Gabapentin (Neurontin) vs. Lyrica (Pregabalin)

What's the Difference?

Gabapentin (Neurontin) and Lyrica (Pregabalin) are both medications commonly used to treat neuropathic pain, seizures, and certain types of nerve-related conditions. They belong to the same class of drugs called gabapentinoids and work by binding to specific receptors in the brain to reduce the transmission of pain signals. While they have similar mechanisms of action, there are some differences between the two. Lyrica is considered to be more potent than Gabapentin, meaning that lower doses of Lyrica may be required to achieve the same therapeutic effect. Additionally, Lyrica has a more predictable absorption rate and a longer half-life, allowing for less frequent dosing compared to Gabapentin. However, Gabapentin is available in generic form, making it a more cost-effective option for some patients. Ultimately, the choice between Gabapentin and Lyrica depends on individual patient factors and the specific condition being treated.


AttributeGabapentin (Neurontin)Lyrica (Pregabalin)
Brand NameNeurontinLyrica
Generic NameGabapentinPregabalin
Drug ClassAnticonvulsantAnticonvulsant
IndicationsSeizures, neuropathic painNeuropathic pain, fibromyalgia
Mode of ActionUnknownUnknown
Available Strengths100mg, 300mg, 400mg25mg, 50mg, 75mg, 100mg, 150mg, 200mg, 225mg, 300mg
Common Side EffectsDizziness, drowsiness, fatigueDizziness, drowsiness, weight gain
ContraindicationsHypersensitivity to gabapentinHypersensitivity to pregabalin

Further Detail


Gabapentin (Neurontin) and Lyrica (Pregabalin) are both medications commonly prescribed to treat various neurological conditions. While they belong to the same class of drugs and share some similarities, they also have distinct attributes that set them apart. This article aims to provide a comprehensive comparison of the attributes of Gabapentin and Lyrica, highlighting their similarities and differences.

Mechanism of Action

Gabapentin and Lyrica both belong to the class of drugs known as anticonvulsants or anti-epileptics. They work by binding to specific calcium channels in the central nervous system, reducing the release of certain neurotransmitters involved in pain signaling. By modulating the activity of these neurotransmitters, both medications help to alleviate pain and control seizures.

Approved Uses

Gabapentin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of partial seizures, postherpetic neuralgia (nerve pain following shingles), and restless legs syndrome. It is also commonly prescribed off-label for various other conditions, including neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and migraines.

Lyrica, on the other hand, is approved for the treatment of various conditions, including fibromyalgia, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, and partial onset seizures. It is also prescribed off-label for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD).


Gabapentin is available in immediate-release and extended-release formulations. The immediate-release formulation reaches peak plasma concentrations within 2-3 hours, while the extended-release formulation achieves peak levels within 7-8 hours. Gabapentin has a half-life of approximately 5-7 hours and is primarily excreted unchanged in the urine.

Lyrica, on the other hand, is rapidly absorbed after oral administration, with peak plasma concentrations occurring within 1 hour. It has a longer half-life of approximately 6-7 hours and is excreted primarily through renal elimination. Lyrica is available in immediate-release capsules and as an oral solution.

Side Effects

Both Gabapentin and Lyrica share some common side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, peripheral edema (swelling of the extremities), and weight gain. However, there are also some differences in the side effect profiles of these medications.

Gabapentin may cause more frequent side effects such as ataxia (lack of muscle coordination), fatigue, and nystagmus (involuntary eye movement). It is also associated with a higher incidence of somnolence (excessive sleepiness) compared to Lyrica.

Lyrica, on the other hand, has a higher likelihood of causing cognitive impairment, including difficulties with concentration and memory. It may also lead to more significant weight gain compared to Gabapentin.

Drug Interactions

Both Gabapentin and Lyrica can interact with other medications, potentially affecting their efficacy or increasing the risk of side effects. It is important to inform healthcare providers about all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, being taken.

Gabapentin may interact with drugs that affect renal function, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and diuretics. It may also enhance the sedative effects of opioids and benzodiazepines.

Lyrica, on the other hand, may interact with drugs that cause central nervous system depression, such as opioids and benzodiazepines. It may also increase the concentration of certain medications, such as oxycodone and lorazepam, in the blood.

Abuse Potential

While both Gabapentin and Lyrica are generally considered safe and have a low potential for abuse, there have been reports of misuse and addiction associated with these medications.

Gabapentin, although not classified as a controlled substance, has been increasingly abused recreationally, particularly in combination with opioids. It can produce euphoria and enhance the effects of other substances.

Lyrica, on the other hand, is classified as a Schedule V controlled substance in the United States due to its potential for abuse and dependence. It has been reported to produce psychoactive effects and may be misused by individuals seeking its sedative or anxiolytic properties.


Gabapentin (Neurontin) and Lyrica (Pregabalin) are both valuable medications in the treatment of various neurological conditions. While they share similarities in their mechanism of action and approved uses, they also have distinct attributes that differentiate them. Understanding the similarities and differences between Gabapentin and Lyrica can help healthcare providers make informed decisions when prescribing these medications, ensuring optimal patient outcomes.

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