When the Side Effects Are Worse Than the Ailment

The Lupron may have started kicking in with a vengeance yesterday – so far, my only recurring, regular side effect has been daily headaches – because yesterday afternoon found me sitting on the sofa with these hiccupping sobs emanating from my mouth and tears streaming down my face.

When I was little, I learned early the value of a good cry when it came to getting your way, and I learned that in order for it to work, you had to look pretty while doing it, because it had to look like you were horribly sad, not throwing a tanrtrum. So I would sit in front of a mirror and think of something really sad and practice crying prettily. I had the endearing little lip quiver; the wide, vulnerable brown eyes; the heartbreakingly delicate sniffles… all of it. I had it down cold. I used it on boyfriends into my 20′s when I was bitchier and more manipulative and a whole lot more insecure than I am now.

Yesterday’s cry was not one of those pretty cries. It was a full out, sobbing, sodden, drooly, blubbery, snotty mess of a cry. It was a cry that made the cats stare at me with a great deal of alarm in their face, and it was a cry that I didn’t know I had in me. I still think I really didn’t have it in me, and that it was an emotional meltdown brought on by the Lupron.

That’s not what this post is really about, though. This post is about the thing that snapped me out of the crying.

While I was crying, I had the TV on. It barely registered with me, but it was on and there were commercials running by. Suddenly, words were said on the television that snapped me immediately out of the crying, mid-sob:

If you experience increased urges for gambling or sexual activity, or any other strong urges, notify your doctor.

It shocked me so much I forgot I was crying and backed up the DVR to have them say it again. And then I recorded it so I could show Scott when he got home.

The ad was for a drug for Restless Leg Syndrome, and those were some of the possible side effects, tacked on at the end. I’ve seen this particular ad before, and this warning is a new one. They didn’t used to mention gambling and sexual urges, which tells me it’s only something they discovered after the drug was released.

That set me to thinking about what those “other strong urges” could be. Rape? Murder? Drug abuse? Shoplifting? Exactly what kinds of things are you opening yourself up for by taking this drug?

I really don’t have a whole lot of confidence in the FDA approval process for new drugs. It seems like new drugs are so complex and work on parts of the brain that older drugs didn’t, and as a result, they have some crazy side effects that older drugs didn’t. And it doesn’t seem that the FDA is properly equipped to handle this new frontier of pharmaceuticals.

Which is, of course, of great concern to me as I pump my body full of drugs each night in preparation to pump it full of more. I know that there’s some question about the long term side effects of Lupron that aren’t pretty. The drug company denies that those side effects exist, but anectdotal evidence indicates that some people who take it do end up with long term problems. Right now, to me, the possible benefit outweighs the risks, but at least I know, from doing research on these here Internets*, that there ARE risks. There are a lot of side effects for a lot of drugs these days that no one knows about until they get them, and that’s scary.

*No, I don’t believe everything I read online, but it IS a useful research tool.

This entry was posted in That Shinin' Ball of Blue. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to When the Side Effects Are Worse Than the Ailment

  1. Thud says:

    And yet, they still advertise these drugs and do their best to turn us all into hypochondriacs. I watched weekend morning shows with my father-in-law for two days and left the following monday thinking for sure I had acid reflux.

    This is not everything that’s wrong with health care in America, but it’s a significant part of it.