Pregablin (Lyrica) vs. Gabapentin (Neurontin), Which Is Better?

Both Pregablin (Lyrica) and Gabapentin (Neurontin) belong to the same family of drugs used to treat neuropathic pain. Lyrica is quite effective for the treatment of partial seizures. It also proves useful for the treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Gabapentin is also used to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain, but is more commonly used for off-label treatments, such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and bipolar disorder. Both of these drugs work, but Lyrica is relatively costlier than Gabapentin.

Lyrica vs Gabapentin: What Do Doctors Say?

Both drugs work, but it is sometimes a good idea to compare Lyrica vs. Neurontin to select the treatment option for your condition. Here's a bit more about what doctors say about Pregablin vs. Gabapentin.

Dr. Pullen's Opinion

Gabapentin is a GABA analogue, whereas Pregablin has similar pharmacological profile to Gabapentin. Both of these agents have proven effective for certain neuropathic pain disorders, but when you think of Pregablin vs. Gabapentin, you have to consider that FDA has only approved Pregablin for post herpetic neuralgia and diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Pregablin or Lyrica has shown equal effects in clinical trials as compared to Gabapentin, but it works better at much lower doses mainly because it has higher bioavailability, so it a more appropriate choice to treat neuropathic pain. It also means you won't face several dose-related side effects when opting for Lyrica.

Gabapentin takes more time to absorb in the blood than Lyrica. That's another reason why Lyrica has proved more potent as compared to Gabapentin in seizure and pain disorders.

David F. McAuley's Opinion

He believes Lyrica is a more appropriate choice for the treatment of neuropathic pain syndromes. Lyrica is effective but is an expensive alternative to Neurontin. However, Lyrica has some essential advantages, especially when you talk about Lyrica vs. Neurontin or Lyrica vs Gabapentin.

The biggest benefit is that Lyrica can be prescribed in low doses for pain management without having to worry about side effects. That cannot be done in case of Gabapentin because it's lowest dose is 1800mg a day, which usually cause intolerable drowsiness and other side effects. With Lyrica, it is possible to prescribe 50-75mg twice a day. Moreover, 90% of Lyrica is absorbed from your gut, whereas only 27-60% of Gabapentin will be absorbed initially. It makes Lyrica more effective than the two.

Gabapentin is, however, a relatively better choice for diabetic peripheral neuropathy because in such chronic disorders, it is acceptable to increase dose slowly to achieve the minimum dose requirement over the span of a few weeks or even months. Lyrica is a better choice though if you're talking about fibromyalgia or other neuropathic disorders.

Lyrica vs. Gabapentin: What Do Patients Say?

Many people have been using both anticonvulsant drugs to treat certain conditions, and they have experienced different benefits and side effects of both. Here's a bit more about what patients say about Lyrica vs Gabapentin.

Hankmac's Experience

I've used Gabapentin – a dose of 900mg – thrice a day for about six months now. The only real side effect I experienced was sugar craving that led to some weight gain in my case. There wasn't anything else serious about using Gabapentin though. It wasn't that effective though in treating my fibro or myofascial pain. This made me switch to Lyrica. I've been using 300mg of Lyrica for a few months now with no real side effects – the only issue I experienced was constipation. On the upside, the drug is really working great for my fibro. I'll definitely be sticking with this one for now.

Trishsh03's Experience

I have taken both Lyrica and Gabapentin as well. Both belong to the same family, but surprisingly, I found Gabapentin doing almost nothing for my fibromyalgia pain. On the other hand, I found Lyrica quite effective, but unfortunately, the side effects are serious. I've gained weight, which is not that serious, especially when I could get some pain relief. The real issue is that the drug has affected my eyesight. In fact, my eye specialist has confirmed that I'd have to leave Lyrica if I really don't want to go blind – and trust me I don't. I'm in severe pain, but I've left both these drugs for now. I really recommend checking all the side effects of Lyrica vs. Gabapentin before you make a choice – sometimes, the bad outweighs the good, so be careful.

Nick Murphy's Experience

Lyrica worked great for me to help alleviate my nerve pain caused by my surgery. My GP, however, suggested me to switch to Gabapentin, since Lyrica was quite expensive in the UK. I took a low dose of Gabapentin, but it never worked right for me. This made me switch back to Lyrica, but there wasn't a solution for the price issue, which made me try a higher dose of Gabapentin. I have now increased it up to 2,400mg a day, and it is working actually.

I must say that if you can afford it, you should definitely go for Lyrica, which is a better choice since it's quite effective. I really think Gabapentin is working for me now, but it has made me put on a lot of weight. It is therefore a good idea to stick to Lyrica if you can; otherwise, Gabapentin works as well, but with several side effects.

English Girl's Experience

It was extremely difficult for me to continue with Lyrica due to several side effects I experienced. I switched to Gabapentin, which definitely made me put on weight and feel drowsy all day, but nothing else really. Unfortunately, Gabapentin isn't working great even though it's been 6 weeks since I first starting taking it. My doctor has decided to take me off of it, and hopefully, he'll come up with a better treatment option. 

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