Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sickle Cell Medication & Drugs

I hate taking pills. I absolutely detest them. I can take them one by one, swallow them whole, but nothing gives me an enjoyment in the process. Taking pills just reminds me that I'm sick. When I'm being honest, I must say that I really don't take meds unless I'm in pain.

When it comes to pain, that is one thing I find very hard to deal with. I"m all for non-pharmacological modes of treating sickle cell, but when I'm in the middle of an L3 or greater, pass me the drugs baby.

So, in no real order, here are all the drugs I've taken in the last decade or so.
  • Folic Acid: This is a vitamin that I've been taking since I started my period. It's for the increased production of red blood cells and hemoglobin and should be taken daily. Now do I take it daily? Ummm, no. Of all the pills, this is by far the easiest to take--small, yellow with no aftertaste.
  • Motrin: It's a larger pill---my dose is now up to 800mg per pill. It's a non steroid anti inflammatory drug (NSAID) which means that it helps reducing pain caused by swelling but has no steroids. Motrin kicks ass for L2s and used in conjunction with an opioid manages to wreck havoc on an L3 as well.
  • Vicodin/Lortab/Norco: Same family, different doses. All three are composites of a Hydrocodone/Tylenol mix, and the strength depends on the dosage. The more codeine in it, the stronger the effect. I take these only for L3s. Apparently they are easy to get addicted to.
  • Demerol: Holy mother! Who created this shizz? Demorol is absolutely insane, total poison that totally works. It blocks the pain receptors so completely that you don't even know that you are having pain. It gives an euphoric high. For me, it makes me delirious and giddily happy, some weird concoction. It's so strong that the FDA banned it for long term pain management, because it has been known to crystallize and cause granulation of the vein. In normal speak, it turns into crystal glass and the residue stays in the your veins and makes them hard as rock. That in itself has alot of complications so most docs want to stay away from Demerol for sickle cell peeps. I used to get Demerol back in the late 90s and I still have a wonky vein that's hard in my right hand. You have to have a doc that is trained in the old school to get this prescribed nowadays. It comes with a slew of side effects, nausea, vomiting, delirium, itching, you name it.
  • Dilaudid: This is the master of all pain drugs. Dilaudid is from the morphine family and is available in pill form as well as IV. It's not mixed with anything else, and really does work for me. I usually take 4mg. The only drawback is that I get serious side effects of anything from the Morphine family (itching!) It gets so bad that I want to scratch my skin off. So the counterbalance of the itching is~
  • Benadryl: This stops the itching but has a side effect of knocking me the fuck out. I'm woozy, I'm delirious, I'm talking out of my head and spouting all kinds of nonsense. This helps though, because by the time I wake up, an L4 would have dropped to an L3 and hopefully I don't have to go to the hospital.
Okay, there are more out there, but these are the ones that I personally take. I will get on the soap box about Hydroxyurea but that is for a whole 'nother chapter.


Adventures In Waitressing said...

Girl you should take that vitamin. Don't make me beat your butt for not takin care of yourself. HUGS

Real Life Drama Queen said...

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Anonymous said...

Wow, my Sista, there are some drugs I even haven't heard of, not to talk of using! When push comes to shove and I can't take it anymore, I get to the hospital for morphine. I hate morphines itching and after-effects of messing up my skin for 2/3 weeks. I know there is a tablet form, but the doctor knows like I do that I gotta an addictive personality.
Folic acid, to me is not much of a help. One natural booster cure I know from Nigeria, which I use after a crisis and blood drop, is half cooked liver. Within 48 hours, you will be back to normal. Also, there is this Nigerian Igbo vegetable called Ugu, probably available in an African store near you, when boiled squeeze out the fluid and mix with milk. You could later eat the vegetables, with pepper and the half-cooked liver, and girl Bob is your Uncle!
A real natural remedial cure from the Nigerian rainforest, the birthplace of humanity and sickle cell! But the pungent gases you will be letting out might make it wise to stay away from bosses and customers! Lol No, it aint that bad!

TheRaven-inexile said...

There is a drug available for sickle cell in Nigeria produced by an American company using traditional Nigerian plants as the basis for the drug called Nicosan.

It has gone through phase IIb clinical trials and was approved for sale in July of 2006. They are currently building a full scale production facility which should be finished in early 2008. Nicosan is currently available in Nigeria without prescription in limited quantities.

theraveninexile said...

There is a relatively new treatment for sickle cell being produced in Nigeria by an American company called Nicosan. It is based on traditional Nigerian plant based medicinal practices for the treatment of sickle cell disease.

It has been tested through phase IIb clinical trials and found to be highly efficacious. Phase III trials have yet to be completed however it was approved for sale in Nigeria based on phase IIb and toxicity studies which showed it to be completely non-toxic.

It is available in Nigeria without prescription and the cost is about $23/month. If you have a contact in Nigeria who can get a supply and send it to the U.S. that is possible. If you physician is agressive enough there are special dispensations where unapproved drugs can be imported to the U.S. on a compassionate usage basis.

Here is a link to the company and product website. Please read the clinical trial info.

kem said...

did u tell ur friends u had sickle cell or tell the whole school cause i have it and ppl hate me cause im so so skinny and that's not in right now and they think im a freak too with the yellow eyes i don't want to end up all alone in school even ny best friend is kinda embarrased about me and she is the only one who knows.ppl call me monster alien im 15yrs old i also take folic acid ( not everyday) motrin, and benadyrl.

Ify said...

girl I have taken all those medications and more. But the only think I hate about them are the withrawal symptoms you have when you get discharged from the hospital.
Thank God I have not had crisis for almost 7months and I pray I don't because the itching and the "TALKATIVE" personality i get when i am on those medications surprises me.
I would prefer to take care of my pain at home than going to a hospital.