November 7, 2014

SNRI Rabbit Hole - Viibryd Sample Pack

I have had enough.  It's become impossible to wait till April before I can look for the treatment for my flavor of crazy that I need.  Maintaining on medications with generic equivalents because of the cost of non-generics has run its course.  After a weekend where the mere thought of leaving the house made my stomach burble like Pele was waking up from a nap, I made a call to my primary care doctor.  I asked to change my medication and I didn't care if it was a newer, more expensive option.  I have rainy day money in the stock market.  I'm finally ok with calling my mental health a worthy cause to use it.

Viibryd, the sample pack - A day by day journal

Day One -  

It was a Thursday when I got the prescription.  November 6th, to be exact.  I had been working with my doctor’s office to change up the daily dose of my no longer effective 150 mg of Zoloft.  After playing phone tag for three days, and rejecting a prescription for Effexor (I’d already been on it in the past, and it hadn’t worked.  This fact was also in my chart, as the same doctor’s office had prescribed it for me back in 2004.)  I finally got the news about my new prescription around 3:30 Thursday afternoon.  I was both elated, and chagrined.  

The trouble with this was, I was home with a migraine that had me sensitive to  light and sound, and too loopy to drive safely. I wanted to get started on a new medication as soon as I could since I’d been flirting with being a functional adult for long enough as it was.  My problem was, I wasn’t in any kind of shape to go to the office myself, much less in impending rush hour traffic.  I called around to a few people who would be off work at the time, and ended up asking my mom to help me out.  She wasn’t babysitting my niece, so she could run to the office, grab the sample pack, and drop it by my house. 

When she arrived, she had in her possession a tri-fold, cardboard package with the graduated doses all arranged in weekly rows.  For the first seven days, I will take 10 mg.  The second week, they ramp up to 20 mg.  And the last two weeks are at the therapeutic dose of 40 mg.

 Thunderhead and I eagerly set about looking up information about Viibryd.  I’d never heard of this medication before, which is new for me since I have always felt pretty well immersed in the latest treatments.  (Out of self-interest and all.)  Most anti-depressants take between 3-8 weeks to start working.  Imagine how elated we were to see not only glowing reviews of Viibryd, but accounts that a not insignificant number of people were seeing the positive effects in as few as 4 days!

There was one catch.  Listed in the prescribing information was a warning about letting your doctor know if you’re on a diuretic (water pill).  I’m on Aldactone for acne.  (It works in women by lowering their testosterone levels and thereby decreasing the oil on their skin.)  Before I took the first pill, I called my pharmacy and asked them if I should be concerned, or if it was safe to take them both together.  I’m happy to announce there are no listed interactions between the two.

So, I popped my little, pink pill out of the foil blister pack, and took it with my dinner.  You’re supposed to take it with food because if you don’t, it can affect the absorption of the medication in your system.  Gee.  I have to eat something to get better?  I think I can support this idea.  My only reason for hesitation is that one of the side effects can be diarrhea, and when you work in a call center, that unknown can make starting a new medication on a Thursday night a little dicey.

Day Two - This morning, as I was detangling hair after my shower, I looked at all the strands on the comb and hoped that this would be a thing of the past in the near future.  As best as I can tell, the constant anxiety was causing it to fall out.  I also noticed the lack of my anxious morning dry heaves into the sink.  I don’t know if it’s mind over matter, or if I’m actually seeing the effects this soon, but I’m excited.  It’s a little spark of joy, barely noticeable to most people.  But, it’s more than I’ve had in a long time.

I’m also happy to report a distinct lack of humiliation today.  No mad dashes to a restroom, no need for Emergency Pants.  I’m still exhausted from my ass-whoopin’ of a headache the day before, but my fatigue and matched luggage under my eyes is unrelated to the Viibryd.  The lack of pain today though has made it easier for me to giggle at the fact that my Crazy Pills have the word “vibe” in them.  Fitting.  

I took my pill with a flan in a cup, and a can of soda, and continue to play the waiting game.  This time, it’s eager anticipation instead of nervous fear.  

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