Lyrica is a name-brand medication prescribed to those who suffer from seizures and various disorders that cause chronic pain.
Uses for Lyrica
Lyrica (Pregabalin) is a medication that can be used to control pain and provide relief for those who have various chronic conditions. It is prescribed by medical doctors for fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, spinal cord injury nerve pain, and shingles pain. It may also be used for treating “partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy”. It has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the onset of seizures.1 The drug is considered to be an anticonvulsant and anti-epileptic drug; however, it also “affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals” throughout the body. This is why it is also prescribed for neuralgia and other long-term pain disorders.2 Lyrica is the first FDA-approved drug for treating fibromyalgia. In the past, fibromyalgia has been only treated with muscle relaxers, sleep medications, antidepressants, NSAIDs, and pain medications. In this disorder, patients have “heightened sensitivity to stimuli” that may not be perceived as painful to other people. Clinical trials have shown its effectiveness for fibromyalgia.3
Side Effects of Lyrica
The general side effects of Lyrica include drowsiness, dizziness, tremors, dry mouth, constipation, loss of balance, or poor memory and concentration. More serious effects include vision problems, bruising and bleeding, weight gain, swelling in the feet and hands, and muscle pain and weakness. Some medications interact with Lyrica, including Avandia (rosiglitazone), and some heart and blood pressure medications. Patients should not drink alcohol while on this medication.4 Patients with a history of drug and alcohol abuse may misuse this medication. The drug may also interfere with antihistamines, barbiturates, Parkinson’s and diabetes medications, anti-anxiety medications (i.e., Valium, Xanax), pain medications (morphine, codeine), and tricyclic anti-depressants. Some patients may have allergic reactions to Lyrica, such as hypersensitivity, rash, hives, swelling, trouble breathing, blisters, and angioedema.5 It is very important, also, that patients report if they have suicidal thoughts while on this medication, as well as depression and anxiety symptoms, insomnia, hostility, or hyperactivity. For patients wishing to stop taking Lyrica, there can be withdrawal symptoms or increased seizures. A doctor needs to be consulted for changing the dosage of the medicine.6
Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia
Chiropractic care is commonly used for fibromyalgia. It can be used to “treat pain of pressure points, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, (and) headaches”. The body is self-healing, and chiropractic adjustments can increase mobility, cervical range of motion, and align the patient’s spinal vertebrae. Swedish, deep tissue, and myofascial release massage can also be helpful to those suffering from fibromyalgia. Some patients may benefit from acupuncture for their fibromyalgia pain. Patients may experience an endorphin release, and their brain chemistry may even be altered by acupuncture. Other alternative treatments can include herbal medicine, meditation, and biofeedback for conditions that cause chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia.7
Find out more ways chiropractic treats fibromyalgia.