday I thought I was surely going to have start discussing dementia! – until I realised at the end of the day that I had somehow managed to miss my morning dose! 😥😅.

    I am, as it is, currently on a very graduated withdrawal program (am now down to 225mg). I hope to be off it by the end of this year, as I had a very successful re-surgery on the damaged foot last year, by a brilliant surgeon who was completely abreast with CRPS (for a change!). Your article and your reader’s comments have given me great courage and the sanity to persevere on with withdrawal, as I live in a vacuum of support (very few people, let alone Drs, understand the gravity of this drug on the CNS – the whole being as such – in my part of the world).

    My withdrawal symptoms were/are so severely impacting, it really takes very careful nursing by me. I can offer this, use the simple drug PARACETAMOL liberally, to cushion any pain-related out falls (headache or body aches etc). Hunker down a lot, stay quiet and protected to proceed through the more psychosomatic symptoms (spikes of unexplained anger/anxiety/confusion etc) listed in this blog. Thanks again for this blog and good luck everyone.

  • Jordan June 18, 2016, 4:51 pm

    I stopped taking lyrica 48 hours ago after being on 600mgs for 6 years. Month 1 I dropped by half immediately, from 600-300, and dealt with the effects as best I could. I started cramping quite a bit and my nerves were on fire. I also couldn’t concentrate and had a very difficult time working. It was a tough month to work through.

    Weeks 5-8 I dropped 200mg, so I was at 100mg daily. During this time I trained hard for a triathlon which seemed to help deal with the pain. I find it hard to sell for work, but it’s easier than the first month. I received an epidural shot in my spine that helped significantly for my nerve pain that was flaring up badly.

    I went from 100 to 0, 2 nights ago and the crazy dreams and muscle spasms are hitting hard. I’m hoping that I can make it through this weekend and feel halfway normal for work in two days. It’s hard but not impossible so don’t give up!!

  • Rilee June 24, 2016, 2:41 pm

    I’m a paraplegic at the t-5 level and I’d have to say this is the second most evil drug I’ve ever taken (behind Effexor). DO NOT TAKE LYRICA UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO!

  • Marlene June 26, 2016, 5:01 pm

    Hi. My mum had lots of back pain so the doctor gave her lyrica. She only took it for 2 weeks or so and I do not know her dose but all of a sudden she had anxiety, could not breath and had anxiety. This happened 3 weeks ago and she is still in such bad shape. Trouble breathing and her heart is healthy we went to the hospital for it.

    So I decided to research lyrica more and I discovered how her symptoms are probably from those pills. Now the funny (not so funny) thing is 3 years ago she experienced the same thing because then she was scared as well and did not dare be alone and that happened because of her taking fentanyl patches for a few days. I think it took her 3 to 4 weeks to become normal back then.

    So when I discovered this could be the result I was happy for her because at least we know why this happened but she is s depressed now she does not believe it will stop. I had hoped that there would be people here telling when they got better and 2 or 3 did but mostly when people are okay again they do not write about that. I told her mum it will be okay you will soon feel better but it is so hard seeing her struggle.

    There is something I think in those meds that make her go really mentally unstable and it is so sad to see her like this. I read about magnesium so I will tell her to take some. So crazy that those medications are given to people without warnings.

  • Julie Walker June 29, 2016, 5:55 pm

    I’m in UK, as appears most comments are in America. Have been on Pregabalin for last 6 months due to recurrent episode of sacral plexus neuritis (last episode in 2009) required it for severe nerve pain in left thigh. Prescribed 600mg daily, but difficulty concentrating, therefore about 4 weeks ago began to reduce dose to try & return to work soon.

    WOW unable to sleep, poor vision, slightly anxious, very fatigued & horrendous chills & sweating/hot episodes. First thought I was starting with another virus. But symptoms not improving, now totally stopped taking it. To think I came off it to try & get back to work, now feel worse as nerve pain symptoms increased, & temperature on my skin also makes symptoms worse.

    What a drug, had no idea withdrawal symptoms would last so long or be so life changing… No one in UK seems to understand this drug or the terrible side effects & withdrawal symptoms it causes. I also took it previously back in 2009, and remember being very unwell but not this bad.

  • Roel July 5, 2016, 3:47 am

    I am a healthy 29 year old male, with spinal Stenosis. I also have 5 herniated disk, all lumbar. I was prescribed Lyrica, and was given a 1 month trial. For the first week on Lyrica I felt like superman. I would take it in the morning and would tackle my day with no back pain. Well after taking it for a week, I forgot to take it one morning, and let me tell you it was one of the worst feeling I have ever experienced.

    I had severe anxiety, couldn’t concentrate, and had migraines. It scared me. I had to leave work just to go home and take one. The symptoms went away. I Knew that this was a horrible drug. The next day, I decided to stop taking it. The aftermath of my withdraw symptoms lasted months, at least 3 months.

    Every time the sun sets, it feels like it was the end of the world. My sales at work declined. I had taught a of suicide. Night sweats, heavy dark bag under my eyes developed from lack of sleep. At times I would hear loud buzzing sounds, before bed. Thankfully that I don’t suffer from any of those symptoms any longer. If you are reading this, please, I plead, please do not take Lyrica.

    It would be the best decision for you and your family. “By the way, my relationship with my family are ruined because of my mood swings, til this day I have broken relationships that I need to fix”. I only took Lyrica for a week and suffered months of withdrawals, I could already imagine how bad it would of been if I would of decided to take Lyrica for 1 year calendar periods.

  • Scott C July 5, 2016, 10:53 pm

    I was previously taking Gabapentin 100 mg once per day for about 4 months, but switched to Lyrica because I was told that it was the preferred drug for neuropathy which I had from my lower back surgery. I was taking Lyrica 75 mg once per day for about 2 years. The cost was not bad, but higher then the Gabapentin. I kept taking Lyrica even though it did not reduce my neuropathy in any significant way, but I didn’t want to see things get worse.

    At the end of January 2016, I decided to stop taking it cold turkey because my company had a new insurance plan which was going to charge me $400+ for a one month supply. Since the drug wasn’t really helping, I felt ‘why keep taking it’? About a week or two after I stopped taking it, I felt many of the symptoms others have noted: mainly panic attacks and shortness of breath during the attack due to hyperventilation.

    Other symptoms included: crying spells, depression, dizziness, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, itching, joint pain, restlessness, sleep problems and sweating. The symptoms continued for about 6 weeks. But it was a nightmare. I didn’t realize it was due to cold-turkey Lyrica withdrawal. I didn’t realize that I should have contacted my family doctor before stopping the drug.

    My doctor prescribed Xanax to get me through it and it worked. Now I’m back to normal. Hopefully, this comment and the many others will encourage people to talk to their doctors before they stop taking a drug.

  • Susan July 6, 2016, 12:20 am

    I took Lyrica for 5 years, 150 mg twice daily. After a year or two on the drug, my prescription ran out while my doc was on vacation. After 2 or 3 days I had an uncharacteristic fit of anger, along with many of the symptoms reported above. When I retired at the end of 2011, I knew I had to get off Lyrica because it wasn’t covered by the ODBP provincial drug plan, and I couldn’t afford it.

    Having some idea about how rough quitting was going to be, I devised a plan to taper off. The plan had 2 strict rules: each time I reduced the dose, it would be by 50%. and that I would immediately go from 2 x 150 mg daily, to 150 mg once EVERY OTHER DAY. So, I would carry on with that regime for 2 weeks, then step it down to 75 mg every other day, and so on, following that pattern.

    To create the smaller doses required, I opened a gel cap, and poured the contents onto a mirror and using a razor blade, divide it in half, and those in half again, and so forth, till I was making doses as small as approx 12 mg each. I would use cigarette papers to wrap each little does and simply swallow the paper and contents with a glass of water. In the last week, I got it down to 12 mg every other day, and after 3 days of that, I decided to not take anymore, flushed the remainder down the toilet and was at last free of it.

    However, in the following 2 years or so, I did have the most horrific nightmares of my life, and I am almost 70. They now seem to have fully subsided. From start to finish, it took me 3 months to get off Lyrica. During this intense quitting process, I would never have been able to maintain the job I had retired from. The sleep disruption and constant headache, carsick nausea and a good many of the withdrawal symptoms reported by others, lasted for nearly the entire 3 months, but went away quickly once I quit it altogether.

    I realize I am lucky re long term nerve damage, compared to others. Take heart in my story though, I did get off this most insidious drug, one that hardly seems to do any good, yet rips you apart if you try to quit it. As if all the worst symptoms of opiate withdrawal, flu, hangover, menopause and you name it, have been designed into this expensive drug – so that it is beyond most mere mortals to quit taking it. But, I did and You can too!

  • Brenda murdoch July 9, 2016, 7:17 am

    I started taking pregabalin about 5 years ago, I abused it. I got totally addicted to it and was prescribed it by my doctor here in the UK. I gained so much weight, my feet hurt so much and my ankles swelled right up. My toes went number and I was feeling generally crap. I tried several times to get off them but couldn’t stand the withdrawal so ended up taking them again. Well about a month ago, I stopped for good.

    My doctor took them off my repeat prescription so I could get no more. The first week was bad for the physical side effects, I got bad hot flushes whilst on them and they were worse the first week off them, I ached from head to toe, felt sick, going hot and cold, couldn’t sleep and anxious.
    I’ve been off them a month now, I’ve been off work for a month, which I can’t afford, but I can’t face the world. I’m so anxious, it’s unbearable.

    I have never felt so scared and low. When am I going to get better? I still can’t sleep properly, I’ve been awake all night and will stay up today so I sleep tonight but I know when I do sleep I find it impossible to wake up then I can’t sleep again the following night.

    This is the most evil thing I have ever taken. It has ruined my life. I advise you never to take this drug. I’ve had withdrawals from other things in the past but nothing has ever messed with my mind as much as pregabalin.

    • Misty July 27, 2016, 4:42 am

      I know what you mean. I didn’t have for a week at one point and I got really sick and terrible muscle spasms. It’s a really bad feeling. I hate you had to go through that.

  • Misty July 27, 2016, 4:38 am

    I have been taking 150 mg 2 a day for a year now and just recently my Dr went out of town and didn’t have any refills so I didn’t have any for a week and let me tell you it was terrible. I had chills, real bad headaches, dizziness, sick to my stomach, agitated, more pain, and I thought I was “dying”.

    He finally called me in a refill. Hey I get it doctors need vacations too. I really like my Dr. I digress. After taking two doses it made me feel like it did the first time I took it. Makes me feel chatty over excited and definitely not as much pain. I will take being over excited over pain any day.

  • Danielle July 27, 2016, 6:22 pm

    Hi all! I have to add my two cents here mostly because I need to give some hope to those who are terrified, like I was, to get off of Lyrica. I was put on Lyrica 4+ months ago when I found myself in the hospital for 2 weeks with a severe nerve root impingement. Lyrica is often give for nerve pain as many of you know, amongst other things. In addition to Lyrica I was also on a heavy dose of morphine.

    My doctor, surgeon and pharmacist all wanted me to move from the morphine to lyrica so the dosages of lyrica kept going up and up and up… without any real relief from the nerve pain. In fact, even with morphine, it barely took the edge off. So I had topped out at around 225 Lyrica per day spread out over the day.

    I have to agree with others than the first thing I noticed was that I could not remember a thing. My short term memory was terrible, and it was frightening. I am also paranoid about drug addiction and dependence so I was determined to get off both Lyrica and morphine as soon as I could so I started researching as to how I should best go about it. It was long that I started finding horror stories of people`s experiences and it shared the living $hit out of me.

    So, I made a plan… and it worked out just fine. I’ve been off now of everything for a few weeks now and the fog is lifting. AMEN. So here are a few tips to help you all through if you are starting this journey.

    1. Don’t believe every horror story you read on withdrawal from Lyrica. People are on it for a multitude of reasons, and many medical problems both physical and mental, and you cannot compare your body chemistry to another.

    2. Find a safe alternative medication for issue. If you know you are ready to get off, consider why you were put on it and find an alternative that your doctor and yourself are both comfortable with. For example, if you are taking it for anxiety… without a doubt if you get off, your anxiety will increase. If you are taking it for pain relief, your pain will increase. You must have an alternative source of medication that is safe and effective that you BOTH feel good about. Have this on hand to help you through. In my case, my pain was improving so I was good with just going on advil and tylenol and told my doctor that but told her also that if it became unmanageable, I would want to try Tramadol (a safe alternative for me). She was totally cool with this. I have never needed more than advil yet.

    3. Listen to your body. DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY… EVER. This is just simply dumb. These drugs get into the neurons in your brain. If you suddenly go from a large dose to nothing, do not be surprised when your brain goes bezerk. This is stupid and if you do it and then suffer, you are only asking for trouble. You also will likely have to get right back on and then start yo-yo-ing between jumping off the meds and not being able to handle it and getting back on. Be gentle with yourself. Go slowly. Switch to a lower dose (I was on 75mg pills and had my doctor change them to 25s so I could manage my decent comfortably). Then, reduce… HOLD a few days or weeks until you feel no more withdrawals… then slowly reduce again. NO SUFFERING necessary. Don’t be a hero. Your body will kick the crap out of you.

    4. Once you are at your lowest dose, (let’s say 25mg)… start doing a titration if you are feeling symptoms and your body is having a hard time adjusting. Mix 25mg of Lyrica (empty the powder from the capsule) into a jar (I used baby jars) and 25 mgs of whole milk. VERY important to use whole milk too. It will hold the suspension of the grains of lyrica evenly throughout the liquid. THEN… every day or every other day… remove 1 mg of the solution and throw it out. Drink the rest. Day 1… 25mg solution, 24 mg to drink, 1mg to toss (use a syringe from your pharmacy they are free). You will have 25 days to decrease… and can hold for a number of days for as long as you wish while your body adjusts to its new reality.

    Lyrica withdrawal does not have to be painful or scary. You just have to be smart, and respectful of your body. It knows what to do for you. Listen to it. Hope this helps, All the best, Danielle

  • Kostas July 31, 2016, 9:14 am

    Hello (Sorry for my English). I took Lyrica for a month. I was taking 150 mg per day for pain in the left hand. On the fourth day in the drug, I felt numbness in feet and hands. I cut the drug gradually over one week decreasing the dose of 25 mg per day. For forty days I felt pain in the joints (on one leg), numbness in the knees and grips nerves in the calves and thighs. A month ago I did tests for rheumatoid arthritis and was ok. Ι did MRI brain, MRI neck, leg and hand radiographs, many blood tests. It may all be from the Lyrica; How long does the withdrawal take?

  • Claire August 1, 2016, 2:18 pm

    I’ve been off lyrica 5 days however I’ve had to go back on it the withdrawal was so bad I’ve now to try the tapering process. I actually thought I was going to die!

  • Allan August 2, 2016, 11:44 am

    I had a herniated disk which caused 3 weeks of severe pain an imbolization. I sought after medical attention many time during those 3 weeks. The only position that was bearable to the pain was lying down. I went to a Medicentre walk in clinic and he prescribed me the Lryica. I was hesitant to take this drug until I had a conversation with my family doctor.

    He told me it was fine to take it and as the years went by he was constantly increasing the dose to where I was taking 450mg per day. The side effects for me were many like weight gain, reoccurring skin infections and overall infections. The more and more I was reading about this drug the more and more convinced was that this drug was doing me more harm than good. I spoke to my kidney specialist and he and I came up with a plan to reduce and stop use.

    This was a plan that would have taken 4 to 6 weeks but I decided to quit cold turkey. It has been almost two weeks now and I am still going through the withdrawal symptoms but have already seek improvement in the skin infections healing up. This is a nasty drug and I to this day still don’t understand that my doctors only solution to it was to continue to elevate the dose a day for the increased pain.

    I am glad I quit cold turkey. Was hard but after being on it for almost 2 years it was time. Lots of side effects of this drug either way and you have to think is it doing more harm than good. For me it was just that. STOPPED COLD TURKEY.

  • Lily August 11, 2016, 7:23 pm

    Let me begin by thanking you for writing this, and thanking everyone else for being brave enough to come forward with their experiences. I began taking Lyrica four years ago. I have been on it since then, aside from the few times that I attempted to detox. I began taking it to treat GAD. In the beginning it was very helpful. I was finally able to socialize, function, and achieve things that I otherwise thought was impossible.

    I noticed that my tolerance built up fast, and before I knew it I was on the highest recommended dose of 600mg. With time the helpful effects of the drug faded and I thought I could stop cold turkey. I would NOT recommend this is you have previously been diagnosed with mood disorder. I quickly slipped into a deep depression (within three days), and I became nauseated.

    I was determined, so I asked my doctor for Zofran (my insurance only covers 12 a month) and I picked up some Imodium. Both were helpful, but a week into the my detox I became angry and suicidal. My body hurt and I couldn’t stop vomiting. I didn’t eat at all, and by the end of week two, I was dropping weight fast and I could barely function. I had to admit myself at the hospital because I thought I would hurt myself or cause serious damage to my body.

    They placed me back on a lower dose (300mg) and the symptoms began to fade within two days. Since that time (a year ago) I have been unsuccessfully trying to taper and rid myself of this nightmare. I have tried asking doctors for help, thinking they would understand. However, just like you explained, they are completely clueless. I mentioned to one doctor that the withdrawal from this drug is 10x worse than opiate withdrawal. She looked at me like I was an idiot. I left feeling insulted and defeated.

    [In my experience, THIS DRUG IS A NIGHTMARE AND SHOULD NOT BE ON THE MARKET]. The withdrawal that I experienced included every one of the symptoms that you listed. It is the worst thing that I have ever been through. No one should have to experience this. There are alternatives for treating seizures, nerve pain, and anxiety disorders. AVOID THIS.

  • Ann August 13, 2016, 4:19 pm

    I took lyrica as a preventative for chronic migraines. I started 100mg at night for the first week then went to 100mg in the morning and 100mg at night. The side effects of being high was nice the first week but then the muscle twitching and spaced out feeling was enough for me to call and see if my doctor would allow me to lower the dose back down.

    Now granted… it’s been only 6 weeks but I want totally off this drug. Just lowering the dose and trying to get off it for me has been awful. Stomach cramps, diarrhea, massive headache, insomnia, crying spells…ugh. I think once you decide to be on Lyrica… you should realize it’s possible that you will always be on it.

    That is my experience. I couldn’t imagine being on it for a year or more then go off it. So sorry for others who have suffered.

  • Eileen August 14, 2016, 11:27 am

    Hi. My mom has been in the hospital now for 3 weeks. Went in for a simple procedure and has had every complication. She was taking Lyrica for about 2 years and was taken off cold turkey in the hospital. She was taking lyrica for fibromyalgia. She experienced 2 seizures and was wondering if this has happened to anyone else. She has never had a seizure in her life, she’s 70 years old.

  • Melissa August 16, 2016, 11:31 pm

    Forced to quit cold turkey. Docs have no idea what Lyrica really does to people. Something needs to be done. Two weeks in. It has to get better.

  • christine August 31, 2016, 11:21 am

    Thanks all for your comments. I thought I was losing my mind. Had to go cold turkey as side effects were awful. Now I don’t know which is worse.

  • Tiffany September 6, 2016, 2:08 am

    I have been without Lyrica for 1 week now. I started at a 75mg and ended up on 450mg before I told my Dr I couldn’t continue to take it because it made me so hazy at work. So the doctor lowered my mg from 450 to 300 to help with daily haziness. At some point I lowered my dose myself to 150 because I just hated the way lyrica made me feel. Constantly depressed and numb to everything. So At 150 I quit cold turkey.

    One week out now and my mood is already better. I broke down and cried today really cried because I finally realized how sh-tty of a girlfriend I’ve been the last year on lyrica. Side effects wise however I can’t catch my breath. I constantly find myself grasping for air. I really thought I was developing asthma until I read this article.

    Besides that my anxiety had been pretty high (doesn’t help with the not breathing) and I’ve been terribly sweaty. But this isn’t the first time I’ve detoxed off something so I know I’ll be ok. In the end feeling like myself will be so much better than the zombie I’ve become.

  • Sheryl September 10, 2016, 3:32 am

    6 days tapering from 100 mg to 75 mg Lyrica. 3 days migraines (severe frontal headache & nausea). Rapid heartbeat, racing thoughts, trouble sleeping, stomach pain/abdominal cramping, irritable, dizzy, brain fog (worse than it was already). Gradual improvement of constipation. Taking melatonin for sleep, Maxalt for migraines, Pepto Bismol, Tylenol.

  • Nanette Pacheco September 12, 2016, 2:46 pm

    I have been on Lyrica for about 2 weeks and it is amazing what a different person that medication makes you. I have been experiencing dizziness every morning I would have to take a motion sickness meds to equal my self out. I had sever pain in my wrist and hand. Lyrica made me swell up so so bad my skin felt like it was going to rip apart.

    And I have gained so much weight for the short period of time I have been taking it. And any anger that I may have it intensifies it almost 80% it is an uncontrollable sensation, the depressed feeling I have stop taking it so far and I still major anger and very depressed I am hoping this goes away soon. I don’t feel like it helped my actual problem but it caused some serious issues and I am sorry I would not recommend this to anyone.

  • Ghassan September 14, 2016, 2:08 pm

    I had been taking Lyrica the first thing in the morning dosing to 450mg just to get high! That feeling of being drunk and indifferent became the contrary as soon as I saw my body swelling and my body gaining weight incredibly! Overnight, I took the decision to cold turkey stop Lyrica and that was the hardest thing I’ve ever practiced! I was on the medication for about 2 years and now I am still fighting sleeplessness and muscle spasms all over my body! I also unwillingly have pressure on my teeth and jaws. Wishing I had never taken Lyrica in my life.

  • Sally Norman September 19, 2016, 9:58 pm

    I have been taken Pregabalin for a year to help with GAD. The highest dose I was on was 600. I hated the way it made me feel and its side effects – foggy headed, blurry vision, and a constant feeling of malaise. With my doxtor’s support I reduced it 600 -450 for a month it was fine. Then to 300 for another month then to 150.

    It was okay – still functional but anxiety at each drop which passed. 150 to 100 wasn’t nice – high anxiety but it passed after a few days maybe a week. I stayed on 100 for about a month I think. As I dropped my head started to feel clearer and the vision improved. Then I did 100 – 75 for a couple of weeks then to 50 for 2 more weeks when I was feeling a bit crappy then 25 for a week.

    Was feeling yucky and heady and insomnia so I decided to get off it and honestly, I suffer so badly with withdrawals (had miserable times with bentos and AD’s) but this really was okay and now on Day 5 feel really fine (Days 1-4 heady, stomach problem and flu-ey) but nothing terrible and I forced myself to be fully functional. I was so scared from reading all these horror stories but it was a piece of cake with a few bad days only and I feel so much better off it. The secret is to go fairly slow but it not an evil drug to come off. Hope this helps someone.

  • Shane September 28, 2016, 4:57 pm

    I was on Lyrica for just 2 months, 100mg 3x daily for sciatica related to 3 herniated discs in my lower back. At first it was like a miracle drug, after just 2 days on the medication my pain was almost completely gone, then 2 weeks in the side effects started, first strange migrating pain in my neck (starting near my ear, gradually moving down towards my shoulder) then spaced out zombie feeling, like I was watching myself speak and act and had no direct control over it.

    One morning I woke up to get ready for work and sat for 20 mins at the foot of my bed crying, for absolutely no reason, at this point I decided to taper myself off of the drug over a period of about 3-4 weeks. I would have gone slower but the side effects of taking the drug were getting scary and not worth risking continuation, I wanted to be done with it ASAP. As I type this it is Weds 9/28/16, the first day in a week that I have felt relatively normal (my last dose was 9/22/16) I spent all weekend in a funk.

    Monday I had to leave work early and yesterday I missed work altogether, which I spent in bed under 4 blankets sweating and shivering at the same time with a seemingly unquenchable thirst (64oz water bottle filled and emptied 4 times in less than 6 hours). When I get home tonight I plan to dump the rest of my script in the toilet and gladly wave goodbye forever, I would honestly rather deal with the pain than what this drug put me through in my short time taking it.

  • Chloe October 7, 2016, 3:29 pm

    I am so glad to have found this page. I have been taking Lyrica 75mg every night for a few around 3 months, just recently I was pushed up to 150 mg about a month ago. I began having really strange reactions, I couldn’t remember anything, feeling very short of breath, like my life was spinning out of control and I somehow didn’t have a firm grasp on reality. I told my doctor I wasn’t feeling right and they advised me to stop taking it cold turkey, no problem.

    Well it’s been about a week now, and I thought I was dying :( Just feeling like a nervous breakdown, small things setting me off, anxiety sky rocketing, leaving my job (sounds like i’m not alone on that one). Moral of the story, does anyone have any recommendations for the withdrawal symptoms? Since it has already been a week since I’ve been off, a lot of me feels like I should just ride it out.

    But if the effects get any worse, I don’t think I will be able to. Suggestions? Withdrawal treatments? Maybe relaxing tea or something with anxiety? Anything work? Or should I go back onto the Lyrica and try weaning off? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, I am so thankful to know I am not alone!

  • Jim October 11, 2016, 4:34 am

    I have been on Lyrica for 4 years. I ran into some financial difficulties and was unable to get my prescription. I had to go 1.5 days without Lyrica and my other medications. I had flu like symptoms, violent nausea, hot flashes, and a lot of body aches and pains. I had trouble controlling my feelings and had very depressive thinking. I was unable to get any kind of rest and still had a 14 month old to take care of which was impossible with these symptoms. Do not go cold turkey with Lyrica!!!

  • Donna October 12, 2016, 5:07 pm

    I have been on Lyrica for 5 weeks post an orthopedic surgery. I was started at 25mg a day b.d. by a physician in the hospital and moved up to 75mg a day b.d within a few days as the nerve pain/sensations across the top of my foot were intense. I was an inpatient at the time. I have been on this dosage since coming home 2.5 weeks ago – and my local doctor just suggested that some people have pretty horrific side effects coming off it, mentioned another patient who she had seen the day before who had anxiety, and asked me to drop the evening dose out.

    I’ve had the blinds shut, been crying at the drop of a hat, waking with chills, feeling cold even though the heater is on, taking all of my clothes off overnight as so hot, and have a headache. I’ve getting nerve pain across the top of my foot that I had surgery on, restless legs that really irritate the plaster that I have on as I shift around – and my hands ache. I’ve been falling asleep in the chair each evening as well, something I’ve never done before. Reading some of the other comments on this site, I hope that that this isn’t the start of a longer ride…

  • Jen October 22, 2016, 1:53 pm

    I wish I could go back in time to when I asked the doctor to help with the pain. Lyrica is worse than narcotics. I have never been so sick. My head hurts, I’m dizzy, can’t even walk a straight line. I weaned off for a week, from 300 to 150 and now nothing. This drug is awful. I felt like CRAP on it and I feel like CRAP coming off it. I’d rather have the pain. Hope this passes soon. Uggggg.

  • Sandy K October 28, 2016, 8:47 pm

    I was prescribed Lyrica shortly after it was FDA approved by my neurologist. It was prescribed as a blocker for migraines as nothing was working. I started at 300 mg twice a day but doctor had to cut me back for a short time as I sort of lost my mind. Earlier this year, probably about May 2016 I decided to take myself off of it. I figured my migraines were caused by the high stress job I had and since I retired I figured I didn’t need it.

    Over 4 years or so I had asked my doctor (a new one) to reduce my dosage and was down to 50 mg twice a day. I then dropped myself to 50 mg once a day and over a couple of months I was able to stop it. Unfortunately the side effects are sneaky. They start out very subtle and eventually they just become part of your life and you don’t even realize it. Of course now I know that is not good. Side effects that I figured out I had endured were weight gain (knew about that one), vision problems, hearing loss, tinnitus (knew I had that), dizziness and poor balance (knew I had that), confusion, back problems, memory loss and dry mouth.

    Now that I am off of Lyrica I still have vision problems, hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness at times, poor balance, some nausea, dry mouth, inner ear problems, some confusion, sweating & hot flashes, fatigue, headaches are starting but so far not migraines, insomnia, some irritability and poor concentration. Some of these starting to get better and I am in physical therapy for the poor balance. I keep telling myself that one day I will be as close to back to normal as possible although I know some of the initial side effects will probably be permanent like the hearing loss and maybe the vision issues. Only time will tell.

  • Denise October 31, 2016, 12:44 pm

    I have never taken Lyrica, but my mother has, for well over five years. Unfortunately, even missing a days dosage has devastating effects. As son as she misses, she instantly goes into the depersonalization stage of the withdrawal. Add to that the diarrhea and it becomes a fight to even get her to listen to either my father or I. It’s stressful for sure, but due to the pain she experiences, she can’t go off it. Thankfully my father who also takes it, does have the same problem. I just hope I myself don’t have to take it later on down the road. (We’re all diabetics).

  • Hank W November 10, 2016, 11:28 am

    Lyrica stays in your system for approximately 1.5 days after your final dose? If I miss ONE of my 2x/day doses I get immediate (within 6 hours) SEVERE WITHDRAWAL EFFECTS consisting of catatonic depression / anxiety which eventually dissipate after I take the next dose. Is this possible?! How is this possible?

    • Susan November 14, 2016, 2:30 am

      I feel for your plight, I know it well myself. You are yet another victim of this insidious drug. It does squat for pain, for which it is prescribed. The drug was not designed with the patients best interest in mind. It was designed to be near impossible to quit, just try skipping a dose for confirmation of this. It is expensive and no doubt a big money maker, but real bad news the the unwary patient, (as I was), and there is a mighty price to pay in suffering if you try to get off it.

      If your doc that wrote the script for you is clueless about the drugs effects, insensitive to what they were setting you up for, then you will surely run into a real problem in the event you are in circumstances, like in hospital, where you can be denied the drug. If that happens, get ready for a genuine nightmare. My best and strongest advice to anyone currently taking Lyrica, is to follow a positive weaning off program, tapering down to nothing in 3 months time, as I did and described in an earlier posting above.

      If you were in hospital with something serious, and they decided to take you off the Lyrica, whatever you were already sick with would be a million times worse. So don’t wait, do it while you can. This drug is a life-long thing if you have already begun taking it. If you don’t mind gaining weight, feeling confused and falling asleep at the wheel, or losing your hair, that’s cool. However, if you do, begin cessation as soon as you can.

  • Chrissie November 14, 2016, 10:04 pm

    I’ve been taking pregabalin for about 16 months now at a dose of 300mg BID. I can’t begin to describe how hideous I feel. I had been on gabapentin 900mg three times a day for probably a year prior to starting lyrica. These are one of a multitude of hideous drugs that I’ve been on over the last 3 years since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, hypermobility syndrome, Prolapsed disc C6-C7 bulging L3-S1 and a brand new non epileptic seizure disorder, triggered by pain!

    To name some other medications; amitriptyline, duloxetine, codeine, sertraline. My neurologist jumped to swapping me immediately to pregabalin once the prolapsed disc was discovered, I started on 600mg a day and that’s what I’ve stayed on. I’ve had nerve and facet joint blocks in my neck, with no relief. I’ve never felt like pregabalin helped me and I’ve not only been crippled by the neuropathic pain of my spinal issues, the joint pain from my hypermobility and the muscular aches and pains from fibro, but The fatigue… well there’s no words.

    I just can’t function. I too WAS a nurse, but with the fatigue, the fog, the memory issues, I just couldn’t work in the intense referral environment anymore and I had no choice but to give it up a year ago. I have no life. I’m still in so much pain. I can’t think or eat (yet I’ve gained 5st since starting pregabalin!!!) I have no appetite. I just count down the hours till I can crawl into my pit once more.

    I’ve been researching tapering off the pregabalin. I’ve basically spent this last year tapering off all the drugs, I’ve just completed about 70days codeine free, despite the agony. All that’s left is the pregabalin. I take a multitude of nutraceuticals and always have. I desperately need to get rid of the pregabalin, it’s made me so so much worse!!!

    It scares me so much of where I will be in a month if I keep taking it, so much so, and with the level of suffering I already have, I’m tempted to do a quick taper. I honestly don’t know how it can get much worse than it already is. As awful as it sounds, I just can’t trust my GP, I have had an awful time in general practice. I will obviously discuss this with him but I know he will just usher me out of the room to deal with it myself anyway.

    No support or understanding just a learn to live with it attitude, that’s a direct quote, he told me to learn to live like this when I went to him in tears and literally begged him to help me! It’s terrifying reading the stories of those whose lives have been destroyed by lyrica, years after withdrawal, my heart pours out to you all. I hope we can all find peace.

  • Denise November 30, 2016, 1:30 pm

    I was on Lyrica for 13 years, I had a complete hysterectomy which caused me to have hormone imbalance migraines. I was taking 150 mg three times a day and it got to the point where the medicine in my system had gotten immune and the side effects from the medicine were worse than the migraines. I spoke with my neurologist and even though he disagreed I told him I wanted off the Lyrica.

    I tapered off slowly for nine months going down 25 to 50 mg each time, I had no withdrawal symptoms during this time, but now I have been off of it completely for 34 days and for the last six days I have suffered with insomnia and I am only getting two hours of sleep each night. I tried a melatonin tablet last night and it did nothing for me. How long will these withdrawals last? I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

    • Susan December 2, 2016, 11:00 pm

      Everyone reacts differently it seems, because Lyrica acts on the brains chemistry and changes it in fundamental ways. Stay off it at all costs now that you’ve come this far. It is the time between your last dose, 34 days ago, and now only, that you have not had it. When I tapered off, it was quicker, 3 months, not 9. But I kept taking incrementally smaller and smaller doses I created by breaking open the caps. I suffered horribly for those 3 months, but by the end of it, my dose every 2 days was tiny, 5 mg or less. So for me, it was just a short step to be off it altogether, and within a few weeks felt pretty good, except for the several bad nightmares I had for a couple of years, gone now and its been 4 & 1/2 years off of Lyrica for me.

  • Ryan December 3, 2016, 7:45 pm

    Like many others on this site I am a victim of doctors’ lack of awareness. I was prescribed this drug in April 16 after back surgery and soon ramped up to max dose 600mg. I did not ask for it just advised it would help. At first it was great for pain and anxiety which was a bonus for me. 4 months later I decided to stop as always ill, lazy and falling around like drunk.

    Went 600 to 200 over 2 weeks then just stopped. Prompt 6 weeks of torture, sick, detachment, deepest dark depression, anxiety I cannot prescribe and insomnia. The insomnia finally got to me and I went back on at 200, I was devastated but I slept. Now I am beginning taper down to 175 and already feeling effects after four days.

    I read earlier it as if the drug is designed to keep you in it, I agree as it does nothing for my pain any longer so I take it to avoid being in a living hell of withdrawal. Awful drug, cannot believe the doctors have done this to me. The worst symptom now is the bone crushing depression. I used to be a happy person, lyrica has destroyed this personality, but one day I hope to be back and free of this poison.

    UK out, good luck if you are coming off this medication, stay strong.

  • Bob December 5, 2016, 1:22 am

    Was prescribed Lyrica for nerve pain. Taking 150mg twice daily for fifteen months, had a number of manageable side effects, but eventually had an episode where I was confused and didn’t recognise things. The neurologist took me off it virtually cold turkey in two weeks. Dropped the dosage to 25mg twice daily for the first week and just 25mg for the second week, had cold sweats and heart palpitations and insomnia.

    After stopping completely, nausea set each morning, as well as burning legs, dizziness, muscle spasms and more palpitations. During an MRI two weeks are stopping, I had a panic attack and nearly stopped the procedure. It’s been six weeks since I stopped and now I know what is happening I am fighting it and starting to win.

    I’m 63yo and up until this started eighteen months ago I had usually gone to the doctor once a year for a check up. The withdrawal symptoms have been a horrific experience, but the comments here have helped me understand what was happening. I wasn’t warned by my doctor about what could happen, but my neurologist recognised the issues immediately.

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