Saturday, September 19, 2009

Metformin.

I finally agreed to give Metformin a go after the appointment with the new Endocrinologist {that I waited three months for} and Dr. Simkes {the new ob/gyn} both highly recommended I go on Metformin although my levels checked out. Me being PCOS {again}, this was the 'magic answer'.

I humored them. I hoped that this would finally be the missing piece and we would end up pregnant as close to naturally as possible. I mean, it is a $4 prescription. Ubber cheap unlike everything that has to deal with Infertility!

I started Metformin on September 4, 2009. I took it just after dinner. I was told to start with 500mg a day and if after a week my symptoms are under control to add another 500 mg a day until I am up to three times a day. Strict orders were not to move up until the symptoms were under control though...

Expecting the worst. I highly anticipated my time on the long weekend was to be spent in the bathroom going diarrhea. Instead, I was constipated. {I am Mrs. Regular! Constipation is not my friend, at all!!!!} I had extreme nausea where even the thought of food made me have to concentrate on not throwing up! The thought of food rarely came as I had absolutely no appetite! I hardly ate. Go figure the weight loss I experienced {12 pounds from the last Dr visit to Tues this week}. You do lose weight when you hardly eat...

These GI symptoms were fine for me to deal with. It began Wednesday, September 16, 2009 {12 days into the new meds} when I first experienced it. Shortness of Breath. I had never experienced this before and it totally freaked me out! I was at work and thankfully the boys were napping so I could have a mini freak out time. I had to really concentrate on my breathing. In and out. Thru my nose then out thru my mouth. I just did not feel right. The shortness of breath happened after any minimal exertion.

I said something briefly to hubby thinking it was a fluke. It happened again and again. Wednesday night, I decided to google the Metformin side effects to see if it was still normal for me to have the GI issues I was having and in such extremes. This is when I came across the information that Metformin had a direct linkage {unusual occurrences and mostly in those with predisposed medical disorders} with Lactic Acidosis. I was fearful I had this...

I went to bed and worked Thursday. Still feeling pretty bad but making it thru fine. I went back and forth on "should I go to the Dr or should I wait it out" thought process. I decided to go to the store and get some Smart Water as if I was having Lactic Acid issues, this would certainly not hurt.

Friday morning, I woke up and felt really bad. Just could not get the thought out of my mind about Lactic Acidosis and my shortness of breath... I called the Nurses' line with our insurance company. After several questions, rundown of my medical history, current medications, and current symptoms I was told to hang up and call 9-1-1 to be seen immediately. I was asked if I could just drive to the ER? She said no, I want you to call 9-1-1 and start treatment immediately. Wow. Okay.

I walk to the living room to tell hubby {he had Friday off} about the phone conversation. He was eating breakfast and was taken aback by it. He asked if he could finish eating. I said yes. He asked if he could get in the shower? I said yes. He asked if I was going to take a shower, I said no that I did not feel like I should exert anymore energy than needed.

We headed to the ER. {Yes. We drove. Against the Nurse's orders.} Me freaking out even more as I was not expecting to be told that it could be this serious. Thankfully we waited a whole 16 seconds before I was taken back. Immediately I had three nurses taking vitals and asking questions. The Dr came back and said it certainly sounds like the Metformin is the culprit to immediately stop it {I did that on Wednesday}. After blood work, chest x-ray, and monitoring my CO2 and O2 levels I was discharged and instructed to call back around noon for the Lactic Acid blood work results but that he did not believe I had it due to my CO2 and O2 levels remaining normal.

The Dr questioned when all this started... After much explanation, I reassured him {and myself} that I had the symptoms before I learned about Lactic Acidosis! I was not imagining the inability to feel as though I could get a deep breath. I was not imagining feeling just off. I was not imagining like I had no appetite. I was not imaging the nausea so much I would sometimes run to the bathroom dry heaving. None of this I was making up...

At noon I called and was told that the Lactic Acid results were indeed normal and again he said that it was an "Adverse Drug Reaction" and stay away from the Metformin. I was instructed to rest and keep hydrated and that I should be feeling much better before the weekend is over. I am very happy that it is not the Lactic Acidosis and something that just needs to run it's course. If it were not for the Shortness of Breath, I would not have worried about the side effects.

Actually, I read that when starting Metformin {Because this Lactic Acidosis is so serious}, you should have your electrolyte levels checked 1-2 weeks after starting it... Never once have I heard of people having their levels checked nor did any of my current better yet all the previous doctors who wanted to put me on it say anything about this side effect!

4 comments:

Melis.sa said...

wow!!!!! Are you feeling better?? I would scared. gah!!! is there something like met that you could take?

Cathy said...

Wow! That's not good at all Meghan. Darn the human body. It's just not good to you sometimes. I hope you get to feeling all better this weekend. Boo Metformin, Boo!

Shana said...

Your problem may be due to you taking the generic form of the medication. I had some bad side effects on the generic which cleared up when I switched to extended release Glucophage. Remember, the generic is made cheaply, probably in China, and that's why you get to pay only $4 for it.

Jack Smith said...

Diabetes are of two types-Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 are the diabetes when the immune systems attacks and spoils the cells of pancreas which produces insulin whereas Type 2 are the diabetes that a person gets when his body produces insulin but doesn't respond to it normally.So here the work of Metformin arises as Metformin is known to be the best drug for type 2 Diabetes.