May 6, 2008

Hit and Miss

We've eased my children off of some meds. I've also cut back on mine (read this post). I had cut my SSNRI completly to nothing, but with a number of added stressors, I've gone back to taking two thirds of the prescribed dose. Fortunatley, I have a doctor who is willing to listen and discuss. I told him to give me the presecription in pills that equal one third the dose so that I can vary timing and amount.

Well, once again, my employer is restructuring and cutting, my wife had outpatient surgery and the demands of missionary pre-field can also be stressing. So, my pain levels had gone way up (happens in the spring anyway), and going back the SSNRI seemed to help.

I originally was prescribed the SSNRI for chronic pain associated with mild fibromyalgia. As always I put in my disclaimer: I'm not a doctor nor healthcare professinal. Don't use this blog to diagnose nor treat illness. This is just my story. Maybe it will give you something to think about.

There are two SSNRIs that I know of that are on the market:

Lyrica is a follow-on drug to Neurontin. A follow-on drug is when a company takes one of their own successful medications and attempts to re-engineer it to reduce side effect or improve efficacy. Neurontin was never approved for fibromyalgia (nor until recently were any drugs), but it was found to help. Doctors have the freedom to prescribe meds "off label".

Neurontin was effective but was found to make people sleapy and dizzy. I have found that Lyrica did not have that effect on me. I took part in a trial to gain FDA approval to use Lyrica for treating fibro, but I didn't like the way it made me feel.

I find the other SSNRI is easier for me to tolerate. Don't take my word as law though. There are whole message boards with people screaming about the nasty side effects of Cymbalta.

Keep in mind that both these drugs have wide application and broad dosing. I know a man who is on 20 mg of Cymbalta a day. My prescibed dose is for 60, but I typically only take 20.

How did these drugs help me? In both cases, I had less pain, but still had some pain. However, on both of them I noticed that I was better able to focus and tune things out. I had less repetative thinking, and my mood was more stable. Both drugs have something of a stimulating effect to varying degrees. I have taken Ritalin off and on throughout my adult life to help deal with major transitions or when I suffered from Chronic fatigue. Yikes, when I changed dosages or stopped, look out mood swings. My son took Stratera for several years. Now that he is home schooling, he is completely off of that. He had some side effects both going on and off of that med. So, for me, the Cymbalta has been just enough of the Ritalin benefit along with changes in diet and life style.

The title of this blog is "Hit and Miss". What I'm pointing to hear is that keep your eyes open for different treatments and new drugs, and be willing to carefully try new things. Always research first, but you may find that you can reduce or eliminate some medications when using other treatments such as diet, excercise, and nutrition. If your doctor won't talk about reducing meds and doesn't want to help with that. Find a doctor who will. You need to be able to safely try new things.

Aspie is with you for life. The drugs you take now might be with you for the rest of your life, but they might not have to be permanent.


1 comment:

  1. Hi, Adam: I, too have fibromyalgia. I just heard a commercial on TV which directed consumers to this site: - I haven't visited the site, yet, but thought of you and wanted to pass this information along.

    Best regards,