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Drug vs. Drug

Lyrica vs Gabapentin: Main Differences and Similarities

Gerardo Sison medical writer headshot By | December 6, 2018

Lyrica and gabapentin are medications used for the management and treatment of neuropathic pain and partial onset seizures. Although these medications treat pain, Lyrica and gabapentin are grouped in a class of medications known as anticonvulsants. Their chemical structures are very similar to gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. Despite their similarities, they both differ in formulation and drug interactions.

Lyrica

Lyrica is the brand name for pregabalin. While Lyrica treats postherpetic neuralgia and partial onset seizures, it is also indicated for diabetic peripheral neuropathy and fibromyalgia. Therefore, Lyrica has a broader scope of treatment.

Lyrica has a bioavailability of over 90% and comes in oral capsules with strengths of 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 225 mg, and 300 mg. It is also formulated as a 20 mg/mL oral solution.

Gabapentin

Gabapentin is the generic name for Neurontin and Gralise. It is absorbed more slowly than Lyrica. Peak concentrations occur in the body approximately 3 hours after administration.

Its bioavailability is also less than that of Lyrica. This may make dosing more variable with regards to producing the desired effect. However, drug interactions are not a concern due to renal excretion.

Gabapentin comes in capsule and tablet formulations with strengths of 100 mg, 300 mg, 400 mg, 600 mg, and 800 mg. An oral solution is also available at 250 mg/5 mL.

Lyrica vs Gabapentin Side by Side Comparison

Lyrica and gabapentin are effective treatment options for neuropathic pain. However, due to their similarities and differences, important consideration should be taken to evaluate their effects. See below for an overview comparison.

Lyrica Gabapentin
Prescribed For
  • Neuropathic pain from diabetic peripheral neuropathy
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Adjunctive therapy for partial onset seizures
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Adjunctive therapy for partial onset seizures
Drug Classification
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Anticonvulsant
Manufacturer
  • Generic
Common Side Effects
  • Dizziness
  • Somnolence
  • Dry mouth
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight gain
  • Sleepiness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle pain/soreness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Somnolence
  • Dry mouth
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight gain
  • Sleepiness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle pain/soreness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Tremors
  • Fever
  • Viral infection
Is there a generic?
Is it covered by insurance?
  • Varies according to your provider
  • Varies according to your provider
Dosage Forms
  • Oral tablet, extended release
  • Oral capsule
  • Oral solution
  • Oral tablet
  • Oral capsule
  • Oral solution
Average Cash Price
  • $530 (per 60 tablets)
  • $104 (per 90 tablets)
SingleCare Discount Price
Drug Interactions
  • No significant drug interactions reported
  • Hydrocodone
  • Morphine
  • Antacids containing magnesium and aluminum hydroxide (Maalox)
Can I use while planning pregnancy, pregnant, or breastfeeding?
  • Lyrica is in Pregnancy Category C. Consult a physician regarding taking Lyrica while pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Gabapentin is in Pregnancy Category C. Consult a physician regarding taking gabapentin while pregnant or breastfeeding

Summary

Lyrica and gabapentin are very similar medications used to treat neuropathic pain. Although they are both anticonvulsants that have similar chemical structures, one may be preferred over the other.

Due to its versatility for different indications, Lyrica can be used to treat neuropathic pain in individuals with fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy. Its bioavailability and absorption characteristics also allow it to have lower doses needed to produce an effect compared to gabapentin. However, both Lyrica and gabapentin are reported to be equally effective.

This information is designed to be educational so that you can compare commonly prescribed medications. It is important to consult with a physician or healthcare provider when deciding what treatment option is best for you.