Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergic reaction: Some people have developed a serious allergic reaction called angioedema to this medication. Symptoms include swelling of the face, mouth (lips, gums, tongue), neck, throat, and upper airway. If these occur, seek immediate medical attention.
Central nervous system (CNS) depressants: Taking CNS depressants such as opiates (e.g., morphine, codeine) and benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam, lorazepam) or alcohol while taking pregabalin could result in excessive sleepiness or drowsiness and even coma. Talk to your doctor if you are taking these medications.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Pregabalin may cause dizziness and drowsiness. Do not engage in activities requiring mental alertness, such as driving or operating machinery, until you know how this medication affects you.
Drinking alcohol while you are taking pregabalin may make these effects more pronounced. It is strongly recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking pregabalin.
Heart problems: Pregabalin may cause fluid to build up in the body. If the fluid accumulates around the lungs or heart, symptoms of heart failure may become worse. If you have heart failure or other heart problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Report any signs of heart problems getting worse, such as difficulty breathing, rapid weight gain or chest pain to your doctor immediately.
Kidney function: Pregabalin is primarily eliminated from the body by the kidneys. Kidney disease or decreased kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregabalin may reduce kidney function and can cause kidney failure. If you notice any signs of your kidneys not working well, such as decreased amounts of urine being produced, swelling of the legs and ankles, difficulty urinating, or an increased need to urinate at night, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Male fertility: Animal studies have shown the use of pregabalin to be associated with decreased fertility, sperm abnormalities, and birth defects. It is not known if these effects would happen in people. If you plan to father a child, discuss using this medication with your doctor first.
Muscle pain: If you experience muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness with or without fever, contact your doctor immediately.
Skin problems: Pregabalin may cause skin ulcers or sores. Pay extra attention to your skin while taking this medication, especially if you have diabetes. If you notice any new skin sores or skin problems let your doctor know.
Stopping this medication: Stopping pregabalin suddenly may result in withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, nausea, headache, diarrhea and seizures. If it is necessary to stop taking this medication, talk to your doctor about the best way to reduce your dose before stopping your medication.
Suicidal behaviour: People taking this medication may feel that they may want to hurt themselves or others. These symptoms may occur within several weeks after starting this medication. If you experience these side effects or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. You should be closely monitored by your doctor for emotional and behaviour changes while taking this medication.
Vision disturbances: Pregabalin may cause disturbances in your vision such as blurred vision, double vision, and vision loss. Report any changes in your vision to your doctor immediately.
Weight gain: Pregabalin may cause weight gain and swelling of the extremities. Report any significant weight gain or any swelling of the legs, arms, or other areas of the body to your doctor.
Pregnancy: Information about the safety and effectiveness of using pregabalin during pregnancy is limited. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking pregabalin, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children and adolescents: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children and adolescents less than 18 years of age.
Seniors: The effectiveness of the kidneys in removing pregabalin from the body tends to decrease with age. Seniors may need lower doses of this medication to reduce the possibility for side effects.