Lyrica and Alcohol

by on May 13, 2012

People with anxiety, epilepsy or fibromyalgia are often prescribed Lyrica which is a relatively new medication.  Patients taking Lyrica should be aware of the possible danger alcohol could pose to their lives.

Can I Drink While on Lyrica?

Most doctors will apprise patients of the danger of drinking while on Lyrica. It can have serious affects on the body, but most doctors will allow moderate alcohol drinking.

Moderate drinking is relative for everyone but is considered two drinks a day for a man and one drink a day for a woman. The alcoholic content of drinks does vary so patients should talk with their doctor about what is considered “one” alcoholic drink. In most cases twelve ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or one and a half ounces of eighty proof whiskey is considered one alcoholic drink. It is very important that patients are aware of the effects alcohol can have when combined with Lyrica before drinking.

Lyrica and Alcohol Interactions

When Lyrica and alcohol interact they can cause very serious effects. For most people Lyrica will enhance the side effects of alcohol and cause what is often referred to as a "high".

Side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness and coordination problems will be much more prevalent while taking Lyrica. Impaired judgment can also be increased while taking Lyrica. Patients should only drink moderately and monitor their body’s reaction to alcohol to remain safe. There can also be even more dangerous interactions with Lyrica if alochol is drunk in excess.

Central Nevous System Depression

In some extreme cases when Lyrica and alcohol were mixed, it caused central nervous system depression, or CNS depression. CNS depression is when the central nervous system, namely the spinal cord and brain, experience malfunctions due to chemical compounds in the system. This can result in minor issues like impaired judgment or motor skills. In extreme cases it interrupts the body’s ability to complete necessary functions, like breathing. Patients taking Lyrica who consumed a large amount of alcohol were more likely to experience CNS depression than those who drank moderately.

Patients should be prepared for the possible interactions of Lyrica if they plan to drink. It is never safe to drive under the influence of alcohol, but Lyrica patients should be especially careful because of their increased sensitivity. Lyrica patients should also not drink alone. They should always have someone with them who is aware of the possible interactions and will take care of them, should the need arise. If the patient begins to experience CNS depression it is extremely important to have someone nearby that can call for help. Patients should also be wary the first time they drink alcohol after starting Lyrica.

Patients taking Lyrica should consult with their doctor before partaking in any kind of alcohol. It is very important that patients are aware of the risks and side effects that can occur with this combination. Lyrica is a safe medication if taken under that right circumstances and monitored carefully.