Pregabalin Withdrawal and Detox

Quitting the use of of pregabalin after abusing the drug over a long period of time will inevitably result in withdrawal symptoms. You may choose to continue using the drug to escape these symptoms, but staying addicted will put you at risk of a variety of harmful health complications in the future. Withdrawal from pregabalin can be treated through a combination of medication and psychotherapy, which will make your symptoms more bearable.

Pregabalin is a prescription drug that belongs to the anticonvulsant class of medications. It is the main ingredient of the brand medication known as Lyrica. The drug is used to treat neuropathic pain, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, generalised anxiety disorder, and nerve pain issues associated with diabetes, shingles, and damaged nerves.

While pregabalin has medicinal benefits, it is also a very powerful addictive substance. Addiction can occur after a spell of legitimate prescription use, especially when your body gets used to it. Recreational users also see the drug as a means to get ‘high’ and enjoy sensations of pleasure it creates.

After using the drug for a long time, you may begin to feel you cannot survive without pregabalin. You may also be threatened with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that push you to keep using the drug, as symptoms of this phase can be excruciating. However, with medical aid, and through a supervised detox programme, your withdrawal symptoms can be controlled and you can safely get rid of the drug from your system.

If you or a loved have been struggling with pregabalin abuse and are finding it difficult to quit due to the prospect of facing withdrawal, you can get help. Treatment options are available that can help you kick start your journey to a pregabalin-free life. Detox is the first stage of your recovery, and successfully getting through it will boost your chances of overcoming your addiction.

It is important that you understand the dangers associated with continuing your pregabalin addiction, the withdrawal and detox options available to you that can help you achieve sobriety, and how you can move on to other stages of recovery.

Pregabalin Withdrawal and Detox

Discontinuing your long-term abuse of pregabalin involves going through withdrawal and detoxification. These recovery phases are usually the most discomforting. You may be discouraged along the way and question your decision to quit using pregabalin. And without any medical or psychological support, you may go back to using the drug.

Fighting your addiction to a drug as powerful as pregabalin is important because continued dependence on it can result in dangerous health effects, including death.

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Withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity but they can be managed, no matter how severe, through medical detox. Your body will attempt to get rid of pregabalin on its own when you cut off its supply, but this process can be daunting without medical assistance. With medical help, you can go through this phase relatively comfortably and move on to other recovery engagements.

Going through detox by yourself is never advised, as symptoms of withdrawal can become unpredictable and umangeable, and put you at risk. Please contact a health professional before you attempt to quit using pregabalin. If you don’t know how to go about it, an addiction helpline can point you in the right direction regarding professionally-supervised withdrawal and detox.

Pregabalin Withdrawal – What Is It?

Addiction to pregabalin is characterised by a physical and psychological dependence on the drug that results in a compulsive need to use it time and time again. While use of the drug may induce calming and pleasurable feelings, withdrawal tends to induce the exact opposite. For instance, diarrhoea, which is a withdrawal symptom, is the opposite of the constipation often induced during pregabalin abuse.

Withdrawal involves an array of symptoms that kick in when you discontinue your pregabalin use abruptly. Withdrawal is going to start happening when your body and brain have become dependent on pregabalin to function normally. It is one of the main reasons why people that are addicted to the drug find it hard to quit. If you last for a number of days after your last dose without using again, you will get a psychological signal that you’re about to experience discomforting symptoms. This will cause you to seek out the drug to stop that from happening.

Everyone experiences withdrawal differently according to body chemistry, level of addiction, and state of health. It is vital that you seek help before you initiate this phase. A doctor will examine your condition and come up with a suitable course of treatment for you.

Causes of Pregabalin Withdrawal

Taking pregabalin in large doses over a long period of time will put you at risk of withdrawal whenever you quit using it. High levels of the drug in your system will result in your brain becoming dependent on pregabalin for certain functions, which will lead to withdrawal when the drug is not taken for a while.

Pregabalin travels to the brain to block the release of certain neurotransmitters that induce pain and excitatory signals. These neurochemicals include glutamate and noradrenaline. They are nerve-exciting agents that also transport pain signals to damaged nerves. By blocking their release, pregabalin induces a feeling of pain relief and calmness, which is useful for conditions such as anxiety disorder, diabetes, and epilepsy, among others.

When you continue taking the drug, your brain will gradually get used to the high levels of pregabalin and the state of calmness associated with it. The body will begin to rely on the drug for the continuation of this feeling. Over time, you will need higher doses of pregabalin to replicate the original effects that smaller doses produced in the past. This is why reducing your dose drastically or abruptly discontinuing use will trigger withdrawal.

Withdrawal will occur if the reduced levels of pregabalin in your system is a deliberate move, or if you temporarily don’t have access to the drug.

The Phases of Pregabalin Withdrawal

Withdrawal from pregabalin mirrors your level of addiction and general health situation. If you chronically abused the drug, you will experience harsher and longer withdrawal symptoms. That being said, short-term use of the drug may still result in withdrawal when you quit, even though symptoms may be milder. Withdrawal is a path that you must follow as you make your way towards sustained recovery.

As you seek to achieve freedom from pregabalin dependence, you will go through two different phases of withdrawal. They include the acute and post-acute withdrawal phases. Each stage comes with its own unique set of symptoms. They will create a strong urge to use pregabalin again, as they can be so uncomfortable that you may see the drug as the best remedy.

It is important that you seek emotional support and professional help during any phase of withdrawal to keep you on the right track to recovery. If you don’t know how to go about getting help, please ensure that you contact an addiction helpline to get guidance from a professional counsellor.

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Acute Withdrawal

The acute phase is the first onset of withdrawal that you will experience and is the harshest. Symptoms tend to manifest within a few hours after your last use and grow in severity over the first couple of days. This withdrawal phase typically accompanies the detox process and may span the duration of time it takes your body to get rid of pregabalin.

You will experience the acute phase uniquely, and may feel forced to use the drug again in order to quell the symptoms you experience, which makes it especially important that you go through everything with professional help. Physical symptoms are more prominent during the early stages, though psychological difficulties are also present.

Post-acute Withdrawal

Also known as protracted withdrawal, this withdrawal phase involves symptoms that linger after the acute phase and your detox. Most of your acute withdrawal symptoms, mostly physical, don’t follow you into this phase, but some psychological symptoms such as mood swings, depression, and cravings are common symptoms that are present during post-acute withdrawal.

This phase usually begins some months after your last use, and can last for several months to one or two years.

If you go through professional care, you will experience traces of post-acute symptoms after your detox and even after your rehabilitation. This is why it is important that you receive continuing care once your treatment is over. What’s more, some environmental and social factors can trigger symptoms such as intense cravings that may compel you to use again. Please always ensure you’re surrounded by people and circumstances that foster your recovery and ensure that you affiliate yourself with support groups as well.

The length of your symptoms during this stage will reflect the level of your addiction. If you abused pregabalin over an extended period of time, your protracted withdrawal will likely last longer.

Pregabalin Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect

The symptoms associated with pregabalin withdrawal are similar to those witnessed in withdrawal from benzodiazepines and alcohol, but are known to be less severe. However, complications may arise that can lead to fatal consequences.

There are individual differences when it comes to the nature of pregabalin withdrawal. Known factors that influence the severity of withdrawal are the amount of the drug that has been consumed, the frequency at which it was consumed, and length of abuse. You should expect your withdrawal symptoms to start developing after a few hours and peak in severity as you continue to stay off the drug.

If you consumed the drug alongside other addictive substances, your symptoms may be worse. Also, quitting use of pregabalin might cause your symptoms to come on strongly and this might lead to dangerous health effects. Ensure you consult a doctor to examine your situation before you choose a method of withdrawal.

Symptoms of withdrawal come in both physical and psychological forms. This is a result of pregabalin’s interaction with neurochemical activities in the brain. Symptoms may be a rebound of the conditions the drug was taken to treat or direct opposites of the pleasurable feelings it induced.

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Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

Physical withdrawal symptoms kick in within the first few hours of stopping, and last for days after your last intake. The severity of your physical symptoms will depend on your level of tolerance to the drug and other factors, such as withdrawing from other drugs alongside pregabalin. You may experience stronger symptoms if you have a medical condition that existed prior to using pregabalin.

There are common physical withdrawal symptoms that you will likely face when you quit or reduce your intake of pregabalin after long-term use. However, you should keep in mind that you may experience these symptoms differently as there are individual variations associated with withdrawal. Physical symptoms are:

  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Hot flashes
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Joint pain
  • Itching
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach pain
  • Seizures
  • Sweating

If you initially took pregabalin to treat a medical condition such as fibromyalgia, epilepsy, or neuropathic pain, please consult your doctor before you quit the drug.

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms

Psychological symptoms of pregabalin withdrawal involve mental difficulties that will flare up when you initiate abstinence or rapidly decrease your intake. These symptoms include:

Anxiety: Pregabalin is a prescription-only drug prescribed on the National Health Service (NHS) to treat generalised anxiety disorders. If you stop taking the drug, you will likely experience a rebound of anxiety.

Depression: Withdrawal from pregabalin could lead to a chemical imbalance in the brain which results in depressive thinking. It has also been suggested by some studies that pregabalin reduces the levels of norepinephrine, a chemical responsible for moods. This may go on to induce depression.

Depersonalization: During withdrawal, you may feel unlike yourself or without emotion. This happens as a result of changes in the brain’s circuitry after using pregabalin.

Anger: The calming effects of pregabalin usually take the opposite turn and can result in anger. People going through withdrawal have reported feelings of anger, often to the point of rage when they stopped using.

Irritability: You may begin to get easily irritated by things that don’t normally bother you when you’re going through withdrawal. This is because the neurotransmitters blocked by pregabalin will begin to cause uncontrollable nerve excitement when the drug is no longer present.

Mood swings: Your mood and emotions may be in in a feat of constant flux when withdrawal takes hold. You may be void of emotion one minute and overwhelmed by intense feelings the next.

Panic attacks: You may begin to panic uncontrollably when anxiety overwhelms you.

Suicidal thinking: Your depression may become severe to the point of causing you to entertain suicidal thoughts. This is one of the reasons it is advised that you seek professional help until your brain regains balance and this conditions fades away.

You should understand that your psychological disturbances will vary in severity, onset, and frequency, depending on your level of addiction, mental health, and chemical makeup. If you had a prior mental condition before taking pregabalin, your withdrawal could be more difficult. In this case, you require the help of a specialist.

Duration of Pregabalin Withdrawal

The amount of time it takes you to fully get through the acute phase of withdrawal will largely depend on certain factors. There are personal differences when it comes to how long it takes for withdrawal symptoms to finally fade away. Some of these factors include:

  • Amount of pregabalin consumed
  • Frequency at which the drug was taken
  • How long the drug was abused
  • Co-occurring medical conditions
  • General state of health
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Withdrawing from other addictive drugs simultaneously with pregabalin

Pregabalin has an average half-life of about 6.3 hours, which indicates that the drug stays in your body for a day and half after your last use. Withdrawal symptoms typically peak within the first few days, which will cause extreme discomfort as your nervous system will scramble to function properly without pregabalin.

Most symptoms may begin to disappear after the first few weeks but some, especially psychological ones, may linger for months.

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Timeline of Pregabalin Withdrawal

There’s no standard timeline for withdrawal as everyone goes through the phase in varied stages, from onset to progression to remission. You will begin to experience the onset of symptoms a few hours to the first two days after your last use. If you quit ‘cold turkey’ the onset of withdrawal could be extremely severe as your brain activity may be thrown into a sudden state of confusion.

After onset, your withdrawal symptoms will begin to progress and peak during the first two to three days. In some individuals, this may happen in the first week. This may well be the worst phase of withdrawal and you could easily go back to using higher doses of pregabalin in order to cope. Symptoms commonly experienced at this stage include sweating, hot flashes, extreme headaches, anxiety, depression, mood swings, paranoia, diarrhoea, nausea, and more.

After the first week, your symptoms will start decreasing and disappearing. However, if your addiction is severe, this may take longer. You will likely continue to feel effects of withdrawal over the course of several months after the initial wave of symptoms are largely gone. These effects include cravings, mild depression, and intermittent mood swings.

Withdrawal may seem like a never-ending cycle and you may think that you will never recover, but you will. You should try your best to seek professional assistance to help you through this phase.

Pregabalin Detoxification – The Lowdown

When you quit using pregabalin after long-term abuse, your brain and body will struggle to maintain the effects they have grown used to when the drug was present. To readjust to life without the drug, your body will attempt to eliminate pregabalin from your system. This process is known as detoxification.

Detox always comes with debilitating withdrawal symptoms and can be a very uncomfortable process. Health complications are likely to occur during this phase because the rate at which your body cleanses itself of the drug will directly influence the severity and rush of withdrawal symptoms.

You will also go through detoxification in a unique manner, as your personal health, level of addiction, and physiology dictates. If you have a prior condition that caused you to take pregabalin, this may also affect your detoxification process. The path you take through detox is one that may also affect the outcome and success of your body completing the process.

The best way to detox from pregabalin is through a medically-assisted detox program. Doctors will employ medical and psychological measures to help make your body as comfortable as possible, and encourage you through the process. Conditions that may cause complications and get in the way of your detox will also be accounted for and addressed accordingly.

Medically Supervised Pregabalin Withdrawal Detox

A medically-supervised detox for pregabalin involves the use of medication therapies and clinical psychotherapy to help you get through the detox phase. You’ll be put through an individualised treatment plan that represents your personal situation.

You may be tapered off pregabalin with decreasing doses of the drug to ease the onslaught of withdrawal symptoms. When it’s safe to cut you off the drug, you will be withdrawn properly. Measures will also be employed to help relieve your withdrawal symptoms and make them more bearable.

You can choose to go through detox in a dedicated clinic as a residential patient or from home, but it’s recommended that you see out your detoxification through inpatient care.

Pregabalin Detox Process

Undergoing a medical detox will see you go through a number of processes until your detox is over. The first stage through your detox involves your intake. This is when your doctors will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the best course of treatment to follow based on your unique experience of addiction, your physiology, and your general state of health.

After your intake, the actual detox procedure begins. You’ll be given medication and psychotherapy to help stabilise you throughout the detox procedure. Your doctors will also employ measures to address your medical conditions, if there are any, through alternative therapy so that your pain can be managed.

When detox is over, you’ll be prepped for rehabilitation where you’ll receive continuing care through psychological therapies that will train you in ways to cope without pregabalin. Please ensure you follow the directions of your physician so that you can get the best level of care.

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Home Detox?

The safest way to go through detox is under medical supervision in a dedicated detox centre. You will go through medication and psychological therapy in a controlled environment free from relapse triggers and drug-use enablement. This detox method is called inpatient care. It is the gold standard of medical detoxification among clinicians and has a high success rate.

However, you can detox from home if your doctors deem you free from withdrawal complications and if you have only a mild case of dependence. It’s crucial that you do not go through home detox on your own. Ensure you have emotional support and see to it that you get supervised medically.

Why Detoxification at Home can be Harmful

Detoxing without medical supervision can be dangerous. If your home environment is fraught with drug-enabling circumstances and trigger cues, you could easily relapse halfway into your detox, especially when withdrawal symptoms begin to be too difficult to cope with.

Relapsing midway through your detox may cause you to overdose on the drug because your body will have gotten rid of a pregabalin to an extent, causing your tolerance to drop. Overdose is extremely dangerous and can be fatal.

If your level of addiction is severe, you’ll also be prone to risks and complications associated with withdrawal that can often lead to permanent neurological damages. Your condition needs to be monitored constantly in this case, and also if you have a medical condition alongside your addiction. Please endeavour to seek professional aid and directions before you try to detox at home.

Medications Used During Pregabalin Detox

Certain medications will be used during detox to help you stay comfortable and tackle complications directly. These medications will be administered according to your treatment plan and how your symptoms manifest.

Your doctors may choose to taper you off pregabalin by slowly weaning you off the drug with decreasing doses over a period of time. This will ensure that withdrawal symptoms manifest with less severity.

Other medications will be applied to specifically treat certain withdrawal symptoms. They include:

Clonidine: Clonidine has mild sedative benefits in treating withdrawal. It is used in withdrawal from alcohol, benzodiazepines, pregabalin, and other drugs to calm feelings of agitation, and lower blood pressure.

Dexmedetomidine: This drug is similar to Clonidine but is considered more potent and comes with higher risks. It is only used when Clonidine doesn’t deliver the desired results.

Neither drug has gone through adequate research to be classed as evidence-based treatment options for pregabalin withdrawal. However, with a competent medical expert overseeing your medication, you will be given the best kind of care.

Your doctors will also administer antipsychotics to combat hallucinations, and other conditions that are related to psychosis, anxiolytics to help calm your anxiety, antidepressants for your depression, and other anticonvulsants to counter seizures if they occur.

Treatment for Withdrawal

Getting treated for withdrawal from pregabalin involves going through a professional detox programme. This will provide a good start to your recovery journey and help stabilise you for your next treatment phase. Through psychotherapy and combination medications, your withdrawal symptoms will be reduced, allowing you to see out this phase without falling back to pregabalin abuse and restarting your addiction cycle.

Treatment for withdrawal has a healthy connection to rehabilitation and the path to sustained recovery. You’ll be put through activities that will create behavioural changes towards addiction that will facilitate sobriety.

As individual needs are different, there are also various treatment options available to tackle different cases of withdrawal accordingly.

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Withdrawing from Pregabalin Treatment Methods and Options

You can go through withdrawal treatment in a dedicated detox facility through inpatient or outpatient programmes. There’s also another method known as partial hospitalisation that has proved helpful over the years.

Inpatient programmes involve going through treatment on a residential basis while in an outpatient programme, where you will be supervised with scheduled visits to the clinic or your doctor’s office. Partial hospitalisation is similar to outpatient care but requires more commitment and time.

You’ll be advised by your physician to go through an inpatient program if you have abused pregabalin over an extended period of time and if your dependence on the drug is chronic. You will be allowed to go through outpatient and partial hospitalisation programmes if your addiction is mild and you have time-limiting responsibilities to deal with. Always ensure you follow your doctor’s recommendation to secure a clear path to recovery.

Guided Pregabalin Therapy

To help you stay on course with your detox treatment, you will receive medicinal and psychological therapies. These approaches are combined to work hand in hand to help you stay comfortable and give you the mental support to remain on track.

Experts understand the difficulties, both mental and physical, that come with withdrawal and detox, and, as such, will take all measures necessary to see you through this phase.

Live a Sober Life Again

Withdrawal from pregabalin may seem impossible, but it isn’t. You can get through the phase with proper help and get your life back on track. You shouldn’t allow withdrawal to confine you to a life of addiction and instability. There’s a more productive and happier life waiting for you on the other side of your withdrawal, all you need is professional people to hold your hand and provide support while you make the strides you need to make towards that future.

Please contact a professional today if you notice that you can’t get yourself to quit pregabalin. The first and all-important step to take towards recovery is recognising your problem and seeking help. Treatment programmes are available and accessible to help you attain a fruitful, drug-free life. Call a confidential helpline today to get guidance on the next steps to take.

Preventing Relapse

Your medical detox will help you get pregabalin out of your system but you will still face the urge to use the drug again, as protracted withdrawal symptoms will flare up from time to time. These symptoms might suggest that using pregabalin is the only remedy to staying healthy, but this is wrong. You can prevent using again by learning new coping skills via a rehabilitation programme for pregabalin addiction.

You should also take extra measures like affiliating yourself with a support group, such as the twelve-step program. Getting emotional aid through family and friends will also be helpful. Never forget to seek help whenever you feel vulnerable and on the verge of using again.

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Tips to Handle Cravings

Cravings for pregabalin are a prominent symptom that you will battle with throughout your withdrawal phase and treatment. You will also feel the urge to use the drug again even months and years after treatment. Here are some tips that you can employ to help you fight off cravings.

Remember the reason for your treatment: While memories of your pregabalin use can trigger cravings, you can turn them into tools to combat your urge to use again. By remembering the ugly state you were in as a result of addiction, you will be discouraged to use the drug.

Engage in relaxing activities: Stress is a known trigger for relapse so it is important that you do exercises such as meditation and relaxation activities to help keep down your stress levels.

Join a support group: Joining a support group will give you a mental boost in fighting your addiction as you wouldn’t want to let down your group or sponsor by using the drug again.

Seek help: If you feel vulnerable and on the brink of using again, get help immediately. A group member in your support group can provide emotional support to help you stay sober and your therapist can also employ reinforcement techniques to keep you from using again.

Find a Treatment Centre

You should take that step today and walk into a detox centre to kick start your progress to long-term sobriety. If you don’t know how to go about it, there are addiction helplines that can take your entire situation into account and make suggestions on ideal treatment institutes that will help you overcome your addiction.


FAQS

How Long does Pregabalin Withdrawal Last?

Withdrawal tend to last for a couple of weeks for some and more for others. Your withdrawal duration period depends on how you abused the drug and how you choose to withdraw.

Are there any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

The best way to safely get through pregabalin detox and withdrawal is via professional help. Even if you’d rather do it at home, ensure a medical professional is there to guide you.

How long does it take to Detox from Pregabalin?

The duration of your detox will be determined by the level of your dependence on pregabalin and how much of the drug is in your system. The way you choose to go through detox will also influence the length of the process.

Can You Die From Pregabalin Withdrawal?

Though fatality is a rare occurrence when it comes to pregabalin withdrawal, complications such as seizures, tachycardia, and suicidal thoughts and actions can lead to death if not addressed properly by experts.

What is Pregabalin Withdrawal?

Pregabalin withdrawal is a period that comes with certain distressing symptoms that serve as your body’s reaction to the absence of the drug.

Is Pregabalin Withdrawal Dangerous?

Yes, withdrawal can be dangerous, as health issues that were once treated by pregabalin can flare up during this period.

Can I find Help?

Professional help is available that can help you get through your withdrawal symptoms and lead you to sustained recovery. Please call an addiction helpline today to point you in the right direction if you don’t know how to go about it.

Are There Ways to Prevent or Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms cannot be prevented, however, they can be managed and mitigated through medication combinations and psychological treatment via a medical withdrawal and detox.

Can Medications Help?

Yes, medications can help you get through withdrawal comfortably and successfully.

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