Posted by Simon (188.8.131.52) on July 18, 2001 at 19:24:22:
I’ve noticed recently that several people have been remarking that they are not going to be taking drug A or treatment B because of the side effects.
I have to say I am slightly concerned about this on two levels.
First, there is the worry that people are somehow being frightened off effective treatments. Ironically, this can be by the medical profession, who are not only engaging in an outrageous game of CYA, but, worse, are often disguising cost concerns under a claim of unsafe or unpleasant side effects. (Someone here in the UK was told recently by their GP that Imigran caused headaches!) Also, postings of this nature on this and other boards exaggerate the risks, and do far less to reassure, adding worry to the other problems of clusterheads.
Secondly, such assertions often go unchallenged, almost as if we do not wish to offend those who “choose” to suffer. When there are hundreds of people whom we know through this board alone who would give their right arms to be able to have these medications, I think it is a little unfortunate, to say the least, when we see someone saying they won’t take a drug because of the “awful” side effects.
I am open to contradiction on this, but I would assert that of the mainstream drugs (ie. excluding the experimental and narcotic) there are very, very few here who cannot take any of them. If prescribed properly and monitored effectively all are “safe” by most medical standards.
Also it must be taken into account that there are many here who have taken high doses of such things as Lithium, Verapamil, Imigran, Methysergide and others over years with absolutely no side effects at all.
I don’t wish to belittle the potential risk to a few in any medication, but far more here have suffered from overuse of over-the-counter pain medications than prescribed and licensed cluster treatments. Please, before you suffer needless pain, find out the real risks attached to potential therapies, rather than listening to distorted versions.
Again, a personal view – with proper medications and doctors who are both knowledgeable and sympathetic – I reckon 90% of clusterheads would be able to live relatively normal lives.
I should add I am not a spokesman for any drug company! It’s simply that I know without the drugs I have taken I would not be here – the side effects of c.3000 Imigran injections, a kilogram or so of Verapamil etc. in my case are nil – the side effects of suicide are incontrovertibly worse. I would hate to see anyone in that situation through misinformation.
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