What is pregabalin? Pregabalin is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures. Pregabalin also affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system. Pregabalin is used to treat pain caused by fibromyalgia, or nerve pain in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), herpes zoster (post-herpetic neuralgia), or spinal cord injury. Pregabalin is also used with other medications to treat partial onset seizures in adults and children who are at least 1 month old. Pregabalin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Warnings. Pregabalin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking pregabalin and seek emergency medical help if you have hives or blisters on your skin, trouble breathing, or swelling in your face, mouth, or throat. Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking pregabalin. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor. If you have diabetes or heart problems, call your doctor if you have weight gain or swelling in your hands or feet while taking pregabalin. Do not stop using pregabalin suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms. Before taking this medicine, you should not use pregabalin if you are allergic to it.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
- a mood disorder, depression, or suicidal thoughts;
- heart problems (especially congestive heart failure);
- a bleeding disorder, or low levels of platelets in your blood;
- kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
- diabetes (unless you are taking pregabalin to treat diabetic neuropathy);
- drug or alcohol addiction; or
- a severe allergic reaction (angioedema).
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
Pregabalin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old to treat nerve pain caused by fibromyalgia, diabetes, herpes zoster, or spinal cord injury. Pregabalin is not approved for seizures in anyone younger than 1 month old.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking pregabalin. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Seizure control is very important during pregnancy, and having a seizure could harm both mother and baby. Do not start or stop taking pregabalin without your doctor’s advice, and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of pregabalin on the baby.
Pregabalin can decrease sperm count and may affect fertility in men (your ability to have children). In animal studies, pregabalin also caused birth defects in the offspring of males treated with this medicine. However, it is not known whether these effects would occur in humans. Ask your doctor about your risk.
You should not breastfeed while using pregabalin.