Posted by jlbl2l on November 12, 2004, at 7:08:43
I have been on Lyrica for about 3 months now and have reported previously on its *great* effects for social anxiety, generalized anxiety, neuropathic pain and its powerful sleep and anti-depression effects. It can also have a very GHB and XTC like feeling at the higher doses..
However, after months of use I now must report the down-side to Lyrica for the benefit of anyone wanting to try it.
For comparision, I was on Klonopin for a year for social/generalized anxiety and fibromyglia.
Klonopin was so great, that year was the best ever, but i had to escilate the dose so much I got up to 15 MG of Klonopin. It basically stopped working, and I tapered slowly over a month to get off of it. Well, it appears that didnt work, and I had my first and only grand-mal seizure at work about 3 weeks after I was off of it. I almost died...
Back to Lyrica -
Comparing Lyrica to Klonopin Or Xanax is very difficult, because Lyrica makes your "brain" and "mood" feel different. For me, The benzodizpines make me a little tired, very open and easy to communicate with people without the anxiety. With Lyrica, it is much different feeling. It feels more like (for me) at the higher doses (which only work for anxiety by the way 600mg or more) it feels stimulating, like i want to talk to people and seek out people, and have less anxiety, however, it doesn't "HIT" you like a benzo would if you know what I mean. It takes about and hour or so to kick in, and it lasts ALL DAY (I am serious about that!)
Lyrica has strange mood altering feeling, errily similar to exctasy for me at least (at the higher doses (600mg+) I have a strong feeling that Lyrica releases serotonin or dopamine at the higher dose, becuase I have done a lot of drugs and that feeling is very familar.
However, Lyrica has highly unique effects (good and bad)
Recently, I have come to the conclusion that Lyrica has tolerance issues. I have had to increase the dose several times now to get the desired effect.
For comparision with its presdecessor, Neurontin, if i build tolerance to Neurontin (which I had in the past) all I had to do is wait a month or so and then the tolerance to it vanished. So it may be temporary for these 2 medicines.
The side effects of Lyrica : plain and simple -
1)pressure headache (it goes away, i promise)
2)tiredness at the lower doses, at higher, it stimulates
3)dizziness (if you NEVER have done Neurontin or Lyrica, you will feel very drunk at first, but as you continue this will pass)
4)Weight Gain - this is a serious effect that I have noticed. You must monitor your food intake, which I am to avoid this effect. This is one of the most annoying side effects.
5)glazed eyes or blurry vision - similar to benzo glazed, reddened eyes when on it, nothing major...
6)depersonaliztion - This is where at the high dose you (or me at least) feel like I am on Extascy or GHB. It is a pleasnt euphoric feeling.
7) brain fog / concentration / forgetfullness/ feeling dumb - This has not happened to me at the higher dose that is stimulating, i would imagine the dopamine and serotonin compensates perhaps. But yes, the aformentioned things can occur, mostly brain fog.
8) driving - driving on standard low doses or once you get use to the medicine is OKAY. It is not okay to drive if you are expriecing side effects in the aforeentoned #7 or you are staggering or any other "werid" effects on the medicine. Please do not drive unless you get used to the medicine. It took me some time to stabalize. It is similar to a benzo/driving situation.
9)edema - havent noticed water gain anwhere in my body yet, not a big worry.
The biggest issue for me with Lyrica is - tolerance ( I am now above the max dose of 600mg, I am at 1200) and weight gain (witch i have under control by eating carefully..)
Otherwise, lyrica, compared to SSRI's, Klonopin and Xanax is much better in that its side effects are not too bad for me, its not controlled substance, it acts as a POTENT anti-depressant, and incredibly superior sleep medicine (combine with 1 xanax and youll sleep so good you wont believe it - stage 3/4 deep sleep im talking about - check pubmed for that study on Lyrica/neurontin)
Also, if you have pain ANYWHERE in your body, a combination of Lyrica (or just Lyrica alone even) and Naproxen (Aleve) (again check pubmed for this study on that combo) will make any pain in your body disapper - even if you dont know about it - and this helps you and your body function better and hopefully be less depressed because of positive endorphins.
Whew. long typing! I am on lyrica now and I can tell you it really makes you feel great and in my opinion should be a scheduled drug (at the high doses at least)
For anyone that wonders how I got Lyrica - I do live in the USA and Lyrica was imported from the UK with a script and permission from my doctor from a pharmacy. It should be on the schelves in the USA probably by Jan 2005, or until they fix whatever problem with the generalized anxiety disorder study they had so it can be "approvable"
Any questions, just post a reply here. If you want to personally contact me for ANY reason, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org - please dont use babblemail, just email me normally, thanks!
All the best,