Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Trying out Medication: Week 30

Here is an update on the self report from a reader: last posts. I want to clearly point out that I have never tried medication. I got several emails from you asking me about my experience. I am only reporting on the experience by the reader. I also emphasise that it is a case study and should not be over-generalised. As you can see from his report, medication is not a wonder drug presently. His report fits with what many others have told me. Initial success (not sure how much placebo, but it could be a lot) but gradual (but not complete in their experience) relapse with side effects still present and a search for a better solution, a clear indicator for an insufficiently high benefit/cost relation.
Here is what he reports:

I have been taking olanzapine (Zyprexa Zydis) since September 2007 and my experiences so far are as follows:

The first 6 weeks after taking the drug I felt completely fluent....I had no hesitations in my speech and all facial contortions and secondaries were gone. Since then some of the blocks have started to creep back into my speech and I have some hesitations with the usual things i.e. name / introductions etc. I have good and bad days, some days I feel good and am basically fluent and feel at ease with speaking and on other days I feel almost as bad as I did before I started taking the drug. However, on the whole my speech is better for taking the drug and all facial ticks have stopped since day 1 of taking the drug which is a good thing. I have tried to increase the dose but all this did was leave me feeling tired, so I reverted back to the 5mg daily dose. In fact I am finding that taking the drug on alternate days seems to give me a better flow of speech on the whole. The drug has affected my weight - I have put on around 10-15 lbs, however I am working to get this weight off as we speak.

In summary - The initial amazing results were not maintained, however my speech has improved through taking the drug. The facial ticks have all gone and also the blocks are easier to plow through. The drug is not a cure, but it can offer some benefits, but these have to weighed against the negatives of potential weight gain + the effects on your metabolism/blood work/lipids etc. I am continuing to take the drug as my bloodwork remains stable and the weight gain will be dealt with via diet and exercise. I am awaiting to hear about the phase III pagoclone trials as I would switch drugs as pagoclone offers the benefits without the side effects that zyprexa carries.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To your anonymous contributor -

Thank you for these reports. Very interesting.