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.

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Pregabalin

Return to Pregabalin overview
  1. Use and Action
  2. Warnings and side effects
  3. Sex, drink, weight and everything else
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Pregabalin can be used to treat the following conditions

Headmeds fills the medicines information gaps for young people - things you might want to know about meds like will it affect my sex life? Can I still study?  Can I drink?
Headmeds does not give medical advice so this is just general information.
Each medicine has a balance of good and bad effects, and each person gets their own individual effects.
You might want to know just one thing about your medicine, but on each page we have given you the ‘safety headlines’. Please read them as they are important.
We have included lots of information about each medicine - but if you want all the details, please look at the patient information leaflet - which is inside every pack. These leaflets are also at www.medicines.org.uk - where there will be the most up-to-date information.

Safety headlines

  • If you have taken more pregabalin than it said on the label, you must see a doctor quickly – even if you do not feel any different.
  • Whilst taking pregabalin, some people may think about hurting themselves or committing suicide. You must go straight to hospital with your tablets if you have any of these thoughts.
  • Pregabalin can also cause other serious side-effects: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing, swelling of your face or throat, patchy skin rashes), and other serious symptoms that you can find here. Go to a hospital if you get any of these symptoms, with your medicine.
  • Pregabalin does not mix well with some other medicines and drugs.
  • Stopping pregabalin suddenly can cause serious side-effects – go to your doctor if you want to stop, or if you are having these effects.
  • You might feel sleepy or dizzy in the first few days after taking pregabalin – do not drive a car, ride a bike or operate machines until you see how this affects you.
  • If you take pregabalin while you are pregnant, it may affect the developing baby. Use good contraception while you are taking pregabalin. Talk to your doctor or midwife about this and get their help.

Basic details

All of the capsules contain gelatine, and some brands contain lactose. The Lyrica oral solution contains a small amount of alcohol. All oral solutions contain some additives that can cause allergies.

  • The capsules contain gelatine. Some brands contain lactose.
  • The Lyrica oral solution contains a small amount of alcohol in the strawberry flavour that will not affect your blood alcohol level.
  • The oral solutions also contains methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218) and propyl parahydroxybenzoate (E216) which may cause allergic reactions – these reactions could develop a while after you have taken it.

Pregabalin can be used for a number of conditions

  • Pregabalin is used for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
  • Pregabalin also helps people with epilepsies and nerve pain.

Pregabalin can help to adjust the levels of stimulating chemicals in your brain

The brain is usually good at making sure we have enough of the chemicals we need to function properly, and keeping them in balance.

  • Pregabalin is is related to the calming brain chemical Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA).
  • It reduces the release of brain chemicals that have a stimulating effect.

You should take pregabalin as agreed with your doctor

  • Make sure that you know your dose. If it is not written on the label, check it with your pharmacist or doctor.
  • You may have to take it two or three times a day.
  • Your doctor may start you on a small dose but then increase it slowly each week over 2-3 weeks.
  • It does not matter what time you take it each day – choose times that you can always remember. This could be at mealtimes, or when you brush your teeth.
  • You can take it before or after food.
  • Swallow the capsule whole, with a drink of water – if you chew it, the taste of the ingredients will be unpleasant.
  • If you are using the oral solution you may have to use a special syringe and stopper for the bottle to get your exact dose
  • Please read the instructions on the leaflet in the box and talk to your pharmacist to help you get it right.

If you forget to take a dose then just take it as soon as possible

What to do if you miss a dose:

  • If you remember, take it as soon as possible.
  • If you forget to take it by the time your next dose is due, just miss it out and start again with the next dose.
  • Do not take a double dose.

What might happen?

  • If you forget to take your medicine for a few days, you may start feeling anxious again, and you could have a fit (seizure). This means that you should talk to your doctor about it quickly.

You must go to A&E if you take too much

What to do if you take too much:

  • If you have taken more pregabalin than it said on the label, you must get help quickly – even if you do not feel any different.
  • Go to A&E. Take your medicine with you, to show to the doctors. Tell them how much you have taken.
  • Get a friend to go with you, if you can, just in case you feel ill on the way.

You might get any of the following signs:

  • Feeling sleepy, confused, agitated, or restless

It can take a little time for pregabalin to start helping with anxiety

  • In most clinical trials, the researchers saw people getting relief from the symptoms of anxiety by week 4 after starting pregabalin

Many people take pregabalin for some months

You and your doctor should talk about how long you need to take pregabalin.

  • You may start to get some effects after a week, but the dose often has to be built up.
  • If you take pregabalin for anxiety you will probably take it for some months - otherwise your old symptoms can come back.

Reference sources

Search www.medicines.org.uk to find patient information leaflets and prescribing information on pregabalin. There are many manufacturers of the capsules but only two make the liquid. The SmPC lists all the inactive ingredients in the product so you can check against any allergies. If you are still unsure about this then speak to your pharmacist.

  • British National Formulary (BNF) and British National Formulary for children. Download the BNF/BNFC app (blue background) on to your mobile device. No longer available for public access via the web 
  • Taylor D, Barnes T, Young A. Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry, 13th edition. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, May 2018. ISBN: 978-1-119-44260-8
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Medicines Ethics and Practice (42nd edition). London: RPS, 2018. Standards for pharmacists to work to. It is not a free publication
  • World Anti Doping Agency WADA Prohibited List https://www.wada-ama.org/en/resources/science-medicine/prohibited-list-documents 
  • Choiceandmedication; an independent source of information on many mental health conditions and their medicines with easy to read fact sheets www.choiceandmedication.org Personal subscriptions to download the app available for £1 per month (with proportionate discounts for longer periods) but your local mental health Trust may subscribe and provide information sheets for free.
  • Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPS). Information sheets on drugs in pregnancy http://www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/ 
  • Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Information on drugs in breastfeeding https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/lactmed.htm