Somebody help me, I’m on drugs!

This stuff might be fixing my bronchitis, but it's the side effects I'm worried about!
This stuff might be fixing my bronchitis, but it’s the side effects I’m worried about!

After being cured of pneumonic plague yesterday by a last-minute shot of Ginjinha and Coke, a man who had been drinking quietly in a dark corner stumbled to my side and asked the bartender for a refill.

Speaking to the barkeep in fluent (though somewhat slurred) Portuguese, he ordered another Sagres for himself, then continued in English to me, introducing himself as a doctor. He said he’d been watching me from his table, and that I had saved myself by imbibing the only known cure for Curse-Induced Pneumonic Plague, but that in his professional opinion, I had what appeared to be a secondary bronchial infection.

Gnomes have long been a problem in the Ironbound section of Newark, so it wasn’t too surprising that a doctor familiar with gnome-related hazards would be drinking away the afternoon in a Portuguese Sailor Bar.

After exchanging some opening pleasantries, the doctor reached into his jacket pocket and produced a scrip pad, upon which he wrote something with a gold fountain pen. He tore off the scrip with a flourish and handed it to me. It was a prescription for Azithromycin, to treat my bronchitis.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I just finished reading about Azithromycin, and I’m wondering now if the cure might be worse than the illness.

I’m on pins and needles, wondering when this laundry list of side effects will hit me. Actually, I see that “pins and needles” is listed as a potential side effect, so maybe I should report that to my doctor, except my doctor is some drunken Portuguese gentleman I’d never before seen in my life, and am unlikely to ever see again. I can’t even remember his name.

I am doomed!

Consult your doctor if you experience these side effects:

  • diarrhea
  • loose stools
  • blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin.
  • cracked, dry, or scaly skin
  • fever
  • swelling
  • abdominal or stomach pain
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  •  obsession with gnomes
  • body aches or pain
  • burning while urinating
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • congestion
  • cough increased
  • cough producing mucus
  • dark urine
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficult or painful urination
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dryness or soreness of the throat
  • earache
  • fainting
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness (IF I DIDN’T FEEL ILL, I WOULDN’T BE TAKING THE MEDICINE!!!)
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • headache
  • indigestion
  • irregular or slow heart rate
  • itching
  • joint or muscle pain
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs (OH. MY. GOD!)
  • light-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle aches and pains
  • nausea or vomiting
  • noisy breathing
  • passing of gas (NOTHING NEW HERE!)
  • rash
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • redness or swelling in the ear
  • runny nose
  • shivering
  • shortness of breath
  • sneezing
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stomach pain, continuing
  • stomach pain, fullness, or discomfort
  • stuffy nose
  • sweating
  • swelling of the face, ankles, hands, feet, or lower legs
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble with sleeping
  • trouble with swallowing
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • voice changes
  • vomiting of blood
  • wheezing
  • yellow eyes or skin
  • abdominal or stomach cramps or tenderness
  • bleeding gums
  • bloating
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • blurred vision
  • change in hearing (ONLY DIRECTION TO GO IS UP!)
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • decreased urine output
  • depression
  • diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody (NASTY)
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fainting
  • greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • hives
  • hostility
  • increased thirst
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • loss of hearing (SAY WHAT?)
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle twitching
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • rapid weight gain
  • seizures
  • unusual weight loss
  • acid or sour stomach
  • aggressive or angry
  • bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • belching
  • burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings (YES, I ALREADY SAID I’M ON PINS AND NEEDLES!)
  • change in taste
  • changes in the color of the tongue
  • crying
  • depersonalization
  • dry mouth
  • dysphoria
  • euphoria
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • full feeling
  • heartburn
  • hyperventilation
  • increase in body movements
  • itching of the vagina or genital area (NO!)
  • lack or loss of strength
  • mental depression
  • nervousness
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • quick to react or overreact emotionally
  • rapidly changing moods
  • rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
  • redness of the skin
  • restlessness
  • sensation of spinning
  • shaking
  • shortness of breath
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sleeplessness
  • sore mouth or tongue
  • stomach upset
  • thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor (PLEASE NO!!)
  • unable to sleep
  • white patches in the mouth, tongue, or throat
  • difficulty with moving
  • fear or nervousness
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • pain in the joints
  • redness or other discoloration of the skin
  • severe sunburn
  • trouble sitting still

ginjinhaWhile waiting for all hell to break loose, I think I’ll have another shot of Ginjinha.



Add yours →

  1. My Dr. has prescribed me this medicine for bronchitis before as well. However after taking the medicine for about a day and a half I had terrible stomach pain and vomiting. I will never ever take that medicine again. If a Dr. asks, I tell them I’m allergic to them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh my! The side effects sound far worse than the bronchitis! Especially if it causes gnome obsession. The effects of that alone could be disastrous!


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