Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's with the serious side effects?

A couple weeks ago I saw an advertisement for an RA drug whose side effects included nausea, skin rash, and tuberculosis.

Then this morning, I see a commercial for Humira, which can also cause hepatitis. Only thing is, Humira is a drug for psoriasis!

Well, apparently Humira is simply a wonder drug, which can treat Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Crohn's Disease, and Ankylosing Spondylitis. (What the hell is Anyklosing Spondylitis???). Unfortunately, this wonder drug can cause:

Skin Rash
Lupus-like syndrome
Certain types of CANCER

Now, I know some people with RA, the risk might be worth it, that's a horrible disease. I know someone with Crohn's, and having gone through something similar, the risks might be worth it.

But psoriasis? I know its unsightly, and painful, but is it really worth the risk of TB, Hep, Lupus or Cancer? (not to mention the "skin rash" would be a very funny side effect to get...)

And finally, my favorite disclaimer from the website:

"These are not all the side effects with HUMIRA. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information."


Michael in CO said...

I'm with you. Those commercials horrify me. I don't live with any chronic maladies, so I can't make judgments on those who do, but the trade-offs seem pretty harsh a lot of the time.

What really gets me is that I think we're one of only two industrialized nations who allow direct marketing of PRESCRIPTION drugs to consumers. (I think New Zealand is the other, which doesn't make sense to me either.) Is it really a good idea for a population, over half of which takes the bible literally, among other things (*cough* horoscopes *cough* "The Secret" *cough* alien abduction) to ask/tell their doctors what medications they should be on? It mystifies and saddens me. Oh well, there are plenty of things that do that...

DragonLady74 said...

I have a viral arthritis (not RA, but similar) and all my doctors agreed, in my case the drugs were far worse than the disease. One of the most serious side effects is organ failure. While I might be able to live without a kidney, I'm fairly sure I need my heart. Granted I live in the land of homeopathy, but I appreciate informed options rather than a ShamWOW drug.