I just watched a commercial for a smoking cessation product (which I will not name here) which sounded so wonderful until you got to the disclaimer of the “possible” side effects. Holey crapoli Batman, this pill will help you stop smoking but it just might make you suicidal. Now is that suicidal because you can’t smoke or is that suicidal simply because you swallowed this stupid pill? Will you take this pill, thinking, “Great, I don’t have to go outside and suck down some smoke into my already blackened lungs…has anybody seen a serrated edge knife…I have this terrible urge to saw on my wrists for awhile…” You gotta be kidding me.
The other night I saw an ad for an arthritis medicine and I swear to you it took twenty minutes for the stupid commercial to list all the possibilities that might occur if you take this medicine, and waaaaaay down on the bottom was the chance you might get a little relief from arthritis. But you could also die from a heart attack or a stroke or have difficulty breathing , one leg might suddenly become longer than the other, or you may decide to suddenly put your head in the oven, turn on the gas and go out with a bang.
What is the pharmaceutical industry doing to us? The outrageous thing here is how many commercials we are being bombarded with that include the words, “Ask your doctor if Product XXX is right for you.” I’ve often wanted to go into my doctor’s office with an entire list of every drug I’ve seen on tv and ask him, “Is this right for me?” “Is this right for me?” “Is this right for me?” Enough already. The danged side effects will do more damage than whatever disease or condition you might have. Truly…have you READ the disclaimers? They include everything from mild headaches to turning into serial killers. This is scary stuff people. The remedies are worse than the symptoms.
How many of you actually read the fine print in the literature you receive with your prescriptions? I have and some of it has scared the crap out of me. There was one medicine in particular that I just flat out refused to take after reading that in 2% of patients tested, people developed pancreatitis or kidney failure — kidney failure??? I’m not swallowing that. Not only no, but hell no. With my luck, I’d be in the 2%.
Now it’s two new vaccines that we are being bombarded with – one is Gardacil and we absolutely HAVE to make sure our young women get this vaccine so they don’t suffer from cervical cancer later on in life. But after all this time, suddenly we’re discovering there are some serious potential side effects to this drug. I think I’d be more inclined to take my chances of getting cervical cancer twenty years down the line when they’ve probably made more progress on treatment than to take a vaccine now that may do serious damage to a young life. What is going on over at the FDA anyway?
I was all ready to take my Swine Flu shot when the doses come in, but now I have decided against it as I just read a report the other day out of Britain which alerts doctors to watch for incidences of Guillain-Barre Syndrome in patients taking the Swine Flu shots. Guillain-Barre?? Do you have any idea how devastating that condition is? It can lead to paralysis and death. Oh for cryin’ in a bucket, I’ll take my chances with Swine Flu because the last thing I want is to wake up one morning having to pee and realize I’ve become a rock person and can’t move. No, I don’t think so.
I remember taking Ambien when I had terrible insomnia and it led to nighttime online shopping with all kinds of crap showing up at my door – heck UPS had to hire more drivers because of all the junk I ordered in the middle of the night and never had any idea I was doing that. Then I’d go have a little snack before wandering back to bed — all this time I’m still sound asleep. Devoted Spouse would find dishes in the kitchen sink in the morning and ask me if I was hungry in the middle of the night and I’d look at him like he was stupid — why would I be hungry in the middle of the night? And why was I gaining weight? And why was the house filling up with junk I’d bought online – who was really making these purchases anyway? I encountered several months of this bizarre behavior; behavior I was too embarrassed to tell my doctor about, because I actually thought I was going bonkers and exhibiting signs of dementia (which runs in my family, oh joy) and then some high-powered Senator or Congressman was shown on the nightly news having a car accident while totally asleep – and it turned out he was on Ambien. I called my doctor the next day and made an appointment. I went in and asked him if he was intentionally trying to kill me with this crap. He alluded to the fact there had been a few problems with Ambien and I just wanted to slap him – I was close enough to ball up my fist and connect it to his upper arm, which I did. I stopped taking Ambien. He started to listen to me.
Why did he start to listen to me? Well, next he decided my cholesterol was too high and he put me on a statin drug. Jinkies, I turned out to be one of the 1% of patients that get that terrible muscular side effect they warn you about on tv. I started having bizarre muscle spasms and actually blew one muscle to smithereens before he believed me and agreed, “Hmmm, maybe you aren’t a candidate for statins.” Ya think? Never took another one. He has me on something else now that works completely differently from statins but still lowers your cholesterol. My muscles still hurt — he thinks it’s residual damage from my injury – I think he’s trying to kill me while receiving free pills and possibly kickbacks from the pharmaceutical industry. I will probably wake up one day and find out I’ve grown another ear and my doctor will say, “Oh yeah, I probably should have mentioned that was a possible side effect.” Gah…
No wonder poor Michael Jackson died – it wasn’t the drugs, it was the side effects – hell that’s probably why his nose fell off – it wasn’t plastic surgery after all – it was side effects people.
Finally, what is it with the erectile dysfunction commercials – they had to take a perfectly good Elvis Presley song and turn it into Viva Viagra which has to rank right up there as the worst advertising decision ever in the annals of television commercials. And the different brands – what the hell is with this Cialis commercial — I’m all for having sex and if you need a pill for it okay, I have no problem with that – but I would think twice about the disclaimer of the 4-hour erection. Ouch. And then at the end of the commercial there is the man and the woman and they’re side by side in separate bathtubs outside. What on earth is the significance of that – would somebody help me here? Why two bathtubs – I mean if it’s all about sex, shouldn’t they be lounging in the same dang tub afterwards? And who has a bathtub outside anyway these days?
I’m so confused – I’m gonna stick to aspirin and an occasional Valium – at least I don’t have side effects from them. But at my next doctor’s appointment I’m going to ask him, “Is Nexium right for me?” coz I’m getting heartburn from all these side effects…no, wait, maybe it’s depression and I should ask “Is Cymbalta right for me?” ..not that’s not it either…crap, where’d I put that list?