If you’ve ever been prescribed any type of pain medication, you may recall your doctor advising you not to drink alcohol. Certain medications can react poorly to alcohol and produce emergency-room-worthy side effects. Today, we wanted to share what you should know about mixing Lyrica and alcohol.
What Is Lyrica?
Lyrica is the brand name for a nerve pain medication called pregabalin. It’s used to treat nerve and muscle pain caused by conditions like fibromyalgia and is also sometimes used to treat seizures.
Lyrica is classified as an anticonvulsant drug that reduces nerve signaling in the central nervous system to alleviate pain and prevent seizures. It is not a depressant. Rather, it targets nerve cells that fire off too many signals, which causes increased sensitivity to stimuli that aren’t normally painful.
Lyrica is usually taken as a capsule that’s individually taken twice daily. Doses range from 150 milligrams (mg) to 450 mg per day. As with other prescription medications, doctors determine the appropriate dosage for patients depending on various factors, including the severity of their symptoms.
Side effects of Lyrica also vary depending on the dose taken. Although any adverse effects that occur upon using the drug usually dissipate over time, they can be uncomfortable. If you’re taking pregabalin, possible adverse side effects include:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Swelling of the hands and feet
- Weight gain
Lyrica can also affect your ability to concentrate and pay attention, which can make driving dangerous and other tasks difficult. If you experience any of these side effects, speak to your doctor and avoid taking less or skipping any of your doses, as this can allow certain symptoms to resurface.
Can You Drink Alcohol With Lyrica?
No, you cannot and should not drink alcohol with Lyrica. Prescribing doctors normally advise against the use of pregabalin and alcohol together as it could lead to several adverse reactions.
In addition to interacting with other pain medications, like opioids, a Lyrica interaction with alcohol can interfere with the efficacy of the medication and allow symptoms like nerve pain and discomfort to resurface. Additionally, both Lyrica and alcohol depress the nervous system in some way, meaning that when combined, they can produce severe sedative effects.
What Happens if You Drink on Lyrica?
A pregabalin alcohol interaction can depress the central nervous system significantly enough to slow your breathing and impair vital functions. Some common side effects of Lyrica and alcohol:
- Slowed breathing
- Extreme sedation
- Reduced alertness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impaired judgment
- Swelling of the throat, tongue, and lips
It’s advised that you do not mix Lyrica and alcohol and abstain from driving or operating heavy machinery in the case that you do combine the two. Additionally, if someone who’s taking Lyrica or any other prescription medication feels as if they have to drink alcohol to feel normal, then they may need alcohol treatment.
The combined use of drugs like pregabalin and alcohol is a form of drug abuse that can interfere with a person’s physical and mental health as well as their social life. Lyrica is a controlled substance because it has the potential for abuse and addiction. Engaging in polydrug abuse with Lyrica increases the risk of addiction as well as overdose, both of which can have life-threatening consequences.
Help for Alcohol and Lyrica Abuse
Although it’s effective in treating neuropathic pain along with other ailments, pregabalin side effects with alcohol can have negative outcomes. Unfortunately, despite the risks, many people may mix their depressant medications with alcohol or other drugs (like opioids or benzos) to experience a high. When it comes to misusing addictive substances such as alcohol and anticonvulsants, the outcome may be a serious addiction that requires addiction treatment to manage.
The fact of the matter is that Lyrica and alcohol both severely impact the brain, and together, their individual side effects can worsen. Alcohol can also interfere with pregabalin’s ability to treat symptoms like nerve pain and seizures, which can cause distress.
If you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol or other drugs or is unable to control the use of certain medications, there may be a more severe underlying issue at hand. Fortunately, our Northeast addictions treatment center offers prescription drug addiction treatment to help people addicted to drugs like Lyrica.
Included in our addiction services is medically monitored detox, as well, which is a form of medicated care in which patients are slowly weaned off of drugs and treated for their withdrawal symptoms. No matter how severe your addiction is, we can help.