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Many health experts assert that pregabalin is effective for treating the symptoms of general anxiety disorder. The drug was not originally intended for this purpose, however, as it is most often used for treating seizures and sometimes chronic pain. Its use for anxiety is referred to as off-label, and some doctors prescribe it because it doesn’t typically cause severe side effects and isn’t associated with a lot of harmful interactions with other medications.
General anxiety disorder is marked by anxiety symptoms that do not go away within a short period of time. Instead, they linger and begin to interfere with the affected person's normal routine and even decrease his quality of life. Worry that doesn’t go away is one of the typical symptoms of this type of anxiety as is worry that turns into obsession. A person with this disorder may also feel overly tired, struggle with restlessness, and develop an upset stomach, difficultly concentrating, irritability, and trouble sleeping. These symptoms, as well as shortness of breath and anxiety-related sweating, can often be treated by using pregabalin for anxiety.
The manner in which this drug works for anxiety isn’t fully clear to the medical community. Some studies, however, have compared it to placebos and found it more effective. The drug has also been compared to medications like alprazolam, which is frequently used in treating anxiety, and appears equally as effective. In fact, some studies have produced evidence that using pregabalin for anxiety results in faster anxiety symptom relief than a person might expect from alprazolam and some other commonly used drugs.
Safety is an another reason some doctors prescribe pregabalin for anxiety, as it doesn’t usually cause withdrawal symptoms, and most people can take it without experiencing serious side effects. This doesn’t mean that a person can always expect to take it without experiencing any unpleasant drug-related symptoms though. It can cause dizziness, and some people feel sleepy while taking it. Pregabalin can also cause a person to have trouble keeping his balance, concentrating, and remembering things. Additionally, the medication sometimes results in tremors and dry mouth symptoms.
Many people do take pregabalin for anxiety without even minor side effects. When they do develop, the most common minor effects include dizziness and excessive sleepiness. While not common, signs of an allergic reaction to this drug can be serious and warrant reporting to a doctor. Such signs can include hives and swelling of the throat and mouth. Some people may also experience breathing problems as an indication of an allergic reaction.