New advice on pregabalin and risks during pregnancy

6 May 2022

New government advice has been released about possible risks during pregnancy for people taking the medication pregabalin.  

The advice says that taking pregabalin while you are pregnant may slightly increase your baby’s chances of being born with physical abnormalities.  

The risk is low, but if you are taking pregabalin you should talk to your prescriber. If you are buying and using pregabalin illicitly, please make an appointment with your doctor or contact one of our services locally for more advice. They will give you advice and guidance on making sure you and your baby are safe and healthy. 

Please do not stop taking any medication without talking to your prescriber first.  

Pregabalin is a medication used to treat nerve pain, anxiety, and some types of epilepsy. It sometimes comes with the brand names Lyrica, Alzain, Axalid, and Lecaent.  

The government advice also includes: 

  • If you’re taking pregabalin, you should continue to use contraception  
  • If you’re planning to have a baby and you are taking pregabalin, talk to your healthcare provider before you stop using contraception  
  • If you think you’re pregnant and you are taking pregabalin, talk to your prescriber for more advice 

Peter Furlong, our Harm Reduction Lead, said:


It’s important that we let the people who use our services know of any new or revised risks associated with pregabalin during pregnancy as soon as we are aware of any new information.   

If someone is prescribed Pregabalin for reasons such as nerve pain, anxiety, or epilepsy the important thing to remember is that any risk of physical birth abnormalities in the baby is very low. We would however advise the person to make an appointment with their prescriber to talk about their own situation. 

If someone finds themselves using pregabalin that isn’t directly prescribed to them, we would welcome them getting in touch with our services so that we can offer support and advice instead of them stopping suddenly.”  

You can read the government’s advice in full here. 

You can find the details of your local service here.