Compare Lyrica vs. Lidocaine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.



Treats nerve pain and prevents seizures. Lyrica (Pregabalin) works well as an add-on medicine for seizures and fibromyalgia, but it's especially effective for nerve-related pain after shingles. Not available as a generic, so it might be expensive.Treats nerve pain. Lidoderm (Lidocaine) patches work well by releasing a local anesthetic into the skin and relieving pain by targeting damaged nerves.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Lyrica (Pregabalin)
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Side effects
  • Dizziness 36%
  • Nerve damage 34%
  • Drowsiness 24%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 24%
  • Weight gain 15%
  • Constipation 13%
  • Weight increased 12%
  • Dry mouth 12%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 12%
  • Vision blurred 11%
More Lyrica side effects »

The Lidocaine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Lidocaine side effects »
How it works
Lyrica (Pregabalin) is a nerve pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it has a similar structure to GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves in the brain and spinal cord.Lidoderm (Lidocaine) is a local anesthetic. It absorbs into your skin where it targets damaged nerves and relieves burning pain.
Type of medication
GABA analog
Prescription only
Local anestheticPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Jelly
  • Spray
  • Topical solution
  • Patch
Used for (click to learn more)
Risk factors for serious side effects
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • History of unusual swelling (angioedema)
    • Taking other medications that can angioedema
    • History of cardiovascular disease
    • Taking with certain diabetes medications
    • Stopping Lyrica (Pregabalin) suddenly
      • Both male and females taking Lyrica (Pregabalin)
      Detailed Lyrica (Pregabalin) risks & warnings »
      • Use of heating pad on skin
      • Applying patch to red, irritated or broken skin
      • Leaving patch on for more than 12 hours
      • Using patch on a very large area
      • Older age and lower body weight
      • Liver disease
      • Allergy to numbing medications (local anesthetics)
      • Not disposing of Lidoderm (Lidocaine) correctly
      • Children and pets can reach medication
      • Not washing hands after touching or applying Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
      • Applying Lidoderm (Lidocaine) to warm skin
      • Covering patch with wrap or heating pad
      • History of heart problems
      • Using Lidoderm (Lidocaine) with drugs to treat irregular heartbeat
      Detailed Lidoderm (Lidocaine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

      Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

      See the FDA package insert
      • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      • Some people taking Lyrica (Pregabalin) develop muscle damage leading to kidney failure (rhabdomyolysis), however, this is very rare. Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, weakness or fever and there is no other related cause.
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      • Lyrica (Pregabalin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Can make you drowsy or dizzy.
      • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
      No specific sleep-related info.
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      • Relieves nerve-related (neuropathic) pain caused by different conditions including diabetes, shingles (herpes zoster), fibromyalgia, and spinal cord damage.
      • Studies show that lower doses of Lyrica (Pregabalin) cause fewer side effects and still relieve pain just as well as higher doses.
      • Also used in combination with other medications to treat epilepsy (partial seizures).
      • Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can treat pain better for people who can't take oral pain medications due to allergies or bad side effects.
      • Has been shown to relieve nerve pain due to shingles for up to 12 hours at a time.
      • Patches can be cut into smaller pieces to best fit the areas of skin they need to be used on.
      Downsides and risks
      • Not available as a generic, so it can be pricey.
      • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Lyrica (Pregabalin) can cause seizures.
      • Lyrica (Pregabalin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Has a higher risk than other pain medicines of affecting your heart rate or rhythm, so it might not be the best choice if you have cardiovascular disease (previous heart attack, stroke, fast/uncontrolled heart rate, or irregular heartbeat).
      • Can cause skin irritation after using it the first time, but for most people it's mild and goes away in a few minutes or hours.
      • Used patches contain enough medicine to be dangerous to children and pets, so store and dispose of the patches in a safe place out of their reach.
      • Might not be the best choice if you've had allergic reactions to numbing medications (local anesthetics) in the past.
      • Even though only small amounts of Lidoderm (Lidocaine) are absorbed into the body through the skin, if you're taking medications that treat arrhythmias, Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can affect how they work.
      • Patches shouldn't be left on for more than 12 hours, used on very large areas of skin, or covered with a heating pad.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      • Some people feel relief from pain in a week.
      • Can make you drowsy or dizzy.
      • Don't stop taking it suddenly without talking to your doctor. You'll need to slowly lower your dose over at least a week to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
      • Tell your doctor if you have unexplained confusion or changes in your thoughts or behavior.
      • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
      • Starts working with the first dose, but full effects can take longer.
      • Remove the protective lining on the patch before applying the patch to unbroken skin.
      • Leave the patch on for up to 12 hours during a 24 hour period.
      • You can cut the patches to create a custom fit for the area of skin you need to apply it to.
      • Don't place any tight wraps or heating pads over the patch while it's on.
      • Make sure not to touch your eyes after touching the patch. Always wash your hands after putting it on or taking it off.
      Learn more
      More about LyricaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about LidocaineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert