A recent issue of the FDA’s publication of Drug Safety published the following survey results:
“When patients feel they might be having an adverse drug effect, doctors will very often dismiss their concerns, a new study shows.”
“In a survey of 650 patients that reported having adverse drug reactions due to taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called “statin” drugs, many said their physicians denied that the drug could be connected to their symptoms.”
Doctors do not read or study the lengthy lists of side effects for the hundreds of drugs they can and do prescribe, nor is it possible that they could remember if they did.
The survey continued… “It was found that physicians seem to commonly dismiss the possibility of a connection, even for those side effects that are clearly stated in the list of side effects that actually come with the medication.”
“The best-known side effects of ‘statin’ drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor are liver damage and muscle problems, although statins have also been tied to changes in memory, concentration and mood, among other problems.”
Because of not knowing what the side effects are, or not feeling they have the time to have a long discussion with the patient, or feeling it’s not a big problem, the doctor often doesn’t pay attention to the patient’s complaint.
The survey continued… “Physician reaction to a potential side effect is vital because the muscle problems [with statin drugs] can progress to a rare but potentially fatal condition if the drug isn’t discontinued.”
“Forty-seven percent (47%) of patients with muscle problems or cognitive problems [Definition: relating to the mental processes of perception, memory and judgment.] and reasoning said their doctors dismissed the possibility that their symptoms were statin-related.”
“Fifty-one percent (51%) of patients with peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve pain affecting the extremities, said their doctors denied a possible connection with statins.”
The bottom line here is that if you feel you must take drugs or medications, you need to read and understand what the potential side effects are. Do not count on your doctor either warning you of side effects or even knowing what they are.
You can read the drug literature that comes with the medication, or check on line at www.drugs.com or www.rxlist.com.
Both these sites give you all the information and any medication side effects associated with its use.
If you suspect that you are experiencing any side effects, have a drug side effects discussion with your doctor. Insist he listen to you and give you a solution. If your doctor won’t take the time to listen and help you solve the problem or just brushes you off, that doctor is not really interested in your welfare. Fire him! Even if you feel he/she has a “wonderful” bedside manner, immediately replace him/her with a doctor who will listen to you and help work out a solution with you!
If you do not take responsibility for your health and well-being, and the well-being of your loved ones, no one else will!
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