Is Lyrica Addictive?

My personal experience has been that it is.

This is a short testimony of my experience with the frequently prescribed drug known as Lyrica, also known as Pregabalin. Medication can impact one person one way and then the other a different way, so keep that in mind while I go over what my experience on this particular medication looked like.

Lyrica is used to treat pain caused by nerve damage due to diabetes, shingles infections, or spinal cord injuries. This medication is also used to treat pain in people with fibromyalgia. Of all of its various uses, according to WebMD, the MOST common reason a person might be prescribed Lyrica would be as an anticonvulsant, meaning it has a massive success rate in reducing seizures for patients who are prone to having them.

The primary reason I was prescribed this medication was actually to be used as more of a mood stabilizer, nerve pain being the secondary reason. This was far from the first time where I have been prescribed medications for a reason that was not on the list of “reasons this medication is prescribed” on WebMD.

It is also important to note that I am not the kind of person who can just have a few drinks on the weekend and also be expected to make it to work Monday morning. Some people are just way more prone to having substance abuse issues than other people. For many people, I could see how they could find abuse potential in a drug like lyrica nonexistent. The same goes for the commonly prescribed drug known as Gabapentin. You could call it the sister medication of Lyrica. 

Both of these medications—Lyrica being the stronger of the two—are anticonvulsant medications that also can treat chronic nerve pain, especially for people that have chronic nerve pain conditions like fibromyalgia and shingles.

I brought up Gabapentin just to share that, after being on both of these medications at different times, and even though they treated the same thing, Gabapentin was less difficult for me to come off of. They are both classified as “gabapentinoids.”

Lyrica and Addictive Personalities 

I am not a medical professional, but if you’re like me and have an addictive personality, especially when it comes to medications, or illegal drugs for that matter, I would just err on the side of caution if your doctor is recommending Lyrica.

When I was on this medication, and while even taking no more than what the doctor had prescribed me, I will never forget the first time I took it.

I can’t really compare it to anything else in the pharmaceutical world. Being that it is so effective in dealing with chronic nerve pain symptoms, it does not have the same sort of “high” a person would get from any typical opiate-based pain pill.

However, I did experience a certain type of euphoria upon taking it, and I would be able to work out in the gym hours longer than I typically would train for.

I know—quite excessive.

That’s just how I’ve always been. I’m either all in or all out. It’s a work in progress, the good news being that there’s at least a level of self-awareness when it comes to these sorts of things.

I hope that, in sharing my brief experience, even if it’s only one person this helps, this testimony might prevent you or anyone else from going down the same rabbit holes that I have. 

Is Lyrica Addictive? It Was for Me — And the Withdrawals Were Terrible

So here comes the day when I wanted to get off of Lyrica. I had no idea that upon quitting Lyrica that I would have a seizure that put me in the hospital.

I had one of the gnarliest detox/withdrawal experiences that I had ever experienced in my life.

I’ve had to kick alcohol and benzodiazepines like Valium (or even worse, Xanax), and I can say that the pain associated with getting off of Lyrica was worse.

If you are a person who deals with chronic nerve pain alone, I have found that for me personally, shifting to a more plant-based diet has done more for my pain than any other medications.

As far as seizure medications, another issue I have dealt with, I have also found several other medications with WAY FEWER side effects than Lyrica.

Talk to Your Doctor About Lyrica

Again, I am not a doctor—I am only speaking from my personal experience. Please seek advice from a professional before taking my word or any other person’s, for that matter, who is not a medical professional.

Have you had a bad experience with Lyrica, or a good one? Did you find it hard to come off of? Do you think Lyrica is addictive? Let me know in the comments.

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2 years ago

My sister abuses Lyrica. She runs out of it and has to suffer through withdrawals until her next refill. She is a totally different person— almost like dual personalities due to the lyrica. She’s happy and upbeat when she takes it and then when she runs out, she is physically ill and barely able to cope. She locks herself in her room whenever possible. She has no vision of ever stopping taking it.

Adam Fout
2 years ago
Reply to  Sister

I’m sorry to hear this—that is terrible. I hope she is able to get help.

2 years ago
Reply to  Adam Fout

She doesn’t want help. She doesn’t think she can ever live without it. I get so frustrated that she will not stick to her prescribed dose. She says that she has an addictive personality.

Adam Fout
2 years ago
Reply to  Sister

Sometimes they just have to suffer some consequences before they’re ready to change their behavior. I hope it doesn’t have to come to that for her.

2 years ago

I’m a 45 year old woman. I was prescribed Lyrica last Spring by a physician’s assistant that met me one time. She prescribed me Lyrica for my Neuropathy. The first time I took Lyrica, I remember feeling bombed out of my mind on one pill. I wish I would have taken that as a huge red flag and immediately stopped taking it. But it did help my nerve pain and within a few doses, that bombed feeling went away. I’m not great at remembering to take my medication at times. I’m sort of the take it when I need it and skip it when I don’t person. Within a few months, I noticed that I kept getting sick out of the blue. I would start sweating and feeling extremely nauseous, like I had the flu. My body would not be able to regulate its temperature and I would alternately sweat like crazy and then have body wracking chills. I would also experience waves of anxiety and suicidal ideation because while in the throes of these flus. These symptoms would go away within 1-2 hours of taking a Lyrica. Still, it took me months to put it together. I was experiencing Lyrica withdrawal when I missed 1-2 doses within 12 hours. I can’t describe how bad the withdrawal feels. Now that I know it’s the Lyrica, I realize I am in big trouble. I’m physically addicted to it. I’m so afraid of the withdrawal because it’s so bad that I could see myself committing suicide to avoid it. I had no idea this drug was so addictive. I’m angry that no doctor seems to know or care that this medication is the DEVIL. I would implore anyone to strongly reconsider before they take this drug.

1 year ago

If I missed my Lyrica dose for a day, I would immediately develop debilitating anxiety. I recall once I didn’t have my Lyrica for 2 days (had too much anxiety to leave the house to go to my pharmacy) as soon as I took the drug, I was relieved… and slept for hours even though there were things going on around me.

Because of an incompetent (or just evil) psychiatrist, I ended up detoxing from this drug (and several others that were prescribed to me at that time) COLD TURKEY. It was a nightmare.

I am absolutely upset that doctors fail to warn patients on the real side effects of these drugs.What makes it even worse if when doctors gaslight you, saying it is not a common side effect.

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