I take the drug Nuedexta for PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA) which is a condition that can be caused by ALS, a neurologic disease. In January I had just started on a new prescription plan that lowered the cost of my ALS medicine from $365/mo. to $40/mo. It was about the same time that I felt I was suffering from PBA. PBA is “a medical condition that causes involuntary, sudden, and frequent episodes of crying and/or laughing in people living with certain neurologic conditions or brain injury” (Nuedexta, Sept. 29, 2017).
I’m pretty sure that I had first heard about PBA at the ALS clinic, but I also saw the TV commercials featuring Danny Glover (view here). My husband was the frequent victim of my uncontrollable emotional outbursts. It wasn’t fair to inflict my crying episodes on him and even the laughing episodes were a problem. Laughing delayed a few dinners. It certainly held up getting ready for bed. We weren’t able to share jokes at bedtime anymore. To my thinking the uncontrollable laughing gave the appearance that I was laughing at him and not with him. It made the unfairness of ALS more unfair.
It was six months since my diagnosis and I had enough dealing with the constant changes brought on by ALS. I decided I wanted to try Nuedexta, a medication that is supposed to “help reduce PBA episodes of sudden, frequent, uncontrollable crying and/or laughing that doesn’t match how you feel” (Nuedexta, Oct. 1, 2017).
So at my clinic visit in January I told my doctor about my symptoms. I was given a prescription. My comfortable $40/mo. co-pay jumped up an additional $385! We’ve all heard the expression fighting fire with fire. ALS medication is similar. It’s fighting unfairness with unfairness.
iSpot.tv. (n.d.) PBA facts TV commercial, ‘Learn More’ featuring Danny Glover. Retrieved from https://www.ispot.tv/ad/7XH_/pba-facts-learn-more-featuring-danny-glover
nuedexta. (n.d.). How NUEDEXTA can help. Retrieved October 1, 2017 from https://www.nuedexta.com/treating-pba/how-nuedexta-can-help
nuedexta. (n.d.). Safety and side effects. Retrieved September 29, 2017 from https://www.nuedexta.com/treating-pba/safety-side-effects