The “Band-Aid Treatment Plan” Strikes Again

Bandaids crossing into an X

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you may have already seen the entry about c-section scars developing lumps of Endometriosis. If you haven’t already read it, you can follow the link or just know there are a lot of women that develop a painful mass in or around their c-section scar that turns out to be Endometriosis. It’s not just limited to c-section scars, but those are mostly the reported instances of scar Endo. Most of the time, that lump is removed and the symptoms fade; recurrence seems rare.

An article hit my inbox this week that had me breathing heavy. I had to take a few days to calm down before I wrote today’s entry.

You’ve likely heard of Orilissa, aka Elagolix. It’s AbbVie’s newest “treatment” for Endometriosis symptoms that was approved by the FDA in mid-2018. Much like AbbVie’s Lupron Depot, Orilissa can only be taken for a limited time and may come with a whole slew of side effects. It doesn’t stop the disease from growing or spreading, but it may suppress the symptoms of Endometriosis. For a time…so many of us in the community refer to these drugs as “Band-aid drugs.” They mask symptoms, offer horrendous side effects, and offer no long-term solution for the disease.

Anyway, on with my point:

Authors of a January 27, 2020, study published in Sage Journals wrote that treating c-section scar Endometriosis with Elagolix (aka Orilissa) may be a viable option to avoid the “potential morbidity of surgical scar revision.” They state that further testing is needed to confirm the efficacy of the treatment.

Wait. What?

Rather than the relatively simple procedure of removing the lump of disease, they’re suggesting medicating with this GnRH antagonist to “treat” scar Endo. And the fact that it doesn’t involve surgery makes it a “very attractive potential option.” Attractive?

Here’s my beef with this:

  1. Elagolix/Orilissa doesn’t treat the disease, it suppresses the symptoms. Stop the drug and your symptoms may flood on back.
  2. The side effects can be intense:
    1. May cause liver issues
    2. May cause bone loss
    3. May cause depression and suicidal thoughts. One participant in the clinical trials committed suicide two days after she stopped treating with the pill. She was 44 years old, had treated for one month, and had no medical history or life stressors that would have been indicative of suicidal thoughts.
    4. May interact with hormonal birth control
    5. Some adverse reactions during clinical trials included appendicitis, abdominal pain, back pain, hot flashes, night sweats, nausea, decreased bone mass density, headache, insomnia, mood swings, depression, lack of a period, anxiety, joint pain, decreased libido, diarrhea, weight gain, dizziness, constipation, and irritability.
  3. Depending on the dose, it can only be taken up to six months or two years

So, rather than remove the suspected Endometriosis mass within the scar tissue, they’d prefer to medicate. MEDICATE.

Ugh!

What are your thoughts? Obviously, I’m still a little heated on the topic…

Resources:

Sage Journals (Abstract, Jan. 27, 2020) – Treatment of Scar Endometriosis with Elagolix

~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research. Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa

4 thoughts on “The “Band-Aid Treatment Plan” Strikes Again

  1. This makes my blood boil too! These pharma companies are just looking out for their bottom line and doctors should realise this. Then again, they’re probably making some money off of this sweet lil’ set up via reimbursement payments for prescribing it. There’s nothing to stop them from doing this. Our (both USA and Canada) healthcare systems have become corrupt at the expense of our health. Ironically, we are left with either decreased hours, missed days or unemployed all together…its not fair to us, our spouses or family members to pick up the slack. Not sure if EU or UK have legislation to make this type of “transaction” illeagal.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I hate pharma: big pharma, little pharma, medium-sized pharma… they’re all corrupt and AbbVie is no exception.

    Here’s a paragraph from a book I’m currently reading (although it’s about BCP, same principal applies) which totally reminds me of your post:

    “Giving birth control pills and other medications to women to regulate their periods, improve their fertility, or enhance their sex drive is akin to putting a piece of tape over the flashing indicator light on the dashboard of your car and pretending you have addressed the engine problem rather than looking under the hood and dealing with the underlying issues.”

    There IS NO PILL for endo, whether on an incision or elsewhere!

    p.s.

    [_________]

    Like

  3. p.s.s. My creepy keyboard stalker face from the first p.s. was a flop. Trust me when I say that it was a cute-slash-creepy winking stalker face at you, my victim. šŸ˜‰

    Like

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