Lyrica (pregabalin) is an anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant. It is used to treat pain caused by nerve damage due to diabetes or shingles (herpes zoster) infection, and is commonly prescribed to patients with epilepsy, fibromyalgia and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
In May 2016, Neurology published a study investigating 164 pregnant women in 7 countries who used Lyrica. The study found major birth defects were 3-times more common in babies exposed to Lyrica, compared to 656 pregnant women who did not use Lyrica. The study also found a 6-fold increased risk of Central Nervous System (CNS) defects (e.g., spina bifida, anencephaly, and encephalocele), which occurred in 3.2% of Lyrica-exposed babies compared to 0.5% of non-exposed babies.
“The significant increase in the rate of malformations observed in this study presently implies that pregabalin prescription be avoided whenever possible during pregnancy,” said Ursula Winterfeld, lead author of the study. “In patients of childbearing age, effective contraception should be advised when prescribing pregabalin, and its indication must be carefully re-examined in cases of desired or established unexpected pregnancy.”
If you or a loved one have taken Lyrica during pregnancy and had a child born with birth defects, you may have legal rights you need to protect. Contact us online or call 1-866-252-3535.