Do you ever watch the commercials for prescription medicines and laugh at the lengthy disclaimers regarding side effects? You know the ones, they go on for about 2 minutes, listing every possible thing that could go wrong if you take the newest "wonder drug". An announcer intones in an ominous voice "Side effects may include nausea, vomittiing, dizzyness, the hair of your dog to fall out.....OR DEATH." Death always makes me laugh the most because honestly? Who in their right mind is going to take a drug, any drug, if DEATH is a possible side effect? Doesn't the kind of, sort of defeat the purpose of taking the drug in the first place?
I write this post because although I have experienced mild side effects to some medications I have to take - does anyone remember the anti nausea medication that actually made me throw up? - yeah, like that, but nothing so severe that it would force me to stop a drug because of it.
Until Lyrica. Wow. And this post will explain where the heck I have actually been for the past week. I know y'all thought I was out toolin' around in Oscar, when all I have been trying to do is rid my system of that drug.
The Lyrica was prescribed to me, along with morphine, to treat my rheumatoid arthritis. I wrote about it a few posts back saying it was a wonder drug combination and I was pain free for the first time in over 4 years. I had actually forgotten what it was to not feel pain 24/7 but the Lyrica worked. And worked so well. I was justifiably excited that the doctor had found a drug I was able to take with all my other meds/health concerns and it WORKED.
Until the side effects started. Now, being a good patient I read all the literature I could regarding Lyrica to educate myself to the pros and cons of taking it. Sleepiness I could handle, nausea was no problem as I am an old pro at that and included was depression, but since I don't have a history of depression I knew I would be fine. And in all of those area I was.
The one side effect I never read about or was warned against? Nightmares. Not your run of the mill, "oh I woke up that was a bad dream, hold me honey" type nightmares. No, no, no. These were full on, thrashing the sheets, flailing at the air, screeching out loud WHILE asleep, waking up, shaking uncontrollably, in a cold sweat and a "where the hell am I" type of nightmares. I had one nightmare that was so severe I had to call Pooldad to come home from work. I could not stop shaking and crying. Everytime I thought about that nightmare I started to cry. And if you think that doesn't sound a bit like me? You are SO right.
These nightmares were so vivid, so scary, SO something I had never experienced before I knew it had to do with the Lyrica. I went online and lo' and behold - it IS a side effect, but it isn't listed in the legal disclaimers provided by the company that makes the drug. What is especially frightening is that I was on the lowest dose that a person can take in a day while I this was happening.
Although you are supposed to wean yourself off the drug slowly to avoid yet MORE side effects I hadn't been on it long enough to care about that, figuring nothing was going to be worse than what I had experienced. I stopped taking it immediately. I had three more of those vicious dreams, afraid I would never want to sleep again, before they blessedly stopped. I told Pooldad I would live in pain for the rest of my life before I ever fell asleep knowing those nightmares were coming.
So, here I sit. My trusty bottle of morphine and me. The morphine doesn't even begin to touch the pain so I don't take it. It is an addictive narcotic. If it worked I would absolutely take it but I don't need it's side effects with no relief.
I am not complaining, honest - nor am I bad mouthing Lyrica. It works miracles for a lot of people and I am happy it is on the market. I wish it had worked for me without that side effect, but I am sure once I get to my RA appointment we will figure something out.
In the meantime I am marking the days off my calendar, praying that November 7th gets here soon. :)
I am still zipping around in Oscar. Love my car! And now I must be off because I have to take him to the dealership to get a few things taken care of.
It's going to be a great day y'all. Keep smiling and we'll see ya' on the flipside.
ETA at 11 pm - Was anyone going to point out the glaring typo I had in the title? "Sid effects"? sidE effects...lol