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psychiatric drugs damaging?


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I've been meaning to post this thread and when I saw the post in the AD forum, I decided to go for it over here. Didn't want to post in that thread since I'm not on ADs.

So...

My boyfriend wanted to find out some more information about the meds I'm on so he spoke to his friend, who is in a high position at a major drug company. His friend told him that all these drugs are just damaging my internal organs and that I may even have problems getting pregnant one day. My boyfriend is worried and we had plans to get engaged and he just told me last night that he is putting it off because while he does want to marry me and have a family, he wants to figure this out and make sure that I am going to be able to deal with life and that our children or I will not have any damaging side effects later in life. We had a brief conversation about this so obviously we need to talk more (he wants to go to counseling). He also called his uncle's pdoc friend, who is looking into it and will give him a call back.

Anyway, the point of this was not to talk about my love life. Sorry. :embarassed:

So, does anyone know if there are any longterm and internally damaging effects from taking these meds? Effects on children during pregnancy? I suppose I'll have to adjust meds, if it's possible, when that time comes.

I'm finally starting to feel better and thought, oh I'll go off them, but I know I'm only thinking that b/c I feel better. I did the same thing last year with Wellbutrin and slipped back into a severe depression.

Thank you! ;)

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magnolia -

which major drug company said friend works for may have something to do with his response, since business is business, after all, and there's profit to be made in running one's competitors down. eventually, it becomes reflex.

i am not aware of any negative effects any drugs in your current cocktail might have on fertility, or on your long-term health. women can and do become pregnant and carry those pregnancies to term while *taking* psychiatric drugs, and though the decision to stay on meds while pregnant always involves a cost/benefit analysis and lots of talking to the doctors, it can be done, and usually everything works out fine. lamictal, particularly, is thought to be one of the safest AC meds to take during pregnancy itself. as for 'damaging internal organs' - well, that's pretty damned vague. all meds carry some risk, even over-the-counter meds. with newer medications, it's hard to know all the possible long-term effects that might concievably occur, but the action of the drugs in the body is researched pretty thoroughly before they're brought to market. i have read a lot of PI sheets for a lot of different drugs and i've never seen 'damaging organs' and 'infertility' listed. i can say with at least some confidence that this friend of your boy's is full of shit on this count.

if you are worried about your meds and your health, talk to the prescribing doctor - and, if you're comfortable with it, invite your bf to come with you to one of the visits. he can ask your doc any questions he might have about the meds and what they do. that might help ease his mind more than counselling would, but counselling might be worth considering, too. your health and sanity are far more important than your potential future performance as a baby-producing unit, and someone who loves you should understand that. (and just to repeat it, one more time, i have not heard of infertility directly resulting from the use of psych meds. or of 'damage to internal organs', whatever that was supposed to mean.)

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Hal,

Thank you for being so calm, level headed and patient.

Me, I'm fed up this week with lies, half truths and rumors about drugs.

- NO, to the best of our knowledge the meds we take do not inevitably cause long term damage to our internal organs. Sure indidividual drugs have potentials for adverse effects, but they are as safe as medical science can make them. Every drug, including aspirin has side effects.

- The meds you are on especially have very little risk.

- Being mentally ill and taking meds presents special risks that must and CAN be managed to a successful delivery.

- You should meet with your Pdoc and OB to discuss the risks, medications and a general plan for pregnancy.

- Perhaps it might be good to consider why your beau should continue associating with this pharmaceutical big wig. Considering that he doesn't know what he is talking about, and further considering that he doesn't have any ethical problem with selling medicines that he believes cause long term damage to his customers.

- It sounds like you and your beau have more deeper discussions due. What if it turns out that one of you is sterile, or cannot have children for other medical reasons... does he still not want to marry you?

None of these are easy questions, but that is what engagements are for...exploration, discussion and looking forward. It may be good that this opportunity to talk has come up.

Good luck,

a.m.

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Thank you for your replies.

That is what I thought. Once I was prescribed these meds, I researched them extensively and found nothing that showed any truth to what this guy is saying. I am shocked and pissed off now that he said that to my boyfriend! ugh

This guy is one of his best friends so when I start a new med, my bf goes to him to find out more about it. I think it just scared him when this guy said it to him because he trusts (well, trusted) him.

As for our relationship, I know that if we were unable to have children, it would not be the end. I think that conversation just threw him for a loop and what he said to me was a result of how it made him feel. We will be talking about this some more and I am going to show him the replies to this thread to assure him that he was given false information. I have already told him that he is welcome to come with me to an appointment if he wants to.

I think everything will be ok.

But seriously, what a dumbass. I want to give that guy a piece of my mind.

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OK...maybe I am just being cynical....

I don't think your boyfriend's friend said anything like that. I think...

a) your boyfriend totally misinterpreted something his buddy said

B) your boyfriend is taking information from buddy out of context

0r

c) your boyfriend has fears about your meds and is just saying the buddy said what boyfriend actually feels.

No matter which one is correct, education and a trip with you to the doc is a great idea.

Besides...the side effects of being completely crazy can be a lot worse than the side effects of these medications.

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here's the scoop from Loon, master of all! ;)

I know that the risk of suicide among people with BP (types including 1 and 2) is between 15-20% while left untreated. That means that like my dad who killed himself, about 1-5 or so will die this way. i don't know the stats for MDD, but they are probably high as well.

I also know that we do not have any long-term info on these drugs because they haven't been around long enough to even know.

personally, given the choice between a KNOWN factor (1 in 5 BP commit suicide) and an unknown (I may develop some issues with internal organs)- I choose taking my meds and my chances.

if biological children are on his mind, you guys have to weigh it with your pdoc andprobably ob/gyn. could you mentally/emotionally handle a pregnancy? my health team doesn't know if i could without extensive help and probably hospitalization. you would have to change meds to ones known to be safer in pregnancy too.

The older drugs have long track records, and i know they haven't been pulled from the shelf. I just had a script for Haldol and it was fine.

Jus think over what is worse, figure out your options, and ask your bf to do so too. if he doesn't want that in his life, it is on him, not on you.

Brightest blessings,

loon

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realitytest-that's very true. I guess we trusted him because he's been working for the company for so long and seemed knowledgeable about meds (but I guess he should only know about the ones he reps). But the reality is that he climbed up the ladder from being a drug rep to where he is now because he is good at talking and doing business with people.

wifezilla - that crossed my mind too. My guy tends to exaggerate so I asked him if he was positive that is what his friend told him. He said yes and that now he wants to call out his friend on this but whatever, who knows. So, I'm just talking to my docs and forgetting about anything they said.

Loon - thank you for your thoughts.

I hope I didn't make my boyfriend sound like an awful person. We've been together for 6 years but he has never really understood depression and now that I have a new pdoc, who I opened up to about more issues, I'm taking new meds and more of them. I think it's just overwhelming for him, I was only on ADs, he doesn't want to become overmedicated or hooked on anything (as he watched his mom do) he doesn't really understand depression. He is reading about it now and realizing that he needs to be more supportive, not be such a workaholic and we do need to adjust our lifestyle in order to make me more stable. so, it's all good.

thanks. ;)

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"I'm just talking to my docs and forgetting about anything they said."

Smart girl ;)

"I hope I didn't make my boyfriend sound like an awful person."

Actually to me your guy sounds like he just didn't grasp the whole implication of your illness...and he sounds a little scared.

"He is reading about it now and realizing that he needs to be more supportive, not be such a workaholic and we do need to adjust our lifestyle in order to make me more stable. so, it's all good."

Excellent!!

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Hi,

as the other expert - DO NOT marry this guy if he is expecting you to give life and bear his children.

there are 10,000 reasons for infertility. I know. I lost 2. I was not on any medications when these pregnancies happened. and i was not on any meds prior to thinking about getting pregnant.

You & your bf need to have a serious talk.

I speak from currently being in the middle of a divorce....

love,

december

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This drug rep is clearly uneducated. Obviously not a doctor or even a scientist. If you are talking about meds like lamictal, these have very very low risk to damage your internal organs. you would definately want to talk to your doctor about getting off the meds if you actually planned on having a child (during the pregnancy) because these meds are passed onto the fetus, and I think some of these represent unknown or minor risks to the fetus. But i would just not marry this guy because he sounds like he is trying to control your life. ;)

some of the older drugs (haldol, melleril) have severe risks, and some of the new antipsychotics run a risk of causing diabetes, but if you are taking your medication and monitoring for any problems (such as the dreaded lamictal rash) and getting blood work done as per your doctor's guidance, there is no risk to damaging internal organs. even with the older drugs, regular blood work will minimize any risk.

so effects during pregnancy are important, yes, and med switches are frequently done during this time. but as far as long-term use outside of pregnancy, they are safe.

(oh i would also add that as far as impairing fertility, this doesn't happen. psych drugs are not contraceptives!)

I've been meaning to post this thread and when I saw the post in the AD forum, I decided to go for it over here. Didn't want to post in that thread since I'm not on ADs.

So...

My boyfriend wanted to find out some more information about the meds I'm on so he spoke to his friend, who is in a high position at a major drug company. His friend told him that all these drugs are just damaging my internal organs and that I may even have problems getting pregnant one day. My boyfriend is worried and we had plans to get engaged and he just told me last night that he is putting it off because while he does want to marry me and have a family, he wants to figure this out and make sure that I am going to be able to deal with life and that our children or I will not have any damaging side effects later in life. We had a brief conversation about this so obviously we need to talk more (he wants to go to counseling). He also called his uncle's pdoc friend, who is looking into it and will give him a call back.

Anyway, the point of this was not to talk about my love life. Sorry. :embarassed:

So, does anyone know if there are any longterm and internally damaging effects from taking these meds? Effects on children during pregnancy? I suppose I'll have to adjust meds, if it's possible, when that time comes.

I'm finally starting to feel better and thought, oh I'll go off them, but I know I'm only thinking that b/c I feel better. I did the same thing last year with Wellbutrin and slipped back into a severe depression.

Thank you! :)

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