Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Never mind that hair on your tongue

We have been witnesses, over the past few decades, to incredible advances in medical science. Life-saving transplants. Huge gains in cancer treatment. Joint-replacement surgeries. Minimally invasive surgeries. The list could go on and on. But I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who would be highly reluctant to take some of the drugs that the pharmaceutical industry is pushing these days. I saw a TV ad the other day for the arthritis drug Celebrex, and it seemed like most of the ad was spent warning potential users of the risks associated with the drug. You've heard them run down the laundry list of potential complications: stomach pain, rectal leakage, headaches, nausea, heart attack, stroke, loss of vision, skin eruptions, swelling of extremities, etc., etc. Not to mention those four-hour erections and, oh yeah, death. I recently had a nasty case of poison ivy, and the side effects from the oral steroid I was given by a doctor were so horrific that I had to get off of it. We also recently learned about a study that found the two-drug, anti-cholesterol combo known as Vytorin - they have the ads comparing your Aunt Mabel to a ham on the table, or some such thing - was no more effective than one of its components, the older cholesterol drug marketed under the name Zocor. The study also found that Vytorin carried a slightly higher risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular death. That study was completed in 2006, but for some strange reason, it wasn't released until this year. I wonder how much money the pharmaceutical companies Merck and Schering-Plough make off Vytorin in the interim. And where in the hell was the FDA in all this? My cholesterol is not currently out of control, but if it gets much higher, my doctor is going to suggest that I go on one of these drugs. And I'm going to decline. From what I gather, pretty much all of these drugs pose some sort of threat to one's liver, and I need that liver to process the red wine I drink. It's supposed to be good for my heart. That's MY kind of medicine.



OpenID Wormie270 said...

My favorite is the drug for restless leg syndrome. It may cause the urge to gamble.

April 9, 2008 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Yeah, and it also can cause increased sexual urges. So I guess if you find yourself having sex with somebody on a casino floor, it's time to get off the drug.

April 9, 2008 at 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least it doesn't cause the urge to gambol. That'd be bad.

April 9, 2008 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Although it might tone down the sexual urges, just by wearing one out.

April 10, 2008 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

This is kind of unrelated, but wormie pointed out the restless leg syndrome. Has anyone else noticed that diseases and disorders and the like are now being labeled "syndromes?" And then they're abbreviated, so restless leg syndrome becomes RLS. The marketing wizards at one drug company have managed to transform PMS, something most women will deny even exists, into PMDD which is short for premenstrual dysphoric disorder. What are the symptoms of this ominous sounding condition? Bloating, mood swings, cramps...well, pretty much anything associated with good ol' PMS.

If you watch enough TV, which I certainly do, you can see how the drug companies are taking the stigma out of having any physical anomaly or problem by re-naming it with a fancy name, and then assigning it an appropriate "syndrome" abbreviation. I think there's even one for middle-aged men who pee a lot.

Maybe they should invent something for GOMS (grouchy old man syndrome) or OOFS (opinionated old fart syndrome). If they do, sign me up.

April 13, 2008 at 6:50 AM  

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