Hyperemesis Gravidarum, Life

Side Effects

Hubby and I were talking about medication side effects, because of how strange some of my reactions have been to certain things. He majored in Psychology, so he knows a little about the biophysical effects of various medications on the brain and all that. He talked some about the blood-brain barrier—not something I’ll claim to understand, but it seems kind of cool and would explain why I’ve got some of the reactions I’ve had to particular medications.

I realized that even though internet searches can sometimes yield confirmation that what we’re experiencing isn’t completely, totally unheard of, that only works when people share their experiences somewhere on the internet. So here are some of my weird side effects, in the hopes that someone will feel less alone if they also suffer from the same ones.

-Synthroid vs. Levothyroxine. This one is weird, but people theorize that it has to do with the way that the drug is formed (binding agents used and stuff) differing between companies. All I know is that when I take brand-name Synthroid for my hypothyroidism, everything is great. When I take any of the generics, I end up with symptoms of hyperthyroidism, even though my TSH numbers don’t reflect hyperthyroidism after being on them for a while. Heart palpitations are not fun to deal with on a regular basis. Or ever at all. So I always ask my doctor to have them dispense only Synthroid for my prescription, instead of giving me the generic.

-Reglan. This is supposed to move things through your digestive system faster, theoretically so that you don’t have as much opportunity to feel nauseous and toss your cookies. What it did for me was create a vague and very uncomfortable feeling of constant achy pain in my abdominal region. It didn’t touch the nausea for me at all. But the pain was irritating enough that I couldn’t keep taking the drug.

-Phenergen. Made me EXTREMELY tired but simultaneously gave me such bad restless legs that there was zero percent chance of me being able to sleep at all. Ugh.

-Zofran. One of the best-known side effects, so I hardly need to include it, but just to be thorough: constipation. There are gads of women on pregnancy and HG forums who have already talked about the awful-ness of this, so I won’t go into details. Oh, the pain.

-Vicodin/Norco. Usually around the time it’s supposed to be wearing off in my system (4-6ish hours after I’ve taken it) I get the sudden and overwhelming urge to vomit. And I always do. No bueno.

-Percocet. The worst nightmares in the history of anything. My husband physically abusing me, my baby dying right in front of me, the ones where I can’t move, can’t wake up, and there’s an intruder in the house, horrible brushes with death like drowning… I wake up from all these in a complete traumatized terror. I got so scared to sleep that I went more than 24 hours without any sleep once in the week post c-section, just through willpower and the sweet, sweet services of Netflix. Interestingly enough, oxycodone by itself in the hospital didn’t give me nightmares, but did make it hard for me to sleep deeply (or for more than an hour or two at a time (no, not because my newborn kept waking me up—she often sleeps more than two hours already, though I’m not crossing my fingers that it will last)).


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