the Side Effects

 and give this day our daily...

if you're living in a bipolar way, there's a fundamental question you've got to answer:

       To med,
            or not to med?

that is the question. whether 'tis nobler in the mind
to suffer the etc...

it's personal. political. economic. philosophical.
it's the Big Kahuna.
i've lived with them, and I've lived without them,
and as far as i can tell,
my life works better with... 

so very far from what i can imagine that it gives me vertigo, and  i am to Enlightenment as Haley is to his comet. there are still days when there isn't even a good reason to wake up, let alone get up...

...but better.

And if you're living uno vida medicado, one day you'll probably find yourself at least scanning on the possible "side effects*" of what you are ingesting each day.

i'm taking two kinds of prescription meds - as well as vitamins, caffeine, nicotine, smoothies and a few other household remedies - and as side effects go, these are my possibilities...

meds merch


    * Nausea -- in up to 21 percent of people
    * Dry mouth -- up to 20 percent
    * Drowsiness -- up to 18 percent
    * Insomnia -- up to 15 percent
    * Increased sweating -- up to 11 percent
    * Shakiness (tremor) -- up to 8 percent
    * Diarrhea -- up to 8 percent
    * Ejaculation problems -- up to 6 percent

Other common side effects occurring
in 2 - 5 percent of people include:

    * Upper respiratory tract infections    
    * Runny / irritated nose or sinus infections
    * Fatigue / somnolence
    * Indigestion or heartburn
    * Vomiting
    * Anxiety or agitation
    * Loss of appetite
    * Erectile dysfunction (ER or impotence)
    * Painful menstrual cramps
    * Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
    * Fever
    * Muscle pain or joint pain
    * Decreased sex drive
    * Yawning.
    * Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    * Increased perspiration 
    * Anxiety, agitation, or panic attacks
    * Hostility or aggressiveness
    * Engaging in unusual or dangerous activities
    * Restlessness or inability to sit still
    * Extreme elation or feeling of happiness
       that may switch back and forth with a depressed
       or sad mood
    * Other unusual changes in behavior
    * Chest palpitations
    * Difficulty sleeping
    * Signs of serotonin syndrome, such as:
          o Confusion or other mental changes
          o A rapid heart rate
          o Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
          o Hallucinations
          o Blood pressure changes
          o An irregular heart rhythm
          o Overactive reflexes
          o Fever, sweating, or shivering
          o Shakiness
          o Agitation
          o Seizures
          o Coma

If taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either
could be increased, decreased, or altered.

parents say the darndest things


* Loss of appetite (anorexia) -- up to 36 percent of people
* Dry mouth -- in up to 35 percent
* Difficulty sleeping (insomnia) -- in up to 27 percent
* Headaches -- in up to 26 percent
* Abdominal pain (or stomach pain) -- in up to 14 percent
* Temporary increase in blood pressure -- in up to 11 percent
* Weight loss -- in up to 11 percent
* Emotional changes -- in up to 9 percent
* Nausea, upset stomach, or vomiting -- in up to 8 percent
* Dizziness -- in up to 7 percent
* Diarrhea -- in up to 6 percent/ constipation
* Feeling of weakness (asthenia) -- in up to 6 percent
* Increased heart rate (tachycardia) -- in up to 6 percent
* Infection, including urinary tract -- in up to 5 percent
* Fever -- in up to 5 percent
* Heartburn -- in up to 2 percent.

but wait- there's more!

* Suicidal thoughts
* Confusion
* Chest tightness
* Chest pain or heart palpitations
* Shortness of breath
* Depression
* More outgoing or aggressive behavior than normal
* Strange behavior
* Hallucinations
* Agitation or restlessness
* Fainting
* Seizures
* Unexplained rash
* Hives
* Uncontrolled movements known as tics
* Fatigue or tiredness
* Constipation
* Shakiness
* Sweating
* Impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction)
* Decreased sex drive
* Blurred vision
* Dizziness
* Elevated heartbeat
* Headache
* High blood pressure
* Lack of appetite
* Rapid breathing
* Restlessness
* Difficulty falling or staying asleep
* Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
* Changes in sex drive or ability
Dry mouth
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Constipation / diarrhea
* Loss of appetite
* Weight loss

Some side effects can be serious.
If you experience any of the following symptoms,
call your doctor immediately:

fast or pounding heartbeat
* shortness of breath
* chest pain
* excessive tiredness
* slow or difficult speech
* dizziness or faintness
* weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
* seizures
* motor or verbal tics
* believing things that are not true
* feeling unusually suspicious of others
* aggressive or hostile behavior
* changes in vision or blurred vision
* swelling of the eyes, face, tongue, or throat
This medication also may cause sudden death**, heart attack, or stroke in adults, especially adults with heart defects or serious heart problems.

it's not something i like to dwell on, but they can't be unread. just add them to the list of cross-references integral to the negotiating reality with others day by day, and listen to your body. listen to your body.

the better you listen, the quicker you'll know what effects - good and not-so-good - your meds are adding to your mix. ergo, the sooner you can compensate for them, or try a different med. 

being medicated, i sometimes wonder how many of 'my' side-effects might simply be honest, organic responses to urban living, poverty and the weather?

it's a useless question, because it can't be answered... but it may be a baby step towards understanding that quirky creative thing that the dis-ordered so often do...

...just a thought.


* side effects - a term i've never felt very good about. talk about your re-situated discourse and contested terrains. it may be "on the side" if you're marketing it, but these are things that may or may not be happening inside my organs, including my brain. this is personal.
see also: user-friendly, customer service, your call is important, etc

**  good to know...


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