Medical Matters > Pregabalin (Lyrica)

ME Essential Summer 2024


I have been reading some disturbing newspaper reports about the misuse of pregabalin and it looks as though there may be further restriction on doctors about prescribing this drug. I know that some people with ME/CFS have had major problems with side effects. But there are others like myself who have found pregabalin to be very helpful for pain relief where other drugs have failed. Do you think that my GP will be able to continue prescribing it?


Pregabalin (trade name Lyrica) is a drug that can be very helpful for some people with epilepsy. It has also been found that pregabalin can help some people with anxiety and it can sometimes relieve nerve pain/neuropathic pain. In relation to ME/CFS, we know that some people, like yourself, have found pregabalin to be helpful for pain management. However, others do not and may also experience unpleasant side-effects.

So, while this is a drug that can be considered for treating moderate to severe pain in ME/CFS, especially where other painkillers have failed, it must be used with caution and carefully monitored.
The downside to pregabalin is that in addition to the potential to cause unpleasant side-effects, including suicidal thoughts, it can also lead to dependence and abuse. So I hope that the perfectly valid concerns in the press at the moment about the misuse of pregabalin will not result in it becoming unavailable as an option for treating people who have neuropathic pain that is not responding to other painkillers.

The MEA has an information leaflet covering all aspects of the use of pregabalin in ME/CFS.


Information provided by The ME Association should not be construed as medical advice. Don't assume any new or worsened symptoms are simply the result of having ME/CFS or Long Covid. We recommend that any information you deem relevant is discussed with your NHS GP as soon as possible. It is important that you seek personalised medical advice from the GP who is in charge of your care and who knows you well.

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