BEWARE VESICARE! No polio survivor – no one with breathing problems -- should take Vesicare.
A polio survivor was given Vesicare on November 18 th. Four days later she was too exhausted to leave the house. The next day, all she did was sleep. By Wednesday, she was unable to stay awake. When she was awakened she stared into space, unable to understand or respond to questions. Even more frightening, her ability to breathe was compromised and she was placed on a ventilator.
Vesicare was stopped on November 24th. The next day, Thanksgiving, she was still unable to stay awake on her own but, when prompted, did try to eat. She discovered that her stomach and intestines had shut down.
Unfortunately, Vesicare has an extremely long half-life. It would take her body anywhere from 10 to 14 days for the Vesicare to clear out. During those days, although she mostly slept, she became progressively more aware and mentally sharp when awakened, but she could only eat very small amounts.
On the 15th day after Vesicare care was stopped, she awoke. She was able to stay awake on her own and was her usual intelligent and funny self, albeit easily tired. Today, one month after waking from her Vesicare-induced stupor, she is eating normally still requires the ventilator at night and at times throughout the day when her diaphragm is unable to push enough carbon dioxide out of her lungs. She will need the ventilator for the rest of her life.
WHAT ARE THE MORALS OF THIS STORY?
FIRST, no polio survivor -- no one with breathing problems -- should take Vesicare. Vesicare not only turns off the bladder, but also turns off the stomach and intestines and enters the brain. Vesicare is known to block activity brain areas damaged by the original polio infection, the brain activating system. In fact, the FDA has recently required Vesicare’s manufacturer to add “somnolence” to Vesicare’s list of side effects. (Somnolence? How about coma?)
Vesicare is also known to block brain diaphragm stimulating neurons. I am concerned that Vesicare will very likely have the same effect in other polio survivors, especially those who originally had bulbar polio or any polio survivors who have breathing problems, such as central sleep apnea. What’s more, I am also worried that individuals who have both difficulty breathing and bladder problems and might be prescribed Vesicare -- those with muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury -- might have a similar reaction.
SECOND, polio survivors can have difficulty blowing off carbon dioxide and should not be given oxygen without having their carbon dioxide monitored, since oxygen levels can be normal while carbon dioxide can become dangerously high.
THIRD, a polio survivor should never take a drug that is anti-cholinergic or that enters the brain without your doctor researching the side effects. The coma you prevent will be your own.
APPLAC México a la vanguardia en el Síndrome de Post Polio