Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pharmaceuticals: Not Your Mamma's Side Effects

For generations psychologists believed that homosexuality was a treatable, medical condition. Just flip an electrified switch or pop a pill and presto-change-o, you're straight! Think of the crazy side effects a magic straight pill might provide. After taking the pill do you wake up surrounded by half-eaten cheeseburgers, power tools, and the remnants from an obvious late-night run to the casino? What's that you say? Those are actual side effects brought on by existing FDA regulated pharmaceuticals?! Of course they are.

Today, when Americans seek pharmaceutical help to quit smoking, lower their cholesterol, cure their tingling legs, or lengthen their eyelashes (?!) they have a boat-load of side effects with which to deal. Some are mild and common, like slight nausea or drowsiness. But what about Chantix, the drug that eases nicotine addiction? Apparently, it also produces hallucinations and night terrors! Alli, the weight loss drug, forces its users to bring an extra set of pants wherever they go, because it's a lock that you are going to crap yourself. Other drugs hold the promise of amnesia, sensory taste loss, rainbow urination, compulsive gambling, intense sexual urges, suspicion of others, suicidal thoughts, and death. Is your restless leg syndrome worth death? The FDA must think so. . .

What is the threshold for the severity of these side effects? Sure, the consumer has some responsibility, but what will it take for the FDA to properly test and regulate the drugs they release to the market? In the mean time --since we can't get gay married-- anyone want to experiment with that colorful pee thing?

No comments:

Post a Comment