Lyrica Precautions and Warnings
Before starting a new drug, it is important to understand the risks involved in taking it. With Lyrica, precautions and warnings include being aware of possible drug interactions, the risk of side effects (such as vision problems) in some people who take the drug, and those who shouldn't take it at all (such as those who are allergic to any component used to make Lyrica).
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Heart disease, especially congestive heart failure (CHF)
- An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- A bleeding disorder
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Lyrica include:
- Lyrica is a controlled substance, meaning that it has the potential to be abused. If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, it may not be the best medication for you (see Lyrica Abuse).
- As with most seizure medications, stopping Lyrica too quickly can increase your risk of seizures and other problems (see Lyrica Withdrawal).
- Lyrica increases the risk of tumors in mice. It is not known if Lyrica increases the risk of tumors in humans.
- Make sure to see how Lyrica affects you before driving or operating any machinery, as Lyrica can cause drowsiness and dizziness. In general, you should avoid alcohol while taking Lyrica, due to the risk of increased drowsiness.
- Lyrica can cause vision problems, especially blurred vision or double vision. Let your healthcare provider know if you notice vision problems while taking Lyrica.
- Lyrica can cause weight gain (see Lyrica and Weight Gain). Let your healthcare provider know if you experience weight gain while taking Lyrica.
- Studies suggest that Lyrica increases the risk of fluid retention, especially in the arms, hands, legs, and feet. This can be a sign of congestive heart failure (especially if accompanied by difficulty breathing or chest pain). Fluid retention may also make congestive heart failure worse. Talk with your healthcare provider right away if you notice fluid retention. Rapid unexplained weight gain can be a sign of fluid retention.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you have muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, especially if you also have fatigue and a fever. These can be signs of a dangerous muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis.
- Lyrica can cause low platelets (a certain type of blood cells), which can increase your risk of bleeding. While you are taking Lyrica, be sure to watch for any unusual bruising or bleeding.
- Studies suggest that Lyrica can cause an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Let your healthcare provider know if you have an arrhythmia.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you have kidney disease, as you may need a lower Lyrica dosage.
- Lyrica can interact with certain other medications (see Lyrica Drug Interactions).
- Lyrica is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for pregnant women -- though the full risks of taking this drug during pregnancy are not known. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy (see Lyrica and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if Lyrica passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Lyrica and Breastfeeding).
Early evidence suggests that seizure medications, including Lyrica, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors (see Seizure Medications and Suicide for more information).