Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Last Wednesday, I went to the doctor for my asthma. It had gotten pretty bad, and I was barely up to doing anything because I was having such trouble with my lungs. Last fall I had gotten on one preventive inhaler, and it made me worse and made me very lethargic, and my throat got hoarse to the point I could barely talk. Because of all that, I had wanted to avoid getting on any other medicines. I wasn't sure which drug in that inhaler had caused the reaction, so didn't want to risk it by trying something else. When I went last week, he gave me a different inhaler, Singulair, a pill to take every night for my asthma, and antibiotic for bronchitis, as he could hear the wheezing in my lungs.

After a couple of days, I felt much better, and even felt great at dance Saturday. A bit later that night, I felt exhausted, then by Sunday, I felt like I had a horrible sinus infection and ear infection, a gland in my throat was getting swollen, and I was getting a migraine. Then my throat started getting scratchy. With all the medicine I was on, I was the last person in the house that should be that sick. Yesterday morning when I got up, I couldn't talk above a whisper. Up until that point, I couldn't figure out why I was so sick, but once my throat got so bad, I thought it could be the medicine. I the stopped taking the medicine and started researching it. Sinus infections, ear infections, and sore throats are some of the more common severe side effects that inhaler can cause. Those are actually mild compared to some of the worse things that can happen. Also possible effects include delusions and hallucinations. I read about one woman whose son was hurt jumping off their deck after the hallucinations because he started to believe he could fly. They don't tell you anything like that when they give out the medicine! In the papers from the pharmacy, it does mention the infections, but not the hallucinations or delusions. I'm doing a lot better than I was Sunday night, though still not fully recovered. I can see a definite change since getting off the medicine though. I certainly won't be taking that inhaler again. I am still taking the Singulair, and I'm hoping that will be enough to keep the asthma under control. I think people should be made more aware of the dangers of medicines though. I'm just glad I realized when I did that it was the medicine making me so sick. What if I hadn't known and continued taking the medicine? How much worse off would I have gotten? And I wonder just how many people out there are made worse by medicines and don't realize it. I don't think the doctor or pharmacist believed me last fall when I said it was the medicine making me worse, as they wanted to put me on a higher dosage, though they'll probably believe me now. So how common is it for drugs to be the cause of medical problems, yet not even looked at as a possible cause? Medicine can be good at times, and I don't think it should be avoided altogether, but sometimes it can cause a world of problems. I'm just glad I realized that was what made me so sick.

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