Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Drug side effects listings

So, somehow my body acts a lot older than it is (it SHOULD only be about 30). I have been having chronic pain issues for the last year and a half or so. They are somewhat related to a herniated disc at C6-C7, but not entirely--all of the pain is on my right side, generally in the joints but also some neuropathic-type stuff in the limbs and appendages. There was no acute injury, I don't seem to have any autoimmune disease in particular (although my ANA is slightly higher than normal). I've been going to the chiropractor, which has done wonders for the increasing crookedness of my right shoulder blade (it was starting to poke out, you can see it in pictures of me from the back) and the neuropathic aspects of the pain but not much for the joint-related inflammatory-feeling stuff.

Anyway, I'm not just having a complaining session here. The upshot is that I got tired of being sore all the time and went to see a rheumatologist to get an opinion. He prescribed me Mobic for now--a Cox inhibitor NSAID used mostly as an arthritis medication. I have taken my first one and so far have MAYBE noticed a difference in some aspects of the pain, but not in most. But, like the pharmaceutical scientist I am, I had to look up as much information as I could.

I found a big, long list of all the possible side effects, and it is really funny because you can tell which things were listed in the trial questionnaires that are clearly just a consequence of the trial cohort. Joint pain is listed as a potential side effect: well duh, many people who would want to go on this trial would be people with joint pain. You are trying to find out if it can treat arthritis, after all. Since they always have to keep records of any physical or mental symptom anybody on the trial experienced during the time, they even have to list things like "stubbed toe" if someone stubbed their toe while on the trial. For this drug, one of the less-common potential side effects is "wrinkled skin," another is "Sunken eyes." Others include "Feelings of sadness or emptiness," "Loss of interest or pleasure" and "Discouragement." It is clear that many of the trial participants were elderly and probably had chronic pain for a long, long time. These side effects make me sad mostly because they represent some insight into how many old people feel a lot of the time.

The primary side effect I am feeling is the weird fuzzy-head feeling I get from Naproxen. It makes me kind of out of it. I wouldn't call it drowsy, or dizzy, or even tiredness, but just, kinda... weird. And, my head/jaw, shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers still hurt. Sigh. We'll see, maybe it will take a while to really kick in.

2 comments:

ScientistMother said...

I used to have chronic pain. It really is hard, I hope you find out what is causing it soon. Good luck

jaysie said...

Naproxen makes me feel like I just got off of the tilt-a-whirl. I hope you feel better soon!