Worried about side effects? How are you handling that with your doctor?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2014-07-10 16:14:02 -0500
Started 2014-06-29 20:58:23 -0500

“Oh wow!”

That’s what John said after he read through the package insert from the new medication his physician prescribed, and reviewed the list of potential side effects.

After going through this list – this LONG list – John had the feeling that his medication had the potential to cause just about every part of his body with aches, pains, allergic reactions, along with his mood. He added another side effect to the list: bad dreams, because that’s what taking this medication was going to give him.

What was especially frustrating to John was that his physician had briefly mentioned a couple of side effects when she was giving instructions on how and when to take it. He hadn’t really paid that much attention. But he would have had she gone through this extensive list with him.

What about you? Have you ever taking a look at side effect list that comes with your medications or done some research on the Web? If so, do you ever notice anything on the list that worries you? Or, on the other hand, are you avoiding those side effect lists so that you don’t have to feel like John?

I recently posted an article with some ideas about how to have a conversation with your doctor about your concerns about the side effects of a medication you are taking. Here is a link:


Now, what about you? How are you handling side effect concerns as they come up? Any stories to share? Suggestions? Need some help from us?

Looking forward to sharing some experiences and ideas on this topic. So jump in!

60 replies

Rose67 2014-07-07 16:54:37 -0500 Report

I always read about side effects before I take anything new. I can't take any statins at all. I am very specific when I see a specialist about what I take and cannot take. I tell them why also. I listen to my body. I believe we know more than the doctors do because we live it. I do not take anymore than I have to.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-08 22:37:52 -0500 Report

Hi Rose,

You said it well! You know your history and you know your body. Two good reasons to advocate for yourself.



Stuart1966 2014-07-06 11:55:43 -0500 Report

Chuckling… they never TELL.

Questions we ask are dismissed out of hand as being "hysteria", or simply uninformed. Some we fill, some we do not.

When they are (sic. ever) ready to address the questions, we'll be happy to consider taking their proscribed meds.

Hell will freeze over twice first, I fear. Grim frown

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-07 11:30:33 -0500 Report

Stuart, very good points here. I think it is all in how you ask your questions. My doctor discusses side effects however, the doctors really don't know if you the patient will experience the side effects from the medication. Each person is different. For example, my mom was on oxycodone 10 mg twice a day and it made her have psychotic episodes and she would no longer take it. I am now taking it the exact same way and all it does to me is make me high.

I think because the media always focus on the side effects, people form opinions which often are ill informed and believe the medication is bad for them even if they have never taken it.

I always ask what the medication is for, why I need it and what side effects should I look for. My doctor answers my questions but he also tells me if I notice any side effects to call him immediately.

I will also ask for a sample of new medication so I can test the waters 90% of the time my doctor will give me samples and the prescription in my hand. If I have side effects, I will inform him and won't fill the RX. The key is researching the medication and then make an informed decision. This means reading about the medication and talking to your pharmacist.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-06 13:00:54 -0500 Report

Hi Stuart,

Thanks for checking in. You bring up a really good point here. I wonder sometimes if doctors don't think that if they talk to much about potential side effects, they will set the patient up to imagine they are experiencing all of them. The may feel like the less they talk about side effects, the less likely patients will experience them. But I don't know if it works that way, as you said so well.


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-04 19:21:33 -0500 Report

My doctor prescribe lisionpril and I knew that it causes coughing. My sister and neighbor were taken off of it for that reason. It has not coughing for me but it gives me a headache. Doctor told me to cut it in half. That seemed to do the trick. No more headaches.

I always ask about side effects when given a new medication so that I know what to watch out for. I also read all of the material that comes with the medication from the pharmacy. I also ask the pharmacist the best way to take the medication.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-05 21:27:51 -0500 Report

Hey Joyce,

It's always interesting to me how people can be affected in so many different ways by the same medication, along with how making a minor tweak like cutting the dosage can make such a big difference. All the more reason to stay on top of the situation by being aware of potential side effects and letting your doctor know how you're being affected if you do have a side effect. Just like you're doing. And I think pharmacists aren't always asked for their advice but they can be a great resource.



GabbyPA 2014-07-03 09:31:36 -0500 Report

My husband's doctor told us once that all drugs are basically just controlled poisons we put in our bodies. Wow....then why are they always so eager to prescribe them?

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-05 21:24:53 -0500 Report

Wow, what an interesting perspective. Kind of bleak! I guess everything is a trade-off in some way or another.

NaoV1 2014-07-03 22:24:00 -0500 Report

I think because most good by "the book." While I agree some is needed sometimes, I still believe even more that every "body" is different and one can know what works for them or not in certain situations, if they "really" listen to their bodies! :)

NaoV1 2014-07-03 09:19:03 -0500 Report

** I was given Lisinopril for my pre-hypertension (when your pressure is a "tad" bit over normal . not really high so to speak). I was in coughing hell. So, I changed docs after he changed me to Atenelol, and I suddenly was so depressed and crying, tired, and NAUSEAS, more so sleepy all day long and he said it was just depression, gave me a prescript and "said have a nice day." I looked at him like WTH .. whatever dude . . and ended up in the hospital overnight because my BP WAS HIGH 160/110, (normal is NORMAL) and I just wanted to sleep!!! They said if I slept, let's just say it would be eternal (because every time I nodded off, the heart machine would BEEP LIKE CRAZY but the nurses RAN IN let me tell you! I was like HAYEL NAW! I KNEW IT! (I read side effects which is why I fight when they give me meds and med myself so to speak (read on). The atenolol lowed my heart rate under 50, and I am not a runner! LOL :/ Needless to say, I now have a WONDERFUL doc who listens, and I am on caotopril ROFL :D. But what I do is when they give me meds, except antibiotics or specific drugs ,which thank the Lord is RARE, I take a chance and take half the dose and see what happens. My diabetes for the most part is well controlled as because I stressed and ate and couldn't move too much around due to an accident - and my A1C went from 6.3 to 9.6 now to 7.2 (in 3 months), so I am working hard to get it back under 7 of course, where it's been since 2005, but as close to 5 as possible as every body is different. My doctor gets isomewhat surprised because I was to take 2 BP pills a day, I take 1, I am supposed to take 1,000mg. of Metformin, and I take 500 one day, 1,000 the other, a glipizide I take it once a day We work together because he like me sees, every "body" is different. You have to work with your doctor, like you work with your mechanic! See what it NEEDS!!! SEE WHAT YOU ARE REALLY BUYING!! AND DO WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING TO GET OFF ALL MEDS!! YAYUH!! :D

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-03 20:12:39 -0500 Report

Hey NaoV1,

Thanks for describing your situation here. this really illustrates the importance of finding a doctor who will listen, who is sensitive to individual differences in terms of what medications are needed and how people tolerate these medication. Sounds like you are sensitive to medication. All the more reason for your doctor to be a good listener and to be willing to team up with you. That's great.


NaoV1 2014-07-03 22:25:44 -0500 Report

Well at least sensitive to Lisinopril and Atenolol, but so far so good on the rest of the meds (besides nightmares on the pain meds I am on) . . but my current doc knows I HATE MEDS so I do my best to either not take them and not need them or watch how I take them and try to as little as possible so long as my health is not affected!! (y)

lorider70 2014-07-01 12:10:48 -0500 Report

I have been a type II since 1989. Current meds: glimeperide, lisinopril, metoprolol, and tramadol. I have been in good control since shortly after diagnosis. If I have a concern about a possible side effect of a med; I then look up the med and see if my problem is on the list. There have been a few meds I have asked the Dr. to take me off of due to "side effects" . That said; some med problems are just facts of life we have to learn to deal with…such as constipation, ed, etc. In other words the meds benefit outweighs the problem it may cause. My chief complaint these days is that many Drs., including mine, are constantly wanting to run somewhat invasive tests for no real reason…ie: a few days of constipation is not a good enough reason to do a colonoscopy. That particular test, from what I've read can cause problems of its own, not to mention the prep for it, which can be very problematic for diabetics. As far as doing these "tests" as a matter of routine, to me, is ridiculous and only really benefits the medical personel that charge a fee to do it. If they nick a colon or whatever, it's no skin off their nose. At 71 years old, I'm not gonna agree to everything just to possibly add a few months to my life. Cynical? Maybe, but my intention is to go out kicking when the time comes,,,,not sitting in a chair waiting for my next Dr. visit. I do not recommend this approach for everyone; but it fits me to a tee.

Pynetree 2014-07-02 11:32:21 -0500 Report

Hey lorider, we are on the same wave length! Diognosed around the same time..and been in very good control once the 1st year passed. Although now my new Endo wants my A1c to be higher. Go figure!!
But I too don't see the value of all these expensive medical test. I'm OLD, things don't always work the way they used to. I have aches and pains.
New Dr. wants some test everytime I go..this month she wants a bone density test, and "why don't you get a mamogram while you're out there". She thinks my thyroid might need surgery?!
And I just had a long talk with our dentist..why X-rays every time ego? And when did the 6 month cleaning and check-up become 4 months?!
I asked for copies of last Septembers dental X-rays so I could put them in an album titled ~ "Our Summer Vacation" - because that is what we paid for, instead of going to the shore for a week!
I don't think anyone even looks at them.
Medical cost are astronominal today, and we have to be our own advocate, and stopall this testing just because they can!
Have a good, Healthy Summer!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 23:25:47 -0500 Report

Hi lorider,

It's good to see you.

I see what you mean. If you need the medication, and it is the best alternative, you may need to learn to live with some side effects.

And I also agree that patients should sometimes question the tests their doctor recommends. Again, do I need it? Why? And what are the potential side effects/risks from the test? After the doctor answers those questions, then work together to make the decision on whether or not to go forward.

When tests are used wisely, we all win.



BB42 2014-07-01 06:25:20 -0500 Report

I not only have difficulty reading the side effects on the medication insert but I wonder why anyone would order medications after seeing the possible side effects on TV! I realize only a very few percentage of people will develop any of the side effects but the TV and inserts can be scary.
I once had a physician who actually made fun of me when I suggested I might have one of the side effects on a medication he prescribed. He is no longer my physician. Now, if I do have concerns, my physician is a call or email away and he answers all my concerns. In that, I am very fortunate

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 23:20:57 -0500 Report

Hey BB42,

That was quite an experience you had with your doctor. Sometimes those side effects do occur, and when the do, doctors need to be responsive and act accordingly. I had the same experience with a new medication that was causing a possible but rare side effect. My doctor at the time refused to believe me, even after I had lost 5 pounds over the weekend. That was my last appointment with him.

Thank you.


Anonymous 2014-06-30 21:00:20 -0500 Report

I had been a physician in the past, prior to my medical/cognitive dysfunction (after parts of my brain were removed twice). There are tons of side effects from everything in life (with all the lawyers on tv always trying to get people to use them). But, life is full of rare things occurring (including bad luck) with lots of things. It sounds as if you have been through so many difficulties! I am sorry. It has had to have been/be so difficult. I, once again, am sorry. I just follow my MD's guidelines, and question them about decisions. I wish the best for all of you

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 23:18:47 -0500 Report

Hi Anonymous, thanks for sharing this. I guess it comes down to evaluating the potential side effects and then deciding whether the benefit outweighs the potential risk. And yes, life is full of surprises, some good, some not so good. That's why it's really important to work closely with your doctor when you are starting a medication.

Pegsy 2014-06-30 19:29:45 -0500 Report

I'm pretty sensitive to all drugs and I try my best to stay off them. What it do take I am extremely cautious about. I refuse to take any pills that are combo drugs as how will I know which one caused the problem should a problem arise? I make it clear to my doctor that my goal is to live as drug free as possible. She is pretty free with prescriptions but she does respect my "no". She wants me on a cholesterol drug and I am resisting. She is respecting that, at least for now. The one she wants to put me on says in the leaflet that it can cause diabetes. Really? Then why would a diabetic want to take it? She and I will needs to have more conversations before I will take a cholesterol drug.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 23:15:47 -0500 Report

Hi Pegsy,

Nice to meet you.

If you know you have a drug sensitivity, then it's a good idea to make sure your healthcare providers are aware of this, as you are doing. That's being a good advocate for yourself. It never hurts to as your physicians to explain why you need a medication as well as how you might be able to avoid taking something. I think many doctors are so used to patients asking for drugs, and expecting a yes, that they just expect patients won't question those prescriptions being handed to them. I suspect you have surprised a few doctors by asking the why questions.

Thanks for sharing this.


Pynetree 2014-06-30 13:38:28 -0500 Report

In 2005, I fell, ended up in the ER, they said they would give me something to just calm my nerves, and wanted to just keep me over night for observation. I am morbidly obese, they gave me a dose based on my weight, I'm sure. I was mentally out of it, stopped breathing on my own, my kidneys stopped working, followed by other organs..on the third day they told my husband to have my youngest "daughter come home today, as your wife might not make it till the morning." And 4 months from the day I fell, I went home. And have questioned every single prescribed drug since!
I feel fortunate that my Pharmacist at CVS, has warned me of some side affects, and once, refused to fill a Rx, till I talked to my Dr. about an interaction between it and another Rx.
And my Dr. knows I often have overly-sensitive reactions, and that dosing by weight ~ dosn't work, is usually too strong.
And now, after 2nd visit to new Endocrinologist, she is cutting dosage, and has now stopped my Gliizide completely. So I like her plan.
So I am always very wary of Rx's, dosage, reaction, and interaction.

Great topic Dr. Gary! Thanks.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 23:10:59 -0500 Report

Hey Pynetree,

Wow, this is an incredible experience you had. Really scary. You certainly learned something about yourself, and you learned it the hard way. And it sounds like you also have a pharmacist who takes the time to think about what he/she is prescribing and helps to protect customers from harm.

You are being a good advocate for yourself as a result!

Thanks for sharing this.


Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-06-30 12:35:32 -0500 Report

I had a pharmacist tell me once that he would fill the prescription I brought but that he strongly advised against it. He said I should talk to my doctor and tell him that my pharmacist felt very strongly against it. Well guess what, my doctor apologised, and gave me a different prescription. We now talk about side effects and how different meds. may effect others that I am taking. So ever since I have questions about any thing he writes for me to take and we talk about it. If there are any problems I call him right away.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 23:04:05 -0500 Report

HI Trudie Ann,

This is an excellent example of how pharmacists can help. They often know these medications and how they interact with each other. And hopefully when they see a potential problem, they are raising that issue with their customers. At least your doctor took ownership for the error. Hopefully, your doctor learned a lesson here, starting with having the side effect conversation with patients, especially when prescribing multiple drugs, and being more careful.

Thanks for sharing this.


Chevy Vega
Chevy Vega 2014-06-30 08:45:50 -0500 Report

It seems like EVERY medication has a long list of side effects.

People take a risk when they walk across a street. People take a risk when they drive a vehicle. Etc.

I accept the trade off. Glipizide has been the only drug that I couldn't tolerate.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 23:01:07 -0500 Report

Hi Chevy Vega, that is a realistic assessment. We have to weigh the risks, maybe with some trial and error along the way. You're right, life is uncertain! Gary

GabbyPA 2014-06-30 08:44:21 -0500 Report

I had this issue with my doctor when he insisted I be put on statins. I didn't want to because I saw how it affected my mom so badly. I did try them and after trying a couple of different types, over a period of about a year, I finally got him to stop prescribing them for me. They make my body ache so bad I couldn't sleep. It was horrible. He just kept telling me that I am not my mom...but when I follow in her foot steps in so many ways, I think he should have listened to me more in the beginning. The side effects of some drugs I am willing to endure, but some I am not.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 22:59:42 -0500 Report

Hey Gabby,

This is a great example of advocating for yourself, knowing your own body, and being aware of family history. I am guessing that most of us have some kind of sensitivity to one medication or another. I am hoping your doctor learned a lesson from this experience and as a result is a little more willing to listen. And another reason to be our own advocates to make sure they get the message.


Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-06-30 12:16:16 -0500 Report

I tried some of the statins and the doctor had to keep switching them until he found one that I could take (lipitor is the only one). The others effected me so bad that I could barely function. They effected my mind so bad, I still have some problems but they are minor compared to the other statins. Oh, and my cholesterol is getting better. Maybe in the future I can get off of them so I can enjoy grapefruit again. I can dream until then.

fatso200 2014-06-30 07:59:23 -0500 Report

I held off taking glipizide for month because I was worried about side effects. I started taking it and thankfully I've had none. My blood sugar is also lower. I avoid some of the newly tweaked overpriced formula meds advertised because I beleive a lot of the older generic meds that are tried and true are just as effective. I worry about these new meds advertised as it seems their potential effects can be devastating. These advertised meds are usually re formulated from earlier meds that have become available generically. By tweaking the formula slightly, the pharmaceutical companies and repatent and sell under a new name for a much higher price. Then they give promo samples to dr's in return for them writing prescriptions for these cash cow meds. Then they offer discount programs to those eligible to get more people dependent on these overpriced newfangled meds. Always consider something that's been around for a while that's tried and true for your conditiion and don't always get sucked in by the tv ads.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 22:55:25 -0500 Report

Hi fatso200,

You sound like you are pretty skeptical of doctors and how they promote some of the meds with their patients. I can't argue with you because I have heard some of the same stories. That's why patients like you benefit from asking questions. Good for you!



JaxCreations 2014-06-30 07:08:34 -0500 Report

I think if I spoke to my doctor about the possible side effects of every medication I take, he would think I've turned into a hypochondriac!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 22:52:42 -0500 Report

Hey Jax, that's very funny. There probably is a balance in there somewhere between being aware of the side effects and making informed decisions and just plain old making yourself anxious.

JaxCreations 2014-07-02 08:39:10 -0500 Report

My doctor doesn't seem to have the patience to sit and discuss these things, I usually have to find out elsewhere

Type1Lou 2014-06-30 06:32:11 -0500 Report

While it is good to be aware of the potential side effects, I try to weigh what not taking the medication would do to me versus what taking it will/might do. If the side-effects mentioned occurred in everyone, every time, no one would take the medication.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 22:51:17 -0500 Report

Hi Type1Lou,

This is a very good point! We have to weigh the potential benefit with the risks of side effects. And yes, not everybody gets all those side effects. So there's some trial and error along the way.


katcot2152 2014-06-29 22:05:00 -0500 Report

I read the literature for side effects and what other meds. may interact, etc. Fortunately, my daughter-in-law is a pharmacist so if I don't understand something, have questions, or need anything explained further, I consult with her. There have been a few occasions whereby she told me i shouldn't be on a particular medication and suggested an alternative - then i would speak to the prescribing physician about her concerns. Most of the time my physician will make the change. But occasionally my physician will explain why she chose a particular med. - case in point, Coumadin, my daughter-in-law asked why I was not put on another blood thinner that would not require me to have my INR checked to see if it is the correct dosage - my physician explained that the other blood thinners have no known way to stop bleeding should it occur, but with Coumadin they would just give me vitamin K to stop the bleeding. So, while it is wise to check with your pharmacist, it is not the end all because they can make mistakes as well - that's why I bring up any concerns to both my daughter-in-law and my physician.

katcot2152 2014-06-29 22:04:27 -0500 Report

I read the literature for side effects and what other meds. may interact, etc. Fortunately, my daughter-in-law is a pharmacist so if I don't understand something, have questions, or need anything explained further, I consult with her. There have been a few occasions whereby she told me i shouldn't be on a particular medication and suggested an alternative - then i would speak to the prescribing physician about her concerns. Most of the time my physician will make the change. But occasionally my physician will explain why she chose a particular med. - case in point, Coumadin, my daughter-in-law asked why I was not put on another blood thinner that would not require me to have my INR checked to see if it is the correct dosage - my physician explained that the other blood thinners have no known way to stop bleeding should it occur, but with Coumadin they would just give me vitamin K to stop the bleeding. So, while it is wise to check with your pharmacist, it is not the end all because they can make mistakes as well - that's why I bring up any concerns to both my daughter-in-law (pharmacist) and my physician.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 22:50:12 -0500 Report

Hi katcot,

You make a really good point here. It can't hurt to get a couple of different perspectives. Based on their knowledge, and experience, they can help you to make sure you are going in the right direction. That's a really interesting story. And a good example of making good use of your resources.



kimfing 2014-06-29 21:54:55 -0500 Report

When i was dx last year and Dr wanted to put me on ac certain med that i heard side effect could be pancreaticc cancer, i told her if it was the last med on earth to treat D i still wouldn't take it. She listened and said ok, and went on to what i was taking up until yesterday when i went on the pump.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 22:46:40 -0500 Report

Hi kimfing,

Sounds like you have a doctor who really listens and works with you. That's great. Be your own advocate!


RebDee 2014-06-29 21:50:38 -0500 Report

Every time I get a pain or a new symptom, the doctor prescribes another medication. No reduction of the amount that I am already taking. Just another and another and another. I am up to 18 medications and weaning myself off. I have learned to be Dr. Mom to myself. I was terribly allergic to Actos and my physician insisted that it couldn't be that med (I no longer use that doctor).
So I stopped taking it and the swelling in my legs and torso diminished. I was then put on insulin. That worked. It turned out (after attending a diabetes class) that I was allergic to all Diabetic medications as they all contained sulfa drugs and I am allergic to sulfa drugs. So now I have a new doctor, am on the insulin pump, and doing much better. All because I took matters into my own hands and became Dr. Mom.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 22:45:17 -0500 Report

Hi RebDee,

Wow, what an experience you had, my friend. Another great example of why patients really have to advocate for themselves. After all, who knows your body better than you do? Glad to hear you are taking good care of yourself by being your own Dr. Mom.


lanykins 2014-06-29 21:39:31 -0500 Report

I pay attention to all the warnings on side effects. That's because it seems that many of the same side effects appear on so many drugs. Besides having a lot of bad complications from my diabetes, I am bipolar and tend to become suicidal when depressed. Many drugs warn of suicidal feelings and I won't go near that one if I can ever help it. That's the main one, though there can be many more.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 22:42:18 -0500 Report

Hi lanykins,

Thanks for sharing this with us. Excellent point! When you know drugs can cause a specific reaction that is especially risky to you, it's a great idea to look carefully in the fine print to make sure you aren't placing yourself at risk. That's being a good medical consumer!


neverlowbg 2014-06-29 21:28:16 -0500 Report

I read the side effects and all I can in a medicine the thing that gets me is they could cause these side effects some deadly or will keep you in the bathroom 20 hrs a day but what really gets me is if you get a side effect the give you another medicine to help with that side affect that causes more side affects so more medicines and before you know it your on multiple meds for your issue bad on liver and kidneys like a runny nose one of the top meds for that is uncontrolled bowel movement paralysis death in rare cases I think some Kleenex and I'm good I let my body naturally heal itself it just makes my immune system stronger now some things need meds but short term only like when dx for t2 was on three shots and two pills did that for about a week talked to dr I was all messed up got on pump one insulin dropped everything else doing good and feeling good now I already have a messed up pancreas don't need to mess up any more organs unnaturally sorry for venting but I don't believe in pill popping for every little inconvenience or sniffle for a week like hypochondriacs they got a pill for everything my sister in law is like that and always sickly and I honestly believe most of it is caused by the meds and holistic medicine is no better natural herbal medicine same thing if they really worked that well drug companies would be all over it jacking up the price I've seen the damage all that non FDA following supplements do to friends and family and the crazy money spent on them yes some people show results but most if that fades away or it's because they changed something like diet and exercise change those things and drop the pill and you get same result I guess though physiologically it helps people I guess

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-01 22:40:40 -0500 Report

Hi neverlowbg,

Thanks for jumping into the conversation. And I totally understand your point here. A drug, side effects, more drugs. It can feel like an endless cycle. Unfortunately, some conditions are only treated by a limited number of drugs, so the choices can be limited. When possible, letting our bodies heal on their own is certainly a great thing.

Always feel free to rant!


s l k
s l k 2014-06-29 21:19:41 -0500 Report

I had a bad few months, during which I gained weight. Consulting with both my pcp and my endocrinologist I was put on adipex. For the first 6 weeks the small side effects were tolerable because I lost weight, albeit slowly. After 3 months the pill was no longer giving me results. I did not realize what the withdrawal effects would be. I've been off it for ten days and this is the first day that I haven't felt like sleeping all the time…not to mention the nightmares (3 or 4 a night)

I never really was one to pay mind too much to side effects of taking or stopping medications but when a few days ago I found myself saying that I think people don't relapse on scripted drugs to help their illness; it's to stop the withdrawal.

I don't know what my next steps are for long range weight control, but I will watch EVERY option before I step.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-06-30 13:05:27 -0500 Report

Hi s l k,

Thanks for checking in. NIce to see you!

Your post is a really good example of how side effects can be really profound, depending on your own unique body chemistry. And yes, the withdrawal can be even more profound. This is a good reason why it is always recommended to have a talk with the doctor before abruptly stopping a medication. And from what you described, the boomerang effect can be unexpected. I sometimes wonder if doctors are always prepared for what they encounter when patients stop using a medication.

Glad to hear you are being your own best advocate.


theladyiscrazy 2014-06-29 21:05:16 -0500 Report

I don't think I am a good one to comment on this. My reason, is I react strangely to meds to begin with. Stimulants put me to sleep, whereas depressants keep me wired. If there is a 1-2% chance of reacting weirdly, I am in that group. So, no I don't normally read side effects due to the fact that the "norms" aren't norms for me. If my doc has samples, she tends to let me "try" the med first to see if I can even tolerate it. Then we move ahead with Rx.

RebDee 2014-07-02 04:35:07 -0500 Report

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Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-06-30 12:59:15 -0500 Report

Hey theladyiscrazy,

You are a very good one to comment here. Your situation is a good reason why pharma companies have to mention even the tiniest potential side effect. Sounds like a good system you and your doctor have worked out.

Thanks for sharing this.


Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-06-30 12:27:33 -0500 Report

My pain med helps with my pain but they also make me wired up, and I talk like a chatter box. My husband will say "so you had to take a pain pill", I only take them when it is absolutely necessary because of that and I don't want to get hooked on them. Oh and they also make me itch all over so I never take one just before I go to bed cause' all I do is scratch for about 15 min or so. Also Prednasone spikes my blood sugar so bad that my doctor listed it as me being allergic to it. (wierd huh). I guess that it could be an allergic side effect, but I would just call it a reaction to being diabetic. So thisladyiscrazy; I also do the same thing with new meds. check out the samples…

theladyiscrazy 2014-06-30 17:15:17 -0500 Report

Prednisone can spike anyone's blood sugar. When I went to my diabetes class, they stated there may be a sub-category coming for Type 2 diabetes (Type 2 steroid induced). Mine spike as well. There are times I need it though (asthma, allergies) but we have learned to keep it low and to get me off as soon as possible. Pain meds don't affect me negatively (well, except maybe stuff upset). Oh, and the stronger stuff, like Vicodin, wires me. I cannot sleep when I take it. LOL.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-06-30 13:01:06 -0500 Report

Hey Trudie Ann, sounds like you are super sensitive to medications, too. Those samples do come in handy.