Pregabalin: Uses, How to Take It, Dosing & Side Effects

Clinical review: Flávia Costa
January 2023
  1. Uses
  2. Dosing
  3. Side Effects
  4. Contraindications

Pregabalin is a medication that acts on the nervous system. It regulates nerve cell activity and is often prescribed fro the treatment of epilepsy, neuropathic pain and other health conditions that interfere with normal nerve functioning. 

This medication can also be used for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and to manage fibromyalgia pain in adults.

Pregabalin is accessed at the pharmacy with a prescription, and can be found in capsule form in a variety of doses. These will be dispensed according to the prescription. 

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Common uses

Pregabalin is indicated for the treatment of peripheral and central neuropathic pain, epileptic seizures, generalized anxiety disorder and fibromyalgia management in adults. 

How to take it

Pregabalin is taken orally with a cup of water, before or after meals. Dosing, timing and duration of treatment is prescribed by a doctor. If you forget to take your dose, you should take it as soon as possible. However if it already close to the time of your next dose, skip the forgotten dose and proceed as scheduled. You should never double a dose to compensate for a forgotten dose. 

Pregabalin use in adults varies depending on what it is prescribed for. Dosing recommendations include: 

1. Neuropathic pain

The initial recommended dose is 75 mg, twice per day. Depending on therapeutic response and the patient’s tolerance, this dose can be increased to 150 mg, twice per day over a period of 3 to 7 days, up to a maximum dose of 300 mg, twice a day. 

2. Epilepsy

The initial recommended dose is 75 mg, twice per day. Depending on the patient’s therapeutic response and tolerance, this dose can be increased to 150 mg, twice per day after 1 week of treatment, to a maximum of 300 mg, twice per day. 

3. Generalized anxiety disorder 

The recommended starting dose is 75 mg, twice per day. Depending on the patient’s therapeutic response and tolerance, this dose can be increased to 300 mg per day after 1 week of treatment. This can be further increased to 450 mg per day, up to a maximum dose of 600 mg per day. 

4. Fibromyalgia

Dosing should start at 75 mg, twice per day, and can be increased to 150 mg, twice per day within a week, depending on therapeutic effect and tolerance. For people who have not reached a therapeutic benefit at these doses, the doctor can increase pregabalin to 300 mg per day, or up to 225 mg twice per day. 

Possible side effects

The most common side effect of pregabalin include nasopharingitis, increased appetite, euphoric mood, confusion, irritability, depression, insomnia, decreased libido, abnormal motor coordination, dizziness, drowsiness, tremors, difficulty articulating, memory loss, changes to balance, attention disorders, sedation, lethargy, tingling, changes to sensitivity, vision changes, dizziness, vomiting, constipation, excess gas, dry mouth, muscular pain, difficulty moving, fatigue, weight gain and generalized swelling. 

Can pregabalin cause weight gain?

One of the side effects of pregabalin is weight gain, therefore it is possible to notice an increase in weight during treatment. However, not all patients gain weight with pregabalin, and studies show that only 1 to 10% of people experience this side effect. 

Contraindications for use

Pregabalin should not be used by people with an allergy to any of the compounds in the formula. This medication can also be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding under doctor supervision. 

Some diabetic patients who take pregabalin may experience weight gain and may require adjustments to their diabetic medication. 

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Written and updated by Daisy Oliveira - Registered Nurse on January of 2023. Clinical review by Flávia Costa - Pharmacist, on January of 2023.


  • DRUGS.COM. Pregabalin. 2019. Available on: <>. Access in 15 Jun 2021
  • CROSS, A. L; ET AL. IN: STATPEARLS [INTERNET]. TREASURE ISLAND (FL): STATPEARLS PUBLISHING. Pregabalin. 2021. Available on: <>. Access in 15 Jun 2021
Show more references
  • FINNERUP, N. B.; et al. Pharmacotherapy for neuropathic pain in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Neurol. 14. 2; 162-73, 2015
  • GILRON, I.; BARON, R.; JENSEN, T. Neuropathic pain: principles of diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clin Proc. 90. 4; 532-45, 2015
Clinical review:
Flávia Costa
Graduated in Pharmacy at Centro Universitário Newton Paiva, Brazil, in 2003. Master in Biomedical Sciences at UBI, Portugal.