≡ Main Menu

Lyrica & Weight Gain: What Should You Expect?

Lyrica (Pregabalin) is a drug that is approved for the treatment of neuropathic pain as well as partial seizures in adults. In some countries (outside the United States) it has also been successfully used for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Lyrica is often preferred over opioid medications in the treatment of chronic pain as well as fibromyalgia due to its low potential for abuse and addiction.

It is considered the successor to the drug Gabapentin, but whether it is a superior medication is highly debatable. Although the drug can be highly effective for some individuals in the treatment of various types of pain, as well as reducing the occurrence of seizures, many people are dissatisfied with the drug’s side effect profile. One of the most distressing side effects that people experience is that of weight gain.

Lyrica and Weight Gain

It is estimated that approximately 1/10 people taking Lyrica will experience significant weight gain throughout their treatment. Others taking the medication may experience an increase in their weight and/or BMI (body mass index), but the increase may not be of clinical significance. A majority of Lyrica users do not report noticeable changes in weight throughout their treatment, which is why many doctors consider it “weight neutral” or unlikely to affect weight.

How Lyrica Causes Weight Gain

There are many theories in regards to how Lyrica may cause weight gain. Some believe that the majority of weight gained is a result of the drug causing increased water retention, while others believe that the drug slows metabolism and can beef up a person’s appetite.

  • Appetite increase: Although most people don’t report a major increase in appetite, some do. If you’ve found yourself shoveling down more food while on the drug than you had pre-drug, there’s a good chance it may be boosting your appetite. An increase in appetite generally leads to increased food consumption, which usually causes weight gain.
  • Fatigue: If you feel fatigued when taking this medication, it may be difficult to hit the gym for a workout. Some people end up feeling so lethargic as a result of this medication that they find it difficult to get out of bed. The lack of exercise and movement as a result of fatigue inherently slows metabolism and leads to less calories burned – causing weight gain.
  • Food cravings: Do you crave certain foods that you didn’t before you started taking the medication? If you begin experiencing cravings for carbohydrates, refined sugars, and other junk foods – it could be a result of neurotransmitter changes from the medication. Changes in certain neurotransmitters can lead to food cravings.
  • Hormone levels: There’s a possibility that this drug is influencing levels of various hormones throughout the body. By altering levels of hormones, the drug could cause you to gain weight. Certain hormones such as: leptin, cortisol, and ghrelin may lead to weight gain when altered. Further research needs to be conducted to better understand how Lyrica could induce weight gain via hormone changes.
  • Motivational deficit: Since this drug decreases activity in the central nervous system, and tends to cause sedation and fatigue, it may cause your motivation to plummet. This may mean that you have a difficult time getting sufficient exercise. It also may mean that you’ll be less likely to put forth the necessary effort to prepare healthy meals. When motivation levels drop as a result of a medication, this often indirectly leads to weight gain.
  • Slower metabolism: This drug is classified as a CNS depressant, meaning it slows activity within the central nervous system. This is partially how it works to help with various types of nerve pain. Since activity in your CNS will be depressed, chances are your metabolism may also slow under the drug’s influence. If you noticed that your exercise and diet was the same pre-drug as during treatment, but you’ve gained weight – it could be a result of a slowed metabolism.
  • Social eating: If you find that this drug works well to reduce anxiety and/or depression, you may start to socialize more often. Socializing more frequently may lead to regular dinner plans with friends and/or workmates. Dining out frequently can lead to you eating bigger portions and unhealthier foods than you did in the past – which will ultimately cause weight gain.
  • Taste improvement: For those that notice an improvement in mood and functioning after taking Lyrica, an improvement in taste may follow suit. If you notice that food tastes better, it could be due to the fact that the drug helped clear up your depression. It also could be a result of neurochemical changes elicited by the drug.
  • Water retention: Some people have hypothesized that a lot of the weight gained on this drug may be a result of increased water retention. If your body is holding more water weight, you’re going to feel bloated, fatter, and will be heavier. Although it may be tempting to use a diuretic to deal with the increase in water retention, this is not recommended as the effects of diuretics can be fatal.

Note: It is important to understand that the specific causes of weight gain may be different based on the individual. One person may notice that they feel more bloated and gain weight as a result of increased water retention, yet another may simply experience an increase in appetite. A third person may have a totally different combined influence of various factors leading to weight gain.

Factors Responsible for Weight Gain on Lyrica

You should also be aware that many other individualized factors play a role in determining how much weight you’ll gain on Lyrica. These tend to include: the dosage you’re taking, how long you’ve been medicated, whether you take other drugs, your lifestyle, as well as your genetics.

1. Dosage

If you experience weight gain on this medication, it could be a result of your current dosage. Assuming you are taking a moderate or high dose, it means that more of the drug is circulating throughout your body. The greater the strength of the drug, the more likely it is that you’ll experience unwanted side effects.

For this reason, if you want to minimize the amount of weight gained, it is recommended to always take the minimal effective dose. If you are on a low dose, there will be less of the Lyrica cycling throughout your body and affecting your physiological functions. Always keep in mind that when you double the dose of this drug, you are also potentially doubling the unwanted side effects (e.g. weight gain).

2. Duration of treatment

There is a large body of research suggesting that there are different timelines over which people gain weight on Lyrica. Some people gain weight within the first couple months of treatment, others gain weight after a moderate treatment-term, while others are considered “delayed” weight gainers in that there is no immediate change, but they eventually pack on the pounds. This demonstrates that weight gain patterns are different based on the individual.

Most people (~82%) that gain weight on Lyrica tend to notice after about a year of treatment. Only roughly 7% of individuals taking this drug will notice “delayed” onset of weight gain throughout their treatment. A smaller percentage of users (~3%) notice weight gain in the early stages of their treatment. Therefore if you do gain weight, it’s likely going to take time and still may not be considered extreme.

3. Other medications

Another important thing to keep in mind is whether you are on any other medications, supplements, or use drugs. If you are on a stack of medications and supplements, it is important to consider how these may be affecting your weight. Many people like to place blame on Lyrica, when in fact another drug like an SSRI and/or an antipsychotic may be responsible for their major weight gain.

If you take other drugs, talk to your doctor about potential interaction effects and try to figure out which of the medications is most likely the culprit for your weight changes. Also realize that if you are taking stimulatory medications (e.g. Adderall), these may counterbalance some of the weight gain that you may have experienced on Lyrica.

4. Lifestyle

While Lyrica may certainly be culpable for the weight that you’ve packed on, it is not the only influential factor. Your daily regimen including the amount of exercise you get, sleep quality (and quantity), stress level, and dietary intake can all directly affect whether you gain weight. Someone who is eating a poor diet and isn’t taking care of themselves may gain weight on Lyrica, but they won’t be able to really know whether it was the drug or it was their unhealthy lifestyle. Before you blame a drug for all of your weight gain, make a conscious effort to be healthy so that you truly know whether the Lyrica is responsible for your extra baggage.

5. Genetics

While we do not have the full technology to determine exactly how Lyrica is interacting with your genetics, some speculate that certain genetic variations may be responsible for weight gain on medications. Genetic variations may explain why some people end up gaining weight while taking Lyrica and other people remain “weight neutral.” Fortunately new technologies have emerged like GeneSight to help us get a better understanding of whether we are likely to benefit from Lyrica and experience side effects like weight gain.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24308788

How much weight will you gain on Lyrica?

There’s no telling exactly how much weight you’ll gain from this medication because it is largely based upon individual circumstances. Assuming you are one of the people that end up gaining weight on this medication, it is likely that you’ll gain between 5 lbs. and 15 lbs. within your first year of treatment. Most studies that show people who gain weight over the course of 1-year’s treatment end up gaining between 12 lbs. and 14 lbs.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22494020

Does everyone gain weight from Lyrica?

Some studies have suggested that only 10% of individuals will experience weight gain on Lyrica, while others have suggested that over 20% of people gain weight. From the perspective of a pharmaceutical company, promoting a medication as having less weight gain is advantageous in that more people are likely to try it. If a doctor tells you that the drug isn’t likely to affect weight, you probably would rather try it than a medication that is linked to weight gain.

It could be that the results are somewhat selectively skewed to promote the image that Lyrica is weight neutral when it causes weight gain. However, there is still a lot of data from independent research suggesting that significant weight gain is unlikely in the bulk of patients. Certainly not everyone will experience noticeable weight gain on this medication, but between 10% and 24% of people do.

Comparing Lyrica’s therapeutic benefit vs. weight gain

If you are taking Lyrica, it is important to evaluate how well the drug is working to treat the condition for which you take it. Next evaluate whether the therapeutic benefit outweighs the side effects that you’ve experienced such as weight gain, dizziness, and low energy. If the drug is working well to treat symptoms of nerve pain or seizures, you probably won’t mind a little bit of weight gain.

However, if the drug isn’t working as well as you’d hoped, and you have experienced more than just a “little” weight gain, you may want to talk to your doctor about other options and/or Lyrica withdrawal. It is important not to get too caught up in the side effects if you really need this drug to function, but when the side effects such as weight gain become so severe that they affect your daily functioning, it’s time to reconsider the treatment.

Did you gain weight from Lyrica?

If you’ve taken Lyrica (or are currently taking it), be sure to share whether you experienced weight gain or remained relatively weight neutral. If you ended up gaining weight, feel free to mention how much you gained, why you think you gained it, as well as any strategies you found helpful for reducing it. To help others get a better understanding of your situation, you may want to include information about your dosage, how long you had been taking it, whether you took other medications, and other possible factors that may have influenced your weight.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25149863
  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23808960
  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24843530

Related Posts:

{ 68 comments… add one }
  • Sharon August 21, 2018, 6:33 pm

    I am so glad to have found this article and these comments. I thought it was just me being lazy. I have been on Lyrica (150 mg twice a day) for two years. I have gained over 40 pounds. My stomach always feels bloated. I hate this side affect but Lyrica has given me back my life.

    I was in severe pain which was finally diagnosed as Fibromyalgia after nearly 4 years of botox and cortisone shots which never did anything for my pain. I also take one oxycodone in the morning and one in the late afternoon. I am still in pain but not to the point I was before.

    I am considering weight loss surgery to see if it can help with not only weight loss but high blood pressure, pain in my joints etc. due probably to excess weight. I never had any of these issues beforehand.

    I have also been diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. If I can get some weight off it will make me feel a lot better when facing what may lay ahead with these other conditions.

  • Jamie August 6, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Just started Lyrica in May. 300mg P.O./Q.D. It’s August 7th, and I’ve put on 11.8 lbs. To be honest, I’m scared, I worked so hard to get to the weight that I was. I’m terrified to go back. It’s been 5 years keeping this weight off.

    Granted, it came with a price and a lot of pain, unbearable at that. Fibromyalgia is one of many diagnosis I have. This was a great article. I may just fall into several categories for WHY… so I’m going to try and work on being more active again. The alternatives, like stopping this medication, are just not an option.

  • Dean July 10, 2018, 9:44 pm

    On lyrica 150 mg twice a day. Have gained 13 lbs in two weeks. I have NEVER been this big. Lyrica is going in trash. Cannot tell if any pain relief, but am on a high dose of oxycodone daily.

    • Michael August 16, 2018, 9:31 pm

      Hi Dean. I was on Oxycontin(codone) without taking pregabalin and I was ballooning. Then when I took both I can’t express how sick I became just looking at my blimp-like self in the mirror. If you can, try and swap to MST (morphine slow release) as it doesn’t seem to put weight on.

  • Marie May 23, 2018, 3:42 am

    This is my 2nd time on Lyrica. The first time (8 yrs ago), I lost a significant amount of weight – going down to a size 0. I also was not hungry. I was only able to eat small amounts of food. I also felt very detached and sort of stoned. My face would “break out” constantly.

    This time, it actually has improved my mood (and certainly NOT because I am in less pain! Because the pain is still there! It’s hardly helped with the pain at all! I decided to try it again because I needed something to help me sleep – but what it ended up doing was getting me out of a deep dark depression!

    (I tried to talk to several Dr’s about my depression but NO ONE tried to help so I decided to try Lyrica again). Sadly, it seems to be causing me to have an insatiable appetite.

    I can’t stop thinking about eating! I want to chew all day. I am craving all kinds of things that I wouldn’t normally eat – especially sweets! Rapidly gaining weight and not sure what to do!

  • Nathalie May 21, 2018, 10:58 pm

    I gained a whopping 40 pounds in about 6 months. I have lowered my lyrica from the original 600mg a day. I am now on 50 mgs once a day, but the weight is taking longer to come off.

    I have lost the bloating, and now I’m exercising 4 times a week and do yoga once a week. I am feeling much better. I anticipate that once I am completely off, I will eventually lose the rest of the weight gained.

  • Iris Pettigrew April 30, 2018, 1:51 pm

    I am now heavier than when I was 9 months pregnant. I have put on at least 2 stones. I am frightened of stopping the Pregabalin because I have heard tales of terrible withdrawal symptoms.

  • Missy March 30, 2018, 5:41 pm

    I have been on Lyrica for 2-3 years, have gain 20 lbs despite exercise & eating a moderately healthy diet. Can’t loose the weight, even after hiring a personal trainer & adhering to a strict diet for 3 months. Can anyone offer a solution.

    Will take Lyrica 300mg twice a day probably for life. Diagnosed with Anesthesia Dolorosa as a result of Trigeminal Neuralgia radiation surgery. Tried Gabapentin for a little while, pain relief only last about an hour & cause severe itching.

    • Emily April 17, 2018, 6:01 pm

      I am huge. I need to speak to the doctor… I have never been this big in my life and I’m hardly eating!

  • Kelly March 6, 2018, 6:18 am

    I have been on Lyrica for about 4 years now. I was 110 pounds when I started taking the Lyrica, now I’m at 170 pounds. I take 100mg 3 times a day. I have complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) severe nerve damage. I only drink water I haven’t drank soda in 15 years.

    I’m a very healthy eater and hate sweets. I’m not big on eating at all and in the warm weather I go walking for an hour. My pain is excruciating so I can’t exercise anymore. I have tried everything to get the weight off but nothing helps anymore.

  • Philip March 1, 2018, 9:19 pm

    Helpful article. I’m on 300mg twice a day for a nerve issue. One of the first things I noticed was a huge increase in appetite. I have been monitoring my calories for about a year, so it has not resulted in weight gain, but there are times when I really pile food on my plate. The next couple days, I need to show restraint to even out the calorie count.

    On the other hand, I have no cravings and can be around people eating cake or cookies and not feel the need to have some. When I feel hungry I eat either an apple or a high protein meal replacement drink–1 scoop instead of the “standard” 4. That gets me through til I get home for dinner.

  • Liz January 25, 2018, 3:47 pm

    I have been taking Lyrica for almost two years 75 mg once a day, I also take Sertraline. I was 130 pounds and got to 151 pounds. I have tried exercise, and eating healthy, I have always eaten healthy, but very little change in weight. Now I am 144 with a strict diet counting calories, that is what is helping. I have to force myself to exercise because I feel tired all the time.

    I take it for anxiety and it works great, I haven’t had anxiety attacks since taking it, I preferred 100 times better than Ativan, I took Ativan for two years before lyrica and let me tell you it was bad. Very addictive, and you can’t get out of bed, not going back. Lyrica made me eat more, but now I am counting calories and losing weight.

  • Margaret January 9, 2018, 9:05 pm

    I take 75mg in the mornings and 150mg at night for nerve pain in my legs for 18 months. Initially noticed some improvement in the pain but now is as bad as ever. Have been told I can take up to 300mg per day but am unwilling to increase the dosage.

    My weight has gone from 77kg to 83kg during this period and have had my diet checked by a dietician and she was basically happy with it. I have been getting very depressed by this gain as I live an active life but feel happier now that I can approach my GP with this info and ask about alternate pain medication. Next week I am having steroid injections into my back so will be interested to see if they do the trick.

  • Deana May 25, 2017, 10:38 am

    This is my second time that I have been put on Lyrica and both times I experienced extreme weight gain. Both times I gained 30 pounds. When I went off of it the last time, I lost the weight. I don’t anticipate going off of it any time soon and so I am nervous about how much more weight I will gain.

    I take it for my neuropathy in my intestines. It is the only drug that has successfully taken away the extreme pain that I had been in for about 3 years so I won’t go off of it. But the weight gain is concerning. I am going to have to figure out a way to stop gaining because I really don’t want to go off of it.

  • Debs January 25, 2017, 11:49 pm

    I’ve been on lyrica since February last year and since my dosage was increased to 450mg a day in June, I’ve experienced a continued increase in appetite, fatigue and weight gain. In the space of 7 months I’ve gained well over 2 stone. And I’m now overweight, which I never was before. I’m going to try and slowly reduce the dose again with the doctor’s help to see if the weight gain can be halted without it making my symptoms significantly worse.

  • Rachel January 7, 2017, 12:52 pm

    I am sure I read this forum when I complained to my doctor about the weight gain on Lyrica. He dismissed it and because it was working pretty well I kept taking it. I had been working had to manage down the 16 pounds I gained on a high dose of Periactin (chronic migraine). I had been exercising and eating 1000 calories a day but it stopped working.

    Around about the same time I introduced Lyrica and the nerve pain started in my arms and leg. I know I have a tendency to think I have all side effects so I make a point of only looking them up a month after I start a new drug so I ignored it. I’m down to 650 cals a day, doing weights and cardio every day. I count and watch everything… like a bit too much.

    In saying that I seem to have no control over my body size so I’ve naturally become vigilant. After increasing my dose 10 days ago, I have gained another 7 pounds. As I seem to be chasing an effective dose (e.g. I increase and get a few weeks relief, then increase etc.), I’m going off of it effective immediately. I want a biscuit!

    • Christine June 27, 2018, 9:45 pm

      Rachel, Be very careful. Your calories are way too low at 650. Exercising with 1000 calories is low. Our bodies burn calories in our sleep. The main calorie burners are the brain, heart, lungs and digestive system. Do you really want to be starving these organs?

      Thin is in, but health is far more important. PLEASE don’t go off a pain medicine just to stay slim. And you shouldn’t just stop lyrica without tapering dose with a doctor.

      Enjoy a biscuit or two. A dozen. You are a beautiful creature and will remain beautiful in spite your, not at all disastrous 7-pound weight gain. You are more than a slim gal. Be all you can be and keep your health.

      Have you by chance got an eating disorder? 650 is the lowest calories I have ever heard anyone admit to. Take care. Be well. Hugs.

  • Vivian C December 30, 2016, 11:52 pm

    My Lyrica dosage was 75mg X2 daily. After 2 months (and about a 4lb weight gain) my doc upped my dosage to 100mg X2 daily. I jumped up 8 more pounds! I am 61 and haven’t weighted over 150 pounds since I was preggers over 40 years ago!! I AM concerned about the extra weight and refuse to continue taking a medication that has minimal benefits in exchange for what I consider a maximum downside. Ughhh!!

  • Mel November 15, 2016, 1:35 pm

    I’m also on high dose of lyrica and I look like I’m 9 months pregnant!

  • Lard Arse November 7, 2016, 9:05 am

    Taking Lyrica a month and already I see a few lbs creeping on. I watch my diet and do plenty of walking so I think it must slow down the metabolism. It also causes fluid retention which makes you look even more bloated.

    It is too easy for the pharmaceutical companies and doctors to dismiss weight gain as being the fault of greedy patients, but it is impossible to stay a healthy weight when the med slows your metabolism, reduces your energy levels and causes food cravings.

    There is also mounting evidence that it is probably addictive too; here in the UK the government are going to make it as a class C controlled drug just like Valium.

  • Issac October 10, 2016, 9:17 am

    Taking 100 mg Lyrica b.i.d. due to RLS. I gained at least 25 lbs, most due to water retention in the belly area. I feel like a balloon full of water, giving me the bloating effect.

  • Judy J.Hall September 27, 2016, 5:48 am

    I was prescribed Lyrica nine years ago. The first week was great! I could clean my house, work in the yard, take care of my animals, do my own shopping! The effects faded quickly, I am sorry to say. After three years of this medication, I BALLOONED up 70 lbs in less than three months!!! No pigging out. No gluttony! Just WHOP!!!! It was there!

    This left me with excessive weight on my stomach.I have had to carry this excess skin and fat with me every step I have taken for six years. Exercise does not help.My diet is very simple, low calorie, nutritious. Same as it has been for most of my life. Because of the weight literally pulling me down, my lower spine has now slipped between my hips.

    Now, I can barely stand or walk. This “medicine” has taken MANY years off my life. Like most AFDC meds, it was NOT proven before it was put on the market. What is twenty or so years of being a productive human worth to you??

  • Frank September 20, 2016, 4:18 am

    I’ve been slim-athletic build my entire life. For 3 months I took 75mg x 2 each day of Lyrica, then 150mp x 2 each day. I went from 165lbs-180lbs. I’ve never been over 170lbs before in my life. My diet has not changed, and this is summer months so I’ve been outside every chance I get. I take Lyrica for Sciatic pain, which left my on the floor in pain one morning it was so bad… so hard to go off the drug for me.

  • Henry September 15, 2016, 4:23 pm

    I started Lyrica 75mg 2 per day 16 days ago after 2 months in bed doing nothing for terrible pain that proved to have several causes including a L5-S1 Hernia. I had lost over 7kg. With Lyrica pain stopped almost totally immediately, I started going out, driving, doing gymnastics, rowing, eating with appetite. I got back the 7 kg in less than a week and am quite ok, 186cm, 89kg. Honestly I would love even getting other 14 kg or 21kg and becoming overweight as long as I feel well…

  • Denise August 27, 2016, 7:10 pm

    I began Lyrica only 4 days ago; I have been doing the Weight Watchers diet and had been doing well, but since taking Lyrica I have already gained 3 pounds… this is making me quite nervous… The scale is supposed to go down…not up!! Seeing the Dr next week, so we will see what he has to say about this.

    • Naomi May 27, 2018, 6:35 pm

      Hi. I’ve been on 75mg x twice a day for two weeks now. This week I have restarted my slimming world diet and walking 30 mins a day and I’ve gained 2 lbs. whereas the last time I did SW I lost 5 lbs. in the first week. Only being 5 feet tall, any weight gain is noticeable. I’m now 9.4 stone.

  • Mel Pel July 31, 2016, 9:17 pm

    I have taken Lyrica since July 2007, in several different doses. I started at 50mg 3x a day following low back surgery which left me with “boots of fire” from the knees down. Due to scar tissue and changes in my lower spine (and its discs), I have had my Lyrica dose changed several times.

    At the most, I was taking 500mg a day with an optional additional 100mg if I got a headache which resulted from a childhood neck injury that mimics a migraine (I was misdiagnosed for 30 years and migraines never worked – by Lyrica does). In the first year, I gained about 70lbs (I weighed 190 prior to surgery) and craved sugar CONSTANTLY. I rarely indulged my craving and watched my weight and (being on a small farm) was on the move often – but it did not help me lose – I just gained.

    I was always bloated and my feet and lower legs were always swollen. I was even put on Lasix 40mg 3x a day for about 6m to try to help, but it did nothing more than make me urinate a lot. I have tried several diets, even tried eating 500 calories or less a day for a month – and I GAINED weight, not lost it! I went through the required process to have a lap band, but when we tried to change my medication for my neuropathy (they would not perform surgery if I was on Lyrica – because of its side effects), all heck broke loose.

    I was allergic to two of the alternatives, was manic and having chest pains with another, and had awful (yet humorous) hallucinations on another. Finally the weight loss clinic staff decided that I had no other alternative and had to go back on Lyrica – which made me ineligible for surgery. Oddly enough, when I had a hysterectomy in May of 2016, I was finally able to lose some weight.

    After I had my back surgery in 2007, I started having really erratic and terrible periods that might be 6 days apart or 66 days apart. It got worse as time went on, the PMS was absolutely horrendous, and after bleeding like a stuck pig for 3m straight and even going onto birth control to try to regulate my hormones, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Endometrial Cancer that required a hysto.

    In the past 3m since surgery, I have lost 35lbs. I still have another 50 I want to lose, but the loss is starting to slow down. I fell 14d after my hysto and re-injured my low back and injured my hip (pinching my sciatic and peroneal nerves in my right leg), so my Lyrica dose was upped from 50mg 3x daily to 100mg 3x daily (and as always the optional extra 100mg allowed for my cervicogenic headaches).

    If I was not watching my diet so closely, I am sure my weight would be increasing right now. I am eating 1000 calories a day, and it sucks.

  • KofiAA June 24, 2016, 9:01 am

    I am on 600mg and I am absolutely bloated. My belly and my face OMG!!

  • D.Newton May 30, 2016, 1:40 pm

    I was put on Lyrica max dose 600mg along with tramadol about 15 months ago. It’s the only real combination that would alter my L5S1 nerve damage pain from surgery. OMG… I just found this article last week on weight gain issues on Lyrica. I’ve gained 35 lbs and was really at awe trying everything to stop gaining to no avail. I’m getting off of this drug next week when they turn on my Spinal Cord Stimulator. Will my body lose weight at the same speed it gained it? Help.

    • Naomi November 6, 2016, 7:33 pm

      I had been on Lyrica a lot longer than you nearly 10 years I had gained about 75lbs taking it. When I went off it the weight steadily came off without really dieting (but I did eat right). I lost weight at about 1 sometimes 2 lbs a week. It took about a year and a half to get down to my original pre-Lyrica weight. Maybe a good diet and exercise might speed it up. It doesn’t show the dates of messages. So maybe you’ve already stopped Lyrica and lost the weight. Either way, good luck!

  • Susan F May 28, 2016, 3:59 am

    I have been taking 75mg 2 x’s a day for 8 months. I have been around 125 lbs and a size 8 most of my life. I am 53 yrs old, one child and was moderately active until Fibromyalgia and bone spurs. Am gaining weight also, (up to a size 10 now) but I have also gained my life back!

    Able to do things I haven’t done in years. I also use massage to help with muscle pain and a lot of heat therapy! Would like to get off Lyrica and use an all natural pain killer. But scared of withdrawal symptoms and am loving life again, so in same catch 22. 😕

  • Suzan N May 19, 2016, 6:54 pm

    I see that some are using lyrica in combination with exercise. I’m wondering if anyone has tried lyrica in combination with different protocols for dealing with pain. Examples:
    * with acupuncture
    * with B12, other B vitamins or other nutrients ( example magnesium) that help with pain.
    * physical therapy.
    * adequate D3 ( seems to figure into about everything). Optimal 50-70 or 80.

    The reason I ask this is: I’m wondering if doing these others may allow for a lower dose of lyrica to help more with pain. And, being a lower dose, cause less weight gain. Finally, many who have diabetics are in this quandary. I have heard that B-12 is lowered by metformin. So diabetics taking metformin, may be low in B-12, which is involved in nerve transmission.

    Also lowering carb intake lowers the sugar in the blood. Since diabetes can cause neuropathy, lowering diabetes (by careful control of carbs) can help some diabetics to have less pain. Less pain of course, less need for medications for pain. Smaller dose of lyrics for example, less weight gain.

  • rutheyhoney May 18, 2016, 5:45 am

    I have been on lyrica for 2 1/2 yrs, 300 mg daily along with opioids for painful spinal cord injury due to radiation injury on my spine. Without it, I could not walk, stand, or even sleep. It was my miracle drug. Now I am 50 pounds overweight with no hope of losing it. I do everything I am supposed to do to lose weight, diet, exercise, water…nothing works.

    I beat cancer, I beat spinal cord injury, surely I can beat this. I need some real help here, not some generic eat less and exercise more, drink more water. I have done that for more than a year and have not lost a pound. I don’t want to stop using lyrica, but I need to get my life back. Any advice?

  • Jodie April 25, 2016, 1:22 am

    I started taking Lyrica in January. I weighed 118 lbs. I only take 75 mg once a day, but I have gained 20 lbs in three months… and I have not changed my clean eating habits. I have never had a stomach that showed and now I feel like I am pregnant. I have gone from a size 6 to a size 12… double in clothing size, and I cannot afford an entire new wardrobe. I am much more lethargic, BUT my fibro pain and headaches are 100% better so I am not sure what I am going to do.

  • Miranda April 12, 2016, 7:00 pm

    I have neck and back issues that cause a great deal of pain. I’ve tried SO many different medications that didn’t work, so I was excited to try Lyrica. I should mention that I had recently lost about 20lbs. The Lyrica helped the pain very minimally, and caused me to gain 13lbs. in less than 2 months.

    Even if the medication had completely cured my pain, I wouldn’t have continued it with weight gain that extreme. The last thing anyone with back issues needs is rapid weight gain. Next we are going to try Topamax (which will hopefully help me lose that extra 13lbs) and Cymbalta.

  • Yolandi April 12, 2016, 5:26 pm

    I have been taking Lyrica for around 6 months now as part of a number of medications for seizures and anxiety, I take 75MG TDS. The medication has worked in calming a lot of symptoms that were resistant to any other drug that was tried, so I do need to praise it. However, I have always been very slim and within the first 2 months of taking Lyrica I had gained 1 stone and after 6 months I have gained 2 stone.

    I workout and try to eat healthy but I cannot stop the weight gain. Has anyone else taking Lyrica for similar reasons? I would love to know how easy/difficult it is to slowly lower the dosage with a view to discontinuing use.

  • SantaFeJack February 11, 2016, 1:36 am

    Four years of chronic groin pain. Decent relief from 4 mgs. Dilaudid four times per day. But I still could not travel. Added 100 mgs. Lyrica three times per day a couple of months ago, and was completely free of pain 24/7 for the first time since Dec. 2011. However, my appetite is out of control and I’m already obese.

    I’ve been diabetic for eight years with excellent control with occasional Actos/Metformin tablets. I was so excited to be free of pain plus a significant reduction in anxiety from the Lyrica, but I’m also feeling noticeably unmotivated and sleepy a lot of the time, especially a couple of hours after taking Lyrica.

    After reading this article and all of the comments, I’m going to reduce my dosage and see how little I can get by with. The weight gain is very disturbing. Hopefully, not inevitable. I will do a follow up after my experiment.

  • GEO WINGHAM January 21, 2016, 12:12 am

    Computer glitch… a letter may have been submitted accidentally. I’M A WALKIN’ TALKIN’ MIRACLE OF MODERN MEDICAL SCIENCE!!!!! THIS IS ONE AWESOME FORUM. I’M MOST GRATEFUL FOR EVERYONE ON THIS BLOG HELP IN COUNTERACTING EFFECTS OF LYRICA. I NEED THIS MEDICATION… I’ve taken GABAPENTIN for OVER 10 YEAR and a lARGE drug cocktail due to Vietnam Agent Orange, including Hydromophone (Dilaudid) due to a truck crash.

    Lyrica is a better treatment than Gabapentin. My Cardiologist prescribed Lyrica couple months ago. Medical history is complex. FIRST MI (Heart Attack) in ’74… 7 more… 3 CABGS… First CABG (Open Heart Surgery) ’82 #2 in ’84… #3 in ’01. 3 strokes… goes on and on. My 20 year cardiologist KEPT ME ALIVE ALL THESE YEARS. As one can tell, his ability to keep me alive was helped by The Blessing Way (Navajo). VERY unstable angina.

    COUNTLESS trips to ER in over 40 years… NUMEROUS drug changes in an effort to help me with decent quality of life. I was crippled by the truck crash in ’97. Kept working till August ’01 when massive MI made third CABG imperative. Thoracotomy (Rib Spread) rendered me a paraplegic… SPINAL NEUROPATHY. Type 2 diabetes from Agent Orange and heredity began the DIABETIC NEUROPATHY.

    My niece used Lyrica to control Fibromyalgia. My baby sister said SHE PUT ON 50 POUNDS. I have gradually increased my Lyrica dosage. Two months ago began 50mg. Increased to 75 mg and now 100 mg. So weight gain began 2-3 weeks ago… 150 POUNDS TO 160 POUNDS. Discussed this with my dear friend JudyAnn, a nurse, who found this website for me.

    LYRICA APPEARS TO HELP ME CONTROL NEUROPATHY. If side effects become burdensome, I’ll discuss decreasing dosage UNDER SUPERVISION by my Cardiologist. I need SOMETHING so I can walk. Neuropathy will awaken me most days around 0400-0500. I take a 100mg Lyrica capsule then, get up and walk for awhile. Neuropathy in feet and right leg is tolerable after this. I lead a quasi-normal life… Cane and walker. But NO WHEELCHAIR LATELY. Again, thanks to folks on this blog for helping me to control Lyrica side effects.

  • Lis January 5, 2016, 2:36 am

    I’ve been on lyrica for a month now. I weighed 118 lbs when I first started it. I’m now at 127 lbs. I take great care of my weight, since weight increases my joint and nerve pain. I’m 5-1 in height. I cannot afford to be packing on 9 pounds in one month! I started on an a very strong diet pill. It has increased my energy and is helping fight off some of the lack of motivation / tired feeling.

    However it’s not combating the weight gain. I’m guessing the way lyrica changes our neurotransmitters isn’t allowing the diet pill to do its job properly. I can’t stand this. It were different if the pain was so controlled I could care less if I gained weight, but to be gaining weight and still be in pain is making me wonder If it’s really worth it. 9 pounds on my aching knees is a big deal to me, and I’m on a fairly low dose yet.

    • SantaFeJack February 11, 2016, 1:40 am

      Without a compensating reduction in your pain, it would seem to me Lyrica is definitely not for you. I was hoping my increased appetite would go away over time, but after two months, it seems even more out of control.

  • Julie December 26, 2015, 4:51 pm

    I have been taking Lyrica for many years… I have gained over 100 lbs. About five years ago I tried to change from Lyrica to another medication. It was not a pleasant experience. The end result was that I stayed on Lyrica. I have fibromyalgia and nerve damage.

    • Christine June 27, 2018, 10:00 pm

      Julie, I have had a similar experience. I’ve been on Lyrica at least 10 years, it was still new when I started. I packed on 50lb. I have seriously dieted and lost 20 only to promptly put it on, plus more. Lyrica controls my fibromyalgia pain.

      I can’t imagine going back to the pain I had before this drug. When I moved back to Canada, I had a tough time continuing Lyrica because it is considered off label for fibro. But, it was approved and all is well.

      Choosing between sick and in pain or heavy and apple shaped is a no brainer for me. If people don’t like how I look, they can look away. If the pain comes back, I cannot ignore it and nothing else worked.

  • Kim November 15, 2015, 8:17 am

    Hello, I’ve been on 300mg, 3 times a day for the past six months. I’m partially paralyzed and have extensive issues with my spine. In the six months I’ve been on Lyrica, I have gained 65 pounds. I am so depressed but his gain as I had gastric bypass in 2012 and lost 143 pounds, and now I’ve only maintained 45 pounds. I don’t know what to do!

    • SantaFeJack February 11, 2016, 1:50 am

      How effective has the Lyrica been at reducing your pain? From all I’ve read, 300 mg/day is about the maximum recommended. The official website states there is no additional advantage above that level, and you are at three times that. Did you start at 900/day? If it works, how can your doctor or you know if a lot less would be just as good, but without such dramatic side effects?

      I started at 300/day and it works great, but my appetite is out of control so I’m starting today going to 200/day as a test. As the above article states: 200 mg is putting twice as much drug in your system, and increasing the side effects. Maybe I need three hundred and maybe you need nine hundred. But maybe we both need a lot less. Won’t know until we’ve tried. Right?

    • kim March 3, 2016, 4:01 pm

      I understand I’m on lyrica and had WLS a year and a half ago and now I’m gaining weight. Although my eating hasn’t been the best when I’ve tried to get the extra belly fat 10 lbs off, it’s not working. I need to increase my lyrica cause of having more pain, but not worth more weight gain, a catch 22.

      • Sandra March 23, 2017, 8:40 pm

        I’ve been on lyrica for about a year now. I’m a diabetic have pain in my feet. I’ve gone from 145 to 185 lbs. – all in my stomach. I have got to find a another way to deal with this. I’m not sure if it’s even helping the pain, but I must experiment.

  • Toni November 4, 2015, 11:55 pm

    I have been taking Lyrica for probably 6-8 months now. I started at a dose of 50mg three time a day and then, increased to 100mg three times daily. While taking the 50mg, I did not notice any major decrease in my neuropathic pain which is why my physician increased my dose to 100mg. I also had no weight gain. After taking the 100mg dose for 2 months now, my weight has increased by 20lbs…ALL of it in my stomach!

    This seems to be a “Catch 22” drug. Take it in lower doses (mild pain relief & no weight gain) or at an increased dosage (significant pain relief and…BLUBBER). I guess the true effectiveness of this drug relies on one thing & one thing only (there should be an auxiliary label on the Rx bottle). CAUTION: DO NOT TAKE IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD A NEW WARDROBE.

    • ClareBond February 4, 2017, 10:59 pm

      Yes, Lyrica dosage at 150 saw me put on 4 kgs in 10 days. I put 15kgs on in 2 months. No change in diet. I was able to exercise more due to more mobility from nerve pain. I slowly weaned myself off Lyrica.

      Had very bad headaches during withdrawal and spent about 2 months withdrawing. It certainly helped the pain and after withdrawal the pain never really returned as bad. I do not recommend Lyrica to anyone long term if they are concerned about weight gain.

      Of course the doctor told me the weight gain was my fault! I stormed out! Can laugh now, this was 3 years ago. I’m doing well but never regained my slender hour glass shape.

  • Heather October 23, 2015, 10:56 pm

    I’m one of those Lyrica patients who has noticed weight gain after a year & I’m on the maximum dosage for Adderall (narcolepsy). Granted I don’t get much exercise but Lyrica caused me to gain about 75 lbs. because I know it wasn’t the Adderall! Crazy.

    • Rosa LaValley June 27, 2016, 4:36 pm

      I am also taking maximum dose of Lyrica and have been taking it for about 6 years for fibromyalgia… I have tried to get off from it but I couldn’t even function without it. I have gained about 50 pounds… It makes me more depressed because I feel fat… Exercise is difficult due to the fibromyalgia and lower back issues. I really don’t know what to do.

  • Maureen October 10, 2015, 2:27 pm

    I have polymyalgia and giant cell arteritis. I have taken steroids for nearly 3 year and gained 18 lbs over that time. In March this year I seen my specialist re a flare and she felt I should try and manage the head pains rather than increase my steroids. She put me on pregabalin in March this year, I take the maximum dose of 300mg twice a day.

    Over the 6 months I have been on it, I have gained 21lbs, and gone from a dress size 14, to a size 20. I have had to renew my wardrobe in the summer and again recently for the Autumn/ Winter, it has cost me a fortune. I’m considering trying a lower dose to see if that helps. Hate that I see in the mirror, frustrating as I eat healthy, like others here have mentioned it is mainly round my stomach.

  • Sue October 4, 2015, 9:27 pm

    Hi everyone. I have been on Lyrica for 9 yrs, for trigeminal nerve problems. I have gained about 1 and a half stone over that period. However, I am in the menopause, and so this could contribute somewhat! I do agree with many though, that the bloated feeling seems to be there all the time. I have never really had a big tummy, not even after having my two children, but no matter how much exercise I do, this never goes. I have a very healthy diet and am currently attending Slimming World to shed this weight. I could not manage to function without the Lyrica, but may look into an alternative if this weight does not shift. Good luck to everyone who’s battling with it.

  • Linda September 21, 2015, 3:26 pm

    I have been on Pregabalin for nearly 18mths, I very quickly gained nearly 4 stone! I currently take 225mg in the Eve and 150mg in the morning, I also take 120mg Dulexetine, 60mg Amitryptalin, 500mg naproxen and 150mg ranitidine! Yes a lot of medication! I have nerve damage from my waist down and am in constant pain! My consultant has just decided to swap the pregabalin for gabapentin. I am wondering if this will add more weight?

    My weight has stabilized now and I really don’t want to gain more weight! I have gone from a dress size 8/10 to a 14/16. I’m constantly tired all the time, but I do attend the gym at least 4 times a week when the children are at school. I’d appreciate any info from anyone similar, that have gained a significant amount of weight with pregabalin and what happened if you then changed to gabapentin. Many thanks!

    • Danielle September 15, 2016, 11:22 am

      I have a very similar situation. I was a size 6 (for the past 22 years), now a size 12! I started on Lyrica (gained 30 pounds), switched to Gabapentin (only to gain another 25). All this since January. I worked out six days a week, gave up soft drinks, and was eating very clean but nothing was working.

      I have recently been completely weaned off of the Gabapentin and am now already seeing small miracles. I wish you the best of luck, I was told by a clinical pharmacist that only 4% of people gain on Gabapentin, obviously I was in that 4%. I hope you find something that works for you, and I wish you all the best!

  • Mike Rose September 14, 2015, 1:52 pm

    I have been on Lyrica for a little over a year to treat nerve pain in my neck and left arm due to bulging discs in my neck. Graduated to a dosage of 150 mg daily. Have had significant weight gain (15 lbs.) over the course of treatment, as well as low energy, tired all the time, and slight loss of balance. While it does a good job controlling the pain, the side effects make me wonder if I wouldn’t be better off without it.

  • Ana September 4, 2015, 3:32 pm

    I have been on 50mg 2x a day along with low doses of Cymbalta 25 mg 1x per day… minimal weight gain and cravings after two months…. Significant pain changes, I don’t need Tramadol anymore. I keep a clean a diet (as MUCH as possible) and I have NO energy to exercise, but after reading this I need to.

  • Mo September 3, 2015, 6:54 pm

    I have been on lycria for nearly 3 years. On 600mg per day and have gained 2 stone . I have fibromyalgia and yes the drug does help but I hate the weight gain as it is all on my stomach. I hate it because I can’t shift it. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me, but today someone said to me “you look fat today” SCREAM!!!

  • Sunshine August 21, 2015, 6:36 pm

    I’ve been on lyrica for about 2 months and I’ve gained about 20 pounds in the last month. I was 145 in January for my physical now I’m 170. Totally not impressed with the weight gain. I’ve stopped taking lyrica because I can’t afford to buy new clothes.

    • Kori January 23, 2017, 12:52 am

      My situation sounds close to yours. I was around 145 and now am 165. I’ve been taking Lyrica for close to three months. 75 mg twice daily… The pain from fibro has decreased but is it worth the spare tire I am now carrying around my midsection?

  • SilverTulip August 16, 2015, 9:28 am

    I gained 20kg (over 40 pounds) while on Lyrica. I tried to get off this medication, but discontinuation caused complete insomnia. It does seem to help with nerve pain. I noticed a huge increase in pain when I tried to get off this medication – or is the pain increase just part of the withdrawal process? I have no idea.

  • Jan Ostrom June 7, 2015, 8:15 pm

    I am on 200 mg twice a day of Lyrica for nerve pain in my legs after back surgery. I was immobilized with pain for a couple of years, so sadly gained about 15 pounds. After one month I have gained 8 puffy pounds—every bit of it on my belly. I don’t over eat, I walk on the treadmill and do the bike at the gym. I feel like I am wearing a Fat Suit and am lost inside of it. I tried going off the Lyrica but by the time I had tapered down to my last one, the pain was killing me and I was crying and depressed. So, I am taking it and will buy bigger clothes, I guess. I feel like I have no choice, I can’t live with the pain.

  • jamie May 29, 2015, 11:12 am

    I started at 150 mgs daily and didn’t experience any weight gain. I was increased to the max dose of 300 mgs a day and have already put on 5 lbs in 3 weeks. I am on Atkins and have not lost any weight at all. I will have to try a lower dose again.

  • Caroline May 14, 2015, 5:27 pm

    I was on a high dose of Lyrica for about half a year. I didn’t gain any weight. I actually lost some. However, it’s a foul drug and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I became seriously depressed and suicidal on it. Moreover, it’s addictive and withdrawal is awful.

  • Debb February 26, 2015, 12:23 pm

    I just started lyrica about 10 days ago at 75 mg increasing to 150 mg. I have noticed bloating in my stomach and a little in my face. I am also taking adderall and topiramate (weight loss antidepressant). Due to these two medications, I am hardly ever hungry, I don’t have any junk food cravings ever, and I only eat one meal a day. Even with these habits, I still feel and look like there’s a balloon in my tummy. I also strongly believe that weight that is gained on lyrica is NOT based on eating habits, at least not for me.

    • Peri321 May 4, 2015, 7:49 pm

      I too am on ADD medication (Vyvanse) and just started Lyrica (50mg) today for sciatica. My weight was already up 5-10# for the last few years from laying around doing nothing following a mastectomy & multiple reconstruction surgeries. I too only eat one real meal a day (dinner), although I usually have a light breakfast (coffee & English muffin).

      I may snack a tiny bit here & there for taste, but very few calories are consumed. I’m so afraid Lyrica is going to make me gain more weight as I’m still trying to lose 7 more pounds for my wardrobe to comfortably fit. I can’t afford to buy a new wardrobe if I gain weight! Can you please give an update on your weight gain?

    • Rachelle July 27, 2016, 9:42 pm

      I have been taking Lyrica for about a month now. Twice a day 75 mg over the past week I have noticed weight gain. I am hungry all the time. My stomach is always bloated. I too am on topiramate. Before I would eat one meal a day. I’m not a fan of the bloating and weight gain. Just seems to be getting worse!

    • Dawn January 22, 2017, 8:57 pm

      I weighted 123# when I started taking Lyrica almost 1 year ago. I too eat one healthy meal daily. We also eat early every day. By 4:30. When weighed 3 days ago… I’m at 171#. My hips hurt, my lower back, my legs feel bloated. I’ve got to find something else. My dosage is 75mg 3 times a day. At 100mg I suffered increased depression!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.