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Woman examines new pills entering a microcosm with a factory representing her body

Adjusting to New Medications

Whether you choose to treat your psoriatic arthritis with pharmaceutical medications, natural alternatives, or a combination of both, chances are you spend a great deal of time monitoring your body as it adjusts to new medications, treatments, and procedures. Adjusting to new side effects alone can be a full-time job. Not to mention juggling symptom improvements with symptom worsening, and side effects it can be difficult to know what to expect.

Seriously strong medications

From a pharmaceutical medication perspective, we use some seriously strong medications to help lower inflammation and stop the spread of damage throughout our bodies.  Many of which are so strong that we have to taper our dosages higher and higher over a period of time so we don’t wreak complete havoc on our bodies. We go thru loading doses bringing treatment times closer together to try and quickly reach optimum levels of treatment.

With strong medications, often comes strong side effects

Is this a side effect or did I catch a cold? Was it something I ate or is the stronger dosage making my stomach hurt? Is this something that will go away in time, or am I stuck with this for the duration of this medication?

Should I let my doctor know?

Even with the leaflet of information that comes with our medications, it can be difficult when adjusting to new meds to know when you should call the doctor. When adjusting to new meds, sorting things out into side effects versus reactions isn’t always easy. Knowing what or if you should let your doctor know can be very confusing.

Hours spent hoping that the advantages will outweigh the drawbacks

With each new medicine I try, I am hopeful. I hope that I’ve made the right decision and I hope that the benefits of the medication will outweigh the many risks and side effects. Is this medication helping me enough to warrant the risks I am taking?

Evenings listing changes in physical symptoms

Keeping track of how our bodies adjust to new meds is not only time consuming, it is important. Listing changes in our physical symptoms can help us see patterns and discover the effectiveness of new treatments. Documenting changes (good or bad) can help make adjusting to medications easier. It can allow us to see the connections and differences between side effects, reactions, and effectiveness.

Adjusting to new medications

Adjusting to medications is a complex and ever-changing environment in our bodies. Even the slightest changes can make a huge difference to our delicate internal ecosystem. Keeping track of everything is no joke. Dealing with interactions, dosage schedules, side effects, and risks are all a part of adjusting to new medications.

I’ve given up on any hope of a “miracle medication” because I’ve learned the hard way that for every medication I try to help manage my psoriatic arthritis, there will always be a much longer list of adjustments that will need to be made.

Have you found anything to be helpful when your body is adjusting to new medications?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.