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Drug Ads: Are They Bad for Business?

Updated on April 24, 2013
Should I try this drug or not?  Photo by graur codrin
Should I try this drug or not? Photo by graur codrin | Source

We've all seen them hundreds of times...those ads for various drugs for everything! You can't watch TV without being bombarded by them. Have you noticed that at least two-thirds of the ad is telling about the side effects? And that it's usually a long list.

I listen to these in amazement. A lot of the possible side effects seem to be worse than the disease or condition they are going to treat. It truly seems like a gamble to me to take most of them.

I smoke and my doctor wanted to put me on one of those drugs to stop. When he mentioned it, I blurted out, "You've got to be kidding!" He was startled and asked what I meant. I told him that I'd heard all of the side effects of that drug (including suicidal thoughts and heart problems) and wouldn't want to risk getting any of them. He poo-pooed this, like I wouldn't have any of these side effects. I am smart enough to know I might very well have them.

I know, I know, smoking is terrible, but if I can choose the option to quit without a drug, then that's the way I'll go! Seems much safer to me. I realize there are other medical conditions that are so painful or debilitating that, even with the possible side effects, it would be worth trying these drugs. That's fine, I understand that. The ones that get me the most are the ones for things that really aren't that serious. Are people really willing to put themselves at that kind of risk for something that isn't life threatening?

I think these ads are probably running off a lot of customers. I can honestly say that I'm not alone in this thinking. I have talked to many people about this and they feel the same way. They all agree that they are horrified by the possible side effects and would not use certain drugs because of them.

I don't know what they are making new drugs out of these days, but they seem to be much more "dangerous" than years ago. One example is antibiotics. Some of the newer ones list hallucinations as a possible side effect. I never heard of that on the old-fashioned antibiotics! I also know that they point out that some of these side effects might only happen to one in 100,000 people, for instance. Well, I might just be that ONE.

So, what do you think? Are these drugs worth the side effects or are you frightened away by these ads too?

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Do the side effects of certain drugs scare you off taking them?

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