Don't worry, I wasn't given them lightly. First, I was diagnosed as Bipolar and went through all the hoops trying to get to a good place there. We started by just treating the depression, but when that did not work after several medication trys, we added mood stabelizers. We tried several diffrent levels of several diffrent types. After a while, we found the combination of a very low dose of antidepressant and some mood stableizers brought me out of a very deep depression. Once I became "safe," we started trying to decrease the dosage. Once the depression came back, we would increase it a bit to the previous dosage that worked. We did always allow enough time for the withdraw effects to level off before coming to a decision. Finding the correct dosage has taken a long, long time.
I did have a medical test find that I was anemic, which was a probable cause for the fatigue I had. By taking Iron to eliminate anemia, I can be less sleepy without medicine. I take sleeping medicine because, without it, I have not had a full night's sleep for years. When I started taking the antidepressant it became worse, and without sleep I can become Manic. I have tried to decrease it as much as I can- but without it I don't sleep, and it effect's my health. I have tried eliminating caffine, sugar to no avail.
I have availible to me a "depressant" for when I go into a hard manic. I have only used it once, but if I need it, it's there.
Then we go onto the treatment fro RA. I am very early in the treatment for RA, so I have meds added, taken away, increased and decreased all the time. I assume that it will take years before we find out what will work best. I do research the meds before I will take them. I usually have several weeks between talking about them to having the script written. Once we find something that will work, we will figure what the lowest dosage that will work is.
All of the meds are covered by all 3 doctors (PSY, RA, PCP) each time I go to any appt. Everyone knows what everyone else has perscribed, and how much, and why. I feel that I am very safe how I take my medications. Even though there are a lot of them, I do keep tabs on them. But, thanks for caring.
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)