A MAN claims he's dumped his girlfriend and is now gay after taking drugs to ease the pain of a broken foot.
Scott Purdy identified as a heterosexual before his go-karting accident.
But the 23-year-old claims he quickly went off women and ended things with his girlfriend of six months, after being prescribed pregabalin earlier this year.
Scott said he soon realised he fancied men, and began to identify as a homosexual - blaming the drug, which is known by the brand name Lyrica.
"I noticed my libido for women had gone and I was wanting male attention," he said.
"I was with a girlfriend, I had been with her around six months.
"I had never been interested in men.
"When I was younger, I was a little bit curious, but a couple of weeks after taking it I turned around and realised I didn't find her physically attractive anymore."
Scott, from Louth, Lincs, said he told her he didn't know what was happening to him.
"I told her I like men and just couldn't be with her," he said. "She was relatively understanding, as understanding as you could possibly be."
Pregablin, which is marketed as Lyrica, is used to treat epilepsy and anxiety as well as nerve pain.
It works to block pain by interfering with the pain messages travelling through the brain and down the spine, the NHS explains.
As with all drugs, pregabalin does cause some side effects.
Common side effects - those that happen in more than one in every 100 people - tend to be mild.
They include headaches, feeling dizzy, diarrhoea, mood changes, weight gain and in men, difficulty getting an erection.
Less common side effects, in one to ten per cent of people taking the drug including a decrease in libido, abnormal thinking, nervousness, anxiety and confusion.
And rare side effects, in less than 0.1 per cent of people taking it, include personality disorder, delusions, delerium, and sleep disorders.
Scott claims that it took him a little while to suspect the drug was causing his feeling for men.
"I stopped taking it for a few weeks and that desire for men just left me," he claimed.
"But, I'm on it now, and I'm very happy.
"I want to keep on taking it because it makes me feel happy about my sexuality.
"It's made me feel very open. It's liberating.
"It's made me so open and not bothered what people think or say."
It was a few weeks after taking the drug that Scott said he "came to the realisation that when I take it, I want males".
"It did come as a shock to people," he said. "I posted it on Facebook, I just said, 'I'm open, I'm gay'.
"Currently I'm talking to this lad on Plenty of Fish and in a couple of weeks I'm going up to see him in London.
"It's really what I'm craving right now. I want to be with him right now."
Prior to taking pregablin, Scott had been taking codeine to control his pain.
But in January he complained to his GP of the nasty side-effects he'd been experiencing and he was prescribed Lyrica instead.
He said he's not angry at the side effect.
"If I had known this would happen before, I wouldn't have taken them, but now I'm happy," he said.
"I'm not angry because it's made me who I am."
The Sun Online has contacted pharmaceutical company Wockhardt, who produce the drug under the brand name Pregablin Wockhart, for comment.
A spokeswoman for Pfizer, which manufactures pregablin under the brand name Lyrica, said when it's taken appropriately it's "an important and effective treatment option" for those with nerve pain, anxiety and epilepsy.
She told The Sun Online: "The clinical effectiveness of this medicine has been demonstrated in a large number of robust clinical trials among thousands of patients living with these conditions.
"To date, the worldwide exposure to pregablin is an estimated 34million patient years.
"If you are taking a medicine and experience any unexpected side effects we recommend you immediately report these to your doctor."


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