PregabalinReturn to Pregabalin overview
It feels like being really tired all the time...but it makes me feel less emotional
Whilst taking pregabalin some people may think about hurting themselves or have suicidal thoughts. This can happen to anyone, including people who are under 25.
These thoughts may happen or get worse in the first few weeks of taking the medicine. Always tell a friend or a family member if you feel this way.
If you have ever had thoughts about hurting yourself or had suicidal thoughts before starting the medicine, you could feel like this again when you start the medicine. Tell your doctor so that everyone can watch for this happening.
You must go straight to hospital with your medicine if you have any of these thoughts. You must tell the doctor that you are taking pregabalin. There are other things you can take instead.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist before you take pregabalin if you have any of these conditions
You need to talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have, or have ever had:
- Problems with your kidneys or liver
- Regular constipation (difficulty going to the toilet for a poo)
- Problems with your heart
- Problems with controlling your use of alcohol or drugs
- Fits (seizures)
- Problems with your eyesight
Pregabalin has some important side effects - if they happen they can be serious
Go to a doctor or hospital straight away if you get any of the following symptoms:
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Any patches of skin rash, including red skin peeling off
Contact a doctor straight away if you get any of the following symptoms:
- Fits (seizures)
- Problems with your eyesight (blurred vision or blindness)
Some side-effects that do appear should get better after a few days. If they do not, you should go back to your doctor
Some side-effects of pregabalin may – strangely - seem like other mental health symptoms. Some side-effects here are also the opposites of each other. The balance of chemicals in the brain is very fragile, and hard to control! If they do not get better after a few days on the medicine, go back to the doctor.
Do not stop taking the tablets until you talk to your doctor, or you may get withdrawal symptoms as well.
Very common side effects (could affect more than 1 in 10 people)
- Feeling sleepy
Common side effects (could affect up to 1 in 10 people)
- Increased appetite
- Weight gain
- Feeling very happy
- Feeling confused or disorientated
- Less interest in having sex, and difficulty getting an erection for men
- Feeling irritable, odd (not like your normal self), clumsy and tired
- Difficulty paying attention to things
- Forgetting things
- Shaking (tremor)
- Speaking problems
- Feeling drunk, or walking in a strange way
- Tingling or numb feelings
- Having trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Blurred vision, double vision
- Vertigo (Feeling like things around you are moving or spinning, when they are not)
- Problems with balance, which may lead to falls
- Dry mouth or sore throat
- Constipation (difficulty having a poo) and passing extra wind
- Feeling sick and being sick
- Having a bloated or swollen gut
- Swelling of the body, including fingers and toes
- Muscle cramps, joint pains, back pain, pain in arms and legs
There are other side-effects that you can get when taking this medicine – we have only included the most common ones here.
- Please look at the leaflet inside your medicine box, or ask a doctor or pharmacist, if you want to know if you are getting a side-effect from your medicine.
- If you do get a side-effect, please think about reporting it via the Yellow Card scheme
Pregabalin does not mix well with a few medicines and drugs
Pregabalin mixes well with most medicines, but always talk to the doctor if you are taking other medicines with pregabalin.
Tell the pharmacist you are taking pregabalin if you buy medicines (including things you put on your skin) for common illnesses.
Be careful if you are also using street drugs
We do not know how pregabalin mixes with street drugs.
- It will probably make the drowsy effect of any other drug worse.
- Pregabalin can be addictive in its own right. Do not pass on your medicines to anyone else
Stopping this medicine quickly, or reducing the dose too much at once, may cause your old symptoms to come back, or withdrawal symptoms. You can stop taking it safely with your doctor’s help
- You will probably get uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if you stop pregabalin suddenly. It is better to agree stopping with a doctor who will reduce you gradually.
- These symptoms can be worse if you have been taking a high dose of pregabalin or have been taking it for a long time.
- Although pregabalin is misused this does not mean you are addicted to the medicine - just that your brain has become used to it to control the levels of chemicals there.
Some of the symptoms you might get include:
- dizziness or headaches
- not being able to sleep
- feeling anxious or nervous
- feeling sick, or having loose poo (diarrhoea)
- sweating a lot
- low mood (feeling depressed)
- flu-like symptoms
- feeling pain
- having fits (seizures)
Go and speak to your doctor if you have missed a few doses or have decided to stop taking your medication. If you slowly reduce your medication, withdrawal symptoms are less likely to occur.
Withdrawal symptoms should stop within 2 weeks. If they do not, or they are stopping you getting on with your life, you might need the help of a doctor.
If you agree with your doctor to stop the medicine, you will reduce your dose gradually over some weeks. This will lessen your chance of getting withdrawal symptoms.