Monday, March 10, 2008

Side Effects May Include...

Last night, I finished my antibiotic (clarithromycin 500) and I'm so incredibly happy about that!

One of the things that baffles me about medication, particularly prescription medication, are all of the side effects. One of the points of a prescription is it's suppose to make you feel better. In point of fact, while it may eradicate whatever primary cause ails you, it creates residual effects that take away the blessedness and gratitude you might otherwise feel as a result of remedying the primary ailment.

I'm glad I'm no longer at risk for bronchitis or pneumonia or a pneumo-thorax from this latest battle with the crud, but some days I'd almost take the coughing, hacking, and congestion over the nausea, constipation, metallic taste in the back of my throat, and headache I had with my antibiotic regimen.

Still, I learned how to handle nausea quite effectively. If I ever have to have this antibiotic again, here's the trick: a small sandwich with some protein on it (turkey, ham, whatever), a banana, and 12 ounces of some kind of liquid (I chose really cold orange juice for the vitamin C boost.) Follow all of that with the pill you're suppose to take. To deal with the metallic taste, I followed up the pill shortly after with a stick of Trident Original flavor. As for the headache, which was actually a migraine, I couldn't do much for that. Seems the antibiotic and my migraine medication are no-nos together. (And thank goodness the pharmacist told me that, otherwise, I wouldn't have known. I love it when my doctor doesn't tell me these things, but the pharmacist does. Makes me want to call the doctor and ask for a refund on my co-pay!)

Anyway--point is, I'm done with my meds and hopefully on the road to wellness. Sunday was Daylight Saving Time (early this year in the States) and that, combined with numerous trees, shrubs, and flowers blossoming in anticipation of springtime, makes me feel hopeful and healthy and happy!


NG said...

Where were you when I was pregnant?

lacochran said...

Yes, but look what you're doing to the water! Eep!

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

NG: Seriously, huh? Nausea is a bitch, no doubt about it!

Lacochran: I read those articles, too, but I think the environmental concern regarding pharmaceuticals in the water is aimed more at both manufacturing and folks who flush unused meds down the toilet or wash them down the sink.

I use to work for AstraZeneca (a mistake I have repented for), makers of Nexium, Seroquel, and Crestor, and they had a guy in their lobbying offices who was working on PIE (Pharmaceuticals in the Environment.) All of the data I saw was largely about consumer disposal of unused prescriptions and/or expired OTCs. FWIW.

Anonymous said...

Did you read how there's trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water? I've been wondering if that will build up our resistance to antibiotics, among other things.

I know I've contributed to the amount of caffeine in the drinking water.

Well, anyway. Glad you're feeling better.


j.m. tewkesbury said...

Phoebe: I did. Long before it made the news recently (again), it's been one of the major issues the Pharma Industry has been trying to address. Of course, they'd like to just sweep it under the carpet and wish it would go away, but it won't and can't.

The frustrating thing is, when you have meds around that you want to dispose of, there's no safe infrastructure for doing that. The only alternative most consumers find is to flush it down the toilet or wash it down the drain. Pharma-residuals in water are a result of this behavior and less from humans consuming meds. The body metabolizes the med, which means any meds we digest will be micron trace elements compared to what people flush down the toilet or throw in the trash every day.

I'm in that dilemma currently. I have a bottle of codeine cough syrup I don't want to keep around, but I don't want to flush it either. I think the only option I have it to take it to a pharmacy and ask them to dispose of it. That will ease my conscience slightly, but the question then is, how do they dispose of it?

Di, maybe you can enlighten us some more on this issue??

Di said...

I got nothin. It's only just hit the news over here too. These are trace amounts for sure. There is no "recycling program" for pharma products, only for the chemicals used in the process of making them.

Perhaps a new business niche. One I don't want. ;-)