Paradoxical Drug Reactions Can Kill

by William Fatum Psy.D.
(Browns Mills, NJ USA)

I have lived with a paradoxical drug react for years. It was first discovered after taking codeine for an ear ache. The more doses I took the worst the pain got and I eventually became out of control. My wife took me to the ER where I had to be restrained until the effects of the drug wore of


Most doctors do not belief me when I tell them of this reaction. I have knocked down a nurse trying to wake me after a procedure because I was highly irritated.

I needed surgery for a bladder tumor and it had to be cancelled because I tried to get off the table and as they struggled to keep on the table my heart stopped beating and I need to be revived and the operation cancelled. During a rotator cuff surgery I had another reaction and stopped breathing and need a tracheotomy to reestablish breathing.

When I broke my neck and absolutely need surgery it took an additional 3 hours to complete the surgery because of my problem with anistetics. The doctor after that operation stated I should never again have surgery unless it was an absolute necessity.

The unfortunate problem with this condition is you need to learn to live with pain. There are no drugs of this type I can tolerate.They all make me hyper-active, intensify my pain and those for sleep keep me awake.

Until doctors actually observer this phenomenon they don't believe it because they rarely if ever see it. Those who live with it no the nightmare of living with paradoxical drug reactions.

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