What Is Fibromyalgia?
This chronic condition is also sometimes called fibromyalgia syndrome and it causes pain throughout the body, including both joint pain and muscle pain, as well as fatigue and other symptoms. The condition often causes patients to suffer from social isolation and depression.
It most commonly occurs in women – they are 10 times more likely to get it than male patients and it usually occurs between the ages of 25 and 60.
What Are the Symptoms?
Fibromyalgia causes aching throughout the body. It can also cause crippling fatigue – even when a patient first wakes up.
There may be parts of the body which are very tender to the touch. Patients can also have problems sleeping and suffer from depression.
Muscles will feel overworked, or pulled and sometimes they will have intense stabbing pain in them.
Patients will often feel pain and aches in their joints, particularly across the neck, shoulder, back, and hips. It can cause problems with exercising and sleep.
Other Common Symptoms Are:
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Regular headaches
- Sleep problems
- Dry eyes, nose and mouth
- Feeling tired even after waking up
- Sensitivity to temperature
- Unable to concentrate
- Irritable bowel
- Numb or tingling feet and fingers
- Painful cramps during period
- Poor circulation in the feet and hands
- Restless legs syndrome
What Is Lyrica?
Lyrica is the brand name for the drug pregabalin. It works by cutting back on pain signals received from damaged nerves. It is used for many pain-related conditions, including fibromyalgia.
What Do You Need to Think About When Taking Lyrica?
Lyrica is not a cure, it just helps to manage symptoms and it can take several weeks to feel the full benefits.
It is a drug which can cause severe reactions and in some cases the reactions can be fatal. It can also change mental health and cause patients to develop suicidal ideas.
Patients with diabetes who take Lyrica should monitor their skin carefully and contact a doctor immediately if there are any redness, sores or skin problems. The drug can also cause limbs to suffer a build-up of fluid.
If you have ever had any of the following symptoms, you should inform your doctor prior to taking the drug:
- Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Vision problems
- Blood disorders or bleeding problems, such as a low platelet count
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts
- Planned surgery including dental work
If there is a need to stop taking the drug a doctor will advise and reduce the dosage gradually over at least a week. The drug can have some withdrawal symptoms including:
- Sickness and diarrhea
- Bad dreams and trouble sleeping
- Feeling irritable
- Let your doctor know if you could be pregnant, are pregnant, or breastfeeding, before taking the drug.
- Tell your doctor if you are a man and your female partner is, or could be pregnant.
- Lyrica could affect the ability to father a child.
Lyrica interacts with other drugs so it’s vital to tell the doctor any other drugs that are being taken at the same time. Drugs it interacts with include:
- Heart condition medications
- Tranquilizers or drugs used to treat anxiety
- Mental illness or anti-seizure medication
- Some diabetes medication
- Narcotic pain medication
- Sedatives/sleeping pills
Drinking alcohol can make the drowsiness and sleepiness caused by the medication even worse.
- Pregabalin comes in both capsule and liquid
- The liquid contains 20 mg per ml
- The capsule comes in a variety of strengths, from 25 to 300 mg
- Most patients take 300 mg daily, in around two or three doses
- The maximum dose is 450 mg a day for fibromyalgia
- It should be taken around the same time every day
Follow the drug advice exactly as prescribed by the doctor
Missed Dose of Lyrica
If a dose is missed, take it as soon as you remember but if it’s more than a few hours late, skip the dose and then take the next dose at the regular time.Don’t take two doses to make up for a missed one.
What Are the Side Effects of Lyrica?
So once you have considered all these issues, if you decide the drug is right for you, then you need to understand and look out for the side effects and know when to seek medical attention.
As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment some of the more common side effects may go away and may not need medical treatment.
Your doctor can also advise you on ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects.
If any of the common side effects continue, or are bothersome, then check with your doctor. So, here are the most common side effects of Lyrica experienced by patients:
- Feeling tired
- Feeling dizzy
- A dry mouth
- High mood
- Speech difficulties
- Problems concentrating
- Feeling confused
- Feeling forgetful
- Feeling anxious
- Coordination problems
- Balance problems
- Shaking or jerking
- Twitching of muscles
- Feeling weak
- Growing appetite
- Weight increase
- Swollen hands, ankles, feet, arms or lower legs
- Back ache
Serious Side Effects
If you experience any of the below symptoms, these are signs of a serious issue and you must stop taking the drug and call the doctor immediately
- Changes in your eyesight including blurred or double vision
- Feeling itchy
- Swollen areas in the throat, lips, mouth, eyes, gums, head, neck or eyes
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Any weakness, pain or soreness in muscles
- Pains in the chest
- Panic attacks
- Feeling agitated or restless
- Increased irritability
- Feeling the need to act on dangerous impulses
- Angry or aggressive behaviour
- Extremely excited mood
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Withdrawing yourself from family and friends
Consider all the issues before taking Lyrica, and make sure you inform your doctor fully of your medical situation before starting with it.
Always follow the prescription advice and seek medical attention if you are concerned with any of the side effects.