Pregabalin sometimes referred to under the brand name Lyrica was developed to act as a potential replacement for the established medication gabapentin. Pregabalin is used to alleviate chronic pain caused by damage or oversensitivity associated with the nerves. This type of pain is generally regarded as neuropathic pain presenting as burning, shooting or stabbing sensations and has historically been difficult to treat. Pregabalin is primarily regarded as an anticonvulsant but also acts in a way to treat neuropathic pain.
Neuropathic pain can result from various medical conditions including fibromyalgia, diabetes and shingles. Pregabalin can be used to treat the symptom of pain associated with these conditions and is also used in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder and epileptic seizures.
How does Pregabalin work?
Pregabalin’s method of action is thought to originate within nerve cells. It is believed that pregabalin binds to calcium channels within nerves of both the spinal cord and the brain, binding of this nature reduces the release of the neurotransmitters noradrenaline, substance p and glutamate. These neurotransmitters are responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain. The use of Pregabalin results in a reduction in the release of noradrenaline, substance p and glutamate and subsequently pain messages are no longer reaching the nervous system and the brain. As the messages are no longer being transmitted to the same degree the patient feels a reduction in their pain levels.
The method of action associated with pregabalin means that it can be used for both disturbances within the function of the nerves and any nerve damage that may have occurred, Pregabalin can be used to treat pain in various parts of the body including but not limited to pain felt within feet, legs, hands, arms or back.