Lets continue with our talk of the different medications commonly used to treat Fibromyalgia.
Seroquel: the real name is Quetiapine and is a medication used for schizophrenia and bi-polar disorders. Therefore, it is a very strong anti-psychotic med. It is being used off label as a med for depression, however this is a travesty, and a real example of making as much money as you can on a med. The marketing is more intense as Patents are running out. It is now being prescribed for PTSD and fibro depression, among other conditions.
Astra Zeneca, one of the manufacturers has been sued by the U.S. government over the marketing of Quetiapine. A $520 million settlement was reached on October 29, 2009. Several American soldiers and veterans have died while taking Seroquel for PTSD. Multiple lawsuits have been filed in relation to Quetiapine’s side-effects, in particular, diabetes.
This med is also being used as a recreational drug due to it’s strong effects and goes under the street name of Suzie-Q or Snoozeberries.
The fact of the matter is that this is a dangerous medication.
Side effects Include:
- very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors;
- feeling like you might pass out;
- jerky muscle movements you cannot control, trouble swallowing, problems with speech;
- blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
- increased thirst and urination, excessive hunger, fruity breath odor, weakness, nausea and vomiting;
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
- white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips.
- dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;
- dry mouth, sore throat;
- nausea, vomiting;
- stomach pain, upset stomach, constipation;
- increased appetite;
- breast swelling or discharge;
- missed menstrual periods; or
- weight gain.
You must be especially careful with Seroquel if you have:
- Liver or kidney disease;
- heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems;
- a history of heart attack or stroke;
- a history of low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
- a thyroid disorder;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- high cholesterol or triglycerides;
- a personal or family history of diabetes; or
- trouble swallowing.
Seroquel has been linked to congestive heart failure, so it is essential that you take care with this medication.
Klonopin: The real name Clonazepam and is used for anxiety and panic disorders, though it is also used for seizures and epilepsy. It is marketed by Roche. It tends to be a fast acting medication in that it works very fast, however it’s main drawback is drowsiness and cognitive impairment (a nice name for a foggy mind). after stopping this med, the mind side effects can last for up to six months and there is a question as to whether it is possible to regain all the cognitive functions (clear mind, good memory etc). It is also now being used for Restless Leg Syndrome, though at this time, there are no clear studies to support it’s use.
Side effects include:
Ataxia (gross lack of muscle coordination);
Abnormal Eye Movements;
Hair Loss and many many others!
Klonopin should not be used when pregnant as there is some evidence of Birth defects, and it should not be used when nursing.
You must not stop this med “Cold Turkey” as it can lead to severe withdrawal effects. This is definitely one medication you want to be very careful about, make sure you understand all the ramifications and take as much time as necessary with your doctor so you fully understand this.
Neurontin: Real name is Gabapentin, it was originally marketed for use with seizures and later okay-ed for neurological pain such as shingles and diabetic nerve pain. It is also used intravenously as a treatment for addiction to methamphetamine, cocaine and opiates (Heroin, Morphine etc). It has been used for Fibromyalgic pain but has been replaced recently by Lyrica, which is a similar medicine. It’s use for Fibromyalgia was off label (meaning not originally intended and tested for this). It is in generic form and marketed by different pharmaceutical companies.
Neurontin has also been used as an anti-anxiety medication but studies have shown no usefulness for this med.
Gabapentin has been associated with an increased risk of suicide and or violent events, and all prescriptions must now carry a warning to that effect. Neurontin is most probably unsafe if you have kidney, liver and or heart disease. You must speak with your doctor and have blood and urine tests regularly. This is essential.
- increased risk of seizures;
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- swelling of your ankles or feet;
rapid back and forth movement of your eyes;
- easy bruising.
- changes in behavior;
- memory problems;
- trouble concentrating; or
- acting restless, hostile, or aggressive.
- dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, tired feeling;
- nausea, diarrhea, constipation;
- blurred vision;
- breast swelling;
- dry mouth; or
- loss of balance or coordination.
This is not a complete list.
You should be very careful when taking Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab etc), Morphine or any opiates as they will interact with Neurontin. Any moodiness, anxiety abnormal behavior and hostility should be immediately reported to your doctor, of if he/she is not available, you should get to an emergency room.
More on Fibro Meds to come but Friday’s blog is a nice change of Pace.