Updated April 2024

What is Pregabalin?

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Pregabalin belongs to a group of medicines that are thought to control pain by working on brain chemicals which send signals to nerves. These chemical are called  gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. 

Pregabalin may be used alone, or in combination with other medicines, to treat nerve (neuropathic) pain or fibromyalgia. It is also used as an anti-convulsant for epilepsy.

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully. They may differ from the information contained here or in the attached leaflet.

Important things to remember

  • You must see your doctor regularly to make sure the treatment is working and check for possible side effects.
  • You may need regular blood tests as suggested by your rheumatologist.
  • It is important to tell your rheumatologist if you have a new serious illness such as a serious infection, cancer or heart failure.
  • If you are worried about any side effects, you should contact your rheumatologist as soon as possible.
  • If you stop pregabalin for any reason, you must contact your doctor.
  • If you plan to become pregnant, you must discuss the timing with your doctor/rheumatologist.

What benefit can you expect from your treatment?

Pregabalin is used to reduce nerve (neuropathic) pain and sensations such as hot, burning, throbbing, shooting, stabbing, sharp, cramping, aching, tingling, numbness, pins and needles pain and for pain that keeps you awake at night.

How is Pregabalin taken?

It is taken by mouth swallowed whole in capsule form.

When should it be taken?

Take this medicine with a full glass of water at the same time each day. It is often taken multiple times throughout the day and can be taken with or without food. 

if you miss a dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. 

What is the dosage?

Pregabalin comes in different strength capsules. The initial dose may be 25 to 75mg a day and increased to the lowest dose possible to control your pain. Usually, doses range from 150mg to 600mg per day given across two or three doses. 

Can other medicines be taken with Pregabalin?

This medicine may be used alone or with other arthritis medicines including:

  • other disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate.
  • steroid medicines such as prednisolone or cortisone injections into the joint. 
  • anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as naproxen (Naprosyn) or ibuprofen (Brufen, Nurofen). 
  • pain medicines such as paracetamol.

Pregabalin can be affected by certain indigestion/antacid medicines.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy at the chemist, supermarket or health food shop.


Are there any side effects?

You might experience side effects with your treatment. Tell your doctor if you notice side effects that you think are caused by this medicine. Many side effects disappear when pregabalin treatment is reduced/stopped. 

Most common possible side effects

This list includes the more common side effects of pregabalin, they are usually mild and short-lived.

  • feeling tired or drowsy
  • increase in weight
  • dizziness
  • constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea
  • headache
  • unsteadiness when walking, reduced co-ordination, shaking or tremors
  • dry mouth
  • blurred or double vision.

Less common or rare possible side effects

Contact your doctor if you suspect one of these side effects:

  • unusual changes in mood or behaviour
  • signs of new or increased irritability or agitation
  • signs of depression
  • swelling of the hands, ankles or feet
  • unexplained muscle pain, tenderness and weakness.

Very rare possible side effects

Contact your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • shortness of breath, swelling of the feet and legs, weight increase due to fluid build-up
  • irritated red eyes that are sensitive to light
  • sudden signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing.

What precautions are necessary?

There have been reports of heart failure in some patients when taking pregabalin; these patients were mostly elderly with cardiovascular conditions. Before taking this medicine, you should tell your doctor if you have a history of heart disease.

Blood tests

Blood tests are not routinely required for this medicine.

Use with alcohol

The combination of pregabalin and alcohol can make you very drowsy, especially if you have just started on this medicine or increased the dose. Do not to drink alcohol when taking pregabalin especially at the start.

Driving and using machines

Pregabalin may cause dizziness, sleepiness and decreased concentration. You should not drive, operate complex machinery or engage in other potentially hazardous activities until you know how this medicine affects you.

Use in pregnancy and when breastfeeding

It is important to discuss with your doctor if you are planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding while on pregabalin. 

How to store Pregabalin

Store pregabalin in a cool dry place, away from direct heat and light (e.g. not in the bathroom). 

Keep all medicines out of reach of children.