2.4.7 Pregabalin

Pregabalin #

Common Nomenclature Pregabalin
Street & Reference Names Lyrica
Reference Dosage Threshold 75mg+; Light 150mg+; Common 450mg+; Strong 750mg+; Heavy 1400mg [Drugs-Forum]
Light 150mg+; Common 300mg+; Strong 600mg-900mg [TripSit]
Anticipated: Onset / Duration 1 Hour / 10 Hours
Maximum Dose Experienced 300mg+300mg
From Capsules
RoA Oral
Source / Jurisdiction Associate / Overseas


First synthesized in 1990, pregabalin appeared on the market as a prescription drug under the brand name lyrica in 2005. It is used to treat a variety of ailments, including anxiety and pain.

Descriptions of its psychoactive effects vary somewhat. Whilst it is commonly classified as an anxiolytic, a sedative and a relaxant, I have sometimes seen references to hypnotic properties, and occasionally I have encountered suggestions that it can induce euphoria. Despite the US government currently regarding it as having a low potential for abuse (Schedule V), it is clear that this is a serious recreational drug.

Regarding dosage, my initial inclination was to go for 450mg, but I subsequently found too many forum posts stating that sub-300mg doses were more than sufficient. [e.g. “150mg gives me a nice little high while 300mg gets me crazy high” ~Silenced, Bluelight.org]. I found these hard to ignore.

Given that pregabalin was developed as a successor to gabapentin my expectations today are not great. I tested the latter a few weeks ago, and found it to be generally relaxing and calming but without anything in the way of uplift. I am also feeling a little washed-out and tired, which won’t help matters.

T+0:00 I swallow a single 300mg capsule with a glass of water [2.00pm]

T+1:00 Anxiolytic effects have emerged in the form of a comfort bubble, and a heady sense of well being. As I am not “crazy high” I pop another 300mg, to hopefully intensify proceedings.

T+1:30 This is undeniably a nice benzo-like vibe, with a touch of inebriation. I feel warm and contented, with the headspace flowing here and there under a gentle dreamy sedation.

T+2:00 At this point I am heavily inebriated and groggy. The dreamy headspace now carries a hint of nausea and some dizziness, to the extent that I lie on my bed for 15 minutes. This is rapidly becoming very uncomfortable and is definitely not pleasant. I soon hit the bed for a second time.

T+ 4:30 The second recovery nap turned into a deep two hour sleep. I awoke feeling horrible: dizzy, groggy, and unable to function properly. I staggered to the bathroom, and then downstairs, trying to avoid contact with anyone.

I place my head on my arms, lean forward and rest on the desk. I occasionally manage to lift myself up and struggle to type some words. Incredibly I am barely able to function. This is an awful experience and I wonder how much longer it will last. My fingers are trembling and I feel dreadful.

To be in a public place in this state would be a nightmare. I would have to slump somewhere, appearing as a severely intoxicated drunk.

I totally underestimated this drug. I am basically zombified and largely mistuned to what is going on around me, which appears to be distant. My hands are numb and I am, essentially, stupefied, with head spinning.

My efforts to browse the Internet for more information on pregabalin fail miserably: I am simply not capable. The excessive inebriation is way past the point of serious discomfort. Yes, I desperately want this to stop.

T+5:30 Somehow I have just about managed to eat a pizza, which I ate almost mechanically to avoid making too much of a mess. This was a real challenge, but I got through it courtesy of the motivating thought that a bit of food might bring the unwanted-high down faster.

There is no doubt that any effort to hide my intoxicated state in a social scenario would still fail badly.

T+6:00 I finally feel slightly less out of it, and I can just about type these notes without recovery breaks. It is far from easy, but I am able to sit up in my chair again without hunching forwards. Gradually I am integrating back into the normality around me.

T+7:00 I am very much coming down; thank goodness. The dizzy inebriation can now be forced into the background with relative ease. I am quite stable again as I walk around, although I still feel generally woozy and not fully tuned back in to my surroundings, which have an unreal edge to them.

T+7:30 I note that time seems to have passed rather quickly. This has been an extremely long ride in terms of the continued psychoactivity of this drug, but it doesn’t seem like it. It has now evolved into a mild queasiness about the head and some disorientation, both physical and mental.

Throughout this, anxieties and worries have been generally absent. I might add though that there was a degree of anxiety at the peak in terms of the experience itself: this was worry about when I would recover and if I was actually okay. Yes, it was that intense.

The inebriated headiness is now mild but is constantly present, and at times it can still be sickly and nauseous. I believe that I could now pass as sober again in a complex social situation, but I would have to concentrate to do so.

T+8:00 The intensity continues to wind down, albeit very slowly. I am astonished that it hit so hard and I feel a significant degree of relief.

T+8:30 At 10:30pm I am closing in on my usual bedtime. I expect a difficult night’s sleep, not on the basis of the current effects of the drug, but because I slept for over two hours from 4pm.

Despite several wake-ups with a dry mouth, the night’s sleep wasn’t too bad. The next morning, however, I was still not fully with it and although I wasn’t ill, I was not particularly well. I felt like I had a hangover but without the headache, and I was occasionally slightly dizzy and a tad nauseous. A sea-sickness-like feeling lingered for most of the day.

This one was a shock. I clearly took far too much and paid a price in terms of a strong intoxication which at times was extremely uncomfortable. I found myself struggling for some hours, hoping that the ride would wind down and end. Clearly a dose of 300mg or less would have been more than adequate.

Although this was a bad experience, it was an instructive one, from which the lessons are self-evident. If you use this drug be very careful with the dose, and of course don’t make a habit of it. It can bite, and not in a pleasant way.


Subsequent to this experience I took the trouble to further investigate the track record of this drug. What I found was alarming. Despite having only appeared relatively recently, the rate of fatality associated with its use was on a steep upward trajectory.

The following graph illustrates the number of cases in which pregabalin was mentioned on death certificates in England & Wales for the period to the end of 2017:

[Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK]

[Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK]

The message could hardly be more obvious, and it re-enforces my words above. This is a serious drug and should not be underestimated.