The side effects of watching American TV.

Broadcast-network-logosI haven’t watched a lot of TV in the US, but amongst what I have watched have been ads for all kinds of medications.

Do you suffer from gout? Well ask your doctor about this new drug.

Suffer from depression? This new drug might be able to help you.

Rheumatoid arthritis? We have something for that.

It’s not so much the drugs themselves that make me wonder (though I’ll come back to that idea), it’s the side effects that go with some of these drugs.

The ads are generally about 45 seconds long, and least 20 seconds of that is spent listing the side effeccts including drowsiness, heart attack, cancer, increased risk of suicide, pneumonia, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, decreased circulation just to name a few. A little more than a headache and fatigue.

I wouldn’t feel too confident asking my doctor for a medication that has a chance of bringing on cancer or an increased risk of suicide. Call me conservative…

Now, going back to the actual prolific advertising of these drugs, I read a headline yesterday: “Use of anti-depressants increases 400%”. Is this surprising considering the drugs are advertised during prime time television?

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