Lyrica (pregabalin) is a prescription-only medication most commonly used in adults to treat nerve pain caused by various medical conditions. Pregabalin is taken orally as a capsule, extended-release tablet or solution and is processed quickly by the kidneys. 

Lyrica stays in your system for approximately 33 hours, depending on a variety of personal factors. Inform your health care provider if you are experiencing any side effects, and avoid taking any medications that may interact with Lyrica while it remains in your system. If you’re unsure about the safety of using other medications while taking pregabalin, talk to your health care provider.

What Is the Half-Life of Lyrica (Pregabalin)?

The half-life of a medicine is the approximate time it takes for your body to remove half of the dose of a drug from your system. Lyrica is well absorbed in the body and is metabolized by the kidneys. It has an approximate half-life of 6.3 hours.

Factors That Influence How Long Lyrica (Pregabalin) Stays in Your System

There are several factors that influence how long pregabalin will stay in your system. These factors include:

  • Kidney function
  • Age
  • Body mass
  • Hydration
  • Urinary pH
  • Dosage
  • How long you’ve been taking the medication

To determine how long Lyrica might stay in your system after your last dose, consult your health care provider. Your medical history and your habits at home may affect how quickly your body can metabolize Lyrica.

Standard Lyrica Dosage

Lyrica is available in a variety of strengths and dosage forms. Available dosage forms include:

  • Lyrica (pregabalin) capsules: 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 225 mg and 300 mg
  • Lyrica (pregabalin) oral solution: 20 mg/mL
  • Lyrica CR (pregabalin) extended-release tablets: 82.5 mg, 165 mg and 330 mg

Lyrica doses vary depending on the condition being treated. Adults being treated with Lyrica typically start with a dose of 150 mg per day, divided into two or three doses. The maximum recommended dose of Lyrica is 600 mg per day, divided into two or three doses. Doses are adjusted based on individual response and may be adjusted for people with poor kidney function or kidney disease. 

An example of a dosage regimen for an adult being treated for nerve pain may look like this:

  • Starting dose: Lyrica (pregabalin) 50 mg capsule by mouth three times a day
    • Dose is slowly increased based on individual response
  • Maximum dose: Lyrica (pregabalin) 200 mg by mouth three times a day

Lyrica CR doses are taken once a day after an evening meal. They should not be chewed, crushed or cut, as they must be swallowed whole. Lyrica CR doses range from 165 mg daily to 660 mg daily.

Lyrica is quickly metabolized and removed from the body. However, people taking higher doses will have a higher concentration of the drug in their system after the same amount of time as people who take a lower dose. It takes longer for the body to completely remove higher doses of the drug. Individuals taking high doses or taking Lyrica for a long period of time may feel the effects of Lyrica longer. If you are experiencing side effects and are thinking about stopping Lyrica, you should contact your health care provider. Do not suddenly stop taking Lyrica; your health care provider can help you slowly taper off the drug if necessary.

Does Lyrica Show Up on a Drug Test?

Lyrica is a Schedule V controlled substance, meaning there is some risk of addiction and misuse associated with the drug. Drugs that have the potential for misuse and addiction are often screened for during drug testing. Because your body eliminates Lyrica mostly in the unchanged form, drug tests for Lyrica check for the presence of pregabalin. Drug tests for pregabalin are not part of routine 5-drug and 12-drug testing panels, but they may be ordered separately.

How Long Does Lyrica (Pregabalin) Stay in Your Urine, Hair and Blood?

Lyrica will only be detected in your blood for two days after your last dose and will stay in your urine a little bit longer than that. It’s reported that Lyrica can be detected in your urine for up to six days, depending on your dosage. As with other medications, Lyrica will be detected in your hair for much longer than in your blood or urine, possibly up to 90 days.

Inform your test administrator about any drugs you’re taking and any you’ve stopped taking, including Lyrica. This will enable them to provide you with accurate test results.

Lyrica (Pregabalin) Prescription Facts

This medication is an anticonvulsant used to treat those suffering from nerve pain due to diabetes or shingles. Although pregabalin doesn’t bind to the GABA neurotransmitters in your brain, it does change the way these neurotransmitters communicate with one another.

Related Topic: What are Anticonvulsants?

Doctors can also prescribe this medication to prevent certain types of seizures and treat fibromyalgia, chronic pain conditions and anxiety disorders.

Side Effects of Lyrica (Pregabalin)

Pregabalin is taken orally, and the dosage depends on what condition is being treated and how your body is responding to the medication. Most prescription medications come with a chance of side effects. The possible side effects while taking Lyrica are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain

More serious side effects can also occur with pregabalin, such as vision changes, unusual bleeding/bruising, muscle pain/tenderness/weakness, fever and swelling of your hands, ankles or feet.

Typically, mild to moderate side effects depend on the dosage of Lyrica you are taking, and they occur within the first one to two weeks of treatment. These side effects should become milder and may stop altogether once your body adjusts to the medication. More severe side effects may require a dosage adjustment or discontinuation of Lyrica. These side effects should decrease as the amount of Lyrica in your system decreases. It is important to discuss any dosage changes with your health care provider to prevent withdrawal symptoms from occurring when you stop Lyrica.

As with other anticonvulsants, there is a small chance of mental changes that can cause thoughts of suicide or signs of depression. If you experience any physical or mental side effects, talk to your health care provider. They will help you decide if Lyrica is the right medication to treat you.

Related Topic: First Aid for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

Feelings of depression or anxiety can lead to suicidal thinking. If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts or tendencies, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Do not stop taking pregabalin abruptly without the help of a medical professional. This is because you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using the medication. These symptoms may include headaches, upset stomach or nausea, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, increased sweating and anxiety.

Lyrica (Pregabalin) Regulations

Lyrica is listed as a Schedule V controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act. This means that pregabalin has a lower risk of abuse than drugs classified as Schedule IV controlled substances. Misuse of Lyrica may lead to some physical and mental dependence, but the risk of addiction is low. Pregabalin can only be legally prescribed by a qualified health care provider authorized to prescribe controlled substances. 

Most Commonly Abused Drugs Containing Lyrica (Pregabalin)

Due to the opioid crisis, many people are turning to anticonvulsants as a means of relieving pain. As a result, it’s been recently reported that many are misusing medications like Lyrica for their euphoric effects.

If you feel you or a loved one is misusing pregabalin, don’t wait to get help. Call 24/7 to our toll-free hotline at 855-504-4942 to learn more about the road to recovery. We can help you address your addiction and learn the strategies necessary for living a healthier, Ativan-free life in recovery.

How Lyrica (Pregabalin) Affects the Brain and Body

Lyrica changes the way the GABA neurotransmitter communicates in your brain; this affects your nervous system and can help treat your condition. While taking Lyrica, there is a chance of side effects that can affect your body and your brain, so report any unexpected changes in your body or mind to your health care provider right away.

Taking pregabalin can also cause your body to become dependent on it. If you suspect this is happening to you, seek help from a trusted medical professional.

Jonathan Strum
Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Elizabeth Cambria
Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.