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HELP! Im in Hell coming off Lyrica!! Has anyone on here ever got off it...
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HELP! Im in Hell coming off Lyrica!! Has anyone on here ever got off it?

I am having a hell of a time w/d off Lyrica! It is horrible! I was on it for my dental pain and decided to get off of it b/c I gained almost 30lbs in 2 months and its not really helpful! I have read on many other forums about how bad it is to come off Lyrica, it takes a long time. I only saw in one forum that it took 3 to 4 months of w/d. I read a lot of people's stories that they dealt with the withdrawals for 2 to 3 weeks and couldn't take it anymore and got back on the Lyrica b/c the w/d are so bad! I agree, I am going through the same thing! Iv'e been off the Lyrica for 2 weeks now and nothing is better! I feel like I have the full blown flu, achy, joints hurt, can't sleep, nightmares, headache that doesnt go away, very bad GI problems, body temp is messed up, no appetite, lethargic, low grade fever, weak, night sweats every night,etc. I know what its like to w/d from the strongest pain med in the world,(fentanyl) and detoxed off high dosed of Norco and Loratab 10s. Those w/d were really bad, especially the fentanyl but, ended eventually. This Lyrica w/d is hell! I can't do anything. I fell like this will never end. I refuse to get back on the Lyrica but, I also need my life back! I knew taking Lyrica you would have some w/d but, I had no idea it would be this bad and this long! I can't believe no one on medhelp has ever talked about it b/c Lyrica w/d is all over other medical forums and, its all about how bad and long it is and how no one can handle it! There has to be someone on here that got off the drug after taking it reg. for a few months!
Hope someone can help!
Thank you!
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77 Comments Post a Comment
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495284_tn?1333897642
Is your doctor helping you with this taper?
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199177_tn?1332183097
no i have never heard of wd from lyrica i will have to look into it .
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Avatar_f_tn
I already did the taper 2 weeks ago.
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Just google ,Lyrica w/d or When does Lyrica w/d end and you will find a bunch of forum and ppl going through hell trying to get off it! Most can't handle it! Im soo trying to be strong and deal with it! I have chronic pain already, so Im used to being in constant pain!
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199177_tn?1332183097
ok i found this on the lyrcia site

Lyrica withdrawal
Lyrica is a prescription drug designed to help deal with epilepsy, nerve pain from things like Shingles, and the pain from fibromyalgia. Although it is not fully understood how the combination of chemicals works to help these problems, it has been shown to be very effective. However, if you've been on Lyrica and now have to go off of it for any reason, there are some things you should know about Lyrica withdrawal. Like most medications, it is advisable to wean off of Lyrica slowly to prevent these withdrawal symptoms or at least mitigate the bulk of them. You should not quit Lyrica cold turkey because this can cause severe withdrawal symptoms and will make it much harder to get off this drug when you need to.

Withdrawal symptoms for Lyrica are as follows:

•Insomnia
•Nausea
•Headaches
•Diarrhea
However, the most worrisome side effect for quitting Lyrica too quickly is the return of seizures you had before going on the medication or the arrival of new seizures that you've never had before. These seizures can occur even if you weren't taking Lyrica for seizures.

Lyrica withdrawal symptoms are generally nothing more than uncomfortable, though if you end up with seizures, it can be very problematic. However, if you have to wean yourself off of Lyrica and you want to avoid, or at least minimize your chances of contacting these side effects, you should allow yourself time to get off the drug and get it out of your system. Generally a week is advised of slowly weaning yourself off of Lyrica and letting your body work the drug out naturally. If you have to stop taking Lyrica because you will be starting another drug, then you should still take Lyrica in smaller and smaller doses until you have reached the full strength of dosages for the other drug you are taking. This will not only minimize your withdrawal symptoms, but also aid in minimizing chances of the two drugs interacting in a negative fashion.

Most withdrawal symptoms should be minor or nonexistent as long as you are careful, but if you are having trouble getting off the drug, then you should talk to your doctor about ways to get rid of the side effects. You should also tell your doctor if you plan to start on a different drug so that he can determine what you should do about your prescription for Lyrica.

However, like all antidepressants, there is a slight chance for worse withdrawal symptoms. In a clinical study done in 2005, an eighty year old patient on Lyrica abruptly went off the drug and developed a swelling in the area of the brain where epilepsy originates. This swelling led to dizziness, headaches, and hallucinations. Although it is not known firmly whether there is a link between these symptoms and quitting Lyrica cold turkey, many researchers agree that the link exists, so although not common, this is a withdrawal symptom that should be watched for.

No one should have to be stuck on a drug forever and Lyrica is a drug that you will not be taking indefinitely. Circumstances may prevent you from continuing the use of this drug (such as a risky pregnancy, or an allergic reaction for example) or you may find you do not need the drug anymore because you have found a better way to handle your problem. No matter what the issue is, the fact is that eventually you will not need to be on Lyrica anymore and it's good to know what to do in order to divest yourself of this drug safely and easily.
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495284_tn?1333897642
That is what i found too........
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Avatar_f_tn
Yeah I have read that many times. I saw my doctor yesterday morning and he just told me I had to ride it out since I already weaned. since reading all the other posts from other forums people seem to have all the same Hellish symptoms getting off of it! If I knew this , I would have never touched the drug! I just wanted to know if there is anyone out there that has really been on it for a while and acctually dealt with the wean and withdrawal????? I knew their would be some w/d but, i had no idea it would be this bad and long! I recommend that if you going on this drug, make sure it works and your staying on it b/c 99% of the people that were taking it and trying to get off of it couldn't and had to go back to taking it after dealing with horrible w/d for 2 to 3 weeks! I am hoping to beat this w/d! Thanks for everyones input!
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1090618_tn?1256841189
I've been on this med for neuropathic pain for about 4 years know, pretty much since it gained popularity. I have tried to quit c/t once with very bad results and then I tried to wean once with near the same results. I was awake for 5 days strait, in bed with excruciating abdominal pain, had hallucinations, was throwing up and many other things. I did manage to cut my dose in half and start Topamax to reverse the weight gain but I'm stuck with Lyrica forever.

Dave
SCI C5/C6
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Dave I know how you feel! Alot of people can't handle the w/d! I am going trough almighty he11! I haven't slept in over 2 weeks. I haven't had any achyness since fri. I am very, very slowly getting better...I hope! My GI symptoms are through the roof!
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yes i have been on lyrica for more then a year for seizures and my doctor is taking off it cold turkey cause my tongue swells and stays sooo dry. and this real bad stuff get threw this im afried of other meds. from chills,headaches,my whole body feels like a solid pain,nightmares ,confused at times,from my shouldiers to my fingers and legs feel sleepy like and heavy at times and tingley and sometimes feel like its hard to get my arms to work right,hard to sleep when i do im out for hours,sick at my stomach,going on my 5th day i believe things seems jumbled on days and hours ec t... dizzy,feels like my heart goes off rythem,cold chills and hot flashes all night and day. i am going threw menopause as well dont help that at all. different feelins all over my body i cant explain. sometimes i dont know to go to the hospital in the nights or what. i get knots all over my back now like tension knots. this is soooooooooo bad . any answers  ?????
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel your pain!  I took lyrica for about a year, finally increasing to 450 ml a day.  for fibromyalgia.  I didn't feel it was helping so I began tapering off.  Almost immediately started having hot flashes, weird uterus contractions,(painless Ones) never dreamed that it was from cutting back on lyrica.  The dr. said there wouldn't be any withdrawal syptoms (symptoms).  I have had blood work everything was fine.  I am 59 and went through menopause 8 or 9 years ago.  Well, it;s back!  along with ibs,nausea, the works.  This has gone on for over 2 months.  I took my last lyrica at thanksgiving.  Today is New Year's!  I'll feel a little better for a couple days, then back to square one!  I am at the end of my rope!
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I don't know how it is I missed this post at the beginning,,probably because the name "lyrica" was not familar to me, but I was introduced to it in August after a surgery flairup starting with gabapentin/neurontin which didn't agree with me so then was switched to the lyrica..I have been on and off of it since then as meds were switched around trying to find something that would work. Two months ago I decided to give it another try. Then all of the sudden started going into a weight gain situation that I was noticing primarily due to more Dr's visits than usual where weight was always being checked..This last round I was at 150mg daily. Been a couple weeks since my last dose which was 75mg's daily for the week prior to putting them down. This weight gain thing added 20 lbs in less than a month which is way abnormal for me. Now I'm really beginning to wonder about a few symptoms I have been noticing based on whats written in this thread..

Think at this point I'll stay away from them..I too was under the impression that this was something that was relatively safe, never saw or heard any warning about possible wd's, but being a couple weird things have happened lately, weght gain being the most pronounce, I believe I need to steer clear of them..There are too many question marks in my head as to whats going on that I reached a point that the process of elimination of med intake is my best course of action..

I fail to believe how the warnings that accompany these pain control meds seem to be so very limited to what extended use of some of these can lead to. This lyrica thread and associated wd's being described certainly were not in anything I had read earlier.

Just glad I didn't get into them any deeper than I did.
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My dr. acted like it was the most fantastic thing ever invented!  The thing is, i really didn't have any side effects from it, but after a year I just didn't feel that it was helping anything.  Dr. assured me there wouldn't be any with drawal.  I guess I can never prove it, but from what I have read on the message boards, there are a lot of people feeling like me!  What has me freaking is that I will feel so much better for a few days, them bam the hot flashes and chills and misery start up again.  I posted above that it is like a second menopause, except I didn't feel this bad the first time around!  i have had cbc blood work and urine check, all which came back okay.  My blood pressure is good and I don't have any actual pain or fever or bleeding, so the docs just look at you like you are crazy!  Well, if I wasn't before, I will be soon lol!  Happy New year everyone.
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Hi, I was on Neurontin which is similar.  My doctor had been pushing this idea on me for a few yrs and I finally gave in last Sept.  I stopped it c/t after only being on a few months because my stomach couldn't handle it.  It's been total hell and everything you describe.  The most annoying symptom I still have is loud ringing in my ears.  I know this is getting better since I don't feel aware of it every moment of the day, but still.  The hot flashes were killer, too, but those are better as well.  I finally don't feel so wound up either.  I hope it won't be as you describe...feel better for a few days, then it all comes back, but if it does, I'm ready.  At least now there are Good days instead of every day so terrifying and I hope that's true for you, too.  I SO feel for you and I hope this all goes away for us soon.  
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Thanks for the post, Jade.  I think one of the worst things is these awful feelings of doom!  i honestly thought I was dying, and tear up at everything!  this is NOT me!   I know I am driving my family nuts and that they and the docs.  are putting it down to "nerves" and they seem to think I just need to pull myself together.  I wish!  Another symptom which may or may not be related is that I seem to have a lot of sinus/allergy symptoms when I'm having a flareup.  I rarely sneeze, but I've been sneezing my head off!  Thanks for letting me vent!
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I would love to hear from anyone  who know how to come off Lyrica slowly??
I would think I could half the capsule??Any ideas would be helpful
Cheerz Suzanne Australia
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I would love to hear from anyone  who know how to come off Lyrica slowly??
I would think I could half the capsule??Any ideas would be helpful
Cheerz Suzanne Australia
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Please tell me how your taper is going.....I have been on 200mg 2x day, for 4 years. I have repeatedly tried to get off of LYRICA, but have not been successful...I am experiencing awful side effects from Lyrica : memory loss, horrible weight gain (50 lbs in 4 years...and not over eating at all), horrible water retention,  major swelling in hands and feet, awful gastrointestinal problems, constant bloating of my stomache (like I am 7-8 months pregnant), complete inability for normal sleep patterns (have had to take high dose ambien every night)....but I have bad spinal pain, and do not know what I can go on to taper.
Lyrica is an awful drug...I NEVER would have taken it had I known. But doctors push it for kickbacks to the drug company I think...When I told the doctor who  perscribed this my symptoms,...he said he never heard of anyone having ANY of these symptoms, AND "HIS rep SAYS THIS IS THE SAFEST DRUG OUT THERE. HA, HA, HA. He obviously NEVER googled "Lyrica Side Effects."
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shellbell79 did you manage to get off lyrica successfully?  i have gone through the weaning stages and now off completely.  it is a living hell, i am confined to bed and cant walk all of those symptoms you have i have as well, your post about safest drug made me laugh as well unbelievable how they think that it is safe.  i am now taking b100 complex alpha lipoic and evening primrose tabs.  they arent working as yet because i am having such a hard time being off the lyrica.  this is my first week off and i wondered if you have managed to get over it and off completely,  i have lost a stone in a week after coming off them and my gp said they dont cause weight gain!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have only been on lyrica for a month an after reading about it and it not helping
alot of people i want to stop taking it. I am only taking 25mg three times a day.
Have i been on it long enough to have side effects when i stop taking it and do i
need to gradually come off it. Any help would be helpful.
Thank you have a good day
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there,
Yes definately wean yourself off of it! Since your on a low dose..hopefully your w/d won't be to hard! Wean down slowly to 1 a day for at least a week. I hope it helps! Lots of water!
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I was on Lyrica 75 mg 3 times a day for Fibromyalgia for almost a year.  Was having some vision problems and decided it was time to try getting off it before I had an eye exam and it screwed up my prescription.  I weaned off the Lyrica and decided to try Cymbalta.  Well, I had way too many side effects and went off after a week.  Now I noticed I have constant side stickers and have terrible gas no matter what I eat.  What type of GI problems are you having?  I also have a strange whistle in my right ear when it's quiet.  My pain has subsided which I'm excited about but even after a week I still have the constant side stickers.
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Avatar_m_tn
I took an injury to the head in 99 and about six months later was found comatose in my dorm room. After ruling out several possibilities they (the docs) came to the conclusion that it was post-traumatic epilepsy. Now ever since I've been taken off, I did well for a number of months and eventually had seizures once more. I was putback on dilantin, which I was on before. After about three more tonic-clonic seizures I was put on Lyrica, in combination with Trleptal and Depakote. I was Eventually taken off the Depakote because of complications with a mitochondrial disorder I have, so my Trileptal levels were raised. That only dropped my sodium levels dangerously low, and hospitalized me (no seizures, thankfully). The docs raised my Lyrica levels to 250mg twice a day and dropped my Trileptel levels. After unusual side effects and aura like symptoms, Lamictal, and eventually Klonopin was added. Now, my doctor's plan is to ween me off the Lyrica, and eventually the Klonopin. The schedule for weening me off is practically a nine month event. 25mg every three weeks. I can say that after being off just 25mg of Lyrica for only 1 1/2 weeks I feel horrible. Nausea, stomach cramps, dizziness, and most importantly of all, confusion (which is dangerous for seizure patients like myself). Now I've been weened off drugs before and never has it been so difficult, with exception of Ativan. I should add that I'm 33 years old right now and all of this began when I was 20. It took me 7 years just to get my Bachelors degree from IU, and now it's pretty much useless. So I hope this helps some of you. I'm sorry for the life story, I just thought that some of my past might help other epileptic patients. Good luck to all of you.
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I tried Lyrica for fibromyalgia starting at 12.5 mg (yes,slicing the capsule) and then by day 9 I moved up to 25 mg.  At day 12, I thought I would skip a day to see if I could take it every other day.  Holy cow !  I take it in the a.m. and by late in the afternoon, all my fibro symptoms were on fire!  I hardly made it through the night and was terrified of the pain.  I resumed a 12.5 mg/day immediately out of fear of having those, could they be withdrawal symptoms in that short of time?  I plan on trying the 12.5 for a few more days but I believe I will not continue.  It's day 16 and I still have not completely recovered from that night.  How did this drug get by testing?
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did GI symptoms improve.
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I have been on Lyrica for 5 years for Fibromyalgia. I took 225 mg per day. Gained 50 lbs. my ring size changed 3 sizes! I have finally stopped taking it. I was NEVER told about withdrawal. Doctor's don't seem to know much about this drug if you ask me. I was taking Lyrica, Cymbalta, Morphine, Ambien, Muscle relaxers, and other meds. I was in a deep fog. I just took my last 50 mg pill 4 days ago. I am going to hang in there this time. My worst symptom is itchy/burning hands and feet. No one has mentioned this. Anyone else have this problem? It will wake me up at night and I have to will myself not to scratch. Then it will completely go away in about an hour. Weird. Also, really weepy. Feel like crying all the time and really hopeless. Also, I have a new MD. He is the one who weened me off all of the meds. I was bed bound and on disability. I am now taking something called L-5-Methylfolate. Folic Acid. It has been a wonder supplement for me. There is a genetic problem some people have that makes it impossible to break down the folic acid in food. This is already broken down. Thanks for all the info.
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I have been on Lyrica for a year for fibromyalgia pain. For the last 3 months my dose has been 300 mg , 100 am 200 pm. I also took Cymblata and the combination relieved 95% of my fibro pain. I recently ran out of meds because I have no insurance and had to pay 150. to see the Dr before she refilled it. OMG....I have a whole new outlook on those addicted to drugs now. I started with a horrible headache and then the nausea and vomiting. I swore I would never take it again the thought made me want to puke again. I ended up going back on it just to taper it off. It has only been a few days but my research said it can take up to 3 weeks. Hang in there you are getting close!
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Mamabear, this post is over two years old the OP is not active. You already have a post going so you should stick with that one so we can follow you.
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Due to neuropathy pain and seizures,  I have been on Lyrica 100 mg 2 x day. Two weeks ago I was at the end of my rope .I was suffering from HAIR LOSS,   depression, paranoid, falling, slurred speech, confusion, forgetful, nerve twitches, weight gain , felt like I was on a BAD drunk, hungry all the time, constipation . My family thinks I am a *****.. My Dr. took me off of 1-100 mg capsule with in 2 days I felt like a different person. During the first week I had headaches and nausea. The past 3 days  I have started having headaches, night sweats, tightness in right neck and back muscles,  tingling in my face, feet and fingers,head itching  trouble sleeping. My neuropathy pain is back..  My feet feel like they are asleep. My toes are so cold and can't get them warm.. Here it is 4:30 a.m. and still not asleep.. I was checking to see if there is a possibility of withdraws before calling my dr.. didn't want him to think I was crazy.. ha ha.. Thanks for letting me vent.. Calling Dr. in the morning..
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Hi and Welcome! It does sound like those are typical withdrawal symptoms. Have you thought about doing a slow taper off the Lyrica? That sometimes can help decrease the withdrawal symptoms. You also may want to copy and paste this post and start a new discussion,,this is an older post and sometimes they get overlooked. Hang in there and def check with your doctor tomm. Hope you feel better~(((hugs)))Bkitty
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I am going on 8 weeks of being off of Lyrica and am experiencing w/d symptoms through the roof!  I have terrible diarrhea and the worst itching ever. I had to stop cold turkey because the clinic I was at to detox off of other pain meds didn't prepare properly and ran out of my medication. They wanted to order more, but it had already been a few days so I declined a new script. But, at the time I wasn't going through the hell I am now. Oh well, I'm bound to get through this. I deplore the medical profession for allowing thus to happen. I trusted their knowledge, but all they cared about is getting their kickbacks from the pharm companies. I have found dietary methods to reduce my original chronic pain, thank goodness. Anyway, benadryl nor creams help the itching.  I was on Lyrica for many years do I have no clue how much longer I'll have to endure this. I implore anyone considering the drug to think otherwise. Find a holistic way to combat your ailments. Good luck and may God bless you.
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Thanks for your response.. I am being taken off gradually.. I was so bad that I called the Dr early the next day. He told me to take Diazepam. This did help every thing.. I slept all day.. Getting some sleep was wonderful. I took one last night when I went to bed.. Slept all night with no night sweats or any thing else.. I have not taken any today.. Cleaned, did the washing felt really good.. It is 6:4:45 I am starting to sweat real bad and have a horrible headache.. Can be thankful for the little time I had.. You said copy and paste these post some place else.. not sure where, since I am a new comer.. Thanks again for careing.. that is a great help !!!
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I have been on Lyrica for several years now for FM and my insurance company wants $200 a month going forward.  Not going to do that.  I was reading on another thread about an herbal product called FIBRO-RESPONSE by Source Naturals.  I am on day 4 and I have a headache and some burning but I don't feel as bad as I've been reading about.  I'm also on Cymbalta and I have Adrenal Fatigue which I'm also treating with herbal concoctions.  

I'm taking 3 FIBRO-RESPONSE once a day and may increase that going forward if symptoms get worse.  I read many reviews on Amazon.com and pretty much every review was very promising.  
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I can only hope that there are numerous class action lawsuits against this drug/drug company for this vile and utterly horrible drug.  I took it from November 2011 to the first week of January 2012 for a shoulder injury...barely two months...jump ahead til October 4th 2012 and I am only NOW starting to feel normal again.  I gained over 30 pounds in two months, my legs and feet swelled horribly (and I have never had a problem with swelling EVER and I am 39 years old), I itched so insanely in random spots at random times that I thought I was going to lose my mind.  But this is the kicker...even months after coming off of it, I am still suffering from the swelling in my legs and feet, insane, sporadic itching episodes...this crap gets in your system and it STAYS in your system.  No doctor will tell you that, and the drug company would NEVER admit to it, but I am telling you that only being on it for two months has kept that mess in my system for over 9 months after the fact.  I was happy, healthy, NO health issues, NO swelling issues, NO weight issues, and now I'm dealing with high blood pressure (that I have NEVER had before), and doing my best to get my life back after this wretched drug.  I would beg anyone who was even remotely thinking about taking it to NOT EVER allow this drug to be in your home and certainly not in your body.

Side note:  The doctor did not tell me to taper ON to it so I ended up in the hospital, after taking 150mg orally the first time, suffereing from an anaphalactic reaction so severe that my throat closed up, my tongue swelled up, I couldn't breathe, and thank God I only live about three minutes from the nearest hospital or I honestly think I would have died.  The doctors were not concerned when told about this (the ortho who prescribed it) and said to cut back to 75mg and then increase to 150mg.  The doctors will not acknowledge that there are effects from this drug MONTHS after you come off of it, not days or weeks, MONTHS...I am living this nightmare so please believe me.  I have heard of some folks taking it and doing ok, but more often than not these forums are filling up with posts and comments about the horrible experiences people are having with this atrocious drug.  I pray that it will be yanked off the market and no one else will ever have to suffer the side effects and bodily changes that take place from taking this drug.  Because trust me, you might gain 30+ pounds in two months but you WON'T lose it in 2 months...it's like my body has shut down and will not respond to any efforts of exercise or diet to lose weight (and I use to work in the weight loss industry in upper management, I know a thing or two about that topic).  Just do yourself a favor and DO NOT EVER go on this drug.
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About 2 yrs ago I was taking Lyrica and decided to stop. I was sick for a mnth. I did it cold turkey. I was emotionaly and physiaclly sick. It was pretty bad, but I got through it. I was determined. Just like I did 15 days ago with norco. All I can say is you just have to hang in there. Good luck to you, you can do it if you put your mind to it. I promise!
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I have been on lyrica for about a year and because of side effects want off I was told to come off in 5 days. I feel sick to my stomach, nausea, stomach pain and severe headaches. This all after 2 days of not taking. I called the dr to see what could be done to help and my answer was take one lyrica a day. This I will not do.   I also would not recommend this drug. It is the worst I have ever felt in my life. I have been on opiates and had less problems coming off.  Please people listen to what we say. For some there is no problem but from all my reading there are more with. Keep it out of your homes
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My son was put on Lyrica for severe back pain. He was in hell from W/D.
GI probs, fever, insomnia, everything mentioned above.
I gave him micro doses of Iboga. It's legal in canada - not in the usa.  
Fast relief from suffering. In 4 days of micro dosing his suffering was over.
he continued for the next 2 weeks and stopped.
hope it helps. my trusted source is maya-ethobotanicals. netherlands  
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Avatar_m_tn
I know what I'm going to say is wrong but I'm putting my experience across. I have been on preganlin due to having a hip replacement done and spinal pain due to car crash. My surgeon put me on it after my hip replacement and have noticed my weight going up and up which is getting me down. I decided on Saturday that I had enough and stopped dead on taking the meds. Well on a good note my head is not spinning and my brain and speech are now syncing back nicely. On the down affects I have chronic stomach pains, feel sick, anziety, not slept properly since coming off them and going to the toilet more than regular. The stomach pains and the anxiety are the worse out of it all. I hoping after a few more days this will ease up. My pain level has gone up but would rather that than my stomach looking like I'm 6 months pregnant , which has now gone in only 3 days.... Fingers crossed :-(
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I ment to say pregablin which is the same as your meds..
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Ive been on Lyrica for 4 yrs, they had me up to 200mg a day, I decided that it really didnt help with the chronic pain, I basically droped down to 50 mg a night. 50 mg a night for a year.  I now have 3 wks off of it and I totally agree, its a nightmare. I wish I droped down to 25mg, oh well, maximum sleep a night now is 4 hours and I take 100mg of trazadone. Total depression, I feel strung out. aches, the whole ball game. I think this medication should be taken off the market, I really am thinking of doing a petition. 30 yr chronic pain and this med is like coming off of narcotics.
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Welcome to the forum mitchman......glad you are here and posting.  This particular thread that you posted on dates back to 2010, so you may want to go to the top of the page, hit the orange post a question, and start your own new thread if you want some feedback or discussion from others.

Back in October, I posted about Lyrica myself, and stepped on some toes.
So, even tho there are some that take Lyrica, and others that may be considering starting to take it, I think your experience is invaluable to read.
You are definitely not ALONE.....and trying to help others is what this forum is all about~

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I apologize if someone has already said this. Don't have much time rigt now. I was on a MONSTER dose of lyrica. 800-1000 mg a day. I tapered then asked doc to switch me to gabapentin. It is virtually the same thing only way less intense. Takes away the w/ds and is very very easy to taper off of. Hope this helps
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I have tried to get off Lyrica twice now, I gained excessive weight etc and was unsure as to the benefits of the drug on my chronic pain (I still had a LOT).

The first time I had been on 300mg/day for just over a year and with Doctors advice at weaning off it I reduced my intake by 75mg for a week, then another 75 the next week, but I could only last just over a week. I had horrendous nausea and vertigo, along with constant headaches and a debilitating migraine every 2-3 days. I wasn't changing any other medications and was not drinking.

I ended up going back up a dose to get out of bed in the morning.

6 months later I was willing to try again - this latest attempt at getting off the drug has been much more successful, by reducing my dosage by 25mg instead (initially my GP didn't even know they came in that size, my pharmacist told me). I have been ever so slowly weaning off the medication by reducing every second day by 25mg for a week, then staying on the lower dosage for another week (or 2) before trying again. It is a slow process but it is working! This way minimises the side effects massively, the nausea is mild and there are mild-moderate headaches for the first week but then it's pretty much fine. I would never decrease my dosage any other way!
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I've been in severe withdrawal from Lyrica.  Been on 300 mg. p/day for past 6-7 years now.  Stopped cold turkey 41 days ago, which I wouldn't advise...taper always less dangerous!  I have been unsuccessful trying to taper many times in the past.  So, 41 days ago, I checked into rehab to get off daily doses of: Lyrica 300mg., Zoloft 200 mg., sinequan/doxipen 200mg., Ambien 20 mg., xanax 3 mg., oxycontin 240 mg., oxycodone 30 mg., dilauded 48 mg.,
and lots of soma.  Rehab "hospital" offered little actual medical care...not even vitals or bloodwork, just AA, NA meetings (which are great once out of the acute withdrawal syndrome phase).  I left on day 8 when I felt the opiate withdrawals were over the worst.  But I never could have imagined the hell I was about to experience!  I've been through opiate withdrawals before, but this time so much worse.  I think it must be all the lyrica and
antidepressants I'm detoxing from.  Ok- day 41, and still suffering with:  stomach+intestinal gnawing pain, diarrhea, vomiting, migraine, hot+cold sweats and clamminess, insomnia for days at a time!, ANXIETY!!!!, 30+ pound sudden weight loss, total lack of appetite, weak, depressed...totally useless...suicidal thoughts.  This is the worst illness/prison I've ever experienced!  Been to the doctor 3 times and even ER once for MRI+CAT scans of brain to rule out stroke, tumors, etc.  Docs are twiddling their thumbs.  I'm wondering where to turn now?  I'm getting more sick by the day, drs are NOT helping, and the more days that go by, the weaker I become.  Any advise or experiences you may have greatly appreciated!!!  Thanks.
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Lyrica can be beaten! I did it over a year ago and have not looked back.! I had been on 150 mg x 2 per day for over 6 years. Back problems. When I made up my mind to quit, I already knew from experience, that it wouldn't be easy. A couple of lapses in taking the drug had taught me that, the hard way. You cannot quit it cold turkey, don't try. I, like you, had found very few people who had successfully gotten off the drug, most gave up after several weeks of unending nausea, head aches and everything else people describe. So, I knew for sure, I would need to draw upon a substantial well of SELF DISCIPLINE!
So, here is what I did, and it can work for anyone, if they stick to it.
The first thing I did, was to establish what I called the "48 hour rule". This meant that under no circumstances would I allow myself to take a dose, except once every 48 hours. If you drop the ball here, you're screwed. My daily was 300 mg. The first thing I did was cut that to 1- 150 mg cap, at the 48 hour mark. I continued this 150 mg once every 48 hours for 2 or 3 weeks. That's when I realized there must be another rule at play, one which I'd already done once, by cutting the dose in half, and again, only after 48 hours. The second rule was that, every 2 weeks, I would cut the dose I took at the 48 hour mark, by half. The best way to do this is to gently twist the capsule open, empty the contents onto a fairly large mirror/razor blade (yes!) or other piece of glass. Subdivide the powder from the capsule to create 2 new doses, each only half as large as what you're used to. I called this the 50% rule.
Those are the two critical rules to follow, without fail. What happens is, you graduate downward, and you notice the difference each time you cut the size of the dose. But even very small doses would produce the same "warm" feeling, the "all better" feeling, and a decent nights sleep (sort of). Eventually, for me it was after about 3 months, the tiny little dose I was taking every 48 hours, looks so small, you can't reasonably cut it in half again. When I got to that point, at the next 48 hour point, I simply didn't take any, and it was over. It was a bit like taking an airplane down to about 2 inches off the ground. From there, I just stepped off onto the ground and it was no biggie.
The trick I used to repackage the smaller doses I was creating and taking, was to use cigarette papers. Put the powder in the crease in the paper and then carefully fold it and then don't disturb till you put it in your mouth and wash down with water.
The withdrawal symptoms common with Lyrica are some of the worst that exist for this, or any class of drug. It's like going thru menopause, heroin withdrawal, while car sick and suffering from GI type flu. If I was really cynical, I might say it seems like a designer drug, (also expensive), designed to be near impossible to quit, yet covered by a good drug benefit plan, a real money-maker for the pharma. Following my method, you can get off it, but you will still suffer right up to near the end of 3 months. You cannot relapse back onto it or cheat the little program I describe, or you will be lost. Doing it using the 48 hour rule and the 50% rule, ensures that eventually the tiny dose you've whittled it down to, is fairly easy to just turn your back on. That was 14 months ago for me, and I feel no desire for the drug, at all.
I wish everyone good luck and I am providing this information because I think people need a way out, and it worked for me!
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Thanks for the advice...it may be worth a try...one question...how do u feel now after coming off Lyricia...pains, depressions..or has all that gone also..I would be interested in knowing this as think it is also v important...Blessings and thanks again...Lyn...x
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Thanks for the advice...it may be worth a try...one question...how do u feel now after coming off Lyricia...pains, depressions..or has all that gone also..I would be interested in knowing this as think it is also v important...Blessings and thanks again...Lyn...x
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Hi! This thread is over 3 years old. If you go back out to the main page, you can hit the 'Post a Question' link and post any questions you may have. I don't have any experience with Lyrica, but I know there are some people around who do. I have heard it can be difficult to come off of. Post your question out there and I'm sure someone with more experience will come along. Good luck to you, and take care!
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How much tapering did you do before switching medications?
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Thanks!
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Hi;
I feel great after shaking off the Lyrica! I don't have a sense of anything fundamental being disturbed, long term. I generally feel happy and am sleeping OK. The only detail I realized I missed in my cure story, was the fact that I was afraid to try to get off Lyrica until after I retired at the end of 2011. Part of my motivation was the fact it is not covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan - not listed. I didn't want to float a drug plan just to pay for it, expensive either way, considering the drug is basically and end unto itself. You don't keep taking it because it actually does any good, just to avoid the horrible and long lasting withdrawal. Even though my last job was working from home, I still needed to be free of it for the 3 months, as there is a lot of insomnia, delusion, and crappy feelings while getting off it and I couldn't see how I could do a full time job and quit at the same time.
If I were in the midst of a good career, I would seek permission to take a 3 month medical leave, in order succeed in quitting. Depending on their understanding of the difficulty of the task of quitting, they may or may not be sympathetic to the cause. Besides the over-arching cost of the drug, the other motivator is the hair loss - that's the one that really drove me to quit!!

Thanks and good luck!
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Thanks for your story...encouraging! I am amazed at the side effects (Hair loss too...) all these side effects are so deibilitating...and that is sufficient for me to taper off the Lyricia as time moves on...and it will be satisfying to shift some kilos too...knowing that it can be accomplished is the heartening issue...And I wish u the best in your retirement! Lyn.
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oh my gosh i thought it was all in my head someone else feels what i do withdrawing from lyrica cold turkey if anybody knows how to stop this please tell me i just want to go to sleep and not wake up till it is over
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I feel your pain!
No one has ever quit this drug cold turkey, it is way too harsh. Read my original post above, I tapered off over a 3 month period and I did it by sticking to rules and a schedule. This will work for you if you follow the method of dose reduction I describe.
Good luck to you - you can make it!!
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WOW- it sure sounds like w/d's from opiates, but lasting FOREVER!! I had no idea it was that bad!! This drug sounds like it has more cons to taking it compared to the pros, so I cannot see how a doctor would think it would be ok to freely impose it on unsuspecting patients (just for the few dollars they get for every Rx of this crap they write). This drug should be pulled!!!!!
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I finally found something to help me.  It's called GABA, available otc.  I've been posting all evening with this info, because I know what misery you are in if you're one of the unlucky people experiencing Lyrica withdrawal.  I can't believe I am sitting here, actually feeling good.  It feels like forever since I've been well.

I hope you will forgive me for not writing everything down, but I have been typing all evening and I'm beat.  My entire experience can be found on the website Neurotalk.com.  I don't think you have to join to look, but if you do, it's free.  I started my own thread under the "medicine" tab called "Lyrica withdrawal syndrome", under the name triviafriend.  The last post (as of 11pm today) gives all the information, how much, where to buy, everything.  Please post if you have anything to add/report.  
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I am trying to get this message out to everybody who is on Lyrica.  There is an easy way to get off this and other meds. I took Lyrica for five years at 300 mgs a day (2 x 150) and found it very hard to get off. Here is the way to do it: find a compounding pharmacy and have them make custom doses. This works absolutely great. I had them make custom-dose pills so that I could reduce by only 5 or 10% per week.

I went from 300 mgs a day to 280 mgs/day; then from 280 mgs a day to 260 mgs...eventually, 140 mgs/day, 130 mgs, 120 mgs, etcetera, until I was down to tiny decreases like 45 mgs/day, 40 mgs, 35 mgs, all the way down to 5 mgs. With these small reductions, I was actually able to reduce every 3-4 days or so, and the taper was literally imperceptible. I had NO negative effects, whereas when I tried to taper using the standard capsules, which force you to reduce 25 mgs at a time, I could not do it. My body was freaking out---spasms, sweating, shaking, anxiety. Yes, it takes time (it took me about 4 months) but it works and once you are done, you are done. No withdrawal, nothing.

I did the exact same thing for Savella, btw! I tried to taper it on my own with the standard doses, and it was dreadful. I'd been on it for several years too (100 mgs a day) and just could not get off it because the discontinuation syndrome was so bad. I went to a compounding pharmacy, and they made custom capsules according to my request, so I did tiny reductions like with the Lyrica: 95 mgs, 90, 85, and eventually really small changes like 11 mgs, 9 mgs, 7 mgs, 5 mgs.... until I was down to 2 mg capsules, and then finally zero.

This is the way. If you ask me, it's the ONLY way for many people, and doctors don't even know about it. I have since told my docs about it and they were thrilled, because they had never thought about this. The rub, of course, is that you have to pay for it out of pocket. Have your doctor prescribe your normal dose, which hopefully your insurance covers, and then take those standard-dose pills to the compounding pharmacy, and they will charge you to make custom doses out of them.

The total cost for the custom Lyrica capsules was about $200, and for the Savella it was like $120. If your compounding pharmacy requires a note from your doctor, have your doctor write one up.

I suffered from fibromyalgia pain for six years. Lyrica and Savella were awesome for me. They helped me so much and gave me my life back. BUT, by some miracle I eventually got better, and now have been totally off all meds for four months, without pain. Seriously, try the custom-dose approach. The changes are so gradual and so subtle that your body will not notice and will have plenty of time to adjust. I came up with the custom-dose idea when I happened to walk by a compounding pharmacy one day.

I wish everyone the very best of luck!







Got off both meds.

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im trying to come down from 1600mg lyrica a day. (400mg x 4 times)
for neuropathic pain in my neck.
im also on 40mg fluoxetine, 4mg candesarten and 150mg topiramate.

been getting shivery and cold, and muscle cramps, increased neck pain, problems with speech, lack of concentration, firey spine sensation. dark thoughts.

ive got to get down to 1000mg. im having trouble functioning at work as it is.
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I quit the highest dose the first of yr'13
I went from 110-115 to 154. Not sure but I think it's caused brains farts from hell. And I can't stop losing weight. I'm at 103 now. Concerned now of seizures that could possibly occur or memory damage! Idk ..quit pain meds cold turkey 3 yrs ago
Just on Valium as needed now
I'm starving bit also have 2 ulcers.. I eat but not so good and drink a couple ensure smoothies a day
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I quit the highest dose the first of yr'13
I went from 110-115 to 154. Not sure but I think it's caused brains farts from hell. And I can't stop losing weight. I'm at 103 now. Concerned now of seizures that could possibly occur or memory damage! Idk ..quit pain meds cold turkey 3 yrs ago
Just on Valium as needed now
I'm starving bit also have 2 ulcers.. I eat but not so good and drink a couple ensure smoothies a day
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I've been on Lyrica for about three months or so and it's been great for neuropathic pain up until about 6-7 weeks ago. It's slowly stopped being useful 1, then 2, then 3 hours, etc. close to the end of 12 hour cycles of medicine. It recently stopped being effective at all and the pain became so unbearable I was in the emergency room for what is now most of yesterday (most was in the waiting room of course). I was just switched cold turkey from Lyrica to Gabapentin. I was on 150mg twice a day and am now on Gabapentin 300mg once a day for the next twenty days. Script is up a few days before my next neurologist appointment. The pharmacist heavily recommended I call my neurologist before taking both at the same time, and they both said to drop Lyrica straight off. I've been up since then. I think I was able to sleep for a few minutes because I remember most everything from tonight except for trying to scream and I couldn't...so I guess that's lucid dreaming. I keep hearing screams and yells and sharp laughter...I feel like I'm swimming through syrup and I don't want to sleep at this point because I don't want to have another nightmare and I'm honestly so scared. I can't see a neurologist until Oct. 17th and mine has been completely unhelpful in this situation. I also take geodon 60mg x2 a day, propanolol 40 mg x2 a day, lamictal 200 mg at night, wellbutrin 150 mg in the morning, xanax 1 mg at night, and sprintec (birth control) in the morning. I don't know what these interactions might be, and missed doses of my medication have caused similar reactions. The sounds are malicious, and I don't want to be on any of these medications, but I have little to no choice in the matter. I know the Gabapentin has definitely made me feel a bit loopy and very sedated, but I also am having a lot of trouble sleeping besides the hallucinations. The pain has let up for now...I'm not sure how this is going to go. I have class in the morning, so I hope things get better soon.
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Hey there Kesskitty- I am so sorry you are going through all of this. What I would do is try to get in to see your Neuro ASAP. Hallucinations are nothing to just sit around and deal with until your next appointment. Do yourself a favor and get seen NOW. Good luck!
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I went to the Doctor today because I had questions about my Lyrica. I take two tabs a day. 150 mg for my fibromyalgia. I told him it was giving me suicidial thoughts, and making me feel ill and irritable all the time and I don't want to feel that way. My boyfriend has noticed these changes. We have just reunited after 20+ years, and I don't want to mess this up. My doctor thought that I was seeking pills when I asked for a different medication. I asked him about weaning myself off the Lyrica, the side effects, and all he would tell me was go talk to the pharmacy tech. I was furious. I have had seizures since I was 18 months old, coming off this Lyrica is one of the side effects. Now, I'm pissed. Anybody got any advice. I've emailed a Doctor that used to work at that office hoping that she will give me some input.  
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I a.m so sorry forwhat you have been through.   I think these doctors and pharmacy companies should be held accountable,  maybe prison?
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I a.m so sorry forwhat you have been through.   I think these doctors and pharmacy companies should be held accountable,  maybe prison?
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Your  story is very encouraging; I hope I have the determination and willpower to follow your advice.
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I was on 300 mg twice a day for 3 yrs for nerve pain. I can relate to all of your stories.I have been off of lyrica for 3 weeks with OMG!! Withdrawls. Flu like symptoms, sweats, major insomnia, and the most scariest of all was my blood pressure and heart rate( suffered a heart attack in 2010) was 167/100 with a 123 heart rate while sitting down!!! My new pain management doctor was horrified when he learned that I was on that much for that long. He put me on gabapentin which is considered a "safe drug" and is working well. So if your thinking of getting off lyrica do it as soon as possible. This drug hasn't been out long enough to determine the lasting effects let alone the withdrawals which will eventually go away.
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I've been on Lyrica for about 4 months now for severe back, leg, and ankle pain.  I'm up to 225 mg twice a day.  I need to get off of it because it's causing severe anxiety, irritability and hostile behavior.  I'm afraid to talk to my doctor about it.  The first time that he suggested I take the medicine earlier this summer, I tried it and my ankles swelled up so badly I could hardly walk. When I returned to my doctor to talk about another medication, he got so upset with me that he waded up a paper and threw it at me.  Can you imagine?  After a few days, I decided to give the medicine another try and look at me now - I'm all messed up.  When I go talk to my doctor this time is he going to throw a brick at me?  Maybe I should go in full body armor.  Seriously, I need to get off it.  I've decided to open the capsules and tap out a little bit. I'm going to take out a little more every few days.  I hope it works without having too many problems with withdrawals.  I don't need any more hell in my life.  Good luck with your situation.
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Listening to all these stories I can relate to even coming clean to my doctor I had come dependant on meds. And he kicked me out of his office. I have been dealing with script addiction since 2003 so I truly understand what we all our going through. The withdrawls mean either you, your body or both are dependant and our brains don't work like it should. So now what!!!!! ???????
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If you are on a dose as low as 25mg three times a day, I really don't think you will have withdrawal problems. These people having the w/d are on huge doses. I am currently taking between 125mg a night. I have stopped abruptly before, and not had any problems apart from more difficulty sleeping, which is what i take it for.
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The doctors at rehab have put my mother on Lyrica and on MS Contin and she's on Norco for pain  She's 87 and about 97 lbs soaking wet. She is so confused and can hardly keep her eyes open since they started all this together. I swear they are trying to kill her.  But I've told them to stop all Lyrica and stop the MS Contin. I don't mind her being on Norco for the pain and a dilaudid if she needs it in between.  But seeing her go from a functioning person in pain ready to be released to a very confused person who can't stay awake long enough to eat is very frustrating.  I hope she does okay on the withdrawals.  But I must get her off of this.  Jeez...these doctors  just throw drugs and drugs at them.  
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I SO AGREE with you!!  The older we get, the more sensitive our bodies get to prescription medication....we metabolize it differently than someone younger.  The Norco and Dilaudid in between if she needs it sounds good.

She is SO BLESSED to have you for a daughter and it's great that you are looking out for her.  I agree, adding MS Contin and Lyrica to the Norco would totally zone her out.  I'll tell you when my Dad was in his last days he never would have made it without an advocate in the lung hospital he was in....they even carried strep b across the hall....and I was furious with them!  I'm so glad she has you...you're right to be concerned.

If you want to talk to any of us on the substance abuse forum again....this thread is pretty old...and if you go to the top of this page and hit the orange post a question button, you will be on the most current page of those seeking help and answers on the forum.

Wishing you and your Mom the best~
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Kick, I too took Lyrica for a month, refilled the script and started on it and it did me the same way it did you. I quit CT didn't know any better. The Dr. gave me amitriptyline 25mg it worked great!! I was on it a month. I was also taking ambien so when I went to get off it I took the amitriptyline again. Stopped taking it again and just took otc pm med. all this in a 2 month time with on wd's and no trouble. You might check into it.  
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2014 and I have just read these comments about Lyrics.  I had a similar journey that started in early 2013 when I went to an upper cervical chiropractor for a stiff neck that was bothering me.  After several adjustments to the C1 and a final adjustment to the C2, I spiraled down into total body nerve pain.  I went to an orthopedic pain management specialist who put me on 300 mg daily, telling me the pill was a non-narcotic and "I didn't have to worry about it." I didn't stay on that very long, I felt so terrible, that I quickly went down to 200 mg. a day and stayed on that amount for about 3 months.  When I tried to go down to 150 mg. I had all the symptoms I'm reading about here- headache, sleeplessness, mental fog, loud ringing in my ears, and horrible diarrhea.  So I went back up to 200 mg.  when another well respected doctor in alternative medicine told me the Lyrica was "poisoning my system"'I was determined to get off.  This doctor helped my neck and I was able to go down to 100 mgs.  From there it became a night mare!  Not knowing what exactly "gradual withdrawal" means, I thought gradually going off the  100 in a week's time would do it.  I have never experienced anything so terrifying in my life.  I felt as if spiders were crawling all over my body, my head pounded and my ears rang so loudly, I could barely stand it.  I am now grateful, I didn't have a seizure! I could go on and on here, but what I want you all to know is that I did finally get off this terrible drug.  I have been off for about 7 months.  The way I did it was to go down from 200 mgs. In 25 mgs. Increments and would stay on that dose for at least a month before lowering it again.  I did have withdrawal symptoms, especially with the stomach and sleep, but I was determined and I prayed a lot.  I still have some nerve pain, whistling in my ears, but I can tolerate it.  I am SO glad to be off this terrible drug.  Good luck and many prayers to you all who are in this battle.  I so understand what you are going through.
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I also had some relief using GABA.  It was prescribed to me by a nutitionist to counteract the effects of the Lyrica.  I used a supplement called Zen.  It contained 550 mg of GABA ( gamma-aminobutyric acid) and 200 mg mg of L-Theanine.  When I first took it I felt amazingly better, but it seemed that the longer I took it, the effects decreased.  Still worth a try for all those who are suffering.  I just can't believe that more doctors are not aware of the terrible withdrawal symptoms of this drug!
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This is a reply to all who have reported significant side affects from Lyrica and/or significant side effects with withdrawal. Please report this to the FDA. I do not have confidence that our Dr's do or our health care systems. The FDA and the drug companies collude to get drugs on the market and chronically under report users negative feedback. I believe that posting on the FDA sight may get the FDA to test this very strong drug. Best to all of you.
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I am coming of varied doses of Lyrica which I have been taking for 5 months in the dosage range of 75-1200 mg, (for depression, migraine prophilaxis and GAD) mostly around 450-750 mg a day. I have skipped a few days here and there without ill effect. Now I cold-turkeyed it 3 days a go. First day was soso with chills, sweats, diarrhoea etc, second day was worse with suicidal ideation and depression and TODAY on the third day, I am in absolute despair, pacing, acutely suicidally depressed......I went half the day and gave in. Took 300 mgs at 1pm and feel completely normal now at 4pm. This drug is the DEVIL!
I want to avoid tapering over weeks so will attempt lowering the dosage every 48hrs and see  what happens.
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