There is a new website, AdverseEvents (www.adverseevents.com) that has been reported to be somewhat troubling for some innovator pharmaceutical companies. These “innovators” are the companies that are involved in the development and marketing of new drugs, and sometimes even the basic research that leads to the new drug. Everyone should know that any and all drugs, new and old, have to be used with consideration given to the benefits of this product measured against the risks. Unless the benefits outweigh the risks, the value of any particular therapeutic agent is greatly diminished.
Some of these risks are in the form of adverse effects, also known as side effects. Anyone who has taken most any prescription medication will have been counseled about these risks, which can range from relatively common to darn right rare. As healthcare practitioners we usually take the position that the better a patient understands the medication they are taking the greater the benefits at the same time, the less likely these adverse effects will cause serious problems.
This is because many of the adverse effects are of low incidence or are of short duration. We commonly explain that some of these effects are a result of your body learning how to behave in the presence of that new medication. Any new drug is a “foreign” chemical which your body has to learn how to absorb; how to metabolize – how to detoxify; how to eliminate and of course, how to function given the particular influence of that drug. It’s unfortunate that what with all our science, and all our technologies, we are still far from finding that “magic bullet” drug, that goes only where we want it to, has no other effects other than the desire effect and is easily detoxified and eliminated once its job is done. That drug just doesn’t exist.
That’s why it’s important to understand what adverse effects are possible, which are the minor side effects and which might present the greater risk to your health. Although I’m not certain that the website AdverseEvents is necessarily at any one audience in particular, they certainly have accumulated substantial detailed information about drugs and their adverse effects, data on the incidence of specific adverse effects as well as statistical data describing the occurrence rates of adverse effects on a per drug basis. Keep in mind if you do visit this site, that it is an American company which means many of the drug names are those brand names used in the United States and not necessarily are those same drugs available here in Canada or that they are being marketed under the same brand name.
You are encouraged to check out this site yourself and make your own conclusions. Whether you are the consumer of medications or a healthcare practitioner or even a drug manufacturer, there is something of interest for everyone.