Lyrica Withdrawal

1024px-LyricaLyrica (Pregabalin) is an anticonvulsant drug used as a therapy for neuropathic pain and partial seizures for adults. It is being used for generalized anxiety disorders since 2007. It can also help with chronical pain in patients suffering from fibromyalgia.

The drug works in a way where it blocks the voltage-dependent channels in the brain, which stop several neurotransmitters from entering the calcium channels which lead to low levels of norepinephrine, calcitonin gene-related peptide, and substance P. They all affect central nervous system and can result in depressant influence on the brain. There are some cases where the initial start of use can generate boost mood, but it usually subsides after a long time of use.

There are some symptoms which can occur after Lyrica withdrawal and some of them can be uncomfortable. Doctors are there to slowly taper the dosage of the drug to prevent any sudden discontinuation and its consequences on the body.

Factors Which Affect Lyrica Withdrawal Symptoms

Most symptoms have certain factors which will contribute to final results. Not all symptoms have to occur in every patient and for sure not in the same manner. They all depend on the dosage the individual was taking, the time span of the drug intake, some individual factors, etc.

Dosage

Patients who took a higher dose of drugs are more accustomed to drug effects. They will have a harder time and greater symptom occurrence after Lyrica withdrawal. The dose of Lyrica goes from 150 mg, 300 mg, 450 mg to 600 mg. Depending on the condition which is being treated, the patients may have different dosage. For example, the ones who take Lyrica for diabetic neuropathy may have therapy prescription from 150 to 300 mg while those who have seizures may intake dose of 600 mg per day. As the time span goes longer, the patients may need higher dose due to a tolerance development, where the patient may need a higher dose to obtain the same effect.

Time Span

Time span stands for the period a person is on the drug. For someone who is taking the drug for a long period, it is harder to discontinue from it. The nervous system has adjusted to its effects and it will take slowly transition and gradually smaller doses of drugs to take off the drug in stable condition and for the nervous system to get used to it.

Tapering

Tapering is the term for gradually cutting the dosage of the drug from its use. Sudden withdrawal of the drug or “cold turkey” may express with serious and heavy symptoms which can be difficult for the patients to withstand. It is advised to follow the doctor’s plan of tapering to withdrawal from Lyrica use the best possible method.

Individual Characteristics

It is important to state that not every patient experiences the symptoms that some do. It can vary from person to person, depending on their daily habits, sensitivity, physiology and interaction with other drugs. Some people can handle better the withdrawal symptoms, especially those who are active, who are aware of their health and food intake and who have good family and friends support.

Lyrica Withdrawal Symptoms

There are different types of symptoms which can happen after discontinuing a certain drug, and these are possible symptoms which are linked with Lyrica. Although many of these symptoms can be considered common ones, not every symptom has to be expressed in every individual. That is under the influence of the factors which we discussed above.

Anxiety

After Lyrica withdrawal, there were cases where some individuals may have felt anxiety although this drug is used to treat anxiety in some countries. It can be a short peak of a symptom which can occur among those who withdrawal from Lyrica suddenly without proper tapering system.



Fatigue

Fatigue is the feeling of being weak and having low energy in the body. It is normal to feel lethargic and to feel exhausted. A person can experience doing everyday tasks to be difficult and hard to manage. This can be present for a few weeks and it will subside by its own.

Depression

 Lyrica is the drug affecting norepinephrine in the central nervous system which is the neurotransmitter. After cutting the drug use, the body can suffer from a chemical imbalance, which can lead to depression. This is also short-term and you should feel better after some time.

Anger

Anger can be a common symptom associated with Lyrica withdrawal where the drug used to calm you down and it had a depresive effect on the nervous system. It can be from mild to a stage where a person can rage and feel very angry. This is also a symptom which will pass over time and you should be aware of it as a symptom and don’t let it get you.

Chills

Some people can experience chills after the drug discontinuation. It can be a way of the nervous system trying to get used to a state without the drug effect. This can be also accompanied with body ache, especially for those who were taking Lyrica for neuropathic pain. The analgesia from the drug effect starts to fade and the pain begins to develop again.

Depersonalization

Some people claim that they’ve experienced the condition of not being themselves and they have felt empty and out of emotions. This is also the consequence of the brain trying to get used to a new condition without the drug effect.

Dizziness

This is a symptom which is expressed mostly among those who quit “cold turkey”. If you gradually taper the dosage of the drug, your body will have time to slowly accustom to the new condition and therefore result in mild symptoms. This can be present for a few weeks after which it subsides.

Headaches

Headaches are one of the symptoms which occur frequently among in majority of the patients who underwent Lyrica withdrawal. Your brain is in a stressful situation trying to cope with the new condition and being under constant accommodation which is why headaches are commonly expressed. It can be mild or severe one, such as a migraine, but it will fade after some time.

Insomnia

Some individuals have trouble sleeping at night. This can be a common problem where a person can feel tired, but their brain keeps working and they tend to stay awake. You can try to calm with relaxation, meditation, some exercise or even taking supplements like melatonin.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another symptom which can be present after Lyrica withdrawal. This is not present in every person that discontinued Lyrica, but it can be unpleasant. If it takes longer than a week or two, you can consult your doctor about dealing with withdrawal symptoms, or take over-the-counter medication for calming the bowels such as Imodium.

Hot Flashes

This is also a symptom which is associated with chills. Your body is going through temperature change and sometimes you will feel hot and have hot flashes while sometimes it will feel cold and your body will tremble.

Itchiness

Itchy skin is not as a common symptom among those on Lyrica withdrawal, but it is possible to occur. Some people have claimed they have had itchiness which can be followed up with a rash on the skin. This is more among those people with a higher sensitivity levels and with those who have an atopic constitution. You can consult your doctor about taking some antihistaminic drugs fro calming the nerves and immune system.

Muscle Cramps

Your muscles tend to spasm when you’re feeling cold. This is the mechanical mechanism which is useful for creating the heat for the body when it’s feeling cold. Some have reactions to the pain or their nervous system gets an imbalance of nervous receptors which can express in muscle spasms.

Arthralgia

This is the term for the joint pain. It can be present after the Lyrica withdrawal as well and although it can feel uncomfortable and hard to handle, it is an accompanying symptom which will pass over time. You can consult your doctor for some pain killers or try to make some compresses which will ease the pain a bit.

Bad Concentration

Norepinephrine is the chemical which can influence on a person’s concentration and focus. If an individual discontinues the drug, it can feel the low levels of norepinephrine which will end in poor concentration and cognitive difficulties.

Panic Attack

When the anxiety gets severe, a person can experience a panic attack. It will feel severe and hard to handle, but if you remain calm and try to focus on your breathing and relaxation, you can reduce the anxiety and you will feel better.

Breathing Problems

This can be also a part of anxiety and panic attack episodes. You can feel like out of breath and it can feel scary, but it is important to focus on your breathing and not to get stressed which will only progress in a shortness of breath. This is more common side effect while taking the drug.

Sweating

You can experience sudden sweat rush. This is normal when withdrawing the drug from your body. This is the stress for the body and the stress hormones act on a system where the sweating can be a part of it. It is a short-term side effect and it will pass.

Stomach Pain

You can feel pain or stomach cramps after Lyrica withdrawal and this is normal and it will pass after a few weeks. You should try to cope with the pain.

How Long Does It Last?

Lyrica withdrawal symptoms can last for a few weeks, depending on the factors and the person who was having the drug. It can be more intense or a mild occurrence, but it will pass over time. It is recommended to take care of yourself, take good diet, get socialized, be active and productive.

If you’ve felt some symptoms like these or some which we didn’t mention above, comment down bellow.


26 COMMENTS

  1. Over the last year I have began eating very well & generally very fit & active. I have nerve damage in my neck & have been taking Pregabalin for about 5years. I stopped taking it on Sunday 5/3/17 Wanting to heal myself naturally. I just didn’t give it any thought I would be so unwell. I have most of the symptoms & they are bad. I feel in so much pain,very sickly,low in mood,diarrhoea,flu like,no energy,splitting head,back hurts etc. I didn’t make the connection until yesterday. Going I’m going to start to feel a bit better soon. I am taking supplements & did feel a little better today after a healing meditation. Thank you for everyone’s comments. It’s helped to understand what’s going on. Just hoping it won’t last for too long. I could burst into tears.

    • If you are stopping your medication with the help of your doctor, then continue to do so. If you have decided to stop cold turkey without consulting your doctor, then you may want to speak with your doctor at this time. It is great that you are being active, eating healthy, and meditating. However, those actions will not help you with withdrawals. Best of luck, Bernadette!

  2. I have been on 300mg of lyrica for 4 years. The other day I missed my meds. That night I thought I was going to die. I had chest pains hot an cold sweats. It was terrible. Atb4binbthebmorning b I took my meds. The withdrawals were gone in 30 minutes. I won’t kiss it again.

    • Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is important to take care to never miss your medication. Feel free to share more of your thoughts and ideas in the future. Have a great day, Becky!

  3. After taking Lyrica for over 8years due to CRPS, my work comp insurance carrier thought it would be a brilliant idea to force me to stop all of my meds and forced me to stop seeing my docs. I became disabled after a work related surgery. I’m an emotional mess, very fatigued, lost at least 20 lbs within the last week and a half. I’m a parent of four children and have no energy to keep up. I’ve been dealing with opiate and lyrica withdraw since before Christmas. When will this end!!!!! I highly advise any of you considering Lyrica, Cymbalta or opiates to run…. run….run!!! Do not ever start!!!

    • Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights. We are sorry to hear that you are going through this. The withdrawal duration can vary between people. Try to reduce stress in your life at this time. If you find that you are in pain, then perhaps speak to a doctor at a local clinic. It may cost some money, but it is important to care for yourself. Best of luck, Nykki!

  4. I have been taking Lyrica for about a year now. 75 mg 3 times a day! Wednesday I went to 2 a day! Friday night I started with diarrhea! Today is just my 4th day without the one pill and I can’t stay out of the bathroom! Should I maybe wean off even slower? Maybe go to 50 mg for the dose I am now skipping! At this point my withdrawal looks like it could be worse than the side effects of taking it!

    • If you are looking to remove yourself from pharmaceuticals, then you should speak with the doctor who prescribed them. Continue to monitor the experiences that you are having while you wait for your appointment. Your doctor will be able to help you adjust your dosage as to minimize your side effects. It is important to speak with your doctor at this time. Good luck, Carole!

  5. Now only feel blurred vision when concentrate on object n pain feel in throat.. Head pressure now gone…no Dizziness now… Light sound of tintius

  6. I feel suddenly heat in nose and head after lyrica withdrawal. ..i was only 15 days on 75 my Lyrica. And I feel pressure in my Head.. Today 4 th day of wean off

    • The withdrawal symptoms will go away eventually, so just hang in there. If you experience any severe symptoms, go to your doctor for help. Good luck and stay safe, Deep!

  7. UPDATE – Been off Lyrica 10 weeks today (01/04/2017) started sleeping again 😍, but still having tingling all over the body, but not everyday, I am now going maybe every 4-5 days with very little tingling & then get a day full of tingling that last about 15 hours. Hoping that with in the next 5 weeks it will finally stop.

    • It sounds like your symptoms are gradually getting better–our other readers will most likely be heartened to hear that! Thanks for commenting and good luck, Denise!

  8. My last 75mg dose was on 12/23. Withdrawal symptoms hit on 12/27… joint pain, aches, mild migraines (temples and frontal lobe), occasional chills and last night – insomnia! This is wretched. Praying that I bounce back quickly.

    • I hope that your withdrawal symptoms will be short-lived. If they last for longer than a few weeks (or if you experience more severe symptoms), then you may need to go to your doctor to see what can be done to alleviate the symptoms. If the symptoms are severe, it may also be possible to taper you off of Lyrica more slowly. Good luck and stay safe, Marc!

  9. I have been off Lyrica now 2 months after 13 yrs taking, still gong through pure “HECK”, along with my skin burning & tingling & with insomnia, I have now started the hot & cold flashes & sweating, left message with Neurological that put me on this, hope to hear from them tomorrow, OMG, when is this going to STOP. At times I feel like I am having a nervous 😩 breakdown, hoping this is gone in another 30 days, I would not wish this on anyone. Off course after came off the nurse & Doctor said you are not going through withdrawal, lairs.

    • Withdrawal symptoms can happen when you have taken a medication for that long. Hopefully, they will stop within the next month or so. Until then, there are some home remedies that you can do to help with the insomnia such as chamomile tea, warm baths and meditation. Good luck, Denise!

  10. My husband was on 300mg twice a day he’s tapering down to 75mg once all he’s been doing is sleeping. Is this normal? Thanks

    • His body may be suffering from withdrawals. If this continues for a few more weeks, then perhaps it would be beneficial for him to speak with a doctor. That said, it is likely that his body with recover naturally in time. It may be helpful if he eats a healthy diet for the next week. This may help to kick start his body and natural systems. Best of luck, Michelle!

  11. Hey, it’s Denise Book, went to ER, they gave me Ambiem, slept for 5 days. Doctor said do follow up with GP. On the 6 days no sleep, just skin burning and tingling. 7 days tired burning & tingling still slept 5 hours. 8th day no sleep. I am going through hell, see NP at GP on Monday. I don’t know how much more I can take. If the burning & tingling would just stop. Been off Lyrica now 46 day, first 28 days were good then pure hell started, would not wish this on anyone. When will it stop?

    • It can vary based on how long you used Lyrica and your personal body chemistry. Your doctor would be the best person to ask, but hopefully the symptoms will subside within a month. Depending on how long you used Lyrica, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for all of the withdrawal symptoms to end.

  12. This is an interesting and helpful article. Ive been on a low dose of pregab for 5 years for GAD and it was quite effective at first and I was grateful for it. Ive been off it for 10 days now after gradually tapering down the dose and its been messy. Bad anx, sleeplessness, heavy depression, constantly cold. But things easing off a bit now and hopefully more progress to come. Definitely more clarity of thought and a clearer mind…

    • Hopefully, the symptoms will end sooner rather than later. I am sure that our other readers will appreciate getting your personal insight, Paul. Thanks for commenting!

  13. I was a lyrica for 13 years due to hormone imbalance migraines, I got immune and it got to the point where the side effects were worse than the migraines, but now I am almost 60 years and the migraines have stopped and I told my neurologist I wanted off the Lyrica. I tapered off slowly for nine months going down 25 – 50mg each time. I have been completely off now for 34 days and the last six days have been hell I have gotten 12 hours of sleep in six days. I took a melatonin last night and it did not phase me I stayed up all night. How long is this going to last?

    • You should talk to your doctor–he or she would know your full medical history and be able to help best with this type of problem. After using Lyrica for so long, it could take anywhere for several weeks to several months for your body to feel completely normal. Many users only experience a few weeks of withdrawal symptoms though because the drug actually completely clears the body within a couple of days.

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