Health, Medicine and Suicidal Thoughts

No, I’m not having suicidal thoughts.

Now, my usual rambly introduction.

The internet and interconnectedness means that it is really hard to prevent information from flowing across borders and sometimes in unexpected ways.

To watch shows in the US, there are lots of US-centred internet TV that are intended to be accessed only by those in the US.

Then there is VPN that allows one to pretend to be IN the US so as to be able to access those TV shows.

And that is how I got to watch some TV shows that are available only in the US. And because the internet TV service thought I was in the US, I was shown ads for new drugs.

One drug that I remember was Lyrica. One possible side effect mentioned was suicidal thoughts.

There were a lot of other medication, but after a while, it seemed like every one of them had the possible side effect of “suicidal thoughts”.

I mentioned this to PL as we were watching another commercial on these new drugs. Sometimes, I’d try to pre-empt the caveats – “let me guess, suicidal thoughts!”

(It’s not true though. Probably. Lyrica and Chantix are two that I have found that have suicidal thoughts as possible side effect. I just don’t recall any other drug names to check.)

Anyway, my diabetes have not been under control, and so my doctor prescribed Januvia. Which I recall was one of the new drugs that was being marketed in those ads.

Let me guess, “suicidal thoughts”, I said to myself.

Ok, not to market Januvia, but it’s supposed to automatically adjust to match my blood sugar. Don’t ask me how it does it.

Anyway, while I was checking up on my medication on the internet, I found out I was also on another new drug: Sulfonylurea. This one is supposed to help me produce insulin to control my diabetes.

These new drugs are more expensive, but they are more convenient. If Januvia works as advertised, then you can take Januvia and it will adjust automatically to work more when you need it to and less when you don’t (so you don’t get hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar)

Another drug I’m on is an “Extended Release” pill which slowly releases the drug as I need it throughout the day. It’s expensive, and there is a generic version of it. But, I find the generic “extended release” mechanism doesn’t work well for me and I get too much of the drug and I “crash” from the overdose. So I got my doctor to switch me back to the more expensive brand name Extended Release pill. While I am working, and earning, I can afford it and I need the convenience.

When I’m retired and have no income, I can switch to all generic and spend my whole day monitoring my health and taking medication as and when I need.

But it does costs quite a bit.

Which leads me to a theory.

Maybe the drugs doesn’t directly cause suicidal thoughts.

Maybe the patient sees the bill for all these new-fangled drugs and wonder if it might be cheaper just to kill himself.


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