03 June 2007

May cause some side effects....

I've been taking the increased dose of Wellbutrin XL for more than a week now. Oddly enough, when I began taking this medication back in April, I didn't bother to read the information that comes along with every prescription that you get, usually a page or two from the pharmacy that lists side effects and talks about what the medication is usually prescribed for. I was so desperate to feel better that I didn't care what else the drug might cause my body to do.

I say that's odd because normally I will not take anything prescribed for me until I've done my own research and determined that it is the best drug to take for whatever is wrong. Yesterday, I picked up the refill of the prescription, and while DH drove us to a wonderful shopping center where I got a new pair of Calvin Klein jeans for $30, (ahh, retail therapy!) I read all the information that the pharmacist had given me.

I had looked up on Wellbutrin's website the side effects a few days ago when I noticed my hands shaking rather more than usual. My dad and middlesis also have these slight tremors in their hands, which are more pronounced when we're tired. But this is a more violent shaking. The website says that tremors are a side effect, and I stopped worrying about it.

But while talking to the pharmacist about the new higher dosage, I showed her my trembling hands and she pulled a complete WTH sort of expression. I hastened to reassure her, "Their website says it is a side effect, and it doesn't hurt or anything."

"Yeah, it is a possible side effect," she told me, "but it shouldn't be that pronounced. How long has it been going on? Have you talked to Dr. H about it?"

We talked about this for a few minutes, and she made me promise that if it does not disappear I will call Dr. H and talk to him about it. When I began the prescription, the Wellbutrin gave me a headache every afternoon, for about 8 days, at precisely 3.30 every day. I take it at around 9.30 every morning. The XL part of Wellbutrin XL means that it is an extended release medication, so it does stay in your system for 24 hours each time you take it. But the headaches went away, and the pharmacist thinks the tremors will too. I hope so.

It makes drinking anything a slight adventure, writing with a pen a bit tough, and typing rather more slow than I'm used to, because I have to go back and correct words when extra letters appear.

I'm rather entertained by the two pages of info that I got from the pharmacy, as the side effects, drug interaction precautions and instructions on how to use the medication are all a scream. They contradict one another as well. Under side effects, the following sentence can be found. Dry mouth, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, flushing, headache, loss of appetite, constipation, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, strange taste in mouth, joint aches, dizziness or blurred vision may occur. Then, under a section titled "Precautions," this sentence makes me scratch my head. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Didn't you just say about 3 paragraphs ago that this medication would cause me to lose more sleep?

I did discuss extensively with Dr. H how I was worried about taking an antidepressant when he prescribed it for me, and the first question I asked him when he said "Wellbutrin" was "Can I drink?" Yeah, he assured me, in fact he said that would probably help me sleep better if I was having wine with dinner. Now I know he's wrong, sleep experts say that you should not try using booze to get more zzzs because it won't be good sleep that you get. But the instructions with the drug make it pretty clear that having a drink or two isn't a good plan. *Shrug* I don't think there are many meds out there that will cause you to keel over dead with just one drink.

It is helping, and I'm very grateful for that. But I'm hoping to not have to take it for any longer than necessary.

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