Monday, September 22, 2014

Doxycycline is from the Devil

This week, I learned a valuable lesson the hard way: doxycycline is NOT a good antibiotic for people with Crohn's Disease :(

I was given doxycycline {an antibiotic} after a routine procedure; it was given more as a precaution than anything else. I am usually good about questioning the medications that I am prescribed, as there are some I have to stay away from because of Crohn's. Short of rolling their eyes at me, doctors often seem to be annoyed when I question them on whether or not it's safe for Crohn's. This time, I made the mistake of not questioning and just assuming this doctor saw it in my chart, and I paid dearly for it.

The antibiotic itself didn't make me feel awesome, and I had some trouble with Crohn's symptoms. They weren't too terrible until the very end of the regimen, so I decided to persevere through the recommended dosage. I could have tolerated the Crohn's symptoms and then just made a mental note not to take that medication again. The trouble came when a pill got stuck in my esophagus and released. Talk about miserable!

I did everything I could to try to unlodge it, but I think I was too late. The pill had already released, and caused a ton of irritation, from my throat through my chest. I know it released because {TMI} I could taste it and suffered from nausea and heartburn for several days. It got so bad, it woke me up in the middle of the night, making it difficult to breathe. It is incredibly painful to swallow my own saliva, let alone drinks or food.

Of course, when you google doxycycline, multiple sites pop up about how it's the worst antibiotic for your GI tract {so not good for Crohn's}, and it is notorious for getting stuck in your esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. When I called my doctor {because googling your symptoms almost always leads to panic...bad habit, I know}, he said that one of the side effects was ulcers. Yeah, missed that one completely.

So now I am praying that the new medication my GI prescribed to coat and help heal my esophagus is all that is needed to calm the inflammation. My fear is that the pill burned a hole in my esophagus, or caused more damage than a little medicine can fix.

Sigh. I'm frustrated that the doctor missed my Crohn's diagnosis in my chart.  I'm kicking myself for not annoying the doctor with my double check. And I'm regretting not drinking more water when I took the stupid pill.

Lessons learned {unfortunately the hard way}. If you have Crohn's, stay away from doxycycline. As a patient, you are your best advocate...annoy the doctor if necessary. It's your health on the line, after all.

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