Health & Recipes

Here is a list of conditions for which you might want to seek a medical professional:

  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling
  • constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain; or
  • feeling nervous or anxious
  • itching, sweating, flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling)
  • seizure (convulsions)
  • weak or shallow breathing

Medicine and side effectsUnfortunately, these are also just a few of the conditions you might have after taking a common medication prescribed by your medical professional. For instance, the side effects for tramadol are shocking. The conditions listed above are right out of the side effects section of the information page for the RX. After taking the advice of a doctor, you might end up needing to see a doctor. Sometimes the cure offers worse side effects than the disease.

How does this happen? In the U.S. it takes as long as 12 years, and as much as $350M for a new drug to be approved. Yet everyday, drugs are appearing on the shelves with a longer list of the problems they cause, than the problems they are meant to solve. 

When those problems turn deadly, we turn to law firms that specialize in holding pharmaceutical companies “big Pharma” accountable. All too often, the legal system is the only thing holding them accountable. It is not just a matter of having someone to blame when the medicine does not work the way we had hoped. This is deep science that pushes the boundaries of our abilities and understanding. We are trying to defeat the inevitable. Sometimes things go wrong. The problem comes when big Pharma behaves irresponsibly. 

Medical Mistakes

Sometimes, it is difficult to distinguish between irresponsible behavior by the pharmaceutical company, and an honest medical error by the doctor. The Levaquin problem is a good example. Fluoroquinolones are a class of antibiotic intended only for the treatment of life-threatening infections. One of the side-effects of the drug is brain fog.

Baron and Budd is a law firm fighting this particular battle because Levaquin was  prescribed to patients irresponsibly as first-line treatment for minor infections, or even preventive treatment. Either pharmaceutical companies sold the drug to doctors as something that it is not, or doctors prescribed the drug without being well-informed about what they were prescribing. Either way, someone has to be held accountable.

Who Do You Trust?

When it comes to medical advice, who should you trust. It seems axiomatic that you should never, ever, ever, trust the pharmaceutical companies, ever! We are not equipped to know when they are misrepresenting their products. That is what doctors are for. There is a reason some drugs can only be legally obtained with a doctor’s prescription. We trust our doctors to know what Levaquin is, and when we need to take it. 

Yet, despite our inability to sort out drug claims, pharmaceutical companies are doing their best to bypass the doctors, and take their message directly to the consumer. You cannot watch a Matlock rerun without seeing at least two commercials advising you to ask your doctor if some drug or other is right for you. Their plan is to have millions of uninformed patients browbeating doctors about the little blue pill that cases four-hour erections. 

It is the same tactic  used by breakfast cereal companies when they advertise to children who don’t have any money. These children also do not have the capacity for making decisions about healthy nutrition. Mothers are browbeaten into buying whatever will stop the kid from screaming. 

These tactics are done in bad faith, and are designed to circumvent the safeguards that stand as buffers between us and those who would take advantage of us. But when doctors are pressed on both sides by big Pharma on one side and screaming patients on the other, poor decisions are made that can cost us more than our short-term memories. 

There are many inherent dangers in pharmaceuticals. But those dangers are amplified when big Pharma gains direct access to the consumer, bypassing the checks and balances of the doctor. We can never avoid all the risks. But we can avoid quite a few by remembering this two things: Big Pharma does not have your best interests at heart. And even the worst doctor is a better doctor than you. Until the government steps in to do something about it, it is up to you to keep big Pharma in check by not buying into their bad-faith advertising.

Reading Response:

What are some of the most unbearable side effects you’ve experienced?