After being on my shiny new drug Sulfasalazine for six months now, I thought it would be a good time to look back and reflect.
Before I crack on, let me just get this out of the way: while Sulfy works for me, it won’t work for everyone. Please trust your doctor to know what you need and don’t go begging for anything I have taken. Especially don’t say that I sent you, because I’m an idiot.
Me and Sulfy had a bit of a rocky start, when four weeks in I received a call from my rheumatology nurse telling me to stop drinking. Yes, really.
Turns out that finally making it up to four pills a day in the same week as your best friend gets back from Germany – and you go out and drink so much wine you remember you were singing in the street but can’t remember what or why – isn’t recommended.
The list of side effects of Sulfasalazine is so long and hilarious I hardly know where to start.
An unreported (as far as I was concerned) effect is it causing mouth ulcers and bruising. When you are as clumsy and small-gobbed as I, these are real issues. My legs are mostly purple and green and I talk with a lisp a lot of the time now. It’s different.
It also causes a sore throat. Like all the time. I am forever ahem-ing.
If you get the non-enteric coated tablets, all the powder comes off and stains everything. My face, my clothes, furniture, my mum’s face. How can that be practical? Whose idea was this? They also tend not to use the non-coated ones for arthritis as it means the tablets dissolve quicker and aren’t as effective, but a few doctors I’ve seen don’t like giving away the coated ones without a bit of a fight.
My personal favourite is a side effect that I’ve never even heard of before. As well as staining my tears (and sometimes my contact lenses) yellow, it turns my wee orange. Yes. My urine is orange. Orange.
I’m trying to think of something orange to compare it to. Maybe a clementine? Yeah, that seems right.
You may not see these effects as amusingly as I do but you’ve got to laugh, haven’t you? Especially when you consider my back catalogue of side effects includes a round face and torso, insatiable appetite and general mardy-ness (Prednisolone), and hair loss and nausea (Methotrexate).
And do you know what? It works. It actually works!
Anyway, I’d like to leave you all with an actual joke if I may. You may be surprised to learn that I don’t come up with all my own banter, so on searching for a witty name for this post (I didn’t find one) I came across a website dedicated to medical puns. Here we go:
Which doctors are the best interior decorators? Rheumatologists.
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(Any opinions expressed in Collette’s blog are not necessarily shared by Arthur’s Place. Nothing that you read in Collette’s blog constitutes medical advice.)