Getting the Real Story on Medication Risks and Benefits
Getting the Real Story on Medication Risks and BenefitsDecember 28th, 2017 by Cindy Perlin
Unfortunately, most of the information available to patients about prescribed medication is based on short term studies on a small number patients by the company that makes the product. Often the company designs the study and reports the data in ways that minimize the side effects and exaggerates the benefits. (See this article for more information about pharmaceutical research.) Maximizing profit, not patient benefits, is the goal.
Often it takes many years, even decades, for serious adverse effects to be acknowledged and officially reported. And, even then, many physicians are not adequately informed about the risks.
Fortunately, there is a resource where patients can get accurate information early on about how a specific drug is affecting the patients who take it under real life conditions. The website www.askapatient.com allows any patient to research patient feedback on a drug and/or contribute information, positive or negative, about their own experience with a drug.
I strongly encourage all patients to consult this valuable resource and weigh the information reported along with any information from prescribing professionals before starting on any medication. Some medications, once started, are very difficult to discontinue due to withdrawal effects, so it’s best to check all available information before you start taking a new drug.
For another resource for accurate information on the risks and benefits of chronic pain treatments, please see my book, The Truth About Chronic Pain Treatments: The Best and Worst Strategies for Becoming Pain Free