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ProfessorTomoe

Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

920 posts in this topic

As with the thread from the previous incarnation of the board, I begin this one with a request that the information within remain confidential. This is a thread for those seeking support as they deal with very sensitive situations involving either their own or a loved one's health. Please let this be a thread where such information can be shared with a level of trust.

Now, back to the topic at hand.

I picked up my second filling of Brintellix yesterday—all $141 of it, for a month's supply. I find it odd that it is an antidepressant, yet the price is so high that it is depressing just to purchase it.

As for its effects, I'm still getting used to them. I haven't been able to sleep for more than three hours at a time for a couple of weeks now. When I do wake up in the middle of the night, I'm not groggy. In fact, I feel for at least a short time that I've had a decent night's sleep. That sensation only lasts a few hours, though. I don't crash out—I just sort of fade to the point where I need to sleep again. Very weird.

I've also lost weight. Not a lot, but every pound counts, and it's been a slow and steady drop. Some of this might be related to the small dose of metformin that I'm on (my A1C hit 6.5 again, causing my primary doctor to freak out). I seriously don't know. Whatever the reason, it made my cardiologist happy at my appointment yesterday.

Speaking of cardiologists, mine determined that I am status quo as far as my PVCs are concerned. He hasn't seen them in the short 30-second EKGs he runs at every appointment, but the memory of my Holter monitor results from several years ago is enough to keep him on his toes. Still, he saw no reason to increase my lisinopril or to add a beta blocker to my shoebox full of medicines.

I hope this thread will be as useful as the last one was. Thanks for any support you can provide.

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Another middle-of-the-night wake-up session. I crashed some time between 9:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., then woke up at around 12:30 a.m. Now, I had a nap yesterday afternoon from approximately 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., but that was partially phenergan-induced. It shouldn't have affected my sleep/wake cycle, especially with me taking Ambien CR.

I don't feel grogged out, as mentioned in my previous post. I have a bit of a headache, but not much else besides than my usual aches and pains.

Anyone here with Brintellix experience? It seems to be quite new—so new, in fact, that my cardiologist's nurse couldn't enter it into my medicine records from the office database. It wasn't listed yet. My wife told her primary doctor about it and got an "it's rather good" response from her. Anyone else know anything about it?

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1 hour ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Another middle-of-the-night wake-up session. I crashed some time between 9:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., then woke up at around 12:30 a.m. Now, I had a nap yesterday afternoon from approximately 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., but that was partially phenergan-induced. It shouldn't have affected my sleep/wake cycle, especially with me taking Ambien CR.

I don't feel grogged out, as mentioned in my previous post. I have a bit of a headache, but not much else besides than my usual aches and pains.

They did a story about the history of sleep on public radio's Backstory last year, and apparently, what you describe is what was considered completely normal back around the Revolution, when we didn't have electric or gas lights letting us stay up to all hours.  People would go to bed earlier than most of us do now, sleep until around midnight, then wake up for an hour or so.  They'd read, pray, catch up on paperwork, even go visiting.  Then, they'd go back to bed and sleep for a few more hours before getting up with the sun or thereabouts.

My boss and I have both had plenty of times we'd fall asleep on the couch in the late evening, then wake up for no known external reason around three or three-thirty in the morning, get up, go to bed, and go back to sleep for the rest of the night.  Same sort of schedule as you, just a few hours later.

So, whether it's caused by the new meds or not, at least you can relax about whether the sleep pattern itself is unhealthy.  May that help you rest easier!

 

ETA: Here's a link to the story!  http://backstoryradio.org/2014/11/02/sleep-well/

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I am in fact experiencing something similar these days. I rather often wake up in the middle of the night, stay awake for a couple of hours and then go back to sleep. And I actually feel rather better rested these days for some reason, probably unrelated -- I think I just sleep better in general.

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Maybe sleeping straight through the night (or staying awake so briefly between First and Second Sleep that you don't remember waking) is actually a sign of sleep deprivation?

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I would not know. I've had trouble with sleep since my early days, but have never found true relief.

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Bedtime approximately 10:00 p.m.

Awake at 12:30 a.m. Back to sleep after finishing off the Bulgarian buttermilk.

Awake at 3:30 a.m. Still awake. Took a Benadryl to help push me back asleep. Hasn't kicked in yet. Considering greek yogurt.

On the Brintellix front, I think I can say that it's not one of the antidepressants that suppresses creativity (you be shocked by how many that do). I'm on a song-a-day tear, despite what my wife thinks of them.

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Slept on a sofa: 8:30 p.m.

Woke up: 11:30 p.m.

Then again, it is becoming my Friday thing. Darn car trips...

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Another middle of the night post. Sigh. Doesn't help that I wake up thirsty and hungry.

(heads off to make a hummus taco)

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Hummus taco was good. Soft flour tortilla an acceptable substitute for naan or pita.

Woke up around 7:30 a.m. and blasted into my music writing, staying there until after 2:00 p.m. Forgot to take my morning and noon pills as a result. Crashed hard afterward, not waking up until nearly 7:30 p.m.

Gut cramps today, too. Probably from the metformin.

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Cramps here too, but of a different kind.  Took a nap (bad sleep habits the past week) and woke up about 9pm with a bit of an ache, decided not to take Ibuprofen because I'm overdue to donate blood, and went to the grocery store.  Big mistake to not take the meds.  By the time I got home I was making liberal use of the Mythbuster-proven pain control of swearing.  Took Ibuprofen, used heating pad and exercises (guys may not know this, but certain exercises do help), and did a lot more grumbling and quiet swearing until it finally eased.

On the plus side, now that the Ibu has kicked in fully, I'm feeling fine!  I have very occasionally needed to add acetaminophen to the ibuprofen to do the job, a combo recommended the by my doc the one time years ago I put my back out so I know it's safe.  Thank goodness we live in an era of cheap and readily accessible pain meds!

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14 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

I have very occasionally needed to add acetaminophen to the ibuprofen to do the job, a combo recommended the by my doc the one time years ago I put my back out so I know it's safe.  Thank goodness we live in an era of cheap and readily accessible pain meds!

If you can actually find any, replace the straight acetaminophen with Percogesic. It has an extra ingredient that helps the pain-killers be a little more effective.

(I find it annoying how often the good over-the-counter drugs that actually do the job for us suddenly become very difficult to find. If they were being dropped due to recently-discovered side effects they would disappear completely... instead they go from being available, often in several brands, in practically every pharmacy to being a bottom-shelf item in only a few pharmacies. Percogesic for pain, chlorpheniramine maleate for allergies...)

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6 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

If you can actually find any, replace the straight acetaminophen with Percogesic. It has an extra ingredient that helps the pain-killers be a little more effective.

The extra ingredient is an antihistamine, so I can see it helping with infection or allergy-related pain, but somehow I doubt that it would help with cramps.  Thank you for the thought, though!

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Up at 3:30 a.m.  Decided to back up my music system (I use Clonezilla). Wish it'd let me set up all three drives at one go. Anyway, the cycle of middle-of-the-night wakeups continues, usually after a really weird dream.

I'm pretty sure my medicines are in charge of me now. Here's the latest daily scenario:

8:00 a.m.: Wake up, drink coffee, eat, take pills, try to work on music (or writing, as the case may be). Lose track of time.

2:00 p.m.: If my morning medicines defeated the coffee, take my noontime medicines.

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Succumb to loss of consciousness from effects of noontime meds and crash for a couple of hours on the sofa.

6:00 p.m. or so: Wake up, try to get more done.

9:00 p.m.: Take nighttime medicines. Fall asleep by 11:00.

3:30 a.m.: Wake up for an hour or two, take Benadryl. Distract myself with the computer until I crash out again.

In short, I've gone from a two-segment day (day and night) to a three-segment day (Morning, Evening, Post-Midnight). I feel like I'm living in the land of the siesta. Quite confusing.

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To cover for a coworker dealing with a family emergency, I'm back on a flex schedule.  That is, I'm working first shift two days each week, second shift two days each week, and third shift one or two days each week.  My medicines that "may cause drowsiness" do not like this change of schedule.

And the Land of The Siesta is not all that it is cracked up to be.  I'm not to far from Siesta Key.  The beach is great, but the place is too full of tourists to get any sleep.

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Forcing myself to stay awake longer tonight/this morning. Maybe that'll let me sleep for a longer period without needing an afternoon nap. Planning on plenty of coffee.

Arch Linux is keeping me company. Haven't updated it in a week or so. It's got 161 updates to install, including an update to Linux itself.

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Get one of those 20+ fl. oz. cups. They should last for 4 hours.

Still trying to emulate programs. Old ones.

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1 hour ago, Stature said:

Get one of those 20+ fl. oz. cups. They should last for 4 hours.

You kidding? I got myself a 32 ounce ceramic mug. With University of Texas at Austin branding, no less. It's wider at the base than any of my "thirstystone" coasters.

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10 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

You kidding? I got myself a 32 ounce ceramic mug. With University of Texas at Austin branding, no less. It's wider at the base than any of my "thirstystone" coasters.

Go ahead, my good friend, but you should not have too much. The caffeine might not be fully absorbed. Lots of good cream, sugar to your pleasing. Oooh, 32

Go Longhorns!(?) You guys so need the luck

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After much fighting with the f-ing insurance company, I now have the paperwork processing which the doctors need to rebuild me, to make me better than I was... better, stronger, faster, at least optically anyway.

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Still having 3-part days. Crapped out around 6:30 p.m. tonight. I was out so hard that I didn't even hear her come home temporarily from her cat-trapping duties at 7:15 p.m. I was back up around 8:30 p.m. or so.

I think I'm going to give up on the Ambien CR. It's obviously not doing any good anymore. Anyone have any suggestions? What's that new one that they're advertising on TV? The one that has the fuzzy avatars for "sleep" and "wake" cycles—maybe I should talk to my doctor about that, if I can get the name of it.

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Had to switch up one of my anti-anxiety medication dosages a bit yesterday. Things were a bit tough early on (let's leave it at that), hence the change.

I  take 4 lorazepam tablets a day. Usually, I go with one at breakfast, one at lunch, and two at bedtime. Yesterday, I went from 1/1/2 to 1/2/1. It helped.

Here's hoping I don't have a repeat today.

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No repeat of the rough day over the weekend, thankfully, so no adjustment to my lorazepam schedule. However, I'm still running on 3-part days. Wound up staying awake until 1:00 a.m. Monday morning—three hours later, I was wide awake. It's now just past 5:00 a.m., and I'm still awake. Drinking some more lemon/sassafras tea to see if it helps.

If there's an upside, it's in how I've been able to stay at the music computer for good stretches of time. I can get an idea out without having to take a nap mid-stream. Mind you, I have to take a nap after I get the idea out, but you get the picture.

I don't want to start writing music at this hour, so I'm going to get something to munch, take a Benadryl, and hopefully crash out for the next several hours.

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Status quo on the Brintellix, but with one possible side effect: my appetite has decreased. Sure, I'll eat if you put food in front of me, but I'm not feeling the urge to prowl the kitchen as much as usual. I'll take that as a good sign. ;)

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I suspect my doc would consider that a *big* plus!  He once offered to put me on an anti-seizure medication, with no history of seizures, just to see if I'd get the weight-loss side effect.  Which was actually quite gratifying because at least he actually sees hyperadiposism (I just made that term up but I'm sure I'm not the first) as a medical condition and not a moral failing!

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