Your Mileage May Vary
LATELY IT SEEMS that every time I turn on the TV I’m seeing ads for new prescription drugs. For the first ten seconds of the commercial I hear what the drug is for, and then for the next fifty seconds the voiceover races through a list of the side effects. They speak so fast that I can barely understand what is being said, but I could swear that I’ve heard the phrase, “Spontaneous Human Combustion” in there somewhere.
The drugs I’ve seen advertised most frequently are a couple of things called “Xarelto” and “Chantix.”
Somewhere there is a company whose sole job is to come up with new names for drugs. I would think that they must consume vast quantities of LSD and then record the gibberish that comes from their mouths. Presto – “Xarelto” is born!
“Xarelto” is a drug designed to help thin the blood and prevent blood clots. That is an admirable goal.
First ten seconds of ad – “Xarelto can help prevent blood clots!”
Next Fifty seconds – “Side effects include: Uncontrolled bleeding, Bowel and Bladder Dysfunction (not sure exactly what that means), Coughing up Blood, Paralysis (!!!), Vomiting up a substance that resembles coffee grounds (What the…? Cover your ears St. Arbucks), Fainting, Blisters (Where?), and Wound Secretion (that sounds like fun).
Right away I would ask my doctor, “Could I just stick with the Baby Aspirin instead?”
Sweet Jesus! I might want to risk the whole blood clot thing rather than spend my days looking like an extra in a low budget horror movie. What possible substance could one vomit up that “resembles coffee grounds” – other than coffee grounds? Forget it. I don’t want to know.
Another frequently flogged drug is “Chantix,” to help you quit smoking. A lot of people don’t like to be around smokers, complaining of the smell. Considering that some of the side effects of “Chantix” include excessive intestinal gas combined with great difficulty in defecating and nausea, I wouldn’t sweat the smoke.
It seems that users of “Chantix” also have to contend with nightmares. Perhaps they are dreaming that they are taking “Xarelto” and have just upchucked a pound of Maxwell House?
One additional side effect of “Chantix” that I find curious is that it can cause the users to lose their voice. Now they can’t even apologize to everyone about all the gas they have been venting.
One last item.
I actually saw an ad for this one last night: “Latisse.”
“Latisse” is prescribed as a treatment for people who have excessive eyelashes. I’m not making this up. I don’t need to.
Assuming that this is a problem for you, or your llama, your doctor could write up a scrip for “Latisse,” but I’ll bet you are never warned that taking this drug might: cause you to have oozing eyes (really nice on a date), See haloes around objects and people (how 60’s), and (the kicker) change the color of the treated eye!
I once knew a person who had one blue eye and one brown eye. It was truly spooky and I had a hard time looking at him directly. Now you can do it in the privacy of your own home with “Latisse.”
I’m not sure all these TV ads are a good idea. Being a doctor is a tough job, they don’t need to be kibitzed by every patient who has seen some cockamamie ad on TV. They have the sales reps. from the drug companies to do that. Besides, the drug company people give them free samples and pocket protectors. What can you or I offer them?
“Would you like some coffee grounds?”