Lyrica (pregabalin) is a prescription medication indicated for the treatment of neuralgia (nerve pain) resulting from diabetes, shingles, fibromyalgia, or other injuries or infections. Lyrica can also be taken to treat certain types of seizures. An individual who has become dependent on Lyrica may encounter withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or cut back.
While Lyrica is believed to have a relatively low potential for misuse and abuse, dependence on this drug is an increasing concern among medical providers and addiction specialists. Some who are prescribed Lyrica abuse it by using it in excessive amounts or too frequently, or misuse it in combination with other substances, such as alcohol. This is sometimes done to alleviate pain, but also may be employed as a means to induce feelings of pleasure, relaxation, pleasure, and euphoria.
Common Lyrica Withdrawal Symptoms
As noted, if an individual has become addicted to Lyrica and abruptly discontinues use or significantly lowers their dose, this can lead to a number of withdrawal symptoms. These effects are the consequences of dependence, a condition in which the person’s body becomes accustomed to the presence of an intoxicating substance and is unable to function correctly.
Of note, even an individual who does not abuse Lyrica can develop a physical dependence on the medication. Although dependence is one of the stages of addiction, it is somewhat different than full-blown addiction, which is a disease that is further hallmarked by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and abuse. Still, even without addiction, symptoms of withdrawal can occur.
Because Lyrica has depressant properties, withdrawal symptoms related to the drug are not unlike those experienced with alcohol or benzodiazepines (benzos). The intensity and number of the symptoms an individual encounter may vary based on several factors, such as the following:
- Duration of time the drug was used
- The average dose
- Misuse of other drugs or alcohol
- Individual biology and overall health
Signs and symptoms of withdrawal from Lyrica may include the following:
- Behavioral changes
- Accelerated heartbeat
- Sleep disturbances
In some cases, withdrawal symptoms related to Lyrica can result in life-threatening complications, including the following:
- Heart problems
- Suicidal ideation
Lyrica Withdrawal Timeline
Most of the acute withdrawal symptoms associated with Lyrica dependence will persist for about 24-48 hours if the drug is suddenly discontinued. In some instances, emotional symptoms may last for several more days, weeks, or months.
It is often beneficial for individuals to be put on a tapering schedule in which they gradually reduce their dose. This can help lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms and also relieve cravings. The symptoms mentioned above may be prolonged or pronounced in those who have been using Lyrica in excessive amounts or over an extended period.
Lyrica Medications and Detox
In addition to a tapering or weaning schedule, other approaches can be used to manage withdrawal associated with stopping the use of Lyrica. These include some of the same treatments used for people who are withdrawing from other depressants, including opioids or alcohol.
For those who have a dependence on Lyrica, a medically-assisted detox program can be beneficial. This means of undergoing withdrawal can offer a safe and comfortable detox process to kick off recovery. During this, patients are monitored on either an inpatient or partial hospitalization basis and are administered medication and receive support to help them stabilize and prepare for further treatment.
Moreover, people who detox from Lyrica or other drugs are encouraged to enroll in a specialized addiction treatment program. Such programs can be very useful and help increase the chances of a person’s ability to prevent relapse and maintain long-term sobriety.
Medications can be prescribed to relieve Lyrica withdrawal symptoms, and include clonidine and dexmedetomidine, both of which have mild sedative effects. Antidepressants, such as Celexa or Zoloft, may also be useful to lessen emotional symptoms, such as anxiety and depression.
Getting Help for Addiction
The decision to seek treatment for drug dependence and begin the journey to long-lasting recovery can save your life or that of a loved one, and time is of the essence. Discovering what treatment options are available and choosing an appropriate program is the first step in this process.
Long-term, comprehensive, and individualized treatment programs, such as those offered by Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery, typically provide the best chance for success. Our programs feature therapeutic services and activities clinically-proven to be highly beneficial for the recovery process. These services include psychotherapy, counseling, group support, and much, much more.
We believe that a happy and healthy life is possible for everyone, even those who struggle with substance abuse. This life is waiting for you or your loved one, and all you have to do is contact us today!