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Pregabalin (Lyrica) and gabapentin are both anticonvulsant medications that are used for managing pain, such as nerve pain. While they both have the ability to provide relief, there are some differences between them. What is the difference between pregabalin vs gabapentin? The following provides a comparison of these medications.

Pregabalin

Pregabalin is an anticonvulsant medication that is sold under the brand name Lyrica and is a controlled substance (schedule V).

Uses

Pregabalin is used for treating seizure disorders and neuropathic or nerve pain. This medication has other uses as well, such as pain management for fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathy. Off-label uses include treatment for anxiety symptoms.

Contraindications

Pregabalin is contraindicated in individuals who have a hypersensitivity to this medication or its components. Hypersensitivity reactions that have occurred include hives, wheezing, rash, and skin redness.

Gabapentin

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication that is sold under the brand names Neurontin, Horizant, and Gralise.

Uses

Gabapentin is used for treating seizure disorders and nerve pain. This medication has other uses as well, such as pain management for shingles. Off-label uses include treatment for anxiety symptoms.

Contraindications

Gabapentin is contraindicated in individuals who have hypersensitivity to this medication or its components, which can cause fever and other symptoms that could become severe.

Pregabalin vs Gabapentin — What is the Difference?

Pregabalin and gabapentin can both provide relief from pain and be effective ways to manage seizure disorders. However, it’s important to consider the differences between them. Pregabalin is more rapidly absorbed compared to gabapentin, which has a slower absorption rate. However, the oral bioavailability of gabapentin is more variable than the oral bioavailability of pregabalin. Both of these medications have slightly different mechanisms of action aswell. While some studies have shown better effectiveness and a lower incidence of adverse effects with pregabalin, other studies found different results.


A 2018 randomized clinical trial found that gabapentin provided more effective pain relief than pregabalin for those with chronic sciatica. Gabapentin was also found to have fewer adverse effects than pregabalin in these individuals. A 2020 study found that there were no significant differences between these medications in terms of effectiveness and adverse effects when used to treat neuropathic pain caused by spinal cord injuries.

Pregabalin is also a controlled substance (schedule V.)

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