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Long term drug therapies

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  • Long term drug therapies

    Without boring everyone with too many details, I was wondering if anyone is ever concerned about the long term long lasting effects of some of our drug therpaies. I know that quality of life the use of the drugs far outweighs a lot of the potential hazards, but what is really known about long term usage?

    For example, for pain relief due to neuralgia, fibro, and disk issues, I am on and anti-depressant (Pristiq), gabapentain and zanaflex (musclle relaxant). I am constantly worried about what life will be like due to the drug use in another 20 years when I am in my mid-60's. I hat the tought of all these meds, almost to the point of irrational anxiety. Anyone else? Anyone know of any definitive studies on the long term usage?
    "Listen to your mind. It has a whole lot more brain cells than your heart does." - SillyHorse

  • #2
    I am constantly worried about what life will be like due to the drug use in another 20 years.

    Hi Bearskin. So sorry you are another pain sufferer.

    Me - fibro, torn rotator cuffs, degenerated shoulders, herniated cervical discs, plantar fasciatis. All those problems are from my work (minus the fibro).

    I have to take two Tylenol and 25 mgs. Ultram 2-3 times a day every day. Also, Zanaflex, Wellbutrin (used to do Cymbalta but we switched to this for a while). On occasion cortisone pills to cut inflammation, too.

    You know what - if I don't medicate, I can't work. That would not be good for the mortgage. My doctor regularly does kidney and liver enzymes (to see if they are holding up to the meds) and both are quite good, actually.

    As for worrying about what else it will do - I can't.

    I can't get through my days without less - so there I am.


    • Original Poster

      Hi Sosnoma,

      Lots of views, but only you and I seemed concerned. Have you ever tried to go off meds? Just curious. It is definitely a quality of life now vs. a qulaity of life later thing (only like you said, quality of life now menas being able to function enough to pay bills, and in my case, also be mom to my 6 yo son).

      Doesn't anyone know of any studies regarding the long term use of anti depressants specifically? They are so commonly prescribed. I always wonder if using them doesn't permanently alter brain chemistry and shut doen the body's ability to self regulate (especially if not using them for specific depressive issues) . . .
      "Listen to your mind. It has a whole lot more brain cells than your heart does." - SillyHorse


      • #4
        Have you ever tried to go off meds? Just curious.

        Oh yes, when they wear out after 6 hours, I try not to take another set but I would not be able to drive home from work (would have to shut my eyes in the car for a few hours, at least) before I could drive (huge fatigue, muscle knots, burning), nor could I go to work, take care of my child, etc. Oh forget that, even existing at home is painful - muscle knots (out of control), upper body burning. It's psycho !

        So, as for going off, that is how far I can get - usually 6 hours. (yay ? !) Crazy way to live.

        Wow, I have a 6 year old, also.

        Anti-depressants (as in the type that are used for people with chronic pain) - I think over the years they have helped me learn to not fret about so much and been an overall positive.

        I like Cymbalta the best and I think it has the least side effects (for me).

        Right now I'm taking Wellbutrin, as my Dr. wants me to switch off every bunch of years, to something else.

        You know, what I think is that to not medicate for our issues could have huge side effects, too. Probably larger even. First, I wouldn't get through life (at all), my mind would go go bad from that and depression has a huge effect on the body, too.

        Keep getting your kidney & liver enzymes done (every 3 months) to see if your body is having a hard time processing the meds. I just had mine done and they were really low (meaning good)! I say that I think my body must like all the #%&@ I take.

        soft hugs,


        • #5
          Also on long-term meds here due to severe migraines and pain from several orthopedic surgeries.

          I have considered (often) the effects of staying on the medication long term, but I have felt the effects of NOT taking the medication and it is much, much better for me to be on it. Once, we tried weaning off of one of the meds and I went for several months without it. Both the doctor and I decided it was a better decision for me to go back to it. The second time was a miscommunication between my physician and my pharmacist and I went without my medication for a few days (also my fault for not being on top of the refills, though why the pharmacist waited to call the doctor until after 5pm on a Friday, I don't know). Let's just say that suddenly not taking the meds was VERY rough.

          I am continually meeting with my doctor to go over which medications I am on, dosages, and the status of my conditions to see exactly what is needed. I would like to think that one day I won't need to take ANYTHING.


          • #6
            My dad had to take hydrocortisone daily because of a benign tumor on his pituitary gland 17 years ago (pituitary gland was removed along with the tumor). He passed away in February, and it was due to complications of long term hydrocortisone use.

            He would have died within a month or so had he not been on it. Rarely are people fortunate enough to live so long on high doses of it, but it gave him a much longer life and was worth it every day.

            No one knows how long we have here. Carpe diem, and if that means better living through chemicals, so be it.


            • #7
              Just my 2 cents!

              Of course they know about long term use! Lotsa research and experience with those meds. Most antidepressants are needed for life for example. Many conditions just don't get better or you don't get cured with drugs....only attain a functional life or minimal symptoms with them. You sound like you are trying to rationalize or "bargain" to either not use them or find an excuse to stop them. You have choices but I'm sorry you don't like them. We all do. Go ahead and stop them but remember...it was your choice. Getting old and decrepit happens!! It's inevitable. Go with it! Maximize it! You should celebrate your functionality such as it is. Some would envy you!
              Sometimes we have to play the cards that were dealt to us! It's not always a winning hand!
              Best wishes!


              • Original Poster

                Of course I realize I have choices! I am trying to find out more information in order to make informed ones It's just that recently, I have been really concerned about the drugs and the benefits vs risks things. Believe me -- I DO celebrate the functionality I have. I have and continue to work extremely hard to be functional. What spun me into this pondering is that I realized when my son, who is 6 now, is getting out of college, I was wondering what additional health issues I may be dealing with and how that might impact my family . . .
                "Listen to your mind. It has a whole lot more brain cells than your heart does." - SillyHorse


                • #9
                  You sound like you are trying to rationalize or "bargain" to either not use them or find an excuse to stop them. You have choices but I'm sorry you don't like them.

                  I think Bearskin is just trying to process her thoughts. I've posted a good number of COTH questions for that purpose and have gotten great ideas/thoughts/inputs that have really, really helped.

                  Of course they know about long term use! Lotsa research and experience with those meds.

                  Not so sure if I agree. Lots of drugs get taken off the market, yes?

                  As I said, Bearskin, my Dr. has me get kidney & liver enzymes every three months due to long term meds usage. That puts me a bit more at ease.

                  Oh, just passing this along - I used to take Zanaflex (a few times a week). I just tried Baclofen. I do think it works better. It has some of it's own issues, as most of them do, though. (I don't know if you have do a muscle relaxer daily.)

                  I've just found, also, taking a Magnesium tablet is great for muscle knots. (But, it's not the easiest supplement to take either - GI disturbances, nausea and headache if I take a little too much, . . .) Magnesium you have to be careful with.

                  Big soft hugs to you, Bearskin. Also, I know how battling physical problems can be hard on the mind, so I'm sending a soft shoulder.

                  And, so very sorry about your Dad, Coreen.


                  • #10
                    For every good thing there is a flip side. Every medication has side effects. It depends on if the meds will give you a quality of life you would not have if you did not have them. Try to do without them but I think you will need them eventually. Speak to your Dr. about long term use and he will have an opinion about it. He may let you chage off for a while and then go back after a while to the original meds. We all face the same question. I hate taking pain meds but I could not function if I did not have them. I need to work or I will lose my home and everything I have.
                    So the pain meds make it possible to work for a living.
                    Weigh the pros and cons and talk with your Dr.
                    Then make your decision. Wish you the very best.
                    And no pain with it...


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sonomacounty View Post

                      I've just found, also, taking a Magnesium tablet is great for muscle knots. (But, it's not the easiest supplement to take either - GI disturbances, nausea and headache if I take a little too much, . . .) Magnesium you have to be careful with.
                      Try magnesium glycinate...much easier on the stomach.


                      • #12
                        Thanks, Laura, will do.

                        The one I've been using is GNC Triple Magnesium. It says magensium lactate, citrate & aspartate.