Lyrica/pregabalin and vision. Your thoughts please

Hi Everyone,

I am puzzling over what to do and would really appreciate your thoughts - along the lines of what would you do in my shoes. Started taking pregabalin/lyrica yesterday. Feel a bit stoned and it’s hard to concentrate, but otherwise it hasn’t caused a whole load of dizziness, which new drugs often do. As I said in a previous post I am taking it as the propranolol I have been on for years is really messing hugely with my short term memory. I also want to get a better level of prevention re relapses.

Anyway, long story short, I have noticed that my eyesight feels a bit weaker, hard to describe, straining a bit more when reading, watching tv. I had a scoot around, really looking to see if the dopey feelings wear off over time, and came across a case where someone is suing Pfitzer as lyrica is causing them to go blind permanently.

I did a bit of further research and was freaked out to a find a few more people complaining of eyesight issues on it and that the drug SE warnings say it can cause visual problems which, and this is the bit I didn’t like, ‘may’ clear up on discontinuation.

Obviously compared to the many people who use it, these people with visual issues are a tiny minority, most are fine. But I am a screenwriter, watching tv/films, reading - basically that is 80% of what I am about. If I went blind I’d fall apart. This has freaked me out.

That said I am desperate to find a drug that helps me and it is very unusual for me to find something that doesn’t immediately knock me for six. I tried a load of drugs before I hit on propranolol. I am loathe to throw this one out as there is a small chance it could work for me. Alternatively I could switch to lamotrigine, the other anti seizure family of drug the neuro offered me. Ironically I turned that down due to the life threatening rash that sometimes occurs. I tend to get every freaky side effect going. Now I’m thinking the rash looks like a better option compared to blindness. Just don’t know what to do. Although I love the fact that Lyrica is also used for anxiety as I err on the anxious side of the spectrum and have never been able to take an SSRI as they cause vertigo and immediate migraine in me.

In short, do I take another tablet this evening or not? Would you?

Appreciate your thoughts,


Long answer: As a fellow paranoid drug-taker… :wink: )All that to say, though, if you’re really concerned ask your doc and/or a pharmacist and see what they have to say…

Short answer: Yeah, I’d give it a go for a little longer… :slight_smile:

Hi Hannah -

It may be too late (as in, you’ve already taken the next tablet, or not, as the case may be) to chime in here. I think erika offered you some really good words of wisdom. I’ll just add this. The problem with all meds is that they all can cause side effects; and the problem with reading up on each med’s possible side effects is that it will scare the crap out of you. So it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis. If your life without medication is pretty miserable, then it may be worth taking some risk - but how much risk is the question. That’s where erika’s suggestion about talking to the doc and, probably especially, to the pharmacist comes in. Knowledge is power. Taking meds IS scary business. I don’t blame you for being nervous. But a pending lawsuit doesn’t necessarily establish cause and effect, no matter how well the story is “spun” by the person’s attorney for the press.

Hey Hannah,

I think Maryalice really nailed it there. Let’s look at Viagra for example. I know there are cases out there where just one dose apparently caused permanent blindness yet that drug is a major success (I wonder why? :lol: ). There are horror stories out there about Propecia too (a male hairless prevention drug) causing irreversible impotence etc. Still the vast majority are fine. I’d have another hit if I were you. Surely a couple of weeks on Lyrica won’t cause any major problems that wouldn’t come good again if you cannot tolerate it.

Have you considered Neurontin if Lyrica does not spin your wheels? Very similar molecule and a longer safety record.

S 8)

Hi there,

Thanks for your replies, really appreciate it. I decided to stop the drug and talk to neurology today - it’s been a bank holiday for two days here, so couldn’t speak to them before now. . When I did stop I realised what a mess my eyesight had been on it. Like I needed double the strength of contact lens prescription. I talked to neurology, they said if it was messing with my eyes, then drop it and try the lamotrigine. Visual issues are a problem SE for some people - obviously not all. Felt a bit stupid for freaking out, I’m the first person to tell people to try drugs as you can always get off them and it’s better than living with this junk. That said, it looked like the eyesight SE wasn’t likely to go away and I couldn’t function properly like that. And I’ll be honest it’s the one thing I just won’t take a risk on.

As a side note and just to make you laugh, for anyone considering pregabalin, my God, one hit of that stuff and my libido was through the roof. I had a laugh looking at some forums where people were taking it - one bloke saying he felt like some kind of porn star every morning his libido was so mad. Let’s just say the propranolol doens’t exactly do wonders for your sex drive, not terrible, but not great, so I knew it was the drug. That said I know someone who is taking it who has lost their libido completely but thought I’d mention it as hey - you could be the lucky one where it goes the other way.

So on to lamotrigine tomorrow.


Hannah - You are too funny! Libido through the roof, and it might make you feel like a porn star - some will be flocking to it now, even if they have to go blind…


I’m so sorry you had the vision problem with Lyrica, but since it was definitely messing with your eyes and they got better when you stopped, you obviously did the right thing. I’ve never been a fan of taking meds, and I think one should always be cautious about what you put in your body. We’ve only got one! But I’m pragmatic, and I’m also someone who thinks life isn’t about suffering either. It’s a tough call sometimes.

Best of luck with the lamotrigine.