I’m Taking Myself off this Garbage

“Why are Dr.’s so quick to want to give you some kind of antidepressant?”

 

I have just finished reading the story you wrote about your son, Matthew. (“He Never Said Goodbye”–posted here.) My heart was so saddened. I am 42 years old and have in the past year and a half started experiencing problems of feeling really bad. I have gone to my OBGYN Dr. several times trying to find out what the problem is. She was quick to put me on a medication called Prozac. I cried when she said the word.

I am a person that has never been on medication and this was all foreign to me. I took it for 2 months and then took myself off. I thought…. I do not need this! So, a year later I went back to her for my yearly pap and checkup. I was and had been feeling REALLY bad for a long time at that point. She then put me on Wellbutrin. I have been on it for about 7 weeks. It only makes me feel worse.

So I went back to her last week and now she wants to try me on Effexor. I have been on the net looking for answers and that is where I found your story. I have been trying to talk myself off the Wellbutrin for the past week. It is giving me a really bad headache. I have cut down my pills from 2 a day to 1 a day. I am not taking the Effexor. All I have read has been horror stories about that medication. Why are Dr.’s so quick to want to give you some kind of antidepressant. She had done no blood work on me. Just said…. here, take this. At my last appointment with her she told me that is this last medicine did not work (Effexor), then I needed to see a 2002counselor. What is the deal!!! Is the world going crazy???? I need answers. My life is Really Good. I have a wonderful husband, and 4 wonderful children. We are a Christian family. My life is good. I am confused at this point.

I have another appointment with a General Dr. next week. Hopefully he can do something for me besides pushing anti depressants. Thank you so much for your story. After reading this, I know I am making the right decision of taking myself off this garbage and finding out what’s really wrong with me. Thank you so much!!!!

In God’s Love

Barbara

 

4/11/2002

This is Survivor Story number 29.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

515 total views, 2 views today

Redux caused my Pulmonary Hypertension

“I had never been diagnosed with any of these things before taking Redux.”

 

Hi, My name is Bev and I took Redux for approximately 9 weeks ending with the drug recall 9/12/97. While on the drug I had a lot of symptoms of flushing especially in the face, dizziness when laying down where the room would spin around. I was told this was just getting use to the drug. I was more agitated than usual, but I did not notice any other physical problems until a few month off the drug when I had heart fluttering and what felt like skipping beats. I started having one flu like symptom one after another for about 9 months and was told I had bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma during this period. I never related any of this to the drug. During this time I had 3 echoes done two by the drug manufacturer since I was on a clinical trial and it showed that my valves had 3 valves with trivial insufficiency. I thought I got off pretty lucky.

However, by the close of the summer of 1998, (one year later) I was getting short of breath and having problems just driving to the store a few blocks away and stepping down on my feet, my ankles would hurt. There was some swelling but I believe I was hoping it was from arthritis. I also had trouble with tingling in my hands and feet almost like little needles poking you. I would toss and turn and have a difficult time falling asleep and when I did I would sometimes jump up feeling like I could get any air. I remember when we lit a fire in the fire place that winter that I went into a real allergy attack from the smoke. I was diagnose with dyspnea (shortness of breath) in 9/99. I had a scan done to see if I had an embolism and there was none. Blood work was completed and they check for arthritis and many other types of conditions and the only thing that was abnormal was my blood gases which said my oxygen was at 67 very low. I was suffering from confusion and forgetfulness. I had stopped menstruating for almost a year and then had terrible bleeding for 8 days straight. That has not finished with me yet. I am 53 years old and I know it should stop I hope soon. I was encouraged by friends to get another echo done but to have a stress echo done this time. I went to UC San Diego and had my echo performed and at that time it was discovered that my mitral valve was now mild and my tricuspid valve was moderate and that it appeared to be normal left ventricular systolic function but the right heart was now mildly enlarged and the baseline echocardiography suggests mild pulmonary hypertension with stress. The doctor wanted to perform a right heart Catherization soon and I went back there again for that procedure and to perform a sleep study. It was determined at that time that I did have pulmonary hypertension, but secondary to sleep apnea.

Now the problem is what caused it. I had never been diagnosed with any of these things before taking Redux so why would they all start to show up now. Anyway, now I must were a mask to bed every night that lets in enough air so I can breath. I believe that this is all related to taking that drug. I wonder how many others out there have had similar experiences.

Bev

5/5/2000

This is Survivor Story number 22.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

365 total views, 2 views today

My Reaction to Zyban and Wellbutrin

“When my husband came home from work, he found me on the bathroom floor unable to move my left side, babbling and drooling, having difficult breathing.”

 

I would like to relate my experiences with Zyban (Wellbutrin). In December, 1997 I decided to quit smoking. My doctor prescribed Zyban. Within 3 days of taking the drug, I began to notice changes in my personality. I became more agitated, anxious, angry, and nervous. At first I attributed it to the holiday season, my husband being away for work reasons, and the stressful job of renovating our home and other reasons. By day 6 I was violent, crying continuously, unable to concentrate, shaking violently, rocking, unable to remember a thing. Fortunately (how sad to say this), I had a friend who had had an allergic reaction to medication several years before and recognized what was happening to me. She stayed with me until all hours of the night and suggested my doctor put me on an anti-anxiety drug (Xanax). It took about 3 months, but the medication did help lessen most of the side effects. However, my memory and concentration never returned to what it was.

Throughout this, my doctor insisted that I had anxiety disorder and that there was no way the Zyban could continue to affect me months later. This diagnosis was due in part to Glaxo Wellcome’s insistence that the drug would be out of my system after 30 days with no remaining side effects. It was also decided that I stop my birth control (depopreva) in order to balance my system again. Besides a hormone test and complete blood work up, no other tests were ever done. The strain of my body trying to regulate itself was too much. In March, 1999 I had a complete relapse again. (Note: It takes 12-18 months for the body to re-adjust itself after depopreva shots end.) I contacted Glaxo and was told by the person on the other end of the phone, that they did not know how hormones would affect the use of the drug and that no tests were ever run concerning this. I have tried to find out if this was correct, but I find nothing but dead ends.

By this time I had a new doctor. Gratefully, he realized that something was wrong and sent me to a brain neurologist/psychiatrist. He, too, contacted Glaxo. Now since it was well over a year since I had stopped the Zyban, he was told the same thing as my first doctor. It couldn’t be the Zyban, it was something else. I had a blood test and he relied on hormone tests over 1 year old – taken the month I quit the shots. Since all tests showed nothing, I quote: “Since the symptoms are so much like manic depressiveness, let’s treat the symptoms and worry about the cause later.” I was placed on Depakote and nothing else was ever done. Depakote did not seem to work well, especially at times of ovulation and menstruation. He kept upping my dose. At 150 mg I had a reaction. I became extremely “high” by 10 am. When my husband came home from work, he found me on the bathroom floor unable to move my left side, babbling and drooling, having difficult breathing. I had been there nearly 45 minutes alone. He rushed me to the hospital. The emergency room doctor claimed I had a seizure, the neurologist (who never came to see me) said it was a manic high and to stay on the Depakote, just at a lower dosage. Needless to say, I fought that and stopped taking it.

My husband and I were never given a final diagnosis – I am waiting for the papers from the hospital to see what the final decision was. Since then, my problems have worsened. I now stammer quite often, am losing mobility in my left arm and hand. The doctor has even had to give me a shot of Valium to stop uncontrollable shaking and spasms of my entire body. I am continuously tired and weak, shake a lot, my memory is worse, my ability to form sentences at times impossible, my anxiety and anger heightened. There is fear now that the compounding of the drug reactions may have caused permanent neurological damage. Unfortunately it will be almost 4 months before I can seen at major medical university for testing. I have been given lorazepam to control any further shakes and spasms. The idea of being on a drug the rest of my life so I can walk and talk is not a pleasant one.

During my struggle, I have become co-spokesperson/organizer for a growing group of people experiencing long-term side effects from either Wellbutrin or Zyban. Though the problems and their severity vary, we have found that we do share common lasting effects, mainly shakes, memory, and word-finding difficulties. We number over 30 with letters being received almost weekly. With so little information available to doctors, most cases are being misdiagnosed, if diagnosed at all, a few of us are working together to find our own answers. Though it is a slow process, occasionally we doing have encouraging findings.

For example, the patient information from a Walgreen Pharmacy in South Bend, Indiana says that the side effects MAY go away after stopping the drug. We hope that this is a partial admittance from the company that our problems are real and may be soon there will be answers to our problems. In the meantime, the search goes on. Though my experience is with Zyban, possibly compounded by my use of Depakote, many others are experiencing the similar problems with other medications. We are the guinea pigs for these =93new generation=94 drugs that seem to be put out on the market too quickly. The product information for doctors list 180+ side effects possible from Wellbutrin/Zyban, with many of these recognized AFTER the drug=92s release to the general public.

If the patient does not get this product information along with the drug, they are possibly aware of only 10 side effects. I know that many of the newer drugs are helpful, but too many are not. We need to bind together to stop the money-making machines that are jeopardizing our health, the health of our children, and possibly the health of the next generation. We need assurance of proper testing and results and that long-term problems are recognized prior to the drug=92s release, not after. Or, for that matter, that long-term problems even exist. If long-term problems have been discovered, follow-ups and treatment need to be available to those suffering them, no matter how small the percentage. With hopes, groups such as yours will bring more awareness to the general public and will make sure that future drugs will be released with more care and information.

I thank you for the opportunity to share my experience.

Debby Gincig Painter

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 95.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

351 total views, 3 views today