Friday, April 25, 2008

Medications, side effects and doubt I will ever find what I need

This post finds me frustrated beyond belief. Not only have my combination of medications seemed to have stopped working, they are causing me distress over and above their not working.

I started taking Tegretol (800mgs) about 6 months ago. I thought it helped somewhat with the lability of my mood. (Although in my appointments my pdoc used to ask me why I was telling him I was feeling better when I clearly was not???). I really felt a tiny helpful change.

So to augment that tiny lift we added Prozac, starting at 10mgs and now I'm taking 30mgs. Almost immediately (within two weeks) my mood lifted, but it also came with intensely annoying 4-8 bars of the same music playing over an over in my head and my teeth began tapping like mad.

So I tried Valium to calm that down and it seemed to help a bit, especially at night. The Valium also helped with my intense anxiety and alcohol cravings, so we added Valium to my nightly regime. The music has disappeared, as did my need for alcohol. Unfortunately as time went on the Prozac seemed to not work very well (from my perspective..if at all). Also, either it, or my returning depression began causing intense fatigue. I felt so tired I could not do anything. All SSRI's I had tried before did this same thing to me.

So we added Dexedrine to my mix to help with some energy and motivation. The day after i began it I got my old self back, and for 3 glorious weeks I felt like me again: motivated, action oriented, delighted to be alive, enthralled with everything I saw, social anxiety disappeared, I became my old self assured, bubbly and outgoing self.

Unfortunately the Dexedrine came with two price tags: It increased my teeth tapping problem tenfold. The teeth tapping became tapping, grinding, clenching, strange mouth movements like my lips kept pursing together. All this damaged my teeth and I had to get a guard to wear during the day, but it kept getting worse. The second problem with Dexedrine is that it quickly wore off. At first I started with regular release the next week I switched to a 10mg spansule (extended release) in the a.m., then the next week I added a 10mg spansule at noon, but by the end of that second week by 4pm the Dexedrine seemed to wear of and I became so exhausted I felt sick. By 4 or 5 that I had to nap until 7/7:30.

So now I am left with two options: Stop the Dexedrine for a while and hope that my teeth/moth movement problems are reduced and when I go back to the Dexedrine in a while it will help again, or stop the Prozac (as the initial cause of the teeth problems). Neither seems like a very good solution to me.

Here I am with a combo of medications that seems to help somewhat to (periodically) quite a bit, but the side effects are such that periodically I will need to stop and the restart them. All I see is that my mood is going to be okay, bad, okay, bad, okay, bad forever. God I hate this illness. I hate the medications and I hate that nothing seems to consistently help me. Will I ever find a combination that really works?


Rach said...

oh my. how frustrating. I hope you find a combination that not only works, but works for a long time.

stick with it. You are far ahead of many people in the sense that you have a psychiatrist who is working on your side as your ally. Many people aren't even at that point.

Great blog.

Polar Bear said...

It's tough, trying to find the right combination. I'm lucky in the sense that I've never really had any adverse reactions to the drugs I've been prescribed over the years.

Even the ones that are supposed to make me gain weight seem to do nothing in the weight department for me. But that's a good thing, because I need them to keep my demons at bay.

I hope you find a mixture htat will work for you.

Charlie Ruins said...

I can relate a bit to your struggle. I have yet to find a combination that works for me, so I've cut myself off of medication. And it's really hard. I feel pathetic to say that I need a pill to keep me from killing myself, and it's terrifying. Sometimes, I feel that I cannot do it on my own, but I just can't find something that works. I get so tired of switching drugs and withdrawing; it's exhausting. I really hope that you find something that fits with you.