Bothered by AMOUNT of MEDS I'm taking!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by hermitlady, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I'm hating all of the meds I have to take for depr, FM and CFS. I don't know why, but lately it's been really bothering me when I think about it. I started Vicodin about a yr and a half ago and now I'm up to 10/325 Norco since my tolerance has gone up. Now I think a lot of the pain and illness I feel (especially in the morning when I wake up) is due to my body having withdrawals from the Norco. My Dr thinks this is the case too. I don't feel addicted, but I am definitely dependent. I take up to 8 a day, and try to cut back sometimes but I always seem to have to go back up to the 8 which is the prescribed max.

    I've been on psych meds, 5 of them, for a few yrs....but I'm always moderately depressed. Nothing has ever totally lifted my depression, I've tried just about every med out there. A couple of months ago my Dr started me on ADD meds....amphetamines basically.....and they've really helped my mood and energy, but I can't take them forever. I'll end up having to increase the dosage to obtain the same effect, and possibly get addicted I guess. That is the only thing that I can truly say makes me feel better, but I'm feeling like a druggie. I used to take Provigil, but it doesn't really work anymore. I just can't get up and moving most days, it's so awful. Aching, tired, weak and, huh?

    Here's my list, what do you all think? I'm going to see my doc tommorrow.

    40mg Prozac
    75mg Effexor XR
    500mg Depakote
    50mg Trazodone
    1mg Ativan
    30-45mg Dexedrine SA
    600mg Ibuprofen 3x day (for shoulder surgery recovery)
    100mg Tramadol (for pain when I don't take Norco)
    10/325 Norco 8x day

    My daughter even made a comment to someone the other day about "My mom takes A LOT of medicine"!
    How embarrassing. Thanks for listening. I know I need meds, but wonder sometimes if I could get rid of some since I still feel so crappy anyway.

    xxxooo Hermit
  2. BlueSky555

    BlueSky555 New Member

    Hi hermitlady,

    I had a thread going that was almost the same as this one. I had only had 2 responses so I just deleted it.

    I have been thinking lately about trying to reduce some of my med intake but not sure how to do it. I know I can't stop; not a healthy/smart thing to do.

    The weird thing is that I began thinking about this about 2 weeks ago. I posted the thread earlier today, had 2 responses, saw this one, and deleted mine. Since then, I saw a commercial on TV about the pain med that I take causes poisoning and settles in the body. I also take depression med, anti-inflammatory med, etc. Now, I'm really scared. I took provigil as well but did stop that one.

    I hope you will get more responses about these meds.

    Thank you,

  3. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    I think it is hard for people to give recommendations on medications. We are not doctors and only YOU know what is best for your own self. That being said, here's my advice.

    Evaluate your list and eliminate duplications. I see two different anti-depressants, two different sleep meds and at least 3 pain meds. I'm not sure about a couple of your meds, but you definitely have redundancy.

    Look at your own list and pick ONE thing to wean off. Listen to your gut. If there is one thing you think "You know, this one doesn't really do me any good". Then SLOWLY wean off that one med. Then pick another one to wean off. Get yourself down to a manageable number of meds with no redundancy.

    I used to be on a bunch of different meds and that's what I did. Now I still take a few, but I know they are all ones I need.

    The key is to go slowly. All those different meds interacting with each other can just muddle your head. Ask your doctor, too--which one would he/she recommend to get rid of.

    Good luck.
  4. irox

    irox New Member

    HI hermitlady (lol love the name bte, describes most of us to the T)
    OMG, I know the meds, the meds, and the meds.!! I went to the densitst today for my dry mouth that is totally out of control. He suggest I back of some of meds that cause dry mouth and it was most of my meds, Ha yeah if I could only do that. Well actually I am allrasy with my doc's permission. Yeah as the others noted, PLEASE go through you doc to wean you of any medication.

    I have a suggestion for you though, well 2:

    1. IF you have time tomorrow before your doc appt, stop by your pharmacy and ask for a patient report. It will print out a list of all your meds and dosage and stuff. I get on every few months when I go to doc. Most of the time I have to go over all meds again and the conversation happens so fast to me, I may forget or even my doc! Or you could write up a list before leaving the house, so your doc has that visual. ( I also save the little tabs my pharmacy gives me when I fill my meds and I save them and then copy them all one to 3 pageslol)

    2. Another thing that has helped me tremendously over the last 2 years is a pill box. It is quite large and I fill it up 2x a week. It has a morning,luch, afternoon, and bedtime slots for the whole week.They're are monthly ones too.
    But this helps meremmeber to take my meds, I can take them alot quicker, because they are ready. It's cut somewhat of a burden.(when your daughter and her friends are around...they won't hear you messing around with pill bottles.

    Good luck to you and hope you find something that works for you.
  5. charming

    charming New Member

    I know that is a lot of medications you taken , I was taken antidepressants from 2003-2008 I stopped taking them in April this year because I did not fell any better and I was very tired all the time and I gained a lot of weight because I wanted to sleep all the time. now since I stopped taking them I'm not so sleepy or tired as much I still has pain and fibro flares but I am able to help my lil girl with her homework more.
  6. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I am just going off to bed and I'm too tired to post to each of you. I will tomorrow.

    Thank you for taking the time to help me.

    xxxooo Hermit
  7. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    I think you have gotten some really good replies from people here. The drug interaction websites are awesome. I wanted to add a couple of additional thoughts to my previous reply.

    Are you getting all these Rx from the same Doc? If not, you should show the complete list to you primary care doc and get input from them.

    Are you getting all Rx from the same pharmacist? Show the entire list to your pharmacist. They are trained to look for drug interactions--much moreso than doctors are. I have a friend going through Pharmacy School, and she said they get intense courses on drug interactions. Then they go into the community and try to help people sort out what they shouldn't be taking together. If your pharmacist isn't particularly helpful, show the list to a different pharmacist.

    If you do start to wean down on one med or another, ask your doc for samples. Many times they have samples in different dosing. So if you're are taking say 40mg of a particular med, they may have 20mg, 10mg or 5mg in that same med. Ask how long you should be at each dose. Some meds you can go down faster than others. Some you need to go very SLOWLY. Getting samples is also easier on your pocketbook.

    DON'T try to split XR (extended release) capsules. They are not meant to be broken apart. That where getting lower dosing is helpful (samples, samples, samples...).

    Some tablet type medications ARE ok to cut in half or quarters. Again, ask your pharmacist which meds are ok to split and which are not.

    As I recall, Effexor was really a bugger to get off. Lots of side effects. I think many have posted on it here. Do a search and see what others have experienced with this particular drug.

    One other word of encouragement, once I got my drug list down to a manageable amount, I felt much better. I think too many drugs just make you feel worse. More is not better!

    Good luck.
  8. doxygirl

    doxygirl New Member

    I was just thinking this same thing, so Iam happy you posted this!

    I also started out on vicodin about 6 years ago...I took one half of a 500 mg which is basically nothing! IMO anyway,......

    Now, here it is 5 years or so later and Iam now on three different pain is long acting pain medication, one if for breakthrough when the long acting is not helpful enough, and one if incase of major flare to add to the other two!

    I also worry sometimes when i wake up in so much pain that it is the pain meds needing to be replenished?

    But....honestly for me I think that Iam just getting older and my pain is getting harder to control..because I have more and more to add to my list of ailments!

    My personal opinion from what you have listed here is "that I too agree with you that you are on a few too many things"!

    I do not think you need to eliminate all of them but I agree it may be wise to try to do what the others here have mentioned...and that is to go over it all with your Dr!

    My Dr,.. every visit discusses with me, my options of weaning back from my medications or eliminating them all....right now Iam choosing to stay on the regimine Iam I have just made some changes and Iam much happier with the regimine I now have....

    It sounds like you are a lot like me when it comes to taking medications(s),and I for one support you 100% if you wchoose to cut back..."hey my friend look at it this can always go back on more meds if it does not work out for you.....

    Bottom line if I were you I too think I would eliminate a few things on the list!

    I hope this has helped you "my dear" :)

  9. MsBrandywine

    MsBrandywine Member

    I guess because I hate to take any kind of medicine.. I worry about all of the side affects.. Most of the time they are worse then the problem that they prescribe them for.. so to me.. It seems like wayyyy too much.. but then again.. thats me. I hate the side affects from the medicines they give.
    I for the most part deal with my fibro on my own .. if I really have bad days I will take a 800 mg of Ibuprofen but thats it.. I would rather try an alternative way.

    Wish I could do that for my thyroid but I am on 100 MCG of that.. and I have been skipping days on that for I noticed lately that sometimes right after I take my pill that my heart stars really going fast.. I mentioned it to my Dr and I went for blood work on it yesterday.. Guess possibly I may be getting too much now..

    I know alot of people want help .. and the Drs give them meds .. Alot of people they do help but then they have other problems from the meds.. Its a vicious circle for sure!..
    Hope that I didnt make you feel worse.. Im not trying to do that but I guess too.. I worry about if there are alot of affects from one meds.. what is it doing when there are combined meds!..
    No wonder we still feel so lousy.. Its JMO...
    Forgot to add that I was just put on Nexium but once that hopefully takes care of that problem .. I wont be continuing if I really dont have to.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/23/2008]
  10. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hermit, I'm not a doctor but it sounds like a lot of drugs to me - many of them for anxiety/sleep, right?

    Some doctors like meds a lot more than others and I looked until I found one who thinks like I do. Diet, supplements and behavior modification are often just as helpful or more than chemicals.

    I'm not trying to alarm you but the fact that you posted this question tells you that your own mind is concerned. Unless you know for certain exactly what each med is being used for in your case, why not look them up online before your appointment? Don't be upset by the "side effects" which are mostly there as a CYA for the drug manufacturers; read the purpose of the drug. Where you see duplicate purposes, ask your doctor if you can't cut back a bit at a time. For instance, why Trazadone AND Ativan?

    You are the boss of your own body, including what you put in it. Maybe some of the reason you feel so crappy is that you're injesting so many chemicals. Again, I'm not a doctor but I do know what doesn't work for me and others.

    Maybe, as I've found, avoiding sugar, caffeine and other chemicals that can make you hyper will go a long way toward doing what you're asking the drugs to do. And think of the money you'd save - unless you have an extremely generous drug insurance plan! Also, you might want to read The Paleo Diet. I posted a thread about it again today.

    One question: do you take vitamin D? If not, have you had your levels tested? If you haven't, be sure you do. Check B-12, too.

    My best to you with whatever you decide to do,

  11. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    Hi Hermit Lady, With regard to the mini-withdrawal you feel in the mornings, may I suggest that you do what I do. I set my alarm for an hour before I need to get up. When the alarm rings I take my pain meds, reset the alarm and then go back to bed. By the time I get up, the worse of the withdrawal has passed. I hope this helps. God bless, Anne Theresa
  12. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I appreciate your honesty and all of the information you gave me. I have 2 main drs that I see monthly, a psychiatrist (who does my depr meds) and my primary doc who is a GP (who does my FM/CFS meds). I had appts w both of them yesterday, it was a long day. Also, I do use one pharmacy...the pharmacist knows me by name and keeps an eye on my meds.

    I took my list of meds and told my psych dr that I wanted to wean off of Depakote and Effexor since I really didn't notice any improvements in my depr after I had been taking them for several months. She agreed, and has me decreasing my dosages to wean off.

    Prozac has been the only AD that I know helps me, so I'm hanging on to that one. I kept the Ativan for use as needed, I don't take it everyday. The trazodone is a keeper too, can't get decent sleep w/o it, been taking it for several yrs. She wants me to come back in 2 wks.

    Next, my Primary Dr appt. I found out I have excessive cortisol levels, so next is an ultrasound of my adrenals. Also blood and urine testing for Amino Acids, and a sleep deprived EEG. For now, I'm not changing the meds he gives me. He wants me to get this next set of tests done first.

    He said not to worry about taking the Norco, just as long as I'm not going out and robbing liquor stores to buy more! He helped relieve my worries for that right now. I have the Tramadol to use if I need it when I'm able to get the amt of Norco down that I take everyday. He said it could take me months to wean off the Norco and he would help me when the time comes.

    I'm on the second month of taking Dexedrine and it's just temporary cuz I've been so down and tired all of the time. He's really going into a lot more testing than anyone has done before. I really like this dr. I hope he'll be able to treat my adrenal issues, seems like that could be one of my major problems right now.

    He also explained to me about amino acids and what happens if you're deficient in some. Also talked about other things that go wrong when your body isn't processing food correctly (gut issues). And a bit more of explaining about deficiencies in precursors to hormones, etc. He blew me away at how much info he was telling me...I tried to take notes as best as I could.

    He spent 50 minutes with me, he is the most thorough and kind dr that I have ever seen. This is how he is everytime I see him, always taking at least 30 minutes to talk w me. He has an autistic 4 yr old son, so we have that in common too. He tells me things to try w my daughter and son. Just a wonderful doctor. Wish I had found him sooner!

    So, I had a long long day yesterday...I was exhausted when I got home. I am very lucky to have 2 doctors that I feel comfortable talking to about anything. Communication is so crucial!

    Thanks again everyone....xxxooo Hermit
  13. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    This is the way I look at it - if you need the medication, then take it. If you had diabetes, high blood pressure and something else, you'd potentially have three more pills to take. Would someone comment on how many pills you're taking?
    I read your last past, so glad that you discussed with your Dr which ones you and he feel you can cut out. BUT that is a personal decision - no one else can judge by a number of medications.
    I agree with the concern for interactions etc.
    I also understand your personal concern - I for one hate the fact that I have to take one darn pill. I hate that I have FM. BUT I need what I take in order to function. I do not like the stigma attached to the medication I take either. But as mentioned previously, unless you've had horrible pain like some of us do, please do not say one thing about pain medication.

    Sometimes one pill added can boost the effects of another, sometimes you substitute one pill for another on a less painful day. Sometimes you need the combination of two to give you the best results. Hopefully you have a good dr (which it sounds like you do) who understands how all of your medications work together.

    Sometimes I feel like nothing works. Then somedays I'm so thankful I have 'something' to take. I think it's my FM.

    Your Norco - 325 mgs of Tylenol - you can actually have 4000 mgs per day before you reach the danger zone for your liver. So in reality, you could have 12 per day before you reached the max. If you were taking the kind with 500 mgs you could only have 8.

    IF YOU feel like you want to cut down on your meds, that's great - but I don't like it when others say, you are taking way too many meds. My mom says that about herself. She wants to stop taking some of her medication because of the number of pills. (no FM). Each of her pills helps her -she cannot cut anything out. I asked her if they put them all in one pill would she feel the same way, she said no. So it's the number of pills that bother her.

    I do not mean any offense to anyone - I think being concerned for each other is what makes this board wonderful. Being concerned for interaction of taking two of the same meds is a valid concern, but I personally don't think your list is that long - especially now that you've cut some out!
    Most importantly, YOU need to feel good about what you're taking, have trust in your physician and some knowledge about what you're taking.

  14. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Thanks for your support. I know what you mean, it is a necessity to take meds for certain illnesses, that's just the way it is. It has been getting to me lately tho cuz I've been feeling so terrible, like nothing is working! Right now I feel like I've been drug behind a truck down a rocky road!!!

    I'm just hoping to find something w my adrenals that could be treated. It would be nice to have something else diagnosed besides the FM CFS, you know? I don't know why, but it seems like what I've already diagnosed with can't be fixed any more than it already is. It's just been getting progressively worse and it's scary.

    I really didn't take offense to anything anyone posted. I am very well read and always research my meds, side effects, etc. I'm just always curious what other's opinions are here because I don't have anyone else in my life that knows anything about any of this stuff. Just needed some moral support and I did get a lot of it! I know you have posted to me before, and i appreciate your support and knowledge.

    Thanks everyone.....Hermit