By

Lyrica Now Available to Patients

Pfizer announced today that Lyrica (pregabalin) is now available for doctors to prescribe to patients. The drug is indicated for use for neuropathic pain and seizures, but has also shown to improve patients’ sleep patterns. A successor to Neurontin (gabapentin), the two drugs act similarly in the body. Of course the chemical structure is slightly different (and beyond my understanding), but one obvious difference is that Lyrica is more potent, which makes it effective at lower doses. This in turn decreases the likelihood of side effects.

The FDA won’t let Pfizer mention this, but Lyrica, like Neurontin, is likely to be prescribed to headache patients off-label. And, based on a conversation with my headache specialist, it’s a potentially exciting new option for prevention.

Even with his endorsement, I’m a little skeptical. You see, the FDA has approved the manufacturing of gabapentin as a generic. Once the generic is available, sales of Neurontin, also a Pfizer drug, will drop. Lyrica could become to Neurontin like Clarinex is to Claritin.

It’s too soon to tell if Lyrica will be a significant new drug for headache patients or if it will another name-brand moneymaker. For all our sakes, I’ve got my fingers crossed for the first option.

Some interesting details about the drug are also available.

6 Responses to Lyrica Now Available to Patients

  1. PamC says:

    It’s actually been out earlier than today. I’m on my second week of ramp-up with good results. Neurontin was only quasi-successful for me (weird pattern of 3 days no pain, 3 days pain). Gabatril was a no-go as I hit or a rare side-effect that screwed with my vision.

    Pregabalin has been out in Canada for a while, so studies from there are promising in regards to migraines.

    From my neurologist: Pregabalin works earlier in the chemical stream than neurontin (gabapentin) or gabatril. Hopefully this means that it’s more complete in its role of reducing neuropathic pain.

    So far, the stories are good across the board from diabetics to fibromyalgia. It could mean hype or hope. My fingers are crossed for the latter.

  2. Kerrie says:

    Thanks for the great information, Pam. And for giving another view to my one-sided post! I’m so glad to hear it’s helping thus far (don’t worry, I knocked on wood).

    -Kerrie

  3. Angel says:

    I’ve been following some reports about this since 2002, since it was being tested for fibromyalgia (which I also have).

    Thank you for such a wonderful, informative blog. Not only have I found some new info, but it helps knowing I’m not alone in all this.

  4. Pam H says:

    Kerrie, I take Lamictal, Cmybalta, Relpax,
    Compazine,Xanaflex, Ambien and these pain meds depending on the intensity: Fioricette if I have to drive, Lortab 5 or under, Stadol for the worst ones. What meds do you take. I haveCHD and have probably had 10 Neuros in the past 20 years. I now have a new one and am doubtful about this one. I have been recommended to the Chicago Diamond, but don’t know whether to go.??
    Also, my Doc. wants to give me steriod shots in the Occipital nerve because they are so sore. Any advice for me? Thank you so much!! I also cook lunch for my 80+ parents who live with me and then I usually have to go to bed for a few hours.

    ********
    Diamond isn’t necessarily better than another headache clinic or a good specialist — it’s just the most famous. I haven’t been there, but they first get you off all your meds to see if you have rebound headaches (you get some sort of painkiller for that part). Then they try to find the most effective preventives and abortives for you.

    Finding a doc or clinic that’s closer to you would be great. Trying out preventives usually means monthly visits to see how the meds are working. Of course, if you’ve already tried a bunch of treatments, this may not be necessary for you.

    The nerve shots sound like they’re worth trying out. Does your doctor classify your headaches as chronic daily or occipital neuralgia?

    K

  5. Matt says:

    About two and half years ago, I had severe head trauma that caused whiplash, 3 vertebrae crushing each other, and occipital neuralgia. I’m currently looking for more than the therapy I’ve had in the past which include:

    Chiropractic
    Massage
    Accupuncture
    CranioSacral Therapy
    Manipulation Under Anesthesia
    Trigger Point Shots
    Pills:
    Dicoflenac Sodium
    Tizanidine
    Skelaxin

    Chiropractic works well but, I need constant adjustements. The Massages make me feel better but only for a short period of time. The accupuncture was a waste of about 1000 dollars. The CranioSacral therapy reduced the pressure in the back of my head, only for a day or two. The Manipulation Under Anesthetics unbuckled the 3 crushing vertebrae, and I had no pain for about two weeks. Trigger Point Shots have begun to help, unfortunately, my Occipital Neuralgia headaches come and go, very very painful. The Trigger Points are with local anesthetics and the last round of shots I had, which totaled about 40, were with Dextrose. These have all helped but nothing takes away the severe pain when it comes.

    The Dicoflenac Sodium reduces the pressure. The tizanidine reduced my muscle spasms and make me extremely drowsy, and sometimes pass out. Skelaxin gave me the sweats, insomnia, and quivering.

    I take large amounts of Fish Oils, normal amount of Red Yeast Rice, Magnesium, and multi vitamins.
    I use to take FeverFew to reduce the pain and swelling, though I didn’t see any difference.

    I’m still in pain, although a lot less than I was 2 years ago, What should I do?

    **********
    Wow, you’ve really been through a lot. While there are likely more treatments that will help you, I don’t have many suggestions.

    Yoga, biofeedback, self-acupressure or relaxation therapy may help. They are all methods that you can take away with you. That is, you learn how to do them and can apply them yourself at home.

    I wish you the best of luck.

    Take care,
    Kerrie

  6. Lisa Pinkerton says:

    Hi, my name is lisa and I can certainly sympathize with you because I have had similar problems. Have you ever heard of sunrider ever since I’ve been on the sunrider herbal food plan my life has changed and I’m a new women. Please let me know if you are interested and I will send you the information you can become completely symptom free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *