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Prozac side effects: heartburn

Rosana Kooymans

I'm a Dutch designer and artist. I run 2 Etsy shops. On Rosana Kooymans: Art & Design I mostly sell Freezer Bunny plushies and hand drawn illustrations. And on Retro Hugs I sell planner and craft supplies.

I'm crazy about my Filofax and Carpe Diem planners, and I also create custom inserts and stickers for planners.

In my spare time you can find me gaming/creating on SNW. I stream twice a week on Twitch.

I love my geeky hubby and our 3 creative, geeky sons!

On this blog you can find some of my crafty projects (including handmade cards), illustrations, design projects, photography, family life and my health journey. I record the occasional video too, and plan on recording more crafty and planning videos soon. So keep an eye on my blog.




Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 16:59

So here's the deal. I've been on a SSRI (Prozac/Fluoxetine) for several months now. It's not something I actually want to take in every day, but for the sake of my own health and those around me, it's better if I do. This of course in combination with therapy. Which starts next week.

Unfortunately, I recently got a serious increase in heartburn. Mind you, I went from having no heartburn for over a year, to having heartburn every night. And it's pretty horrible too; I can't sleep because of the pain. I'm afraid to eat or drink anything because of it. While my diet didn't change recently, so it's certainly not because of my diet. And when I experience this kind of heartburn, I'm still in pain the next morning. So then I end up not eating, which isn't healthy. Or I eat, and get more pain. You figure it out, I can't.

I take my SSRI at night, around midnight. That's when I go to bed. And my GP advised me to take my meds at night because I have to take my kid to school every day, twice a day. Meaning if I take the meds in the morning I'm likely to be too drowsy to be in traffic, which would mean it's dangerous for myself, my kid, and the rest of the people on the road. We don't want that. But because I have to take the SSRI at night, my stomach is usually a bit empty which could increase the heartburn. But we don't want to eat anything at night. However, yes, I have tried eating some bread after I took the SSRI. And guess what, that didn't help. In fact, my body responded so heavily it just pushed the sandwich back up.

This morning I was sick of it (ha ha, literally) and I called the GP. I talked to the assistant, explained my dilemma and the things I've tried. She said she would have the GP look at it and I would have to call back this afternoon. And I did. I called. The assistant told me that the GP had said that he isn't in the position to change my medication, that's something I should discuss with my therapist. But since my new therapy doesn't start for a little over a week, I really don't want to continue these meds with the pain they cause me.

The other option was to contact the pharmacist and see if they can prescribe me a different brand of Fluoxetine, from a different manufacturer. GP assistant transfered my call. I explained everything all over again. They told me my health care provider would cover another Fluoxetine, so yes, it would be possible. But my GP would have to prescribe it, as they are not allowed to do so. So I had to call the GP again. Which I did, of course, being ever so patient (ha ha). And the assistant was confused after I explained it all over again, asking for a prescription. So she then had to contact the pharmacy herself, while I waited on the phone. When she came back she had me explain it again. She was trying to get me to use a PPI (proton-pump inhibitor) next to the meds I was already using, to reduce the heartburn. After some convincing (my Omeprazole which I have to take in with my Dyclofenac is past its due date so it's not safe to use) she finally decided to prescribe me the other Fluoxetine which my health care provider would cover.

Then I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. I cycled there and found myself with pharmacy employees who didn't know about the prescription. They called in their colleague. It was in the back, apparently. The assistant told me I'd have to pay for it. Despite the previous assistant telling me that my health care provider would cover this. So I explained that I specifically asked for a different Fluoxetine I would not have to pay extra for. They then went back and forth, about forms and costs. I realise it's not their fault if I have to pay extra. That's because of my health care provider. But if I ask for a replacement because my body has some kind of allergic reaction to the pills I'm taking, and then get told I don't have to pay extra, only to find out I do actually have to pay extra on the spot. Yeah, that pisses me off. So now because it was only for 2 weeks (15 pills) I didn't have to pay anything. But if I continue on the new meds, I do have to pay extra.

I am so confused right now. And quite upset too. I mean, I don't even want these meds. I take them because they say I need them. They limit me in so many ways. I'm tired throughout the day, I experience dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, headaches, tremors, constipation. But the worst of all is the heartburn.

The strange thing with the health care here is that I have medication, let's call it Medicine A. Medicine A is my SSRI, and it's covered, it would cost the health care provider €5. But it causes so much pain it's unbearable. So then they want me to combine it with Medicine B, a PPI, to "undo" the pain from Med A. The PPI would be €3. So Medicine A and B together would be €8! Now we could prevent taking in Medicine B by switching to Medicine C, a similar SSRI which is slightly more expensive (let's say) €7. With Medicine C I wouldn't need A or B, and it would be cheaper all together. But this is not a road the health care provider wants to take. I don't get it. I really don't.

I just needed to get that off my chest.



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