Pregabalin is another popular drug marketed by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The United States’ Food and Drug Administration approved the drug the same year Neurontin came to the US. Unlike Gabapentin, the Drug Enforcement Agency regulates Pregabalin as a Schedule V drug. (1)
A group of Japanese scientists discovered Gabapentin as early as 40 years ago. Afterwards, Parke-Davis introduced it in the United States back in 2004 under the trade name Neurontin. Ever since, Parke-Davis’s parent company Pfizer considers Neurontin as one of its best selling drugs.
Uses of Pregabalin and Gabapentin
First of all, Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant and an anti-epileptic medication. Hence, it can treat epilepsy as well as nerve pain from shingles by altering the neurotransmitters in the brain. Furthermore, this affects nerves in the body by regulating the electrical impulses that are sent by the brain.
On the other hand, Pregabalin, also known as Lyrica, is closely related to Gabapentin. Like the latter, it is also an anti-epileptic medication. However, Pregabalin has been proven to cure more diseases than Gabapentin. Aside from nerve pain caused by shingles, it can also treat pain that resulted from diabetes, spinal cord injury, and fibromyalgia.
Evidently, being a cure for a wider range of diseases, Pregabalin proves to be the more superior drug between the two. However, before deciding which of the two you should take, there are several variables that you should consider.
What are the Side Effects of Pregabalin and Gabapentin?
As they are closely related, Pregabalin and Gabapentin share some similar uses and side effects. Listed below are some of the common side effects that both drugs share:
- Chest pain and/or trouble breathing
- Mood behavior and depression
- Muscle Pain
- Vision Problems
- Problems with memory and/or concentration
Unique Side Effects of Pregabalin (2)
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Swelling in your hands or feet
- Rapid weight gain
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Breast swelling
- Dry mouth
Unique Side Effects of Gabapentin (3)
- Increased seizures
- Severe weakness or tiredness
- Upper stomach pain
- Kidney problem
- Severe skin reaction
Price of Pregabalin Vs. Gabapentin
Due to its lower price, Gabapentin is the more attractive option between the two drugs. Hence, looking only at the per unit value of both drugs, it comes cheaper with the average price at $13.38 for 90 capsules or $0.1497 each. (4)
On the other hand, Pregabalin commands a higher price on the market. Buying a 75mg (60 capsules) bottle will cost you around $431.10. Hence, it costs $7.185 per capsule, which is almost 4,800 percent higher compared to Gabapentin. Noteworthy, more companies are expected to sell generic versions of the drug possibly lowering its prices for the public. (5)
Which Drug Is More Effective?
Studies have shown that Pregabalin to be more effective in treating neuropathic pain than Gabapentin. In fact, a lower dose of Pregabalin can cure the same sickness Gabapentin can with a higher dose due to its high absorption rate. Furthermore, its plasma concentrations increase linearly with the dose.
The same results appeared after comparing the two drugs in treating partial epilepsy. Results have shown that 150mg to 600mg of Pregabalin can be more effective than 900mg to 2400mg of Gabapentin. (6) (7)
Choosing between Pregabalin and Gabapentin should be done under the supervision of trained medical personnel. Additionally, avoid trying new drugs without first consulting a doctor or a physician. Lastly, taking these two drugs together can endanger your health if done improperly, so make sure always to consult your doctor.