Pregabalin, marketed under the brand name Lyrica, is used either alone or alongside other medicines to treat certain types of long-lasting pain caused by damage to nerves. This type of pain, called neuropathic pain, can be caused by a number of different conditions including fibromyalgia, diabetes and shingles. Pregabalin is also indicated for the treatment of epilepsy and anxiety, but White Pharmacy is unable to prescribe for these conditions – please consult your GP.
Pregabalin is thought to work by acting on the release of various neurotransmitters from nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Neurotransmitters are natural body chemicals that are found in these nerve cells and are involved in transmitting messages between them. Pregabalin downgrades the release of neurotransmitters called glutamate, noradrenaline and substance P.
Glutamate, substance P and noradrenaline are all involved in transmitting pain signals in the brain and nervous system. As pregabalin reduces the release of these neurotransmitters it can be used to treat nerve pain that has occurred as a result of damage to, or a disturbance in the function of, nerves (neuropathic pain). So it is helpful in the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain, such as nerve pain in the hands, legs or feet, as well as central neuropathic pain, resulting from a spinal cord injury.