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Warning on recreational abuse of prescription drug pregabalin

  1. TheBigBadWolf
    A study indicates that misuse of prescription drug pregabalin, typically used to treat epilepsy and anxiety, among drug users is a “serious emerging issue”.The study into pregabalin, sold as Lyrica, analysed 498 urine samples from 440 people who were opioid substitution patients. Of the 440 people, 39 tested positive for pregabalin, representing 9.2% of the total sample.

    According to the study: “Only 10 patients from this group were prescribed this drug to our knowledge, thus giving an estimated rate of misuse of 7.0%.”

    The study was conducted by researchers at the HSE National Drug Treatment Centre Laboratory in Dublin, and the findings have been published in the Irish Medical Journal.
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    Other drugs detected in pregabalin-positive patients were opiates (31.8%), cocaine (11.4%), benzodiazepine (79.5%), and cannabis (77.8%).

    “Our study confirms that pregabalin abuse is taking place amongst the addiction services population. We believe that misuse of this prescription drug is a serious emerging issue which should be monitored carefully.”

    Pregabalin was initially thought to have a low misuse potential but, according to the research, there have been recent reports of it being abused, including by opiate-using and prison populations in Britain, with “Belfast recreational users stating that pregabalin induced a state similar to drunkenness, hence the street name ‘Budweisers’”.

    The four researchers involved in the study — Sinéad McNamara, Siobhán Stokes, Ross Kilduff, and Áine Shine — said they developed a method to screen for the drug following requests for pregabalin testing from clinicians in addiction services in Ireland who suspected its misuse.

    The sampling took place between June and August 2014 and represented about 4% of all patients in opioid substitution treatment. Most were on methadone; 66% were male and 34% were female; while 41% of positive patients were male and 59% were female, “suggesting a possible gender-based bias in usage”.

    The report states: “Normal drug screening for patients in methadone maintenance does not include pregabalin and so this drug may be taken in efforts to evade detection of drug use.

    “The potential dangers of pregabalin should not be underestimated. In 2013 there were 33 drug-related deaths in England and Wales where pregabalin was mentioned on the death certificate. Of 10 patients attending a Belfast hospital following recreational pregabalin abuse, six presented with seizures.

    “We have seen that pregabalin has significant abuse potential and is an attractive drug to opioid dependant drug users.”

    The authors added: “There is no information as yet in the public domain as to the numbers of deaths related to pregabalin in Ireland.”

    by Noel Baker, Friday, January 08, 2016;
    Text & picture : http://www.irishexaminer.com

    BBW via cbabycee


  1. lkt004
    Thanks BBW, this drug took me a while to recover from.

    For a relatively extensive period of time i was abusing;

    Morphine sulphate
    Oxycodone hydrochloride

    The opiates, i just stopped taking after i OD'd, that was easy, in patient rehab program, the opiates were a breeze comparatively, they put me back onto a diazepam/lyrica taper, with the diazepam finishing within 10 days, and the lyrica within 30. No issues after the diazepam stopped.

    Everything felt fine until i stopped the lyrica taper at 25mg/day (highest usage for nerve pain, i wasn't even abusing it was 2.2g/day), perhaps it was a little early. Up until around 2 days after the lyrica stopped i was perfectly fine, no real PAWS from opiates/benzos.

    Post stopping Pregabalin was a wreck for close to 3 months, many times close to suicide, it was honestly the worst 3 months of my life.

    It can be a life saver, as it was for my nerve pain, but it was very very hard to stop, and i'll likely never touch it again.
  2. TheBigBadWolf
    This is what I hear from most everybody who dared use/abuse more than 300 mg/d for longer than about one month.

    In lower doses or taken for a shorter time ( < two months) even a very short taper over a week like for instance 300/225/150/150/75/75/25 / -/-
    seems to do it for getting a comfortable withdrawal - the usual comfort meds for opioid withdrawal help much - I ve got this from a friend , having called her after I posted the article.

    The tips in this post are only the experience of one person and YOU might react different.

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