My medication has proved to be an interest to many people. Lupus needs to be controlled, if it isn’t then it would have a field day attacking all my precious organs and healthy tissue. I’ve noticed that Lupus patients discuss their medication with each other but rarely speak of it to others. This is not what every Lupus patient takes, treatment plans are unique to the patient.
Hydroxychloroquine / 200mg / Once a day: This is for Lupus. It’s hard to find a Lupus patient who hasn’t had experience with this medication. It’s the medication mostly everyone is prescribed when first diagnosed. It’s awful at first too, I had intense nausea for weeks and it can take up to 12 weeks before you feel it taking affect. I find it good for keeping rashes down, I initially started on 400mg but my Lupus needed something stronger, especially for pain.
Azathioprine / 125mg / Once a day: This is for Lupus. Azathioprine is the medication that suppresses my immune system, it’s the reason why I have to be extra vigilant around people who have something infectious, my immune system isn’t strong enough to fight things off. The correct medical term would be ‘immune compromised’. This is medication that buggered up my white cells and neutrophils earlier this year, resulting in an unpleasant experience with steroids (I’d have to be on my death bed to accept them again). It was only when I was taken off them for my white cells to recover that I realised that these dodgy coloured pills do in fact work a charm. Azathioprine is the reason I get reguar blood tests because it can affect your liver and evidently your white cell and neutrophil count.
Apixaban / 5mg / Once a day: This is for Antiphospholipid Syndrome. Once upon a time I took Aspirin to lower my risk of blood clots. However, my consultant believes I was having blood clots on my brain that ‘fizzled’ out on their own and that was the cause of my intense headaches. He decided to trial me on this, which is an anticoagulant – like Warfarin but it doesn’t require weekly INR testing. It lowers my risk of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. My headaches have been reduced and they aren’t as intense. It was decided that Apixaban would permanently replace Aspirin. However, if you cut yourself, you know about it.
Carbomer eye gel / twice a day and when needed: This is for Sjogrens Syndrome. There isn’t much to say about it, it’s a gel I put in my eyes to stop them feeling dry. I’m one of those weirdos who can touch their eyeballs so I’ve had no issues with it. It works and I also use it if I have pain in my eyes which is usually a sharp pain or burning sensation.
Levothyroxine / 50 micrograms / Once a day: This is for Hypothyroidism. It gives me the hormone my thyroid is too lazy to produce itself. My thyroid is just slightly under active, hence the small dose. I haven’t felt different on this mediation but again, that’s probably due to my thyroid only being slightly under active.
Propranolol / 80mg / Once a day: This is for anxiety. This was the first medication I was regularly prescribed. I was diagnosed with anxiety years before Lupus but since developing Lupus it has heightened. It gets particularly worse on the days my pain and fatigue are at a high level. It works and if I miss a dose I start to feel anxious about the silliest things, like someone knocking on the door.
Lymecycline / 408mg / Once a day: This is for my skin. Since I’ve had Lupus my skin has decided to resemble the skin of a teenager. It works to an extent, it definitely tries but you couldn’t solely rely on it, you definitely need a good skin care routine to back it up.
Lansoprazole / 30mg / Once a day: This is a stomach tablet. All it does is protect my stomach due to taking so much medication. I can’t miss this tablet because I’d end up with horrendous acid.
I’m prescribed two pain medications, which I can request at any time from my doctor:
Codiene 30mg: I take 60mg at a time. Oddly, a lot of people can’t take codiene due to it hurting their stomachs. It does give me headaches so if I already have a headache, I won’t touch it because it’ll turn it into a migraine. But, I do find it to be helpful for my pain.
Tramadol: I very rarely take Tramadol, I can’t remember the last time I requested it. I tend to use it if I have a headache and can’t take Codiene. I don’t find it very helpful for pain. But, it is good for taking the edge off migraines.
At least one of these tablets give me vivid dreams and nightmares but I’m not 100% sure who to put the blame on but I think it could be Hydroxychloroquine or Propranolol. And, yes, I have forgotten to take them before, especially in the early days of my diagnosis. I now use a ‘med organiser’, which I have wrote about before. I also have an alarm set at 7pm everyday to remind me.