Thursday, February 5, 2015


I think that everybody out there is aware that there are interactions between medications.  Mix some ibuprofen and some aspirin for a while and, voila! bleeding ulcers, no extra charge!  While some interactions are obvious, some are so subtle as to take years to be identified.  As we learn more and more about the pathways our bodies use to metabolize medications, we learn more about which medications tie up those pathways and keep them from metabolizing OTHER medications, which can create backlogs in other areas.....well, you get the idea.  This is, sometimes, the reason why a drug that has been on the market for years suddenly gets a bunch of new warnings attached to it.  It is also logical to assume that the larger the number of medications involved, the likelier you are to hit some sort of interaction.

Ah, so Babygirl is having problems with drug interactions?

Well, no,  not her so much:  Me.

And my problem isn't so much an interaction between one medication and another, it's an interaction between a drug that is being used to treat one disease state (migraine) that can worsen another disease state (asthma). 

It isn't always about the drugs disagreeing with each other.  It's about having diseases where God used the same receptor in different fashions in different locations.  Blocking Beta receptors in blood vessels decreases arterial spasm and therefore decreases migraine - great idea.  Blocking Beta receptors in the lungs increases the risk of bronchospasm in asthmatics and makes it harder to fix when it occurs - terrible idea.

I've been trapped in an asthma attack for two weeks.  My doc already cut my Beta Blocker in half (reasonably and correctly sure that the prednisone I was give to break the attack would block any migraines).  Now the prednisone is being tapered, and the chest tightness is returning. 

So last night I pulled the last of the Betas out of my pill sorter.  The dose has been going down on this medication anyway since it causes fatigue (and has some interactions with some of my other medications to boot), but it is the medication that finally brought the migraines under reasonable control.  As the steroids continue to taper, things could get interesting, but frankly, breathing trumps headaches this week.

Wish me luck.


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