What is pregabalin?
Pregabalin is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures. Pregabalin also affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system.
Pregabalin is used to control seizures and to treat fibromyalgia. It is also used to treat pain caused by nerve damage in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) or herpes zoster (post-herpetic neuralgia).
Pregabalin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about pregabalin?
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, insomnia, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
If you are taking pregabalin to prevent seizures, keep taking the medication even if you feel fine.
Do not stop using pregabalin without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine. You may have increased seizures or withdrawal symptoms such as headache, sleep problems, nausea, and diarrhea. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using pregabalin.
Do not change your dose of pregabalin without your doctor's advice. Tell your doctor if the medication does not seem to work as well in treating your condition.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take pregabalin. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you take seizure medication.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking pregabalin?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to pregabalin.
To make sure you can safely take pregabalin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
congestive heart failure;
diabetes (unless you are taking pregabalin to treat diabetic neuropathy);
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
a bleeding disorder;
low levels of platelets in your blood;
a history of depression or suicidal thoughts;
a history of drug or alcohol addiction; or
if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction.
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether pregabalin will harm an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking pregabalin for seizures. Do not start or stop taking pregabalin during pregnancy without your doctor's advice.
If you become pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of pregabalin on the baby.
It is not known whether pregabalin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using pregabalin.
If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 18 years old.