Pros: Works for me to calm pain and tingling in my legs
Cons: There can be side effects...weight gain for some
I've debated about writing this review since I first saw there was a category for Lyrica a few weeks ago, but decided to go ahead and tell my story but will try to keep it short.
I had my first back surgery 6 years ago it was a fusion for the spinal stenosis I had, causing two of my vertebrae to collapse on each other long story short, it was a long recovery but a complete recovery, leaving me with some titanium rods, held in place by some nuts and bolts My hubby calls me Bionic woman anyway, I really felt fine for about 2-3 years afterwards, I was back walking 3-4 miles a day and swimming like a fiend then, one day I suddenly had some sharp pains in both my thighs just mostly on the sides of my knees both inside and out these pains were accompanied by tingling which started driving me crazy at times the pain was so bad I described it as if I was being stabbed in the leg with a knife or scissors .
So I went to a Neurosurgeon where I had all sorts of tests, for MS, ALS and a few other conditions I can't remember the diagnosis was Peripheral Neuropathy caused by nerve damage during my surgery. So who knew?
At first I was given Vicodin and a drug called Neurontin which didn't seem to help much, the Vicodin helped the severe pain but the tingling and stabbing just subsided a little bit I used Lidoderm patches on my legs and that seemed to help a bit but only to calm down the symptoms, not take them away I also gained some weight which wasn't something I was happy with.
Then one day I got a call from a friend of mine who had some problems of her own regarding some nerve pain she told me her Doctor had put her on a new drug called Lyrica, and she felt relief in just a short amount of time...so I called my Doctor and he said he would give me some samples to see if it would help me but first, I had to wean off the Neurontin,(I had been taking 6 a day), which is what I did...Then I started taking the Lyrica and noticed a difference within a few days, not that all the pain and tingling went away immediately but I really felt better.
I had to have some more back surgery last year but continued on the Lyrica throughout and never had that horrible stabbing pain again in my legs during or after that recovery, though I do have numbing in my left leg and an occasional little sharp tinge just to remind me that all is not perfect But I can live with that still that weight thing is difficult. Tonight I just went on to a message board website where everyone posting mentioned they have gained weight since taking this drug, from 10 to 30 lbs or more thankfully I've not gained that much.
Lyrica is now advertised on TV for Fibromyalgia, and has been used to treat Diabetic Neuropathy as well as for seizures and for the pain of shingles, so it's a heavy drug and I'm not happy that I have to take it for the pain I have from that damage to those sensory nerves...but, it seems to work for me and the pain is livable....thankfully, no longer what is called chronic pain.
There are many warnings when using this drug and side effects though I don't seem to be adversely affected the way some people are it doesn't make me sleepy or loopy which is a complaint I've heard often in my reading and talking to others.
I'm writing this as someone who has had some experience using Lyrica, not as a physician or scientist...I do know it's an expensive drug, the highest priced drug using my insurance co-pay at $28.00 a month without insurance, it can be quite higher, but for me and the relief it affords me, well worth it..besides, I get samples every so often from my Doctor
Do I recommend Lyrica? The answer to that question is iffy but would have to be yes, at least to try it, if you or someone you know have had similar experiences or pain that hasn't gone away with more established medications,... I would recommend talking it over with your Doctor, because you never know, relief might be in that little red and white capsule
I take 75 mg twice a day...it is an easy to swallow capsule
For Those Interested in Further Details:
Information from the Pfizer website:
Neuropathic pain is chronic pain that arises from damage to sensory nerves.
It can include:
Pain arising from trapped or compressed nerves
Drug-induced nerve damage
Phantom limb syndrome following limb amputation
Neuropathic pain generally does not respond to treatment with opioid or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). At high doses gabapentin has proven effective against neuropathic pain induced by diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia. Data from clinical studies show that Lyrica (pregabalin) shares this analgesic effectiveness. Efficacy has been demonstrated in a number of clinical studies, including those in patients with diabetic neuropathy and fibromyalgia. Treatment of neuropathic pain is seen as the drug's leading indication.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled monotherapy study in 529 patients with fibromyalgia, for example, showed that eight weeks' treatment with Lyrica (pregabalin) 150mg to 450mg per day produced significantly greater reductions in pain compared with placebo as well as improving sleep quality and fatigue.
Pain, sleep disturbances and fatigue are core symptoms of fibromyalgia, which has proved an extremely difficult condition to treat.