Depression 1 ARB (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Wendy Burnett
I was checking the stream on one of my social media accounts a bit ago when I found an update from one of my friends containing the most terrifying description of a medication side-effect I have ever seen. There are many prescription medications that have the following warning:
X may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people. Call your doctor right away if you have new or worsening depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, or unusual changes in mood or behavior.”
I thought it was important for those who might be given one of these meds to see this, so I got permission to post it here. The clinical warning is so bland that it gives no real understanding of what it means to have suicidal thoughts, what kinds of feelings come with them, or how to recognize what’s happening to you. This description will help you recognize when you need to get help.
“Hi again you guys. I don’t know if anybody really notices or appreciates these updates but perhaps they’ll help somebody at some point which is why I keep thinking I should write it all down. If it ever gets bothersome please let me know, and I will stop talking about it or remove you from this circle or whatever. I don’t want to annoy anybody, but I keep thinking… What if there’s somebody else out there? What if they are having the same kind of trouble? What if knowing that I did too could help them? I am mildly anxious to tell this story because I sincerely believe, for probably the only time in my adult life, that I almost died because of a medication’s side effects. Continue reading Suicidal? It May Be Your Medication . . . »
The state of Washington has passed a bill (SHB 2876) that could limit access to treatment for your pain and set dosage limits on opioid pain medications. This is a serious issue for all of those who live with chronic pain and their families/caregivers, as well as for society as a whole. Inadequate pain control results in more frequent doctor visits, increased work absences, lower productivity, higher rates of disability and an increased need for social programs such as food stamps. It can also cause depression, anxiety, cognitive impairment (difficulty thinking, reasoning, or remembering,) a compromised immune system, chronic stress, an impaired ability to perform everyday tasks such as dressing or housework, limited mobility, disturbed sleep and more. Continue reading Do You Live With Chronic Pain? Your Right to Adequate Treatment is Under Attack! »
Do you suffer from bipolar disorder or depression? Are you pregnant, or planning to get pregnant?
If so, and you’re taking an SSRI (Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft, Sarafem, Lexapro, Luvox) or SNRI (Cymbalta, Effexor, Pristiq) type antidepressant medication, or a combination of two different types of antidepressants, you may want to talk to your doctor about other options during your pregnancy. A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reports that taking these medications during pregnancy increases the chances of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) by MORE than two-thirds (68%.)
Withdrawal from these medications is extremely dangerous, and should never be attempted without the supervision of a qualified specialist with experience in handling “Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome.” The symptoms of withdrawal can be more severe than the original symptoms, even when doses are only reduced, rather than stopped entirely.
Canadian Medical Association Journal, abstract: http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/abstract/cmaj.091208v1
Baker, S.L. (2010). “Antidepressants during pregnancy cause alarming 68 percent increased risk of miscarriage” (retrieved June 7, 2010). http://www.naturalnews.com/028943_antidepressants_miscarriage.html
Living with chronic illnesses affects us in so many ways that it’s really impossible to even list them all. Each of us lives within our own little universe of illnesses, symptoms, and needs. The one thing that is the same for every one of us; no matter which diseases, syndromes, or disorders we have; is the need for medical treatment in some form.
Because we frequently have multiple illnesses which affect different parts of our bodies, we may need to see an array of specialists on a regular basis. This quite often causes major complications in our treatment, since many doctors try to treat in a vacuum, ignoring the effect of their medications and recommended procedures on any disorder that is not part of their specialty. Continue reading Managing Your Healthcare Team, Part I »
Do the big pharmaceutical companies want us to get well?
I’ve been thinking about this issue for a long time, and I wonder, do the drug companies really want me to get well? If they found a cure for fibromyalgia, diabetes, bipolar disorder or any of the other myriad of chronic diseases out there, what would happen to their bottom line? Continue reading Big Pharma and Chronic Illness »