Free,confidential and impartial advice from a clinician on all aspects of pregabalin addiction,treatment, admission, therapy,counselling, detox, cost and availability.


Days 1-7

During the first week of withdrawal the key signs are heightened anxiety and a rapid period of depression: Sometimes suicidal thinking. Also, on the first day it is common to see excessive sweating and the user may report very severe headaches as well as clouded thinking. This can be alongside very poor appetite or an inability to eat anything, at all. Where someone suddenly stops taking Pregabalin, it is not uncommon to for the user to encounter hallucinations, delirium and even a period of psychosis.

Aside from these symptoms there can be some, rather unpleasant, physical symptoms not unlike a bad case of the flu:

Loose stools

Feeling sick

Muscle cramps


Feeling very tired and sleeping excessively

During days one to four the symptoms will worsen but should then level off and reduce. For the remainder of the first week, it is not uncommon for the following symptoms to show:

Disturbed sleep (excessive sleeping and or lack of sleep)


Heightened anxiety

Chronic sudden depression with possible suicidal thinking

Loss of energy and interest in work/social activities

High blood pressure

Fast pulse

Physical symptoms as above (loose stools,feeling sick,excessive sweating)

Inability to concentrate

Feeling angry and irritable

Red flag symptoms:


Psychosis (very rare )

Confusion and delirium

Seizures (very rare)

Very strong cravings to take Pregabalin ​

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Days 8-14

Week two should, ordinarily, be easier than the 1st week. Some acute symptoms may still present themselves but usually are far less acute than days 1-7. As such, the risk of seizures, hallucinations and psychosis, usually, has passed. There may be some continued flu like symptoms but should, by now, be leveling off. There may still be some high blood pressure and fast pulse but this should start to subside. However, while the physical symptoms have started to drop off, the psychological symptoms may not have subsided. Indeed, because the person feels, physically better, they can start to overthink the psychological aspects of withdrawal.

Week two symptoms are characterized by:


Heightened anxiety

Low mood (with or without suicidal ideation)

Excessive tiredness

Poor appetite

Disorganized thinking

Poor experience of pleasurable activities

Strong cravings for Pregabalin

head in hands


Days 15-21

Week three should allow the user to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Physical symptoms should, by now, have tapered off, if not gone altogether. Psychological discomfort should also start to dissipate.

Days 24 and beyond

For some, there may be some residual symptoms from week four, onwards. ​ These can include:

Continued nightmares


Lingering anxiety

Being irritable

Continued depression and suicidal thinking

Continued cravings for Pregabalin

For some, these symptoms could continue for many months.

As to whether or not someone does experience symptoms, and their intensity can depend on many factors, which can include:

The amount of Pregabalin used

Mental health challenges

Length of time used for

Underlying physical health conditions (especially those which affect a persons kidney function)

Bearded tired exhausted wearing casual checkered shirt is feelin

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Benefits of residential treatment

As with all admissions, a comprehensive and holistic pre-admission assessment, carried out by an experienced clinician in addictions can help to frame a comprehensive and effective treatment plan. Information sharing between the center and the patients GP (with permission) may be necessary, in some cases.

For the first few days, close medical monitoring, with appropriately trained and experienced staff will help to minimize any potential medical emergencies. As soon as the user is physically able to do so, a fully immersive therapy programme is provided. This is either using a 12 STEP approach or a SMART model: It matters not. Alongside this there are other bolt on therapies that are normally available to those in treatment such as:

Art therapy


Music therapy

Gentle exercise/group walks


Individual therapy (for those staying in treatment for more than seven days)

Effective discharge planning starts from pre-admission and it is important for the person seeking treatment to be linked in, before leaving treatment, with local support groups as well as, if appropriate, statutory services.

Not all treatment centers are the same and not every person seeking treatment will find every centre a good fit. Like with all healthcare services, there is choice. Firstly, it is essential that anyone looking to book into a centre ensures that there is current registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) . There may also be inspection reports. Always check with the CQC : independently.

Costs vary between centers but that does not mean that a more expensive centre is necessary. Paul has worked, as a clinician, in a wide range of centers and has an excellent relationship with all the established service providers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Unsurprisingly, we get asked a lot of questions, to make things easier for you, we have included some of the most common one below.

  • What is Pregabalin?

    Pregabalin is from a class of prescribed medications known as Gabapentinoids. These have been around since the 1970’s while researchers were looking to find new ways to treat neurological disorders. Gabapentin was devised through the results of this research as anti convulsant. Pregabalin, while being very similar, is absorbed by the body much more quickly. Furthermore, unlike with Gabapentin, if you increase the dose, it will increase the effect.

  • What is it used for?

    Pregabalin can be prescribed for peripheral and central neuropathic pain and can also be used, as an adjunctive treatment for focal seizures and, more commonly, generalized anxiety disorder. It becomes addictive because of the intense feeling of calmness it provides. Furthermore, when someone stops taking it, withdrawal symptoms can occur. It is never advisable to stop taking Pregabalin suddenly: This can be incredibly dangerous. Where this does occur the following symptoms can present:

    * Nausea

    * Headaches

    * Heightened anxiety

    * Excessive sweating

    * Insomnia

    * Seizures (although there is very little clinical research to support this)

    Pregabalin has a short half life of about six hours, this means that, six hours after taking it, it’s effectiveness is reduced by 50%. As such symptoms will begin to develop within 12 hours.

  • How is pregabalin addiction treated in a residential treatment centre?

    As with all effective admissions and successful periods of treatment, a comprehensive , and holistic, per-admission assessment is needed. It may be necessary to share information from the clients GP and/or hospital team.

    If the person seeking treatment had been taking Pregabalin for sometime, on a regular basis then a tapering regime is the mainstay of treatment. A reduction rate of around 50-100MG a week is normally recommended but does not have to be set in stone. What is more important is that the person in treatment comes down safely, in a welcoming, therapeutic environment where they receive a high level of medical care and the appropriate therapeutic input.

    All centers operate either a twelve step based therapeutic programme, based on the tenants of Narcotics Anonymous or a SMART based model. This is also alongside other adjunctive therapies such as:

    * art therapy

    * Music therapy

    * Yoga

    * Mindfulness

    * Exercise

    * individual therapy sessions (for those staying more than a week)

    Other adjunctive medications may also be offered to help with some of the physical symptoms and sleep issues, but should be on an “as and when” basis and for no longer than two weeks: maximum.

    Aside from the medical intervention, a crucial element of going into treatment is to build up a mental toolkit of techniques and resilience so as to prevent relapse. Effective discharge planning starts before admission and links can be made with local support groups , such as NA and SMART, and also locally commissioned statutory services. In addition, all centers offer a minimum of twelve months aftercare.

    Same day admission can be arranged, but is not always the most optimal approach. Getting admitted to the right centre where the appropriate level of medical and therapeutic care can be given is the key to getting into recovery.

    NB: Rapid detox from Pregabalin is neither safe or recommended.

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