Table of Medications


As years go by, memories fade and patients meet new
doctors. It is important to keep a written record of all
the rheumatic medicines prescribed to you over the years to
help both doctors and yourself.

At the request of my Professor of rheumatology, I began a
computer chart of all the rheumatic medicines prescribed to
me. This was 15 years ago, in 1988, when I bought my
original MacPlus. Fortunately, I was able to go back to my
first prescription of Voltaren, on March 17, 1981, so that
my Table of Medications reflects all the medications that I
have ever taken for a rheumatic disease.

I used Microsoft Word to create the Table of Medications. I
created a table with 3 columns, the left column for the
name of medications, the center column for dosage, both the
number of times per day or specific days and the number of
milligrams, and the right column for the period covered and
comments which include adverse side effects like tinnitus,
surgeries, fungus infections and any special instructions
for taking medications. The 3 columns are framed and
separated by a single vertical black line.

Horizontally, the columns are divided by cells, a space in
which to write all the medications prescribed for a given
period of time, with dosage, period covered and comments.
The cells are divided by a double horizontal black line,
making a clear division between the medications prescribed
for each period.

The Table of Medications fits on a regular page of paper, 8
and 1/2 inches by 11 inches, for easy printing. Also, for a
good presentation, page breaks have been inserted after
every 3, 4 or 5 cells so that the whole content of a cell
can be printed on a single page instead of being spread
over 2 pages.

Nowadays, my Table of Medications is 22 pages long. For
convenience, whenever I visit a doctor, I create a specific
Table of Medications which fits on a single page of paper
and covers only the last 4 or 5 periods of medications
prescribed to me. This is usually enough, although I can
add a second or third page, if need be.

With its comments, the Table of Medications contains a
wealth of information on the effectiveness of specific
medications, antibiotic combinations and adverse side
effects. It becomes even more useful when you correlate
test results measuring inflammation with the medications
you were taking at that time.

To help you prepare your own Table of Medications, I will
provide you with an English translation of my Table of
Medications for the current period. At the top of the page
is the title in small capital letters, 14 points high,
Table of Medications. On the next line, on the right side
of the page, is my name, and on the next line, the date on
which I will meet the doctor, as the Table of Medications
is meant to be a record of all the medications I have been
taking up to the date when I meet the doctor. The comments
of the third column should help me to report adverse side
effects and should help the doctor in deciding which
medications to prescribe until the next scheduled visit.

After my name and date, there is the framed title of each
column, Medications, dosage, period covered and comments.
The title of each column is preceded and followed by a
double black line, just as every other cell throughout the
Table of Medications. The effect is quite neat with a
single vertical black line to separate and frame columns,
while cells are separated by double horizontal black lines.

Here is the content of my Table of Medications for the
period of January 29, 2003 to June 4, 2003. In the left
column is a list of each medication, one medication for
each line, Biaxin, Levaquin, Celebrex, Losec, Nystatin,
Acidophilus, Acetaminophen, Codeine Contin, Codeine 30.

In the center column is the dosage for each medication,
making sure that the dosage information appears on the same
line as the medication it is meant for. The list goes like
this, 2 X 500 mg, 1 X 500 mg, 2 X 200 mg, 1 X 20 mg, 3 X
1/4 teaspoon (100,000 i.u./ml), 3 X 2 capsules, 3-4 X 1,000
mg, 2 X 200 mg, 2 X 120 mg & 0-120 mg or 4 X 120 mg or 3 X
180 mg. A capital letter X reads much better when
indicating the number of times a medication is taken.

Finally, the right column for the period covered and
comments, making sure that specific comments start on the
same line as the medication it applies to. The content of
the right column goes like this, 01/29/2003 to 06/04/2003,
Antibiotics taken on an empty stomach with 10-12 ounces of
water, at least 2 hours before a meal, Nystatin because of
Levaquin, Acidophilus 2 hours after antibiotics, 10-30
minutes before eating, Failed attempt to stop Codeine
Contin and reduce codeine starting 02/28/2003.

Hope this helps you keep good computer records for the
medications you take.


Potassium supplements


Patients drinking a lot of liquid loose a lot of potassium,
too much potassium. Potassium is needed to regulate
heartbeats. If you wash away too much potassium, you
develop a condition known as arrhythmia, i.e. irregular
time intervals between heartbeats. Arrhythmia is shown on
an electrocardiogram.

Some patients drink a lot of liquid because they like
coffee, or because they exercise, etc. The problem is
compounded when these patients take antibiotics 3 times per
day, each time with a large glass of water. Potassium
supplements are in order. A good source of potassium is
found in bananas, orange juice and potassium supplements.

I solved my own deficit of potassium by eating a banana at
breakfast every day and taking 50 mg of a Jamieson
potassium supplement at supper. Some 15 years ago, I
adopted Jamieson as my supplier of natural vitamins and
mineral supplements. Jamieson was established in 1922 and
it is the oldest Canadian company manufacturing natural
vitamins and mineral supplements. I trust their quality and
appreciate the fact that I save money every Fall when the
company manufactures bonus bottles (25%-33% more tablets
for the same price) while, at the same time, Shoppers Drug
Mart has a sale at 25% off from the regular price.
Combining both specials is a good reason to stock up on
supplies for a year.

My Professor of orthopedic surgery cautions me that studies
were done on rats some 20-30 years ago showing that diet
may accelerate the deterioration of arthritic joints. For
instance, the serotonin of bananas, tannic acid of red
wines and dark alcohols, coffee (?) and red meat all
accelerate the osteoarthritis process present in any form
of inflammatory arthritis. This osteoarthritis process
leads to bone fusion and cartilage erosion, the process
resulting in the infamous hip and knee replacement
surgeries. But the Professor remarks that all such studies
done on humans were flawed or invalid.

For the first 17 and 1/2 years, I abstained from all
bananas and starting from 1987, I made sure that I didn’t
eat meat more than 5 meals per week. Nowadays, my
perspective has changed. I do not have to live with
rheumatoid arthritis for the next 40-50 years. There is a
cure with antibiotics. In some 18-24 months, arthritis
should be only a distant memory. It doesn’t really matter
if the osteoarthritis process is slightly accelerated by
the food I eat since arthritis itself will no longer be a
problem for me in the very near future. This is definitely
a good reason to adopt a change of perspective.

So, potassium supplements are in order, bananas, orange
juice and potassium mineral supplements, hopefully from
natural sources as they could be more easily assimilated.


Linda’s help

Kristin, I am new too. (Anxiety and depression). I am sure sorry
you are going through this. I know its not fun. Trust me, you are
not the only one struggling. Are you seeing a Dr.? Are you on
meds? Is your anoxeria under control?

If it helps, just remember, set your own standards- go by what is
right for you. You ‘ll drive yourself nuts trying to live up to
others standards.

Hope your day is better today. I will think good thoughts for you.


Depression and zoloft

I am new to this sight, and am wondering if I could get some feedback
about zoloft.

I am taking 150mg every day, I recently got off prozac 60mg daily after about 4years. I am having extreme dificulty sleeping and tried sonata a new sleeping medication, but had no results. tonight I start taking ativan 1mg. How long has everyone been deressed? I have been this way for about 6 years, but just recently started having major problems with it and anxiety. I was able to stay off of work for a little while, but have to go back on Friday and I don’t know if I can do it. I guess put on a happy face and go to it huh? I would really like to join your group.

Looking forward to hearing from anybody with the same problems. Cat

Fight with depression

I’ve wondered about the hormones too. I am 45. My doctor is no
help, she just says “you’re too young for that” but my understanding
is it can start early. My mom said she did. I have little faith in
doctors sometimes.

I would be very interested in info on herbs. I tried St. John’s Wort
but it seemed to make me short of breath at night, which is one of my
anxiety symptoms. I tried um, oh can’t think of the name right
now…but it didn’t help either. I took Buspar about 10 years ago
for anxiety, and it really helped a lot. But I do have pretty mild
symptoms. I have found that caffeine exacerbates my shortness of
breath also, and just cutting back on it has helped somewhat.

I had a friend who had been clean and sober for about 10 years, and
was a rehab counselor. She had a difficult time of it too. She told
me several times that she could help others easier than it was to
care for herself.


Catherine about Arthritis

I had surgery last March to tighten the ligaments and tendons of my
right hand knuckles as well as some synovectomy work. Before surgery I
was wearing a custom made orthotic to hold my fingers up as the tendons
were so loose my fingers were all deviated to the right. Now my fingers
are back in line and I can function quite normally. By normal I mean
that both my hands are at about half normal strength. I know this
because I saw the figures at the physio’s about strength for my age and
sex and have used their instruments to measure mine. I have done hand
exercises to try to improve strength but could not see much change. I’m
just glad to be pain free now.
Since I’ve been out of work for over a year now I decided I had to do
something so I started a support group with the help of The Arthritis
Society here in Toronto. I also started an exercise class for people
with arthritis. Believe me this is very new to me but the Red Cross here
has volunteer leadership programs so I took one as well as CPR.
I will be leading my second class tonight. This is just my way of giving
back to so many who have helped me deal with this disease.

Hope you all have a good day.