Which is better gabapentin or lyrica?

If you’ve ever suffered from chronic pain or seizures, chances are your doctor prescribed either gabapentin or lyrica to help alleviate your symptoms. These two drugs may seem interchangeable, but they have their differences. Let’s dive deep into the ring and see which one comes out as the real MVP.

Round 1: The Basics

Gabapentin, also known by its brand name Neurontin, is an anticonvulsant drug used primarily to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain. It works by reducing abnormal signals in the brain that cause seizures and relieves nerve pain by altering chemical processes within neurons.

On the other hand, Pregabalin, commonly called Lyrica, is a medication used for various conditions such as fibromyalgia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), neuropathic pain due to diabetic peripheral neuropathy or shingles (postherpetic neuralgia) or when trying to ignore your mother-in-law’s ranting over family dinner.

Round 2: Mechanism of Action

Both medications work similarly- inhibiting specific neurotransmitters in our central nervous system involved in causing convulsions and transmitting nerve impulses linked with chronic-pain disorders (those pesky little guys).

How does Gabapentin Work?

Taking Gabapentin binds itself preferentially onto a particular subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels found mostly at presynaptic terminals in areas like dorsal root ganglia (ganglions on nerves going towards spinal cord from muscles). By binding onto these channels it interferes with Voltage-dependent calcium entry triggering ‘release’ of calming neurotransmitters such as GABA (‘Gamma-Aminobutyric acid’) ^(best friend extraordinaire!) , subsequently decreasing neuronal excitability thus relieving allodynic/hyperalagesic pathways.

How Does Lyrica Work?

Pregabalin, on the other hand, is similar in how it works but has slight differences. It also binds to specific subunits of voltage-gated calcium channels (specifically the alpha2 delta-1 and alpha2-delta-2 subunits) present in the dorsal horn of spinal cord inhibiting neurotransmitter release thus reducing excitatory neurotransmission within our Central Nervous System (managing your anxiety levels like a boss).

Round 3: Efficacy

Studies have shown that gabapentin or Lyrica are more effective than placebo for treating neuropathic pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, and phantom limb pain. However,pregabalin is considered superior with its duration of relief and potency. In patients suffering from fibromyalgia-related pains though both drugs were found to be equally effective.

Both medicines are useful tools against seizures; however brivaracetam — a relative newcomer to anticonvulsant arena has become an alternative due to its limited interactions with other medications ^(you know what they say about newbies!)

Lyrica may appear as super-formidable (cue dramatic music) amongst medicines which quell all sorts of ailments such as general anxiety disorder (GAD), since it exerts a higher efficacy preventing occurrence-incidence rather than just ‘relief’ (not too shabby!)

Round 4: Side Effects

One important factor when comparing these two wonder drugs is their side effects profile. Side effects associated with Gabapentin include dizziness or vertigo, ataxia(loss of coordination)/ clumsiness , somnolence(drowsiness), headache & myalgia(muscle ache). There are some severe cases where one incurs mood changes or suicidal tendencies (we don’t mess around here!)

Side-effects relating with lyrica include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and constipation (ugh!) however between gabapentin vs Lyrica, most evidence shows that potassium-enhancing effect of Pregabalin may turn to slight increase in edema (swelling). Overall impacting few people overall compared to gabapentin side effects ^(Picking a winner are we?).

Round 5: Cost

When it comes down to the cost involved though; Gabapentin is hands-down less expensive. Being the older drug there is no denying that it takes the prize for being easier on your pocketbook! Although prices will be subject to variation with healthcare plans from place-to-place.

So who ultimately wins in this fight — gabapentin or lyrica?

The truth is everyone can win! It entirely depends on what you’re facing!

If dealing with something like epilepsy or neuropathic pain due to diabetic peripheral neuropathy- Gabapentin would be highly recommended due its calmer mechanism of action and more manageable price-point. Otherwise if suffering from cases like fibromyalgia-intensity type pains or GAD- opt for pregabalin instead as its relatively superior efficacy score might just hit-the-spot along with reducing probabilities of onset.

To end up concluding let’s say choosing either medication really depends on one’s personal requirements alongside their tolerability level towards certain side-effects! Just so long they don’t get labeled as being ‘pill-pals’ since both medications come from groups called γ-amino acids (look it up)!