Lyrica is prescribed mainly for the treatment of nerve pain caused by spinal cord injury, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, and postherpetic neuralgia in adults. The medicine is not approved to treat children with epilepsy or nerve pain associated with the other conditions mentioned above; you should talk with your healthcare provider about using the medicine in children. Off-label Lyrica uses can include the treatment of moderate pain (such as after a dental procedure) and anxiety.
What Is Lyrica Used For? -- An OverviewLyrica® (pregabalin) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of the following conditions:
- Diabetic peripheral neuropathy -- Lyrica is used to treat the nerve pain associated with this condition
- Epilepsy -- Lyrica is used along with other seizure medications to treat a certain type of seizures called partial seizures
- Fibromyalgia -- Lyrica is helpful for relieving fibromyalgia pain
- Postherpetic neuralgia -- Lyrica can be used to treat nerve pain that occurs after an outbreak of shingles
- Nerve pain caused by spinal cord injury.
Lyrica and Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve disorder caused by diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy is most likely to occur in people who have had diabetes for several years. In fact, keeping your blood sugar under control can be a very effective way to prevent diabetic neuropathy (see Diabetic Neuropathy Prevention). There are several different types of diabetic neuropathy, and Lyrica is approved to treat a specific type called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This type of diabetic neuropathy damages nerves in the legs and arms. The feet and legs are likely to be affected before the hands and arms. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include:
- Numbness or insensitivity to pain or temperature
- Sharp pains or cramps
- A tingling, burning, or prickling sensation
- Extreme sensitivity to touch -- even a light touch
- Loss of balance and coordination.
Lyrica and Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a brain condition that occurs when there are sudden, brief changes in how the brain's electrical system works. These changes in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms). Depending on which part of the brain is affected, a seizure may affect the person's consciousness, body movements, emotions, or senses (taste, touch, smell, vision, or hearing).
Some people may have only a single seizure during their lives, and one seizure does not mean that a person has epilepsy (see Seizures and Epilepsy). In fact, the term epilepsy refers to a number of different kinds of unprovoked, recurring seizures that happen for a number of different reasons.
In over half of all cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known. When the cause of epilepsy is known, it may be one of the following:
- Other medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease
- Head trauma
- A brain tumor or brain infection, such as meningitis
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Genetics (see Genes and Epilepsy).
There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. These seizures are generally classified into two main categories -- partial seizures (also known as focal seizures) and generalized seizures. Partial seizures occur in just one part of the brain. About 60 percent of people with epilepsy have partial seizures.