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Is It Safe to Combine Pregabalin and Alcohol?

By Rebecca Harkin
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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It is moderately safe to combine pregabalin and alcohol when the consumption of alcohol is limited and infrequent. The biggest concern over the combination of pregabalin and alcohol is that the combination may cause central nervous system depression. Blending these two drugs may also hamper comprehension, good decision making, and fine and gross motor skills. Pregabalin is typically prescribed to treat fibromyagia, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and shingles.

When a patient first begins to take pregabalin, the physician will frequently advise the patient to not consume any alcohol. Once the patient is used to the drug, then alcohol, in small amounts and once in a while, can be tested. Activities requiring fine and gross motor control, such as driving, should not be done until the impact of pregabalin and alcohol on the nervous system can be evaluated. Large quantities of alcohol should, however, never be consumed in combination with pregabalin.

Depression of the central nervous system is the greatest danger of mixing two or more depressants, such as pregabalin and alcohol. Central nervous system depression involves the physiological shutting down of the nerves controlling heart rate and breathing. This impairment, if left untreated, can lead to unconsciousness, blackouts, or coma and even death.

Combining pregabalin and alcohol may also impair a patient’s understanding of what is going on around him. These two drugs may also severely dull mental processes. The combination of poor comprehension and sluggish mental processing can result in careless and dangerous decision making.

Together, pregabalin and alcohol can also interfere with fine and gross motor skills. This can make driving, biking, and swimming very dangerous while using alcohol in combination with pregabalin. Accidents and injuries can be a real hazard when these two depressants are mingled.

Alcohol is not the only drug that should not be combined with pregabalin. Any depressant, such as a barbiturate, often used as recreational drugs or benzodiazepines, used to treat anxiety disorders or sleep problems, should not be combined with pregabalin. Patients should inform their doctors when either of these types of drugs are being used before taking pregabalin or risk severe depression of the central nervous system.

Pregabalin is a drug primarily used to treat painful nerve damage that is associated with fibromyalgia, diabetes, and shingles. Some of the side effects of this drug include fatigue, nausea, and gastrointestinal problems. Patients may also experience difficulty focusing, confusion, and dizziness. Pregabalin may be habit forming, and the long-term use of this drug should be closely monitored by the patient’s physician.

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Discussion Comments
By donasmrs — On Jul 25, 2013

@MikeMason-- I'm on pregabalin too and I've noticed that some types of alcohol make me very sick when I'm on this drug, like wine.

So if you want to drink, just be careful and sip your drink slowly so that you can take notice of any adverse side effects.

Everyone is different and has different tolerance levels when it comes to alcohol and medications. So you have to figure out if alcohol is safe for you on pregabalin and if so, which type and how much. Also make sure that you have a friend with you who can take you home or to the hospital in case things go wrong.

By SarahGen — On Jul 24, 2013

@MikeMason-- Doctor's advise not to drink alcohol in the beginning because they want the patient to adjust to the medication first.

But if you've adjusted to the medication, if you're not raising your dose and if you don't have any side effects, you can definitely enjoy an occasional drink.

Both my doctor and my pharmacist said that it's okay to have a beer or a glass of wine occasionally. They said that the main issue is binge-drinking and obviously that has to be avoided.

By stoneMason — On Jul 24, 2013

I didn't know that alcohol can sometimes be taken with pregabalin. My doctor said not to take alcohol and the same is written on my medication bottle.

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