You know that rapid-fire laundry list of potential side-effects you hear at the end of television drug ads? You know…the ones that sometimes sound even worse than the condition the drug is designed to treat (loss of bowel control?!)?
Well, a University of Georgia study found that that laundry list may not even be the half of it.
In 1997, the FDA gave drug companies permission to advertise directly to consumers, provided they provided just as much information about benefits as they do about risks.
However, the study found that, on the average, drug ads only dedicate about 15 percent of their air time to potential side-effects. Plus, according to Keith M. Olsen, chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Nebraska, "Most adverse events of new drugs are reported within two to four years."
That means, all of the potential side effects aren‘t even known when those commercials for new drugs hit the TV.
Want to play it safe? Don‘t let your doctor talk you into the latest and greatest as soon as it hits the market. If your current meds are getting the job done, better to stick with it and let the "new kid on the block" prove that it truly is better.