Know the basics
What is pregabalin used for?
This medication is used to treat pain caused by nerve damage due to diabetes or to shingles (herpes zoster) infection. It may also be used to treat nerve pain caused by spinal cord injury. This medication is also used to treat pain in people with fibromyalgia.
It is also used with other medications to treat certain types of seizures (partial onset seizures).
How should I take pregabalin?
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 3 times a day with or without food. Dosage is based on your medical condition, kidney function, and response to treatment.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
To reduce your risk of side effects (such as dizziness and drowsiness), your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. This drug works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore it is best to take pregabalin at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day and night.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions (such as seizures) may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, nausea, headache and diarrhea. To prevent these symptoms while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Report any new or worsening symptoms immediately.
Along with its benefits, this medication may very rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
How do I store pregabalin?
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze. Different brands of this medication may have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Know the precautions & warnings
What should I know before using pregabalin?
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of pregabalin in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of pregabalin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects (eg, dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, or clumsiness), and age-related kidney problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving pregabalin.
Is it safe to take pregabalin during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C (There may be some risk).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk,
- B=No risk in some studies,
- C=There may be some risk,
- D=Positive evidence of risk,
Know the side effects
What are the side effects of pregabalin?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- Muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness (especially if you also have a fever and feel tired);
- Vision problems;
- Easy bruising or bleeding; or
- Swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain.
Less serious side effects may include:
- Dizziness, drowsiness;
- Loss of balance or coordination;
- Problems with memory or concentration;
- Breast swelling;
- Tremors; or
- Dry mouth, constipation.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Know the interactions
What drugs may interact with pregabalin?
Pregabalin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Does food or alcohol interact with pregabalin?
Pregabalin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
What health conditions may interact with pregabalin?
Pregabalin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Angioedema, history of or
- Congestive heart failure—May cause side effects to become worse. .
- Behavior changes, history of or
- Bleeding disorder or
- Depression, history of or
- Edema (fluid retention) or
- Heart rhythm problem (eg, prolonged PR interval) or
- Thrombocytopenia (low platelets in the blood)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Understand the dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Pregabalin.
What is the dose of Pregabalin for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Diabetic Neuropathy
Initial dose: 50 mg 3 times a day
The maximum recommended dose is 100 mg 3 times a day in patients with a creatinine clearance of at least 60 mL/min.
The dose may be increased to 100 mg 3 times a day within 1 week based on efficacy and tolerability.
Usual Adult Dose for Postherpetic Neuralgia
Initial dose: 75 mg 2 times a day or 50 mg 3 times a day in patients with a creatinine clearance of at least 60 mL/min
The dose may be increased to 100 mg 3 times a day within 1 week based on efficacy and tolerability.
Maximum dose: Patients who do not experience sufficient pain relief following 2 to 4 weeks of treatment with 300 mg/day and who are able to tolerate pregabalin, may be treated with up to 300 mg 2 times a day or 200 mg 3 times a day. Due to the dose-dependent adverse effects and the higher rate of treatment discontinuation due to adverse events, dosing above 300 mg/day should be reserved only for those patients who have ongoing pain and are tolerating 300 mg daily.
Usual Adult Dose for Epilepsy
Initial dose: 75 mg 2 times a day or 50 mg 3 times a day
Doses of 150 mg to 600 mg/day have been shown to be effective as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures. The total daily dose should be divided and given either 2 or 3 times a day.
Maximum dose: Based on individual patient response and tolerability, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 600 mg/day.
The efficacy of add-on pregabalin in patients taking gabapentin has not been evaluated in controlled trials. Therefore, dosing recommendations for the use of pregabalin with gabapentin cannot be offered.
Usual Adult Dose for Fibromyalgia
Initial dose: 75 mg two times a day (150 mg/day)
The dose may be increased to 150 mg two times a day (300 mg/day) within one week based on efficacy and tolerability.
Patients who do not experience sufficient benefit with 300 mg/day may be further increased to 225 mg two times a day (450 mg/day).
Recommended dose: 300 to 450 mg/day
Although pregabalin was also studied at 600 mg/day, there is no evidence that this dose confers additional benefit and this dose was less well tolerated. In view of the dose-dependent adverse reactions, treatment with doses above 450 mg/day is not recommended.
Usual Adult Dose for Neuropathic Pain
For neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury:
Initial dose: 75 mg 2 times a day
The dose may be increased to 150 mg 2 times a day within 1 week based on efficacy and tolerability.
Doses of 150 mg to 600 mg/day have been shown to be effective as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury. The total daily dose should be divided.
Maximum dose: Patients who do not experience sufficient pain relief following 2 to 3 weeks of treatment with 150 mg 2 times a day and who are able to tolerate pregabalin, may be treated with up to 300 mg 2 times a day. Because pregabalin is eliminated primarily by renal excretion, the dose should be adjusted in patients with reduced renal function.
What is the dose of Pregabalin for a child?
Safety and effectiveness have not been established in pediatric patients (less than 18 years of age).
How is Pregabalin available?
Pregabalin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
Capsules: 25 mg; 50 mg; 75 mg; 100 mg; 150 mg; 200 mg; 225 mg; 300 mg
Solution, oral: 20 mg/mL
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Pregabalin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Pregabalin. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-93954/pregabalin-oral/details#side-effects . Accessed July 26, 2016.
Pregabalin. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/pregabalin.html. Accessed July 26, 2016.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017