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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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{ 357 comments… add one }
  • Gayle October 3, 2018, 5:52 pm

    I had to go cold turkey after not receiving my prescription from the VA. It’s Day 7 now, and I’m still miserable. The 2 biggest symptoms for me are itching and being sick to my stomach. Very good article.

  • Leigh September 18, 2018, 6:24 pm

    This site has been like breadcrumbs during my dark detox from Lyrica. Been on it about five years since small bowel rupture. That surgical recovery along with fibromyalgia, OA and low back pain put Neurontin and Lyrica in my driver’s seat. Was on max dose of Lyrica, 150 three times daily.

    I fell in love with it; now we are divorced! My online pharmacy shorted me a bottle by mistake; could not prove that. Began tapering. In two weeks I cut down to nothing! September 11th was when it hit the fan! Saw my prescribing doc that day; she had reordered Lyrica.

    I called online Rx to cancel that; they said they were also sending the missed bottle. Thank God I cut Lyrica out for good. I am 65 years old and these two withdrawal weeks were murder! First had itching and flushing, then two days of diarrhea.

    The atomic hot flashes and nausea along with sheer terror sent me to the ER. My BP shot way up. I became very agitated, lost all appetite. Lost hope. ER doc said it would peak in a day or two then lessen over a couple of weeks.

    Zofran and then Protonix along with Vistaril have gotten me back on my feet but weak and still flat-out bone tired. My chronic pain is now more intense but I will happy dance with OTC meds and vitamins from now on. I let myself be seduced by Lyrica; think twice before that chemical robs you of more than your pocketbook.

  • HARVEY September 13, 2018, 11:06 am

    I was on 75 mg of pregabalin twice for only 2 weeks. Prescribed by my neurologist for severe sciatica. Helped with the pain. Found after 1 week on the medication was getting continuous headaches. After 2 weeks started to taper off of the dose 75 mg daily, then 75mg every other day.

    Headaches continued including depression and irritability. Neurologist told me to stop entirely. Have now been off of medication for about 10 days. Still have continuous headaches. Hope it will gradually go over the coming weeks. Will not take this medication again.

  • Roxy September 11, 2018, 10:32 pm

    I was taking 300mg Pregabalin for severe anxiety for 2 years (I’m in the UK), along with sertraline and mirtazapine for depression. I started tapering down the Pregabalin very gradually- reducing by 75mg every 6 weeks. Got very anxious after going from 150 to 75, so kept it at 150 for another 2 weeks.

    I came off it completely about 6 weeks ago, and have been experiencing persistent queasiness/nausea ever since, as well as increasing anxiety. Can withdrawal symptoms last this long? Or is there something else going on?

  • Karen September 11, 2018, 1:17 pm

    Good lord. After reading these comments I think I will stop immediately. I take 900mg a day. I crave more so take more. I’ve taken up to 1500mg. Euphoria, addiction, totally memory loss frequently, high as a kite and financial crisis. Twice.

    All anxiety gone, I become the opposite of anxious. I think I will stop. Cold turkey? I’ve only been on it a few months (I think).

  • sherri August 26, 2018, 10:49 pm

    My doctor took me off Lyrica cold turkey. I have been so sick ever since then. I don’t know what to do.

    • Susan September 14, 2018, 11:25 pm

      Call your doctor and ask him for something to help you. The doctor caused the problem and he should be willing to help. My doctor just laughed when I told her this stuff was addicting. And remember it will stop!! I’ll say a prayer for you.

  • Bill August 23, 2018, 4:10 pm

    Do not take Lyrica! Do not take Lyrica! Do not take Lyrica! My pain management specialist was very quick to prescribe me Lyrica for two bulging disks in my neck that are pinching the C5, C6 and C7 nerves running down my left arm and making my arm feel cold inside, tingly and with a constant throbbing.

    I started taking 50mg twice daily and then quickly moved up to 75mg three times per day. I have only been on Lyrica for a little over a month and felt that the Lyrica was not working for my arm issues but more importantly that my body was craving more of the drug. Three days ago and without researching Lyrica withdrawal side effects, I quit Lyrica cold turkey.

    The first day wasn’t bad but the last two days and more intensely last night was a pure hell. I have had migraines quite frequently in the past but this headache last night was unreal to the point that if the ER wasn’t 11 miles from my house I would have been there.

    The other severe withdrawals I am experiencing as of right now, for the last two days, are: stomach pain and bloating, stomach cramps, muscle spasms in upper back, flu like symptoms, severe vision issues and pain behind my eyes, crazy dizziness, brain fog and a feeling like I’m in a fish bowl between my ears (echo effect).

    So my advice is to stay off the Lyrica – or maybe my problem is I didn’t taper off of it, but who was to know after only a month on it? I have now ordered CBD oil as I have a good friend with cancer who uses it and has had excellent results in terms of medical issues (as have so many thousands of other people around the world).

    Good luck to all on this forum and I hope we all find relief via some other means than big pharmaceutical meds.

  • Jacqueline Gonzalez August 20, 2018, 8:31 pm

    What I find the most shocking about of this, the withdrawals, is that most doctors are completely unaware that withdrawal symptoms occur when stopping or deceasing lyrica! How is this possible?! In some cases these severe withdrawals can be life threatening!

    I have had two heart attacks, the stress from the withdrawal symptoms could send me to the ER. How is it possible that this drug got into the market without mention of it’s withdrawals? Anyways, I am still struggling but not giving up… some days are worse than others.

    I have found that CBD (google it) does help ease some of the symptoms and helps me to get deeper sleep at night. Mostly I try to stay focused on the fact that soon I will be free of lyrica…

    • Helen August 27, 2018, 6:55 pm

      Hi there. I’ve been taking lyrica 325mg a day for the last four years. Prescribed for anxiety. However I have been reducing over the last 9 months. I reduced 25mg about 10 days ago am now on 50mg per day. Am experiencing severe anxiety and terror!! Got CBD oil today took it but doesn’t seem to have done anything. Can anyone help me? Thanks.

      • Lisa September 1, 2018, 12:50 am

        Try Kava and taking a vitamin B stress complex. Also, tea with chamomile & lavender. You can get all of this on Amazon. CBD oil helps me tremendously, but I know all brands are not created equally. You could also try a stronger dose of your CBD oil. It’s very effective, and has virtually no side effects.

  • Lance August 19, 2018, 12:08 pm

    I had been on Lyrica for many years at 150/day for neuropathy in my feet, although I am not diabetic. I was traveling abroad last year and had to cut back to 75/day to make it through the long trip. That was pretty tough… Now my insurance says that I cannot take it because I don’t have diabetes. That’s a whole other story.

    I stopped taking it last week. I was already on a low dose. I have more restless legs and can’t sleep more than 4 hours and that’s restless also. I sweat a lot. I am feeling emotionally disconnected. I appreciate this page and the comments. It is encouraging to know that this will go away in a month or so.

  • Timothy August 18, 2018, 4:31 pm

    Hello everyone. I was prescribed Lyrica 150×2 & Cymbalta 30×2 – 2 years ago after rotator cuff surgery when the doctor thought my continuing severe shoulder pain was due to brachial plexus issues. Since then I’ve endured 3 more rotator cuff surgeries, the last & hopefully the final one taking place 6/27/18.

    If he had ordered an MRI instead of putting me on this garbage, I wouldn’t be going thru this hell. I’m 1 week without Lyrica & I’ve been pulling Cymbalta capsules apart counting out tiny balls for the last 2 weeks.

    I’ve slept for 4 solid days & just now feel like doing something as simple as typing this comment. I hope I’m over the worst of it. It’s been worse than all 4 surgeries combined & that is no joke.

    • Kerro September 20, 2018, 7:48 am

      Hi Timothy, my sympathies to you. I came off 60mg Cymbalta early this year and it was sheer hell. Fluoxetine helped with the withdrawals, and thankfully I did not experience withdrawals with it.

      I’m now coming off 2 x 75mg Lyrica and that is also hell. I ache all over and my initial pain is twice as bad! I’m hoping this doesn’t last long!!

  • Keoni August 15, 2018, 4:25 pm

    I’ve been on Pregabalin (Lyrica) for 15 weeks due to seriously burning my leg 150mg twice daily. The hospital or my own doctor have never suggested I cut down. I also take oxycodone twice daily. I told my doctor I didn’t want to end up addicted to these pills, so for the past five weeks I’ve been weaning myself off the Pregabalin.

    I now take 25mg once daily. After seeing my doctor today August 15th 2018 – I’m going to take 25mg every other day for a week, then completely stop, then start weaning myself off the oxycodone. But I’ve noticed for the past three days that I’ve become hyper-sensitive to being startled such as someone sneezing or coughing.

    Last night in the early hours, my iPad pinged as it had received a message and I virtually threw myself half way out of the bed because it startled me so much. I think doctors are too quick to prescribe this drug without realizing it’s a living hell coming off of them.

  • Emma August 15, 2018, 3:09 pm

    After complaining about how awful I felt (and listing off almost all of the withdrawal symptoms from this article) it was my Mum who suggested that maybe I was having withdrawals from decreasing Lyrica – I had not for a second considered this!

    Right now it’s after 1 AM in my part of the world and I’m wide awake yet again (thanks Lyrica) so I thought I’d research ‘Lyrica withdrawals’ and I’m so thankful that I found this article and all of these comments! I was put on Lyrica (375mg) daily to help with nerve pain in my back – I had a herniated disc at L5 S1 that was pressing on nerves and causing excruciating pain, sciatica and numbness down my left leg.

    It got to the point very quickly where Lyrica was doing nothing for my pain but was working extremely well at making my brain extremely foggy and confused. Not long after starting this medication, I attempted to drive out of my local shopping centre boom gate and couldn’t understand why a car was facing me on the other side of the gate – I was attempting to exit via the entry gate!!!

    After that I stopped driving and for the past 6 months have relied on others to get me to and from work. I had epidural needles in my spine to try to alleviate the pain but got to the point where my only option was going through with surgery (a discectomy) which I had one week ago.

    When I was still in hospital, I was advised to decrease Lyrica to only 150mg at night for 3 nights then drop to 75mg a night for 7 days then stop altogether. I am doubting that the young hospital pharmacist who advised me to do it this way has any idea about Lyrica withdrawals.

    Anyway, after surgery my back was like new with all pain completely gone but on the second day of having decreased Lyrica, I was projectile vomiting at one end whilst having excruciating stomach cramps and diarrhea at the other. That was the beginning of my symptoms, as I said before I have experienced nearly all of them – the worst for me besides what I just mentioned is the difficulty falling asleep and inability to stay asleep.

    I’ve also been having really weird dreams (for the short bursts that I am actually asleep). I trusted my Dr when he prescribed Lyrica to me not only because he has been our family Dr since I was a child (I am now 38) but because he himself is taking Lyrica for back pain!

    My advice for myself if I had the chance to do things differently would be to thoroughly research side effects and withdrawal symptoms of medications before swallowing any of them! Would I take Lyrica again – hell NO! Thank you again for this information and for everyone who has commented!

  • Esta August 10, 2018, 7:48 pm

    I am so, so relieved to hear that I’m not actually losing the plot here. Not happy that we are all going through this though. I’ve had most of the above symptoms – took my last Lyrica 3 weeks ago tomorrow & will NEVER put myself through this again.

    I’m at the point of severe depression, sweating & chills now – it is really unbearable. Also no energy, crying, panic attacks & anxiety, pain blah blah blah! I just want it all to stop, now… thankfully some symptoms have decreased so there surely IS an end to all this?

    It’s hard to keep that in mind when going through this though, isn’t it? I will be visiting my GP again next week, & will be telling him exactly what this rubbish does to people! Good luck to you all.

  • Waterrose August 8, 2018, 9:16 pm

    I have been taking lyrica for over 3 years now for back pain. At first it worked like a miracle! Was so happy to have a nearly pain free life for the first time in years! …Then the weight gain started, fairly quickly. I went from 168 pounds to 192 pounds!

    Also I started noticing that I was having memory and concentration issues, AND it seemed as though the lyrica stopped helping with the back pain completely. I researched all medication and learned that lyrica has terrible withdrawals… so when I made my plan to taper down on the amount I was taking, I was somewhat prepared.

    I was taking 300 mg daily. I am now (over a month over tapering down) to 150 mg… and it’s not easy. Next week I will go to 100 mg to ZERO. The withdrawals have been formidable, but with exercise and fresh air, lots of showers lol I will survive. For sleep I have been taking HTP-5 (this is a supplement) and get 7-8 hours of sleep.

    I informed my doctor when I started tapering down, and that I would need lyrica at lower dosages. My remaining pills I opened and divided them. Then my doctor was kind enough to give sample packets (ask your doctor!) that were 50 mg. Soon I will be cutting those in half until I get to zero.

    Upon tapering down I immediately noticed that my concentration improved. Once I got to 150 mg daily, I lost 9 pounds fairly quickly… the weight gain with lyrica was unstoppable. I would have exceeded 200 pounds while eating next to nothing and exercising!

    Anyways, know that I wish all of you the best of everything and know that you can get off this harmful drug. Remember to give yourself a break when things seem overwhelming… you are only human!

    • Susan September 19, 2018, 8:01 pm

      So I am getting off lyrica also. Took 150 mg for over a year. It seemed like I need it more and more to stop the back pain. But I also take tramadol and Tylenol together – helps a lot. What do you take in place of the Lyrica? Because I would like to get off the tramadol too. One step at a time. Prayers for all on this site.

  • Karen August 2, 2018, 2:48 pm

    These comments are extremely helpful. I was put on Lyrica in the fall for severe migraine. They finally pinpointed the exact type of headache I was having and another medication was indicated. Due to the severe side effects of Lyrica (mental confusion, sleep disturbance, mental fog, inertia, weight gain) I am now tapering off.

    I had to push my doctor to prescribe it in lower dose capsules so I could wean off. Today I looked up side effects because I was dizzy, dazed, sleepy, numb in my hands. I had just cut back by 75 mgs and had all of these symptoms. The ideas for supplements and titration are really helpful and I hope this will help me.

    I agree doctors have no idea what it’s like to be on this drug or try to get off. In defense of Lyrica, it did help my headaches to an extent and since I have bipolar, I also got an anti-depressant effect from it. I just hope my bipolar doesn’t spike because of this withdrawal.

  • TB July 17, 2018, 4:29 am

    I was prescribed Lyrica in 2017 for severe nerve pain after a infection in the bone. I used to shrug off people who complained of chronic pain, yeah well the joke was on me. I am only 40 played competitive golf, have a husband and three kids that need me to be mobile and the pain itself was so debilitating and caused so much depression due to the fast onset – one day you are chasing everyone around and the next you’re on the couch, staring, and feel the impending doom of the pain.

    With all that being said I was prescribed Lyrica and as if the side effects from the pain weren’t enough why not throw more of the same on top of the shaky foundation. I changed – I quit laughing, I quit trying, I didn’t want to see anyone, didn’t want anyone talking to me, my kids were basically left to fend for themselves as was my husband, and not to mention the MASSIVE WEIGHT GAIN!! I HATE IT!

    It may help with the nerve pain, but what good is the relief if you are nothing but a shell when you take Lyrica? Then if you try to quit abruptly you will experience all the withdrawal symptoms of a major drug like an opioid or benzodiazepine. Did anyone have edema on the legs from this drug?

    Does anyone know how long I will have this? I am on 125mg once a day and will go to 75mg tomorrow then I will start my last week or so on this freaking scam of a drug! You know, I wonder why it is the doctors prescribe all these drugs so handily?

    I bet if one of those docs had ever had to take it and then come off it, they would never encourage someone to take it! Makes you wonder what they have access to that we don’t know about. Guess that’s why you never hear of high-power folks getting illnesses, like cancer, lupus, Alzheimer’s, etc.

    So just food for thought!! Also how long will it take to lose this FREAKING weight? Can anyone give me some info on that!?

    • Leigh July 18, 2018, 9:47 pm

      My husband came off about 6 weeks ago. He was on 150mg twice a day. He has been on Lyrica since 2007 or 2009. The past few weeks has been very hard with the withdrawals but especially bad for him because he came off Percocet as well (TBI and fibro), both prescribed due to military injuries.

      He immediately stated losing the weight but he has always had a high metabolism, before the meds. After about a week, the brain fog went away but he had stomach issues, slight fever, restless leg issues and sleep problems.

      Many symptoms went away after 4-5 weeks, but he was on the meds for a long time and at high doses. He now needs to take his supplements, start exercising and hope that a gluten free diet will help. Good luck!

    • Arran July 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

      Try living with the pain of diabetic neuropathy. Lyrica gave me back my life again.

    • Aerosmithmomof3 August 11, 2018, 7:01 pm

      Hi :) I just wanted to let you know that I also got edema in the legs.

  • C July 14, 2018, 11:54 am

    Lyrica 600mg, 1 year. They gave me Lyrica for my lifetime anxieties, social phobia specifically. It worked. I felt/feel more talkative, not in constant fear, stress and such. But! I realized – Why am I so exhausted, even when I sleep all night? And I realized, I am having big memory issues and big concentration problems.

    And, what I read on internet, some people have persistent cognitive issues, even after they stopped long time ago. So what? Stepping off the drug, turning into isolated person and plus have a damaged brain? Wow, if so…

  • Arwen July 10, 2018, 6:00 am

    I have been on a low dose of lyrica 75mg a day for a nerve injury when I broke my wrist quite badly, and it was to help get the wrist and hand moving again. The lyrica definitely helped with getting the wrist moving again but got side effects of tiredness.

    I dropped the dose down to 25mg after 3-4 months on it. I have been trying to reduce the 25mg for ages but recently have been more successful. I am nearly down to half a capsule in 4 weeks. Although I have been getting lots of crying spells, and lethargy recently for the last week or so.

    Stress going on hasn’t been helping though. I have been taking straight medi-herb kava tincture 10 – 20mls which seems to calm my emotions down. While on the drug I experienced lack of inhibition, increased libido, personality change, tiredness, decreased thinking ability, less effort with being social, depersonalization, more detached from my emotions.

    The main reason I’ve wanted to get off this drug is to get back to being and feeling more like myself again and so I can think more clearly. I’m definitely getting there. Good luck to everyone else in getting off this drug.

    • Sheila July 11, 2018, 12:34 am

      Arwin, When you say you are down to half of 25 mg capsule, how are you splitting the capsule and how many times a day or week are you taking it? I just started 25 mg down from 50 mg. I was taking 50 mg every other day and will do the same with 25mg for a couple of weeks then try every third day. Are you having many withdrawals?

      • Arwen July 21, 2018, 8:50 am

        Hi Sheila. I have been pulling the 25mg capsule apart and then pouring out contents and flattening out the powder into a square and then divide it up and put back into capsule. I have been taking half a capsule once a day at night.

        But I have been throwing away the bit I don’t use. You could possibly buy empty capsules and use them for the other powder not used instead of throwing it away. I have found the Lyrica Survivors (official) Facebook page really helpful.

        They have a lot of articles on it. I have used the capsule method as I think it is probably the more slow release way of taking it as apposed to water titration. But a lot of people use the water titration to lower the dose. Hope that helps.

  • Sheila June 29, 2018, 9:34 pm

    I’ve been taking lyrica for 10 months now. I was on 50 mg x 3 a day. I weaned myself down to one a day at bedtime. I started this week taking one every other day.

    Feeling exhausted, nauseous and not sleeping well. I will continue every other day for one week then I’ll take one twice a week and then quit cold turkey. Hope the withdrawals aren’t any worse than what I’ve had.

  • Lori June 24, 2018, 7:18 pm

    I’ve been taking Lyrica since 2007 for fibromyalgia and idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. I gained over 100lbs, poor memory, and poor concentration. I recently started weaning off. I belong to a wonderful FB support group and they really help you do it the right way.

    I was taking 200mgs twice a day and I’m down to 137.5mgs twice a day. I’m using a water titration method and having minimal withdrawals. I do notice some insomnia for a day or two, occasional stomach cramps with slight nausea, headaches, some anxiety, losing more hair, and an increase in pain.

    I’m adjusting well and will be sure to NEVER go back on this poison. I can’t believe the doctors don’t know about the withdrawal symptoms and hand it out like candy! I’m taking L-theanine and magnesium to help with the insomnia and it seems to help.

    Thank you for all your posts and your experiences with Lyrica. I wish everyone the best. Take care.

  • Teresa June 9, 2018, 8:40 pm

    I have taken Lyrica, 300mg per day, for approximately nine years for fibromyalgia. I recently decided to start tapering off because I realize that I completely lost myself along the way. I am withdrawn socially, have lost relationships (and jobs) and have been battling a nearly complete lack of motivation for exercise.

    Also brain fog and memory issues My attitude has resulted in financial issues as well. I was also taking Lunesta and Topamax which I have already stopped taking. Some of my issues may be due to the combination of the meds, of course, but I am choosing to try to get back to baseline in the hopes of liking myself again.

    I am not finished tapering from Lyrica (down to 75mg per day) and I have already experienced many withdrawal symptoms. They are not severe at this time, but bad enough. Because Lyrica comes in capsule form, I have been pulling the pills apart and emptying some of the medication out. I then put them back together to take at the reduced dose. I pray that I am able to see this through and for everyone else battling this issue.

  • Hannes May 18, 2018, 5:13 pm

    I’m now on day 18 without Lyrica. I’ve had about all the withdrawal symptoms in the above list but three. By now I ‘only’ have nausea, irritability, shortness of breath, sleeplessness and panic attacks. So the good news is the other ones are gone (I hope for good).

    I was on 2 x 150 mg/day for two years bc of OCD. What I can say to people who also experience panic attacks as one of the symptoms, for me it really helps if I don’t drink coffee (or cola, red bull… anything with caffeine) during the day. What a difference!

    Also Valerian (you don’t need a recipe for, but buy them at a pharmacy because there’s also lots of rubbish available) really took off the sharp edges of my nervousness and sleeplessness. Starting Lyrica was a stupid thing to do for me.

    It only worked for about three weeks and then I gained tolerance to it. If there’s one thing I learned about this, it is to be critical towards new medication. Doctors prescribe them like candy, but rarely know about the side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

    ‘It’s FDA approved so it must be good’, nope, think again. So to all the people who feel like shit because of their doctors lack of knowledge, know you are not alone, and that you will get better.

  • Laura May 14, 2018, 6:50 pm

    I was prescribed Lyrica for nerve pain (C6/C7 slipped disc / pinched nerves) and despite being on a low daily dose of 150 mg (for only a month!) experienced severe side effects and was advised by my doctor to undergo a tapered withdrawal.

    I have been off the medication for over two weeks now, but am still experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I list these below, as well as the side effects while on the medication. As I understand, people’s sensitivity differs hugely.

    Although the Lyrica was very effective in reducing truly acute pain, I wouldn’t ever take this medication again.

    Withdrawal symptoms: Prolonged crying spells with overwhelming feelings of sadness, especially at certain times of the day, depression / mood swings, lethargy and tiredness, severe chills alternating with hot flushes, itchiness, migraines, stomach upset, shortness of breath, ‘flu-like symptoms and body aches, disrupted apetite, wakefulness in the middle of the night, dizziness/vertigo and occasional nausea, etc.

    I had none of these symptoms before taking Lyrica.

    Side effects while on the medication: Total muscle relaxation (pleasant, but resulting in extreme lethargy – didn’t get up all day for weeks!), dangerous euphoria with complete disinhibition and total removal of all anxiety, brief hallucinations upon waking, increased libido (constant arousal), loss of appetite, extreme sensitivity & highly emotional and enjoyable response to color, music, taste and smell, emotional verbosity in written form, extreme sweating at night, temperature deregulation, change in personality, highly emotional autobiographical memory, as if time had been telescoped, colorful dreams, change in sleep patterns…

    While some of these effects might sound pleasant, they left me unable to function and would have been dangerous if I had left the house. I am normally a sociable sort of person, but did not wish to see anyone while on Lyrica and while withdrawing from it.

  • Ann May 2, 2018, 3:39 pm

    I was prescribed Lyrica 15 years ago for fibromyalgia. I was on 200mg 3x daily. During the 15 years I developed diabetes and now have neuropathy. In April, 2017 I had a brain aneurysm that ruptured. I started having seizures after that ordeal and was taken off Lyrica all at once.

    I had all the withdrawal symptoms listed plus some. I had auditory hallucinations and it was horrible. I was hospitalized for seizures but constantly heard members of my family talking in the hallway outside my room. Every time I asked a nurse if my family was out there they would tell me none of my family was there.

    I continued to hear them and wanted to see if I could find anyone. When one of the nurses came in I was up and told her I was going to look for my family. She told me I couldn’t leave my room. I knocked her down in the recliner pulled out my I’ve and grabbed my per bag and left. This was horrible! Now my neurologist put me back on Lyrica.

    She was increasing me by 50mgs, then 100mgs, then 150mgs… I ran out of 100mgs, called had to leave message. Picked up Lyrica and it was 50’s not 100’s. Had to make those work, called back left another message, go to pharmacy and they have 150’s which I could not get then Everything was all screwed up an I the patient have suffered more than anyone could understand!

    I was finally able to get my Lyrica yesterday an I feel a little better today. Pharmaceutical companies need to educate all doctors more on this withdrawal process. Doctors need to educate their staff more on making sure they hear what the patient is saying! Don’t let the patient go without Lyrica for any amount of time!

    Be responsible with prescribing all drugs that have these type of sudden withdrawal effects! It’s not just another day at work, someone could lose their life because your staff wasn’t paying attention. This is a wonderful drug when used properly, but take it away suddenly an it is the worst nightmare you ever HAD.

  • Sarah April 29, 2018, 8:48 pm

    I found I was pregnant and they started the taper from 600 mg to 400 mg. I found out my child is more likely to have to have central nervous system birth defects. I have had every symptom above, and the pain at night is horrible.

    Unfortunately I can’t take anything to help with withdrawals. I swear never to start this medication again, I’d rather deal with the pain.

    • Shaniqua June 10, 2018, 4:10 pm

      I advise you see a high risk doctor. Due to my lupus and other conditions I’m high risk. Last year I was pregnant with my twins and took lyrica the whole pregnancy and now I’m pregnant again and I will continue to do so. My twins were born prematurely but all of my children were even my daughter who I had before taking lyrica.

      Anyhow my twins were born WITH NO BIRTH DEFECTS. They are so perfect and so beautiful. I’d suggest you follow a MFM specialist closely God forbid something does come up along the way but my specialist told me from the gate she didn’t see the lyrica as a concern. However, my other doctors did and they scared me but it was her call.

      Honestly going through all of this while pregnant is the worst. I did have to go through a whole week of waiting to see the specialist etc etc and in that time it was horrible as opposed to any other time I stopped lyrica outside of pregnancy. Sorry I wrote a lot and I’m all over the place but I was so anxious to write to you.

      I would advise for you to the MFM (maternal fetal medicine). A regular OB can make that call also but it depends on how experienced they are in the area and 9/10 they won’t play on the idea of extra or any medications, but high risk doctors went to school for this very thing. Good luck!

    • Natalie June 20, 2018, 12:35 am

      Hi Sarah, I just wanted to reach out to see how you’re holding up. I too am pregnant but was told to stop the Lyrica abruptly. The withdrawals are horrendous.

      I’m on day 23 so no turning back now. But how have you been managing? Praying you’re feeling better and hoping all will be well. Take care.

  • Imogen Holbrook April 8, 2018, 5:59 pm

    I stopped taking Lyrica 8 weeks ago, after tapering down from 300mg over roughly a three month period. In the last 8 weeks, I have had vertigo, severe pain in my legs and have felt very tired and agitated. I hope these are symptoms of withdrawal and will pass soon.

    I wish I’d known the difficulty to stop taking it before I’d been on it so long (5+ years) and I would never have agreed to have it. Doctors should be made aware of the side effects of withdrawal, since all the doctors I’ve seen regarding my latest symptoms have said it probably isn’t to do with it.

    I know I’ve never felt as poorly as I have been in the last 8 weeks, and common sense tells me Lyrica must be the cause.

    • Zack April 19, 2018, 4:16 am

      I have only been on Lyrica a couple months and decided that some of the side effects we’re not worth continuing due to affecting me at work. I have hit most of the withdrawal symptoms after discontinued use and my doc didn’t know about it at all.

  • Rhonda March 12, 2018, 6:17 pm

    I am going through every single withdrawal symptom now and it is not fun!!! I was ok until the doctor decided to subscribe “just one more” med to my list. I was diagnosed with Lupus and fibromyalgia.

    I do not think I have fibro only lupus and I am carrying around a lot of weight which would cause pain for anyone. I have a non stop headache, dizzy, weak, angry, tired, depressed… I took gabapentin first and it did not work (side effects). The doctor then changed me to lyrica.

    Only took it a few months, and when they decided to add that extra med, it began the domino effect of side effects with all my medications. So I got pulled off Lyrica quick. I pray I am on the downhill side of this. I have lost 10 lbs in two weeks from being “withdrawal sick”.

  • Stacy Fortier February 24, 2018, 10:23 pm

    Thanks to everyone for their posts. I am in the final 50 mg stages and feeling the chills, fatigue, headaches… It’s good to hear that it gets better. I’ve tried numerous times and had always given up.

  • Margot Hust January 31, 2018, 11:12 pm

    I have read the long list of symptoms for withdrawal from Lyrica. I have been on Lyrica for at 13 years, 600 mg. When I am off of Lyrica waiting for my order to be filled I have terrible itching everywhere. I also have neuropathy and feel it horribly in my feet. I am so thankful for lyrica and the financial assistance; just not the itching when off the drug.

  • Mb January 28, 2018, 5:29 pm

    I was prescribed 600 mg / day of Lyrica among other meds, post knee replacement. I began to taper off all meds including Lyrica after 6 weeks. Lyrica was the final step. I got the Lyrica down to 100 mg/day for about two weeks, and then decided to finally discontinue its use.

    The withdrawal has been difficult, but especially from that last low dose, has been severe; anxiety, sleeplessness, and especially restlessness. Now on day two. I will continue to post as I progress through this. I am grateful others have posted about their experiences. The good news is that the knee surgery has been very successful.

    • Mb February 4, 2018, 4:08 pm

      Day 9 – My sense of anxiety during the daytime is somewhat improved, however nighttime is a different story. I continue to experience restlessness and extreme difficulty in going to sleep. I typically am getting no more than 3-4 hours each night. Normally I have no trouble sleeping at all. I feel this is affecting my overall health. The hives have continued unabated as well.

  • Pamela Stafford January 13, 2018, 3:11 pm

    I have been on Lyrica since 2007, 300mg, for fibromyalgia. I am waiting on my new insurance to kick in and therefore cannot afford it right now. Be going through withdrawals for over a week. I am still experiencing severe stomach cramps, muscle spasms, itching, headaches, nausea, and diarrhea, not to mention the mood swings and depression.

    This is not to mention my other meds I have had to come off of “cold turkey” at the same time. Sleep is non existent. As a truck driver, my safety and well-being are your safety and well-being. I won’t drive when I am feeling like this.

    It’s not safe for anyone. Debating whether or not I should go back on it when I can. Are there any natural remedies to help with these withdrawal symptoms until I can make this decision? Not working is for the birds. This pain is for the birds!!

    • Mayumi April 9, 2018, 2:45 am

      I’ve heard that CBD oil helps, I got some and it seems to be helping.

  • TOM January 12, 2018, 9:53 pm

    For withdrawals, 3 meds helped a TON:
    -Baclofen[for all around WD’s, muscle relaxer non-narcotic]
    -Remeron [To get some Zzzs, combat depression/moodiness -Sedating Antidepressant
    -Valium [Need I write more?]

    People like me that have been taking benzodiazepines [Valium in my case] have a harder time coming off. I’ve been through it, it sucks, but it’s DO -able… Beware the benzo beast though. AS NEEDED! I’ve done it SEVEN TIMES and if I can YOU can.I find for anxiety it’s best to rotate it with other meds like baclofen or a light opiate like codeine [CAREFUL ONCE AGAIN!]

    Supplements that help are imodium for the schlitz, magnesium, and Kava are all great to have in your arsenal. Now I have to get off the Valium after 15 yrs. Ouch. Last Detox I hope. Have also kicked dilaudid, morphine oxycodone too! [All meds were prescribed] no junkie crap here. -Peace, you can do it! The chills and crushing depression got me the most.

    • Denise June 1, 2018, 2:06 am

      I have been reading the comments and have most all the withdraw symptoms. I can’t believe my doctor put me on this crap and now I am the one going through this.

      What is wrong with them? I want to go to the ER but know they won’t do anything to help me – been down that road before. They only say they can’t find anything wrong and send you on your way.

      • Lucy June 18, 2018, 3:02 pm

        Hi Denise. I don’t think the doctors really understand how debilitating the withdrawal symptoms of this drug actually are. I have been on Pregabalin (Lyrica) 600mg dose for the last year. I was prescribed it for nerve pain due to problems with my discs in my neck.

        I had surgery a few months ago so wanted to come off the drug and I must be experiencing every withdrawal symptom going – the worst being anxiety, restlessness and nausea. I dropped down in stages and took my last dose on Saturday just gone of 50mg.

        It is my second day completely without the drug and I feel extremely low in mood, anxious and can’t seem to concentrate. I went to see the doctor and they seem to be reluctant in saying that it is due to the withdrawal.

        The doctors know what this drug can do to your system, so I say like you – “Why do they prescribe it in the first place?!” I don’t recommend anyone taking this drug.

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