The Side Effects Merry-Go-Round

There is a new Geico commercial out where a group sings the possible side effects of a patient’s medication when she goes to pick it up at the pharmacy. I need this group in my life! If for no other reason, I just want someone to make it more entertaining for me.

I currently take eighteen different prescription medications per day, not including “as needed” drugs and vitamins. My condition is very complex. (As a friend recently told me, I am a chronic illness meme.) When something else comes up, especially something temporary, it can be quite difficult to find drugs that do not interact; or ones that just do not cause every known side effect even at low doses. I recently experienced a more extreme version of this that really messed me up for awhile.

Some drugs do not immediately cause problems; this can make it much more difficult to pinpoint them as the cause of any symptoms. It might take a few weeks for it to build up in your system and start wreaking havoc. For me, the extreme fatigue and brain fog came on so gradually, it took two months for me to even consider I had a new med on board. By this point, I was sleeping 14-16 hours per day, and I was in an “I don’t care about anything” stupor the rest of the time. At the super-low dosage I was on, those were not side effects the doctor or pharmacist thought to mention.

After discontinuing the offending drug under my doctor’s recommendation and supervision, it still took over a week for me to begin to return to my normal self. Unfortunately, the symptoms it controlled are also back, so I guess it’s back to the drawing board! I cannot even count the number of meds I have tried for this particular issue; I am not looking forward to another ride on the merry-go-round.

Someone sing the side effects to me this time, please!

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