Generic Lyrica Cost And Reviews
What Is Lyrica Price?
America is very expensive. If you pay cash for the drug, each pill is about 16 dollars. It means a cost somewhere in excess of $400 - $450 a month.
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This drug Lyrica contributes about 10% of all the revenue of the giant pharmaceutical company called Pfizer. Since they've been marketing the drug for in excess of ten years, they've had multiple price increases in the drug. And as we get closer to patent expiration in 2018, we're probably going to find more.
What is Lyrica Medication?
Lyrica is very important because it's advertised so frequently. A question is does it work for its intended purposes and how much does it cost?
Well, Lyrica is an anticonvulsant used for certain kind of minor forms of epilepsy, but more importantly, it's used for neuropathic pain. The pain that you get with fibromyalgia or the pain associated with the aftermath of shingles the post herpetic neuralgia. And also the pain that diabetics frequently get especially involving the feet diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
In Europe it is used as a medicine to help you sleep and for generalized anxiety disorder. Now it's a testimony to big advertising and big pharma.
The drug was approved in 2004 and by 2008 it already was selling revenue excess of a billion dollars and by 2011 almost 4 billion dollars and in 2014 more than 5 billion dollars.
The drug company behind it, Pfizer, has spent more than a billion dollars on direct to consumer advertising. So, each year it spends more than hundred million dollars on advertising for Lyrica as a treatment for fibromyalgia. Another hundred million dollars for the use in treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
The drug was developed by a chemist at Northwestern University in Chicago. And again, to show you how much money is involved in some of these drugs the school got well in excess of the billion dollars for its role in this drug. They just recently sold some rights for about 700 million dollars.
What do we know about the drug itself? General Information
You can take it with food. It is excreted unchanged in the urine. The drug isn't bound to the plasma proteins. That is why we don't have to worry about the drug interactions. However, since the drug is depressant for the central nervous system, we do have to be a little bit careful drinking alcohol or taking an opioids like hydrocodone or oxycodone as well as be careful taking a benzodiazepine - central nervous system depressant so for sleep or for anxiety.
If you have diabetes and diabetic peripheral neuropathy, you take the drug, you should start off at a dose of 50 milligrams 3 times a day and increase that after a week to about a 100 milligrams 3 times a day. It is the optimal dose as long as your kidneys seem to function normally.
Usually, you're going to start to see improvement within a week. However, you have to realize - this is not a drug that's going to give you complete elimination of your pain, it's going to make the pain more tolerable, that's all it will do.
Lyricy Review - How Effective Is the Drug?
It is a drug that works a little bit. So, how much is a little bit? Well, if we look at people who have diabetic peripheral neuropathy, how many people are going to get a hundred percent improvement of the pain, complete elimination of the pain? Less than 1 person in 10.
How about 70 percent improvement in the pain? One person in five. Well, how about at least the 50% reduction in the pain - less than half of the people taking Lyrica going to get 50% improvement in the pain. And if you take a higher dose you get more side-effects, it won't work any better. If you take a lower dose, it won't work at all.
The number of people who have to be treated to get at least one person who has 50% reduction in the pain, we got to treat five people at least. That's not all that great.
How about with fibromyalgia? The situation is even worse. So, if we look at fibromyalgia for a 20% improvement of the pain 50% of the people - that's what they're going to get.
If we look at post herpetic neuralgia, 50% of the people only going to get maybe about a 20 or 30% reduction in the pain.
Thus, the drug doesn't seem to be nearly as effective as its advertised. As a matter of fact, in a recent study it was found that for diabetic peripheral neuropath you couldn't tell the difference between the people taking Lyrica and the people taking a placebo. They seem to both receive the same amount of benefit.
What you also have to realize is that if we look at the pain relief associated with Lyrica, it's not going to be very significant. And a significant number of people taking any dose of the medicine are going to receive either trivial or no benefit.
Lyrica Side Effects
People taking Lyrica may have some side effects. Probably 30 or 40 % of people who take the drug are going to complain of dizziness and sleepiness.
They're going to have difficulty driving - going to be unsafe to drive. It is going to continue in about a third of those people until they stop taking the drug.
A significant number are going to develop some angioedema, swelling of the head and neck, especially, if they happen to be taking an ACE inhibitor for their blood pressure.
Hypersensitivity reactions are also frequent. These include hives, wheezing and shortness of breath.
We are going to find a significant number of people, about 1 in 11, who are going to gain in excess of 7 % of their body weight. So, they're going to get heavier. That's not the greatest thing, obviously, if you're a type 2 diabetic and you're already heavy to begin with.
We also know a significant number of people going to complain blurred vision.
As a matter of fact, a lot of the people going to stop taking the drug because of the side effects. Among the people who have diabetic peripheral neuropathy 1 and 11 are going to stop taking the drug. In case of fibromyalgia, 1 in 5 people 20% of the people going to stop taking the drug because of side effects or because it doesn't work. In case of postherpetic neuralgia problem about 1 person in 7 going to stop taking the drug.
Some of the people taking the drug we're going to have suicidal ideation and suicidal thoughts. The significant number going to develop peripheral edema especially not related to either a vascular disease or high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, kidney disease or liver disease.
You have to be careful if you're taking either Avandia or Actos, because that seems to make the situation worse.
If you take the drug and then begin to stop taking it, stop it too abruptly, you could have an increase in seizure disorder if you haven't had seizures.
Soome of the people taking the drug going to have a lack of coordination, loss of sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, muscle cramps, constipation, dry mouth.
Some of the people going to develop inflammation of the pancreas pancreatitis. The blood pressure is going to be changed.
And we're going to find the decrease in the ability of some of the white cells to fight infection.
It seems that you can develop a dependence on this particular drug.
If you stop taking the drug, you're going to have withdrawal symptoms same kind of symptoms you might have if you stop taking a narcotic. You are going to have nausea, diarrhea, headache, insomnia and anxiety. You are also going to perspire a lot.
You can abuse Lyrica, especially, because it seems that some people taking the drug develop a euphoria.
How Does Lyrica Work?
There a variety of mechanisms of action of the drug seems to work on some of the neurotransmitters. Exactly which one and which ones the most important we don't really know.
Unfortunately, there haven't really been any studies comparing Lyrica to other drugs to see which is more appropriate, which provides better relief. The little studies that have been done aren't very complementary to Lyrica.
Lyrica Generic Alternatives
There are a variety of alternatives for all of these different disorders like fibromyalgia, the diabetic peripheral neuropathy and post herpetic neuralgia.
We have lots of different treatments. Some of them good, some of them not as good, but none of them seem to be as expensive. For instance, if we were taking Gabapentin that would cost somewhere less than $30 a month. If you take Cymbalta, which is also approved for the for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, you can take the generic for about $22 a month instead of $450 a month.
The generic antidepressants you could take for somewhere between 1 and 10 dollars a month.
You have to realize we have a lot of different medicines available with a lot of other kind of therapies too. For example, lidocaine patches that can be applied.
You can also use Isis spray which is applied on the skin. Lots of different choices - is Lyrica the best?
Well, it certainly is the most heavily advertised. It's the one that has the most appearance on the television. However, just because everyone is familiar with the drug, unfortunately, it doesn't mean that the drug is very good. At least in the case of Lyrica we can do better.