By Stacy Lipson
Posting in Technology
The average prescription label lists 70 side effects, reported a new study from the Archives of Internal Medicine.
According to a new study, researchers found that the average prescription drug label lists 70 potential side effects, reported WebMD. On the higher end, one medication in the study listed 525 potential side effects, reported WebMD.
“It’s out of control,” said Jon Duke, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, in a phone interview with SmartPlanet.
By looking at almost 5,600 drug labels, researchers were able to see which drugs had the highest list of side effects.
“The greatest number of side effects were found in antidepressants, antiviral medications, and some treatments for Restless Leg Syndrome,” said Duke.
Duke explained that the large number of side effects listed could put an extra burden on doctors, who are obligated to sort through the information in order to make informed decisions about medications on behalf of their patients.
“The current information overload is the rule rather than the exception," said Duke.
Although Duke pointed out that in the 2006 revision of drug labeling guidelines, the FDA openly discouraged the inclusion of "exhaustive lists of every reported adverse event, no matter how infrequent or minor,” said Duke.
"With current technology, drug labels could be transformed from lengthy static documents to dynamic resources, capable of delivering personalized patient information. Such labels could take into account the individual patient's medical conditions and highlight those side effects that could be especially dangerous," reported MyHealthNewsDaily.
The study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, doesn’t explain how patients comprehend the information printed on prescription labels. However, in future research studies, Duke hopes to examine how doctors and patients read and process prescription labels.
Tell us: Do you read the back of your prescription bottle? Do you understand each side effect listed for your prescription?
Image: Thirteen of Clubs/Flickr
Jun 1, 2011
Have the Big Pharmas ever thought of producing and marketing safer drugs that do not have side effects? No! That's how they make their monies. Use of one lead to the use of the next because one needs to overcome the side effects of the earlier drug and this cycle goes on and on. And guess, who gains from all these - The Big Pharmas. They want you to become their permanent clients. The end result - The Pharmas profit by making you perpetually sick and tie you to their prescription in different forms. The loser? The user itself. The Big Pharmas are the modern day leeches who are hell bent upon making monies at cost of the users.
The pharmaceutical companies have made their own bed, now they have to sleep in it. When the FDA let them advertise in mainstream news media they also had to cover their arses so as to avoid "you didn't tell me" negligence lawsuits. Big pharma advertises, doctors hate it because they don't want their patients telling them what to prescribe...it's all so sordid.
We naively assume that the Feds make these regulations and that the drug makers and pharmacists print this stuff in our best interest. They do it to avoid litigation. It is not that any of this labeling actually reduces medication misuse, it just provides indemnification via the blanket of regulatory compliance. Simple software could check all this and tailor custom warnings at multiple points in the prescription, fulfillment, purchase and consumption path. But thanks to our lobbyists , litigators and regulators, such software would only expose the businesses who write it and use it, to even more more lawsuits.
This article focuses on information overload as the problem. But isn't the real problem that people are taking pills with an average of 70 possible side effects? You can bet that you're going to experience at least some of them. And then you'll have to take other drugs to manage those side effects, which will expose you to other side efffects, and so on and so on. This is insanity! The cure is worse than the illness!