Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Alternatives to Vioxx

So Vioxx is off the market, and now they will tell you to try one of the other drugs. But wait… I’ve already found something telling us that there are alternatives, so since I actually have experience with the first step alternative before going to a Cox-2 inhibitor non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), like Celebrex or Vioxx, I thought I would share that with you.

The site linked above is telling you to use Mobic, also known as Meloxicam. In July of last year, I was over training; probably about 10 hours per week. I was thin, fit, and I looked great, but I was beating up my body and I started to have sports injuries. (I was probably about 5 lbs off of looking like Linda Hamilton in T2.) It started with what they thought was a small tear in my Achilles and went to my arches ‘falling’. Long story short, I went to the podiatrist after a few months and after telling him firmly NO, I would not do cortisone shots (there was big argument there, but I would not back down), I did some ice treatments in combination with Mobic. Now I argued with him vehemently against the Mobic too, but I was assured it was fine, he had a lot of elderly patients on Mobic, he pressed a fistful of free samples into my hand and told me to take it. I acquiesced, perhaps since I had won the battle of the cortisone. Who knows.

I went home and did research, but nothing alarmed me. Nothing told me I could get in big trouble, so I took the doses he had me on, did everything he said, and the pain diminished.

A month later the pain started. This was now probably November. Pain in my chest. It radiated down the left arm and sometimes the right. It was horrible. It was a vice. It would radiate from my back. Suffocating. I was a 38 year old woman, I had just had a full physical. I was 5’2”, 118 lbs of muscle, 55 resting heart rate and BP of 90/60. I ignored it. Until one morning, in mid December, at 4AM, I awoke with the most horrible chest pain I have ever experienced and I thought, "Oh crap, I'm having a heart attack." For some reason I didn’t panic, I slowly rolled over and took my pulse. It was 55. I realized I wasn’t sweating and then knew whatever it was, it was not my heart. My internist saw me by 9AM. If I had been 10 years older, I would have gone directly to the ER, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

We did what we call in the engine world, fault isolation. We just kept going down these ‘fault trees’ trying to isolate the problem. It came down to Mobic. It had irriated my stomach and I was a mess. So through the Christmas holidays, I was on Nexium (like I really wanted to take another drug) and was on a strict bland diet of no chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, citrus, mint or spicy foods. I live in the Citrus capital, am addicted to chocolate, drink alcohol only at Christmas and only in the form of an Irish coffee that has caffeine. My own personal Christmas hell.

Since then I have met a woman who was in the hospital with horrible GI bleeding due to Mobic. She had no previous GI problems, as I hadn’t either. My best friend's Mom has had all sorts of problems and I firmly believe it was the Mobic. My internist talked to me like this happens all the time. Literally. She said she sees this All.The.Time. with Mobic. As a matter of fact, as soon as I said,"Oh wait, I was on Mobic a month or two ago" she stopped right there and said, "I do believe we have found your problem."

I am hesitant to take ANYTHING other than Advil as I'm not comfortable with the clinical trials on these drugs and I get the distinct impression that in the past, most clinical trials were done on men (other than things like.... the pill). Hello? Last I looked I had breasts and was missing a vital part in being a man. We are different. And I am small. Drugs effect me differently than on a 200 lb man.

And when the research is being done, such as the findings at the Cleveland Clinic, the drug companies are ignoring it. They are ignoring it because they are arrogant and self righteous. They value their money over our lives. We are nothing to them. We are nameless faceless statistics that buy what we see of the TV or take what our doctors thrust in our hands... the vast majority of whom were educated about these drugs by the drug companies themselves via their drug reps.

Hey, maybe I am wrong, but that's my opinion and trust me, I'm not letting anyone convince me of taking anything again unless it's a life threatening situation or they can show me it's been on the market for a good long time.


Blogger Quality Weenie said...

I have been on some sort of NSAID almost all my life for 2 reasons. First reason, I have 5 different forms of Arthritis. Second reason, I have Endometriosis. The second reason is why I have an Ulcer. The period cramps were so severe I would be disabled for 2 days until I found Motrin. I was taking for 2-3 days every month for years 1000mg of prescription Motrin every 4 hours. Nobody told me any side effects until at age 21 I had a severe pain in my chest. Yep Ulcer, so I've been on Ulcer meds since 21 and have scaring on my stomach. I can not go off the meds for more than 3 days without the Ulcer returning.

Then along comes Vioxx, with the arthritis I have to take a NSAID to help control the pain and swelling. Was on Vioxx but got off due to blood clots (mentioned in previous comments about that). Was put on Celebrex. It has been a savor for me. It is the best NSAID I have ever taken (I've tried everything out there, really). I am now up to 200mg twice a day. My Ulcer doesn't act up unless I go off the Ulcer meds, because the Celebrex doesn't hurt my stomach (before I would have to supplement with Maalox). If they take Celebrex off the market I will suffer as I will have to take something that isn't as affective as Celebrex and got back to taking Maalox 4-5 days a week due to my Ulcer not liking other NSAIDS. I will be watching this closely, it effects my life as I know it.

I really hate being on prescription meds but I have no choice, for me it's a choice of walking or wheelchair bound before I'm 50.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like to see these posts. It's such a powerful, direct, personal way for people to do a public service. You never know if someone reading your post has a "Aha" moment, identify's with what you wrote, and is able to identify what is happening to them and why.


8:32 AM  
Blogger _Jon said...

I was on Vioxx for about two days. (Shoulders)
In the middle of the second day, my heart felt like someone was pounding it with a jackhammer.
Bad mojo.

As for heartburn, I highly recommend Orange Peel Extract. I used Nexium for five months with no significant improvement. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Acid Reflux. After three months of using Orange Peel Extract, I didn't need it anymore. I was much better.

I'll post details about how that came about someday, but it definately helped me. If you have stomach problems, I strongly urge you to look into it. It coats the stomach and esophogus. It saved me, that's for darn sure. Julie learned about it through her friends at the health food store. It's what they recommended.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Stu said...

So what is Vioxx prescribed for?

5:40 PM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

Sut- its a high potent drug to treat arthritis but is also used to block inflammation and treat accute pain. A lot of athletes as well as those with arthritis use it.

9:36 PM  

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