fibro and drug sensitivity...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 2/3/2012 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I thought I was crazy thinking all these meds were making me sick. I am convinced absolutely convinced that fibro has made me sensitive to any med, even supplements...

I have a vitamin d deficiency every time i take the pills I have more severe burning skin sensations. I was taking prilosec for years and then all the sudden when this all started it would make the burning come on... So for almost 2 years I would stop taking something then start again thinking I was going nuts... So after reading here and the net i see that fibro can cause this...

Now what can I do if i cannot take anything... I cannot take vicodin it made my head throb, i took antibiotics and my muscles were freezing and spasming... I never was allergic to meds or had reactions but now I am afraid to take anything. Right now I am trying the natural approach to calm this beast but no wheat, gluten, dairy or meat is tough plus its been 3 weeks and I am not seeing a real difference. I only eat fruit and vegetables and I have a juicer and make juice drinks... After awhile I will add things back to see if they bother me but I want to do this eliminated diet for a month or 2 and see what happen... It is a slow process for sure... I am sure I have food sensitivities as well hopefully I can figure them out...

Anyone else have this and if so how do you cope are there some things you can take?? Of course all the docs want to throw pills at me and I have tried to tell them I really thing these make me worse.... and they won't listen...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5022
   Posted 2/3/2012 9:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Been there, found my allergies and intolerances, still finding more all the time.

I've kept a food and medicine diary (aka food journal or log) for several years. I can go back in my books when I get a reaction and see if I had a problem with it previously.

I have 2 typed pages of meds I don't tolerate at all and those I must take with caution. It's often a matter of dose. I usually start with half or a quarter dose of new meds. I've had serious reactions to some meds!

Often my reactions are triggered by a preservative in meds, particularly liqui-gels or liquids, including IV meds. Same for my foods, hence the journal and lists.

Even natural foods can have triggers! My worst sensitivity is sulfite, found in pork, grapes, onions and most processed foods. I'm lactose intolerant, but get along fine with lactose-free milk. Other milk products, like cheeses have varying amounts of sulfite, and yogurts can have sulfite-containing additives.

I got help from a very experienced allergist.

You can get more info by searching things like elimination diet, food journal, challenge testing in the search box at the top of the page. The allergy forum may be helpful to you also.

ak angel
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3197
   Posted 2/3/2012 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I never new why I was so senstive to medications until I found this forum. My Dr's would say to me wow you have so many allergies and side effects to meds. I just thought I was crazy. I now no why I am this way. I am like you the more natural the better. I am also lactose intolerence. It would of been nice if my Dr's would of told me about fibro patients are senstive to meds and food. This is the reason why I love this forum. I have improved by leaps and bounds with my health. The more natural remedies the better I get. I am unable to take muscle relaxants, narcotics or anxiety meds, so I really have to stay on the natural treatments. Frustrating at times.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 2/4/2012 4:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I have many drug allergies and sensitivities. I bet when they go through my list they roll their eyes and think 'oh sure, lady... you must complain about everything." But I'm really not like that at all, I just don't tolerate most meds very well.

almost medfree
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 2/4/2012 5:15 AM (GMT -6)   

This sounds so familiar. This is what I've been dealing with for years. I was so glad when my rheumatologist recognized how sensitive I am to medications and declared me medication sensitive which she said many people with fibro are. I am always happy to read in here that meds are helping some but I also hope that they recognize their meds could be an issue.

Concerning my diet, I too have food allergies and I can't do wheat and dairy. I've been doing soy milk for years and I eat 1 slice of Ezekial bread a day. It seems as if my metabolism is shot and I have to watch what I eat at all times if I don't want to gain weight. I'd like to lose. I lost 20 last year but I haven't been able to lose more.

Kay, you mentioned you eat just fruits and vegetables, protein is important too. I eat lean meats, no red meat, and fish. For supper I always eat a salad with bagged herb salad greens with either shrimp for an egg. It seems when I'm weak, protein helps. I love my guacamole for my mid-morning snack. I eat it with healthy chips. When I go out to lunch at a restaurant that doesn't have healthy items on the menu I order a spinach and mushroom omelet with dry rye toast.

Keep in mind it's a good idea to go for walks. In the winter I walk at the mall. And try and do some stretches. I think fibro would be much harder for me to deal with if I didn't exercise and stretch. I also walk around the house to music. There's nothing like releasing those endorphins.

Concerning your vitamins, I take liquid vitamins by Buried Treasure. You can purchase these for 40 percent off on a website called Imedmart.

Good luck to you.
Fibromyalgia, CFS, multiple chemical sensivity, herniated disks, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, ADD, sjorgens, sleep apnea, asthma, headaches. The only medication I take is ibuprofen at night to sleep along with my supplements for sleeping. I am on a regiment of different supplements, I eat very nutritiously, and ever since my injury years ago I have been doing prescribed stretches x2 daily.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2859
   Posted 2/4/2012 6:29 AM (GMT -6)   
I have so many med allergies they don't all fit on the medical alert card.  It's hard to find an antibiotic I can's scary because when I get sick the doctor is afraid to prescribe anything.  ALL narcotics (even synthetic opioids) make my blood pressure drop too low.  Once I took a quarter of a Dramamine on the airplane and when we landed they had to take me off in a wheel chair as I was almost comatose.
I have also become allergic to food I could always eat.  Ten years ago I developed an allergy to nuts and legumes.  I'm 65 years old, for Pete's sake!
I had a terrible reaction to the flu shot twice...first they said it was an egg allergy but now they are saying it's the sulfites in the prep they use so no flu shot for me.  And don't even get me started on MSG...
I guess the list is endless...

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17825
   Posted 2/4/2012 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm allergic to several antibiotics, including penicillin.  I've very sensitive to things I take so I am careful about that.  I've never had a problem with supplements.  Perhaps your sensitivity could be a combination of medication with the supplements. 
The only medications I take are for diabetes plus I use extra strength Tylenol and tiny doses of Vicodin to help take the edge off the pain.  (2.5 mg every six hours.  That's only two 5 mg pills a day)  Taking this small amount of Vicodin hasn't bothered me.  Everything else I use to help myself are supplements.  Of course I do gentle exercises, gentle stretches, positive thinking, gentle massages, etc.  All of this helps me be in control of the pain.
MSG is another problem for me.  I nearly fainted from heart palpatations afer having a couple of bites of a Chinese dinner.
So, yes, we are sensitive.  We also suffer from anxiety and perhaps part of this is anxiety for you.  I suffered with anxiety at first and it was really dibilitating for me.  Whenever I take something new now, I have to block out in my mind what I'm doing or I'll get some symptom or another.  I'll take the medication or supplement and then get busy focusing on something else and, after several hours, I realize I had no side effects.  Isn't fibro fun?
Forum Moderator/Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Glaucoma, Scoliosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Marilyn K.
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 250
   Posted 2/4/2012 2:13 PM (GMT -6)   
OMG I just had a severe reaction to a muscle relaxant. I keep having reactions to very simple drugs. I thought it might be my age (52), but I amnot sure anymore.

Irish Babe
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1380
   Posted 2/4/2012 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I also have a problem w/ meds and foods. I have a list of meds I can't take due to very serious reactions. I had a very nice dr sit me down to say I was absolutely right to refuse a test due to the dye that would be used in IV. The receptionist said it wouldn't be any problem. I knew better and asked to speak w/ a dr before they prepped me. The dr went out and spoke w/ her. I don't think she would ever open her mouth again to tell a patient it was 'ok' to accept a med that has caused a problem.
When I get sick, the drs have a hard time giving me antibiotics - I've had reactions to sooo many of them. My sister thinks because she can tolerate them, I should be able to tolerate them. She sounds like some drs I know.  shakehead
I can't tolerate milk and most dairy foods. I can't tolerate beef. I gave up beef almost 4 yrs ago, I decided to try some a cpl of months ago. I figured after all this time I would see how it went. It did NOT go well, so I'm back to no beef. I eat chicken 2x a day most days. Some fish, but not too crazy about a lot of fish. I can't eat onions, get deathly sick. I can't tolerate alcohol, not even a sip. I get beat red in the face, sweat, heart pounds, and I need to lay down. NOW! I can't eat egg yolks, I buy egg whites. There are other foods that I can't eat, but that is due to other conditions. My DH kids me, Pretty soon I will be reduced to bread and water, only. lol Not!
I've had drs act like I'm 'fussy', because I can't tolerate so many meds or foods. Oh Well!
I take very few meds or OTC. My PCP thinks I have HBP, but actually I have LBP. She gave me a rx and that med drops me like a rock. My cardio told me he doesn't want my BP below a certain pt, I don't have a problem until I take the BP med. I can't walk or think very well. I know I have a problem, but not able to think how to help myself. I know how to help myself, Don't Take The Stupid Med The PCP Gave Me!
Anyway, you are probably right that the meds are a problem for you. You probably are having a reaction to them, it is way too common in ppl w/ FMS. Your idea to add foods back is a good idea, but may I suggest add one food at a time so you know if 'it' is good or bad. Wish you luck!
God bless.  Alice.

almost medfree
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 2570
   Posted 2/4/2012 3:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Some people will always think we're parenoid or overly sensitive about what meds we'll take or what foods and drinks we'll consume.

Turn it around and feel proud of yourself and also blessed that you realize what doesn't agree with you. There are many who do not.
Fibromyalgia, CFS, multiple chemical sensivity, herniated disks, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, ADD, sjorgens, sleep apnea, asthma, headaches. The only medication I take is ibuprofen at night to sleep along with my supplements for sleeping. I am on a regiment of different supplements, I eat very nutritiously, and ever since my injury years ago I have been doing prescribed stretches x2 daily.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 2/7/2012 1:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I, too, am so grateful to have found this forum.

Over the years, it seems that I have become sensitive to meds that never bothered me before. I have had some surgery, and a great deal of pain meds are off my lists due to sensitivity. I first became aware while in hospital, and they sent me to have a CAT scan with dye. I had a severe reaction, went down for count, and had blue fingernails for a week. I am unable to take antidepressants after many trial runs, or most pain meds. I use SAMe, and ibuprofen along with various supplements. These forums are really helpful and help educate us, so that we can have meaningful conversations with our providers. I do believe in the axiom that 'we know our bodies best'.

Thanks for being here.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 372
   Posted 2/7/2012 3:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I had never associated this with Fibro before, but I also seem to be sensitive to a number of medications. Most codeine-containing products cause my blood-pressure to drop, and I start vomiting. This reaction sometimes lasts for a couple of days after I quit taking the medicine. I cannot take vicodin at all, but I can take Percocet without too many problems. Several of the antidepressents cause me to be so groggy that I cannot function in day to day life. This includes some of them that do not usually have this side effect in normal people, such as Prozac and Effexor. Muscle relaxants also effect me this way. I also seem to gain weight on a number of different types of medication. Many of the antibiotics and sulfa medications seem to upset my stomach, or cause my reflux to worsen.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 934
   Posted 2/7/2012 7:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I am so frustrated by trying to figure out how to make myself feel better. :(
46F, Fibromyalgia, Vitamin D deficiency, Sleep Apnea/CPAP therapy, allergies/multiple chemical sensitivities, possible Chronic Fatigue & occasional IBS symptoms.

I take vitamins, Tramadol for pain, Flexeril as needed.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/25/2017 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I’ve been experiencing the same exact issues for years now. I’m a 27 year old female and I’ve had an alcohol intolerance since I remember. When I turned 18 and could start drinking legally in my country (the U.K.) even if I have one drink I do not feel drunk but I will vomit violently for hours, maybe 12-13 times so bad the blood vessels in my face and eyes burst. Then it started happening to me with medication too. First of all it was codeine and they told me that it’s normal to vomit and feel dizzy. Then I took some decongestants for my sinus and that made my heart slow down to the point I thought it was going to stop beating! I have the food intolerances too! But recently I had a vaccine for typhoid to travel to Africa and it made me ill for 3 weeks, I’ve had a migraine, a temperature of 39.9 they was preparing me for gallbladder surgery because they wasn’t sure how my temperature was so high. The they realised that all my bloods came back fine and I didn’t need surgery and now they are baffled. I was telling the doctors and surgeons in the hospital that I have fibromyalgia and that I have had intolerances to drugs in the past but they didn’t think that, that was relivant. They sent me home none the wiser with more painkillers that I’m petrified to take. 4 weeks on ive had to cancel my trip to Africa because I’m scared of getting the rest of my vaccinations like yellow fever and hep a needles. It’s horribly annoying because nobody believes that medicine does this to me. I’m always accused of being a hypochondriac which is starting to get annoying because I have a whole list of symptoms basically longer than I am in height! I’ve lost weight, my hair was thinning at a stage and now I’ve started getting flat red skin rashes on my lower legs and forearms that seem to get worse when I bathe or shower or get hot. They look like mottled skin as well as burst blood vessels. I’m sure it’s hypersensitive Vasculitis from this horrible, horrible needle but none of my doctors seem to have a clue what’s going on ! The pain in my lower legs and feet right now is so unbearable that I cannot really wear shoes or socks and it hurts for me to walk because of the pressure. I cannot believe that my body still hasn’t recovered from this injection 4 weeks later.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 2209
   Posted 11/26/2017 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Its seems like a lot of us are med sensitive , but maybe not all of us?

I can tolerate meds but in much smaller doses..i use tramadol for pain but can only take 1/4 a pill at a time..

So far i have not found any muscle relaxer i can tolerate except a cal/ mag supplement
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