Serious Side Effects!!

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Stac/Catz4
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 11/8/2010 7:26 AM (GMT -6)   

I started to write one person and decided that this may be of help to everyone as I am sure each of us have had side effects from medication before. This comes at a time of year, (November 4th, was 5 years) marking the anniversary of my dangerous decision to keep my mouth shut about a particular medication and it’s side effect.

I was started on a medication that helps so many of you, called Cymbalta. I started at 30mg and went up to 90mgs when I went into the hospital with a fairly common reaction with a potentially deadly side effect.  I really feel a bit odd talking about this in open forum, but it is so very important to recognize that any side effect can be very serious. (Another great reason for never, ever sharing drugs!) I got constipated with Cymbalta and was using everything I could think of without telling my doctors about it. That was my first STUPID mistake! I was embarrassed and didn’t want to talk about my problem. After 5 weeks....yes, seriously....I decided it would be a good idea to just use an enema instead of telling my doctors I had used everything from bottles and bottles of Milk of Magnesia to Magnesium Citrate without relief and without getting the opinions of my doctors.  I felt the moment my bowel ruptured and it was so far past having a baby on the pain scale that it's ridiculous! I was in horrible pain and finally called an ambulance. Thank God I took my cell phone to the restroom with me because I couldn't move.  After a terrible ER doc and lots of dumb moves on the ER doc's part, I was finally given an MRI with contrast after being in the hospital for 8 hours and when they used the MRI they saw the tear. It was all in my abdomen and I had emergency surgery though they didn't think it would save me.  After a massive 7 1/2 hour surgery to try and repair the colon plus remove all the toxins in my body cavity, I awoke in CCU where I’d been for over a week.  I was informed that had they waited even 15 more minutes, the toxins would have been too out of control to save my life.

Now, the point to this is simple, do not take side effects lightly! It could be the worst decision you could ever make and quite possibly be a potentially deadly decision.

 

From the Heart.....Stac 


Stac/Catz4
DX’d-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, DDD, Diabetes Type II, Migraines, Chronic Muscle Spasms, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC, Hypothyroidism, Bipolar Disorder, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Emergency surgery for ruptured bowel in '05 w/colostomy and takedown in '06. Frozen Shoulder and Torn Rotator Cuff in Left Shoulder. Surgery for shoulder recently, now in Physical Therapy.

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 11/8/2010 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
 
     Good morning Catz4!
 
      WOW! You have been thru the mill!
 
         I hope your doing better, and you are so right, about not letting side effects get out of hand. I went through the constipation when I first started the pain meds, and it was not fun at all. It even got to the point, that I thought I too may have to see a Dr, but I got lucky. One of the members suggested the Prune's and that has kept me out of trouble.
 
          You have really suffered, and I feel so badly for you. Thank you so much for posting this here, as Im sure it will help other member to keep a watch for side effects of meds.
 
    Take care!
 
    SE wink

Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 11/8/2010 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
OMG,
 
I am SO sorry this has happened to you.  Thank God you took your cell into the bathroom and thank God you have been given another chance to live. 
 
Never be ashamed to discuss things with the Dr....even if they are jerks sometimes.  You couldn't possibly tell them anything they haven't already heard before.
 
All my best my friend!
Retired Mom

Stac/Catz4
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 11/8/2010 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Donna! That is so scarey and heartbreaking for that family!! To think I was minutes away from death from something so painful and all because I was embarrassed. You are so right!! Listen to your body!! The thing is, I knew this as well as anyone could have. Still, I didn't do what I should have done!! Gone to the doctor, do not collect $200, do not pass GO!!! Apparently we've all had our "war stories", but mine was completely preventable had I said something after the first week. My surgeon said there was no way I could have passed what was there by the time she saw me.
RT, I should have never been embarrassed to talk to the dr no matter what it was about, but I was. I learned a valuable lesson about that! And yes! Thank God I took my cell phone into the bathroom! I do it every single time now!!!
SE, I posted this in hopes of even one person who is having a difficult time with side effects to take notice. You are so right! Prune juice is great and if someone doesn't like it, but is a coffee drinker, you can add it to your coffee and not taste the prune juice! I like eating them, but they can cause gas that is not too comfortable!
Well there is one thing for sure! I HAVE talked about bodily functions way too much for the day!
God Bless you all,
Stac                                                               
Stac/Catz4
DX’d-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, DDD, Diabetes Type II, Migraines, Chronic Muscle Spasms, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC, Hypothyroidism, Bipolar Disorder, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Emergency surgery for ruptured bowel in '05 w/colostomy and takedown in '06. Frozen Shoulder and Torn Rotator Cuff in Left Shoulder. Surgery for shoulder recently, now in Physical Therapy.

Post Edited (Stac/Catz4) : 11/8/2010 10:51:32 AM (GMT-7)


Medicalkid2
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 11/8/2010 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
vestabula said...
The same thing happened to my MIL who was on a drug similar to Cymbalta. She did not discuss the constipation with any one, including her doctor and was found writhing in pain on the bathroom floor by her daughter after weeks of 'not going'. Unfortunately, she did not make it...was fatally septic from the tear. I think the side effects from some of these seratonin boosting drugs are highly underestimated by the medical community. Some of them are used off label. My brother, for instance, was prescribed a pretty hefty daily dose of Zoloft for itching caused from his liver failure. We found him hovering in a snow bank thinking he had been abducted by aliens. The same day he reached into a pan of boiling water believing his dog was in there.

Listen to your body and if something doesn't seem right, confront your doctor immediately. Don't be embarrassed...it could save your life! Thanks for sharing this story as I am sure others will now be aware!

Donna



(Please read over the forum rules that you agreed to when joining, especially #4. If you disagree with someone then do so in a respectful manor, please.)

4. No posts that attack, insult, "flame", defame, or abuse members or non-members. Respect other members of the community and don’t belittle, make fun off, or insult another member or non-member. Decisions about health and well-being are highly personal, individual choices. "Flaming" and insults, however, will not be tolerated. Agree to disagree. This applies to both the forums and chat.

Post Edited By Moderator (Chutz) : 11/8/2010 4:26:26 PM (GMT-7)


Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 11/8/2010 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for posting this topic, even though it's not easy to talk about. Medicines affect people in such a variety of ways...just try and read the entire pile of literature that comes with a new prescription! If you don't fall asleep first, most of them will scare you out of taking them...including aspirin.

I've tried Cymbalta and I had no idea who I was. I literally had to hold my head up even while sitting in a chair. Yet others aren't bothered and get wonderful relief. For me it wasn't worth even trying continued use.

Here are some excepts from labels of several products mentioned here.

Thanks again for opening up this discussion,
Chutz


Zoloft Side Effects / Generic Name: sertraline

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Zoloft:

Anxiety; constipation; decreased sexual desire or ability; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; increased sweating; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness; stomach upset; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weight loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Zoloft:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bizarre behavior; black or bloody stools; chest pain; confusion; decreased bladder control; decreased concentration; decreased coordination; exaggerated reflexes; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; hallucinations; memory loss; new or worsening agitation, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, restlessness, or inability to sit still; persistent or severe ringing in the ears; persistent, painful erection; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent anxiety or trouble sleeping; severe or persistent headache; stomach pain; suicidal thoughts or attempts; tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual or severe mental or mood changes; unusual weakness; vision changes; worsening of depression.

Cymbalta Delayed-Release Capsules (notice how similar these are to Zoloft?)

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Cymbalta Delayed-Release Capsules:

Constipation; decreased sexual desire or ability; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; increased sweating; loss of appetite; nausea; sore throat; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Cymbalta Delayed-Release Capsules:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); bizarre behavior; bloody or black, tarry stools; blurred vision; confusion; dark urine; decreased concentration; decreased coordination; excessive sweating; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever or chills; hallucinations; memory loss; new or worsening aggressiveness, agitation, anxiety, hostility, impulsiveness, irritability, panic attacks, restlessness, or inability to sit still; pale stools; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; severe or persistent tiredness or weakness; severe or persistent trouble sleeping; stiff muscles; stomach pain; suicidal thoughts or attempts; tremor; trouble urinating or change in the amount of urine produced; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual or severe mental or mood changes; unusual weakness; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; worsening of depression; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein

vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2859
   Posted 11/8/2010 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   

I removed my post.  I did not think it was abusive or demeaning.  Sorry.

 

Donna


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 11/8/2010 11:08 PM (GMT -6)   

 

  Dear Stacy,

    I am glad to see you stopped by *hugg* I am glad to know you are on the mend! That sounds scary no doubt! We all need to be cautious with our meds, especially those of us taking multiple meds for chronic pain. I think sometimes we forget that bad reactions can happen even with just increasing a medicine that already being taken.

    I have heard great things of Cymbalta and I sure am sorry to hear it did so much damage to your body. Personally, the "anti depressant" part of my "cocktail" is Amitriptyline +150mg. I hear most people don't like to take it for a number of reasons. "Too tired" "too intense side effects" "unusual behaviors"... For me, it is a perfect compliment to my other meds. The only hard part is the extreme caution (overly cautious IMO) used when adding in or increasing other meds. Opioids, muscle relaxants... they were nervous bunch when they added in baclofen! called literally every other day for a week! I guess what works for one person, doesn't for the next.

     I do hope you are able to get on a med that you can tolerate well and that works well with your body. Try to rest up as much as you can.

*hugg*
  dani

p.s. it sure is good to see you posting again!


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator
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Stac/Catz4
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 11/9/2010 2:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Donna!!!
I appreciate that Medicalkid2 would come to my defense however, I did not take offense or even read any into your post so, DO NOT FRET! It's o.k! I wish you would never remove a reply from my posts because whether you agree with me...wait a minute! Donna, I don't understand what happened! All I can say is that I took nor saw any offense in your reply! Just know that I appreciate your imput and would never want you to feel uncomfortable with me!
If you are anything like me, I'd be so upset I'd find it difficult to sleep etc. I didn't see this until 2:20am. I was awoken thinking of Vanessa! Go to sleep, let the worry off your chest and the hurt you must feel out of your heart. I took no offense.
Love ya as always,
Stac/Catz4
Stac/Catz4
DX’d-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, DDD, Diabetes Type II, Migraines, Chronic Muscle Spasms, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC, Hypothyroidism, Bipolar Disorder, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Emergency surgery for ruptured bowel in '05 w/colostomy and takedown in '06. Frozen Shoulder and Torn Rotator Cuff in Left Shoulder. Surgery for shoulder recently, now in Physical Therapy.

kajamas89
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/9/2010 2:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Cymbalta is a fairly new med. And in my opinion it wasn't researched fully for side effects.
I started taking it 2 years ago for what my rheumy thought was fibromyalgia (until I developed fevers and swollen lymph nodes and was sent to ther doctors, but that's another story). After he ruled out fibro I decided to stay on it as it helped a little with my pain and anxiety. After reading your post I am pretty sure this med led to my long bout of constipation. I had been on ms contain for 6 months and my BMs were normal, and one day I got constipated, I took some fiber, nothing. Took a laxative, not even a cramp. After 2 weeks of no bm I saw a gastro who basically told me I was full of ****. haha. She told me to take 2 enemas and if it didn't work to call her, (I had such a bad build up of toxins, I felt awful) I did them both and thank god they helped, I completely cleared, but for about 2 months the only way I could go was an enema. Btw I was put on a special liquid diet for heart problems (only gatoraid) and was drinking close to a gallon a day so I don't think it was dehydration. I also found this med can cause heart problems, all the problems I was just diagnosed with! I stopped this med a few days ago (I have stopped it before) and the withdrawal is crazy, brain zaps as if your frightened. Don't take this med, go with something like amitryptaline or nortryptaline, they have been around for longer and do the same thing.

Stac/Catz4
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 11/9/2010 3:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Medicalkid2!
Thank you so much for coming to my defense however, I didn't take offense from any of the replies to my post. I'm not sure what you read that made you believe I was being disrespected, but believe you me...I would have had a word or two if someone had in any way hurt my feelings or made me feel uncomfortable.
Again, thank you for taking up for what you believed was not nice, I appreciate what you had to say and know that the Moderaters are on top of all posts!! Now, let's let this go!!
Thank you and bless you,
Stac/Catz4
Stac/Catz4
DX’d-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, DDD, Diabetes Type II, Migraines, Chronic Muscle Spasms, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC, Hypothyroidism, Bipolar Disorder, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Emergency surgery for ruptured bowel in '05 w/colostomy and takedown in '06. Frozen Shoulder and Torn Rotator Cuff in Left Shoulder. Surgery for shoulder recently, now in Physical Therapy.

vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2859
   Posted 11/9/2010 6:49 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Catz...sorry for all the confusion!  I looked at the post after Medicalkid's comment had already been removed and thought it was me being told I was rude and demeaning...I was up after midnight pacing around in pain, looked at the forum and just saw my post with rule #4 under it so assumend it was directed at me.  In hind sight I should have not mentioned my brother's experience with Zoloft but he died shortly thereafter and I became too emotional about it.

Blame it on the fibro fog...LOL!

Take care and thank you for explaining.

Huggies

Donna


MIKEL99
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 11/9/2010 6:07 PM (GMT -6)   
    My Sister is beautiful AND smart !!!!!!

Stac/Catz4
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 11/10/2010 8:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you sweet brother of mine!! You are always there for a hand to pull me up when I've fallen no matter the reasons. I love you and thank you for all you do every single day for everyone you love!! You truly are the Knight in Shimmering armor!
Always..............................me!
Stac/Catz4
DX’d-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, DDD, Diabetes Type II, Migraines, Chronic Muscle Spasms, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC, Hypothyroidism, Bipolar Disorder, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Emergency surgery for ruptured bowel in '05 w/colostomy and takedown in '06. Frozen Shoulder and Torn Rotator Cuff in Left Shoulder. Surgery for shoulder recently, now in Physical Therapy.
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