Side effects

A few years back I had an unsightly black fungus under my thumbnail. I called to get a free VHS tape about Lamisil, a prescription drug for such a condition.

Right up front on the video were the “side effects.” When I got to “could cause retina damage,” I tossed the tape.

More than half of a drug commercial is devoted to the rattling off of such effects, most far worse than whatever ailment you have.

One drug touted to “control your blood sugar level” actually says “could cause low blood sugar.”

Ambien is my favorite: commercials now warn you can “sleepwalk, eat or drive without being fully awake, with amnesia of the event being reported.” Perfect for anyone who lives alone.

Mirapex for “restless leg syndrome” might “increase sexual or gambling urges.”

Pharms have apparently caught on and made the names of drugs more pleasant. Remember Creomulsion and Imodium AD? Now, you can match your color scheme with Nexium, “the purple pill.”

Not so pleasant are their warnings of vomiting, headache, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, constipation, diarrhea …

I’m thankful my medicine cabinet contents are limited to three-grain generic aspirin and Pepto-Bismol tablets.

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