Why is it that medication seems to have more potential side effects than benefits?
I will use my own experience to demonstrate…
Back in March of 2007 I was the recipient of a sinus infection. It was bad, but not so bad that I was in real bad shape. I decided to make sure that it did not get worse, and went to my doctor, who prescribed me with Avalox. After taking this medicine for a period of about a month, I ended up with an intestinal infection because the antibiotics killed all the good bacteria in my intestines. Then I started taking another antibiotic to kill the bacteria that the other antibiotic caused to proliferate, but it did not work. Finally I was put on another antibiotic, called Vancamiacine, that did finally kill the bad bacteria.
Add to all this my own personal regimen of taking “Probiotics” and other cleansing procedures, and you will understand that the last several months were a little uncomfortable.
Where am I going with this? Yes… I can hear you asking this across the wires…
I am trying to understand why the cure is sometimes as bad as the cause… maybe even worse in some cases. The experience has caused me to be more observant of the potential side effects of certain medicines. I read the labels, I go to WebMD and read all the details of the medicine that I was prescribed and I will visit the manufacturers web sites. I have also started researching potential holistic methods to cure or help with problems.
There are probably some of you out there that are saying that you cannot get the same results with homeopathic or holistic treatments, and they are not as effective, and in many cases you would be right. There are many natural treatments that will not solve the problems, but there are also many cases where the medicines that doctors give us where there are side effects that are not always explained to you.
The fact that you are not told of all the potential side effects is not the fault of the doctor, and not even always the fault of the Pharmacist. This is why you should ALWAYS ask for a Pharmacist consult… they all offer this service and personally I think WalGreens, if you have one near you, is the best. They will be able to go over any concerns you might have about the drugs you are going to be taking. Doctors are not always aware of what the drugs they prescribe can do. They know what they they are designed for a certain purpose, and in some cases they know that the drug manuacturer gives them some nice freebies with the samples they drop off, but the Pharmacist really is the one to ask about the drugs.
With this piece, I am not trying to say that medicine is bad. It is not. But we have to be careful what we take and how we take it. There are times when a doctor prescribes something that maybe we should ask if there is another way to achieve the same results, just without the medicine. Face it, we have drugs for everything these days. If you need an erection, need to sleep, need to lose weight, need to concentrate, need to feel happy and about anything else you can think of, can be fixed or patched up with some drug. But do we really know what these drugs will do to us in the long run? We are so interested in what we need from them now, that we might not be thinking about what the result will be twenty, thirty or forty years down the line. More than likely nothing will happen, but you never know.
Most of this is because of the “I want it now!” society we have created for ourselves. We do not want to wait for the weight to drop off through exercise and good eating, we want a pill that will help us “lose weight while we sleep.” Then look at what happened with Phen Fen. We do not want to spend time playing with our children, and let them be kids, so they give them Ritalin, to calm them down. Kids will be rambunctious, that’s what kids do… why do we need to dope them up?
I am getting a little off topic, and into a subject I would like to write about in another post, so I will close this post with these final thoughts:
1. While seeing your doctor is a good idea when you are ill, if he gives you a prescription, TALK to him about it, see if there are other, non-pharmaceutical options.
2. If you get a prescription, TALK to your Pharmacist. They went to school specifically for the art of putting together your medicine. They will have a better understanding of it than your doctor might. They, too, may know of some holistic or homeopathic remedies for things you might be suffering.
3. Eat, exercise, love and live better. You can live a longer happier life, I think, if you just LIVE your life and stop worrying about your life.