HeadMeds gives young people in the United Kingdom general information about medication. HeadMeds does not give you medical advice. Please talk to your Doctor or anyone else who is supporting you about your own situation because everyone is different. Please read more important details about our site.

Waitingroom original

Pregabalin

Return to Pregabalin overview
  1. Use and Action
  2. Warnings and side effects
  3. Sex, drink, weight and everything else
Katy prior propranolol listing
Taking Propranolol for anxiety: Katy’s story
Changing medication can be scary, especially when you don't know what the consequences will be

You can drink alcohol while taking pregabalin, but it could make you very sleepy

  • You can continue to drink alcohol while taking pregabalin but having the two together might make you very sleepy.
  • So, during the first few days, it might be best to stop drinking alcohol until you see how the medicine affects you.
  • If you want to drink alcohol, remember that you might be sleepy and make sure you can get home safely.

Do not drive a car or ride a bike just after you start taking pregabalin

  • Taking pregabalin may make you feel tired or dizzy, and may affect your eyesight and your balance, when you start taking it.
  • This could affect you if you drive a car, ride a bike, or do anything else that needs a lot of focus or good balance. It might be best to stop doing these things for the first few days, until you know how it affects you.
  • Do not worry - most people do these things as normal while taking pregabalin.

Try not to take pregabalin for the first time just before your exams

  • Taking pregabalin may make you feel tired or dizzy, and may affect your eyesight and your memory, when you start taking it.
  • You should talk to your doctor about any future exams if you are starting pregabalin.
  • You might decide together to delay starting it until you have done them.
  • If they are more than a month away, however, you might find that it is better to start pregabalin to improve your motivation to study.
  • Do not worry - most people do all these things as normal while taking pregabalin.

Pregabalin can make it hard to concentrate 

  • Pregabalin can cause dizziness and confusion, and make it more difficult to pay attention to things and remember things.
  • After the first few days you will know how it affects you.
  • These effects should get better over time.

Pregabalin is not a banned substance in sport

  • Pregabalin is not a banned substance in sport.
  • However, it can affect your vision, your concentration and your balance.
  • This could cause problems in sports like gymnastics and riding a bike.
  • Do not do sports that need a lot of focus and balance until you see how pregabalin affects you.
  • Do not worry - most people do all these things as normal while taking pregabalin.

Your weight can be affected by pregabalin

  • A side-effect of pregabalin can be an increased appetite and weight gain.
  • Talk to your doctor about this if it worries you.
  • Young people with diabetes who put weight on during treatment with pregabalin may need to change their diabetes medicine dose – see your doctor if this applies to you.

Pregabalin may affect your sleep

  • Pregabalin may make it difficult for you to get to sleep when you start taking it, and you may have strange dreams.
  • It can also make you feel very sleepy.
  • See how it affects you in the first few days – if you feel like a zombie and it is not getting better, go back to your doctor.

Let your family and friends know you are taking pregabalin so they can support you and help you look out for side effects

  • The side-effects of pregabalin might put a strain on your friendships and relationships, especially in the first few days of taking it.
  • For example, you might feel extremely happy, or you might be irritated by everything.
  • These side-effects should get better after a few days.
  • You should then be getting the good effects of pregabalin, and that should improve your relationships in itself.
  • It might actually be a great idea to choose a good friend to tell about your medicine when you start taking it. (Or - even better - to take a friend with you to the doctor before you start taking the medicine!)
  • They could look at the medicine leaflet, or at this website.
  • They could help you to understand whether the medicine changes your behaviour, or gives you side-effects (sometimes it is hard for us to see it ourselves).

Pregabalin can have side-effects that might affect your sex life

The good effects of pregabalin may have a good effect on your sex life as your symptoms settle and you can concentrate on your relationships.

There are some side-effects that include:

  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting an erection (hard-on) or coming for men
  • Changes in periods for women, either being heavy and painful or not having any altogether
  • Breast pain or slight growth in men or women

Some of the other physical or emotional effects may make you feel less sexy.

These effects should pass after the first couple of weeks. If they do not, and this is a problem for you, go back to the doctor and see what else you could try.

We do not think pregabalin affects fertility

  • There is nothing to suggest that pregabalin causes any problems with fertility

You need good contraception when you are taking pregabalin. Do not take pregabalin if you are trying to get pregnant. 

  • Pregabalin is not seen as a major problem but two studies show a slight increase in the risk of malformations.
  • The risk seems to be about 16% higher but is affected by any other medicines you may be taking.
  • If you do become pregnant while you are on pregabalin, you should carry on taking the medicine and go back to your doctor as soon as possible, to see if you should change or stop your medicine.

If you and your partner are trying to have a baby, you should go back to the doctor to see if you need another medicine.

  • If you agree - with your doctor - to carry on taking pregabalin, you should tell your midwife that you are taking it as well.

Pregabalin is passed to the baby in breastmilk

  • Pregabalin is passed in small amounts to the baby in breast milk. There should be no reason why you can’t breastfeed if you have a healthy full term baby.
  • Please talk to your midwife, doctor or pharmacist if you want to breastfeed while taking pregabalin.