A New Pill is Out!!!

A New Pill is Out!!! (Yet another dashing of hopes) The arrival of Linzess... No "Magic Bullet" for me   Frame 1:   My nice gastroenterologist: "So, a new pill has come out. Call me next week, we'll discuss it. (wearing endoscopy scrubs) Husband waking from colonoscopy My thought bubble: "It'll NEVER work...oh but what if it does? What would it mean to be living a normal life? Musn't hope...   When I drive my husband for a colonoscopy, our (nice) gastroenterologist tells me that a new pill has come out. He will be going to a seminar hosted by the drug manufacturer and he'll let me know if he thinks I should try it. I am skeptical, as nothing has ever helped me, but I cannot help myself...a tiny iota of hope slithers into my consciousness. This is perhaps the cruelest part of all.   Frame 2:   On the computer screen:   "For Gods sake, don't take Linzess!" "I was bloated with horrible cramps all day! Doesn't work!" "I took pills and there was no difference." "I had diarrhea all morning...horrible!" "I was scared to leave the house."   So, of course, I go online to the web site www.ibsgroup.org to see what my fellow-sufferers are saying-doesn't look promising...scary...then I get the OK from the Dr.   Frame 3:   As usual, there never seems to be a "good" day to invite more misery into my life. And then...I take the lowest dose.   Frame 4:   While trying too recuperate from the trauma to my intestines from Linzess, I take to my trusty, therapeutic blog *.   (my thought bubble): Just once, I'd like to feel better, not worse!   *will not go into detail here about what transpired

The good news is that there apparently is a lot of research being done to manufacture drugs for IBS. I imagine, with all of the suffering out there, there is a lot of money to be made by these companies. The bad news is that for me, none of them help, and actually make me feel worse. I honestly could not give the new pill for IBS/C, Linzess, a fair trial of at least a week. I found the mechanism of the pill so forceful (it kind of has to be to make the body”go”), that it caused my beleaguered system to have a very strong reaction. Life is tenuous and uncomfortable enough for me without making it worse. Now some might say, if one gave it a chance, then the body might adjust. While this may be true (though I doubt it), I lack the ability and fortitude to do so. Perhaps if I was staying in a facility with nothing to do but try these meds and no “real life” to intercede, I might be able to give these new meds a fair shake when they come out. But I live in the real life, and it’s very hard to navigate that with scary symptoms. After all these years, sometimes I feel the devil I know is better than the unknown, probably more violent devil in these meds. I am burned out and need a gentler path. Since everyone’s systems are different, I have no doubt that some people might experience a benefit from taking Linzess. I can only say that at this point, a “magic bullet” in the form of a pill from a pharmaceutical company, is not a viable option for my problem, or my psyche.

10 thoughts on “A New Pill is Out!!!

  1. Thank you for this post. This will help me have the conversation with my Doctor as to why I am in out patient therapy for trying to be compliant with the “magic bullets”. They have literally brought me to my knees with the awful side effects. I have lived long enough to know that I have a sensitive body and one size does not fit all when it comes to meds. I hope everyone realizes that you know your body better than anyone else and always to be your own advocate.

    • Thank you Patty! None of these meds so far has made me anything but more miserable than I already am. I never did think there was a magic bullet for this problem, but I always dared to hope just a little before I tried something else yet again…

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  3. I enjoyed reading your blog. I myself don’t have IBS, my mother does. However I am a nurse in a GI clinic at a large hospital and I have heard all the stories you have told here. You’re a good artist and have put a funny spin on this. Thanks

  4. Thank you for your kind comments, Rachel. I’m sure you’ve heard it all and then some. There will be a new posting on this blog next week, and I am also working on a graphic novel on this subject.

  5. I’ve never been diagnosed with IBS; seven years ago I was involved in the more vulnerable half of a bicycle / car accident that left me partially paralyzed, unable to walk or sh*t. I’d been somewhat chronically constipated all my life but had finally overcome it with diet (lots of fiber) and regular vigorous exercise. The accident made it impossible for me to continue that regime. When a new DR prescribed Amitiza it took a while to work but then worked fairly well for almost a year. Even then it was a constant adjustment of dosage to manage swings from constipation to very loose stools with some normality in the middle. It seemed worth it because the normal days allowed me to evacuate my bowel completely. My condition requires manual evacuation, embarrassing to discuss even with DR. So loose bowel is as bad as constipation. I can’t get it out. So, finally to the point, this week I’ve begun having headaches and nausea. I saw an ad for linzess which lead me to your blog. I guess there’s no cure, just living with it. So now I can barely eat, have cut my Amitiza dose in half, I’ll see what happens. Any other paraplegics with similar issues?

  6. My Dr. said he had patients who were helped by Linzess. It works in a different way than Amitiza, and may just work for you. If your Dr. thinks it’s worth a try, and you are willing, then why not? My system is uber-sensitive, yours may be different. I hope you find relief.

  7. Hi, just came across this site, and really enjoy the cartoons! Great way to communicate as well as get out your angst in an amusing format.

    My pain doctor gave me Linzess last year for opioid-induced constipation. Opioids are for CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) and they are what make my life tolerable, so although I do take days off from them occasionally, I’m not willing to go back to the daily pain-filled life that was my reality before. I coped as best I could with the constipation by diet and fiber drinks until trying Linzess.

    I have to say it was a wonder-med for me. No diarrhea, no cramping… just like normal as before pain meds. However, my long-time pain doctor retired and I had to find a new one (an ordeal in itself!) Finally found a good ‘un who doesn’t treat his patients like drug addicts, but he simply will not prescribe Linzess for some reason. His office has a pharmacy on site, and maybe they just don’t carry it or something. I asked for the Linzess the first time and he instead gave me “Laxacin”. Did absolutely nothing. This last time (just yesterday) I begged for Linzess, and instead was given “Amitiza”. So I don’t know how it’s gonna work yet, having only just taken a dose last night & this morning. But I sure wish they’d just let me have the Linzess again.

    I’m sure the effect is different for people with opioid-induced constipation vs IBS, too. So, I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. I have a dear friend with Crohns’ Disease, & do understand how devastating it is. Blessings all….

  8. Hi Martha,

    I apologize that I missed your posting back in November. Thank you for your kind comments on my blog. And yes, it helped me to vent via cartoons from all the angst.

    You are the second success story I have heard re: the use of Linzess for opioid-induced constipation. There must be a different mechanism in play that causes success in one instance and only a 50% success rate with IBS patients (this percentage is from my GI Dr.). Have you tried getting a script for Linzess from a GI Dr or your internist? It is very easy to get by me, and I’m not sure why you are having so much trouble. I hope by now you have resolved that issue and have had more success. I’d give you mine if I could:)

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