Archive for the ‘Side Effects’ Category

Service of Reporting to the Public New–Dire–Drug Side Effects When There Are No Alternatives for Chronic Ailments

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Pill organizer Photo: tripsavvy.com

I get that people want to make smart decisions about their health, especially these days when many doctors don’t have time to explain the pros and cons of the meds they prescribe. And in spite of thorough vetting by the FDA before a drug is approved there often are discoveries of adverse side effects over time when patients take new drugs.

But when there are no alternatives the information we read and hear via consumer media can serve to frighten more than enlighten, and to what purpose?

Here’s the headline that inspired this post: “New Study Adds to Concern About Certain Drugs and Dementia Risk.”

Lisa Field wrote: “As people get older, they’re more likely to need medications on a regular basis to manage one or more chronic conditions. Some of these medications fall into a class known as anticholinergics and may not be ideal to take for long periods because they could increase the risk of dementia.” In an article on nextavenue.org Field highlighted results of a study published in a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Photo: attorneygroup.com

She continued: “If there are no effective non-anticholinergic medications or other non-drug interventions, then I think whether the benefits of taking the medication outweigh the potential risks depends very much on the individual circumstances and the severity of the condition for which treatment is needed,” said the professor of medical statistics in primary care at the University of Nottingham’s School of Medicine.” Carol Coupland authored the study.

Tell me the point of worrying patients with this information if their chronic condition forces them to take an essential medicine for the rest of their lives which, one hopes, is longer than the time a dreaded side effect like dementia might set in? Should consumer editors and bloggers, TV and radio news producers table articles and programs that spotlight dire drug side effects until alternatives exist for these patients?

Photo: medshadow.org

Service of Feeling Indecisive or Rejected? An Over the Counter Pain Pill Can Fix That

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Indecision

You probably know this if you read health journals but I don’t read them and therefore I didn’t know: A side effect of over the counter [OTC] pain meds that contain acetaminophen such as Tylenol or Excedrin can do more than kill pain. It seems that the drug can make an indecisive person resolute and a rejected person feel less castoff and abandoned.

Not all the side effects are that good. As the title of Susan Pinker’s article hints at, “Less Pain, Less Joy: New Look at Acetaminophen,” the drug “muffles your happiness too” as an “all-purpose damper, stifling a range of strong feelings.”

Five years ago, according to Pinker, two psychologists reported that three weeks OTC pain medson one of these OTCs, “soothed social pain like feelings of exclusion or ridicule.” [The article doesn’t say nor do I know whether taking such a drug for that long could negatively affect your stomach or cause other unwanted physical reactions.]

And in a recent study researchers found that the “more intense the emotions, the more acetaminophen muted them.” The drug “alters the circuits that govern our emotional responses,” Pinker wrote.

Feeling left outI’m an Advil advocate–Tylenol has zero impact on headaches or pain for me–and Pinker says researchers have yet to study side effects of OTCs with ibuprofen like Advil or Motrin. Who knows: Maybe if I take Advil over a long  enough period of time I might get good at math or ignore the psychological smacks of thoughtless people. One can always hope.

Are you under the impression that OTC drugs are benign? Have you noticed mood changes or a different outlook if you’ve been on an OTC drug of any kind for a period of time? I doubt psychological side effects are posted on OTC pill boxes, but are you diligent in reading potential side effects on remedies you pick up at the drugstore?

 

 At drug store

Get This Blog Emailed to You:
Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Clicky Web Analytics