A new study has found that Lyrica (generic: pregabalin), a medication frequently prescribed for pain, is no more effective than a placebo for treating sciatica, a common source of pain in the lower back and leg.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one was born with a birth defect you feel may have been caused by Lyrica, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
March 24, 2017 – The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), found that sciatica patients improved to the same degree whether they were given Lyrica or a dummy drug. Researchers also found no differences for other outcomes such as back pain, quality of life, and degree of disability.
Researchers tested 209 sciatica patients after 8 weeks of therapy and then again at the 52-week mark, and volunteers were just as likely to report improvement whether they received Lyrica or a placebo.
The average pain intensity on a 0 to 10 scale was 3.7 with Lyrica and 3.1 with placebo after 8 weeks of therapy. The test subjects started out with pain levels of 6.3 and 6.1, respectively.
After 1 year, the average leg-pain intensity score was 3.4 with Lyrica and 3.0 with placebo, the study found. However, the Lyrica group reported more side effects, with 227 adverse events reported compared to 124 with placebo. Dizziness was the biggest complaint among Lyrica users.
“The lack of benefit and increased risk of harm provides a strong case to not use this medicine in patients for sciatica,” said lead researcher Dr. Christine Lin of the University of Sydney.
Lyrica Birth Defects
In addition to the negligible effects of Lyrica for the treatment of sciatica, Lyrica has been linked to birth defects when taken during pregnancy. A study published in the journal Neurology in May 2016 looked at pregnancy outcomes following the maternal use of Lyrica. The researchers collected data in 7 countries from 164 pregnant women who took Lyrica and a control group of 656 expecting mothers who did not use the drug. They found that Lyrica users were 3 times more likely to give birth to babies with major congenital defects compared to women in the control group.
“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.”
Do I Have a Lyrica Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Lyrica lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new birth defects cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if your child was harmed by Lyrica side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.