21 September 2007

Weird Drug Interactions

I made an odd discovery after my brush with ibuprofen backlash. For a while, I'd been noticing that when I got sick there would be an acrid, metallic scent to my sweat. I thought it was rather annoying, but as it only occurred when I got sick, I didn't think much of it. Then this summer the acrid metallic scent was constant. Whenever I sweated very much, I would smell like I'd been working in a metal-shop. I had no idea why. At least, not until I quit the ibuprofen cold turkey. The smell went away within the next couple of days. However, there was a complication, because I'd also stopped using a decongestant at about the same time, and for the same reason. Decongestants also cause backlash sometimes.

So I had no clue which of the two had been causing the scent, but I was reasonably certain that it was not a good thing. Some time after the withdrawal symptoms went away, I took ibuprofen again, with no metallic side effect. Then the next day I needed some decongestant, and the smell came back. I stopped both for a while again, but eventually took some decongestant. No metallic scent. So, as far as I can tell, it's some sort of freak interaction between the two. I haven't been able to find any remotely useful information about it. The closest I've come is that some schizophrenics give off a metallic scent. Pleasant thought, that. Just what I need: another risk factor.

Incidentally, the fact that it took a combo of the two explains why, prior to this summer, it would only happen when I was sick. That was the time I was most likely to take both ibuprofen (for fever) and decongestant (for sinus problems). This summer, due to my knee injury, I was taking ibuprofen every day for a while, and taking decongestants for allergy problems. And it all added up. For now, I'm trying a switchover to aspirin, and hoping that aspirin won't interact with decongestant in the same way for me. I don't know as of yet, as I only bought the aspirin today.

Incidentally, weird reactions run in my family. One time my mom got a rare side effect of a rare side effect of one of her medications. It took her doctor forever to figure out what was going on.

PS: Chapter 4 is up.

No comments: