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Restless Legs Syndrome

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I'm about to start on Lyrica--more advice needed on dosage & side effects please

Bganim1947 profile image
18 Replies

Hello my dear fellow travelers,

You have all been so helpful with your thoughts /opinions about Lyrica/pregablin. Considering all that you said about weight gain, mood disorders, as well as the positives, it seems to be the best option for me right now.

Having completed 10 days of withdrawal from Ropinerole, I can't say I feel like a new person. I'm still having some pretty bad RLS symptoms. I'm really on the edge now. I have been taking 1200 to 1800 mgs of Gabapentin w/ 200 mgs of tramadol and 2/ 28 mgs/day of iron Bisglycinate. Some days it all works, some days it doesn't. When it doesn't, it is difficult to get the symptoms to stop.

I emailed Dr Bruchfuher about my status. His suggestion is to consider pregablin/Lyrica. I have a few questions to any of you who can provide additional info.

1. can or should Lyrica be taken with Gabapentin? With iron bisglycinate? 2. Many of you said the smaller doses helped more--how small?

3. Did you cut the capsule or tablet to get a smaller dose or just order smaller doses?

4. Any other advice you can give me now would be greatly appreciated. I also have painful arthritis and nerve damage in my feet and ankles.

What do some of you do to avoid weight gain?

Thank you all in advance.


18 Replies

I thought those withdrawals would hit you at some time. I havent taken pregabalin so cant help with side effects, but the leaflet should list all the side effects, and as always everyone is different. Some can take it with out any problems and some find they cant cope with any side effects they get. Also as with any med its usual to start at the lowest dose first. I dont think you should take the Gaba and the Pregabalin together, they are different but similar but someone might know different to me. I shouldnt think the iron you take will hurt. 10 days into no Ropinerole is still a bit early to feel any good relief seeing your doses have been dropped down at 2mgs. Keep going you will get there. :)

Bganim1947 profile image
Bganim1947 in reply to

Hi Elisse, thank you for your always good a advice and everyone else who jumped right in too. I just picked up my Lyrica med. they are in 300 mg capsules, so no they can't be cut in half. Checked with my doc, you and everyone were right no Gabapentin with it.

My biggest concern now is that I am right in the middle of s tortuous eithdrawl episode. Since I can't take tramadol or Gabapentin, how do I get through today and the days tha follow since it can take a week or two to kick in---ahhhhh! How about oxycodone?? Is that Percocet?

in reply to Bganim1947

Why can't you take the Tramadol. ? You should still be able to take it. I am in bed now but still awake so Just seen your comment

in reply to

Read Jools comment and what she takes as a pain med. that might work better for you.

Hi Bganim, as far as I'm aware it is fine to take Lyrica with iron bisglycinate. However, it would be very unusual to take it in conjunction with gabapentin.

Lyrica is a brand name for pregabalin. Pregabalin and gabapentin are very similar in makeup. Pregabalin is considered to be better absorbed (I think it is absorbed through a longer stretch of the digestive tract). It is also better transported (I'm not entirely sure what the significance of this is but understand that it is a positive!). If Dr. Buchfuhrer suggested you take Lyrica when he already knew you were taking gabapentin, I would imagine he envisaged that you would use Lyrica in place of gabapentin although you might wish to email him for clarification of this. It is possible that he hoped you would need a lower dose of pregabalin than gabapentin thanks to its higher absorption rate. If you do decide to change from gabapentin to Lyrica, I would imagine you might need to titrate down slowly off one and up slowly on the other - I'm not sure whether you could overlap the two drugs - it would seem likely that you could but you should check this with your physician.

I am not sure about a smaller dose working better. I know that for me taking a number of different drugs enabled me to take a lower dose of each individual drug and this seemed to work better than relying on a much larger dose of a single drug but in general I have found that the worse the symptoms the higher the dose I need so I couldn't say a smaller dose works better than a larger one. My Lyrica comes in 25mg tablets - I don't think a dose lower than 25mg would have any impact on anything so haven't felt the need to split the tablet.

I understand that Lyrica (and probably also gabapentin) is good for aches and pains and problems with the nervous system so you may achieve a dual benefit for your arthritis and nerve damage.

As to weight gain, I found I was hungry all the time when on Lyrica and did not manage to avoid weight gain so am probably not the right one to comment on that :( The weight did fall off as soon as I lowered my dose of Lyrica and kratom, which I also take intermittently, completely kills my appetite and I have lost a lot of weight when on it.

Would you consider taking the iron bisglycinate on alternate days? I understand that the body uptake of iron is greatly increased if it is not taken every single day.

I am really sorry it is taking you a while to find an optimal treatment regime. There is always the hope when coming off a dopamine agonist that symptoms will settle down very significantly and the post-withdrawal stage will be easily managed but sadly it is not always the case. I found that my symptoms continued to improve (from a very low point) for nearly 6 months after I came off mirapexin but I do still require medication to manage and it took me a while (and a lot of experimentation) to find a regime that answered my needs - in fact I am still tweaking my system nearly a year and a half later.

Have you had your serum ferritin levels taken recently?

mantel profile image

Hi there, I am not as knowledgeable as many on here but as Gabapentin is similar type drug to Lyrica I would have thought you would take one or the other not both. Mine are capsules so you can't cut them. I take my whole dose in one go and went straight in at 100mg then 150mg then ended going back down to 100mg which works just as well. I have not experienced any weight gain or increased appetite. I have also not ever felt drowsy.

One thing I have noticed is a lack of sex drive. I am 54 and going through the menopause at the moment so it is more than likely this is to blame or perhaps the Tramadol as I noticed this happened some years ago when I was taking it for back pain.

I hope it works for you as well as it works for me. To be honest I was not expecting it to help and it took a few weeks to start seeing an improvement . I would say it took 3 months to reach full effect. Good luck

in reply to mantel

If you are experiencing 'lack of sex drive' ... give Siffrol a go!!! COMPLETELY opposite affect.

(Said in jest). I would never seriously suggest taking this medication for that reason. But it is definitely one of the hideous side effects of the drug.

in reply to

FYI ... But it does work a treat (for me) in combating the symptoms of RLS

mantel profile image
mantel in reply to

Ha ha, a hideous side effect indeed. I remember being like that when i was pregnant. We never seem to get it just right, all or nothing.

mantel profile image

Beganim , Ellise and Involuntarydance are some of "the more knowledgeable people" I was talking about. and have both helped me in the past and when I was going through augmentation. They must have replied to you as I was typing so sorry if I have written any of the same stuff.

in reply to mantel

Mantel you gave some good info on your experience with taking Pregabalin/Lyrica. :)

Bganim1947 profile image

How long does it take for the first dose to kick in? I'll start taking 300 mg today, I'm in the middle of an episode right now can't even sit down for two minutes. I hope this works fast! Thank you

Would your doctor consider a different pain med for you..? The Tramadol might not be strong enough right now.

Joolsg profile image

Don't take Lyrica at the same time as gabapentin as they are the same type of med. Gabapentin didn't work for me but OxyContin together with Lyrica has given me RLS free days and at least 5/7 nights free from RLS.

Reduce gaba slowly and then slowly introduce Lyrica.

You can still take iron bisglycinate with Lyrica- I do.

I find Lyrica definitely increases my appetite. I think that's why people gain weight- they're eating more. I never, ever used to get hungry ( always been underweight as a result) but I now realise what people mean by hunger pains. I have put on 5 pounds over 6 months but I don't care- if it stops the RLS I'm happy. Just be aware that your appetite will increase.

Lyrica, or pregabalin here in U.K. comes in doses as low as 25mg so you can increase slowly/ or decrease without cutting tablets.

You will still be suffering DAWS so be aware it will take some time for the RLS to subside.

Tramadol is available in 50mg tabs so again, no need to cut tablets.

You are almost there and are getting some good days so it will get better still.

MumofSam profile image

I take Lyrica and Tramadol. Have you been given Lyrica for RLS? It doesn't do anything for mine, however I'm taking it for nerve pain, and was originally taking Tramadol for pain. Unfortunately now if I don't take sufficient Tramadol (min 200mg a day) my RLS goes haywire. I take Lyrica morning and night, not sure of the dose of the capsule. Anyway, you can take them both together. I still need Tramadol for pain too, as I'm in significant pain in my right foot and face the prospect of an operation on the foot which would involve up to 12 weeks of non-weight bearing, being in a cast, then a boot etc. Not a welcome prospect, but with the pain I'm in I don't think I have a choice.

I also can't say how long Lyrica takes to help. I've been taking it for about a year and a half. I'd imagine a few days to really get in your system and start working.

Good luck. I hope you get some relief soon.

Vonnie70 profile image

I am one of those with a bad experience of Lyrica, it caused me to have 2 seizures (never had before nor after once I stopped taking it).

Just be careful, light headedness, wobbly on my feet and felt like I was on planet Mars.

restless1973 profile image

I was taking Lyrica with ropinorole. My quality of life was terrible. Extreme drowsiness, weight gain and clumsiness. Would never touch them two again. I am now on the neupro patch, with zapain painkillers, snd although I often suffer during the day, most nights I get a good sleep. Which is what I need most. Lost a lot of weight when I came off them too.

joebeddall profile image

Hi Bganim1947.I've had every available test & tried loads of medication over 5yrs.I find that taking a 50mg capsule morning & night have given me most comfort.No cure yet found for our problem.This is a great page for keeping upto date

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