Pregabalin is an anticonvulsant medicine, which can be used in combination with other medicines to treat epilepsy, for nerve pain and anxiety. It is available as capsules and an oral solution (20mg/5ml strength).
Here's everything you need to know about pregabalin, including who shouldn't take it, whether you can drive while taking it and the risks to pregnant women:
Who can't take pregabalin?
Pregabalin is suitable for adults. It is not recommended for children and adolescents under 18, because its safety and effectiveness has not been established in children.
Pregabalin may not be suitable for some people and they may need extra monitoring if pregabalin is prescribed for them, these include the following:
▪️ Elderly people.
▪️ People with kidney problems.
▪️ People with a heart problem such as heart failure.
▪️ People with diabetes (people with diabetes who gain weight during treatment may need an alteration in their dose of blood sugar lowering medicine).
▪️ People with a history of drug abuse or dependence.
Can I drive while taking pregabalin?
If you have epilepsy you should only drive if your doctor has told you this is OK - this is usually only once you've been seizure free for at least a year.
If you are allowed to drive, be aware that pregabalin might make you have blurred vision or feel dizzy, sleepy or confused and so may reduce your ability to drive or operate machinery safely, particularly when starting treatment and after any dose increases. Don't drive or operate machinery until you know how pregabalin affects you and you're sure it won't affect your performance.
Can I drink alcohol while taking pregabalin?
Although alcohol doesn't directly affect the action of pregabalin, if you find pregabalin makes you feel dizzy or sleepy it's best to avoid drinking alcohol as it's likely to make these problems worse.
Is it safe to take pregabalin during pregnancy?
The safety of pregabalin for use during pregnancy has not been established. It's not recommended for use during pregnancy unless the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby.
If you think you could be pregnant while taking pregabalin it's important that you consult your doctor straight away for advice. Don't stop taking the medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
It is important that women with epilepsy receive specialist advice regarding contraception, pregnancy and planning a family before starting treatment for epilepsy and before getting pregnant. Women with epilepsy have a higher risk of carrying a baby with developmental problems and malformations than other women. This risk is increased by taking anticonvulsant medicines and increases further if more than one antiepileptic is being taken to control seizures.
However, if you stop antiepileptic treatment because you get pregnant, the seizures that you may have as a result can potentially be more harmful than continuing treatment. A specialist can help you weigh up all the risks and, if you decide to try for a baby, will offer support, monitoring and antenatal screening.
Is it safe to take pregabalin if breastfeeding?
Pregabalin passes into breast milk in small amounts. The benefits of breastfeeding should be weighed against any possible risks to the infant. It may be possible to breastfeed your baby if you're taking pregabalin on its own and here are no other health issues.
Last updated: 17.01.2021
You Might Also Like