How does Lyrica REALLY work?

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RoseCrone
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/10/2008 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I have searched through posts and have not really seen much on how Lyrica works.  I have read the drug makers website, but know that the full story is never there.  Seen a couple of other sites too, but other that stating that the drug works on nerve endings and blocking pain signals, I don't really get it.  If that's all it does, I'd like to know how/why all of the side effects.  Does it block other signals besides pain?  Which ones?  If it is an anti-seizure drug, it seems it is doing much more than blocking pain.  I have only started using it in the past few days, in conjunction with other meds I have been taking for a long time (ultram, soma, atavan).  Other meds are not working well any more.  I have reduced the soma frequency per my MD.  First day was like being drunk.  Now it is not as bad, my body is getting used to it.  I guess I am not sure I want to get used to taking one more med, although it really is helping.  Bad thing is the fibro fog is worse.  Going through "surgically induced" menopause causes it's own fog, and I really hate that.   I have a job that requires fast thinking, good analytical skills, and being able to think!  Luckily I work from home 2x per week or I would not be able to do it at all.   Last commute home was like having a migraine and riding a roller coaster for an hour!  
Sorry I got off subject, I will blame it on the Lyrica.  Or fibro fog. Or hormones.  Got lots of excuses these days!
Anyone with more insight on the actions of this drug?  I am the type who needs to understand these things!
Rose
 

Sherrine
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 15368
   Posted 8/10/2008 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Rose, here is an explanation.  Hope this helps.
 
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


RoseCrone
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/10/2008 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Sherrine-
Thanks for the info, however the article really still does not tell me much. I don't have a formal medical background, although I have studied a lot about the body, esp. the nervous system, and study herbal remedies (which requires a pretty good understanding of how herbs work with the body and mind). I do have an engineering background, so I am inclined to seek an understanding about how everything works, at a more scientific level.
I do appreciate the effort, though!
Any references to specifc studies in medical journals that might help? I have not found any...
Rose

Kythe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 8/10/2008 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Well all I know about is that my doctor told me that Lyrica is basically Neurontin and was repackaged and relabeled to treat fibro. I had been on Neurontin in the past before I had fibro and it was supposed to work as a mood stabilizer, never did a thing for me, was like popping tic tacs. My doctor really wanted me to try it again for the fibro but I don't want to risk the weight gain since I'm already kind of overweight and can't afford new clothing.
~Kythe
____________



Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia


Sue2z
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 368
   Posted 8/11/2008 2:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there, I suffer severe nerve pain and was given lyrica, it is my understanding that a coating covers the nerve endings so the signals can flow more freely rather than working spasmodoically in a sparking motion.  Although it helps muscles relax it is primarily for the  burning pain sensations.  from sue2z  hope helped its been a big help to me.

Fibromyalgia, ulcerative colonitus, arthritus, bi-polar
norspan patch, valium, prothiedon, lyrica


RoseCrone
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/11/2008 7:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Kythe and Sue2z-thanks for the info, that helps some. I will continue searching. Lyrica does work for me, sort of sporadically, but it has only been a few days. I am trying to understand side affects and why they occur also, what is the pathology? So far, side effects are mild as my body gets used to Lyrica, and I don't have too much trouble controlling weight and my eating patterns. I notice that it gives me cravings, not necessarily for food, just that I "want something"; this is part of why I am trying to understand effects on the brain.
Also, I meditate, and some medications get in the way of getting to a "good place". So far I can work with the meds I take, most of the time (not always), and meditate ok. Have not tried it yet with Lyrica. My instincts say it will work ok. I am also working on developing my psychic abilities and meds definitely get in the way of that. Now you probably really think I am crazy, and once upon a time I would have said you are right. No longer. My house built in 1880 is haunted, and I am trying to become more sensitive to the goings on of the "spirits". Pain is a distractor, so alleviating it is important, but being too medicated is also a distractor. Thus my need to understand the workings of anything I take into my body, from meds to food and drink, from a mind-brain perspective.
RoseCrone
(CRONE = Creative Researcher Of New Experiences!)

Sue2z
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 368
   Posted 8/11/2008 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   

rolleyes  Most would roll eyes but not me I was brought up in a household who beileived in the "Whit" side. I was brought up with phyic healing, cards , astral travel the works.  I am not actively involved in anything though it takes to much energy but in some instances pills can awaken things in your dreams.  Back to the real world I am unbale to meditate but I do self hypnosis unfortuately with fibro one must be very practical to get through it.  I have trouble with self hypnosis but it does help to relax me. I have been in houses that have made my hair stand on end.  YOurs sounds fabulously interesting.    suez2 :-) :-) :-)


Fibromyalgia, ulcerative colonitus, arthritus, bi-polar
norspan patch, valium, prothiedon, lyrica


RoseCrone
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/11/2008 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, Suez2 it is interesting, to say the least! And yes, it takes energy to do any psychic work, so I am not always up to it. I have noticed odd dreams since starting the Lyrica, and again, am trying to understand why.
I guess I ask too many questions.
Rose

nanno
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 8/13/2008 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone:
 
No, I'm not sure how it works.  But it is working for me.  I just want to say a couple things.  When I was newly on the stuff I was using a toaster oven and started smelling what was like burning hair and it was my own finger under the upper burner of the the oven.  I didn't feel it at first.  That's what lyrica does.  I should be pain free considering that.... but I'm not tongue
 
Anyway, re weight gain.  On Weight Watchers since March I have lost 15 lbs.  It's not easy but I'm so grateful I was able to do it even on this med.
 
Oopps One more thing I must say.  I started lyrica first with samples and responded very quickly...then insurance required a switch to neurontin....that DID NOT WORK FOR ME....I SLIPPED BACK FAST.  Then I was allowed to go back to lyrica which works for me.  My doc explained to give me the amount of neurontin I'd need to match what I get from the lyrica...it would be way too much neurontin and I WOULD HAVE GAINED LOTS OF WEIGHT. 
 
I understand the desire to understand how something is operating in your body.  I guess, I'm just too happy to find something that helps me.  I'm still working fulltime and needed something yeah

herniated disc, thyroid condition, fibromyalgia, asthma, high blood pressure


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 15368
   Posted 8/13/2008 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Nanno, and welcome to the fibromyalgia forum!  I'm so glad you joined us.  Thank you for telling us your experience with Lyrica.  That seems to be the topic of conversation lately on the forum and any input is more than welcome.
 
I don't take Lyrica.  I'm on ibuprofen and Tylenol and malic acid/magnesium supplements.  This all has kept my pain under control.  
 
You might want to check out the Fibro 101 thread.  It's the second thread on the forum.  There are links to a lot of good information about fibro. 
 
Again, welcome!  Hope to hear more from you soon!
 
Sherrine


Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8247
   Posted 8/13/2008 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I like Lyrica for all of 20 minutes, cause I could tell it was helping the pain, But...BUT then the fun (not really) of throwing up began. Thank God I didn't throw up for a full 24 hours straight like I did on Celebrex
So sorry I can't help you on this.......
Soft hugz and lots of well wishes for a painfree day soon!...
************************
* Asthma
* Allergies
* Osteoarthritis
* Spinal Stenosis
* Mild DDD
* Enlarged
Pituitary Gland
* Fibromyalgia
*************************

Patient: "I always see spots with my eyes"
Doctor: "Didn't the new glasses help?"
Patient "Yes, now I see the spots clearer"


Sue2z
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 368
   Posted 8/13/2008 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
shocked  I was shocked at the weight gain on Lrica but I would still have it as it helps so much with the burning and muscles.A relative told me I was getting fat and to watch out or I would look like my mother.  Said it was the pills and was told that was an excuse. shakehead shakehead shakehead I have now become even more of a recluse.
Fibromyalgia, ulcerative colonitus, arthritus, bi-polar
norspan patch, valium, prothiedon, lyrica


RoseCrone
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/13/2008 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   

So what I am gathering is Lyrica is one of those drugs that works differently with different people, as most drugs that alter brain chemicals and/or nerve function.  It still boggles me how it causes weight gain other than it seems to cause a craving response of some sort...so I am drinking even more water (probably what my body wants anyway) and being very attentive to what I eat.  Tonight I put way too much food on my plate.  I couldn't even eat it all, but I must have thought I could!  I did stop before I got too full, as I was paying attention to my body's signals, thankfully.

I also worry about injuring myself without knowing it when on any strong pain med.  I guess that is a hazard one must watch for. 

I would be truly surprised if even the chemists that came up with Lyrica really understand it's function.  Just knowing it works is what counts in the drug industry!

I have noticed every day is a new adventure with Lyrica.  I still get odd stretches where I feel a bit woozy, not nauseous, but slightly drunk.  Went out at lunch and driving was a challenge; hard to focus (did not take it before my hour morning commute knowing it would be too much of a challenge).  Then I have stretches where things seem "normal".  I do like the pain relief, it really works for me, yet I have not decided I am willing to live with the strangeness I feel.  I cannot take any SSRIs, and maybe Lyrica is too close to that type of med.  SSRI's just really "weird out" my brain!

Rose


Enochroot
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 8/14/2008 10:54 PM (GMT -6)   

I have been on Lyrica since last November - Doesn't
do a whole lot unless I go past 100mg a day then
it seems to literally "lock up" my brain! Takes the edge
off pain at 75mg a day but does not stop it. 


twinsugarplum
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/16/2008 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
LYRICA was a waste of money for me. I have had fibro for 20 years. CYMBALTA
WAS MY MIRACLE DRUG......

twinsugarplum
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/16/2008 7:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Iam sorry forgot to say it made me gain weight and so there for I hurt worst. I couldnt walk, thanks for everone info....

RoseCrone
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/16/2008 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. I will continue to take Lyrica for now, unless side effects outweigh the benefits. After about 8 days on 75mg 2x.day, I am not ready to up the dosage as my doctor had suggested (more brain farts than usual!), but the benefits are not as great as they were at first. Will see how this week goes. in the meantime, I will continue to try to understand as much as a "layman" can about the workings of this medicine. If not for the fact that everone seems to respond so differently, I would be scared off by the scary stories. Internet is the place to get them! The good stories rarely make for good reading.
Rose
P.S. to twinsugarplum, Cymbalta was one of the meds I tried for depression that was "to much" for my brain! As i said, everyone has a different response, especially with this type of drug.

anstar
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 8/23/2008 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
The Lyrica started to affect my vision so the doctor stopped it. Just cold turkey yanked me off of it after a year on 450 mgs. For the past two weeks I've been miserable. :( I can't sleep, my head feels like it's going to explode and then, just to mix things up a little, the headache will subside and I'll get nauseous. The pharmacist said it would take a couple of weeks for it to completely leave my system. I have a hair trigger right now, I'm sweating and shaking. Withdrawal is a total B**ch!
I'm on Cymbalta now (too, actually. I was taking them both for about a month). So far, it seems to be working on the FMS all on it's own, but I don't know how much longer I can go without sleep before I get a flare.
If any of you are taking Lyrica and want off of it, WEAN slowly.

lucysgd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 663
   Posted 8/23/2008 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
My 2nd rheumie told me since I didn't tolerate the Neurontin, she didn't think I would do any better on the Lyrica.....same family.....so I was interested to hear what your doctor said, Kythe, about it just being renamed/packaged and marketed for Fibro. Though there must be some difference in the dosage levels. She also was not a fan of the side effects& weight gain.

I had nightmares on the neurontin, was very lethargic, and was not helped painwise. Only took it for a month at 100 mg./day. And Rose - as to some of the science part - I did find out later that the Neurontin actually has increased bioavailability with a lower dose than at a higher (300+) dose. Which I took to mean that the low dose may not be as low as it seems.

It certainly does seem to affect people differently, and while some folks were not helped by Neurontin, they had some success w/ Lyrica. I'm interested in how you feel about the Lyrica longterm.....anyone taken it for an extended period without decreased benefit over time and having to really up the dosage?

Lucy
diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998; CEBV 2005; UCTD (dx limbo) 2007
meds:  occasional low dose xanax for sleep, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, ibuprophin (none of which manages the problems very well!)
 
We cannot avoid the birds of sadness flying over our heads, but we need not let them make nests in our hair. 
       ~~ Chinese saying as quoted by Helen Nearing


RedDiane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 905
   Posted 8/23/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I took neurontin years ago and it did me no good. I've been on lyrica since last October. It has really helped my sleep. Now I fall asleep, wake up once for the bathroom and go back to sleep easily. Usually for about 10 hours. Now, I don't feel any better when I wake up, still sore and tired, so maybe it's not helping that much, but I do sleep now. I started on a low dose, upped it gradually to 450 mg. a day and found out I had gained nearly 30 pounds. So with dr. approval, gradually went back down, now at 100 mgs. at night. I still sleep good, I haven't lost the weight. Because of the sleep, I'll keep taking it, unless something better comes along. Diane
Fibromyalgia since 1984, Sjogren's, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Auto-immune eczema, GERD, osteoarthritis, IBS, RLS, sleep apnea


lucysgd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 663
   Posted 8/23/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
PS Rose: I have lived in a couple haunted houses. Never felt afraid - benevolent spirits, I guess. I also believe that I was much more "open" and psychic in my younger years before all this pain and distraction. Have wondered if it was just aging in general or my various health issues that seem to have clouded the connection. In a way - it seems it would be the opposite, though.....if other stimuli are amplified in fibro folks.....we should be more sensitive and perhaps pick up things that others may miss?
Lucy
diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998; CEBV 2005; UCTD (dx limbo) 2007
meds:  occasional low dose xanax for sleep, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, ibuprophin (none of which manages the problems very well!)
 
We cannot avoid the birds of sadness flying over our heads, but we need not let them make nests in our hair. 
       ~~ Chinese saying as quoted by Helen Nearing


lucysgd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 663
   Posted 8/23/2008 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Diane - thanks for your post. I am so leery of drugs in general (am very sensitive to so many) that I do wonder about having to up the dose and then reduce the dosage because of side effects. I'm glad it's helping you sleep - that's one of the biggest battles! I use Xanax - very sparingly when I have a run of bad nights. Would be nice to find something that could be safely taken on a very regular basis. Good sleep just makes everything better, it seems. Lucy
diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998; CEBV 2005; UCTD (dx limbo) 2007
meds:  occasional low dose xanax for sleep, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, ibuprophin (none of which manages the problems very well!)
 
We cannot avoid the birds of sadness flying over our heads, but we need not let them make nests in our hair. 
       ~~ Chinese saying as quoted by Helen Nearing


RoseCrone
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/24/2008 3:35 PM (GMT -6)   

Lucy-I had the very same thought...if I am more sensitive to stimulus due to Fibro (or as a symptom-whichever) then I ought to be more sensitive to "other dimensions" as I call it.  Sometimes it seems so, but other times the fog takes over.

Funny, when I was a kid my Mom called the princess and the pea...one single crumb or piece of dirt in my bed was so irritating I could not sleep!  I used to think the sensitivity thing was just how I was, now I hear it as a "symptom" of Fibro.  I use quotes becuase I am not sure it is a symptom or a cause.

Anyway, I am now on the higher dose, since Friday, and it's taking some getting used to.  Even typing right now is difficult.  I feel like I have to retrain so many things that were automatic.  No weight gain yet. Still on the fence as to how much it really is helping.  Most times it seems it is, I even "forget" to take Ultram sometimes.  But not always, and I still am having serious flares, especially when stressed.

Rose

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