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Long Term Side Effects of Drugs

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Old 06-04-2003, 11:36 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 317
lidia09 HB User
Cool Long Term Side Effects of Drugs

Hi Everybody
Anybody done any research into the long term side effects of asthma medication? I've been prescribed so many different inhalers, tablets & injections over the space of around 35 years. For a while I had regular intravenous hydrocortisone & aminophylline (stopped using in UK now apparently - feels like your brain is about to come through your ears when they inject it!), phyllocontin tablets for years, lots of short courses of prednisolone, all kinds of steroid & bronchodilator inhalers & now reasonably well controlled on Seretide which I think may be the same thing as Advair in the US. I sometimes wonder what kind of long term effects all these drugs could be having on my body. Any thoughts gratefully received.


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Old 06-09-2003, 09:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: PA, United States
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rach923 HB User

maybe this is a biased opinion, b/c i'm on alot of meds myself, but i don't think all your switching meds is anything to worry about...all these people lately who get all hyped up about medicating are just overreactive. your body is MUCH better at cleasing "poisons" out of your system than one might suppose...for instance, one day i took a phenergan tablet b/c i was have GI probs and they were seeing if it helped, and i had such a terrible reaction...i had aweful vertigo, nausea, headache, mind was real "fuzzy", and i shook really bad, almost like a full-body tremor...very scary...six hours later i was marching around at field band practice

this is a totally un-proven opinion of mine, but i believe that if the med isn't causing any problems now, then the future isn't a huge thing to worry about...i mean, when they talk about organ damage, usually those people get really ill and get damage fairly quickly...its not like, taking a med for 20 years, and then, boom! all of a sudden, liver damage...must be the way! thats not how it works...i do know of someone who almost died b/c her body was shutting down, and they thought she was gonna die, cause she had a reaction to some OTC drug...but she'd always had trouble tolerating that drug, so it wasn't just a spur of the moment thing...

bottom line, if it made you feel better, or if it makes you feel better now, and your not reacting to it...chances are that the problem being treated with that med is more dangerous than any other rare side effets that might occur. even if the med was just a pathway to finding a pill that worked, don't worry about it...humans are equipped with excellent cleansing systems...hope this helps make you feel better!

Thought This Might Be of Use...Since Alot of Others Have It:
Updated on 6/18/02

August 1999: diagnosed with GERD and IBS...put on zantac, then aciphex
Spring 2000: diagnosed with TMJ...have lower splint
September 2000: hospitalized for failure to thrive due to malnutrition and dehydration; fed with ng tube for 3 months, put on prilosec
2001-02: developed chronic sinusitis/rhinitis from NG tube, put on nasonex and allegra
January 2002: switched GI's, diagnosed with hiatal hernia, switched to nexium, added peppermint oil, put on bentyl PRN for pain, zoloft for nausa
March 2003: IBS getting worse, switched PRN bentyl to BID levbid ER
May 2003: diagnosed with asthma from GERD, put on advair and singulair, albuterol PRN
May 2003: back pain and limited mobility, caused by 2002 car accident and dance injury, unidentified
April-June 2003: minor ear irritation and hearing problems, and extra sinus swelling, unidentified
May-June 2003: heartburn recurring even with meds!- GI put me on 40mg Pepcid Rx in the morning and at bedtime...Seems to be holding over till August...
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July: chest x-ray came back, found mild thoracic scoliosis, and small "heart shadowing", EKG results are coming...

Old 06-10-2003, 04:23 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posts: 2,459
wrin HB User

The thing that'll screw you up most is the withdrawal from the steroids. Second on that list is the aminophylline, but like you said, they're a little leery about using it now -- justifiably, considering an overdose means some nasty cardiac side-effects.

Theophylline (aminophylline) will not screw you up if you're taking a proper dose.

Prednisone and hydrocortisone and other assorted steroids will only screw you up if the withdrawal is quick and crashing, or if you've been on oral prednisone for a long period of time (think like, 20 years.)

Otherwise, there's practically nothing to worry about. If you were going to react badly to one of these drugs, you'd have reacted already, and the drugs they're using nowadays are safer than the ones used in the past.

Old 06-11-2003, 11:44 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 317
lidia09 HB User

Thank you Rach & Wrin. Quite encouraging by all accounts. I'm not surprised about the possible cardiac effects of aminophylline, it's a truly awful feeling to have it injected, especially by someone who does it too quickly! Last time I had it was around 16 years ago but will never forget! Thanks again for replying.
Best wishes.

Old 06-12-2003, 06:09 PM   #5
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Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
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wrin HB User

Theophylline is chemically related to caffeine. It's a different sort of stimulant -- a Xanthine as opposed to a catecholamine, like epinephrine or Ventolin.

They're supposed to work in the same way but the jury is out on their exact method of action, as I understand.

Side effects from Theophylline often includes cardiac side-effects (in the way of funny little beats, PVCs and things like that), tremor, rapid heartbeat, and at excessive doses, even seizures.

It has been referred to as "the poison of asthmatics".

Altogether not one of the safest drugs out there, but it still has its place in difficult-to-control asthma and COPD.

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