One of my readers from my Sickle Cell Can Kiss My A$$ blog, who has been on Nicosan for about a year now, has written this wonderful review that I would like to share with everyone. If anyone else has a Nicosan story that they would love to share; good, bad or indifferent; please send it my way or post it on here. Also, if you would like to ask any questions about this, please leave a comment below or send me an email.
This is a letter I got from one of my readers. Posted on here with permission.
To whom it may concern,
I am an African-American male with Sickle beta Thalassemia and I have been meaning to write something on my experience with Nicosan to give other people trying to manage sickle cell more perspective. Currently , I am school and I hope to graduate soon as an RN. I only mention this to let everyone that I do have a medical background. However, my medical background isn’t supposed to convince you to take Nicosan. My main point is only to illustrate to you that I did EXTENSIVE research into the literature that’s available and am able to understand what the studies refer to.
So I have been taking Nicosan for about a year. I take my pills every day, and don’t skip any days. I usually take them with food because I also take a multivitamin which makes me feel nauseous if taken on an empty stomach. When I first heard of Nicosan I was extremely skeptical. I am very active with staying up to date on current research into Sickle Cell treatments. Hearing of any cure/treatment becomes one of those things that makes you afraid to hope. However, I looked at the early studies for Nicosan and they are very strong. It is very rare to find a double blind, randomized, prospective study. However, I had an issue with the fact that I found this over the internet. My thought was anyone can make claims over the internet and I wanted to speak with someone that actually takes it. Well, I did and I was convinced to purchase them. In a couple of weeks my Nicosan shipment arrives. Well, I still don’t take them because I’m still worried that it won’t work and they could be harmful. Well, I was finally told “what are you waiting for”. To be honest, the fear of disappointment was probably what was holding me back. So I started taking them and below I have written a little bit about my experience. I hope this is helpful.
Onset of effectiveness.
So my experience has been that you really do need to wait a little time to see a difference. The thing that makes what we are doing tough is that we aren’t looking for something to happen, we are hoping for something not to happen and the only the way to prove that is time. Initially, when I begun taking Nicosan I actually had these very small pains in places I normally didn’t. It was almost as if I was having a micro-crises, if that even makes sense. For example, I really can’t remember ever having pain in my hands, but when I first started Nicosan I did. However, these could be easily managed with Tylenol or Advil, but I didn’t take anything because I dislike frequently taking pain medication.
Threshold of Crises
So this factor is one of the biggest differences that I have seen with Nicosan. I am very careful with monitoring my activity level to prevent a crisis. As I have found that an ounce of prevention in worth a pound of cure with Sickle Cell. I can honestly say that I am able to do and be more athletic than I was before taking Nicosan. Although I didn’t do a “double-blind randomized controlled study” or anything, I did keep track of my workout. Before Nicosan I wasn’t able to perform cardiovascular workouts very well. I could maintain a low intensity cardio workout just fine, however, I kept my heart rate low to decrease the amount of oxygen I would need. After Nicosan, I was putting my heart rate higher without any problems. Any pain that I experienced I would just take motrin 400mg. This for me was a very big deal. Now please don’t think that I became a marathon runner by taking Nicosan, I still don’t do certain things like running because it causes me problems the easiest. Personally, I like the elliptical. However, the point I’m making is I am able to be healthier than I was before. I really don’t’ know what my true limit is because I never push it. That’s just a part of managing sickle cell. However, the psychological fear of pushing myself was very strong. This feature is characteristic of many people with chronic disease. Studies have shown that chronic disease affects every part of your life. As a consequence of reducing the “threshold of crises” it reduces my fear of being active.
Quality of Crises
So this area is very subjective. I want to make sure to mention that someone’s experience in this area could really vary. Over the year that I was taking Nicosan I never really had any episodes that I would consider big crisis. However, when I first started and when I got the flu I did have a crisis. Ordinarily, when I have a “real” crisis it lasts about three days, with the 1st day being the worst and it getting progressively less painful by the end. Generally, on the 4th day I don’t have to take any medication. However, after being on Nicosan they were different. The crisis for me actually lasted a little bit longer, however it was significantly less intense and painful. The crisis could basically be managed with less medication and it wasn’t as debilitating. This seemed kind of strange to me and really I can’t say that Nicosan was directly the cause because so many different factors affect the course of a crisis. However, it’s not something that I had experienced before taking Nicosan.
Frequency of Crisis
The frequency of crisis goes hand in hand with the threshold. If it is harder to have a crisis from taking Nicosan then hopefully I will have less of them. This really has been the case. I was free from any significant pain that required medication (including motrin or Tylenol) for almost a year until I got the flu. Plus, I was very active. I was working a lot and very stressed out from school. However, I also made sure to drink 3 liters of water per day.
Story of an ER Visit
My brother has sickle cell as well and I told him to take Nicosan. Well he had only been on it for a week and was on a long flight when he started having abdominal pains. Needless to say, they made him go to the ER by ambulance during a layover. So he called me. Every time a Physician spoke with him he called me three-way. I basically, informed the Attending physician, the resident, and everyone else who needed to know what Nicosan was. I informed them how it works in the body and directed him to look it up on the Cochrane review database (this is a peer reviewed database to evaluate research). Now remember, this is a medication that has orphan drug status in the US, but still isn’t FDA approved yet. Do you know what his discharge instructions said when they let him go? “Continue taking Nicosan as you were” They couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Now, they didn’t prove it worked or anything. But, they didn’t tell him not to take it. I personally, think that fact says a lot.
I would like to sincerely thank the Sickle Cell Warrior for all of her efforts to help support others with sickle cell. Her blog and her willingness to put herself out there for something she believes in is incredible. I can’t remember how I happened to come across her blog, but I did and I would never have found Nicosan if it wasn’t for her. I’m not sure if everyone that visits her blog are really aware at how much of a “secret” Nicosan is. I have spoke with so many people in the medical field who have no idea that it exists and have never heard of it. Now, these aren’t just ordinary people, they are professors and researchers who still don’t know. I have even spoken with medical professionals who are from Nigeria who have never heard of it. So what the Sickle Cell Warrior is doing is huge. I think we all should appreciate what she has done because I have learned that it’s on us to manage our illness. I realized when I was a teenager that no one can carry my load and that means that they can’t manage it for me. No one can know what it’s like to be you, and because of that I don’t let anyone tell me I’m faking, exaggerating, not that bad, or not in pain.
Yes---God is so good!...I'm going to do another blog post on Nicosan right after this. The company got overhauled and is under new management! Soon production will start again. I never tried Hydrea at all...I was too afraid of it. So I have no experiences with Hydroxyurea. Let me know if you have any other questions!