Citation: Panopticon. "Long-Term Use and High Dosages: An Experience with Pregabalin (exp106317)". Erowid.org. Nov 21, 2019. erowid.org/exp/106317
I have experience both with long-term use, withdrawal and high dosages of this drug. I've been using pregabalin at 600mg/day for 1.5 years now. Any euphoric feelings from this dosage disappears quickly. The anxiolytic effect, however, remains. This report mostly describes a specific instance of a 2,100 mg total dose spread over twelve hours, but with references to earlier experiences from 600 to 3,000 milligrams.
With no tolerance, 600mg in my experience is strongly mood-lifting and has anxiolytic effects equivalent to a low dose of a benzodiazepine. However, after using it daily for a while, this dosage just makes me feel normal
after using it daily for a while, this dosage just makes me feel normal
. In order to experience recreational effects, I have to up the dosage significantly. The highest dose I've tried is around 3 grams. This is ten times the medically recommended maximum dosage (300mg morning and night).
The interesting thing about this drug is that, at higher dosages, it has a little bit of everything. It shares some features of dissociatives, painkillers, anxiolytics, stimulants, and empathogens. It takes about one hour to kick in, up to two hours for full effect. This experience was with a substantial tolerance from daily use, and would absolutely not be recommended for a beginner. The timeline is unclear, although, as mentioned, the effects become apparant around the one hour mark, and reach a peak that lasts a few hours from two hours after ingestion.
It really kicks in around the two hour mark (first effects felt after 45-60 minutes). Anxiety is completely repressed at this dosage. No worries at all. There is a strong, pleasant body buzz, like energy running through my veins continually. This is an effect I used to get at 600-900 mg, but must now take ridicuolous doses to achieve. Mood is terrific, and reaches euphoric heights. I lie down and revel in the feeling, the body buzz, everything. As I close my eyes, I have closed-eye hallucinations. These are not fully formed, but are definitely not the same as simply closing my eyes sober and watching phosphenes. Colors bloom into patterns. When I lie down and think of nothing, I drift into a semi-conscious state between sleep and wakefulness. Daydreams become vivid, visual experiences. Thoughts follow dream logic, and I become absorbed in the often absurd, dreamlike scenarios. Like a dream, the memory of specifics fades quickly, so I can't tell you exactly what I saw and thought, but suffice to say it was very dreamy, and very pleasant. At no point was I actually asleep, just in this weird state in-between. I have never tried potent opioids, but from experience reports, I gather this is similar to the ideal 'nod', although the feeling is not one of overwhelming sleepiness, but rather a voluntary effect when lying down and closing my eyes.
Some people have reported paradoxical seizure-like activity at high dosages. At normal doses, pregabalin is an antiepileptic. Personally, even at nearly 3,000 milligrams, I've never experienced this. However, I have experienced involuntary muscle tremors, especially in the legs, and this also holds for this experience. Lying in bed, my legs occasionally tense or move of their own accord. However, it doesn't feel like my whole body will go into a seizure, and it doesn't. After boosting my dose to a total of 2,100 milligrams, I briefly wonder if I took too much. I can feel my heart beating in my chest. However, I know that I've taken larger doses in the past with no serious adverse effects. And the worry-free nature of the drug, the euphoric heights I can reach, suppress any serious worries.
After a couple hours, I decide to go to the store to buy some cigarettes and potato chips. I wear glasses, and for some reason I decide to take them off and leave them at home when I go out. This already screws with my vision, but being high definitely doesn't help. I feel like flat roads actually go up and down, that I'm stepping on small bumps and depressions when I'm really walking on a flat surface. This is an effect I recognize from a previous mushroom trip. This could be simply due to taking off my vision and perspective correcting glasses, but one effect that's definitely due to the drug is the feeling that my body is floating about a feet above where it really is, walking on the road. I have to concentrate to walk normally, to really feel 'this is how you walk,' a normally automatic activity. Like alcohol, higher doses of pregabalin can cause drunk-like body discoordination, making it hard to walk, running into things, and so on. I have enough experience at this point that I can deal with it. I get my stuff and walk home.
From previous experiences, I know that pregabalin can cause a kind of hyperfocus akin to stimulants. I write several long forum posts while listening to music. There is nothing qualitatively different about the music; it's not like I can identify every layer at once, multitracking, like on psychedelics. It's just that my emotional response is heightened. Normally, I'm rather apathetic to most things. On pregabalin, I tear up about movies or tv shows I'd normally stare blankly at
On pregabalin, I tear up about movies or tv shows I'd normally stare blankly at
and not identify with the characters at all. I've also had intimate, highly emotional conversations with friends and family on pregabalin. This is what I would characterize as an empathogen-like effect.
I can't really afford to go out and drink. But I have this restless energy in my chest, I don't know what to do with myself, and I end up going out and drinking alone, and it doesn't take long before I've found some new friends of the kind that disappear when the night is over, but are your best friends until then. A typical night out for some, I'm sure, but I'm normally very introverted. Sadly, people like me better when I'm high as the sky, because I'm more open and take the initiative in social situations.
I end the night, after a couple beers (not enough to get more than slightly buzzed if not for the pregabalin), with an open-hearted conversation with one of my flatmates. He tells me that I'm a great guy once I open up, and I think, goddamn, why can't I be high on Lyrica all the time.
That about sums it up. Body buzz, at times hyperfocus, euphoria, heightened emotional responses and sociability, closed-eye visuals (much less detailed than psychedelics), vivid dream-like states between sleep and wakefulness at will, anxiety and worries evaporate for a few hours. Especially the dissociative effects do not occur at lower doses.
As mentioned above, I've been taking this medication for a year and a half daily. The indication is social anxiety, and although there are no euphoric feelings at my daily dose, the anxiety-relieving effects remain. Certainly no match for a high dose, but enough to function socially most of the time for a high-strung introvert. However, it comes at a price. Pregabalin has been touted as nonaddictive, which is a bald-faced lie. This drug has been hard to quit once I was hooked.
This drug has been hard to quit once I was hooked.
Tolerance shoots sky high quickly with daily use I've tried going cold turkey from 600mg/day several times. 24-36 hours after my last dose, I start to really feel it. Fever, hot and cold flashes, extreme anxiety, panic attacks, depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation. I feel like a useless piece of shit, a being that should not exist in the world. The longest I've lasted is four days, after which I wanted to kill myself and restarted my usual regimen. I'm currently using it, not exactly as prescribed, but rather at 1x600 mg instead of 2x300 mg per day. At this dose, I'm functional during the day, although I can feel it in the morning, the start of withdrawal, and it takes me an hour to get on the right keel.
For recreational purposes, taken only occasionally, this is an incredible drug. In my experience, there are very few side effects even at very high doses, and no noticeable comedown. It simply fades away, like benzodiazepines, which I also used daily for a period of time, and eventually got off. The high is unique in the sense that it combines elements from basically every class of recreational drugs, but is none of them. It has depressant qualities, and formally may be a depressant, but subjectively it is not. It has empathogenic qualities, but not to the extent of a true empathogen. It shares certain similarities with stimulants.
The unique mechanism of action, shared only with one drug, gabapentin, which in many senses is an inferior version of pregabalin, is probably to be credited or blame for this odd but pleasant profile. This is an underappreciated drug. Only now, after years of generous prescription practice, are doctors catching on to its addictive potential. And recreational users barely have it on their radar. Perhaps they should, and perhaps doctors should be more on alert about dependence and addiction.
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