What prescription drugs do you take? What side effects?

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

We've been talking here and there on a number of other threads about medication and side effects. I thought it might be helpful to have all that information collected onto one thread. I know we'll be repeating ourselves in some cases.

I've been taking my collection of pharmacy stock for long enough that it's hard to separate out which side effect is from which drug and which is from aging.

Wellbutrin (buprion)
Klonipin (clonazepam)
Ultram (tramadol)
Topamax
Klonidine (tizanidine)
Neurontin (gabepentin)
something I can't remember the name of for my memory!
Plus antibiotics and other stuff that doesn't seem relevant.

Lena, MS(Zone 7b)

Carrie, I take too many to remember but I will give it a shot.(spelling will not be correct as I am not looking at bottle right now) I can't remember the side effects except Elavil gives me a hangover in the mornings and something makes me have dry mouth and I stay thirsty but that could be diabetes. These meds help me cope with fibromyalgia, hypothyroid, high blood pressure, Diabetes, Depression, Anxiety,overactive bladder,restless leg syndrome,reflux,high cholesterol, pms, back pain, post traumatic stress syndrome, and Mike. I thank God for what relief these meds give me for without them I am miserable.

Synthroid
Lotrel
prilosect
Detrol La
Effexor
Elavil
Requip
Seroquel
Metformin
Zocor
Ultracet

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

Okay, here's my list:
prozac
elavil
flexeril
piroxicam (anti inflammatory)
estrogen
hydrocodone
imitrex for migraine

These last few months I've gone from 6 tramadol a day to zero. Really helped my brain fog...my new motto is "more pain but more brain!" LOL

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I can't tell you how amazed I am at 6 tramadol down to 0. Hydrocodone is for pain too, right?

How do you guys keep track? I have little week-long pill boxes marked with the days of the week, four of them, marked I, II, III, IV for morning, afternoon, bedtime, middle-of-the-night. (If they say 4 times a day it really should be every six hours.)

One time DH gave me my night-time pills (including ones that makes me sleepy) in the morning by mistake. I don't know how it happened but now we have them numbered and color-coded and a couple other things too to prevent that ever happening again.

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

Oh yes on the hydrocodone...I'm no purist LOL! I kept feeling like the tramadol wasn't helping very much because I had breakthrough pain all the time. And I had testing done to rule out seizures and MS because I was always complaining about brain fog. I just took one less pill each week...unless I was having a particularly rough week then I just held tight. In about 8 weeks, I was finished. I'm really glad now, though there was some rebound pain for a while which was no picnic. I feel my pain more than I did but I'm trying to learn how to respond to it in other ways besides taking medicine. I still take hydrocodone daily but I only take a half at a time. I usually can keep it between two or three halves a day.

I was surprised (and overjoyed) to find out how much the tramadol was contributing to the fog. Even my kids say I'm more like my old self which they missed. I wouldn't go as far as saying I was sharp as a tack, but it's probably cut the fog by 75% most of the time. (of course, it just took me three tries to type out that number so I'm not exactly genius level!)

As far as organizing my medications...I've made so many screw ups, missed dosages, doubled the dose, etc. I can't even count. I mainly depend on habit and routine, I keep all my daily pills in one place, the prn's in another, etc. I try to say things out loud so I remember (like, I just took 1/2 hydrocodone). These things help. I was putting a weeks worth of pills in the little daily organizers which was good but have just spaced out doing it lately.

Today my pain and stiffness is sky high...but for a very good reason. We just got back from across the state to meet our first grandchild! What a joy!!

Jacki

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Yay Jacki! Yeah, we were using the pill organizers before but ever since that switchup thing we are psycho about "filling my pills." And it makes me feel good to look over and see them there and know that no one person has to remember the right doses or what I already had that day or anything, because there are a lot of different people on the team, me, DH, 2 DDs, 2 aides, and I'm certainly not reliable about did I have my afternoon pills or not. About 5 or 6 pm I start to feel the breakthrough pain if I forgot to take them at 3:30 or 4 pm. By then it's too late to catch up, I'm sure you all know the feeling. And if I take too much tramadol at night, I'll never sleep.

Forgot to ask: So how does hydrocodone work? What does it do? Can you still drive? It is it very "restricted"?

This message was edited Jun 13, 2009 5:37 PM

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

Hydrocodone is a narcotic. It's other names are Vicoden and Norco...depending on the dose of hydrocodone to acetaminophen...they contain both. I try to time my driving around them, ie, get errands done in the a.m. before taking any. And I can usually drive fine after taking a half. It kinda depends on the day. I also can't drive if I'm having a bad pain day because it makes me too distracted.

There is a lot of talk on the fibromyalgia message boards about dr's getting in trouble for prescribing narcotics for fibro pain. But my doctor feels she can justify it by my neck and back x-rays...I have bulging disks and nerve impingement. So far so good. It's a controlled substance so some folks don't like it.

I'm just grateful for it...

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Oh.... like what House is addicted to on Monday nights, lol. OK, 'cause tramadol ain't doing it for DH's back pain anymore. He has an MD appt. coming up and needs to ask for something stronger.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Tramadol worked great but made me so loopy my husband had to hold me up to walk down the hall, like a really bad drunk. I use darvocet for regular pain days, and save the vicodin for bad days or when I travel since riding in the car or flying just about does me in. I can take 1/2 of a vicodin and still drive, but not a whole one. I do have a bit of a hangover on the day after using it.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Tramadol works great for me. Gives me energy. I take Excedrine x 2 with Tramadol x 2 + 300 mg. Gabapentin & usually a Parafon Forte 3 - 4 times daily. Plus Percocet for more severe pain but sometimes it doesn't do that much. If the pain is from nerves nothing will do much but very cold packs to reduce inflammation of the nerve. Percocet doesn't do anything to me as abilities go.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I take tramadol and gabapentin but I'm afraid I'm using them up plus I'm having insomnia. I do take topamax but I don't know - I can't tell if it makes a difference.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Cymbalta (anti-depressant)
Tramadol (pain killer-400 mg per day)
Methocarbamol (muscle relaxer)
Gabapentin (nerve pain)
Carvedilol (blood pressure)

Cymbalta actually has a goodd side effect. It helps relieve nerve pain. It is expensive, however.

I donít know which of the meds is responsible or if it is caused by the combination, .but something dumbs me down and causes memory problems.
I know that I should know a personís name, but I canít always recall it immediately. I can not always find the right words anymore when I am speaking. My wife is constantly having to provide the right word or finish my sentences for me when I lose my train of thought. I have experimented so I know it is the medication and not just aging. I am only 47. My mind sharpened when I reduced the meds. I could not handle the pain though. I became a pain to the people around me. The VA offers a two week pain management course. Been considering that. Has anyone gone through one of those training courses?

I would give a warning about sleep aids. The pain was not letting me sleep so I took one of my wifeís sleeping pills. (Trazadon-150 mg.) Bad mistake. It threw me into a deep state of depression for days. She warned me it was strong and I should not take a whole tablet. Because I am over a hundred lbs. heavier than she is, I thought her warning was silly. Evidently, oneís body weight is not what determines dosage with sleep aids. I suppose because she is a high voltage, over achieving type, she needs something heavy. I am at the opposite end. Easy going and laid back. That is what I assume made the difference. (Jim)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Jim, it's more to do with your tolerance for the particular drug! I'm at least a few months older than you, boy, I just turned 48, so I know what I'm talking about!

I take a lot of that same stuff too and I can't think straight either. Plus I take smart pills since we always thought it was MS that was making me so dumb ... I feel smarter again. Jim, what condition are you taking all this junk for, I forget? (See?)

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I forgot that I also take 2 Lyrica capsules at bedtime & Restorial + 9 mg. Melatonin at bedtime for severe insomnia. If I take more Lyyica I have less pain but also less mentality. I have to balance the two.

Cymbalta was a disaster for me. Left me so hyper I didn't sleep for days on end and after just 3 weeks was about to go crazy. I finally weaned myself off it completely. However I didn't have any fibro pain while on it.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Does the melatonin really work? Think I'll take Ambien tonight. I really need to sleep.

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

I use melatonin too...suggested by my doctor. The other bedtime pills, elavil and flexeril usually knock me out but I wake up feeling more rested if I add the melatonin. I've stopped and started it a couple of times and it's always the same...the melatonin helps. That's my equivalent of a study! LOL!

Glad to hear I'm not the only one whose meds make them feel stupid. It's really frustrating. Getting off the tramadol has helped me a lot. But the pain itself can make me so scattered, forgetful and closed-in so if my pain gets bad that doesn't work either. Like leaflady said, it's a balancing act.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I can't take Tramadol after about 4 p.m. or I will not sleep no matter what I take at bedtime. I also use Chamomille tea & hot choc. which I am about to do. I think I'll try going back to Ambien for a while to see if that helps. I took the Restoril(30 mg..)+ the Melatonin at 9 & I've been wide awake for nearly an hour now. Pain woke me up too. I took a percocet for that and have had ice packs on my sciatic area and upper left shoulder blade area. I'm also thinking strongly about getting more TENS patches and using that for a while again.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

My husband noticed that with tramadol a long time ago. I never don't take it so I'm not sure. I have an appt. with my MD in Aug. to talk about insomnia and I'm due for an appt with the memory specialist (if I can remember) but if it's just drugs ...

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

The doctors are saying now, I wDDD (Degenerative Disc Disease) in addition to back injury from accidents.

Thanks for the info. I will try not taking Tramadol too close to bedtime. Lack of sleep is becoming a problem. I'm a firm believer in Melatonin, but it just isn't doing the trick anymore. I've become wary of prescription sleep aids after the Trazodon disaster.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

OH, DH has back injury too, but he only gardens for me. He thinks DG is silly.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Jim, been meaning to ask - are you a vet?

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

(Jim) Carrie, A little over 20 years, USAF. Avionics tech.

An old friend (now, my wife) dragged me into her scheme to restore an abused piece of land and turn it into a community garden for the elderly and younger disabled people. I grew up on a farm in PA, but that was my only experience with gardening. I was brought into the project for my woodworking and general handyman skills. And, because I tend to be a little lazy. My wife claims we responsible, but lazy types can always come up with the most efficient. least labor intensive ways to do things. LOL. When I had been here long enough to begin seeing the changes the real gardeners here were bringing about, I was infected by the gardening bug. There was a time I would have called the people at Amargia (or DG) "chlorophyll addicts." Now, I suppose, I've joined the ranks.

Shifted my schedule so that I took my last dosage of Tramadol earlier. Slept fairly well last night. I've been dealing with chronic pain about five years. I get the impression that makes me the newbie on this thread.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

So changing the time you took the Tramadol let you sleep better? Super! 20 years in the AF or 20 years ago in the AF? You're too young for Viet Nam, so you wouldn't have overlapped with my DH. [You're the only straight guy my age I know!]

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I don't take Tramadol after about 4 p.m. any more.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hmmmm. But I don't have trouble getting TO sleep, just getting back to sleep after I wake up in the middle of the night. Last night I was awake for hours in the middle of the night!

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

You should have called me, I was awake, too. Finally took a warm shower for awhile and was able to get back to sleep.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Sometimes, when the muscles are tense and will not release, I use the TENS unit. It does seem to help with that.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

1. Cathy, I don't know your phone #.
2. Jim, I think with MS, muscles aren't exactly tense, they're twitchy, or jumpy... does that make any sense. What is a TENS unit anyway?

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Carrie, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A TENS unit introduces mild electrical currents near the painful area. It is suppose to interrupt the pain signals going to the brain and increase the amount of endorphines your body produces.

My dear wife has a warped sense of humor. Everytime she helps hook me up, she starts speaking in a heavy German accent. Referring to my dog as "Igor" and always finishes up by exclaiming, "It's alive! It's alive!" when she is sure it is all working properly. I've never been sure that it is actually the TENS unit that gives me releif or laughing at her antics.

Don't know as much about MS as I probably should.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I could - and might, so don't tempt me - write a book about MS!

Lena, MS(Zone 7b)

Carrie I know what you mean. I have read enough about fibromyalgia to write a book but it would sound like one big complaint. But we have to know about our health problems to keep doctors on their toes. I do not think most doctors read enough about new research and new meds to stay up to date. I am always telling my doctor something new I have read that he seems to not believe or understand. He does not know enough about fibro but he gives me what I want to try and listens when I need to explain something new with my health. I am his lab rat. I try new stuff all the time and have yet to find a perfect relief from pain without yucky side effects. Pain meds make me feel nauseated. BBL

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

I wish I could claim that V.A. doctors listen. For problems like Depression, and it seems like Depression goes hand-in-hand with chronic pain, I always go with a civilian doctor.

Carrie, 20+ years IN the Air Force. Sorry for confusion.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Depression makes pain worse which makes depression worse which makes pain worse which makes depression worse which makes pain worse which makes depression worse which makes pain worse which makes depression worse which makes pain worse.

Lena, MS(Zone 7b)

Amen Sister ! I live that circle myself. I have to push myself to get up everyday. My back hurts constantly even while asleep. So just getting up means more pain. However, Once I get busy and get my mind off of it I do not dwell on it as much. I have things I want to do around my new yard but it is so hot I think I will do some carving or whittling today. BBLscraps

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

So true, Carrie!

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

Reading above where Jim took a dose of wife's Trazidone (prescribed to her for sleep)...BUT is an Antidepressant while taking Cymbalta is a prime example of why we should not take other peoples meds. Those 2 combined could have had disastrous effects.
I agree, Jim...the VA is a great place to get free care if you don't need someone who listens or really even acts like they give a hoot. I have 3 bottles of cymbalta from when I was on it a few months ago..unopened. the VA got fee basis approval for me for it...you might want to check that out. Is your VA medical with a disability rating or because of being retired? I'm Disabled AF, 60%.(1970-1974)
Sheri

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

My DH, a DS & a DD all used/ VA hospitals or clinics and have had some really attentive doctors as well as some who paid no real attention to what was said to the, If you go to mental illness like my DD it is hard to get them to realize you have a body too that needs attention.

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

I guess different areas are different also. I just know that the quality of care from a retired RN's viewpoint here in NC does not measuire up.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

(Jim) BirdieBlue, I retired as a lowly tech sergeant, should I be saluting the computer monitor and addressing you as "Ma'am." (grin) I learned my lesson about taking other people's meds. Never, ever, again. No matter how much pain I'm in. Thanks, I will check into the Cymbalta again, My benefits are based on retirement and disability. Do not know my disability rating off the top of my head.

Some of the V.A. doctors and staff are excellent. But, they are usually so overworked. And, the system itself is so large, convoluted and cumbersome (Everything in triplicate.) it seems to take forever to get things done. Nothing is simple. You would think after 20 years I would be used to that. Aren't you suppose to get MORE patient as you get older? Doesn't seem to be working that way for me. .

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

The VA clinics & hospital in Columbia, MO said 4 years ago that they were 2000 patients over their staff limit and were suppose to be turning away new patients tho I don't think they do. It does seem that mental patients get taken care of more quickly at times. I think it has to do with the suicide rate among veterans.

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