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OT - adverse effects of medication

Aniki's picture

Has anyone ever taken a medication and experienced detrimental side effects in a short amount of time? 

I was once prescribed a medication for depression. It was like taking Hulk pills: I got angrier and angrier with every passing day. After a mere 17 days on the medication?

  • I lost my temper over the teeniest little thing
  • My jaw was sore because I was constantly clenching my jaw
  • I felt absolutely NOTHING positive - with the exception of feeling positively ANGRY

On day 17, I was so ENRAGED over some asshat cutting me off, that I started to speed up with the intent of ramming his car and running him off the road. And that terrified me. I realized that I was feeling zero remorse about wanting to hurt, possibly kill someone simply because he was an inconsiderate asshat. 

I called my boss and said I'd be late and drove straight to my doctor's office to wait for it to open. Luckily, my doctor saw me straight away and set me up with a new prescription.

Guess what? That one didn't work either, but at least I wasn't a homicidal maniac. The fourth medication finally did the trick. 

Anyone else ever go through multiple meds before finding one (or a combination of meds) that worked?


advice.only2's picture

I have, I was on a medication to help with BP, it slowed my heart down so much I passed out, I guess that is a very rare side affect that not many people get.

Aniki's picture

I'm familiar with that - it happened to my Dad. His resting heartrate on the BP med was a whopping 43! He no longer takes it.

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

Ye, I was prescribed antidepressants once, the next time I needed them I asked for some ‘slow release’ low dose ones and was much better.

My hormones are a bit all over the place so I’m probably going to ask my dr about HRT. Not sure what the side effects of that are. 

Hope you are feeling better.  

Aniki's picture

I am, thank you! Haven't taken those meds for a number of years now. Once I got out of the situation, things improved greatly. 

Could your hormones be an age factor? No intention of offending!

bearcub25's picture

I took an antibiotic once and my chin, from my lower lip down, turned into an angry red blister within an hour.  I had a place on my arm that turned red and itchy, it was a burn from a few years before.  

i also can run a fever of over 103 on other antibiotics.

Aniki's picture

Holey old socks!!! I have some medication allergies - one gives me angry red pustules all over my torso. Sooooooooo damn itchy!

Aniki's picture

I missed the subject and thought, "That place in Spain??". 

***cillan allergies are more common than people think.

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

So about 3 months ago, I was prescribed an anti-anxiety/antidepressant called "Effexor (venlafaxine)," and my doctor who prescribed it to me told me that the dose I was on was a low one. 
   Just this Friday, I forgot to take my medicine because you have to take it with food, and I had eaten late. I then forgot to take my medicine on Saturday too. I had drank Friday night, and woke up feeling weird on Saturday, attributing all of the weird sensations to a hangover. I went all Saturday with no alcohol, making sure to hydrate. The symptoms plateaued, and I ended up still feeling "not right," but not horrible. 
   I woke up this morning with a sickening litany of issues, and it wasn't until Ariane asked about my medication that I put 2 and 2 together. I was under the assumption that since I was on such a low dose, that there was no way that any kind of withdrawal would affect me. But I looked online and the list of withdrawal symptoms included: "anxiety, fatigue, dizziness, headache, insomnia, visual hallucinations, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, blurred vision, electric jolting zaps, joint and muscle pain, restlessness, tingling sensations, fever, flu symptoms, abdominal discomfort, agitation, sweating, irritability, vertigo, aggression, confusion, concentration and memory problems, gait disturbances, vivid dreams or nightmares, general malaise, hot flashes and chills, crying spells, lethargy and weakness" of which I was experiencing about half: "brain shivers, electric jolting zaps, nausea, sweating, tingling, vivid dreams, vertigo, hot flashes and chills, lethargy and weakness, gait disturbances (I was so dizzy I couldn't walk), dizziness, and headaches. 
   Withdrawal is no joke, guys. Consult your doctor if you are considering stopping your medication. I hadn't considered stopping mine, I had just forgot for 2 days and that's how bad it got in that short amount of time. I took my medication today, and within a few hours about 80% of the symptoms have disappeared after taking a nap.

Gimlet's picture

F*cking Effexor.  I've tried just about every anti-depressent out there, none worked, but Effexor...boy howdy did that suck.  If you decide to discontinue it, make sure you work with your doctor.  I was not on it long, but stopping it was rotten. 

Aniki's picture

Damn, NoWire, I'm sorry to hear that. Withdrawal SUCKS. I can only imagine what people go through on a higher/maximum dosage. Sad

justmakingthebest's picture

My daughter seems to get every rare side effect of everything! One drug she was on for the migrianes led to bone pain. Like crazy- in tears- couldn't stop her bones in her legs from hurting. She went on something else and it was gone in like 3 days. They looked it up and it is related to cardiac issues and super rare. 

susanm's picture

I had a terrible reaction to switching thyroid medication.  My dr switched me from Synthroid to naturally derived thyroid hormone because it covers a wider range of the T factors.  Unfortunately because it is a natural product it is harder to regulate each "batch" precisely and apparently I got a stronger one than expected.  I ened up with a series of thyroid storms.  It started out feeling odd, progressed to seizure-like/panic attack sort of symptoms, and then veering into heart attack chest pain and shortness of breath type territory.  But only in the morning about an hour or so after taking the meds.  I was the one who put 2 and 2 together and insisted on a T panel being run.  Turns out I was dangerously over-medicated and it could have been fatal if I had continued as it was building up in my system and can actually cause a real heart attack or stroke if allowed to progress.  Sometimes you have no choice but to be your own advocate and figure things out for yourself!  

justmakingthebest's picture

Oh wow! My SS19 has been on Synthroid for like a year and 1/2 now. Something new to worry about... LOL

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Years ago, I had a bad reaction to Paxil. Had a doctor appointment on a Friday, and my regular doctor was ill so some elderly doctor who looked like a cross between Einstein and Groucho Marx saw me. Told him I was depressed and frustrated (thanks, step life!), he gave me a script for magic pills, and I started taking it that night. 

That weekend, I got progressively worse. My brain raced, I had auditory hallucinations, heart palpitations, I felt panicked - it was as if I was in a heightened and constant version of flight mode. I didn't take the meds on Sunday, and started calming down. Monday morning I called Groucho, and his diagnosis was "overstimulation". Ugh.

It's not exactly a bad reaction, but I know of a few instances where people took Ambien and bad things happened. Some people have reported loss of memory, or being in a blackout state. I took it for a few years, but stopped after finding out I was ebaying and online shopping while on it. Lol. It's definitely one of those sleep aids one should take while. lying. in. bed. A man in N. Minnesota mixed alcohol with his Ambien, then sleepwalked into a blizzard and died. In the same region, a judge made the news after driving on Ambien. He ran a red light and killed someone. And near where I live, another man on Ambien killed several people in a car crash. It happened mid morning, and he didn't even remember getting into his car.

And Chantix, the med that helps people stop smoking? It can make you homicidal, suicidal, or both. How fun.

Aniki's picture

Oh, those hallucinations! Auditory, visual... both sucky.

I will NEVER understand the people who choose to drink alcohol AND take meds that caution you to NOT drink. WTH. You must have a death wish. 

Harry's picture

You must determine is your problem for taking the medication is worst then the side effects.  Cancer medication has really bad side effects, but not taking it has a worst effect .

Aniki's picture

Not everyone in unfortunate enough to experience side effects - thankfully!

I have to respectfully disagree with you about it being worse to not take the cancer medication. One of my aunts had a rare form of two cancers. Her doctors realized the treatment was killing her faster than the cancers: dizziness, nausea, vomitng, unable to keep down food, unable to walk, lost weight (she was already thin).... She stopped the cancer treatment and was able to enjoy some quality in life in her final months - even gained back a little weight and went dancing for the last time, about 2 weeks before she passed. She was only able to dance a couple of times, but it meant the world to her.

Cover1W's picture

Aniki that was me on the Nuva ring. The second month of it I was crazy. Took it out and told my gyn never again and made my then husband get a V.

Winterglow's picture

My gyno put me on a hormonal med to try and shrink back my fibroids. It turned me into a weepy, wimpy mess. I couldn't have even a slightly not ecstatic thought and I was fighting back the tears.  I was a danger on the road - couldn't see through the tears.  It also exacerbated my symptoms rather than suppress them. I was bleeding through a super plus tampon and a super plus pad in under two hours. Bleeding 3 weeks out of 4. And the pain was intense beyond belief. It was AWFUL. When I went back she took me off it immediately.

On the upside, it completely worked. It was supposed to be a temporary measure to push back the possibility of surgery and it worked so well that I never had to worry about my fibroids again! And that was 20 years ago. Heck, but it was a high price to pay ...

BethAnne's picture

Aniki - I read about people having symptoms similar to yours recently: 

It sounds like a scary experience, glad you got off it before something serious happened. 

I have been lucky with medications so far just mild side effects. Though I am trying to find the correct dosage of my current medicine and I am trying to correlate if the increased dosage is making me more irritable/stressed or if it is just random and I'm tired and there are a lot of stressful things happening at the moment. 

Aniki's picture

Thank you for sharing that, BethAnne. It's terrifying that medications we expect to HELP can turn us into a vile alter ego with disasterous consquences. 

A friend of mine, taking L-Dopa, went crazy with gambling and lost everything. Her car, her house, her job. She ended up moving in with her aunt until she got back on her feet. And OFF of L-Dopa.  Sad

ITB2012's picture

I was put on oral birth control and broke out in hives all over after only three days. 

My GI system becomes a giant slip and slide on Augmentin. 

A relative gambled away their 401k while on a med that later was labeled for causing gambling problems. 

Add: forgot one. I was put on a painkiller that dropped my blood pressure to 60/40. 

Aniki's picture

Okay, I admit it - I laughed about the slip and slide comment. NOT funny, but your description was. 

It's reasons like these that I do my best to minimize usage of ANY kind of med and take them only when absolutely necessary. I have to be is damn near debilitating pain to take IBs!