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Lyrica Addiction

Lyrica, a relatively new drug, has already been prescribed to over 5 million patients in the U.S. It has quickly become the 19th most popular prescription drug in U.S.  It earns more than $3 billion annually for the manufacturer, Pfizer. Lyrica was originally developed to treat seizures and has since evolved into a treatment for pain control. Lyrica is addictive because in addition to relieving pain the user also can experience sense of euphoria, a high.

Lyrica Uses

The active ingredient in Lyrica is pregabalin which works as an anti-seizure medication and slows down impulses in the brain. This affects the chemicals that control pain impulses throughout the nervous system.

Lyrica is not a cure for any medical condition; rather, it works to lessen pain in a variety of medical conditions including:

  • Partial seizure disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Diabetes
  • Shingles
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Migraine headaches
  • Post-operative pain
  • General anxiety disorder; not FDA-approved for this use
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
These chronic medical conditions require long-term pain control, which is where Lyrica enters the plan of care.

Lyrica Effects

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classify Lyrica as a Schedule V Controlled Substance. The drug is legal by prescription only and can become habit-forming.

Users describe the effects of Lyrica as being similar to those of Valium or diazepam, although the drugs are not related. Of the people who take Lyrica, 4 to 12 percent experience a high. Abusers also report a sedating effect, loss of coordination and blurred vision.

Who’s Abusing Lyrica?

Patients who take Lyrica for long-term pain control develop a tolerance for the drug. This can lead increased dosing to experience the same high. Taking higher doses of Lyrica leads to physical dependence.

Lyrica, being a legally prescribed drug, is often stored in the family medicine cabinet. This easy access leads to misuse and abuse of the drug by susceptible family members, including teens. Patients who have a history of previous alcohol and drug abuse are at a greater risk of abusing Lyrica.

Lyrica Side Effects

Lyrica side effects should be reported to and monitored by your physician. They can include:

  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of hands and ankles
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Speech problems
  • Muscle twitching
  • Fast heart rate
  • Chills
  • Trouble breathing

Long-term risks

  • Addiction
  • The need to take Lyrica even when it is not working for the intended purpose
  • Withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped

Lyrica should never not be mixed with alcohol, street drugs or other medications that affect the nervous system like sedatives, antihistamines, tranquilizers, narcotic pain medication.

Withdrawing  from Lyrica

Patients should not stop taking Lyrica abruptly and should consult with a doctor before stopping this drug. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Tingling sensations

Lyrica is addictive and can causes physical dependence and warrants the close surveillance of a qualified physician.

 

 

 

 

 


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