Does your doctor tell you about the side effects of your medication?

An interesting American article here about the side effects of medication, suggesting that “patients need to become their own experts, researching drugs on websites”.  Amy Thompson, a clinical pharmacist and an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s College of Pharmacy, said “I think it’s important the patient understand what the medication is, what they’re taking it for, what they should expect to see,” Thompson said. “If the medication has some sort of very serious side effect, I would want them to know what to look for.”

Adriane Fugh-Berman, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Georgetown University Medical Center, said doctors often “prescribe irrationally,” pushing branded over generic drugs, new over old, and suggesting medication for diseases invented or exaggerated by drug companies.

“We’re in sort of a bad situation now where the people in control of prescribing drugs know the least about the drugs,” said Fugh-Berman, who directs PharmedOut at Georgetown, which researches drug marketing and educates health-care professionals about its influence.  Click here to continue reading…