Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Meds and a New Attitude

This week I met with a nurse practitioner to take a look at my medications. I didn't go to my usual psychiatrist as he is unavailable due to medical issues of his own and Voc Rehab is covering me meeting with this nurse practitioner. We decided to try changing my medications as the current ones--Effexor and Strattera--no longer seem to be working well. Effexor, with the neurotransmitters it affects, may even be contributing to my heightened general anxiety issues. I was a bit concerned, however, about changing medications as I had just finally gotten my medications fully covered for free through programs for low income people. Normally, out of pocket cost for my Effexor alone was almost $300 per month. I did a basic Google search on my new medications; Citalopram, Clonazepam, and Trazodone; and estimated the cost for filling all three would be around $250. I was very surprised when I went to the pharmacy last night and only had to pay $17.88 for all of it. As I was expecting to pay a lot, for a moment when the pharmacist told me the total came to "seventeen eighty-eight" I thought she meant $1,788.

Going off old medications and starting new ones is always quite the roller coaster ride. When I went off St. John's Wort on my mission before starting Effexor, I dealt with muscle weakness and even a moment of suicidal thoughts. This time around, as I get to go off old medications while going on new ones at the same time, the results seem to be much more positive. After only one day I'm feeling much more calm; things aren't annoying me, or at least not causing me crazy levels of anxiety; and I'm even smiling and laughing. I don't know how long this new attitude will last. I think it will calm down a bit in a few weeks, as is normal. Hopefully, though, I will be able to function again and either go back to school or find a job. Also, for now, I'm in much more of a mood to read and write again, instead of just sitting in front of the TV or wasting time on Facebook. On the bad side of effects of the switch is the slipping of my equilibrium when I stand up, an increased appetite, and sleeping much more deeply than is normal. At least I'm feeling very rested when I wake up.

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