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Brain Fart Lifer
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/16/2009 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   

Newbie here.

1. Anyone taking Lyrica for over 6 months now and having any side effects or is pain returning?
2. What has it done for you? I'm concerned about weight gain/daytime sleepiness/fogginess. Those seem to be the most side effects listed from people posting on sites.
3. Do you take any other muscle relaxer/pain med with it or occasionally?
4. What's this malic acid/magnesium?

My History:

Diagnosed with Fibro from a Rheumologist and Neurologist. Starting Lyrica this week - 50mg. 3 times a day after first week of twice a day. Rheumi had me on Nortriptyline and added Cymbalta. Went through hell with Cymbalta just being on it for 5 weeks. Weaned off both meds. Neurologist did that "shock" test of my nerves and arm muscles - result: normal. X-rays of back, shoulders, knees, ankles, hands - result: normal, with "mild sacroilitis" in lower spine. Rheumi said that they read the x-rays wrong and I don't have that, but I don't believe him because I have the symptoms for it.

Neurologist says that Lyrica is in a different family than Cymbalta so I'm giving it a try. My main problem is that I have a constant neck pain and crunching/cracking in my neck on the right side. Mornings are horrible. I can crack it every minute throughout the day turning my head to the right. Sometimes during the day I can crack it really hard. It has gotten worse the past 6-12 months (no tragic changes in my life). Feels like it pushes by head forward and down. Prior to that for about 5+ years I have had left shoulder pain and lower back pain. Lower back pain is occasional now - somehow it got better after my hysterectomy 4 1/2 years ago (weird). I can't lay on one side more than 10 mins. I get cramped up and a shooting pain across shoulders. I use a "bed buddy" moist heat just about every night. I work at a computer all day (Admin. Assistant) so it makes my condition worse. I also have trouble getting to sleep and wake up at 3:00 & 5:00. I've used feather down pillows before. Now I've switched back to a neck indented memory foam pillow - which seems to help me sleep a little better. I have Ambien CR; however, everytime I take it my body craves it the next night and I can't sleep. I don't want to take it every night since the side effect is memory loss and your body DOES get addicted to it.

I tried to keep this as short and to the point as I could.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions/input!
Diagnosis: Fibro, TMJ, IBS w/constipation, Sinus, some anxiety/depression
Doctor: Neurologist
Current Meds: Lyrica, Ambien
Former Meds: Cymbalta, Nortriptyline, Lexapro
Supplements: Multi vitamin, B-12, Fish Oil, Psyllium Seed for constipation

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1303
   Posted 1/16/2009 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to HW!

1. I have been on Lyrica for a year and a month now.

2. It has helped my sleep more than anything. It allows me to be able to wake up in the morning feeling like I actually slept! It done a little for my pain. If I am just sitting around or going to school it helps, but if I start to play like basketball and get really physical, then I hurt more. But, I can tell a difference between when I wasnt taking it and when I was taking... I have gained some weight from it, not much..I gained more weight from my Paxil that I take for anxiety/depression type stuff.

3. No, I dont take any other pain med or anything along with it. I only take Paxil.

4. Someone else can tell you about the malic acid and such... I forgot who it is, but someone on here is like an expert! There is also a thread about it if you search for it...but Im sure they will come along and can better explain it than I could!

Hope that helps!
Lyrica and Paxil (both working quite well might I add!)
   "Cracks in the concrete are just reminders that you fall apart no matter how strong you are"
    "Sometimes it is best to forget what you feel and remember what you deserve"
    "Im going to smile like nothing is wrong, talk like everything is perfect, act like its all a dream, and pretend its not hurting me."

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 386
   Posted 1/16/2009 12:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope this helps a little.....

I took Lyrica for a short while, didn't work for me...I did like Cymbalta but I had to change because my insurance dropped a year later. I use Pristiq now, I hated the anxiety levels I had. Doesn't go over well at work freakin' out.

I have gained at least 50# but I am not as active as I once was and I know that my meds may be partly to blame. I don't like it but I have kept a good diet in spite of the xtra weight and I am know exercising (riding a recumbent) bike at least 3x a week. That is the best I can do for now.

MMMmmm, pain meds, I use to think taking 3 advils at time was a heavy thing but now that has all changed. I am using Ultracet it works well on low to low moderate pain but to moderate to high I use a Fentanyl patch with conjunction with the Ultracet when it is REALLY bad. I can function at work but the pain level makes a big difference in my performance. I tried Flexeril but it didn't phase me at all.

I am not real up on Malic acid, pretty sure its whats produce in our muscles..? I only take a magnesium supplement that is included within my Menopause Supplement that I take daily.

Take care.
Soft hugs,

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 1/16/2009 12:51 PM (GMT -7)   

I haven't tried lyrica yet, I don't have insurance yet and paying out of pocket for meds so I am on what I can afford. But welcome to the board you'll love it here I do already.
Fibro, interstitial cystitis, migraines, rotated femur, bunion on rt ft, hiatal hernia, for just a few.

reglan, prilosec otc, nadol, citrilipram, flexeril, and peroxicam, and Tylenol.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1303
   Posted 1/16/2009 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
And I might add that I am also not as active as I used to be. But, my doctor tells me that its best to be active and fight through the pain... I tried that once and it worked okay..I hurt for a while but I had a great time playing basketball! I used to play tons of sports so when I flat quit everything and started laying on the couch, that and a combination of meds, I have gained weight! lol
Lyrica and Paxil (both working quite well might I add!)
   "Cracks in the concrete are just reminders that you fall apart no matter how strong you are"
    "Sometimes it is best to forget what you feel and remember what you deserve"
    "Im going to smile like nothing is wrong, talk like everything is perfect, act like its all a dream, and pretend its not hurting me."

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 174
   Posted 1/16/2009 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Iwas on Lyrica for along time and finally had to stop due to horrible fog and tremors.Cymbalta was awful.No luck either with amitryptaline and nambutone.

Fibro,Heart Disease,Diabetes other assorted.
      She Hath Done Wonderous Naughty

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1279
   Posted 1/17/2009 8:22 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi mermaid and Welcome-

I have a prescription for Lyrica but have not started to take it. I am so afraid of meds because I am so sensitive to them- so can't give any input on that.

The neck- My neck is horrible too, but I do have arthritis in my neck also. Since getting fibro it is worse and especially my right side too. I can totally relate. I get grinding noises, crackling and crunching anytime I move it. UG! My pillow has to be totally flat or I cannot sleep. I use a rice neck wrap (moist heat) whenever it gets real bad and winters are always my worse.

I also was a Administrative Asst. prior to getting fibro and sitting for long periods of time at the computer was killer- so I feel for you. 

Wishing you the best with the Lyrica- 




Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  

Brain Fart Lifer
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/29/2009 12:21 PM (GMT -7)   
An Update to my post:

Well, I've been on Lyrica for a couple weeks now and not sure what to think. How long before I should notice any good changes? I'm having the typical side effects - dizziness, foginess, sleepy, hungry. Every time I take it, two hours later I feel my head and neck tightening more and through my jaw as well just like the Cymbalta did when I was on that. It's also making feel depressed and unmotivated just like the Cymbalta did. I don't know if this drug is suppose to help with neck pain or not. If it doesn't, then I don't what to take it.

I can only take a dose in the afternoon and at night instead of 3 times a day because I work a full-time job during the day hours. I'm asking my Neuro if I can take it all (150 mg) at night. Anyone else take it all in one dose? My neck is in a lot of pain all the time. It crunches and cracks constantly and is always tight. I made an appt. (finally) with an oral surgeon to get a night guard for my TMJ. I've also added the malic acid/magnesium and it is working. Which is a miracle for my IBS w/constipation.

I've never had any x-rays or mri's on my neck (just my back, wrists, ankles). Although I don't think it's worth it, because it wouldn't show the muscle/tendon issues.
39 year old female. Not overweight, non-smoker, non-drug user, occasional drinker
Diagnosis: Fibro, TMJ, IBS w/constipation, Sinus, some anxiety/depression, trouble sleeping
X-rays -normal, shock test of nerves-normal, bloodwork including thyroid/lyme-normal
Doctor: Neurologist
Current Meds: Lyrica 50 mg./3 times a day, Ambien, Nasarel nose spray for sinuses
Former Meds: Cymbalta, Nortriptyline, Lexapro, Percocet
Supplements: Multi vitamin, B-12, Omega3, Psyllium Husk for constipation

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 1/29/2009 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Mermaid

I don't take Lyrica, but I did want to welcome you since you're new here!!

WELCOME!!!!  Hope you get as much out of this great forum as I do!

Warm hugs,

Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 1/29/2009 3:06 PM (GMT -7)   


I've been taking Lyrica for a year now. At first, the side effects were quite noticeable, such as feeling "out of it" or out of place, very hard to describe. I wasn't really dizzy, per se, but my brain was foggy. It was as if a switch was activated in my brain and shifted everything out of place. However, over time I did get used to it and I no longer have these side effects. Also, I did get noticeable weight gain for the first several months, which was a lot of bloating/water retention. However, I've also noticed that this has gone away over some amount of time (many months).

I do also take other meds, including a muscle relaxer every day, plus tramadoal (milder pain killer). The combo of all 3 seem to help me quite a bit. However, I am not sure if I really have Fibro. I am going to pain management for spine problems and the lyrica helps my nerve pains quite well, though I do get some severe pain exacerbations on and off, which I am positivie are due to disk herniations. I take the muscle relaxer b/c i went back to training and the chairs were god-awful, was getting horrid spasms in my sacral/rear area very severely. The Soma helped with these spasms a alot. Also, I was getting spasms all over the place, which couldnt' even be related to just my lower spine. So I found Soma to be the best muscle relaxer for me. I had tried, in the past, both Skelaxin and Flexeril, but they did absolutley nothing. Soma seems to work best for me.

I also take tramadol, which also helps somewhat to control my pain. I believe my pain is spine related, though, no fibro, and my last MRI did show a lot of scar tissue (from surgery) plus more problems since my previous MRI. I also seem to be getting some neck problems now which correlate with cervical spine problems and get numb fingers, completely numb arms if I lay with my head too flat, along with a few times of a numb right face. My rheum did not check for any tender points last time i was there and I don't have any....if I press into myself I have no pain unless it's directly into a severelay spasmed, knotted area. I said to him, I couldn't understand why I get such widespread spasms and nerve problems, but he just said it's "probabaly the Fibro". Of course i'm not a doctor, but I've read up a lot on this and spine conditions and it does not sound like Fibro to me. Plus...I've taken lyrica since last February and it's not helping my joint achiness at all. And my joints feel so much worse with weather changes or in the morning or after standing/walking for more than 1/2 hour.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 1/29/2009 11:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome!

I've been on Lyrica for about a year now and it's been a Godsend. I took 75mg at first, then increased to 150 mg at night and 75 mg in the morning. I also take time-released Tramadol for pain (one in the morning). I've gone from completely debilitated with pain and fatigue to feeling almost 100% again.

(I haven't gained any weight, btw...I'm still 130 pounds)

Good luck with it!
I have Fibromyalgia, and nothing else!
I take Lyrica 225 mg/day and Tramadol (150mg time-released) and amytriptilene 7.5mg

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/30/2009 3:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been aking Lyrica for a few months now.  From what I understand about Lyrica is that it helps cpntrol the "burning" pain that people with fibro get.  And it HAS helped with that.  My other normal pains as I call them, it has NOT helped with.
The fogginess from the meds will go away, you just have to work through it for about a week.  I tried to get my doc to let me take more at night instead of day time cause I work too.  He said it wporks better if you have a constant amount in your system.
I too have the horrible neck pain.  I was in a car accident 4 years ago tho and got whiplash.  The fibro has just aggravated that.  My neck crunches and pops too.
The only othe rpoain meds I take is tylenol when needed.  I also take a multiple vitamin every day.
I have not noticed a big weight gain...maybe 5 pounds or so.
Hope this helps.
Diagnosed with Panic Disorder(16 yrs ago)-GERD(12 years ago)-GAD(16 yrs ago)-IBS(12 years ago)-DDD(6 years ago)-Arthritis(since teenager)-Controled HBP(2 years ago)-Diagnosed with fibromyalgia 9-29-08.
Meds: Cardizem CD~Prilosec~Klonopin(prn)~Daily Vitamin~Tylenol~Lyrica

Brain Fart Lifer
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/30/2009 9:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Update on my post:

Thanks for the information! I spoke with the doctor's office and they said I can just take my dose at night. I've been taking it for two weeks and they said that the side effects shouldn't last more than two weeks and that I should cut back to a lower dose and than gradually add as to what my body is feeling. What my body feels now is foggy, can't concentrate, no motivation. Every time I take my dose an hour and a half later I feel this extreme tightening in my neck/head like a migraine - worse pain than I already have 24/7. I know it's from the medication - it does it with every dose. One thing I have noticed though is that the tingly in my arms and wrist pain has decreased some. I work on a computer all day 40 hours a week and usually by Thursday they are hurting more. Also I am sleeping better (with wild crazy dreams). My doctor is prescribing skelaxin now in addition. I'm interested in this Tramadol though since it seems to be time released.

Does anyone take tramadol during work hours?
39 year old female. Not overweight, non-smoker, non-drug user, occasional drinker
Diagnosis: Fibro, TMJ, IBS w/constipation, Sinus, some anxiety/depression, trouble sleeping
X-rays -normal, shock test of nerves-normal, bloodwork including thyroid/lyme-normal
Doctor: Neurologist
Current Meds: Lyrica 50 mg./3 times a day, Ambien, Nasarel nose spray for sinuses
Former Meds: Cymbalta, Nortriptyline, Lexapro, Percocet
Supplements: Multi vitamin, B-12, Omega3, Psyllium Husk for constipation

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/30/2009 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi...   I also am wondering about "Tramadol"..   I have been on Lyrca for a year now.  I use to work full time, 40 hrs at a computer at medical center... sat all day at computer.  Had to waite till I got home to take my Lyrica.  My doctor wanted me to take 300mg's a day!  There was no way I could take that much with working.  I worked an early shift, 6am-3pm.  I was falling a sleep at work as it was without the Lyrica.  I would go home and take 75mg, take a nap, then take my other 75mg before I went to bed.  I was not taking anything else but Lexapro - 10mg.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia(Chronic Fatigue/Restless leg syndrom) and bone spur on c-spine(pressing on thecal sac/nerves) and possible Vascular problems(being checked for that).  I now cannot work, I am at 300mg's of Lyrica and 20mg's of Prozac.  Naproxen for pain when needed.  I too, am wondering about Tramadol.  I have a liver disease as well and have to be careful of meds... I have a good Int. Med. Doctor who is very careful of that with me.  I was diagnosed with Hepc about 10yrs ago, while working at a hospital in Labor and Delivery.  I do not have cirrosis (spelling) of the liver, thank goodness..  I dont drink for that reason...  Any way, my doctor told me when I saw her recently that I may have to take stronger meds. to control my chronic pain... my blood pressure wont go down, has been staying high past month... or so..   never had high blood pressure before.. Maybe someone could help me with
advise on using "stronger meds"...  I dont want to get addicted to them, and again, have to watch my liver as well.....   
P.S   I too, had a lot of cracking in my neck when I was working..  still do once a while.  Neck/back of head can really hurt at times... hard to sleep...  keep changing pillows..  Lyrica has helped with pain and numbness in hands...
dont wake up with that kinda pain anymore....
Sorry.... long winded tonight!    Lack of interaction with other people right now!  :)

               "Everyone needs warmth and sunshine"... wether its from the heart.. the warm touch of someones hand... or the warmth of the sun that god has given us...  Breezie

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/2/2009 4:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Personally, I couldn't handle Lyrica. I'm NOT trying to put you "off", as we are all very different and react to substances in a unique way. The reaction that I had: I felt very warm and "prickly". <- I can't really explain it any other way. I surely felt like I was "on something". Also, I felt confused and very heavy. It was like I pinned down by gravity. Very odd sensation, indeed. blush
So, I tried Neurontin instead. I was told that while the two are like one another, they are still very different chemically (maybe???). I seemed to handle the Neurontin much better. Right now I'm on the low dose (100, 3 x's day). I have noticed some weight gain (about 5-8 lbs) and dry mouth. My weight has been on a ten pound up and down for the last few years now. It's always hard to say if it's what I'm eating (or not eating) or the med side effects.

IT really helps with the symptoms in my feet, like tingling and burning.

Post Edited (Steffiel) : 2/2/2009 4:07:03 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 2/2/2009 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
What a coincidence, I tried Lyrica about a year ago and it made me too tired to function but I just went to the Dr. today and he wants to put me back on it. This time, he's starting me at a child's dose of 25 mg. per day and I will go up from there. I'm OK with this because in the last year I've tried so many different meds and had horrible side effects. I already know what to expect with the Lyrica. I also started out with neck pain. I thought I had a ruptured disk after a car accident but tests showed nothing. Later in physical therapy I learned that I had forward head posture which many people develop after working long hours on a computer. It seems that many of us have this same neck issue in common. Mine finally subsided (or eased off to a tolerable level) after months of physical therapy. I'll keep you posted on my Lyrica journeys. I'll just be happy to find a med that doesn't try to kill me!

stitching star
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 2/3/2009 11:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been on 150 mg lyrica 3 x/day for several years. I also take a muscle relaxer (soma) and 2 other pain meds. I have no side effects that I notice from the lyrica except one. If I don't take the lyrica for a day then I get a very twitchy feeling all over and when I walk it is like walking on a cactus (like in the magazine ads). The cactus walking thing was why I was originally put on it.

I had a terrible 5 day migraine and threw up what meds I could take the entire time. I ended up with some kind of seizure in the ICU for 3 days. The docs there took me off ALL my regular meds and told my dh and parents I was using meth. I was taking phenergan for the nausea and it can show up as meth in drug tests. It was an awful experience, largely caused by not keeping down the lyrica - lyrica is an antiseizure med that is used for epilepsy so you CANNOT go off it cold turkey w/o some real problems.
SAHM, kids are the light of my life
dh of 17 yrs, my sweetie
ds 16yo, great kid, Sr. in high school
dd 13yo, my reward, homeschooled
ds 8yo, amazing kid, great magician
2 furbabies - Gracie and Capn Morgan, both cats
1 featherbaby - cockatiel - Goldi the Evil
I have always imagined paradise will be some type of library.
     -Jorges Luis Borges

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