Following my pain management clinic appointment on Friday I was given a new drug to try. I had planned to go camping straight after work on Friday, but decided that being at home whilst starting on a new drug was more sensible.
I had an immediate bunch of side effects on Friday and Saturday, most of which were on the 'common' list and few on the 'less common' list
- extremely agitated and restless
- muscle spasms
- pins and needles in back of head
- pressure across head and in sinus'
- large increases in pain levels
- sore, dry eye
I was coping OK (apart from the increase in pain which was weird) and on Sunday when I took my first dose I was delighted not to get the almost immediate agitation and sleepiness and my pain had also dropped massively. I set about my day, keeping busy to take my mind of the drugs, and unlike the first 2 days, I felt pretty fine (apart from being dizzy and feeling sick).
Suddenly, a few hours after taking my 4th dose on Sunday I felt like I very desperately needed to sleep, my vision went blurry, my breathing went funny and we noticed a big red rash on my right arm and parathesia down the right side of my body.
My partner (who has been keeping track of side effects and so on, so I wouldn't need to read and worry too much) noted that several of the new/sudden symptoms were on the 'allergic reaction / serious side effect seek immediate medical help' list. He called 999.
I was whizzed to the hospital, lots of tests run to make sure I was ok and by mid evening, I was back at home. So, i'm ok but have been advised not to take any more Tapendtadol.
Very naive of me I know, but I just assumed I'd get put on something, i'd get a few side effects that would fade over the first couple of weeks and that it would work and that would be that. I was hoping that would be the case anyway.
I'm really scared about going through this again, but It look like (as for most of you) it's going to take some trial and error before I find something that A) works and B) I can tolerate. *sigh*
At least it was only a mild allergic reaction. I'm back at work today and I can feel that the drug is almost out of my system, i'm happy it doesn't hang around long. Thinking of talking to my boss and seeing if next time I am given something I can arrange to work from home for the week. The stress of knowing I've only got a couple of days over a weekend to get used to something before I have to drive to work on the Monday I think isn't going to help matters and I want to give my body a fighting chance to adapt.
My other options appear to be the less effective, but more widely prescribed Gabapentin or Pregabalin, neither of which I am comfortable to take and I worry that my general anxiety about coping with side effects and continuing to work will harm my chances of finding something that works/that I can stick with.