Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ah-ha! Medications are good, but bad

I have been taking a proton pump inhibitor since early December when I began to have symptoms no one was sure of. I don't like medications.

I know people take meds and they're good for life, good for managing symptoms and so on. So there's no need to defend the meds you take. I think it's all good. You need to take meds, you should take them. I will admit that at first the doctor said maybe I should be on these and I ignored it. Then the doctor said I should take them as needed, so I bought some. But I didn't need them because I didn't have symptoms for the way the drug is marketed. So I wasn't sure when they wanted me to take them.

Also? Everyone was really vague and actually guessing what was wrong with me. They thought I had gastric reflux, but I don't. So you can imagine my skepticism. I didn't like taking drugs for something they were guessing at.

Then I had some targeted tests. Turns out I had a mystery illness - h. pylori, which is a bacteria that finds a safe harbor in your stomach and silently does a whole lotta damage and you can't necessarily know the nasty little things are in you. So I took them along with mega doses of antibiotics. I'm still taking them. It turns out these drugs are part of a triple-therapy regimen for the mystery illness.

Not that anyone knew what was wrong in the beginning. Are you picking up what I'm throwing down?

It was a coincidence that the drugs were the right ones for my condition.

What I'm saying is that I don't trust medications and I don't happen to like taking them. Now that I've gotten all that off my chest, here's my story about these little babies.

First of all, I laugh when I hear people say that a drug must be OK because the government has approved it. The government has approved a lot of crap over the years, so I don't believe in the infallibility of the FDA.

Second, I don't believe all the documentation that comes with the drugs.

Here's what happened:
  1. I have been taking these drugs for four months now.
  2. Three months into it, I began to have dizzy spells.
  3. I experienced vertigo for the first time ever. What fun!
  4. I called the pharmacy and they said that fewer than 1-2% of people have dizziness, so that probably wasn't it.
  5. I called the doctor and was told that fewer than 1-2% of people have dizziness and that vertigo isn't associated with this drug, so have my doctor check my ears.
  6. My doctor checked my ears and said they were fine and I was fine and who knows why I'm dizzy. She is awesome, so I'm not picking on her. But she said it would probably resolve itself. She prescribed meclizine.
  7. I keep the meclizine in my purse and have used it several times.
  8. I just got a phone call from my pharmacy checking to see how the meclizine is working out. Yes, I have an awesome pharmacy and an awesome doctor.
  9. At the end of the phone call, she said oh by the way, they just got a notice that the other drug I am taking can cause dizziness and sometimes vertigo when it is taken for long periods of time. You can't make these things up, you know?
  10. She said they define "long" as 12-months.
Guess who thinks it's less than 12 months?


Sofia Reino said...

How come does your story not surprise me one single bit? I DO hate meds and avoid them at any cost. Now... wait a few more months and sure enough they will find out the med you're taking will give dizziness after 2 months and the percentage is higher than expected now!

Rose said...

I believe in taking meds....when there is no other choice. Sometimes that is the only relief...but sometimes the cure is almost worse than the issue...the key word being sometimes.

A piece of news said...

I agree that the meds are really important for people sometimes. I really meant it when I said no one had to defend: I think a healthy dose of skepticism and keeping track of how you feel/how the drugs affect you along with asking questions about it = good for you.

Rambling Woods said...

As someone who has a pill keeper filled a month at a time..sigh.. drugs scare the crap out of me, yet I have to take them and yes, side-effects do happen and nobody listens to you..sigh..