Progress Update: More Useless Meds


Well I think I forgot to mention in my last update that my neurologist prescribed me more medication during my last visit: Nortriptyline for my Lhermitte’s Sign.

I was told to take it at night as it would make me drowsy and that I might even be able to substitute it for the clonazepam I currently take to help me sleep and overcome restless leg syndrome. I was told that if i take it at night I shouldn’t experience the Lhermitte’s Sign durring the next day. So far I have taken this medication 3 nights in a row and have noticed no change. She did say after about a week I could up the doseage to 2 pills a night so I guess I still have to wait and see.

Here is the thing, I looked up the medication as I do with everything, and turns out, Nortriptyline is just an antidepressant! Now I know antidepressants are sometimes used to treat other things but what worried me is the fact that I am already on an antidepressant… Now I’m no doctor but I would imagine that you shouldn’t mix too many pills that alter the balance of chemicals in your brain…

So my next step was to run these medication through a drug interaction tool at Guess what? MAJOR INTERACTION with an exclamtion mark in a red box. Nice. Go figure.

“Seizures and delirium have been reported, as well as a fatality attributed to fluoxetine-induced chronic amitriptyline toxicity. Pharmacodynamically, the combination of fluoxetine (or any other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and a TCA may potentiate the risk of serotonin syndrome, which is a rare but serious and potentially fatal condition thought to result from hyperstimulation of brainstem 5HT1A receptors.”

Now I am sure these horrible reactions are rare BUT, I sure would have liked a heads up… I emailed my doctor but of course she takes like a week and a half to get back to her patients, just enough time for me to um…. die? God I can’t wait to get into Loma Linda… I hate Kaiser with a passion.

Part of me wants to think that she is just throwing useless medication at me to simply SELL MORE medications… I don’t know, I’ll be doing much more research on this medication to see if I should really be worried or not but for now, I guess I’ll just keep me fingers crossed.

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention, my balance was really bad yesterday, too soon to tell how it’s doing today, we will see… Thanks for reading.

8 thoughts on “Progress Update: More Useless Meds

  • February 13, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Sorry you're going through this and can't have faith in your physician. You, at least, can still cognitively navigate your way out of this. Makes you wonder, though, what happens when a patient can't.


  • February 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Im shocked a little, it sucks that you're going through this. When I first started to read your post, I was surprised that there was something for lhermittes, but perhaps there isn't. My goodness, what if you were not a vigilant patient? And this is why my father's interactions with his drs scare the hell out of me, because he questions absolutely nothing. He's from an age where the dr knew best.
    I hope you get to go to LL soon, I took a distance class there once when I was in college a very long time ago.
    Im hoping that your dr will get back to you soon, just to give you assurance or warning – something.

  • February 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Yeah my dad is the same way, just a generation thing.

    But she won't get back to me, not for at least a week IF I start emailing her everyday which is the only way I get any kind of answer from her.

    My friend joked that the only reason she gave me the referral to Loma Linda (and not my other MS friend who has her) is because she was annoyed with my many emails and so was planning on giving me the wrong meds so I would never make it to Loma Linda anyways lol….

    I just want a new doctor because these days, doctor's DON'T know best, they make more decisions based on their ego then they do their knowledge because these days everyone is doing their own research and I think that ticks doctors off because when a patient comes in knowing some stuff doctors don't feel all smart and special anymore… What ever…

  • February 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I loled at her giving you the wrong meds so you wouldnt make it to LL! Isnt it a shame that we would think something like that, but it's sooo true.
    You know, I read that article about the dr's egos being hurt by chronic patients because they arent sure of what to do for us, sleighted that they don't impress us! Im thinking I would do what I could to improve my knowledge as opposed to getting rid of the patient.
    Like you said – whatever!

  • February 16, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    What doctors need to realize is that you dont go to school, learn a set knowledge, and call it a day. You CONTINUE to learn everyday for the rest of your life because no one knows everything, new things are discovered everyday but I think a lot of doctors want to think they know everything already. And it's human nature to fear the unknown.

  • February 17, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Matt, you can refer to when you need more information from other MSers on the meds you're taking. It's very useful for me


Leave a Reply