Image via Wikipedia
If you have been following along with my Mayo Clinic story, you know that I have been having one heck of a time with a new beta-blocker prescribed by my new neurologist.
Well, last week I finally decided to throw in the towel after I read this post over at ChronicBabe.com and realized that taking Inderal (propranolol) was causing this side-effect too. I am so glad that Jenni wrote this post and clued me in to this! I also really feel there needs to be more discussion about the sexual side-effects women experience from medications like beta-blockers and antidepressants.
I tried very diligently to connect with my new doctor and get him to prescribe the second choice beta-blocker he mentioned to me. Unfortunately he was out of town two weeks ago and then swamped catching up last week, which sort of left me in the lurch. So after consulting with my family medicine doctor back here in Los Angeles, I went back on Coreg CR, the beta-blocker I have been taking since the Fall of 2007.
There is nothing like making a change to get you really in touch with how bad things were before.
In my case, I am surprised how much better I feel off the Inderal and back on the Coreg CR. I can now clearly see that the Inderal was really making my fatigue much worse, causing several different side effects and overall making me feel sluggish and unfocused. Which is all really too bad, since my neurologist really likes this medication for controlling the symptoms of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).
I am also quite amazed at myself that I actually tried to tough it out for almost a whole month taking a medication that my body really, really, really didn't like.
Personally, this positively reinforces my usual approach to medications and side-effect management. My philosophy has been that for each new medication I try, if I run into side-effects that I cannot tolerate, I stop the medication immediately.
Looking back, I wish I would have stopped the Inderal and insisted that I needed to try something else once it caused shortness of breath and swollen ankles--both considered severe side-effect according to the handout I got from the pharmacy.
Now I know my doctor was hoping that maybe if I started on a lower dose I could get used to the medication, which seemed like a reasonable idea. Problem is, my body is pretty sensitive to medications and it pretty adamant when it doesn't like something. Like me, it is pretty stubborn and apparently doesn't change its mind when it decides it doesn't like something.
Because persistence is one of my better qualities, I will continue to follow-up with my new neurologist and get that prescription for the next beta-blocker he wants me to try.
Which means this is all "to be continued..."