Lyrica addiction and abuse are growing problems as more people are being prescribed this pain medication. Lyrica is a brand name for the drug called pregabalin, an anticonvulsant used to treat seizures, anxiety and pain. Although not as addictive as other prescription painkillers, there is a potential for abuse and addiction is possible. There are risks and dangers from both addiction and side effects when abusing Lyrica and anyone being prescribed this medication should be aware of them.
What Is Lyrica?
The drug called pregabalin is an anticonvulsant, which means that it is primarily associated with treating seizures. Since it came on the market, researchers and doctors have discovered that Lyrica can also treat certain kinds of pain as well as generalized anxiety. Lyrica is being increasingly prescribed to treat neuropathic pain. This includes pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and other conditions that affect nerves.
Is Lyrica Addictive?
Lyrica is a medication that has a potential for abuse. As with many painkillers and treatments for anxiety, Lyrica produces a euphoric or pleasant feeling. It also causes a pleasant sense of relaxation. These feelings are not as intense as with other drugs, such as narcotic painkillers, but they do mean that some people will abuse Lyrica to experience them.
Lyrica is also not as addictive as the very addictive drugs (i.e., narcotic opioids) that are sometimes prescribed for pain. Any drug with the potential for abuse can be addictive. If you take it as directed and don’t abuse it or take more than directed, you are not likely to develop a Lyrica addiction. If you do abuse your medication to get a high you could end up becoming dependent on that feeling. You may develop a psychological dependence rather than a strong chemical addiction. This type of dependence can be just as serious and difficult to overcome.
What Are the Other Risks of Abusing Lyrica?
The possibility of becoming dependent on your prescription Lyrica is not the only danger you face if you decide to abuse it. As with any medication there are side effects that come with taking Lyrica. For many patients the benefits of the drug outweigh the side effects, but when you abuse it you could intensify these negative effects. Side effects of Lyrica include dizziness, drowsiness, blurry vision, ataxia, irritability, poor coordination, fatigue, vomiting, rashes, tremors and impaired memory. Rare, but serious side effects can and do occur too. These include high or low blood pressure, pancreatitis and suicidal thoughts.
Abusing any prescription drug is dangerous. You should never take more of your drug than you are prescribed and if you experience side effects you need to tell your doctor. Lyrica has the potential to cause serious side effects that can be more intense if you abuse the medication. You also run the risk of becoming dependent on it. To avoid all of these hazards, resist the urge to chase a high by abusing Lyrica or any other drug.