What are the Dangers of Mixing Lyrica and Alcohol?
Mixing prescription drugs and alcohol is an extremely common phenomenon. However, when discussing polydrug use, people rarely consider Lyrica (Pregabalin) as a danger when mixed with alcohol. It’s important to be aware of the possible Lyrica and alcohol side effects that could arise as a result of drinking alcohol while taking Lyrica.
Mixing Lyrica and alcohol may impact the brain, so taking them together can cause serious problems. One of the main reasons for avoiding this mixture is because alcohol can worsen the symptoms of certain mental health conditions, as well as negatively affecting the nervous system. This can result in feelings of drowsiness, dizziness and impair concentration.
Mixing Lyrica and alcohol can cause CNS (brain and spinal column) and respiratory depression which can be life-threatening. Using Lyrica and other medications, including alcohol and muscle relaxers, can increase the sedating effects it has. Mixing Lyrica and alcohol can have serious implications such as erratic behavior and make bad decisions, resulting in injury or death.
What Is Lyrica (Pregabalin)?
Lyrica or Pregabalin oral capsule is used to treat neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia. It’s also used to treat partial-onset seizures when taken with other seizure drugs. Lyrica also shows promise as a treatment for alcohol dependence  but mixing Lyrica and alcohol is dangerous; alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication. 
What Is Lyrica Use For?
Lyrica capsules, oral solution (liquid), and extended-release (long-acting) tablets are used to relieve neuropathic pain (pain from damaged nerves) that can occur in your arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, or toes if you have diabetes and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN; the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles). Lyrica capsules and oral solution are also used to relieve neuropathic pain that can occur after a spinal cord injury and to treat fibromyalgia (a long-lasting condition that may cause pain, muscle stiffness and tenderness, tiredness, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep).
Pregabalin capsules and oral solution are used along with other medications to treat certain types of seizures in adults and children 1 month of age and older. It is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing the number of pain signals that are sent out by damaged nerves in the body.
Can I Drink Alcohol if I’m Taking Lyrica?
Drinking alcohol while taking Lyrica is not recommended and doing so can significantly enhance the negative effects of both substances. This means that Lyrica’s side effects can become much worse when mixed with alcohol. Moreover, the effects of alcohol can appear far more severe when taken with Lyrica. For instance, you may become seriously intoxicated after just a few drinks, if you’re mixing Lyrica and alcohol together.
Is Lyrica Addictive?
Lyrica (Pregabalin) is considered as a Schedule V drug by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which means it has a low potential for abuse. Many Lyrica users compare Its effects to those of Valium, which produces a euphoric and calming effect. In most cases of Lyrica abuse, it has not been prescribed – it has been sourced through family or friends or bought on the street or via the internet. Abusing this drug is leading to dangerous addictions.
Even taking Lyrica exactly as prescribed can lead to a tolerance and dependence. The drug’s strong withdrawal symptoms act as motivation for users to keep taking the drug. For seizure patients, seizures can worsen when the drug is stopped abruptly. Before starting a prescription of Lyrica, it is important to be mindful of the risks of developing a Lyrica addition.
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In 2019, of the 85,688 liver disease deaths among individuals ages 12 and older, 43.1 percent involved alcohol. Among males, 53,486 liver disease deaths occurred, and 45.6 percent involved alcohol. Among females, 32,202 liver disease deaths occurred, and 39.0 percent involved alcohol.
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 85.6 percent of people ages 18 and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime.
According to the 2019 NSDUH, about 7.3 percent of adults ages 18 and older who had alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the past year received any treatment in the past year.
An estimated 95,000 people (approximately 68,000 men and 27,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually.
What is Alcohol?
The chemical name ethanol sometimes refers to alcohol, is a depressant drug that is the active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits (hard liquor).
What is its origin?
The earliest known evidence comes from 7,000 BCE in China, where residue in clay pots has revealed that people were making an alcoholic beverage from fermented rice, millet, grapes, and honey.
What are common street names of alcohol?
Many people have heard of the names “booze,” “brew,” and “cold one” to describe alcohol, specifically beer. Some other common street names and nicknames for alcohol include:
- Hard stuff
- Liquid bread
- Oats soda
What are common scientific names of alcohol?
- Absolute alcohol
- Alcohol (USP)
- Ethanol (JAN)
- Ethylic alcohol
- Ethyl alcohol
- Ethyl hydrate
- Ethyl hydroxide
- Grain alcohol
Legal status: US: Unscheduled
Routes of administration Common: by mouth
Uncommon: suppository, inhalation, insufflation, injection
What type of drug is alcohol?
- Sedatives; Anxiolytics
- GABAA receptor positive modulators
What is its effect on the body?
Physiological effects of oxycodone include:
- Pain relief, sedation, respiratory depression,
constipation, papillary constriction, and cough
- Extended or chronic use of oxycodone
containing acetaminophen may cause severe liver
Protein binding: Weakly or not at all
Metabolism: Liver (90%):
• Alcohol dehydrogenase
• MEOS (CYP2E1)
Metabolites Acetaldehyde; Acetate; Acetyl-CoA; Carbon dioxide; Water; Ethyl glucuronide; Ethyl sulfate
Onset of action Peak concentrations:
• Range: 30–90 minutes
• Mean: 45–60 minutes
• Fasting: 30 minutes
Elimination half-life Constant-rate elimination at typical concentrations:
• Range: 10–34 mg/dL/hour
• Mean (men): 15 mg/dL/hour
• Mean (women): 18 mg/dL/hour
At very high concentrations (t1/2): 4.0–4.5 hours
Duration of action 6–16 hours (amount of time that levels are detectable)
Excretion• Major: metabolism (into carbon dioxide and water)
• Minor: urine, breath, sweat (5–10%)
Alcohol And Lyrica Interaction
Some medicines that you might never have suspected can react with alcohol, including many medications which can be purchased “over-the-counter”—that is, without a prescription. Even some herbal remedies can have harmful effects when combined with alcohol.
Lyrica or pregabalin is now being used by medical professionals for the reduction of cravings and psychiatric symptom improvements in alcohol-dependent patients. However, mixing Lyrica and alcohol can cause serious interactions that lead to fainting, vomiting, and other physical symptoms. Alcohol intensifies the effects of Lyrica. At other times, it competes with them. When that happens, people may take more of the drug than they intended to in order to try and feel it. This can lead to drug overdoses.
Lyrica and Alcohol Side Effects
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol should not be mixed with any anticonvulsants due to increased drowsiness and dizziness.  Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of Lyrica such as difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment.
You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with Lyrica. Do not use more than the recommended dose of Lyrica and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns regarding mixing Lyrica and alcohol.
Lyrica and Alcohol Death
It is crucial to know that anticonvulsant drugs, including Lyrica, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior (regardless of the reason for which the person is taking the medication). Individuals who take an anticonvulsant must be monitored for behavior and mood changes, depression, and suicidal thoughts and behavior. Both alcohol and Lyrica on their own can cause suicidal thoughts or behavior.
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What are the Risks of Mixing Lyrica and Alcohol?
Mixing Lyrica and alcohol may cause alcohol blackout. Alcohol-related blackouts are gaps in a person’s memory for events that occurred while they were intoxicated. These gaps happen when a person is mixing Lyrica and alcohol temporarily blocking the transfer of memories from short-term to long-term storage—known as memory consolidation—in a brain area called the hippocampus.
Blackouts can be difficult to identify, as the person may be fully capable of engaging in regular behaviors. They may go on having conversations, eating, and in many cases, continuing to drink. This makes blackouts more common than most people realize. If you are looking for indicators that someone is in the danger zone, look for blackout symptoms from mixing Lyrica and alcohol, including:
- Being easily distracted
- Constantly forgetting what one has just said, what one was talking about or what one was just doing
- Repeating the same sentences or questions over and over again without appearing to remember that they are repeating themselves
- Being unaware of or confused by one’s surroundings
- Lacking concern for the thoughts and feelings of others
- Engaging in unusually risky behaviors
- Consuming large quantities of alcohol or mixing Lyrica and alcohol over a short time period
If you are concerned about experiencing a blackout from drinking yourself, keep the following measures in mind:
- Never drink on an empty stomach, which can rapidly raise your BAC to dangerous levels
- Do not mix alcohol with any other substances, stop mixing Lyrica and alcohol
- Opt for beer or wine and drink at a measured pace, rather than rapidly taking shots
- Do not drink alone with people you don’t know — take a friend with you just in case
- Drink water regularly to dilute the alcohol
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There are an estimated 17 million adults and adolescents with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Sadly, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that only 1 of every ten seek or receive any treatment. Part of the reason for such dismal numbers is that most individuals aren’t aware that they have a drinking problem. 
Alcoholism is a severe and debilitating disease that will progressively get worse the longer it goes untreated. Exhibiting even one of these behaviors can be indicative of potentially dangerous alcohol addiction. An alcohol rehabilitation center can help mitigate the unpleasant effects of mixing Lyrica and alcohol and help with behavioral therapy for this chronic relapsing brain disorder.
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Drug and alcohol rehab centers serve several functions related to addiction treatment and recovery. Recovery starts with getting sober and is a part of your life indefinitely. And then, after you stop drinking or using, you still have a lifelong challenge of staying clean and sober. So, you will need a solid commitment. Providing therapy, education, and support for recovery after treatment is just as crucial for a treatment center, if not more so than helping you get sober. The major of programming at any rehab center is focusing on building skills and habits that encourage long-term sobriety.
Multiple approaches can be taken to treat alcohol detox. This can vary from a medicalized approach to a more alternative approach. With a holistic view of addiction treatment, our detox facilities provide various therapies from one end to the other. This allows us to provide each client with the best treatment possible.
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Medically Assisted Detox
There are medication-based options ready for clients who face severe detox symptoms or are simply open to a more medicalized approach to managing their comfort. Benzodiazepines and sedatives are examples of 2 types of medications sometimes applicable to help relax the brain and body when at the peak of detox. In addition, naltrexone is one of a few medications that can help restrain the cravings accompanied by alcohol detox.
Additionally, prescription medications are not the only means of helpful medical interventions during detox. For instance, heavy sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration and further complications. Also, the use of an IV drip can quickly resolve this issue and help keep fluid levels up. Additionally, detox facilities typically provide nutritional supplements because they carry numerous benefits for a healing body.
Yoga, Massage, and Acupuncture are a few of the alternative therapies at We Level Up. These are evidence-based methods that have been shown to improve detox faster and provide much-needed comfort for individuals in withdrawal. Not only do these therapies help with alcohol detox, but they also support overall health and well-being. Many clients take these practices with them into their everyday life because they promote preserving sobriety.
As any withdrawal symptoms subside and a patient’s detox stay ends, the last detox stage is aftercare. Again, an individualized treatment plan is developed to help give support, education, and therapy for relapse prevention.
Some of the immediate symptoms one can expect to experience during detox might be anxiety, insomnia, nausea, agitation; muscle aches and pains, and heavy perspiration, among others. In fact, these symptoms can range but require staff and regime for comfort.
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Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, mainly if it is done without the help of a professional. Delirium tremens and other effects of alcohol withdrawal symptoms that may afflict the detoxing patient at home are hazardous and may even be fatal. Delirium tremens usually start two to five days after the last drink. Shaking, confusion, high blood pressure, fever, and hallucinations are some symptoms. Therefore, it is advisable to detox in a rehab center to access qualified professionals who can manage alcohol detox and withdrawal complexities.
If you or someone you love is seeking a safe, secure, and compassionate resource for alcohol withdrawal symptoms treatment, We Level Up is here to guide you in giving up alcohol. Call us and speak with an addiction counselor today about our levels of care and about the dangers of mixing Lyrica and alcohol.
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Search We Level Up “Mixing Lyrica and Alcohol, Interactions, Side Effects, & Addiction Treatment” Topics & Resources
 Efficacy and safety of pregabalin in alcohol dependence – National Center for Biotechnology Information
 Pregabalin – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
 Mixing Alcohol with Medicines – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
 Blood Alcohol Level – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
 Alcohol breath testing – National Center for Biotechnology Information
 Alcohol Abuse Source: Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder available from: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/understanding-alcohol-use-disorder.
 Information about Alcohol – NIH Curriculum Supplement Series – NCBI Bookshelf
 Alcohol Use Disorder – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
 Alcohol | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov)
 Alcohol (who.int)