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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 }
  • Gina January 11, 2018, 7:50 pm

    Lyrica has been said to be non habit forming, what a lie! I withdrew for approx a week…the feelings I get aren’t that of physical withdrawal but emotional. Be very careful with this drug.

  • Anon2 January 6, 2018, 2:49 am

    I’m on Lyrica for seizures and neuropathy. I tried to withdraw to see if I can lose this weight gain. Had all symptoms above and a feeling like my you body temperature was rising, had sweats, and a nasty tin metal like smell coming from my body. It was like body BO ramped by 1000. Could not stand up. Had to have help with the most basic of needs.

  • Diana March 29, 2017, 2:56 am

    I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1992 and started out with amitriptyline and Zoloft but was switched to Gabapentin which seemed to do ok, but then I developed Diabetic Neuropathy about 5 years ago and my foot doctor prescribed Lyrica – what a nightmare from the start. He gave me samples he had in the office to see if it would work for me and it did. But when I was scheduled to go back to get more until my insurance covered it, he called off sick and none of the nurses had the authority to give me any more so I went back on the amitriptyline and Gabapentin to get me through.

    I was on 150mg twice a day for 4 years. I just recently asked my PA-C to cut it down because I want to get off it. I read a study that it causes problems with brain function and memory and Alzheimer’s runs in my Dad’s family. My doctor cut it in half and I’ve been dealing with it for about a month. I’ve had slight headaches, a few aches and pains whenever I do too much, night sweats and then chills, but not as bad as they were when my foot doctor didn’t show up to give me more.

    I was having 5 mins of hot flashes and sweating and 5 min chills all night long. It was awful. After 2 nights is when I asked my PA-C to get me back on amitriptyline and gabapentin and I’m thinking I may have to do that again. It is awful. If you are on it, get off it now before you get older and find it harder and harder.

  • Anon March 25, 2017, 6:05 pm

    I have taken Lyrica for nearly 5 years for “Fibromyalgia”. I put it in quotations because it was more like my doctor just gave up trying to figure out what was causing my severe allodynia and fatigue. I was hesitant and vocal about my strong dislike for the side effects (eye pressure/pain, hair loss, weight gain, nausea, vertigo, anxiety etc etc etc) and finally a year and a half ago I tapered from 300 slowly to nothing with guidance from my doctor.

    While the side effects of being on the drug were life altering, what happened to me coming off entirely was life ruining. I was suicidal, more deeply depressed than I had ever felt, even when I was a young teen in inpatient care FOR depression. I stopped wanting to be a mother to my 3 year old, I shut down. I hated my life, I hated myself, I hated how getting out of bed was SO hard but staying in bed made me painfully aware that I was wasting away.

    When I started to have trouble after a month controlling the suicidal feelings I went to my doctor and she told me to get admitted to psychiatric care or start the pills again. Having done inpatient care as a teen and having been abused while I was under the hospital care by staff, you couldn’t find a more effective scare tactic. I started the meds but agreed to a mere 50mg.

    It’s been close to 2 years now. Not quite. I’m 28 weeks pregnant and do not want this in my system anymore. I was told by my OB to wean to 25 for a while and then nothing. I felt I could do this… after all its not like I came down from 300mg this time right? Wrong. I’m 4 days into a Lyrica-free system and I find myself in a darker place I ever felt possible. Whatever Lyrica does, it permanently rewires your brain.

    I don’t think I can ever be okay again. I don’t know if I would be here if I weren’t pregnant. I hide in the running shower downstairs so my sobs don’t wake my son or spouse. I don’t know who I am anymore, and I don’t want to touch Lyrica ever again. As I write this I am so lost. I think I may admit myself until my son is born, and then maybe I… maybe I need to leave. One way or another…

  • John Stellar March 20, 2017, 1:10 pm

    I’ve been on Lyrica for 2 years now but my situation is a bit different. I’m a Type A Diabetic who has been addicted to tramadol for 8 years and haven’t stopped yet. Now it’s both, tramadol and lyrica. I can’t handle any of the withdrawals, I’m weak. I don’t know what to do. My dose reaches 1500 a day. Yeah, fifteen hundred milligrams a day.

    • Ethel March 14, 2018, 1:55 am

      Can you go to a drug rehab treatment program? They can get you thru. Even if it is prescribed medicine. I had four fusions in my neck as well as other problems, was on lyrica and tramadol for years, 14 to be exact. Not only did they help pain, they made me outgoing and love life, but, I got myself off.

      I was on 150 mg 3 times a day of lyrica and 2 tramadol a day. I quit cold turkey 4 weeks ago and I am still experiencing anxiety, and severe nausea. But the restlessness is gone. It was horrible at first. I had my son help me thru the spells. These drugs are no toy. Prayers for you.

  • Erin March 5, 2017, 12:04 am

    Last March I started having shooting pain up my leg. I went to the doctor and she told me I probably pulled a muscle and gave me some stretches to do. I went back in April/May and told her it did not help. She put me on 3 X 75 mg of lyrica to help the pain. The pain went away. I don’t like taking medication so by the time September.

    Some around I asked her for an MRI. Turns out I had a torn labrum in my hip joint. She told me to seek physio and keep on the meds. It really messed with my period (late almost a month!) and I’ve read all this info and decided 2 weeks ago to taper off. I did 3 pills the last week, 2 pills one week, then 1 pill the final week. This is my first day off the medication.

    Last night I had two crying spells and have been so irritable he past week that I took Friday off because I felt so bad for my students – I’ve been a nightmare and so cranky. I am so glad I have a support system. I also have a headache today which is rare for me.

    I went to see a osteotherapist today for the hip and they are aware I’m coming off the drug. Two other doctors have told me they would have never prescribed me the drug:
    A) without knowing what the initial problem was
    b) for anything other than nerve issue- torn labrum is not
    C) without doing an MRI of my lumbar (lower back) because as one doctor said that shooting pain in the leg is usually caused by an injury to that area

    I am so upset about this. I just want to say I think you all are so brave to go off of this after being on it for so long. I thank The Lord that I was only on it for 10 months. I hope I can still conceive a child, I am worried that it messed with my menstrual cycle.

  • Kelley B February 28, 2017, 4:59 am

    I’ve been on 900mg daily for about 4 years now, maybe longer. My insurance decided this month not to cover it anymore without any advance notice. I haven’t had any in 9 days now and I feel as if I’m dying. I have a chronic pain/nerve disease which is why I’m on such a high dose.

    My doctor is trying to get a PA done with my insurance but it’s not going to work. Does anyone have any ideas on what I could possibly do to make this any easier? The pain is getting worse every single day and the general withdrawals are killing me.

  • zed February 24, 2017, 3:45 pm

    I stop and start Lyrica all the time. I sometimes take 1.5g a day, and with the exception of being really forgetful, and having trembling hands (sometimes) and stuttering (sometimes) there are no other side effects. Within a day of stopping I get the full body sweats. They only last 12 hours or so, then all is well with me.

  • Donna February 15, 2017, 5:09 am

    I’ve taken Lyrica for about 8 years for fibromyalgia pain. I am quitting it for various reasons. I cut dosage for about 10 days before stopping. I’m in my second week of withdrawal and it’s been awful and I don’t know how much longer it will take.

    I’ve had headaches, chills, diarrhea, severe nausea, sleeplessness, restlessness, mood swings, hot flashes and very fatigued. I will never ever take this drug again. I’m miserable and don’t know how much longer I will feel this way.

  • Denise Book January 30, 2017, 1:11 am

    Update: Was on Lyrica 13 years for migraines, 150 mg 3 x’s a day, came off slowly tapering 10% every 3 weeks, been off now 15 weeks, my skin is still burning & tingling, anxiety, depression, sleeping pattern still bad, but its not as bad as it was but still hanging on to me. I am seeing a psychologist and I will be going to a psychiatrist.

    I took a test with the psychologist and I am suffering from anxiety, depression and PTSD-due to my (Family) history. Don’t know if coming off Lyrica cause this, or if the Lyrica was hiding the symptoms and they just came out full force when I came out. Lyrica is a bad drug I would not recommend it for anyone.

  • Christine January 28, 2017, 6:29 pm

    I have been having wicked withdrawals for the past week. Sweating, chills, insomnia, frequent waking, inability to eat due to intense stomach cramps, diarrhea and headaches are what I have been putting up with. I have been on Lyrica for the past 7 years (300mg/day). I am taking for fibromyalgia and, although it helped, I need to get it through a patient assistance program.

    The health department did not send the paperwork in a timely fashion and here I am, hating life. At first I thought I had the flu, but after 3 days my husband and I thought about it and the symptoms started 2 days after my last dose of Lyrica. Once I started looking online, I realized I am withdrawing.

    Although it is incredibly hard, when I get my Lyrica refills, I will return to taking it. I guess I will just have to stay vigilant when it comes to the paperwork. To anyone else suffering, hang in there.

  • Adam January 25, 2017, 6:04 pm

    Hello everyone, my name is Adam and I’ve been on lyrica for 6 years. I was a baseball player and was a pitcher my whole life and into college. I had a full ride scholarship to play until I blew my shoulder out. I’ve had my elbow opened up and I’ve had 6 shoulder surgeries.

    The last surgery I had, the anesthesiologist botched something and I was completely paralyzed in my right shoulder, down my arm and into my hand for a year and a half. I lost all muscle tone and the nerve firings were something fierce from hell. It felt like I was being electrocuted, burned and stabbed and the doctors refused pain medication. They thought lyrica was the best route.

    As I’ve read from all the comments, I found out that I was not alone when my doctor cut me off when I was taking 600 mg a day. The withdrawals were worse than opiate withdrawals (that’s just my opinion, and I’ve been on opana 30mg twice daily for 9 years). The lyrica didn’t do what the doctors said it would do and I kept telling them this.

    It seemed to just fall on deaf ears and they said well since it’s not working that well for you, you can quit taking it with no taper. I’ve been off of lyrica for 6 months and I still don’t feel anywhere close to normal. Like someone else said on this forum, I too felt like it robbed me off my personality. The intense physical withdrawals made me feel like I was going to die and they didn’t go away.

    They just lingered and lingered and lingered. I truly feel sorry for people that have to take this ridiculously expensive drug for very minimal effects and what they go through when the doctors or insurance won’t give it to them anymore. Take care everyone and I hope your lives find peace one of these days.

    • Erin March 7, 2017, 12:43 am

      I am so sorry to hear about your experience, I feel sometimes it’s robbed me of my personality too and I was only on 225 mg daily for a year.

  • chefgirl January 23, 2017, 4:37 pm

    I wanted to post an update here… I tapered down from 150 mg 2x daily to zero over a period of eight weeks. The first four were very difficult… major sleeping difficulties, metallic taste in my mouth, some nerve pain in my feet. I was only sleeping a few hours every other night or so, with some crazy dreams when I could fall asleep.

    The side effects got better after that and I haven’t taken any Lyrica for several weeks. Feeling good! I still have 20 pounds to lose, but having emotions after being completely blah for several years is great!

  • Amber Falk January 17, 2017, 4:43 pm

    I have been on Lyrica for 6 years. Now I take 450 mg a day, but I used to take 600. I cut down because I have to go through withdrawals every few months or so. My insurance doesn’t want to cover it, and the withdrawal at the max dose is SO severe, I couldn’t understand why the ER doctors all thought I was crazy.

    I didn’t have seizures before I started taking Lyrica, but I did when I stopped cold turkey at 600 a day. I’ve gone through SO much because of this medication. I’m currently sitting up NOT sleeping, because of yet more insurance problems. Now I get to go through new bedsheets every couple hours, convulsions, etc.

    Fogginess? I couldn’t remember MY BIRTHDAY for 5 min, yet I’m supposed to call the county, then insurance, then pharmacy, then back to county, then doctors office. Then when I finally can’t take it anymore, I go to the hospital where I’m told they can’t help me, and begin the “what are you really on” questions. Why are doctors not aware of how serious this is?

    • Marge September 7, 2018, 2:11 pm

      Amber, I hope you are healthy and free of Lyrica troubles by now. I have been on Lyrica about 9 years for fibromyalgia and lower back pain with 450 mg a day now. I somehow lost a bottle on vacation or some snafu with the pharmacy so I began to cut back from three 150mg doses to two and now one daily dose in one week.

      See my doctor this Monday who may want me to taper off more slowly. I could see two 75 mg doses might help me adjust and sleep better. Hot flashes, chills, lack of appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, dizziness; this is hell!

      But today is less hell than yesterday. I need cataract surgery soon so want to be Lyrica free. Wonder about how you took to seizures after cold turkey at 600mg. That is heartbreaking!

  • Ashley January 14, 2017, 2:59 am

    Hello. My name is Ashley and I am 23 and taking Lyrica for nerve damage in my upper extremities following a car accident any have tried many other drugs before including gabapentin. I am on the less extreme end of the spectrum here and still experiencing very bothersome withdrawal symptoms. I have been talking 1 50mg Lyrica at night since August (5 months total) without skipping a single dose.

    I took my last dose about 48 hours ago and I’m feeling slow. Everything I do is delayed, my speech, movement, thoughts. I have some gastric distress already, sunken under-eye area, shaking, emotional sensitivity. Everything emotional feels extreme and like a personal attack on me. I know it will be lessened soon, I just read many of my fellow Lyrica prescribers’ stories. Keep the faith, everyone.

  • Judy P January 12, 2017, 8:41 am

    I took Lyrica for just six months for nerve pain due to damage from shingles, the blisters were inside my ear and on the eardrum itself. I had excruciating pain in my ear. Started out on 150 mg bid but was increased to t.i.d. No one told me I would have withdrawal symptoms. Having increased pain, joint pain, flushing, and severe itching.

  • Lola January 9, 2017, 1:25 am

    I to was forced to quit cold turkey. My insurance decided without warning to stop paying for the Lyrica. I thought I could pay but soon found out that there was no way I could afford $300 for a 30 day supply. I find this very disturbing that the insurance company can do this. There should be some kind of law to prevent this from happing to anyone, ever!

    I am now experiencing severe headaches, stomach cramps, diarrhea, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, uncontrollable urges to cry and cry. My mind is on overdrive. I can’t seem to be able to control my thoughts. I feel like I’m good insane. I feel like I may die or like these feelings and thoughts will never end.

    The pain in my body has intensified 10 x’s. I have not been able to sleep for more than an hour at a time. Then wake in pain or anxiety or panic and up for a few hours and sleep a little and then all over again. Needless to say I have been absolutely miserable!

    It has only been 7 days. That’s not very long obviously. But it has been almost more than I can bare. The only thing that has kept me going and fighting is the support of my family and most importantly praying and spending time in the word of the Lord Jesus!

    • Ann May 2, 2018, 4:10 pm

      YES Lola! I have done the same. Jesus is the Great Physician! Everyone needs to do this. If you truly believe, he will pull you through. He is the only one that has pulled me through this nightmare.

  • Nikki.T January 7, 2017, 1:05 pm

    Hi, I’ve been on Lyrica 300mg a day for about a year for nerve pain. I’m 5 days in weaning off them, my doc halved my doses. I also missed it for 3 days a week ago and thought I was dying. I feel like crap, no energy achy bones and sweating really bad which sucks because it’s also summer here in Australia ATM and I have no air con.

    I’m also weaning off Targin 20/10 as well. I had back surgery about 4 1/2 months ago and that didn’t really work, it’s improved but not wonderful, but still early days I guess. I am a sober alcoholic, I stopped drinking just before I went on the meds, but since missing those days and now withdrawals I’m getting really bad cravings for alcohol.

    I already had major depression and anxiety and that has got much worse in the last year. I need to quit smoking too and started last night but while at a meeting I had to walk out and I cracked. Then this morning I had a meltdown when my son was here.

    I couldn’t stop crying and even he said not a good time to stop smoking and went and picked some up for me. I’m just sick of feeling alone and feeling like sh-t. So glad I found this site and sorry, I couldn’t stop writing lol!!

  • Tami P. January 6, 2017, 2:07 pm

    I currently am going through Lyrica withdrawal! And I must say it feels as if someone else is in the driver seat of my body. My symptoms include all the above; minus depression and suicidal ideation. This is all attributed to MEDICARE deciding to put Lyrica in a different drug tier; thus causing increased co-pay of $156.00!!!

    Being as I have a fixed income on SSD it wasn’t feasible to fork over that amount. I had to stop COLD TURKEY! THANK YOU MEDICARE!!! I currently feel like a withdrawing junkie!!! Truly insurance companies should not have such ludicrous power over other’s quality of life!!! God bless others who must endure the same fate…

  • Denise January 3, 2017, 8:24 pm

    Lyrica is a”BAD” drug, do not take it. I have been off now 10 weeks, 01/04/2017. Still suffering some withdrawal but getting better, (was on it 13 yrs. for migraines, was taking 150mg 3 x’s a day = 450mg). I have started sleeping again getting about 6 hrs a night. Still having some tingling, taking Benadryl for the tingling and it helps some but not completely, but it does calm it down.

    My Doctor had the audacity to tell me that I was not going through withdrawals. I told him that I have done my research and I have talked with the nurse @ Pfizer & they said I was going through withdrawal. I have spoken with other former patients of this doctor and I will never use him again. I am hoping that in the next 5 or 6 weeks I will be back to normal. 🙉🙈🙊

  • Lisa December 28, 2016, 7:48 am

    I have been taking Lyrica for a little over a year now, 100mg/3times a day. I ran out 2 weeks ago and began feeling some (quite a few) of the withdrawal symptoms listed. I wonder how many Doctors are aware of the fact that you can experience withdrawal from this drug. I tried to get my provider’s office to understand the importance of not running out. Not sure if they are even aware of the withdrawal.

  • Tiffany G. December 27, 2016, 6:53 pm

    I’ve been on 200mg Lyrica a day for the last year or so. Recently, I was hospitalized for worsening voices in my head (not related) and wasn’t given my regular dose for 2 whole days, maybe 3. I became severely nauseous with the most unbearable stomach cramps I had ever experienced in all my 34 yrs.

    I, too, couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. The top of my abdomen felt like a cactus had grown inside overnight & my stomach was consistently cramping down on it. The nurses gave me a total of 8 or 9 doses of strong anti-nausea medicine, 5 or 6 in pill form plus 3 more times injected, all designed to work instantly & effectively… and NONE of it worked! Not even a little bit!

    I begged God to take me. They use that stuff for opiate withdrawal and it didn’t even help at all for me. I did have to stop using medical marijuana while hospitalized, of course, but I knew stopping that by itself wouldn’t cause such severe symptoms. Therefore, I knew it had to be because I hadn’t taken my Lyrica in over 2 days.

    My pain management doctor was in complete shock that stopping Lyrica caused any symptoms at all, but now I’m even more nervous since reading people’s testimonials & how severe the symptoms can be even with tapering. Smh. What’re we supposed to do now? Screwed if you do (taper off), screwed if you don’t. >:-/

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Denise December 13, 2016, 3:51 pm

      Recap. 13 yrs of Lyrica. Tapered off slowly 9 1/2 from 450mg, 150mg 3x’s a day going own 25-50mg every 3 weeks. Last dose 10/26/2016. First 28 days were good. Insomnia set in on day 29 😖.

      -11/24-12/03/2016 was getting 2 hrs sleep per night.
      -12/03/2016 ER visit BIG MISTAKE, was given ZOLPIDEM, sleep good from 12/03-07/2016.
      -12/08-11/2016 insomnia kicked in along with burning & tingling skin.
      -12/12/2016 went to Health Food, told what was going on they said even though I had stopped the Lyrica, it was still in my system. They suggested DETOX, called FIRST CLEANSE, started on 12/13/2016.

      Been off 48 days, 1st 28 days off good, next 10 days pure hell, next 5 days slept good with ER MISTAKE, then next 4 days total he’ll with 2 days no slept, burning and tingling constantly. Took 2 BUSPIRONE yesterday morning slept 4 hrs, took two more last night and slept eight hours, finally 12:12/2016 12 hrs of sleep. Been so stressed out I knew if I could finally get a full nights sleep that it might jump start the hormone in my brain that tells me when to sleep and when to wake up.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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!!!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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

    • JP March 23, 2018, 2:41 pm

      Well said Danielle!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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