Fibromyalgia (or muscle) pain is often thought to be caused by overactive nerves. Chronic fibromyalgia pain can be unbearable as it can make daily tasks difficult and cause the sufferers to have suicidal thoughts. Worse still, the sufferers may experience a deep lingering ache all over their body. Fibromyalgia is a difficult disorder to treat and thus no one really understands its causes or how this puzzling disorder can be treated effectively. It is entirely a mystery to its sufferers and physicians who treat patients with fibromyalgia as well.
A few years ago, a neurontin called Gabapentin (or pregabalin) was shown in a small study to provide significant relieve among patients with fibromyalgia. In the study, patients who took Gabapentin for as long as 12 weeks has been reported to have experienced improved sleep and less pain as compared to the control group who took nothing. Later, Lyrica, another related drug was approved by FDA to treat fibromyalgia.
Lyrica is not just an anti-depressant prescribed for generalized anxiety but is also prescribed to treat seizures, herpes zoster, nerve damage and singles. In fact, it is an anti-seizure prescription drug used in adults 18 years and older to treat herpes zoster, pain from damaged nerves (a medical condition that happens along with the healing of shingles or with diabetes), partial seizures (always taken with other seizure drugs), diabetic neuropathies or pain all over the body (also called fibromyalgia). In regards to treating fibromyalgia, Lyrica has been shown to have about 30 to 50 percentage of effectiveness. Also, numerous clinical studies have revealed that the use of Lyrica can help relieve widespread, chronic muscle pain in as early as 7 days among certain individuals. While Lyrica may not be a magic pill for treating fibromyalgia, it worth trying as it has been shown to provide significant relief to certain individuals. Note: it may not be suitable for everyone.
Before Taking Lyrica, What Should You Concern Yourself About?
Lyrica can be taken either with or without food and it must be taken at the same time each day. The best is to follow your doctor’s advice on the intake of Lyrica particularly on the matters of when to take it and how much you should take daily.
You’re strictly prohibited from taking this drug while driving, operating machine, doing other dangerous jobs or when you are feeling sleepy, dizzy and in discomfort. While taking Lyrica, you are also not permitted to take other medications, herbs, traditional drugs, natural remedies, other prescriptions, or drink alcohol as it may make you feel very sleepy and dizzy. You will also experience the similar outcome when you take narcotic pain drugs, or anxiety medications together with Lyrica.
If you’ve already prescribed Lyrica, you cannot simply stop taking the dose without the approval of your physician. If you stop or change the dose of Lyrica suddenly with your own desire, you may have to suffer with nausea, headache, trouble sleeping or even diarrhea. Always remember to discuss with your doctor before planning to try out any new medications.
Prior to taking Lyrica, please let your doctor knows about all the medical conditions you are experiencing. This may include heart or kidney related problems; swelling in your tongue, lips, gums, face, throat or neck; depression; bleeding problems; suicidal thoughts; or low blood platelet count. Additionally, you should advise your doctor before starting Lyrica, if you’re undergoing chemotherapy, surgical procedures or dialysis; have a history of abusing marijuana, heroin, street drugs, ecstasy, morphine, alcohol or any prescribed drugs; planning to get pregnant; or breastfeed.
While you are taking Lyrica, make sure that you tell your doctor about any skin problems or sores you’re undergoing, especially when you have diabetes. People with heart problems may experience serious form of swelling particularly in their legs, feet and hands.
As with any other drug, Lyrica may counteract with other medications, so make sure you tell your doctor if you have taken or are taking medications including vitamin pills, supplements, traditional herbals, over-the-counter drugs, as well as other prescribed and non-prescribed drugs so that your doctor will decide whether you should take Lyrica or not. Special attention should particularly be exercised for the following conditions:
- If you’re taking Actos (pioglitazone), Avandia (rosiglitazone) or Avandamet (rosiglitazone and metformin) for treating diabetes, taking Lyrica may increase your chance of swelling in your feet or hands, hives or gaining weight.
- Any drugs that make you sleepy are not suitable to take with Lyrica.
- If you are taking Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor together with Lyrica, you are at higher risk of getting hives (raised bumps) and swelling.
- If medications for anxiety (lorazepam for example), tranquilizers or narcotic pain drugs like oxycodone are taken together with Lyrica, you may have a potential risk of having sleepiness and dizziness.
- If you are taking medications for treating high blood pressure along with Lyrica, you may be at a higher risk of gaining weight, swelling or getting hives.
What are the Possible Side Effects of Lyrica?
The most common side effects of Lyrica include dizziness, swelling of feet and hands, weight gain, lethargy, sleepiness, dry mouth, tremor, trouble sleeping or concentrating, or blurred vision. Tell your doctor about any of these symptoms you are experiencing right away!
In a serious case, one may experience adverse effects of Lyrica, including chronic pain, weakness, soreness or muscle problems accompanied with fever and feeling sick; feeling “high”; gaining more weight which can be a serious problem for those with heart problems; unusual changes in eyesight, blurry vision or eye-related problems which can be worsened by the presence of diabetes. If you’re experiencing any of these conditions, consult your doctor immediately!
If you have allergic problems, call your doctor right away if you’re experiencing any of these allergic reactions which include hives, rash or blisters; swelling in your mouth, neck, lips, throat, tongue, face, or gums; or if you’re facing difficulty in breathing. Do not ever disregard these allergic reactions as they may cause severe pain, an unexpected medical condition or even be life-threatening.
Lyrica, like other antiepileptic drugs, may cause suicidal thoughts among certain individuals. It is reported to be one in every 500 persons who took Lyrica. You should pay extra attention if you have mood problems, abnormal or sudden change in behavior or mood, unusual changes in mood, worsening or new depression, unexplainable anxiety, suicidal feelings or thoughts. Any of these symptoms would indicate the need to consult your doctor immediately as it may progress to a chronic stage of depression or psychologically related problems.
Information contained herein is for educational purpose only and does not intend to substitute for any medical treatment, diagnosis or advice. In any medical symptoms or emergency or any acute situation arising from using Lyrica, you’re advised to consult a registered and qualified doctor immediately for a further diagnosis and advice.
You are encouraged to report any side effects of prescription medications to the FDA by either calling 1-800-FDA-1088 or by visiting www.FDA.gov/medwatch.
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