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Lyrica Withdrawal

Wendi

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Jun 23, 2015
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2
I HAVE downed grams at of time of Lyrica, and when the come-down came, I was so depressed that I actually seriously considered suicide for the first time in my life. The stuff can really mess with your mood. BAD!
Did you get off it
 

Snake_Eyes

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Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
1,514
I have been taking pregablin for 4 year each year the dose was increased till I'm
Now on 300mg per day. I decided I can't take anymore of getting fat so I want to come off it. I missed a dose last night and took my morning dose so I can half the amount I use he only thing is my mouth feels watery, I have a headache from hell, I am also on 25mg of mst every 12 hours. I feel so scared to stand up and I want to cry. Please if anyone has been here and can offer any advise I would be grateful ��
The only thing I can think of is taper super slow. I've read that some have switched over to gabapentin since it's dirt cheap and some feel that's it's easier to taper with, I haven't personally tried it though.
 

sbelle327

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Jul 6, 2015
Messages
1
Thank you for all this information. My Dad is coming off of 10 years of Lyrica for severe back pain (he stands at something like a 80% angle). He is 86 and my mom decided to take matters into her hands and "weaned" him off something like 600mg a day (in the course of 3 weeks)down to nothing. He is delusional and then normal, back and forth. It is horrible seeing him like this. Your use of the drug is abusive but seems similar to my Dad's. At this point I don't know if a doctor can even help him. I will never use this drug ever.
 

Snake_Eyes

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Aug 14, 2011
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I'm 2 weeks into my taper after being on this drug for 2.5 years. My most recent dose I'm detoxing from is 200mg (occasionally 300mg) almost always taken at bedtime. My first drop was to 150mg where I stayed for a week, then dropped another 50mg where I have been for almost a week. I'll most likely stay at 100mg for a month since this latest drop has caused some w/d.
 

tempblah1

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Aug 11, 2015
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1
Well I know this thread is super old but I know it must still affect many people. I was one of them. The OP was on point with how the W/D felt, but mine was even worse. So for those of you who say he's exaggerated, you are mistaken. Lyrica w/d only happens for some people, and not others. In my case I started out just getting high off it, using it every now and then..But I had a prescription and I started using it the right way. The VA put me on 600mg a day. I didn't know better. I was on that dose for 6-8 months and decided I wanted to quit, and believe me it was beyond terrible. I tried cold turkey but I just couldnt do it. Do NOT try to go cold turkey with this drug if you are thinking of quitting. I actually read this thread (this all happened a couple years ago, and now I can freely write about it as I havent touched lyrica since then) and I restarted at my regular dose but went down by 50 mg as fast as I could. The VA doc, in all her wisdom, did not believe there was a w/d effect with lyrica. I told her my symptoms and she pretty much brushed it off, but agreed to have me taper down. I was eventually able to get 25 mg pills from her. After about 3 weeks I was down to 50mg, and it took me another 6-8 on 25 mg. At the 25 mg dose, I would wake up in the AM feeling SO shitty that I had to get lyrica right away (all you addicts know what im talking about when its the first thing on your mind when you wake up) I would take the cap and open it and put the powder on my tongue when i first woke up. That went on for 6 weeks or so, then another 2 weeks id go every other day..until I just quit. I gave all my lyrica away, about 30 grams worth probably, imagine that. It never felt so good to get rid of that demon.

For those of you who are wondering what the withdrawal is like for someone who is affected by it, it is the worst I've experienced. I came off 300mg /day oxy (with suboxones help thankfully) but it was no where near this debilitating. Lyrica withdrawal is an all consuming nightmare. Thankfully I had gotten out of the service and had unemployment at that time, but if I had to depend on myself to work to live, I most likely would have gone homeless. Lyrica is a powerful drug, and if you haven't started it, do not. If you're one of the lucky ones that doesn't seem to get the w/d..then I dont know - but the way that drug works, brings out a whole different side to your brain and is just not something I will ever use again or recommend anyone to start using. It can literally ruin your life.

So for all of you who took the time to read this, thank you, and if you're going through the W/D just know that you can do it. I did. I didn't feel myself for about 6 months after, but those effects fade and you go back to normal. I am an addict, and I can safely say I will never, ever use a drug like lyrica again. Good luck to all of you out there, remember to taper down and not give in. Stay strong, you'll look back on it one day like I am, proud of yourself for making it through what you had to go through.
 

Ninae

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Mar 18, 2010
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4,530
I was so overwhelmed by this because I'd never experienced benzo withdrawal before. Now that I have of dozens of times I think it was very similar but somehow even worse.
 

Snake_Eyes

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Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
1,514
It caused a lot more physical pain than benzos did in the beginning but once I slowed my taper down it was a lot more bearable. I'm down to 12-13mg a day now and have probably a couple weeks left and I'll be off.
 

Ninae

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Mar 18, 2010
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It's probably the worst drug to withdraw from. Sums it up pretty well.
 

thistlephile

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Dec 8, 2015
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3
Worst. Drug. EVER. Not only did it *not* help my peripheral neuralgia (for which it was prescribed at 400 mg a day), when taken alongside Norco it makes my legs swell up from the knee to the ankle. Big, fat, puffy, pitting edema. Norco alone never did that; it only started once I started taking Lyrica. (Would be very interested to know if anyone else experienced this phenomenon?) And yes, even worse was the withdrawal. Once I realized that there was zero benefit but added lameness, I stopped the Lyrica, stone cold turkey, after being on it for about three months. I thought I was dying. Poisoned at least, if not suddenly perishing of every single systemic disease I'd ever heard of. Joint pain went up 1000%. Sweats, positional vertigo, nausea, headache, and by day two, outright fainting episodes. Total lethargy, too, which was probably the worst part of all. I hate doing nothing. It is my idea of hell. But I couldn't even summon up the strength to go out with my husband last New Years Eve, to a concert for which we'd purchased tickets a full six months prior. It took me four days to figure out that it was actually Lyrica withdrawals; in a lot of ways it was similar to opiate withdrawals, which is the only reason I even considered the idea that I was withdrawing at all. Without that experience, who knows how long I would have let it go on, convinced I had Ebola, and fully expecting my eyeballs to melt and my skin to fall off. I asked my pain doctor WTF? Why didn't he tell me about the shitty withdrawal syndrome with Lyrica? He seemed genuinely confused and somewhat dubious. He'd never heard of such a thing. Well, he heard about it that day from me, and again at every appointment over the next ELEVEN MONTHS while I went through the infuriatingly slow tapering process. I am now down to 25 mg every other day, but scared to death to drop it entirely. I don't want even ten seconds of that feeling ever again. Reading this thread *seriously* got my back up. Especially because we now know -belatedly- that Lyrica is addictive, that people are prone to abuse it, and that the withdrawals are like something out of a Goya painting. The foisting of this drug on the general public is unconscionable, especially considering how hard the FDA and DEA have worked to make other addictive drugs -ones that actually WORK- so bloody difficult to obtain. Anyway... I stumbled across BL on accident, whilst looking up the Lyrica/Norco/edema connection. I've been forced to refrain from taking my Norco until beyond the point of excruciatingly necessary because I have no idea what chemical reaction is happening in my body that leads to a symptom as scary as bilateral peripheral edema. The doctors are stumped as well. Doesn't appear to be my heart, kidneys, liver, or hormones behind it, so what gives? Going back to my search, but wanted to stop and add my whining to the literature on the evils of Lyrica, so that other folks who stumble across this thread will see that they aren't alone.
 

Chris R

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Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
25
baclofen is the answer your looking for, ive been dealing with lyrica wd and tapers for about a decade, and gaba agonists are your best friend. although use sparingly, don't substitue one addiction for the other. if lyrica did the trick for your, more then likely baclofen will make your life so much easier. just stick below 30 40 mg a day, id take all at once or twice a day. and remember if your tapering lyrica cuz your script ran out early cuz your irresponsible like the majority of people suffering.. save one capsule for each remaining day, at lowest half a capsule per day for each day times however many days left until your refill is available.

I take 2g a day for 20 days, then 300mg for 3 days, and the rest seventy five mg (preferrable one hundred fifty mg) five and six keys dont work lol sorry.

use this advice and you can survive..
 

chrisincville

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May 13, 2015
Messages
312
baclofen is the answer your looking for, ive been dealing with lyrica wd and tapers for about a decade, and gaba agonists are your best friend. although use sparingly, don't substitue one addiction for the other. if lyrica did the trick for your, more then likely baclofen will make your life so much easier. just stick below 30 40 mg a day, id take all at once or twice a day.
Actually, there is definitely some truth to baclofen (and yes, gaba agonists in general) being a huge asset when running out of pregabalin/gabapentin. I am scripted gabapentin and baclofen both, and I use the baclofen to get me through the time in between gabapentin scripts (depending on how the timing works--this time I got both damn close together). Anyways, if gabapentin is referred to as the "wonder drug" (which it is, in many ways), baclofen is referred to as the "addiction cure" (which is a grand overstatement, but it has been proven to help with drug cravings in general). It's used for alcohol withdrawal maintenance, opiate cravings, amphetamine cravings).

As far as pregabalin withdrawal----I've spent a while now reading through this thread, reviewing each person's experiences, thoughts, and opinions on the topic. I've had a bit of experience with the drug, but not as much as with gabapentin, at this point in time...regardless, both drugs act in nearly the same way, one is just roughly 4x more potent than the other, so I can pretty much safely say I have a really good understanding of pregabalin's effects. I've taken gabapentin as prescribed, abused it, etc etc etc..done PLENTY of my own research on it..rather obsessively.

I don't have any reason to doubt the people that are claiming to have had such bad withdrawal from it. Obviously, the OP isn't alone in having that experience, and 1500-3000mg/day is a LOT for that length of time. I would imagine it would be awful going through that CT!!!!. Admittedly, however, the only thing running through my mind when I read that is how awesome that would be to have access to enough of the med to do that....!! I LOVE both gaba drugs..would be AWESOME to have them OTC here in the states..fuck.

I've only ever binged pregabalin in those kind of high doses for days at a time (lack of supply), and gabapentin more-so, due to having a script, but my withdrawal symptoms are nerve pain resurfaces, as well as general aches and pains, insomnia, loss of appetite, loss of motivation, anxiety, mental fog. And I know EXACTLY what people mean by saying that if you take some, you go from 0-100.

I think both are amazing multi-purpose, versatile drugs. And, the recreational high (mostly pregabalin's) is, to me, markedly different than any other drug I've tried. GREAT in social settings, makes food/eating much better, GREAT for sleep, makes smoking more pleasurable, increases sex drive, potentiates other drugs, and, for me, increases my interests in subject matter (I get nerdy).
 
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LucidSDreamr

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May 23, 2013
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Silicodone Valley
i read this whole thread without gaining much insight on if i'll have WD or not. some people have WD and some dont...i think having anxiety issues or not is a factor. Ive been taking 150 mg a day for 6 months. I'm down to 75 mg a day right now. I take it for chronic back pain. I'm also tapering off of subs and down to 0.1-0.2 mg per day of them.

Do you think I will have lyrica WD if I were to stop cold turkey right now?

I also have plenty of phenibut stored....will that help me continue to taper off of lyrica if i switch to a low dose of it after stopping lyrica.
 

Spurs_1882

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Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Messages
498
Location
London, UK
Been taking pregabalin for two months, 100mg per day most days, but 300-350mg per day on days I've been working (which is only two days a week). It's for anxiety, GAD and panic disorder. Firstly it was very helpful even at the low dose but now I don't feel the low dose (100mg) at all.

Recently, on the days following my working days, I have been feeling really shitty. Tired, achy, anxious, some insomnia, poor quality sleep. Do you think this could be some kind of withdrawal/rebound anxiety? Or is it most likely a return of my original anxiety symptoms? That would seem strange as I think I've not been too anxious in terms of my thoughts etc lately, and I've stabilised my life somewhat since starting the preg, but it could be something unconscious that is upsetting me I guess.

Thanks.
 

Retired Trashcan

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Jan 29, 2014
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158
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NWA - The Unnatural State
i read this whole thread without gaining much insight on if i'll have WD or not. some people have WD and some dont...i think having anxiety issues or not is a factor. Ive been taking 150 mg a day for 6 months. I'm down to 75 mg a day right now. I take it for chronic back pain. I'm also tapering off of subs and down to 0.1-0.2 mg per day of them.

Do you think I will have lyrica WD if I were to stop cold turkey right now?

I also have plenty of phenibut stored....will that help me continue to taper off of lyrica if i switch to a low dose of it after stopping lyrica.
Sorry to bump an older but not ancient thread. IME Lyrica/GABApentin WD are peachy compared to Phenibut WD. Actually, there is no way to say if you will have Lyrica WD if you CT, I've seen accounts all over the map on here. But, IMHO, using Phenibut for Lyrica WD is akin to using Morphine for hydrocodone WD. Try and taper, and if you can get something like low dose Seroquel for insomnia and a longer lasting benzo Kpin maybe, used SPARINGLY when you are feeling extra edgy, that's what helped me. CONSULT YOUR PDOC ABOUT THIS for HR sake. PM me if you have any other questions.

To add to what I said at the beginning, Phenibut WD literally takes me to the brink of feeling like I need to be committed for a while. GABAp/Lyrica make me restless, unmotivated, and give me insomnia. Again, IMHO, the Phenibut is probably not the best way to go @LucidSDreamr Hopefully, you are through with all this and feeling better, but I'm sure there are others out there in the same situation. RT
 

chacha-cha

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Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
1
I'm sorry but that's the most naive statement I've ever read on BL. Suuuuuuure, docs *never* prescribe addicting medication. My stash of oxy would beg to differ.

Also wanted to say that I agree that lyrica wd is bad. I think it's the fact that it just doesn't get better for a while and you feel like it's never ending. I wasn't sick like opiates but it was definitely there. And get this: I reduced to 50mg before I jumped, and still had them for four days before I broke down and refilled again. This f%cking drug.
 

Flowerpotman

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Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
57
[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Hi![/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]I've been using and abusing lyrica for 7 months now. I started on gabapentin and rose through the ranks to 600mg lyrica a day. It helped with the pain but it also helped with anxiety. Well, not anxiety, but it made me super confident and I enjoyed it. I used to take more than my dose once a week instead of drinking.[/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Realised I need to stop all my medications and was worried about Lyrica in particular because of this very thread. I just wanted to post that the OP is not my experience. I'm not saying it didn't happen but I think it's important to get as many experiences as possible to help those going through it or preparing to face it. [/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]When I was on gabapentin I took too much and had a day without any. That day was hell. I was twitchy and restless. That, and this thread, put the fear into me. Doc recommended I drop by 100mg every 4 days. I managed a week only dropping by 100mg and it gave me absolutely bizarre nightmares just as I fell asleep. One time I thought there was a ghost, another time I thought I couldn't breathe. I didn't want weeks of this so I went cold turkey at 500mg. That was 2 days ago and I've been more or less absolutely fine.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]I've done an opiate withdrawal before. It put me in a heck of a depression, suicide, you name it! That lasted 2 weeks but I could feel my brain dragging back to normality. Currently I feel... odd. It's not 100% the worst thing ever. I feel mild discomfort. [/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Opiate WD, for me, are a rollercoaster where I'm teaching a lesson (I'm an outdoor pursuits teacher) and wonder stupid stuff like "would this lot care if I killed myself", and moments later I'll feel like crying because of how happy everything is - with a load of sweating and insomnia to boot. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Lyrica WD, for me, is like the tail end of opiate WD but without the euphoria that brings in itself. I'm not sleeping well. I get tired but struggle to fall asleep, and I toss and turn a lot in the morning so I'm awake an hour before the alarm. But I do wake up feeling really refreshed.[/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]What REALLY helps is going for drives with my partner. Just moving and not saying anything feels wonderful. If I stop moving I start feeling (mildly) antsy but its survivable. A gigantic pain has also surged through my body. Again it's not mega bad, I'm moving slower and feel like I've aged 20 years, but it will pass.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Whilst on lyrica I'd feel physically charged up, gain confidence, sleep was better regulated without having that 'sleeping tablet' feeling, it'd make me feel horny but make orgasms difficult, prevented hunger pains, made me dizzy if I moved my head too fast (hypotension?), prevented dreams from being remembered, great painkiller![/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]I've had two relatives on this and they didn't have bad experiences in withdrawal. There could be a genetic link. [/FONT][/FONT]
 

Flowerpotman

Bluelighter
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
57
Been taking pregabalin for two months, 100mg per day most days, but 300-350mg per day on days I've been working (which is only two days a week). It's for anxiety, GAD and panic disorder. Firstly it was very helpful even at the low dose but now I don't feel the low dose (100mg) at all.

Recently, on the days following my working days, I have been feeling really shitty. Tired, achy, anxious, some insomnia, poor quality sleep. Do you think this could be some kind of withdrawal/rebound anxiety? Or is it most likely a return of my original anxiety symptoms? That would seem strange as I think I've not been too anxious in terms of my thoughts etc lately, and I've stabilised my life somewhat since starting the preg, but it could be something unconscious that is upsetting me I guess.

Thanks.
Ive had a similar experience a few times. Perhaps it isn't always absorbed? For me dropping from 600 to 500mg/day was worse than dropping from 500 to nothing. I sometimes think the doc gave me a placebo when I dropped down :D I know they didn't, but, on some of those random spike days it felt like I had taken none at all. Hmm.
 

Draconium

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Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
1
I found this thread after searching the internet for "Lyrica withdrawal" and I registered here to add my experience. After reading this thread I strongly believe that a person's individual biochemistry is a strong factor for determining potential side effects and withdrawals from Lyrica.

I should state up front that I am typically extremely sensitive to most medications. Also, I have never used drugs recreationally.

I was prescribed Lyrica for fibro at 100mg/day. I was told to take it for a couple of weeks and then let my doctor know whether or not it helped. Since I've had a lot of bad experiences with prescription meds in the past due to my extreme sensitivity to them, I no longer read the side effects because they will scare me into not taking anything and I really want to find something that might help. So I started the Lyrica and right away I knew I was having unpleasant effects; I was groggy, dizzy, and tired and had foggy brain and vertigo, as well as having bizarre dreams at night. I told my doctor about all this and she said that those were common side effects and that they should wear off after a week or so.

Well two weeks in I had noticed very little improvement, either in my condition or in the side effects, so she told me to stop taking it. That night I didn't take my usual dose and slept well, but the next morning I started to feel really bad. I got irritable, angry even. I had pain everywhere; it felt like my brain hurt. My muscles and joints hurt. Like a bad fever but without the increase in temperature. I couldn't eat. My chest was tight. I couldn't sleep that night because it felt like my heart was pounding throughout my whole body, my chest hurt and my head hurt with every beat. I had horrible anxiety. All this after only two weeks of taking only 100mg/day! Like I said, I am very sensitive to medications and often experience bad side effects, but I can assure you that these effects were not the result of me anticipating them, as I honestly expected no withdrawal symptoms at all. I've never had withdrawal symptoms for any other drug in my life. I had not been warned of potential withdrawal from Lyrica. Nevertheless, I knew that this was withdrawal because it was so incredibly unpleasant. It's been two days now since I stopped taking it and I'm starting to feel more normal but I'm not quite there yet. Yesterday morning was the worst for me. I hurt like Hell, it seemed to make my normal fibro pain ten times worse. I was also severely depressed and just felt like I was going to jump out of my skull, although at least the foggy brain was clearing up. Last night I still couldn't sleep at all; pounding chest, feeling manic, etc. but the pain is not quite as bad today. I am even starting to get a little bit of my appetite back. I feel no urge to take more Lyrica because it never really made me feel better in the first place. But following my experience, I'm amazed that this is sold as a non-addicting drug.

So to those who said that people who have withdrawal from Lyrica must be abusing other drugs, um, no, definitely not. For those who say it's only for those who have taken large doses of it for long periods of time, I say not necessarily, although that's probably a factor. I think it would have almost certainly been much worse if I'd taken a greater dose for a longer period of time, but I wasn't taking a lot and I was barely taking it long enough for my body to get used to it. I think some people are just more susceptible from a biochemical standpoint than others. In the past I have taken both Diazepam and Hydrocodone for pain and muscle tension and I never had the slightest problem quitting them. Different people are just wired differently. For some, Lyrica is just the thing their brain/body needs to function. For others it's just not well received.
 

Flowerpotman

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Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
57
I think I'm done with withdrawals now at the 2 week mark.

I think it hit me more than I let on. It wasn't as predictable and extreme like coming off opiates, but the general anxiety and depression were bad. I have anxiety anyways and Lyrica did help get rid of them. During WDS my anxiety peaked but in the 2 weeks since I've rebuilt my previous 'mental support structure' I guess.

Not even big codeine hits would stop it. So that's that!
 

Dr FeelBetter

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Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
3
I have used gabapentin and lyrica on and off for 10 years. In the beginning there was no withdrawal. Sometimes I even felt better after stopping. Each time I quit was a little more painful. I believe the potential for withdrawal is more a matter of dosage and duration vs individual variability. It also seems to be more problematic for people who have problems with other gaba related substances. For example during a very long period off of gabapentin I got addicted to klonopin. Months after quitting klonopin when even my PAWS was resolved, I decided to go back on gabapentin again. Tolerance was rapid as usual and withdrawal was excruciating after only 2 months of 1200mg/day. It has been my experience that the tolerance doesn't ever fully go away. Considering the link between tolerance and withdrawal its kind of scary.

I can't find the free versions or versions I can access anymore, but a simple google scholar search will show numerous case reports of pretty heavy - severe withdrawal. Most of the cases have been unresponsive to even absurd IV doses of ativan, haloperidol, Antihistamines and even morphine(why I don't know, I am assuming it was a pain patient). Some have progressed to severe mental changes, i.e. psychosis, extreme hypertension, catatonia. The majority of the case reports end in re-initiation, not successful withdrawal. OF COURSE these represent the extreme end of the spectrum, and all involved really hefty doses, and frequently other psych drugs.

But be aware the OP is VERY VERY lucky to have survived the withdrawal. Some people have had seizures after discontinuing much smaller doses. To confound things gabapentin bio-availability is highly variable making even a steady taper quite a roller coaster ride. That said I think the withdrawal is shorter lasting than benzos.

Sorry for so many claims with so few references, I just don't have time at the moment. I had to quit pregabalin with a rapid taper due to it causing intolerable bladder/kidney pain and I would be in hell if not for verapamil which is a much less selective calcium channel blocker. Anyone experiencing really bad withdrawal or having to quite c/t or rapid taper should talk to their doc about verapamil. It doesn't eliminate all of the pain, but it gets rid of most of the physical manifestation of the anxiety(heart rate/blood pressure/appetite, etc). Just having a calm steady heart rate is a godsend.

Hope everyone reads this before long term use and abuse of this stuff. It isn't much easier than benzos... Again all relative to dose and length of use. My heart goes out to everyone struggling with addiction. Also I don't mean to discourage anyone from using these medicines when appropriate and or needed. If you suffer from crippling anxiety or neuropathic pain then the benefits may outweigh the risks. Just always be aware that it provides temporary symptomatic relief and should be treated with the same caution and respect as other addictive drugs.
 
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