Monthly Archives: March 2012

Assessing the drug’s effectiveness

I am going to see my GP this afternoon. It’s been three months (already!) since I started taking the Doxycycline. This will be the last time I will see this particular GP as she is retiring. I am very sad about this as she has been my GP for twenty years now and, overall, she’s been very good.

I am taking with me a symptom chart that I made yesterday. It’s my impression that the doxycycline MIGHT be working as I have felt relatively well over the past six weeks with only a few mild flare ups and one major one. My energy hasn’t been too bad either.

I started logging my symptoms more consistently back in October and looking at the chart, it seems that there hasn’t been much difference at all in the number of flare ups I’ve had each month;  between 9 and 13 days a month since I started recording. Looking at it that way, makes me think that there isn’t substantial improvement yet.

However, I also scored each flare up – 1 for mild, 2 for medium, 3 for severe. Then I added up the scores. January was the worst by far, with a ‘score’ of 25. (too soon for the Doxy to be working?) The best was February with a score of 13, which does seem like quite a big difference. If March is similarly as low, could we then say that the drugs are working? Perhaps not though, as December and November both scored 15.

So how do I tell? Again, the erratic nature of this condition means that it’s really hard to know categorically if things are improving. Objectively, looking at the chart, it seems that they have not yet. Subjectively, given my general impression (and that of my family and friends), it seems that they have.

I think that the only way to really know is to track things over the next three months. Hopefully, she will give me a repeat prescription so that we can really have a better idea.  But what ‘score’ should I be hoping for? 0 would be ideal, but is it unrealistic? Only time will tell.

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