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Anyone else really sensitive to medications?
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Anyone else really sensitive to medications?

Diagnosed: PTSD, Hypothyroidism, and PCOS. I have always been extremely sensitive to medications. Took anti-depressants twice to try and quit smoking. They made me bipolar/crazy/psychotic. All of the birth control I have ever taken has given me horrible side effects at some point while I was taking them. It got to the point of hobbling because my cramps were so bad I couldn't walk straight. When I was on Levoxyl 25mcg, I went from brand name to generic and felt like my thyroid was swinging from hypo to hyper, my blood pressure went way up, and I was losing my mind. I almost always start at the lowest dose and if I don't start there, I tend to end up there.

I was just wondering if anyone else has had similar reactions to medications and if they found out why. I realize everyone is different, so it may just be my body, or maybe I am crazy. The doctors basically tell me the medication should not have that affect or it's not a big deal. Maybe I have not tried enough different medications or hopefully, there are others out there who are also really sensitive to meds. I would love to hear from others. Thanks!
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Avatar_m_tn
if you are sensetive to meds then do small steps and be sure not to go into hyper,
some side effects of the T4 meds are reported !
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798555_tn?1292791151
To chime in on you general question of "are some people sensitive to meds?"

It seems like some just are. In a way you could say bodies have "different personalities", just like our brains do. Some bodies are easily fooled by meds while others seem to almost 'revolt'. This may be one of the seldom discussed differences between Natural Thyroid and Synthetics. Scientifically synthetics look the same, but I think some bodies can tell what is man made and what is not.

A true example and actual fact, (not just my opinion):  Do you know what a stent is? A man made synthetic medical coupling for replacing short sections of large veins (arteries) that were removed or failed. When implanted they are coated with a chemical to 'camouflage' its synthetic properties, and the patient needs to take a drug even after its implanted, the coating goes away after awhile. Due to some people not taking the drug (cant aford, lost job, ect) some bodies continue to accept the stent while others are having reactions by the body not accepting it. Interesting, our bodies behave differently and have a 'sense' of their own.  

As to the medical community stating why some are sensitive to drugs? What would they get out of it? If a drug works for 90% of the patients it was intended for, there job is done. Most people are better and the pharmas make there profit. The other 10% do not matter to a company that exiists for profit, as most companies do. Sad but true, its business. The left over 10% (% estimate) is where NP docs pic up on.

Medical doctors deal with and are trained in, what works for most of the 'general population'. Luckily, most medicines have other brands or even other types that are used to treat the same ailment. But as the monopoly of companies and drug companies continues, the choice becomes limited. What if there was only one drug company? We would possibly have only one drug choice for every illness. Very scary. Drug company monopolizing should be avoid at all costs, but its the natural progression of economic business patterns.

My three cents worth (the long version).
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm super sensitive to thyroid hormones (and almost any other drug I have ever taken, which is why I've taken very few).

My PCP started me on 88 mcg levo.  If only I'd known what I know now.  If you read the dosing instructions on any of the major brands of levo (available on the drug companys' websites), you will see that if you are over 50 or have been hypo for more than a few months or have a history of heart arrhythmia, starting dose should be 12.5 to 25 mcg, increasing as tolerated.  Well, I fit all three categories, so you can imagine what 88 did to me!  Many people who don't fit any of these three categories are still very sensitive to the meds.

From the 88, I had to back down to 44, then to 25, then had to start on meds to control the side effects of the levo before starting to build again.  I'm now on 75 mcg, and I think I hit every level between 25 and 75 that I could split or combine pills to achieve.  And it took me over a year to do it.

So, as Moose said, we are all different.  Usually, when I tell doctors I'm very sensitive to drugs, they look at me like I have three heads.  Nurses, a different story.  They usually recognize that some people react to a very small dose, while others don't react to a dose big enough to bring down a horse.

Start low, and increase very slowly and only when the side effects of the previous dose have subsided.  You can't rush this...trying to will just set you back and end up taking more time in the long run.
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535822_tn?1389452880
I am sensitive to supplements even I have trouble taking anything, I believe I Have low Thyroid but the test TSH comes out Negative ...
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Avatar_f_tn
Has anyone tested your free T3 and free T4 as well as TSH?  These are much more important in determining thyroid status.  Also, what is your actual TSH number?
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Avatar_m_tn
YES! Thyroid Disease DOES cause sensitivity to many medications. In fact also, Psych Doctors MUST RULE OUT Thyroid Disease BEFORE stamping the "BiPolar" label on anyone!!!!!!! Because thyroid hormones out of balance mimics mood disorders as thyroid hormone imbalances make you moody! Look up Hypothyroidism and sensitivities to many medications on the American Association of Endocrinologists.
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43671_tn?1205934471
I am also extremely sensitive to supplements, along with all Rx medications. I have been checked out by several Dr's and they can not give me any explanation as to why I am so sensitive.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm very sensitive to ALL meds.  Although I have Hashi's, I really don't think it has anything to do with that.  I've been sensitive all my life, and Hashi's is only within the last several years.

I have a feeling we may never know why.  Someone just suggested a theory to me, and it sounds so reasonable that I'll repeat it here, but remember, it's just a theory.

How well meds work for you depends to some extent on how well they are transported into cells.  If the meds are in your bloodstream, but can't work on a cellular level because they can't cross the cell wall, your reaction to them is going to be limited.  However, what if we sensitive people actually transport super well?  Perhaps our meds hit our cells hard and fast.

I'm lucky if I can tolerate half the usual adult dose of anything.  My PCP has thrown her hands up when I've argued with her about giving me less and said, "That's the dose we give to babies!"  Yes, and thank you, that's exactly what I need to be treated as...

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5545765_tn?1369629515
I can't believe I found a website that addresses my issues with sensitivity to drugs!  I thought I was but a few handful in the world.  Maybe I still am but I am happy to see that I'm not the only one.   I never had a problem taking any drugs until 2006 when a doctor prescribed a thyroid drug to me (I think it was Levoxyl).  Then, after 3 months, it made me hyperthyroid, so I had to get off.  Ever since then,  I have been extremely sensitive to drugs.  I also now have unexplainable pains in my chest, arms, legs.  I have been diagnosed with pain somatoform disorder which is somehow connected with my anxiety disorder.  An endocrinologist that I'm seeing now thinks I might have Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  I feel so lost sometimes because when I explain to my friends and my doctors that I'm sensitive to drugs, they have a hard time understanding.   I was at one of the top ten hospitals in the country and even they had a hard time understanding.  I am so scared to take a blood pressure medicine because of my sensitivity.  My blood pressure is on average 140/100.  I feel like doctors are in the dark when it comes to this sensitivity issue with drugs.  Anyways, I hope somehow, someone in the research community can understand so they can help other doctors be aware of this condition.  God bless.

Update:  I just found a website that might answer my prayer concerning my sensitivity to drugs.  http://youscript.com/about-us/  Has anyone tried this?  I am going to talk to my doctor tomorrow about this.  It is a company that will test your DNA for drug sensitivity.  I am so shocked that I hadn't heard about this before.  I hope this helps.







http://youscript.com/about-us/
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Avatar_m_tn
In 2006, what was the diagnosis of hypothyroidism based on?   Please post your thyroid related test results and their reference ranges from that time when you were diagnosed.  What medication was prescribed, and what dosage?

Then, after three months taking the med, why did you decide you had become hyperthyroid?  Have you gone without any thyroid meds since that time?  Please post any current thyroid related tests and ranges.  

Did the Endo you are seeing now test for the thyroid antibodies associated with Hashimoto's, to confirm his opinion?  Those tests are Thyroid Peroxidase and Thyroglobulin antibodies, listed as TPO ab and TG ab.  

Sorry for all the questions.  Just trying to help members give you the best answers.

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Avatar_f_tn
Interesting concept.  It never occurred to me that this could be explained by genetics.  

Please respond to the questions gimel posted above, and we can have a look at your thyroid numbers.

I'd be interested to hear what your doctor has to say about it.
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1756321_tn?1377771734
My mother has sensitivity to medications due to Gilbert's syndrome. It's a genetic liver condition. Of interest, i found this info from the National Progesterone Advisory Network: "The dysfunctional liver simply cannot tolerate and cope too well with the introduction of a new hormone." Interesting.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm very sensitive to medications as well. Not quite as sensitive as you from your description, but I do understand what you mean.

I took antidepressants for years, and I always got the more rare side effects, and could always feel it in my system with the first pill. I got told it was "placebo effect", but I knew it wasn't. I was given fentanyl for the first time when I was in childbirth and had an anaphylactic reaction to it. I needed three rounds of epinephrine to get my blood pressure to quit bottoming out. I have the take the pediatric dose of Benadryl or it'll knock me on my butt. It's rare that I take much of anything, so when I ended up needing to have a TT, I was upset (and still am, really) at the idea that I would need to take a pill for the rest of my life.
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Avatar_f_tn
i too am very sensitive to any type of drugs and supplements -- it all started when they found out i had thyroid cancer -- they removed all of my thyroid and put me on generic meds -- i broke out in the butterfly lupus rash on my nose -- then after radiation treatment -- i can hardly take anything with out breaking out -- my new doctors put me on levoxyl until now they are on back order so now i am on synthroid -- my new docs say i am a highly sensitive person and so we have to start out on low doses and build up -- on supplements it turns out i broke out from some glycerol in the supplements -- they have not given up on me but he said it will take twice as long for me to get better -- also they conducted an allergy test and found i was allergic to gluten so this is why some of my body was not accepting the vitamins i would take -- it's a long road but it can be done
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Avatar_m_tn
Not sure if this has been mentioned before but I can empathize with your situation.  My body has gotten worse and worse over the years and I can't tolerate much of anything anymore. supplements, medications, lots of foods, etc.  Anyways, recently started looking into genetics and while I don't have all my results yet and no answers to give... it may lead to some helpful insight as to what the underlying issues are.

You should look into 23andme.com also dr amy yasko as they have lots of information on this subject.  Feel free to shoot me a message if your interested in learning more as I am trying to figure out much of the same!  
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649848_tn?1357751184
This is a very old thread (2009), and Tig114 has not been active on the forum since this thread, so I'm sure you won't get a response.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for this link! Going to ask my doctor about it. For years I have experienced sensitivity to medications. I would love to find out if it's "all in my head".
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Avatar_f_tn
This is an old thread, so I don't know how many people on it are still around.

However, I can tell you that it is not a myth, and it is not all in your head.  I've always been sensitive to meds and can usually take about half the usual adult dose.  I've had Novacaine where my jaw was still frozen the next day.  Thyroid meds were no different at first, though I think I have gotten more tolerant of them over time.
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