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

August 29th, 2019

Categories: Chronic Disease, Drugs, Media, Medicine, News, Side Effects, Tablets

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

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

  1. BC Said:

    Living in Florida our minds are mostly on the hurricane! Ready, but first time we have not evacuated.

    Drug story complex. All about making money…….FDA slow to approve new good drugs.

  2. Lucrezia Said:

    All considerations aside, a patient has the right to information regarding the medications he’s taking. The only right to withhold is at the patients request.

    Over and above life threatening possibilities, drug companies should be taken to task for not removing habit forming qualities in their products. It’s hard not to suspect these outfits are fully aware of addiction components and make no move to eliminate them — for the sake of boosting sales.

    Best of luck to BC hurricane-wise. It’s bad enough that the state must be infested with alligators and pythons, let alone plagued by sinkholes — now this! Floridians must have a taste for adventure, laced with great courage, otherwise the area would be empty!

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    BC,

    I imagine the FDA is afraid to move quickly although patients in dire conditions willing to give new drugs a try would appreciate the chance.

    We are thinking of all our Florida friends and relatives, glued to forecasts and what we hope will be good news.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    Reading your comment about addictive elements in drugs I envision all the cigarette executives who swore that their studies showed that cigarettes are safe–looking straight into TV cameras. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that there is something meds manufacturers can do about the addictive elements in their products.

    I just heard from BC. She and her husband and two other couples have been in a motel in a safe area waiting for good news before they return to their homes.

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