Diabetic patients: In accordance with current clinical practice, some diabetic patients who gain weight on pregabalin treatment may need to adjust hypoglycaemic medicinal products.
Hypersensitivity reactions: There have been reports in the postmarketing experience of hypersensitivity reactions, including cases of angioedema. Pregabalin should be discontinued immediately if symptoms of angioedema such as facial, perioral, or upper airway swelling occur.
Dizziness, somnolence, loss of consciousness, confusion, and mental impairment: Pregabalin treatment has been associated with dizziness and somnolence, which could increase the occurrence of accidental injury (fall) in the elderly population. There have also been post-marketing reports of loss of consciousness, confusion and mental impairment. Therefore, patients should be advised to exercise caution until they are familiar with the potential effects of the medicinal product.
Vision-related effects: In controlled trials, a higher proportion of patients treated with pregabalin reported blurred vision than did patients treated with placebo which resolved in a majority of cases with continued dosing. In the clinical studies where ophthalmologic testing was conducted, the incidence of visual acuity reduction and visual field changes was greater in pregabalin-treated patients than in placebo-treated patients; the incidence of fundoscopic changes was greater in placebo-treated patients.
In the post-marketing experience, visual adverse reactions have also been reported, including loss of vision, visual blurring or other changes of visual acuity, many of which were transient. Discontinuation of pregabalin may result in resolution or improvement of these visual symptoms.
Renal failure: Cases of renal failure have been reported and in some cases discontinuation of pregabalin did show reversibility of this adverse reaction.
Withdrawal of concomitant antiepileptic medicinal products: There are insufficient data for the withdrawal of concomitant antiepileptic medicinal products, once seizure control with pregabalin in the add-on situation has been reached, in order to reach monotherapy on pregabalin.
Withdrawal symptoms: After discontinuation of short-term and long-term treatment with pregabalin, withdrawal symptoms have been observed in some patients. The following events have been mentioned: insomnia, headache, nausea, anxiety, diarrhoea, flu syndrome, nervousness, depression, pain, convulsion, hyperhidrosis, and dizziness. The patient should be informed about this at the start of the treatment.
Convulsions, including status epilepticus and grand mal convulsions, may occur during pregabalin use or shortly after discontinuing pregabalin.
Concerning discontinuation of long-term treatment of pregabalin, data suggest that the incidence and severity of withdrawal symptoms may be dose-related.
Congestive heart failure: There have been post-marketing reports of congestive heart failure in some patients receiving pregabalin. These reactions are mostly seen in elderly cardiovascular compromised patients during pregabalin treatment for a neuropathic indication. Pregabalin should be used with caution in these patients. Discontinuation of pregabalin may resolve the reaction.
Treatment of central neuropathic pain due to spinal cord injury: In the treatment of central neuropathic pain due to spinal cord injury the incidence of adverse reactions in general, central nervous system adverse reactions and especially somnolence was increased. This may be attributed to an additive effect due to concomitant medicinal products (e.g. anti-spasticity agents) needed for this condition. This should be considered when prescribing pregabalin in this condition.
Suicidal ideation and behaviour: Suicidal ideation and behaviour have been reported in patients treated with anti-epileptic agents in several indications. A meta-analysis of randomised placebo controlled studies of anti-epileptic drugs has shown a small increased risk of suicidal ideation and behaviour. The mechanism of this risk is not known and the available data do not exclude the possibility of an increased risk for pregabalin.
Therefore patients should be monitored for signs of suicidal ideation and behaviours and appropriate treatment should be considered. Patients (and caregivers of patients) should be advised to seek medical advice should signs of suicidal ideation or behaviour emerge.
Reduced lower gastrointestinal tract function: There are post-marketing reports of events related to reduced lower gastrointestinal tract function (e.g., intestinal obstruction, paralytic ileus, constipation) when pregabalin was co-administered with medications that have the potential to produce constipation, such as opioid analgesics. When pregabalin and opioids will be used in combination, measures to prevent constipation may be considered (especially in female patients and elderly).
Abuse potential: Cases of abuse have been reported. Caution should be exercised in patients with a history of substance abuse and the patient should be monitored for symptoms of pregabalin abuse.
Encephalopathy: Cases of encephalopathy have been reported, mostly in patients with underlying conditions that may precipitate encephalopathy.
Lactose intolerance: Pregabalin contains lactose monohydrate. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicinal product.
Effects on Ability to Drive and Use Machines: Pregabalin may have minor or moderate influence on the ability to drive and use machines. Pregabalin may cause dizziness and somnolence and therefore may influence the ability to drive or use machines. Patients are advised not to drive, operate complex machinery or engage in other potentially hazardous activities until it is known whether this medicinal product affects their ability to perform these activities.