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Losing weigt on Lyrica
38 Replies
fibroMayNotBeFibro - January 28

I went through a lot to answer this question. I was on Lyrica for 3 years.

It was the worst medication that I've ever taken and am NOT on it for a year, and am dagerously, unexplainably losing weight.

Lyrica is Nuerotin, shaking twice and renamed. Had they told me that I would have not taken one pill. Anti-depressants are like poison to me. Why they keep thinking fibromyalgia is because we depressed is such a bunch crap. Seriously, I'm depressed for obvious reasons because I'm sick, and don't have a quality of life. Whatever, so what a lot people are sick.

I think if Doctors would quit thinking it's depression, and an Auto Immune disorder then maybe they'll quit giving things that make us more sick.

Good Luck, to all it tough thing to have especially when no one "REALLY" know what we have.



notme - April 10

Good question. I have just been put on Lyrica and gaba pentin. I am unsure as to what to do. I am gaining weight around my middle and feel like crap. My pain is better, but I don't know how far I should push myself in the gym. Does anyone know if there are any Fibro. meds that don't have the gaining side effects?


January - April 10

Just my opinion - gaining a lot of weight is not an acceptable side effect, because it comes with MANY serious adverse consequences later on. You could try some pain medication which would just treat your pain. Many of us cannot tolerate the typical fibro drugs. There are other things you can try, but you have to let your doctor know you and Lyrica do not agree. Feeling like crap and gaining weight may be dismissed as your body adjusting to the drug -- but maybe you should listen to your body?

Lyrica is an anticonvulsant and there was a lot of controversy about how and why it was approved by the FDA. A lot of people have trouble with it, and excessive weight gain is common (I love how they don't show THAT in the advertising! The models are all so slender and happy.) Anticonvulsants are used to treat epilepsy. Do you have epilepsy? I know SOME people get pain relief from Lyrica, and that's great if they can tolerate it, but do you really need a drug that strong? Have you read the list of side effects?

You might want to educate yourself about the influence of Big Pharma's money on medical training, on drug approval, and on doctors prescribing this stuff. Do you know they are often rewarded with fancy trips and vacations for prescribing this junk? The 3 "approved" fibromyalgia medications are antidepressant and anticonvulsant medications, and they don't work all that well. They all come with side effects - for example, the dry mouth will eventually rot your teeth and gums. The weight gain will affect your joints. Google and read up. Surely these drugs are not the BEST that can be offered to us - but unless we complain about these nasty side effects, nothing will be done.

Educate yourself about what fibromyalgia really might be. Although doctors are taught Fibro is a depressive disease, there are a lot of new studies out linking it to infectious diseases, food allergies, genetic predisposition, etc. - and various combinations of factors. Many of us take vitamins and supplements. I went gluten free and that cured not only my depressive symptoms but also the muscular pain I had. AND I easily dropped the weight I had gained on antidepressants. I didn't need them! My gluten problem went undiagnosed because doctors aren't educated about this! (I was lucky to accidentally stumble on an article about it.) I suspect that a lot of people who easily gain weight on these meds have a gluten problem.

Check into some meds to address your specific issues (as we are all so different). For pain, there is prescription pain medicine - take the lowest dose you can, even it means cutting up the tablets. Many of us use prescription sleep meds, tranquilizers, or muscle relaxers. You can get a skin patch with pain medicine. There are also supplements that help with all of these issues. You don't say what else you are dealing with, besides pain. There's a lot of information on this site. Good luck, and feel better!


Pikespeak - April 17

Thank you for your post! It reminds me not to stop at Lyrica as an answer. I take one pill at night with my Ambien. It works quite well for me (except for not losing weight). I am following YOU on a diet meal planner (free online) to see if it makes a difference. I am also going to the gym 3-4 times a week for 30-minute moderate cardio (bike and treadmill). I have laid off the bread products and don't eat anything with aspartame (trigger) or corn syrup. Hope this helps!


January - April 17

Hi pikespeak - if you're interested, google celiac (1 in 133 people) and gluten intolerance (1 in 7 people) - most go undiagnosed - 97% ! To get results, especially if you have this disease or intolerance, it will take time. It took my body a year to heal from the auto-immune response that gluten causes in my small intestine. That's a long time to stay on a diet that's difficult to maintain because gluten is in "everything!" It's in soy sauce and sauces and processed foods, and ice cream, and it's even in some products that say they are gluten free. You will need to listen closely to your body, and if you break down and eat gluten, remember it will take a few months for your intestines to heal. Some people cannot tolerate 1/8 of a tsp. of flour and will get symptoms from that, plus a big inflammatory reaction that lasts a while. Symptoms can range from Gi upset (not in everyone) to joint pain, muscle pain, migraine, skin rashes, etc.

If the diet is working for you, you WILL feel better emotionally and physically, you'll have perfect digestive health, your skin will clear up, you will no longer crave bread, and the weight will just drop off. Remember, when you get prescriptions filled, ask your pharmacist to check and see if they are "gluten free." If you go out to eat, request a gluten free dinner. And remember to supplement with vitamins and minerals. You have to stay off ALL gluten for this to work. Good luck! It worked beautifully for me! I never stayed on a diet in my life, but I am on this one forever.


Pikespeak - April 18

Hi January! So are you on any meds now? Or going GF solve everything? I have three first cousins (all female from one family) who have celiac. One has FMS. I have a good friend who has kept me informed on celiac. Even blue cheese has gluten! Reading labels has become a huge part of my shopping experience. I am almost completely doing fresh fruits and veggies, beans (bought dry, then soaked and cooked), eggs and meat.


January - April 18

Did you get tested for celiac? The best time to get the antibody blood test is before you go gluten free, but if you just started, it might still show up. I guess you know celiac is genetic - so if you have relatives with it, there's a good chance you have it, and it's lucky you caught it because it can set you up for very nasty diseases later if you don't avoid the gluten.

Gluten free cured the muscle pain and the lifelong depression. I still have joint pain and old back injuries that are painful, but not FMS. I definitely feel much worse overall when I get a pinch of gluten by accident. I take older meds that have been around for years to help with pain and sleep and keep them low dose. That is to say, I cut them up and take small doses as needed. Also, I take a lot of supplements - especially since celiacs have trouble absorbing nutrients.

I think there is a something complicated going on in fibro that involves the gut (and food allergies and leaky gut syndrome), a genetic predisposition, and some kind of infectious process (viral or bacterial or both).

Good for you that you are able to exercise - best to keep at it if you can. And I can't think of a healthier diet than G-free.


Marsha Mellow - April 26

I have been on Lyrica for 4 months now but not at a high dose (150mgs a day). It helps enormously but the weight gain is a drag. I have just given up all sugar, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks etc for 6 weeks. I haven't lost a pound ! But a friend did say to me - "think how fat you would have been if you hadn't have cut all those calories out". It's a real dilemma. I cannot find anything on the net to explain the reason for this weight gain. If anything, my appetite had decreased and I am eating less. Does anyone knows of any metabolic reason for this weight gain ?


January - April 26

Hi Marsha -- I don't know exactly what causes weight gain like this - but I know what you're talking about! I haven't taken Lyrica, but I have taken several other drugs that just packed weight on me. I don't eat a lot and am normally on the thin side - but certain drugs do this - it must be metabolic or an allergic thing! You just steadily pack it on until you're huge. I remember once I starved and ate nothing but spinach for over a week and lost not an ounce.

I have a theory that certain drugs or diets are so bad for your gut (or set up allergies and inflammation?) that you can't absorb nutrients. Then your body thinks you are starving and hangs on to everything. I read a lot about diet. Gluten free helped me a lot but it only works if you are very strict about it. (1 in 7 people has a gluten intolerance they think.) No wheat, barley, oats, rye, or in general any cereal grains - no flour - no products made from them (like soy sauce!) Gluten free is hard to follow because it is "hidden" in so many places like additives. There's a lot of info online now - google "celiac" and "gluten free."

Once my gluten allergy healed, the huge amount of weight Cymbalta packed on me fell off, and all my bloodwork went back to normal - so something was working! I eat all the fat and sugar I want (within reason) - just no cereal carbs or processed food. It isn't hard - just think meat, veggies, fruits, rice and keep it simple. If you have cravings, they will disappear.

Lately I've also been reading about how the Western diet is really acidic and thus causes all kinds of diseases - it's better to keep your diet alkaline. You can google that.

I refuse to take drugs that pack on weight - there are other drugs out there. The weight brings on so many extra diseases, who needs it. Wishing you luck with this struggle. I know how frustrating it is. It really has NOTHING to do with your willpower or your diet -- there is probably some kind of bad reaction going on inside you, and when you fix the cause of it (and maybe it's that Lyrica doesn't agree with you!), you will drop the weight. All the best!


misstash77 - June 18

Wow, no one has found an answer yet? I've been on Lyrica for a year and have recently been dosed to 300 mg per day. Unbelievably, I've gained over 30 pounds which makes me extremely miserable. I've bought 2 new wardrobes within the year to feel comfortable in clothing. I've bought sensa, smoothie king smoothies mix (over $80 worth), "right size smoothies", and the list of diet plans goes on. The doctor says eat smaller portions. Tried that, and because they don't satisfy my hunger or nausea, i several other smaller meals. EXERCISE they say, huh! I used to walk a mile each day, now with fibromy- I can walk no further than 2 house up from mine before having a pain crisis and swollen feet. SWIMMING- the best therapy ever. I started swimming 2 weeks ago, faithfully everyday for about an hour and a half each time, but guess what- NO WEIGHT LOSS. in fact, I've gained a few more pounds in these past 2 weeks. Annnnnnnyyyyyyyy thoughts would be appreciative.


Pikespeak - June 21

Hi Misstash77! I swotched from Lyrica to Savella after almost a year on Lyrica. I lost 10 pounds very quickly (and am back comfortably into my old clothes). I also experienced memory loss on Lyrica. I now feel sharp again. Please read my posts on Savella to see what my experience has been. I am not even taking a full dose, so feel pretty good about that! It is in the same category/class as Lyrica, so I didn't have to go off of Lyrica to start Savella. As with any drug there are usually some side effects, but I have tolerated Savella very well! If you decide to switch, go slowly as you up the dosage. I now take 25mg upon rising, then 50mg before supper. It can cause insomnia (who needs that with FMS!), so I take it early. I also take Ambien for sleep.


January - June 22

Actually, I think Cymbalta and Savella work on serotonin and norepinephrine (SNRI antidepressant drugs); but Lyrica works on the GABA system in the brain, and was originally used as an anti-seizure medicine - so they are somewhat different classes of drug - though all 3 comprise the "FDA-approved" meds for fibro. (There is some controversy as to HOW they were approved and the validity of the research to back them up.)


Pikespeak - June 22

Thanks January. I stand corrected! My point was that it was an easy switch to Savella. I have more good days than bad, with a few great days too! When things are going well and I'm not dwelling on my FMS, I know something's working for me!


January - June 22

Ohhh. Didn't mean it as a "correction," sorry. : [ Meant only to clarify the different brain chemicals involved. So if you don't do well on an SNRI, Lyrica might work for you. Or vice versa. But it's amazing how differently they all work - I was doing some more reading last night. And, as Noca pointed out to me, Lyrica and Neurontin - which both work on GABA - have very different effects. I just wish they could come out with new drugs that didn't have so many bad side effects. Lyrica is notorious for causing weight gain.

Glad YOU are doing well on the Savella. (It doesn't work so well for everybody.) Do you feel it has helped with the pain level? I never could sleep on SNRIs, even with meds - they make me crazy. I took Prozac (SSRI) years ago and thought it was a wonder drug, and everybody could benefit from it! In retrospect I was hypomanic. Then it stopped working and I felt horrible - and it was a nightmare to get off those drugs. I hope you have a better experience - part of my problem back then was I was NOT educated about how these drugs work and no doctor I went to seemed to have a clue either. They should have weaned me off, but they just kept throwing more drugs at me. Just my opinion, but I will never touch another one. There's a LOT of information out there if you look - and i wasn't aware of any of it back when I was on my Antidepressant Roller Coaster.

… if they work for you, that's good. I only try to educate people - because they DON'T work for everyone! And usually if you are having a hard time with them, doctors will NEVER stop prescribing them. They just increase dose or switch brands. Very bad for your brain. Peter Breggins' book was amazing.


Pikespeak - June 22

No apology necessary, January! I will look up the author you suggested. I'm like you in that I am (usually) very cautious in taking drugs. I have come to the conclusion that having a sleeping pill is quite wonderful! Please continue to be the voice of reason...we need a balanced view as we struggle to make sense of our FMS. Hugs!


January - June 23

Thanks - I didn't mean to come across harshly! And I too am very grateful for Ambien which gives me no side effects now that I use it to supplement my melatonin.

And, did I tell you that strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar are amazing! Hugs back at you! Oh yeah, and… happy birthday!



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