Pregabalin

Pregabalin is an anticonvulsive drug, according to Wikipedia, which is used for neuropathic pain (including disorders affecting the somato-sensory system, including dysesthesia—an abnormal reaction to touch).

As an anticonvulsive, it is also efficacious in the relief of partial seizures in epileptic adults, as well as generalized anxiety disorder.   Marketed by Pfizer, its product name is Lyrica; recent studies have shown it to be effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia and the effects of spinal cord injury.

However, it has an unfortunate history, in that its parent company, Pfizer, paid 2.3 billion dollars in a court case settlement in 2009, pleading guilty to the indictment that the drug was “misbranded,” since it was originally touted as a near-miraculous cure for seizure-ridden patients.

The FDA, in April of that same year, came out with a detailed “watchdog” report on Lyrica, including its contraindication for usage in pregnancy, and the alarming warning that it caused, in some test patients, “suicidal behaviors and ideation.”   The combination of suicidal tendencies aroused in pregnancy proved too potent for mere warnings, and the drug became suspect.   The drug was marked as a “last resort” for pregnant patients (www.drugsdb.eu).

Facts You Should Know about Pregabalin

To this end, the FDA encouraged expectant mothers who were to be prescribed Pregabalin/Lyrica to register with the “NAADPR: North American Antiepileptic  Drug Pregnancy Registry” as precaution, thus making their names available worldwide to any medical professional who might have concerns about a pregnant patient and her medication reactions.

In addition, as is the case with many anticonvulsives, the effects of the drug remain in the bloodstream long past ingestion, and nursing mothers are warned not to allow the baby to nurse within 12 hours after taking Lyrica (for fear there are trace chemicals in the mother’s milk that might make their way into the infant’s bloodstream).

In addition to the FDA’s findings about Pregabalin’s side effects, Wikipedia’s articles about the drug list several less severe side effects observed in various patient studies.

Less than ten percent of patients (a nevertheless significant number in terms of totality of patient use) experienced blurred or double vision, confusion, changes in libido, lack of muscle coordination, memory impairment and parasthesia (numb tingling sensations), to name but a few symptoms.  Fewer still experienced, among other symptoms, hallucinations, tachycardia (rapid heart), incontinence, sweating and cramps.

Despite the upsetting list of side effects, Pregablin/Lyrica continues to be widely marketed, and the FDA keeps it on the “watchdog” list for now.

Consult your health professional for more information on Pregablin/Lyrica, its uses and its side effects.

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/Safety-RelatedDrugLabelingChanges/ucm154524.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregabalin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuropathic_pain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysesthesia
http://www.pfizer.com/products/rx/rx_product_lyrica.jsp
^ “Pregabalin, Prescription Marketed Drugs, www.drugsdb.eu”.