Nothing safe about them | CMAJ1 min read

  • Pete F O Malley, Patient, CAMH

As a patient I probably don’t belong here but the message needs to get out to anyone who will listen: these are very nasty and potentially dangerous drugs. Withdrawal from pregabalin has been absolute hell for me, a process I’ve been going through for over three years with the help of CAMH addiction medicine service. The warnings for dependency, addiction, suicidal idealization, massive anxiety, panic attacks and intractable insomnia are very real, and I never went anywhere near the highest recommended dose. Working while in withdrawal has been near impossible. And while I am obviously biased, my situation is far from unique.

Google pregabalin addiction/withdrawal and read the personal stories for yourself. Facebook now has a group Lyrica survivors with over 7,000 members – all of them are helping others through the withdrawal process because doctors refuse to listen. I realize this isn’t the type of evidence based research this community relies on, but if nothing else it should red flag these drugs in cases where they may not be necessary or where other options exist. I’ve lost count of the number of posts I’ve read of people claiming opiate withdrawals was a walk in the park compared to pregabalin as acute withdrawals can last for months and months. If nothing else maybe I can convince some of you to not try cold turkey a patient since pregabalin withdrawal can be so severe. Ignore this post if you will but please don’t say you haven’t been warned.

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