Pregabalin, also sold under the brand name Lyrica, is an anticonvulsant medication that decreases pain signals from damaged nerves. It was initially approved to treat seizures, post-herpetic neuralgia and neuropathic pain. However, due to its versatile mechanism of action, it is also used in the treatment of various other conditions including generalised anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia and restless leg syndrome. This medication is the successor to gabapentin and was approved for medical use in 2004.
Pregabalin tablets are beneficial in the treatment of neuropathic pain, or nerve pain. This type of pain is caused by an injury or when a health condition damages nerves that transmit signals to the brain. It is a specific type of pain that is unlike other types of pain. The pain may come in sudden bursts or it can be a persistent sensation that happens all the time. It can also range in terms of severity from being mild and tolerable to intense and unbearable. Various terms are used to describe nerve pain including the following:
A patient's quality of life is significantly affected by nerve pain. This type of pain is often worse at night so it can interfere with sleep. In fact, patients with nerve pain tend to have long-lasting difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep. Sleep deprivation can worsen pain as it can lower a person's pain threshold. Furthermore, sleep deprivation can lead to emotional issues like anxiety and depression. On a positive note, pregabalin uses include the treatment of nerve pain. This medication disrupts pain messages that move through the nervous system and this prevents or reduces nerve pain.
Generalised anxiety disorder ( GAD ) is a condition that can be managed with the use of pregabalin tablets. GAD is characterised by continuous and long-term worrying, stress and nervousness. People with this condition tend to get overly anxious about various factors such as health, work, relationships or family issues. They have difficulty controlling their anxiety, despite the fact that they may realise that their worry is out of proportion to the circumstance. A diagnosis of GAD can be made if excessive worry and anxiety happens more often than not for at least 6 months. Indications of GAD include the following:
Many people with GAD avoid situations and have difficulty with daily routines when their anxiety levels are severe. With effective treatment, however, people with this condition can manage their anxiety and improve their quality of life. Various treatments can help with GAD including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as well as medication like pregabalin anxiety tablets. This medication is thought to produce its anxiolytic effects by acting on calcium channels in the central nervous system. As a result, the release of chemicals that make you feel anxious like glutamate and substance P are reduced.
Fibromyalgia is a common health problem that causes widespread pain throughout the body. It is a chronic or long-term condition that is characterised by a heightened sense of pain. People with fibromyalgia often describe it as a continuous muscle ache. The cause of this condition is unknown; however, the symptoms often start after emotional or physical trauma such as an injury, illness, or a stressful life event. These symptoms have been linked to modifications in the brain which affect how a person perceives pain. Common signs of fibromyalgia include:
Fibromyalgia can be effectively managed and pregabalin uses include the treatment of this condition as experts often recommend it. The FDA approved this medication for the treatment of fibromyalgia in June 2007. In clinical studies, pregabalin has been shown to significantly improve pain conditions associated with fibromyalgia within as little as one week. This medication can rapidly reduce pain, improve sleep and help you function better on a daily basis. It alleviates fibromyalgia pain by decreasing the number of nerve signals and this reduces the activity of highly sensitive nerve cells.
Pregabalin 300mg tablets can also be used in the treatment of restless leg syndrome (RLS). This condition causes uncomfortable feelings in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them. The symptoms are often worse during the night and this can make it difficult to sleep. This condition can lead to daytime fatigue and have a negative effect on mood. This, in turn, can reduce work productivity and affect personal relationships. On the upside, pregabalin has been shown to reduce the symptoms of RLS.
This medication can also be used in the treatment of seizures. A seizure is the result of abnormal electrical activity in the brain and the symptoms include loss of control and convulsing. The majority of seizure disorders can, however, be managed with medication and people can have fewer seizures or stop having them altogether. Pregabalin 300 mg tablets prevent unusual electrical activity in brain cells and this stops seizures when they are just beginning.
The use of this medication is safe for most people; however, its use should be avoided by certain groups of people. Do not take it if you have an allergy to pregabalin. In addition, the use of this medication is not recommended for women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Side effects may happen in a small percentage of people. They are usually mild and go away over the course of treatment. The following side effects are considered more common:
The dosage should be personalised according to your individual response to the medication as well as the condition being treated. The recommended commencement dosage is 150 mg taken in 2 or 3 divided doses. The dose can be increased gradually over a few days or weeks until you achieve the most suitable dose for your condition. The maximum daily dose is 600 mg per day. For best results, take this medication at regular times each day.
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Yes. There is no evidence to suggest that long-term use of this medication is unsafe. This medication is indicated for the treatment of chronic conditions and can be taken for several months or years.
When you decide to discontinue treatment, the dose should be tapered off gradually as this can reduce the chance of developing withdrawal symptoms. This can be done over a period of a few days or weeks.
No. You do not have to have epilepsy to benefit from the pain and anxiety-relieving effects of this medication. Many patients who only have neuropathic pain or generalised anxiety use this medication to treat their condition.
No. This medication works in different ways for each condition and has the following functions:
Pregabalin side effects such as sleepiness are more likely to happen if you take this medicine with strong opioid painkillers like oxycodone. The concurrent use of sedatives may also lead to an increased likelihood of drowsiness.
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CONTENT REVISED: 10 MARCH 2021
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Analgesics are commonly known as painkillers and they come in different forms such as tablets, capsules, gels, sprays, and patches. Painkillers were developed to cure or relief pain caused by a number of physical conditions.