It has been a couple of weeks since my last post where I shared that I was started Nortriptyline for pain management for Fibromyalgia. Well you can probably tell from the title of this post, it didn’t go as planned.
The last couple of weeks have been a bit trying. The first week went okay. The first week I was on 20mg, taken as 10mg tablets 2 times a day. The side effects were not too bad. I was a bit groggy, has some insomnia, and a bit of numbness in my hands. All things on the list of normal, non life threatening side effects. I did not have any decrease in pain, but I also had been told it could take a month or so for my body to adjust before I would see any results.
After a week at 20mg I was to go up to 40mg a day, which I did. This is when things started to go downhill. I had a bit of a hard time adjusting. I wasn’t sleepy, but I couldn’t focus or concentrate at all, and was generally just out of it most of the day. The numbness in my hands and arms got worse, and I started getting blurry vision and had a huge spike in anxiety. Earlier this week I started getting very dizzy every time I stood up, my arms where heavy, vision very blurry and unless I was lying down I felt terrible. I ended up having to spend the day in bed. This med can cause dips in blood pressure, and I am sure that was what was happening. I contacted my doctor, and although this reaction was not normal, he said it wasn’t unheard of either. He advised me to try and wait it out, as it could clear up once my body adjusted, but if it got worse I was to stop taking the medication and book an appointment.
That evening my anxiety spiked and I spent most of the night worrying that I was not going to wake up if I went to sleep. I have had small boughts of anxiety before, but this was the first time where I could not control it, and could not control my thoughts or stop. It was a very long night, and my anxiety attack continued into the next day which made it impossible for me to do anything. I decided that day that I was stopping Nortriptyline. Even if the symptoms would have cleared up eventually, this was not something I could deal with for any amount of time. I don’t have time to be ill for a month or two just to hope that it will help with my pain.
So that day I started to taper off, as I didn’t want to get sick, however yesterday I just decided to stop using it. I haven’t been on it long, and my doctor said it should be okay. Yesterday went find, I have had some nausea. This morning I can feel it and am feeling sick… but I am starting to feel my hands again, so that is good. I am also feeling a bit more clear headed, and that is good.
So that is how that story went. I am frustrated that another treatment option for pain relief has failed. I think I am done with trying different medications for now. I go back to the doctor on the 20th, so we will see what he says. For now I am just hoping withdrawal doesn’t last long. Does this mean that I am totally against antidepressants for treating Fibromyalgia? No, I am not. I don’t regret trying it, even if it wasn’t a particular fun experience and it put my way behind with work. It was worth the try, and perhaps if I could push through the side effects it could have helped. This is something I have read a few times. For antidepressants to really work for Fibro, you need to push through the side effects and give it at least 5 months to really find the right dose and give your body to adjust to the chemical changes. Perhaps if I didn’t have 4 kids, husband and a business to run my situation would be different. Perhaps I would push through it. But this is just something I am not willing to do to my family, and I can’t afford to be out of it for my business. That just ends with me making mistakes, which is costly. So for me this is just not going to work, but I don’t doubt it might work for others.