Pregabalin is an anticonvulsant used as an additional treatment of partial seizures. It is also effective against nerve-related pain as it decreases the number of pain signals sent out by the damaged nerves in the body. It is used in the management of postherpetic neuralgia (nerve pain caused by the chicken pox virus), painful peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes, nerve-related pain due to spinal cord injury and fibromyalgia (a condition where the patient has muscle and connective tissue pain). It is also used in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.
Pregabalin should not be used in patients allergic to the drug.
Dosage usually varies from 150 to 600 mg/day given orally in divided doses.
Pregabalin comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food two or three times a day.
• Dosage should be reduced in patients with kidney disease
• Use with caution in patients with heart failure since it can cause peripheral edema and weight gain.
• It may cause dizziness, drowsiness or blurred vision, do not drive a car or handle machinery after taking the medicine.
• Caution should be advised to patients with decreased platelet counts and bleeding disorders, irregular heart rhythms, during pregnancy and breast feeding.
• Central Nervous System: Dizziness, sleepiness, fatigue, euphoric mood, confusion, suicidal thoughts, irritability, abnormal movements, and problems with speech, memory or attention.
• Eye and ENT: Blurred vision, double vision, vertigo
• Gastrointestinal: Dry mouth, constipation, increased appetite, flatulence, vomiting, abdominal distension, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea.
• Genitourinary: Urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction
• Cardiovascular – Heart failure, problems with heart rhythm
• Musculoskeletal: Pain in muscles and joints.
• Respiratory:Inflammation of nose and upper throat, difficulty with breathing
• Blood - Reduced platelet count which may result in easy bruising
• Miscellaneous: Allergic reaction called angioedema which results in face and throat swelling and difficulty with breathing, fluid retention, swelling of feet, weight gain, low blood sugar
Avoid alcohol consumption while taking this medication.
Do not discontinue the medicine suddenly without consulting the doctor as it may lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the drugs that should be avoided or used with caution with pregabalin include the following:
• ACE inhibitors like captopril, enalapril , lisinopril, fosinopril, perindopril, ramipril as it results in swelling of the face, neck and mouth leading to breathing difficulty.
• Benzodiazepines like clobazam and lorazepam, barbiturates like phentobarbital and butobarbital, other sedative medications and alcohol due to additive sedative effect.
• Certain antidiabetic drugs like rosiglitazone and pioglitazone as they enhance fluid retention.
• Orlistat used in the treatment of obesity as it inhibits absorption of pregabalin from the digestive tract.
Store it in a closed container at room temperature. Protect from heat, moisture and light. Keep out of reach of children.
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