July 22, 2006

A New Dilemma

I had an appointment on Thursday at Hopkins with Dr. Rowe, my first since being treated for cancer. The appointment was pretty routine (i.e. everything I reported was the same as last time and few new treatments were available), and I got a new medicine to try called Lyrica, a medicine designed to get overactive nerves under control. Being that this is a big problem for me, this drug carries with it some promise. On top of that, 5 out of 6 patients of Dr. Rowe's who've tried it have gained some level of improvement.

I took my first pill two nights ago just before bed, as directed. As has happened in the past with several sleep medicine trials, I woke up feeling as if I had not gotten more than a couple hours of sleep despite the fact that I had been technically asleep for at least 9, probably 10 hours. At the same time, my muscles were looser, which is pretty much what I've experienced before with the sleep meds.

So I emailed the doc and formulated a new plan. I skipped last night's dose and instead took it this morning. (Ultimately I'm supposed to take several pills throughout the day, morning through evening, so this wasn't incredibly off the beaten path.) Once the Lyrica kicked in, I started feeling disconnected and half asleep, but was still able to do things like create a mathematical formula for a layout I need for a website (algebra = useful), and play tennis with Amy. Actually, I played better than I probably have all this year and last, all the while feeling like my eyes might close at any moment or my body might collapse from overuse. On top of that, it didn't hurt to smile today, and I didn't feel all messed up from the tennis game after the fact. Ordinarily I wouldn't write a fairly complex blog post like this after a game, for example.

As if this wasn't enough to be perplexed over, my parents leave for their trip on Tuesday morning and my doc is out of the office the same day for two weeks. I'm going to have to do a fair amount of driving while they're gone, but I think it would be nuts to drive under the effects of this medicine. At the same time, it is fairly important that I figure out the impact and benefit of this medicine now, because I will be embarking on an entirely different line of CFS treatment with Dr. Shor in Virginia not long after my folks get back in a month or so.

So where are the answers here? Have any of you ever been on a medication like this one? Do you know if any of the side effects go away over time, or if they change with dosage changes? I've been in this kind of situation plenty of times before, but that still doesn't give me any answers.

Posted by Andy at July 22, 2006 08:34 PM to the Health category


I will try to put this here and at Friends. I take lyrica. I started several weeks back.

OK the pros and the cons. I am still taking it as it helps my pain. First thing that helped for so long.

I go back to the doctor next month, 2 month appt. and my rheumy. said last time he would raise it if I could tolerate it and I can.

I take it 2 times a day now. I will be taking no more then 300 mg when he raises it. I take half that now, 75 mg 2 times a day. I am on some other meds.too.

I have gotten a bit more done taking it b/c I had a bit less pain. My rheum. said it has helped a lot of his patients.

I am going to try working again, but from home.

At first the worst side effects for me were blurry eyes, feeling kind of funny and stuff like that. But it got better. I still get a bit of blurry eyes and can do most everything except sorry to tell you this, I do not drive and take it.

If I want to drive the next day I do not take it that night( unless I take it early in the evening) and I do not take it that next morning either the day I want to drive. I have driven a short distance one day when I took it though. So maybe this will improve more?

I know of others with positive experiences. I can send you that link later personally.

So except for the driving part I am so happy to be on it. It did not cure my FMS, but it sure helps. And I need all the help I can get!!!

Oh on another note my friend of 13 years, her mom has FMS, did have a minor car accident while taking this.She just blanked out on it. She even went in the pharmacy before that, left the car running, could not figure out where her keys were and found them in the car, drove home, ended up in the ditch.

I would not of driven home in that condition after the key situation. She had never done anything like that before. So just a note of caution. Everyone is different, just be sure how it affects your driving.

Good luck Andy.

Posted by: Connie Lynn From Friends at July 23, 2006 04:00 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?