What Is Your Medication Story?

Do you have a story around taking medications?

I am in the process of making a video about the shocking head surgery I went through.

I am finally going to tell all about how I joined the ranks of suffering a traumatic side-effect from taking prescription medication that nobody told me anything about the possible life-long damage it could cause….. I will be releasing that video soon…..

By telling my story, I hope to help others make sure that all cards are on the table when it comes to their decision of whether to take a medication or not.

As always, I am not diving in here to say anyone taking a medication is bad or wrong. I simply want to help people be aware of the risks so they can truly be informed when making a choice about what they put into their body and why.

It’s simple, I want to stir up this conversation, no blame, let’s just talk about it more; tell our stories, see what other people are experiencing…

Have you had any difficult or helpful experiences that resulted from taking either a prescribed or over the counter drug?

Let’s get this conversation rolling, share your story in the chat box below.

  • Research shows that 81% of adults use OTC medicines as a first response to minor ailments
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, Almost 70% of Americans take at least one prescription medication and more than half take at least two
  • The National Council on Patient Information and Education says that people need to recognize that all medicines (OTC and prescription) have Risks

I mean really, LOTS of people are taking medications, but do we really talk about it that much?

Just because a doctor prescribes a medication for you, doesn’t mean that you’ve been informed of all the risks. 

We all know that medications can be life-saving. I have seen medication have life-saving effects for several family members with severe diabetes. I was very grateful for the pain medication that allowed my mother to be able to spend time with her family during her end of life experience.

Unfortunately, though, because of my long time interest in this topic, I’ve heard a lot of sad stories.

Like my friend whose doctor told her nothing about the risks of taking Hormone Replacement Therapy only to have her breast cancer surgeon tell her to stop taking it immediately and that it was the cause of why she had breast cancer……

Or my 28 year old neighbor that had a stroke because nobody told her that if you have a history of migraines that taking birth control pills puts you at a higher risk of having a stroke.

Or my student that developed debilitating muscle pain that lasted for years even after she stopped taking medication for high cholesterol…… I could go on, but have just mentioned a few to get the ball rolling.

What’s your story? Do you know someone that has a medication story? Your story might help someone else; share it in the box below…

Here are a few steps you can take to bring more information to the table when considering taking a medication:

  1. Talk to your doctor, ASK your doctor to talk to you about possible side-effects of a medication
  2. Read the Patient Information Sheets that come folded and tucked into the medication box
  3. Look on WebMD for possible drug interactions and side-effects: http://www.webmd.com/interaction-checker/
  4. Research if what you are dealing with can be helped by using herbs or natural remedies

I hope you’ll join me in this conversation, together let’s shed a little light on what is happening to so many people.

Do you know someone that may be at risk of a side-effect but has no idea about it? Share this article with them…..

What’s Your Medication Story?

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Hello I’m Kami, Welcome to Living Awareness!

I believe every family needs to have someone on board with a working knowledge of natural remedies if you want to take care of your family’s health for real.

When I was growing up, natural remedies was not a mainstream concept like it is now, in fact, you are going to be surprised that I never even heard the word natural remedy until I moved out of the house!

In my early 20’s I met someone by chance that told me about holistic health and herbal medicine. I wondered why nobody had talked to me about it before and had a voracious appetite to learn everything I could.

Now, 30 years later I've helped thousands of people demystify the world of herbal medicine and become empowered in using herbal self-care in their home to prevent illness, take care of common ailments and protect their health naturally.

For 20 years I've had a clinical herbal practice connecting people with plants and their wellness. I've developed and taught herbal curriculum for UCSF School of Nursing and the Integral Health Master’s Degree Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Stick with me! You’ll learn awesome herbal self-care, get inspired to be more self-sufficient in your health care and nourish a deep love for the herbs and how to use them, knowing you are doing the very best you can to care for your wellness.

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57 Comments on "What Is Your Medication Story?"

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I had a very bad experience taking Cipro. I was given 2 prescriptions from the same MD and told to take both, one was Cipro the other Low Dose Naltrexone I took them both for about a week but kept almost passing out until the day I did pass out, briefly, as one of them was lowering my BP and I already suffer from low BP as it is. I cut my chin on the way down, woke up and went to the bathroom to clean up the blood but felt as if I was going out again, tried to… Read more »
Dr. Lori Campbell
Wow Susan, I am intrigued with your experiences. I am a veterinarian and on occasion use Cipro for specific infections. We do not use it on animals less than 8 months because of the risk to developing cartilage tissues and we are very careful with this class of drugs in cats because of the risk of blindness to them. Always interesting to hear of the comparison to human medicine (although I am sorry you had to go thru this!!!) If I am ever on more than just my thyroid supplement, I always get all my meds at one pharmacy so… Read more »
Jinny Nielsen
Hi Kami, I feel compelled to share my story. In May of this year I had a kidney stone blasted. The doctor put me on antibiotics for safety. In June I had a bladder sling placed, again being put on antibiotics. In July I had a visit to the ER. First thing they did was give me IV antibiotics. I had informed them of my previous use to deaf ears. I started with diarrhea and vomiting. The clinic/hospital had overdosed e with antibiotics and I got C diff. I spent 3 days in hospital. One week after finishing the newest… Read more »
Hi Jinny In January 2015 I woke up to pain that turned me white. I am unsure how I managed to get myself to the hospital, after I hoped it would subside so I went to work. I had a kidney stone (4mm) and the doctor felt that it would continue to work it’s way to the bladder. Child birth is easier than passing a kidney stone. Anyways, a nurse came in and told me that she too use to get kidney stones and that the Urologist told her to consume lemon juice to keep them dissolved. Based upon that… Read more »

Kami — I take a number of prescription medications. They allow me to live a normal life with diabetes, fibromyalgia and depression. I have suffered one side effect that was resolved by a careful transition to an alternate medication. I want to weigh in with my story to balance out the negative impacts some people experience.

I was put on cymbalta about 8 years ago for chronic back pain. Then two months ago a doctor recommended I try going off of because he thought my fatigue was due to the medication. I tapered the dose down over 2 months and despite the gradual dose reduction I am still dealing with odd symptoms over a week after stopping it – nausea, emotional fluctuations, sensation of tingling in my face and lips, dizziness when I turn my head, etc. I took anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) daily for many years and ended up with bleeding ulcer a few years ago.… Read more »
Glenda Glass
Years ago I took Norfloxacin (same drug class as Cipro, only stronger) for a jaw infection. The doctor and pharmacist gave me no warnings. Within days I felt like I had aged 30 years. I hurt, I could hardly walk upon standing. I felt ill. I was at the time doing agility with my dog, as best I could, which involved running and quick changes of direction. I stopped taking the Norfloxacin about a week early, and began feeling better in a few days. A couple of years later I read that people on this drug have a vastly increased… Read more »
I had severe heartburn for months, and my gastroenterologist put me on prescription medication to lower my stomach acid. I had an endoscopy to see if it would show the cause of the heartburn. No cause was found, but the surgeon removed some polyps from my esophagus. I was told they were a likely a “precursor to cancer” and were probably caused by the medication. But I was to keep taking the medication because the doctor declared “nothing else would help,” including diet or lifestyle changes. Turns out he was wrong, and the heartburn was related to food sensitivities from… Read more »

hi, my hubby’s going through a similar scenario …..mind telling me a little more about the mold exposure? he has been battling acid reflux type issues, we’ve been controllinghis diet, some days are better than others…but his seasonal allergies suddenly went on a HIGH, which he really never had before.

Margie Peck
For high blood pressure, my doctor prescribed Hydralazine. I was on it for 10+ years. Over the last few months on the drug, I consistently got a feeling of not being able to breathe. Then, over a weekend, I thought I just had a really bad cold, but my throat became more & more constricted, making it difficult to swallow. In the middle of the night I croaked out to my husband to call 911 because I felt like I was not getting enough air. I was taken by ambulance to an Emergency Room & then transported to a Kaiser… Read more »
Heidi Villegas

Hi, Kami!
I just wrote an article about my experiences with OTC and Rx medications and how I ended up switching to 100% herbal self-care. I may end up having to visit a doctor someday for an acute problem, but for now….I have not taken any OTC or Rx for around 3 years! My whole story is here: http://www.healingharvesthomestead.com/home/2016/8/9/why-i-choose-herbal-medicine-over-prescription-or-otc-medications

I hope it is ok to share like this here, and thank you for writing and teaching!


Hi Kami,
I don’t have a story to share, but thank you for bringing this topic to light. We are our own best advocates when we’re informed. With the best of intentions, those who prescribe medications can’t know all of the risks involved. We need to take an active role in our on care and the care of our loved ones. Knowledge is empowering.

Looking forward to the video. And best wishes for healing and good health! I’m sad that you had to go through a traumatic time, but grateful you’re turning it in a positive direction.


Karen Welch

I appeared on a documentary about this, Dead Wrong, How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child. It’s a subject I am passionate about. Our docs are so well intentioned but they can only help with the knowledge they were taught. There’s big money in making sure doctors cut, poison, and burn, but don’t cure. Illness is an industry.

I heartily concur about learning all you can learn about the medications you are on or what the doctor wants to prescribe for you, as well as what diagnoses you have. In 2012, I was diagnosed with a rare lung condition, A.B.P.A., which at the time could only be treated with prednisone. After considering the alternatives (one of them being facing the possibility of lung transplants) and the potential side effects od prednisone, I chose to take prednisone. Unfortunately, I was on it for a year and as a result now have secondary adrenal insufficiency. I am now on hydrocortisone… Read more »
Amelia Egerer

I am convinced that the side-effects of taking synthroid as thyroid replacement therapy has affected my heart and that this fake hormone now has me become a near-diabetic. Doctors tell me sleep apnea is the problem, but I’m thinking this medication affects my sleep as well. Kami, if you know about iodine and whether it’s okay to take that supplement when thyroid cancer has happened, please inform.

Charlene Dryman
I have a problem with my sciatic nerve. I also need to have a knee replacement. The doctor gave me Tramadol, but it makes me so sick. Nausea and my head feels like I am drunk, everything spins. I am sick for 3 days after taking it, so I quit. It did help the pain in my sciatic nerve, but not my knee. I asked for something else, so he gives me Naproxen. I hear it is bad for your kidneys. So, now what to do. Ruin my kidneys or stay in pain. I guess-stay in pain.
tasra dawson

So glad you are bringing this important issue to light. We are doing the same with our Invisible Illness documentary. I had a PT use steroids on an injury without my knowing and it triggered diabetes that I have not been able to reverse. Just one of many side effects from prescriptions I have experienced.

In 2004 I came back from Spain with C-Difficilus, a serious intestinal infection. After 30 days of citpro and another hardcore antibiotic, I tested negative, but symptoms were the same. My immune system was gone. For a year I had every cold and flu I was exposed to, plus bladder and yeast infections and lastly thrush and Kaiser kept giving me more and more antibiotics until I was so sick and exhausted I slept 14 hours a day, often on my lunch break and could hardly get through work. Three weeks after seeing a homeopathic doctor, I was on the… Read more »
Susan MP
I’m a non believer in the cool-aid that passes for medicine. My step father was a surgeon and he dosed my mom up so regularly and often with any thing and everything, man they thought drugs were a right! Like once when I said sugar gave me headaches, her response was there is probably a pill for that! Long story short she died at 68 while her own mother lived on past her to 98! So, no, I avoid doctors like the plague except for a couple of years ago when I broke my leg just above the ankle –… Read more »
Hi Kami, I took sleeping medication for 2 years. It was needed. The down side was I needed to sleep for at least 8 hours and I was getting nervous if I was at the end of the bottle, making sure I have enough. Totally addicted!! But after Launchcon I wanted to stop, as I felt I was getting stong enough to do so. It took me 3 months to get rid of all the side effects the stopping gave me. And I took 2 months to go from what I was using to 0. I still don’t sleep well,… Read more »
My story begins in the 1960s growing up in a household that never used prescription medication. We never went to the doctor growing up (except for the time I fractured my elbow and was in the hospital over night.) In 1982, when I was pregnant with my first child, I followed the example of my peers at the time and went to the ObGyn. I had severe nausea, and that doctor recommended and gave me a prescription for a drug called Bendectin. I began taking it, and was later alerted by a friend who told me that drug was questionable… Read more »
Jeanne Smith

When I was a small child, I was put on antibiotics and I not only had very hives but also a terrible genital yeast infection.


I know of a lady that took Tylenol for several years for pain as she was allergic to the prescription pain meds. She then got blood cancer (Leukemia) and from her research, she found out that it was the acetaminophen that caused the cancer. Plus, vaccines, also are drugs, and have caused thousands of people harm in so many ways!

Linda Lavalle
I have read some of the responses to your query Kami, and I am amazed about all the medications doctors have prescribed and people are relying on to reduce pain or possibly cure a condition. I genuinely thank the universe every day that i am not on any meds (im 65) and hope never to be if i can help it. I was an advocate for my mother through years of blood pressure regulation and heart medication. My brother had hypertension too. My sister and I do not. I visit my YMCA for the last 30 years regularly, and try… Read more »
Quite some time ago my doctor prescribed a floraquinalone (same family as Cipro) known as Trovan,. Providentially, the night before I took it I watched a news investigative story on this family of medications. People taking one pill received permanent damage to their nervous systems. The next day I proceeded with caution. I took 1/8th of a pill at a friends house. i went unconscious (family and my friend thought I was sleeping) for a week. When I awoke, it took me 6 months to regain my ability to walk, talk, and read. The good news is that I was… Read more »
Hi Kami! I think it may be too late for me to stop my medications, but I would like to. About 18 years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes. It runs in my family. Did well on diet and exercise, and progressively gotten to the point where I am on an Insulin pump and taking oral medications that I am very concerned about. I understand that Metformin is one of the drugs that may be harmful. My endocrinologist says that I am taking the “good” kind and not to worry. I also take meds for my thyroid, biologicals (2) for… Read more »
cyn f
Hi Kami and everyone – I have RLS, otherwise known as Restless leg syndrome, which is now categorized as an autoimmune disorder (yikes). I got it after having abdominal surgery over 10 years ago. It was debilitating in the beginning to the point that I could not work. I ended up on Requip and Clonapin. I have tried maybe 15 times to stop taking them and each time, the symptoms come back. I am so afraid of becoming debilitated again that I go back on the meds as soon as the symptoms come back(which they do every time). I hate… Read more »
My dr put me on a statin to lower LDL. At the normal dose, it caused nausea and reflux type symptoms. She suggested I take half a pill a day for 10 days, then ratchet it up to the normal dose, which I did. I soon began to notice my normal aches and pains (level of 1-3 on most days) started to increase in intensity. The more disturbing effect was that my brain felt like it was in slow motion. It made it very difficult working at my job, to say the least. I decided to take myself off the… Read more »
Several decades ago, I went down the path of medication for anxiety (Valium and Serepax) when I had a nervous break down. I can look back at the experience now and acknowledge that I needed medication and cognitive therapy to help me recover from physical and mental trauma. The down side was that recovery from the addiction was a long, frightening and traumatic experience. I came through that experience feeling vulnerable and very aware that I could easily relapse. I’ve never taken those drugs again even though there’s been a lot challenges in my life and doctors have offered them… Read more »

Kami, I would also like to thank you for facilitating discussion about this extremely important topic. I hope you are well now and will look forward to your video. My daughter has had a lifetime of health issues resulting from a reaction to the newborn Hepatits B. vaccine. It opened my eyes to the huge issues happening with pharmaceutical products in general. My journey with my daughters health has also led me to hear many, many sad stories.

I’m not taking any drugs but 11 years ago I got breast cancer because I was on hormone replacement therapy. After the chemo and radiation the doctor told me to take calcium for my bones. I took it faithfully for 4-5 years and then I read that it can affect the brain. Since I felt I wasn’t thinking clearly I went off of it and I noticed a big difference in my ability to think clearly. My bone density tests did not improve while I was on the calcium but the doctor told me to take it anyway because it… Read more »
Dr. Lori Campbell
I am a veterinarian so I have a perspective from both “sides of the coin”. Some years ago my mother had an upper respiratory issue that her doctor did not seem to define well. She was told they thought she was borderline asthma (not sure what that is since I thought it was like pregnancy—you either are or you aren’t). She fought this for 3 weeks until, speaking to her by phone one weekend, she could barely speak without coughing. She was on all kinds of medications (oral and inhalers) and not getting any better. I asked her a lot… Read more »
Opioids Anyone? Seven years on opioids including fentanyl, Hydromorphone, methadone, and morphine sulphate. The tragic story began after bilateral total hip replacements. Used the medications as directed for a number of months, but the effectiveness began to wear off, and the dosage and combination of these potent drugs was increased until finally they no longer truly alleviated the symptoms (since pain is often a symptom of something else,). So the decision was made to wean-off the medications only to discover that my body had become physiologically dependent on them. How the body will fight you if you try to take… Read more »
Judy Andrew
Because I’m diabetic, my doctor insisted I take Lipitor for my cholesterol, which wasn’t all that high but since I am diabetic, I obediently got the prescription filled. No problem for several months. Then I began to notice I could NOT walk in a straight line. I staggered and bounced off walls and door frames and felt like I’d been on a three-day bender. This went on for months and got progressively worse. One day I mentioned this phenomenon in a casual conversation with a friend, and he immediately asked me if I was on a statin, like Lipitor. I… Read more »
I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was only about a year old. The doctor prescribed me a medication called phenobarbital. I was on the medication until around age 5. That’s when we moved to a new city and had to get a new doctor. My new doctor immediately began to wean me off the medication. He told my mom that phenobarbital had been shown to stunt growth and development and weaken teeth when given to children for at least a year. I had already been on it for 4 years by that time. I didn’t go through puberty until… Read more »
Karen E Hardy
I used Vioxx for several years. I started to have problems swallowing. If I ate a big bite of something I would choke, and when food went down my esophagus I could feel it every inch of the way down. I ended up having to nibble at my meals to get food down. I went to the Doctor and he immediately took me off of Vioxx, and told me that I have Barretts Esophagus. I had big ulcers in my esophagus and it was the precursor to cancer. I have now found out that I will always have this porblem.… Read more »
Lisa Gould
I have had disk issues for 10 years. when I took statins I would get weak muscles and had trouble walking. Over the years I was on so many pills from Hormone therapy, to High Blood Pressure, to Acid Reflux, to thyroid pills, I had a heart attack event in 09. I stopped taking statins as I felt crippled by them. During the last 4 years I’ve developed torn tendons from taking statins, and severe arthritis. My recent efforts with lowering my triglycerides resulting in me taking fenofibrate only to have torn tendons within 15 days. I have undergone a… Read more »