|I loved this movie!|
I'm taking what my friend Joan calls a "drug holiday." Not that I can stop taking all my meds -- it would be a Bad Thing if I stopped taking things like allergy, asthma and thyroid meds.
But I've gone cold turkey on my pain meds and the Adderall I was taking (off-label, but under doctor supervision) for fatigue. I was on such low doses of both anyway there was no need to taper down.
Why did I start this drug holiday?
I'm not entirely sure. I saw a new neurologist -- the neuromuscular neurology specializing one -- last week who said that one of the first things to do for frequent headaches is to avoid narcotics. Although I don't think my pain med usage was causing rebound headaches (which can also be caused by Tylenol and/or ibuprofin), but they've been really bad lately so I figured it was worth trying to see if I could decrease the number of bad headaches I'm getting.
Adderall can also cause headaches as a side effect, so taking a break there too seemed like a good idea.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, it can take up to six months to break the rebound headache cycle. We'll see. I also think I may have a lingering sinus infection contributing to the mix, and I expect my internist will want to try a round of antibiotics when I see her on Tuesday.
I'll also listen to what she has to say about my drug holiday and whether she thinks it's likely to help my headaches. I do know that she felt I was using pain meds appropriately and minimally, as does my rheumatologist.
We'll see. Drug holidays don't (necessarily) hurt, and don't have to last forever if it turns out that the meds were helpful without being harmful.
For anyone reading this blog post and considering taking a drug holiday of their own: I strongly recommend you discuss it with your doctor first. Many medications need to be tapered and can be dangerous if stopped abruptly. (Many medications also should never be stopped, and stopping them can have very serious and even life-threatening repercussions.) I have done this before, and discussed it then with my doctor before doing it. This time around, I was on much lower dosages of pain meds, so I knew it wouldn't be a problem for me. But please do as I say here and not as I'm doing and talk to your doctor first.