Development in medical and health sciences has led to the discovery of innumerable treatment options and medications for disease conditions. People suffering from depression or anxiety have a strong desire to get rid of these conditions. Painkillers and medications produce calming effects in the body. These drugs have a strong tendency to be abused. These drugs, when used unnecessarily or for recreational purposes, can lead to drug addiction. Lyrica (Pregabalin) is a well-known painkiller and anti-seizure drug used in a number of conditions and disorders.

Lyrica, also known by its generic name Pregabalin, is a prescription drug acting on the nervous system. It is an anticonvulsant and anxiolytic medication used to treat several nervous disorders. These disorders include treatment of epilepsy, neuropathic pain, restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia, generalized anxiety disorder, and herpes zoster. It is also used to treat diabetic nerve pain and as an add-on therapy to treat partial seizures in epilepsy. Lyrica was the first drug ever used for the treatment of Fibromyalgia. Chemically, it is similar to Neurontin (Gabapentin) and is a widely used prescription drug to treat brain and nerve-related disorders.

In 2004, Lyrica was approved by the FDA to treat epilepsy, nerve pain, and fibromyalgia.

a.      As an antiepileptic: Lyrica is used as an add-on therapy to treat partial-onset seizures in adults with epilepsy. Pregabalin binds to the alpha2-delta site in the central nervous system to produce calmness in overactive nerves. It slows down impulses in the brain and stops seizures right at the beginning. 

b.      As a nerve pain reliever: Nerve pain is extreme toothache-like pain similar to sharp stabbing, numbness, or burning sensation. Lyrica is used to treat nerve pain related to diabetes like diabetic neuropathy (a clinical condition that causes pain in the hands or feet of the patient), shingles, (also known as postherpetic neuralgia), and nerve pain related to spinal cord injury.

c.       As a fibromyalgia treatment: Lyrica is an FDA-approved drug used to treat fibromyalgia. During treatment of fibromyalgia, the first thing that makes a huge impact and helps Lyrica work well is lifestyle changes. These changes include joining exercise programs that include stretching and strengthening components and following a good sleep and hygiene routine. All these programs help to treat mood swings and anxiety.

The active ingredient of Lyrica, Pregabalin, is an anti-seizure and pain-relieving drug that works by multiple mechanisms. Important mechanisms include:

●       Preventing nerve pain by interfering with the transmission of pain messages in the brain and spinal cord.

●       Reducing abnormal activity in the brain to prevent epileptic seizures.

●       Stopping the brain from releasing chemicals that lead to anxiety or nervousness.

Yes, Lyrica Despite its great uses and benefits, Lyrica has a strong tendency for addiction. Even taking Lyrica as directed by the physician can lead to addiction. Pregabalin when used unnecessarily or for recreational purposes boosts up the chances for addiction. The abuser becomes reluctant to abandon Pregabalin use. 

Lyrica is used to treat different nervous systems disorders and produces euphoria, calmness, and sedating effects. Lyrica is a Schedule V drug and a controlled substance due to its potency to cause Euphoria. It also causes feelings of euphoria and calmness similar to Diazepam, alcohol, or other sedative and anxiolytic drugs that may increase the tendency of drug abuse, dependence, or addiction. Lyrica is often used for recreational purposes that can lead to increased tolerance or dependence.

When Lyrica is abused, the side effects produced by it are intense. These intensified effects can lead to serious medical problems that may include:

●       Abnormal bleeding

●       Muscle weakness

●       Fever

●       Swelling of the extremities

●       Bruising

●       Suicidal thoughts

●       Depression

Despite its several benefits in treating epilepsy, nerve pain, and fibromyalgia, Lyrica has a high tendency to be abused. Due to its calming and sedative effects, people become reluctant to stop using Lyrica even after the treatment is completed, and there is no need to continue using Lyrica.

Anabolic Steroids Addiction and Side Effects

When someone uses Pregabalin, he may feel relaxation, euphoria, and calmness. Some users may also experience the feeling of Lyrica as high as feeling drunk. Lyrica has a high potency of tolerance, dependency, and addiction.

When consumed with other drugs like opiates, the euphoric effects of Lyrica are increased along with increased feelings of dizziness and sleeping. Mixing Lyrica with other drugs can also lead to a Lyrica overdose. Lyrica abusers may follow different ways to abuse this drug. The ultimate reason for abusing Lyrica is the calmness and sedating effects produced by Pregabalin. People may abuse Lyrica by:

●       Consuming (swallowing) a large amount of the medication than allowed on the prescription

●       Consuming Lyrica without a prescription.

●       Consuming someone else’s Lyrica tablets.

●       Consuming Lyrica for a longer duration than recommended.

●       Consuming alcohol with Lyrica.

●       Consuming other addictive drugs with Lyrica.

●       Users may also powder the Lyrica tablet and snort the drug content.

A person may fall addicted to Pregabalin when he starts consuming Lyrica in higher doses than prescribed or even after the completion of the therapy. This addiction can lead to life-threatening situations for the addicted person. When a person abuses Pregabalin for non-medical and recreational purposes he may experience different signs and symptoms. This wide range of signs and symptoms include:

●       Euphoria

●       Sedation

●       Rapid heart rate

●       Anxiety

●       Nausea

●       Headaches

●       Diarrhea

●       Aggressive behavior

●       A failure to quit unnecessary Lyrica use

●       Experience of withdrawal symptoms after quitting Lyrica use.

●       Taking Lyrica with alcohol or other drugs to deal with stress, emotional pain, or life circumstances

●       Continue using Lyrica even after knowing the unpleasant physical side effects, relationship issues, or being unable to perform at school or work.

Lyrica starts producing side effects as the patient begins consuming it. The severity of the side effects depends upon the amount/dose of the drug consumed and the total duration of taking Lyrica. Lyrica abuse can produce short-term as well as long-term side effects. People with a history of alcohol or drug abuse have more tendency to abuse Lyrica for non-medical or recreational purposes. Pregabalin is also consumed by people for its euphoric and sedating effects.

The short-time side effect of Lyrica Abuse

The short-term side effects produced by Lyrica include some immediate effects related to the nervous system. These may include:

●       Dizziness (up to 45% of patients)

●       Drowsiness (up to 36% of patients)

●       Vomiting

●       Fatigue

●       Tremors

●       Memory problems

●       Mood changes/swings

●       Suicidal thoughts

●       Dangerous changes in blood pressure

●       Vision problems (blurred or doubled vision)

Long-term side effects of Lyrica Abuse

Lyrica when used for recreational purposes or unnecessarily in a heavy dose, can produce long-term side effects. The severity of these long-term side effects depends upon the frequency of Lyrica doses. Lyrica These may include:

●       Addiction

●       Dependence

●       Tolerance

●       Pancreatitis

●       Loss of balance and coordination

●       Problems with memory and concentration

●       Heart problems

●       Kidney diseases

●       Liver problems

●       Lung diseases

●       The allergic reactions cause hives or blisters on the skin and swelling in the throat, lips, tongue, and face.

●       Depression, anxiety, and, panic attacks with previously depressed people

If a person suddenly stops consuming Lyrica without consultation with a doctor, he may experience uncomfortable and undesirable withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may be minor or severe depending upon the dose of the drug the patient was taking. 

Lyrica Withdrawal Symptoms

Lyrica withdrawal symptoms usually include the following:

●       Anxiety

●       Nervousness

●       Nausea

●       Headache

●       Diarrhea

●       Mood swings

●       Aggressive behavior

●       Increased heart rate

●       Excessive sweating

●       Difficulty in sleeping or staying asleep

Lyrica Withdrawal Timeline

Minor withdrawal symptoms typically last for one to two days but, some withdrawal symptoms may last longer for several weeks after the end of Lyrica use. The intensity of Lyrica withdrawal symptoms may be more severe for users taking Lyrica for a long time or consuming Lyrica in extremely large doses. Other factors contributing to the duration or intensity of Lyrica withdrawal symptoms include:

●       Genetics

●       Polysubstance abuse

●       Co-occurring physical or mental disorders.

Lyrica when used unnecessarily or mixed with alcohol or other sedative drugs can lead to Lyrica overdose. Overdose produces some major complications that include an improper or incomplete treatment of the disorder for which Lyrica is being used or can lead to tolerance or drug dependence.

Signs of Lyrica Overdose

Overdose of Lyrica can produce various signs that may include:

●       Confusion

●       Loss of consciousness

●       Agitation

●       Tremors

●       Sweating

●       Mood swings

●       Extreme drowsiness

●       Blood pressure variation and heart rate problem

●       Breathing problems

Does Lyrica lead to Drug interactions?

Lyrica can cause drug interactions with a variety of drugs and produce multiple complications. These interactions can even lead to drug resistance. Lyrica can interact with diabetes drugs and lead to swelling and heavyweight gain. It can also interact with Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and produces swelling or hives. Lyrica is also contraindicated to use in patients with Myasthenia Gravis and Myoclonus. Other drugs that should not be taken with Pregabalin include:

●       Losartan

●       Ethacrynic acid

●       Caffeine

●       Phenytoin

●       Cimetidine

●       Naproxen

●       Mefloquine

●       Magnesium oxide

●       Sevelamer

● Morphine  

Does Lyrica lead to drug tolerance?

When Lyrica is used unnecessarily for a longer duration and in high doses, it can lead to drug tolerance. Due to increased drug tolerance, various complications may occur regarding the effectiveness of Pregabalin. It not only produces various side effects and addiction but also leads to various drug interactions.  

People who want to get rid of Lyrica addiction can follow different rehabilitation programs available in the healthcare department. The first step for Lyrica Treatment is Lyrica Detox.

Lyrica Detox

A medical detox program for Lyrica addiction helps to alleviate undesirable signs and symptoms of withdrawal with medication assisted-treatment and professional care. During the Lyrica Detox program, the faculty provides effective and safe care for the patient without the client suffering from physical symptoms of withdrawal. Additionally, the treatment faculty provides a supportive environment to recover from withdrawal symptoms and reduces the possibility of relapse or medical emergencies. 

Treatment options for Lyrica Addiction

After Lyrica Detox, people recovering from addiction can choose from a variety of treatment options available for addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the effectiveness of addiction treatment depends on the adequate length of the treatment. The minimum length of treatment to have positive and long-lasting results is 90 days. The addiction treatment for Lyrica is highly individualized and depends on the person.

Following treatment options are available for Lyrica addiction:

●       Lyrica Rehab programs

●       Inpatient and outpatient Lyrica Treatment program

●       Continued care programs

Lyrica Rehab Programs

There is a wide range of Rehab programs available for Lyrica Treatment. Joining a suitable Rehab program with proper facilities can lead to the exemption of Lyrica addiction. Thede may include:

●       Behavioral therapy

●       Nutritional changes

●       Life skills development

●       Daily exercise

●       Family rehab programs

●       Special therapies like art therapy or music therapy

●       Educational lectures about chemical dependency and addiction

●       An intensive 12-step rehab program

●       Symptoms Relapse prevention education and implementation

Inpatient and outpatient rehab programs

Inpatient and outpatient are two of the most important Drug rehab programs for Lyrica addiction. The success of the rehab program depends on the patient’s condition and the specific needs of the patient.

●       Inpatient Rehab program:

Inpatient rehab is also called residential drug rehab which provides gender-specific group care at the patient’s place. The patients live onsite at the rehab center for the whole duration of the drug rehab program. Patients follow daily structured schedules and attend individual and group sessions, a daily exercise regimen, specific meal plan, study time

●       Outpatient Drug Rehab:

Outpatient Lyrica rehab program is also known as an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides outpatient treatment to patients already in recovery. It consists of co-ed group sessions at a Drug Rehab clinical facility three times a week for a total of eight,-week periods. These sessions are highly specific in providing important education to the attendants. These sessions provide education on chemical/drug dependency, relapse prevention, and important life skills to get rid of Lyrica addiction.

Continued Care Programs:

Continued care provides complete recovery from Lyrica addiction. There are several options available that provide continued care to the people recovering from Lyrica addiction. Two of the most important continued care plans include:

●       Sober living program

●       Aftercare program

Both these programs provide unique and specific benefits for a full recovery from Lyrica addiction.

Sober Living Programs:

A sober living program provides recovery support that is safe, clean, and sob3r housing for people in recovery of Lyrica addiction. These programs have rooms that are gender-specific and also offer group housing with a shared room, private room, and shared living area options. Most of the high-quality sober living homes provide a wide range of recovery support services to achieve their goals. Some of these services include:

●       Therapeutic services

●       Personal monitoring

●       Individual sober coaching classes

●       Employment/education assistance

●       Tiered recovery program

●       Regular drug and alcohol testing

Aftercare program

After-care programs are specifically designed rehab programs and provide a safe, supportive place where people in Lyrica recovery may feel at home, discuss issues in detail, and work to improve coping strategies and relapse prevention. These programs consist of regular group sessions at an outpatient location. There is a comprehensive discussion by an addiction treatment specialist to resolve current sobriety challenges, success, and ongoing personal growth.  

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