Sciatica and Lyrica

Sciatica pain can be extremely torturous and can impair normal life. It can restrict movement to a large extent. In most cases, the pain is limited to one side of the body. It starts from the lower back and moves down to the hip, calf and extends till the toes.

Sciatica is often mistaken for a disease. But in fact, it is a result of a compressed, irritated or pinched nerve. Treatment of sciatica pain therefore, depends upon treating the cause of the compressed nerve.

Pain management is a significant aspect of all sciatic nerve treatments. Since any kind of movement causes pain, patients often prefer to restrict movement. Sitting idle is easier than experiencing excruciating pain. But sitting idle and restricting movement can prove to be dangerous and can result in stiffness in the muscles. This can lead to further impairment.

Exercise is therefore a key component of all sciatica alternative remedies. Patients are advised to maintain an exercise regime in spite of the pain. And therefore, administering a drug that can help alleviate pain becomes a must.

The generic molecule pregabalin, an anticonvulsant, has shown encouraging results in treating chronic pain. Pregabalin is marketed under the trade name Lyrica® by Pfizer. It is more potent than the predecessor drugs and requires lower dosages for effective pain relief. It works on certain neurotransmitters that carry signals of pain and reduces nervous excitation.

Lyrica does not treat the problem and is only a pain killer that provides temporary relief. It is also beset with side effects that need to be understood and managed. These are

* Drowsiness and dizziness - driving or operating complex machinery under the effect of Lyrica is not advised.
* Blurred vision - nearly 6% of patients in clinical trials have reported blurred vision.
* Weight gain and edema - increased incidence has been seen if the drug is used concomitantly with an anti diabetic drug.
* Cardiac conditions – not suitable for patients with a past history of cardiac conditions.
* Other side effects - hallucination, depression, memory loss, flushing, excessive salivation, and confusion can also occur.

To add the issues with the drug, it is habit forming. Stopping the drug abruptly can cause serious withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, nausea and headaches.


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