Alcohol and Lyrica: Side Effects and Interactions

If you’ve ever wondered what the alcohol and Lyrica side effects and interactions are or could be, you’re not alone. This is a common question people have when they take Lyrica, and below we explore not only what Lyrica is, but also what the possible side effects and interactions with alcohol might be.

Alcohol and Lyrica Side Effects and Interactions
Lyrica is the brand name of the generic drug pregabalin, which is used to treat pain caused by nerve damage. Often people who take Lyrica have nerve damage because of diabetes, shingles, or spinal cord injuries. It’s also used to treat fibromyalgia pain, and it can be used in some instances along with other medicines to treat a particular type of seizures.

Lyrica is one of the top 10 most prescribed drugs in the U.S. right now, and the following describes some of the conditions it can be used to treat in more detail:

  • Nerve pain often has symptoms that are stabbing, sharp or numbing, and Lyrica can be used to treat this particular type of pain. One common reason Lyrica is prescribed is for people with diabetic neuropathy, which is foot pain resulting from diabetes.
  • Lyrica is approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia, but before it’s prescribed for this, doctors are instructed to advise their clients to start on a program of exercising, strengthening and stretching.
  • Regarding shingles, more specifically Lyrica can be used for post-herpetic neuralgia, which is a term referring to pain that occurs after shingles.
  • In the EU Lyrica is also used as a treatment option for generalized anxiety disorder, but it’s not used for this purpose in the U.S. currently.

The following are some of the possible general side effects of Lyrica, not related to alcohol and Lyrica side effects and interactions.

  • The most common side effect of Lyrica often seen in patients is dizziness
  • Some people also experience vision problems in addition to dizziness
  • Muscle problems are possible including tremors, speech disorders and problems with muscle coordination
  • Other less common but possible side effects of Lyrica include memory problems, euphoria, sex drive and erectile dysfunction problems and weight gain

Even less common side effects than what are named above that are possible are depression, suicidal thoughts, confusion, hallucinations and increased heart rate.

People with certain conditions should speak with their doctor before using Lyrica. Some of these can include congestive heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, blood disorders, a history of mental illness, and drug or alcohol addictions.

Lyrica has the potential to interact with other types of drugs including opioids, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates, as well as any substance that depresses the activity of the central nervous system.

So, what should you know about alcohol and Lyrica side effects and interactions?

First, it’s not advised that you take alcohol and Lyrica together. This is because both alcohol and Lyrica depress the central nervous system. When you take two substances together that affect the central nervous system, it can amplify the side effects of each.

For example, some of the alcohol and Lyrica side effects and interactions can include extreme drowsiness, lack of coordination, impaired judgment and thinking, and even sedation.

Another possible consideration with the alcohol and Lyrica side effects and interactions is the fact that abuse is possible. Both Lyrica and alcohol can cause symptoms of intoxication such as euphoria, and even with just Lyrica on its own, some people say they experience a high. There is a potential for abuse and addiction with Lyrica, and this risk is even higher when you mix alcohol and Lyrica.

Anytime you’re mixing substances that affect the central nervous system there can also be severe symptoms. Central nervous system depression of the spinal cord and brain can lead to side effects that can even be deadly, such as slowed or stopped respiration. This is similar to what happens when a person takes opioids. When you take opioids in excess, it may slow the activity of respiration so much that you stop breathing, and combining alcohol and Lyrica puts you at a similar risk.

So, to sum up, what are some of the alcohol and Lyrica side effects and interactions? Both alcohol and Lyrica affect the central nervous system, so combining these substances can lead to side effects that are relatively mild such as coordination problems or slowed thinking, all the way up to the potential for slowed or stopped respiration. Also, taking alcohol and Lyrica together just makes all of the possible side effects more pronounced.
Lyrica can cause euphoria even on its own so there is a potential for abuse with this drug, and that risk goes up when you combine it with alcohol.
You should always speak with your doctor about alcohol and Lyrica side effects and interactions, but it’s generally not recommended that you combine alcohol and Lyrica.

Alcohol and Lyrica: Side Effects and Interactions
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