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My Cage of Drugs – Part 2

So what did these drugs do that was so bad?  They got my blood pressure and cholesterol under control.  That probably was a good thing.  Drugs, per se, aren’t the problem. The problem is far more complicated than that.

Take Lipitor, for example.  Take a look at the known side effects (I’ll wait).

Okay, that’s a long list.  And sure, not everyone will get them.  But the mere fact that they have this list suggests that some people have gotten these side effects.  I happened to get most of the infrequent and some of the rare ones.  But, just as you probably didn’t read the whole list, I didn’t either.  Or didn’t know what some of  them meant (like “pain in the hands or feet” meant the tingling pain that started in my hands and shot up my arms to my shoulders).  But that’s a lot of wacky shit to have happen to you just because your cholesterol is high.  It’s kinda like prescribing getting run over by a bus for dandruff.

But like I said, most people don’t get all those side effects.  But you’d think if someone on Lipitor started getting them, some doctor somewhere might notice.

None did.

And I should also point out that nowhere on that list, in any way that woud be understandable to a layman, does it say anything about weight gain and muscle loss.  Turns out, after talking to a few doctors unofficially, that’s one of the biggest problems with Lipitor.  One doctor even said, “If you’re taking Lipitor, forget about doing any exercise.  It won’t work for you at all.”

From what I’ve been told, Lipitor screws with your body in such a way that it (can) breaks down muscle mass and nullifies any exercise you’re trying to do.  Much of the evidence is anecdotal, but it’s clearly there.  When I stopped taking Lipitor I lost 30 pounds in two months.  The pains in my arms were gone in a few weeks, and haven’t come back.  I still have several other related issues, and I’m told many of them could take a very long time to get better, if they ever do.

How about Paxil CR, another drug I’ve been taking for several years?  It was intended to help me curb some anxiety issues, as well as help me treat IBS.  And it worked wonderfully.  But it had a few side effects that I finally decided I could do without.  It made me sleepy and I felt it limited my creativity and sharpness of thought.  So I decided to quit.

Nope.  Not that easy.  No one mentioned it at the time it was prescribed, but you don’t just stop taking Paxil unless you want your head to explode.  You have to ween yourself off it, and it’s not pretty.  You start by taking a half dose daily for a month or two.  Then you take the half dose every other day for a few months.  I haven’t been able to withstand the withdrawals past that stage.  Flu-like symptoms every day for months, dizziness, confusion, lost words, and explosive anger.  I wondered how long it might last, so I asked around.

One person I talked to was still feeling symptoms a year and a half after starting to get off that shit.

That’s pretty extreme druggery I was putting into my body.  And no one thought that would be a problem?  What sort of damage was it going to do to me long term if it caused such havoc trying to remove it from my system?  Did anyone think to ask those questions, or was it more important to get the drug to market?

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