Tweaking the Meds

On Monday I had an appointment with the doc that manages my medication. I went in having firmly decided to do something with the drugs. My world is definitely getting smaller and the process seems to be accelerating somewhat. There was a time when I eagerly sought opportunities to do things that I now find uncomfortable and anxiety provoking. I have been troubled by these changes as they have reached a point where they are really chipping away at my identity, and I had come to the conclusion that it was time to put the brakes on this process.

The obvious first step was to increase the dose of the Wellbutrin. During my brief med free experiment this past spring the addition of 150mg of Wellbutrin improved the situation when the anxiety took over. Pushing to 300mg was even better. My memory for these details isn’t always the best, but it seems to me that while 300mg was better it wasn’t great just manageable. My dislike for the drugs led me to stop increasing the dosage. When I was feeling great and wanted to go off the meds I was taking 450mg a day so it just made sense to me to get back to that dosage in see what happens.

The doctor tended to agree with my opinion, but I had questions about the other options. We talked a little about Zoloft but I again pointed out the intolerable side effects, and he mentioned the combination drugs like Effexor and Cymbalta which also create the same side effects. From there the conversation moved to mood stabilizers like Abilify. He actual put me on Abilify once before and it made my skin feel like it was alive. It was a very uncomfortable side effect which made that a short lived experiment. Finally he mentioned MAOI classes of medication. I recognized these initials from every warning label ever written so I suggested they may not be the best choice for treating anxiety. He replied that they can be astonishingly effective for folks who don’t respond to other medications. I am uncertain that would be a road I would want to travel down.

I walked out of his office with a new RX and another appointment scheduled in four weeks. He said I should now if the dosage change would work in 7 – 10 days. He was optimistic that the larger dose would be more effective. The stuff isn’t dosed by body weight, but he seemed to believe that being a bigger guy would still matter and a dose more in line with my size would be helpful.

Monday was the start of a reasonably stressful week. Business is starting to pick up which is causing problems for my cash strapped employer. It is hard to sell stuff when they can’t buy it, and the situation was beginning to snowball with unfilled orders being compounded with a rush of new business. I also had the appointment to deal with my toenail this week. As I mentioned in the previous post the toenail was creating a ridiculous amount of anxiety. Something about it was just not sitting well in my psyche. Monday night sitting on the couch taking in a little TV I had mild boughts of anxiety related to the procedure. I took the first increased dose Tuesday morning and had a day that felt on edge most of the time. Wednesday also was a high anxiety day. Thursday was the day of the toe procedure and when I woke up that morning I felt a little different. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but my body felt different. As the day wore on I was pretty busy, but felt very little anxiety about the procedure until I was actually driving there. I had arranged for my wife to meet me at the office for a little moral support which she did, but while I was not terribly excited to be there the actual “I want to run for my life” anxiety never materialized. A week earlier simply talking about the procedure set me off.

Today I had arranged to be home to stay off the foot so I finished putting together the application package for the job I mentioned. This was also a source of anxiety as I wondered about being able to actually do the job. I put the document envelope in the mail at lunch and felt very little in the way of stress over it. I am still unsure about the work environment, but I don’t feel a lot of stress about it right now.

It is hard to imagine I would feel a change so quickly, but I hope that is what is happening. If it is things should get even better over the next few days. It would be nice to put this episode behind me.


5 thoughts on “Tweaking the Meds

  1. My daughter is on Abilify. It’s an atypical antipsychotic. I don’t blame you for not wanting to go back to it, and it’s f**king expensive!! $800 for a 30 supply…

    • I married a teacher so we have public sector insurance and we dont see rx bills that high. Lucky us. Once upon a time you wanted to marry a doctor or lawyer, now you need to look for someone with good insurace. 🙂 I dont know what I we do if I had to lay out that kind of money for my kids meds. Thats a freaking mortgage payment.

      • No kidding. We are well-insured, but due to my husband’s recent job change we had to juggle some meds, waiting to get our new insurance/pharmacy numbers. I had to do a partial fill of the Abilify out-of-pocket. 6 pills=$157. I choked. It’s just wrong…I was told though that it took 20 years to bring to market. So….we’re paying for 20 years of research, I guess….OUCH!!!!!

  2. Whenever I start or increase the dose of a new medication (SSRI’s are what work for me) I feel remarkably calmer with fewer negative thoughts within 3 days. Over time, the medications work to their full efficacy. Good and bad, right? The positive results tell me I need medication to manage my depression and probably for the rest of my life. That’s a hard pill to swallow but I do accept it. Anything is better than depression and anxiety controlling our lives.

    I’m glad to hear you are feeling less anxious. That’s good news!


    • I hope the feeling stays and even improves over the next few days. I should get a pretty good idea of where I stand at work next week. I hear you about being on the drugs forever. My shrink says he can get me clear of him, but I just dont believe it and the med doctor has told me before this is going to be a life long deal. You just cant change genetics with CBT, and all I have to do is look around my family to know its a inherited thing. I would just like to find a long term solution with some balance. The decisions I have been forced to make are impossible. There is just no good option.

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