Precautions and Warnings With Pregabalin
Before starting pregabalin, there are several precautions and warnings to be aware of. For example, combining pregabalin with certain other drugs can potentially lead to drug interactions. Also, taking this drug may cause vision problems or increase your risk of developing a dangerous muscle problem known as rhabdomyolysis. Precautions and warnings with pregabalin also extend to those with allergies to the drug; anyone who is allergic to pregabalin should avoid it.
Pregabalin: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking pregabalin (Lyrica®) if you have:
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Heart disease, especially congestive heart failure (CHF)
- An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- A bleeding disorder
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Pregabalin Warnings and PrecautionsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking pregabalin include:
- Pregabalin is a controlled substance, meaning that it has the potential to be abused. If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, it may not be the best medication for you (see Lyrica Abuse).
- As with most seizure medications, stopping pregabalin too quickly can increase your risk of seizures and other problems (see Lyrica Withdrawal).
- Pregabalin increases the risk of tumors in mice. It is not known if pregabalin increases the risk of tumors in humans.
- Make sure to see how pregabalin affects you before driving or operating any machinery, as pregabalin can cause drowsiness and dizziness. In general, you should avoid alcohol while taking pregabalin, due to the risk of increased drowsiness.
- Pregabalin can cause vision problems, especially blurred vision or double vision. Let your healthcare provider know if you notice vision problems while taking pregabalin.
- Pregabalin can cause weight gain (see Lyrica and Weight Gain). Let your healthcare provider know if you experience weight gain while taking pregabalin.
- Studies suggest that pregabalin increases the risk of fluid retention, especially in the arms, hands, legs, and feet. This can be a sign of congestive heart failure (especially if accompanied by difficulty breathing or chest pain). Fluid retention may also make congestive heart failure worse. Talk with your healthcare provider right away if you notice fluid retention. Rapid unexplained weight gain can be a sign of fluid retention.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you have muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, especially if you also have fatigue and a fever. These can be signs of a dangerous muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis.
- Pregabalin can cause low platelets (a certain type of blood cells), which can increase your risk of bleeding. Be sure to watch for any unusual bruising or bleeding during treatment with pregabalin.
- Studies suggest that pregabalin can cause an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Let your healthcare provider know if you have an arrhythmia.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you have kidney disease, as you may need a lower pregabalin dosage.
- Pregabalin can potentially interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Pregabalin).
- Pregabalin is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for pregnant women -- though the full risks of taking this drug during pregnancy are not known. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy (see Lyrica and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if pregabalin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Lyrica and Breastfeeding).
Early evidence suggests that seizure medications, including pregabalin, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors (see Seizure Medications and Suicide for more information).