Pregabalin and Alcohol

What is Pregabalin?

Pregabalin is an anti-epileptic and anticonvulsant drug. It works to control seizures by slowing down impulses in the brain. Also, Pregabalin affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nerves.

Pregabalin is used in the treatment of fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, herpes zoster, or spinal cord injury.

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Pregabalin

Pregabalin and Alcohol:

There are two main questions to ask about while studying these two words Pregabalin and alcohol:

First: Can you drink alcohol while using Pregabalin?

Second: Does Pregabalin has a role in the treatment of alcohol dependence, alcohol withdrawal, or alcoholism?

1- Can you drink alcohol while using Pregabalin?

Drug Interaction Classification:

There are four classifications which are only a guideline for the determination of how far the risk of drug interaction with other factors:

  • Major: the risk of interaction is bigger than the benefit, so, you should avoid combinations.
  • Moderate: it is better to avoid combinations or it may be used only under specific circumstances.
  • Minor: minimal clinically significant.
  • Unknown: no available information about the interaction.

According to the previous classification, we can say that Pregabalin and Alcohol interaction is considered as a moderately clinically significant drug interaction.

So, patients are recommended to avoid alcohol generally while using Pregabalin or they may limit consumption of alcohol.

Pregabalin and Alcohol

 

Why alcohol should be avoided or limited while using Pregabalin:

At the same time that Pregabalin acts on the central nervous system to manage pain or control seizures and convulsions by affecting nerves or affecting the release of other chemical substances in the brain, Alcohol also may potentiate some of the pharmacological effects of CNS active agents; using them simultaneously may lead to:

  • excessive central nervous system depression
  • excessive sleepiness or even coma
  • confusion of thinking, judgment, or other psychomotor skills
  • Increased drowsiness and dizziness
  • Concentration issues
  • It may depress the central nervous system causing breath issues leading to a potentially life-threatening condition
  • Reduction of alertness
  • Swelling of throat, lips, or tongue
  • Itching
  • Hives

How to cope with the side effects of Pregabalin?

You can avoid some factors while using Pregabalin to minimize the possible side effects that would happen:

  • Headache: drink plenty of fluids, take a rest, don’t drink too much alcohol, you may ask your health provider for a suitable analgesic.
  • Mood alteration: talk to your health provider as you may need to switch to a different medicine
  • Feeling sick: take Pregabalin with or after a meal or snacks
  • Blurred vision: during that avoid driving or using sharp or heavy tools
  • Weight gain: Pregabalin increases the feeling of hunger so try to eat well healthy food, avoid too many snacks especially with meals, don’t take food with high calories. Between meals, you can eat fruits when you feel hungry. Regular sports will also help to keep your weight stable.
  • For men, erection problems may occur: speak to your health care provider as he may recommend a different medicine
  • Memory problems: speak to your health care provider as he may recommend a different medicine
  • Swollen hands, arms, legs, or feet: avoid standing for a long time, try to sit with your feet up on a chair or bed, exercise may be useful for swollen arms.
  • Feeling tired or sleepy: speak to your health care provider as he may recommend reducing the Pregabalin dose or increase it more slowly or switch to a different medicine.

2- Does Pregabalin has a role in the treatment of alcohol dependence?

Alcohol Dependence:

Alcohol dependence represents a severe pathological disorder in which patients are subjected to a high risk of morbidity or mortality. Although limited pharmacological agents are there to treat this disorder, studies are continued promising for new therapies.

  • Pregabalin’s clinical use in alcoholic patients shows promise as a good treatment for the management of alcohol relapse.
  • During the study made for detoxified alcohol-dependent patients receiving Pregabalin, 50%of patients remained completely alcohol-free, a significant improvement of withdrawal symptoms and alcohol craving was noticed.
  • A greater beneficial effect was found in patients with comorbid conditions such as alcoholism and anxiety disorders.
  • Pregabalin use appears to be safe and well-tolerated.
  • Since seizures are a potential serious manifestation of alcohol withdrawal, Pregabalin’s anticonvulsant effect may be beneficial in this case.

Cautions for using Pregabalin with other medicines:

  • Pregabalin can be safely used with other medicines, however, you should tell your doctor before starting Pregabalin if you take certain medicines such as strong pain killers like morphine or other medicines that make you feel dizzy or sleepy.
  • There is no evidence for any problems resulting from mixing Pregabalin with supplements, vitamins, or herbal remedies.

Does Pregabalin affect fertility?

There is no evidence that Pregabalin reduces fertility in either men or women. However, if you are trying to get pregnant talk to your doctor before taking Pregabalin.

Does Pregabalin affect contraception?

Any type of contraception (including contraceptive pills and emergency contraception) is safe while using Pregabalin, it doesn’t stop contraception work.

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