Lyrica - should I start taking?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ruti, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. ruti

    ruti Member

    I have Fabromialgia. I never tried to take medication to ease up pain. I saw a Fibro specialist and he recommanded Lyrica to help with a deeper sleep, with pain and to lower anxieties.
    I am interested to hear from people who took it. Did it help? were the side effects bad? did they disappeared after a while?
    what doses do people take?

    Thanks Ruti
  2. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    I was on Lyrica for about a year, or a year and a half. I did experience some help with the pain, but not enough for that to be the only treatment. I gain about 100lb, and don't really remember if I slept any better.

    I started taking Savella...pain wise, It's about the same.....but I have lost 20lb. just in the first few weeks. I have experienced no help with pain.

    I am having some other nasty side effect going on, but I can't be sure if it is related to Savella as early one the only side effect I had was sweating like a

    I would ask the doctor to try Savella first, unless you are supper skinny and need to gain weight.

  3. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I have never taken lyrica.....tried many other meds in the past and had really bad reactions

    I do know of a few people who have been on it, though (and several from here have written about it as well), and the results were pretty mixed....some got some symptom relief and some didn't; however, it seemed like many had bad side effects (inc: a large amt of weight gain that has been difficult to lose even after stopping the lyrica, grogginess, increased brain fog, esp with word finding problems, etc)

    also, you should know that the person responsible for reporting the research test results on lyrica was prosecuted for falsifying the study results (and found guilty) there were never any real tests done on the drug (& yet once this was discovered, the drug company was never required to actually do any - the drug was left on the market & thus has never been proven to work at all)
  4. KerryK

    KerryK Member

    I was on a full dose for about 4 months. If it hadn't kept me so dizzy all the time, I would still be on it. The pain relief and sleep quality were fantastic! Give it a try. Only you can properly judge it.
  5. JLH

    JLH New Member

    If you have never tried any meds to ease up pain, then I would start off with something else other than Lyrica. I have fibro and a ton of other major medical problems and take, and I tried a lot, of different medications.

    It is important with fibro to be able to get a good night's sleep. I would talk with your doc again about starting out with a med called Elavil. It is an older med, is cheap, and works very well in helping pain and making you sleepy. I took it for quite a while. I was rather sensitive to it, so I took a small dose, but others take a larger dose.

    I now take Neurotin. Lyrica is a "newer" med for those who used to take Neurotin basically. I tried Lyrica but it didn't work out for me. I took a low dose twice a day but it made me so sleepy that I sat in a chair in a daze most of the day, so I quit it and went back on Neurotin.

    I also take an anti-depressant called Cymbalta. Cymbalta also helps fibro pain and is approved for diabetic neuropathy, too. (I am also a diabetic.) The recommended dose for fibro is 60 mg daily. I have to take a 30 mg capsule in the AM and one in the PM because if I take all 60 mg in the morning, I stay too sleepy all day, too.

    In my opinion, I would try the Elavil and night and the Cymbalta during the day before I would try the Neurotin or Lyrica. But that's just me. I'm sure you will get a lot of opinions and they all will be different!

    I personally don't have any side effects from the Cymbalta or the Neurotin, other than what I mentioned.

    If you need something for pain, and Tylenol Arthritis, Aleve, Motrin, and those type meds do not help, I would ask to try the non-narcotic pain med Ultram or Ultracet. Doctors will often prescribe the generic of one of these, but I can't think of the generic name right at the moment.

    Good luck.
  6. ruti

    ruti Member

    Wow!!! what a story.

    The weight gain is alarming
  7. ruti

    ruti Member

    Thanks for all of you that gave suggestions. Ruti
  8. pumkinhead

    pumkinhead New Member

    I was on lyrica for over a year and gained over sixty pounds. It helped with the pain but i retained fluids and felt like a fat pig. I have lost over twenty pounds. I am currently switching
    slowly from Cymbalta to Savella. So far i feel a little better now.

    Cymbalta worked for me but it is not as effective now.
  9. DazedAndSpacey

    DazedAndSpacey New Member

    I tried it for several months. It came with a serious warning: Don't suddenly stop taking or you could experience seizures. It was scary, but I was in enough pain to try.

    Every time I felt better it wouldn't last long. I'd have to increase the dosage. Unfortunately, the more I increase it, the sleepier I was during the day. After a while I realized I was just going to continue to increase dosage, continue to get more tired, and never feel enough relief to be worth it. (There was dizziness as well, the higher the dosage.)

    I went to PT and it helped more so with the pain. Seven months after I started I felt cured. Well, that hasn't lasted, unfortunately. I'm back in PT and trying cold therapy. She's so booked I'm lucky to get in twice a month. So I can't say anything yet about that.

    As someone else said, only you can be the judge. But you may want to think about alternatives. I'm 40 and the idea of spending the rest of my life on pain pills, continually increasing dosage was VERY scary to me.

    Good luck!
  10. nah.stacey

    nah.stacey Member

    I am taking Lyrica, have been for quite a while but didn't notice that it worked that well till I went off it. Wow, it really did work. Went back on it in conjunction with Savella, gained another 20 lbs. but it is working better now. However, if you are just new to FM you might want to hold off taking this for later when (or if) it gets worse. The best way to start is with Tramadol (the generic name for Ultram). You may get enough relief with this one that you don't need to go so strong on the drugs yet. I took Tramadol for years, with Excedrin, as Tram.. works better with Acetaminophen. Lyrica is pretty heavy duty to start off with even though YES it is approved for FM. Lyrica does make you gain massive weight, I don't care what your metabolism is. I haven't talked with anyone who has taken Lyrica that DIDN'T gain at least 20 lbs. but if you are desperate enough it's worth the weight. Are you that desperate yet?

    Again Lyrica for me works better in tandem with Savella. They are not even remotely in the same class of drug. If you do a "search" at the top of this board and type in Savella or Lyrica you will see a massive amount of information that has been posted here on this web site about both drugs so you can weigh your options better.

    Trust these posters here, they know what they are talking about. Many have tried anything and everything and have had this DD for too many years. They are very knowledgeable in what they post, but remember that NOT everything works for EVERYONE in the same manner and you really have to find out for yourself. It is also helpful if you find a poster who reacts much the same way your body reacts with what you take and follow their posts. I have found this to be helpful especially when you are pretty new to this DD. I only found this website in Sept. and always come back to it for REAL information.

    Best of Luck,
  11. ruti

    ruti Member

    Thanks to all of you of the helpful advice and sharing your experince.

    Thankd Stacey. No doubt I get much more real information here that I would get from any doctor or research on medication.
    The more I read it makes me afraid of taking Lyrica.

    I am not desparate for the pain - I suffer (for 20 years now) and tolarates it reasanbly well most of the time. I wish I can sleep more deeply and I have a lot of anxieties.
    Is Savella for pain? anxieties?
  12. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    From what I understand Savella is prescribed to treat the pain associated with FM. It works like an AD but it is not an AD.

    I think it was nah.stacey that said she didn't realize the pain relief until she stopped it once, that's exactly what I was trying to say. Except it seems that I didn't get quite as much relief as Stacey but I could feel the difference that Lyrica made.

    Don't be afraid of it, you can always start at a low dosage as see from there. We are all so different in what works. Lyrica could make the world of difference for you.

    But I would still try Savella first:) Weight gain is not one of the risks.

  13. ruti

    ruti Member

    I don't know if Savella is approved or in the :health basket" in my country.
    I have always looked for alternative medicine - here I felt there is finally a medication that can help with my major problems. I read mainly negative reports here and little encouragement. I am fraid to even try now.
    I will look into all the suggestions here and see if I can come up with another plan.

    Thanks Ruti
  14. Denamay

    Denamay New Member

    Hi Ruti,

    I seem to have a different reaction to Lyrica than some of the others.
    I have taken this drug for almost two years, with fair to good results.
    It gives me an excellent night sleep and for the most part keeps the pain at bay.
    I experienced weight gain via fluid retention at first but now that has settled down.
    I admit that I have upped the dose several times to maintain the benifits.
    Sometimes, I take as much as 600 mgs.[ I know, that is too much].
    A major drawback is the cost, no insurance coverage for this med.
    I am not sure if I recommend it or not, I am asking my dr. for a re evaluation next week.
    I am feeling fairly well, but have to watch what I do very carefuly.
    I am 70 years old and have had fibro for many years.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide. Denamay

  15. ruti

    ruti Member

    Thanks - I was hoping to get at least some positive reactions.
    How long did it take for the retention of water to go away?
    Was the need to increase the dose came beacuse of the body getting used to the medication and needs more for the same effect?

    I think I will be able to get the medication with low pay since it is in the approved "medication basket" for he country - you need a specialist to recommand it for you.
    600 sounds very much to me.

    I will have to decide about this dilema. Thanks Ruti
  16. nah.stacey

    nah.stacey Member

    You seem to have the same questions that I did when I started taking Savella back in July.
    They said it wasn't and AD but worked like one, HUHHHHH????

    This was what I researched a couple of months ago:

    Silly me I did this backwards and listened to my PCP and others tell me how Savella wasn't an AD even though it worked like one, it worked alike but was NOT even in the same family. Hhhhmmmmmm???

    WRONG!!!!!!! When I first started Savella on July 1, 2009 I was taking 150mg of Effexor XR. I was concerned that I would be double dosing on AD's by taking Effexor in conjuction with Savella so I approached by PCP with my concern. "Don't worry about it, they work generally the same but aren't in the same family, you won't be double dosing". I listened and stayed on both, with Savella @ 100mg, Effexor @150mg. In my heart I still felt I was doubling but I'm a trusting soul especially since I love my PCP as he was the only one who would listen to my pain.

    Well since that time I have begun with a new pain clinic, this Dr. knows what she's talking about. She upped my Savella to 200mg daily and took me off Effexor and about five other various drugs I was one. I had tried everything previously and it hadn't worked so I thought I would go her route and see where it got me. She didn't do anything radical such as take me off pain meds, discount my pain, or treat me like I was cracked (at least after she got the evaluation back from my drug urinalysis and Drug Pysch. evaluation from a certified Pain Psychiatrist). Oh, and get this, 2 tablets of Percocet 10/650's is a "Low Dose". Imagine that, and here I was all freaked out because I thought I was a drug addict.

    Sheeesh, thank you internet and thank you smart people.

    Soooooo, much long overdue and now that I'm off Effexor, I thought I would do a little research of my own since I'm fighting the swine flu and have more time to think about what I've done differently lately to get me to this point.

    After reading up on Savella (I'm pretty sure this wasn't here when I SKIMMED for Savella back in April) I came across an interesting article that explained what Savella really is.
    An anti-depressant that is already in use in two different countries under the name of Milnacipran, we just don't have it here in the USA yet. Nor is approved by the FDA for the treatment of FM.

    I found this on
    Cypress is developing milnacipran for the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Milnacipran is the first of a new class of agents known as norepinephrine serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or NSRIs, which increase the level of norepinephrine more than they do serotonin, from Cypress BioScience.

    The difference in NSRI's vs SNRI's-like Effexor? This one increases norepinephrine more than serotonin. Oh, ok. What?????? This led to an article that explained the neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine, in terms even I could understand.

    It helps to understand the neurotransmitters better, in order to comprehend the difference between the NSRI's and SNRI's (if you understand them already don't bother with this).
    I had a minor grasp on the transmitter concept, but this article, complete with illustrated story titled "GABAs in the Hood" by Marcia Purse was most enlightening.

    web address:

    This second web site is Savella in a nutshell.

    web address:

    Lesson learned? "A rose by any other name is still a rose", or a dirty sock.

    Best of luck on this,
  17. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    I use lyrica as a supplement to my sleep meds and it works well for this, not that great on its own. Also helps alot for leg pain which stops me from sleeping. I dont use all the time, just on an as needs basis, when in a crash/flare, this helps avoid alot of side effects and my doc is happy i use it like that
  18. Denamay

    Denamay New Member

    In answer to your questians about my experience with Lyrica: water retention was no longer an issue after about four months.
    Yes, the increased dosage is due to my body getting used to the medication.
    That is what is what worries me. I know that I can not increase it any more.
    When I was first on Lyrica it was like a miracle, I felt so good.
    I see my dr. next week and I think it is time to look at some other method of pain management. 600 mg. is way too high.
    I usually take 450mg but if the pain is bad, well, I am a coward and up the dose.
    Take care Denamay

  19. nah.stacey

    nah.stacey Member

    Like many medications upping the dosage sometimes has side effects.

    I can't take the 100mg red capsules or increase my dosage beyond 150 mg 3X50mgs. For some reason I am allergic to the red or going higher. My throat and feet swell up and it's some sort of allergic reaction. Very strange, but the lower dose in conjunction w/Savella works better.

    Good Luck finding your levels,
  20. ruti

    ruti Member

    Thanks for all of you - you give me very valuable information. I am hesitating to start
    taking Lyrica after reading your responses.
    Are psychitrists familier with Lyrica? I am thinking to go to a good psychitrist instead of the reumatology doctor to see if he has a wider perspective on what kind of medication is prefebale to me and if he recommans the the Lyrica.

    Are there more people with positive experience with Lyrica?

    Thanks Ruti