Lyrica…the Hunger Drug

February 3, 2008

I’ve been trying to juggle three blogs lately, and I’m doing a really crummy job of it. This one has been the one I’ve neglected most, not because I’m not having any fibro symptoms, but because I’m just too ADD to handle all of it.

BUT…I want to give a little update on this Lyrica stuff. I’d decided to take it only when my pain had reached such a threshold that I couldn’t handle it. It’s my way of calling out the big guns when the last straw has broken.

So I did this last night. I was in incredible pain–the kind where I want to crawl out of my skin. I popped a Lyrica, and within an hour, I was feeling a lot better. BUT….

I was suddenly starving. I mean, seriously, crazily starving. I raided the fridge for everything I could get my hands on. I had eaten dinner earlier, and had not been hungry afterwards, so there was no reason for this. But there I was, ravenously pulling out pickles, cake, olives, oranges. I had a bowl of egg and olive spread, which I was saving to spread on toast, but instead, I grabbed a spoon, and ate the whole bowl.

This whole time, I was saying to myself– “What is going on? Is this because of my period? Is it hormonal? Maybe I should try to exercise some willpower here.” Then it hit me– Lyrica. And let me tell you, there was not one ounce of willpower in my entire body.

Today is better. I’m hurting, but I’m back to my old eating patterns. But I’m sure I gained five pounds last night, and I’d almost rather be in pain than have to deal with that.


21 Responses to “Lyrica…the Hunger Drug”

  1. elyakatz Says:

    Go to my website and look under Fibromyalgia. Or else just go straight to this site…if you haven’t already heard of it…95% success rate in reversing symptoms without drug side effects. This is clinically tested protocol…40+ years. The doctor who has developed the protocol is also a Fibro sufferer.

  2. Heather Says:

    I had wondered about that, since they say one of the side effects is weight gain. Elavil did me the very same way-I gained eighty pounds in four months. It was almost like I was outside of my body watching myself eat like a fiend and I couldn’t stop-Oh Lordy it was AWFUL!! Finally my family dr. told me that was what was causing it, he hadn’t prescribed it, and knew how I struggled with my weight. Have you ever used Robaxin(Methocarbomol), it is a muscle relaxer? That is what I take, but like you I try to tough it out until I can’t stand it anymore.

  3. Isn’t Lyrica the craziest thing? What did they do put “weed” in it? It’s the worst case of the munchies ever.

    I gave up on Lyrica.

  4. @ elya: Thank you. I looked over the blog a bit, and will visit it again when my brain’s a little less foggy.

    @ Heather: Ugh. Awful. I haven’t used muscle relaxers. I’m trying not to take anything, really, because A: I hate side-effects and B: they’re expensive!

    @ Free: Oh my gosh, this made me laugh sooo hard. And I needed a laugh, so thanks!!!!

  5. thegirlfromtheghetto Says:

    This is the only drug that took my pain away, but it made me go blind. I loved it, I miss it. Since I’m always hungry, I never noticed anything, although I gained 10 pounds that month I took it.

  6. @ ghettogirl: It made you go blind???? Temporary blindness, I hope! It’s too bad that the side effects are so often worse than the benefits with these drugs. 😦

  7. Julie Says:

    I’ve been taking Lyrica for a couple of weeks now, and lately I’ve noticed I just cannot seem to stop eating! This is not good for me, as I had gastric bypass surgery 4 years ago. UGH! I’ve been thinking maybe it was hormonal, but now I’m starting to think it’s the Lyrica. 😦

  8. Julie- I’ll bet you money it’s the Lyrica. Hormonal stuff can make you hungry, but Lyrica makes you crazy-hungry! It does me, anyway.

  9. Julie Says:

    I think I should maybe stop taking it then. 😦
    I cannot gain weight back.

  10. Lovey K Says:

    Stay away from it if you can.
    I tried Lyrica for 3 months specifically for neuropathic pain not my Fibro. Nerve Damage is what Lyrica was originally designed for. Now it is called the Fibro Drug – funny eh? It’s been around for years. You could have asked your Rheumatologist for it anytime. Good Grief! What a wicked, horrible drug! I gained 15#. in less than 8 weeks. I had short term memory loss, loss of balance, dry mouth, … and felt fantastic! The nerve pain was gone! Then I developed a tolerance and had to start taking more … and more to control my pain.
    I was shocked when I saw it was approved for Fibro. But some people have Fibro worse than others and are in Dire Pain – I worry about the folks with mild Fibro. Lyrica is also administered to people with spinal cord injuries – that’s how potent it is.
    If you can attribute most of your pain to Fibro, and you’re not taking anything else remotely narcotic – go ahead and take Lyrica. Take care, it is as addictive as a narcotic.
    I went back to Lyrica’s successor Neurotin, lost the weight, know where I am, don’t fall down, and feel good enough to know just how much pain I am really in. Being numb is very dangerous,
    One drug is not a cure-all for every single person with Fibro. We’re all different, something else could be wrong and pain meds mask it..
    Take care and be safe.

  11. @Lovey: I’m so glad you stopped by. Isn’t it weird that they are touting Lyrica as “the first drug developed specifically for Fibromyalgia?” That’s what my doctor told me anyway. After reading your comments (and a few others) I will never take it again. I’m very wary of cures that are as bad as the symptoms. I’d rather hurt. I will research Neurotin.

    Thanks for the comments!

  12. Little Miss Says:

    This is precisely why I stopped taking Gabapentin (I think it’s the same as Neruotin, but not sure and not checking.) I started gaining weight, gathering edema in my lower legs, and more that it wasn’t worth it. I will not gain more weight! I will also not suffer from fat ankles if I don’t have to! Argh, I hate pills. Most doctors just slap them at you and don’t try to see what is really wrong.

  13. Mary Says:

    I took two doses of Lyrica and couldn’t get out of bed. It mad me dizzy and I didn’t know which way was up! That was the end of that. I am now on Celebrex, but scared to death everytime I take a pill because I have high blood pressure and Celebrex has some severe side effects causing stroke and heart attack. The doctor gave me the Celebrex at no charge, but I can’t afford it after the freebees runs out anyway. Then what?


    According to my doctor, my recently diagnosed high blood pressure is just one of the many manifestations of fibro. In reading about Celebrex and heart attacks, I won’t risk it. It seems that with fibro, you always have to really look into the side effects of the things that are prescribed.

    I stay away from meds as much as possible, for just the reason you mentioned. I know it sounds crazy, but I don’t want to rely on something that I won’t be able to afford to take long term. That’s the issue I’ve recently had with Lexapro. I have samples of Cymbalta, Lyrica, and some other stuff, but I’m just not even going near them (although I have taken a Lyrica when the pain’s gotten too unbearable). It’s so weird, but fibro sometimes makes you feel like such a wimp, and on the other hand, it forces you to be extremely tough. I’ll take the pain over the meds at this point.

  14. elyakatz Says:

    Elya’s update after one month on the Guai Protocol–

    I just read the Wiki entry on the Guai Protocol. It’s listed under “Deposition Disease”. What Wiki says does not do this protocol justice. It’s true, the double blind study failed. That’s because Dr. St. Amand, who has used this protocol in one version or another for around 40 years with incredible success, failed to take into consideration the full effects that salicylates have in blocking Guaifenesin. When on the protocol, the big catch is this: No topicals that contain salicylates, and no herbal remedies. Food sources are fine, because the liver disables salicylates. But the sals go around the liver topically, and they overwhelm the liver in herbal remedies. That’s why herbs have a medicinal effect.

    The Wiki article also goes on give possible credit for success to the placebo effect. I don’t (well didn’t) have the pain part of Fibro…I guess what I have is CFS. Just totally draining exhaustion, for 6 years, and progressive exhaustion for at least 15 years. When one goes on the Guai protocol, the symptoms increase. Well, I now have pain, albeit rather mild most of the time. I doubt that could be a “placebo effect” especially for a month. And the mapping that I’ve had after a month proves that the lumps and lesions are disappearing. I can’t make that up.

    The chiropractor who mapped me (not tender point evaluation or trigger point evaluation) wasn’t able to give me a copy of my map for almost a month, because she wanted to scan me a color copy, but couldn’t figure out how to work the scanner software. As she says, technology is not always her friend. I was annoyed, but it turned out to be a very good thing. I’d been keeping a daily chart of where I was hurting (after starting the Guai, remmember, no pain prior). I was amazed when I finally got the scan in my email box, to find so much of the pain corresponding with where the fibro lumps/lesions were found by my Chiropractor’s initial mapping.

    Read the book guys. Don’t go on Lyrica or other mind numbing drugs, unless it’s just for the short -run, to get you through the initial difficult reversal of the Guai Protocol.

    All the best everyone. Visit me sometime at my blog too.

    After only one month, I’m experiencing 2-3 days out of 7 where my energy level is near what it was maybe 15 years ago. Hard to quantify that, but I measure in what I get accomplished. I’m actually taking on projects around the house and getting them done. That hasn’t happened in several years at least.

    There are no drug interactions with Guaifenesin, no contra-indications. It’s just not a particularly profitable protocol, thus it’s not that popular to market. Once Adams Labs is convinced of the efficacy of this protocol, maybe they’ll start advertising? One can hope? Guaifenesin can be purchased OTC, called Mucinex.

    I am definitely reversing on this easily available medication. The reversal is sometimes more painful that the disease, for a few months, but not always. It is with me, but very tolerable, especially when there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

    If Fibromyalgia is not reversed, the end game is typically Osteoarthritis. At this point, the disease causes permanent damage, which isn’t reversible, so it’s good to get on the protocol before joint damage ensues. Prior to that, there is no lasting damage.

    The disease is at a cellular level, which explains all the myriad, seemingly unrelated symtpoms.

  15. elyakatz Says:

    Ooops. I get messed up when typing on the computer. I have to edit my posts so many times. Dear blog owner: Please consider moving my farewell, which is in the middle of this comment, to the end. It’s Fibrofog. It affects my editing abilities.

  16. alli Says:

    i have been taking lyrica since the end of april. i am not usually a big eater AT ALL. in the last month i have probably eaten more than in the last two years. i have 4 ruptured discs in my neck and extreme nerve damage. because of it i have lost the feeling in my left arm, hand, and the side of the face. w/o the lyrica the pain is unbearable. and i don’t want to have to go back to taking narcotics. can someone please tell me how i can combat this hunger? is there a similar drug out there that has the same effect i could talk to my dr about?
    thank you!

  17. Ellie Cutler Says:

    Yah, I gained 35 lbs in 2 years. Then, I went off sugar – all kinds including cane, maple syrup, honey, corn sweetner, fructose, etc. I only use stevia, a plant sweetener that does not raise blood sugar levels at all. It stopped the Lyrica munchies dead in their tracks! And I have lost 15 lbs in about 4 months. I use these drops in ricotta (like for south beach ricotta dreams), yogurt, cooking, etc.

    good luck!!


  18. sandrar Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  19. I started taking Lyrica a couple of months ago for migraine. I have been having burning hunger and i have gained almost ten pounds.

    And I still have headaches.

  20. Sherry Says:

    How funny. I just started Lyrica tonight. Since dinner, I’ve polished off a bag of jelly beans, the ears of a Godiva bunny, a small bag of Doritos, and a grilled cheese with sliced tomatoes and summer sausage on it.

    This is more than I normally consume in an entire day.

    I was sitting here wondering what I could eat next when it occurred to me that maybe the Lyrica was making me hungry. I typed it into Google, and here I am. 🙂

  21. Edward Boss Says:

    Yes I ate and ate and I’m a light weight. I found that neurotin was making me so forgetful. I would forget what I was saying in mid sentence, Have road hypnosis, and was getting lost more easily. So I tried Lyrica and those things happend but I was hungry constantly like after smoking pot..

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