Medication phobia

I’m writing here because I don’t understand why some sufferers have such a fear with medications… I have been on SSRI’s a number of times and have been helped everytime. A lot of the undesirable effects people get are partly brought on by themselves concentrating on the lists of common side effects that are all over the internet. If you’re not sure…chances are that it’s manifesting inside your brain due to anxiety or OCD. I have been on Lexapro for this for 5 weeks now and got really bad tension headaches after starting but they are leaving now and my brain sensitivity has decreased and I have far less strain on my vision. I’m also taking vitamin B12 to aid my nervous system as i’ve never had “true” vertigo so I do not think it’s from my ears.

I’ve never had any fear in taking medication as they would not be on the market if they were harmful. Also I believe you need to go back to the roots of the problems…look at iron levels, magnesium your b12 levels, blood sugar levels…Also a very common trigger for migraines are alterations in serotonin metabolism (a deficiency). So increasing these levels will help to contract the blood vessels inside the brain. B12 also helps this process…

If you’re not on medication…do it. Chances are it’s only going to improve your condition…and with the awareness that migraines now have I can definitely see alot of headway coming in the next 10 years.

A Bientot!

Sam in France.

Well said Sam. Thanks for the post and hope you’re feeling better and better. S

Hear hear Sam!

I think the manufacturers are legally obliged (and fair enough too) to list every possible side effect. In reality however, chances are you either won’t experience any of them, or only mildly or they will settle down after a few days/weeks. Guess what - alcohol has some nasty side effects (ever had a hang over?) and it’s the most commonly used drug of all! Not for migraine obviously, just in general :wink:

I’m just super duper drug sensitive so that’s why i hate taking stuff but am about to have to break down and start on something. I’ve just had bad experiences so that’s why i’m phobic but then i’m phobic about a lot of things and you are right about the alcohol and i did my share of that in my younger days and felt horrible the next day!!!

Chris

Although I am not taking any meds directly for the MAV right now, when I was taking them, the improvement in my life was worth the side effects. The med search was how I discovered that I am med sensitive. Explains why I was such a light weight back in my drinking days.

Hi Sam,
I’m glad you are finding something to help you. When it comes to medications though, the ideal course is to find an approach to cope that does not involve putting foreign substances in our bodies, and as with the case of migraine, medications will only battle the symptoms and not address what is causing the problem in the first place. Many thousands of people die or or damaged permanently every year due to side effects from medications.

My niece, taking college courses to work in a pharmacy, has been taught what I’ve already known, that these are dangerous chemicals and that it is appalling how many people take medications without giving it a 2nd thought. People are hurt all the time and suffer side effects and many die. So while you are very fortunate to have found something you can take without harm and that is doing good for you, it is always the wise course to research thoroughly what has been prescribed, possible side effects, interactions, everything. Doctors rarely know the details of what they prescribe, they pick a name from a list or choose what is being given to them by pharmaceutical companies to promote as free samples to their patients. This is not my speculation, but what is being taught to future pharmacists. So be careful. I wish you continued good luck. :slight_smile:

As FDR said, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

I think it comes down to the old cost/benefit analysis. If we’re disabled or suffering enough, we’re going take some steps into the unknown to try to get better - maybe we’ll do all the food or other trigger elimination things we can first, but some of us may not be able to wait that long if we’re disabled enough.

As for medication phobia, I think we forget that one person can have a bad reaction to something - even a food (like a peanut) or a leaf (poison ivy) - that causes no bad reaction in another person. So while they may be bad for some people, they’re not bad for all.

And there are “chemicals” in all sorts of things that we ingest (like the H2O that we drink every day), so chemicals aren’t evil per se.

Aspirin was originally derived from willow bark; Razadyne (the Alzheimer’s drug) is derived from daffodils; and a lot of people take supplements which are made from leaves, roots, minerals, etc. All of it still made of “chemicals.”

If you have a lot of anxiety, though, then reading the full list of side effects of any drug may not be a good idea. Seriously - it might be something you should avoid! If you have a history of really bad anxiety, it could bring on a full blown panic attack. If you have a doctor that you trust, it might be a good idea to tell your doctor that you have a lot of anxiety and reading that list might (A) bring on a panic attack and (B) convince you that you’ll start to have every single one of those side effects the minute you swallow the first pill. So since you don’t plan to read that list, has he or she (your doctor) read it? Is he or she fully aware of all the other medications and over the counter drugs and supplements that you take? If your doctor, who you trust, has done that FOR you, then you don’t even have to read the list.

Hey Burd,

You are quite right that many people do end up in hospital because of medication issues. The job I am interested in and applying for is all about making the Australian public “medicinewise”. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this lately and it turns out that it’s not the medicines themselves per se that are the problem but it’s more the way people use them. It’s staggering how 1) doctors over-prescribe, are stuck in their ways, or do not have sufficient access to new information about correct prescribing based on the most accurate and up-to-date evidence and 2) people themselves – the lay public – misuse pharmaceuticals like crazy. Sometimes they don’t take them when they should which causes an adverse event (diabetes drugs) and other times they take too much (painkillers) which can also cause huge problems as you stated.

So the key is to be smart about the use of medication. People often characterise meds as “bad” because they are manufactured etc and will find the natural alternatives to be ok because, well, they are natural and it sounds nice and safe. However, all of them are foreign substances whether it be St John’s Wort or Cipramil. There is an active molecule in both cases and so both, whether natural or pharmaceutical, need to be used wisely to be effective and to gain the best health outcome.

So I think until someone finds a better key to switching off this migraine mechanism, for some 60% of migraineurs, the best current answer appears to be trigger elimination plus a med to increase the migraine threshold. I heard one recent suggestion that chronic migraine may not necessarily be due to the migraine itself but that there may be a separate issue – that being hyperactivity in the brain stem kicked off ny migraine. And so by intervening and stopping this cycle, the migraine cycle stops as well and the chronicity of the condition stops. Meds such as Lyrica and Neurontin for example stop this cycling by lowering or dampening this hypersensitivity in the brain stem.

Scott

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So I think until someone finds a better key to switching off this migraine mechanism,

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Two words: brain transplant.

Anyone else seen the man with 2 brains? classic stave martin - not sure why vic’s comment made me think of that/…

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Anyone else seen the man with 2 brains?

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Back in bowl!

Gabrielle,
Have I seen the Man with Two Brains? Does MAV suck the big one??? :lol:

Best STeve Martin movie ever…I don’t even think Dr. Hufferrerrerr could help us!!

Kelley

:smiley:

I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve wished I could go to a brain “spare parts” shop and ask for new wiring. I want the titanium version not these crappy migrained ones that probably look like a bad bowl of spaghetti that Gordon Ramsay would chuck straight out the window. :lol:

If you ask the kid what he wants for Christmas, his answer right now is “A new brain.” Which is kinda sweet, but mostly sad. I wish we could make everything right for him. And we’re working on it. But it’s taking so long.

I guess we could say, “Let’s skip the meds and do the Bucholz diet for three months, and see what happens.” In a way, I like that idea. If he could control his migraine with diet, the way his older brother controls his panic disorder and IBS-type symptoms with diet (his older brother has celiac), that would be way, way better than giving him even more drugs than he takes already. But according to his neuro, food triggers are only a major issue for about 25% or 30% of people with migraine.

He thinks his major triggers are visual anyway. Now that he knows what “his” migraines are like, he knows he’s had them before. And most of them have been triggered by looking at a clear empty sky, or a blank white wall, or anything bright and large and untextured. He’s not sure about the others.

And maybe we’ll get to the Bucholz diet at some point. I’m not opposed. But at our house, we’re firm believers in “better living through chemistry.” Good self-care is important. But self-care, in many cases, just isn’t enough.

If you’ve got diabetes, you need to watch your diet, get enough exercise, take care of your feet, AND take your insulin. It’s not either/or; it’s both/and.

My dh has bipolar disorder. Managing that is another both/and thing. He makes sure to take his fish oil and vitamin D, he uses a light box during the winter, he gets enough exercise, he eats a high protein diet. All things recommended by his psychiatrist. He also takes his meds. Yes, they are powerful, potent chemicals. They have nasty side effects. But without them, he slips into the black pit, and there’s no way out. The drugs are absolutely essential. Like insulin is essential to someone with Type I diabetes.

The kid’s neurologist wants his self-care for now to focus on doing his vestibular rehabilitation, maintaining some semblance of social connections to a friend or two, and maintaining a regular sleep pattern. For now, I feel like that’s enough.

It’s too bad we can’t just send that brain back to the factory to get refurbished.

Mamabear.

better living through chemistry

I like it

Hi Mamabear,
Just a little off subject here, sorry.
You say his older brother has Celiacs, I’m sure you already know this … but anyway…
Has he and the rest of the family had test for celiacs? it does run in families.
I use to visit a site called the gluten file, it explains how celiacs can cause many neurological problems.
I’m sure you have allready been informed by your Dr of this.
A friend of the family didnt find out she had it , until she was rushed to the hospital with a epileptic siezure, which she developed due to celiacs.
just a thought

jen

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So the key is to be smart about the use of medication. People often characterise meds as “bad” because they are manufactured etc and will find the natural alternatives to be ok because, well, they are natural and it sounds nice and safe. However, all of them are foreign substances whether it be St John’s Wort or Cipramil. There is an active molecule in both cases and so both, whether natural or pharmaceutical, need to be used wisely to be effective and to gain the best health outcome.

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I agree. It is vital for a person to be aware of what they are taking. Never trust a doctor’s recommendation blindly. A person has the right to say no, and to request something with less potential for harm. The same caution applies to natural remedies and to be certain that it comes from a reputable source.

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Hi Sam,
I’m glad you are finding something to help you. When it comes to medications though, the ideal course is to find an approach to cope that does not involve putting foreign substances in our bodies, and as with the case of migraine, medications will only battle the symptoms and not address what is causing the problem in the first place. Many thousands of people die or or damaged permanently every year due to side effects from medications.

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First, the bolded statement is a gross overgeneralization. “Some” medications treat symtpoms. Those are used for 2 main reasons: 1) symptom control while the “cause” is being treated (why have the patient be uncomfortable and unable to enjoy a quality of life when they don’t have to be?); and 2) the underlying “cause” is unknown, but the disease is debilitating and the symptoms can be controlled such that the patient can have a productive life. There are other medications that are PRECISELY created to treat the “cause” of the problem (antibiotics, antivirals, etc). In many cases, it is impossible to treat the cause of the problem because it has to do with the body simply not functioning the way it’s supposed to , no matter how many “natural” supplements you take. A bad endocrine gland is a bad endocrine gland, a bad heart is a bad heart, etc.

Without medications, many of those “thousands who die or are permanently injured” would still die and be permanently injured due to the disease they have to begin with. The average life expectancy in the United States has practically doubled in the last 100 years, despite all of the rampant claims about how modern medicine is “poisoning” everyone and causing all sorts of harm. Think about that for a second. If you were born in 1910, you were lucky to hit age 65. These days, 65 is still young.

On a personal level, given the choice between taking a medication or making a lifestyle modification to resolve a health issue (i.e. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc), I would “prefer” not to use medicines. Basically, the less lab-created stuff you put into your body, the better in the long run. But that doesn’t mean people need to panic about medicine either. You’re better off taking a cholesterol drug than having high cholesterol, regardless of the fears put out there. And, incidentally, ythe vast majority of supplements are no less lab-created creatures than medicines are. t least medicines are regulated, even though the system doesn’t always work as well as we hoped it would.

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Hi Sam,
I’m glad you are finding something to help you. When it comes to medications though, the ideal course is to find an approach to cope that does not involve putting foreign substances in our bodies, and as with the case of migraine, medications will only battle the symptoms and not address what is causing the problem in the first place

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. Many thousands of people die or or damaged permanently every year due to side effects from medications.

First, the bolded statement is a gross overgeneralization. “Some” medications treat symtpoms. Those are used for 2 main reasons: 1) symptom control while the “cause” is being treated (why have the patient be uncomfortable and unable to enjoy a quality of life when they don’t have to be?); and 2) the underlying “cause” is unknown, but the disease is debilitating and the symptoms can be controlled such that the patient can have a productive life. There are other medications that are PRECISELY created to treat the “cause” of the problem (antibiotics, antivirals, etc). In many cases, it is impossible to treat the cause of the problem because it has to do with the body simply not functioning the way it’s supposed to , no matter how many “natural” supplements you take. A bad endocrine gland is a bad endocrine gland, a bad heart is a bad heart, etc.

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I apologize. I should have worded that differently. I responded mostly to the notion that medications would not be on the market if they were harmful, because that could not be farther from the truth, even with the medications that are necessary. I’m a bit jumpy when it comes to the amount of trust and reliance people give to medications. Also, with my statement I was addressing mostly the issue of migraine, which there is no cure for and medications can only address symptoms and for many can be managed without putting chemicals into their bodies but unfortunately are so readily prescribed as the only means of treating it.

I am not anti-medication, I am uncomfortable with the trust people give to them and the ease at which doctors prescribe them. What has been an eye-opener is what is being taught to future pharmacists about how dangerous they are and how many have been hurt by them, even with OTC meds people don’t give 2nd thought to. I know there are dangers with natural remedies too. I know prescriptions can help people with health and for quality of life and some are necessary for life, but I also believe that much more is prescribed than is needed when often there is a healthier approach. Sometimes the best a person can do is to choose the best of the evils.