Lyrica is a very commonly prescribed medication that is used mainly to treat pain and seizures. If you’re reading this, you probably take Lyrica for one of these purposes.

But did you know that Lyrica can also be abused? The drug’s main active ingredient, pregabalin, has many characteristics that make it likely to be abused. 

Whether you are taking Lyrica for legitimate medical reasons or not, it is a good idea to know how long it lasts in your system. Drug tests can look for and detect past Lyrica use.

In this article, we will go over the factors that affect Lyrica’s lifetime in your body. Then we will tell you how long this drug remains detectable by certain lab tests. Keep reading for more!

How Long Do the Effects of Lyrica Last?

Lyrica is almost always taken by mouth. Once it reaches your digestive system, your stomach will begin to break down the drug and it will be absorbed into your bloodstream. 

Although the drug’s body and brain effects begin to work within about 30 minutes, you may need to take Lyrica for a week or so for it to be effective in treating seizures or nerve pain.

Using Lyrica can have many side effects. Most commonly, the side effects of Lyrica include dizziness and/or sleepiness. In addition, you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Lyrica. These may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Mood changes
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Chest pain

Withdrawal from Lyrica can be a difficult process that may last a week or more. People who have been misusing or abusing Lyrica are likely to have a harder time with withdrawal.

How Long Does Lyrica Stay in Lab Tests?

Lyrica is detectable by multiple different forms of drug screening. Although Lyrica abuse does happen, it is not as common as the abuse of many other drugs. For this reason, Lyrica isn’t usually looked for by standard drug tests.

If your tester has a reason to believe that you have been abusing Lyrica, they may look for it. The detection times of drug tests can vary a lot, based on the following factors:

  • How Lyrica has been taken: Those who take Lyrica with a high frequency of use, at a large dosage, and for a long duration of time will end up with a ‘build-up’ of the drug in their bodies. This means that drug test detection times for Lyrica will be longer if you’ve used it heavily.
  • Metabolism: Everyone processes drugs at different rates. Your metabolism can speed up or slow down based on factors like age, health, genetics, and weight. In general, people who are young and healthy have faster metabolisms, and process Lyrica at a faster rate.
  • The type of test: All drug tests are not created equal. Different testing methods can detect Lyrica for different amounts of time.

Let’s go over the most common types of lab tests that you may encounter:

How Long Does Lyrica Stay in Your Urine?

Urine tests are the most common form of drug screening. They are cheap, accurate, and easy to administer. Urine testing is ‘non-invasive’, because it only requires those being tested to pee in a cup. According to a 2013 study, Lyrica remains detectable in urine for 5-6 days after the last time taken. 

How Long Does Lyrica Stay in Your Hair?

Hair tests are notorious for their ability to detect past drug use for far longer than any other form of testing. It is common for hair tests to detect drug use for 3 months or more after the substance is ingested. 

Although detection times are long, hair testing has many drawbacks. First, it produces a lot of false-positive results. In addition, hair tests are invasive because they require plucking or cutting hair from the head or body. For these reasons, they are less common than urine tests.

How Long Does Lyrica Stay in Your Blood?

Lyrica’s half-life is around 6 hours. A drug’s half-life is the amount of time it takes for one half of it to be removed from the bloodstream. In order to know how long a drug will show up on a blood test, you should multiply its half-life by 4 or 5. With this information, we can conclude that Lyrica should show up on a blood test for about 2 days.

Remember that detection times are not the same for everyone, and will vary according to the factors discussed above.

How Long Does Lyrica Stay in Your Saliva?

Drugs usually remain detectable in saliva for around the same amount of time as the blood. You can expect Lyrica to be detectable by saliva tests for around 2 days.

It is fairly unlikely that you would be tested for Lyrica via a saliva sample. This method of testing is mostly used by police officers who need to conduct an ‘on-the-fly’ drug test. Since Lyrica isn’t very commonly abused, these tests aren’t normally set up to check for it.

Can You Detox From Lyrica Faster?

You should never attempt to speed up your detox from Lyrica. Doing so can be dangerous. If you have been abusing the drug, the safest option is to visit a detox center to go through withdrawal.

Otherwise, follow your doctor’s instructions about how/when/if you should stop taking Lyrica. Failure to do so could lead to serious complications with the withdrawal process.

Get Treatment for Lyrica Abuse

If you are worried about failing a drug test because of Lyrica, now is probably the time to get help. Substance abuse treatment centers are well-equipped to handle patients with Lyrica use disorders.

Call Spring Hill Recovery today to learn more about treatment for Lyrica addiction. Specialists will be able to answer all of your questions and help you design a treatment plan that fits your needs, budget, and schedule. This call could, quite literally, be the difference between life and death!

Sources:

  1. F, S. (n.d.). Misuse and abuse of pregabalin and gabapentin: cause for concern? – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24760436
  2. How Long Does Lyrica Stay In Your System After Stopping? (2015, November 9). Retrieved from https://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/11/09/how-long-does-lyrica-stay-in-your-system-after-stopping/
  3. How many people have been prescribed LYRICA? (2019, September 11). Retrieved from https://www.lyrica.com/faq/how-many-people-have-been-prescribed-lyrica
  4. Lyrica. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.drugs.com/lyrica.html
  5. Spigset O and Westin AA. (n.d.). Detection times of pregabalin in urine after illicit use: when should a positive specimen be considered a new intake? – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23318283