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An ‘upset tummy’ is one of those things that doesn’t get mentioned often when you’re talking about side effects. It’s embarrassing. But, in the name of honesty, here goes.
For me, gastric upsets come in two classes. The first is nausea – most SSRIs, venlafaxine, and the atypical antipsychotics that I’ve been on have all cause me nausea to some extent. Anti-nausea drugs keep this under control to an extent, so I’m on a dose of ondansetron to keep that under control, plus more during the day if needed.
The other gastric issue I have is constipation. I think it’s caused by the meds, and it’s definitely made worse by the anti-nausea drugs I take, which slow down the gut. The only thing that saves me from being utterly blocked up is the fact that I’m lactose intolerant, combined with a goop called Kiwi Crush. A daily yoghurt smoothie with Kiwi Crush keeps me moving – just. It’s still hellishly painful, and sometimes the pain inside me has me doubled over and writhing. But it could be (and has been) worse.
Medications aren’t just affecting my brain. They’re putting my body through the wringer as well.