lyrica nacrotic

Is Lyrica a Narcotic?

Muscular pain, epilepsy, and nerve pain can all be effectively treated by certain medications. Lyrica is one such drug, however, some individuals allege that it is a narcotic. Is this really the case? 

Pregabalin, the generic form of Lyrica, is used to limit the amount of signals sent by nerves, particularly when they have become damaged. It is often used to treat problems with the spinal cord. Additionally, this drug is employed to help control neuropathic pain, seizures associated with epilepsy, and general anxiety, including restlessness. Lyrica is not a cure, but it can help to alleviate the symptoms of these medical issues.

This particular medication is available in multiple forms, including tablets, liquids, and capsules. It also comes in a sustained-release version, which can provide long-lasting effects. Generally, it is recommended to take the medication twice daily, with the extended-release being taken once a day, typically after dinner. Clinical data has indicated that it may take some time to see the full benefits of lyrica, and it may be necessary to take it for an extended period. It is important to have a conversation with your doctor if you experience any adverse reactions, as this drug can be habit-forming.

It is important to make your treating physician aware of any allergies you may have, particularly in relation to lyrica or pregabalin. Additionally, your doctor should be informed of any other medications you are taking before beginning a course of lyrica. It is possible for lyrica to interact with antihistamines, antidepressants, sleeping pills, stress relieving drugs, and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. These interactions are particularly common with drugs like captopril, benazepril, and perindopril.

Before taking lyrica, it is important to discuss any prior medical issues with your doctor. This includes cardiac disorders, vision issues, blood-related conditions, respiratory difficulties, etc. Taking the drug may cause dizziness, so it is best to avoid activities that require a high level of mental alertness, like operating heavy machinery or driving. If you suffer from mental disorders, depression, bipolar diseases, or anger management problems, it is advised to speak with both your therapist and physician. Elderly people may be at a higher risk than younger patients.

It is suggested that you should not drink alcohol while taking lyrica. Furthermore, if you are considering becoming pregnant, are already pregnant, or are nursing a baby, you should inform your physician. There is no specific dietary advice; however, it is recommended that you consult with a dietician for any dietary modifications.

Some people don’t consider lyrica an opioid or a narcotic. Instead, it is a type of anticonvulsant medication.

Some Individuals Have Asserted That it is a Narcotic, But Why?

The use of lyrica can be habit forming, and it has been known to cause depression in some patients. In severe cases, suicidal thoughts have been seen to develop within the first week of taking the medication. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to take necessary action if any symptoms such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, nervousness, or panic arise. If suicidal thoughts or actions occur, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately.

Though clinical studies haven’t yet fully explored the side effects of ceasing lyrica, physicians suggest tapering off the medicine gradually. Unanticipated quitting of the drug has been known to provoke withdrawal symptoms, such as, irregular heartbeat, problems sleeping, vertigo, increased irritability, serious headaches, dizziness, etc.

Thus, your doctor may commence the lyrica dosage at the minimal level potential. Additionally, the treating doctor may recommend a more detailed medical review of your progress, in particular when lyrica is taken in combination with an opioid drug.

What are the Other Options?

It should be noted that lyrica is considered an anticonvulsant. Alternatives that can be found over-the-counter are generally used for pain relief. These products have limited effects to reduce inflammation. OTC drugs such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are popularly used for headaches and fevers.

Your doctor might suggest alternatives like duloxetine or gabapentin. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), lyrica and its substitutes (previously mentioned) are categorized as non-narcotic or non-opioid medications. These provide relief from nerve and muscle pains. Additionally, other possibilities include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like celecoxib. Besides NSAIDs, corticosteroids such as methylprednisolone, prednisolone, etc can be given.

You can also try natural alternatives like ginger, foods packed with magnesium, and vitamin D supplements.

The caregiver of the patient taking lyrica (spouse, parent, or nurse) must be informed of the potential side effects and withdrawal symptoms. It is suggested that the patient information guide (medication sheet) provided by the manufacturer is read every time a refill is requested. Professional assistance should be sought when necessary, and in cases of emergency, 911 should be called.


Lyrica is a non-opioid and nonnarcotic medication that is given to people who have muscular or nerve pains. However, it has been linked to depression and suicidal behavior (both ideation and attempts) in certain patients. Therefore, it is essential that this drug is tapered off instead of being stopped suddenly. Therefore, it is suggested that you consult your doctor before taking Lyrica.

Your physician can provide necessary explanations regarding the application of lyrica for your health problem. Furthermore, it is encouraged to discuss the potential side effects – particularly the withdrawal and depression symptoms. If your doctor explains why lyrica is the optimal choice to address convulsions and associated distress, you may go ahead with the treatment and medication protocol.

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