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Lyrica’s use for treating lower back pain in fibromyalgia questioned

Lana Bandoim's picture

A new study from the University of Rochester Department of Neurosurgery reveals that Lyrica may not be the right treatment for lower back pain in fibromyalgia or other disorders. Lyrica is technically not approved to be used as a treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis, but the off-label use of this drug is extremely common for the condition. However, research reveals it may not be an effective way to manage pain.


Lyrica or pregabalin is approved for fibromyalgia, shingles, diabetic peripheral neuropathy and several other conditions. It is also commonly prescribed off-label for disorders that are not listed. Chronic pain is a serious issue for patients suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis, and the medication is given to control it. However, researchers from the University of Rochester Department of Neurosurgery tested the pain levels in patients with lower back pain who received Lyrica and found they did not report any significant pain differences compared to the placebo group. This indicates that the medication was not providing relief in the study, and now many fibromyalgia patients who take this drug are becoming concerned.

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The study only included 26 patients, and a larger sample size is recommended for additional research. The focus was on lumbar spinal stenosis, so pregabalin or Lyrica may still be effective for other conditions. Nevertheless, it has raised questions about common treatments and off-label use of drugs. If you have concerns about Lyrica, then talk to your doctor about your prescriptions and current health status. Lyrica is not considered an opiate, but it is usually prescribed to help with chronic pain and nerve pain. The side effects can include fatigue, dizziness, weight gain, double vision, dry mouth and other symptoms. Drug interactions with other medications are also possible, so speak to your doctor and pharmacist before starting a new prescription.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain



I use to take it but can tell you it does not help. In fact while on lyrica I started having severe shooting pains in my arm! Felt as I imagine a heart attack would feel like. Anything I had in my had I would drop! I started backing off the lyrica and have fewer shooting arm pain attacks! Dr told me it was just my fibro getting worse. I feel that lyrica made it worse!
Took Lyrica for Fibromyalgia and low back pain and did NOT help at all. Now what??
I used to take Pregabalin but didn't really find it helped much, weaned myself off following advice from my rheumatologist, I now take Tumeric, Green lip mussel and Vit D and find my symptoms are much better.