Drugs have side effects. Heck, even placebo has side effects.
Some arise almost instantly (the one sticking in my mind was when, as a House Officer, I injected an IV penicillin on a weekend on-call to a surgical patient, who then went grey and collapsed). Some more typically arise after longer term use (especially in mental health, e.g. with lithium knackering kidneys/thyroid/parathyroid and antgipsychotics causing the movement disorder of tardive dyskinesia which lasts forever, even/especially when the offending drug is stopped). Some are serious (like neuroleptic malignant syndrome which unfortunately I've seen twice, now).
This has instilled a healthy scepticism of drugs. I like them, if they're used appropriately. But they're not a free lunch. Rational prescribing practice has to be central to use of medication.
But what about me? The Northern Doctor has posted about how busy life is in GP land at this time of year. He's a better man the me, hacking it in Primary Care. His last paragraph comments on the proportion of health care professionals who've used the 'flu vaccine.
Got me thinking. What're the bad medicines I've taken? A relatively short list, since I've not been to see my current GP ever (and last saw a GP some 20 years ago) on the premise that many doctors like to meddle/do stuff/fix things/intervene so are best avoided unless necessary. I delude myself into believing that not seeing a GP is fine because I can suss out myself if/when I need medical attention and, if that ever happens, that's when I'll darken their doors. But I know in my heart of hearts that mostly doctors are awful at looking after themselves.
Anyway, it means my exposure to prescribed medication has been modest. The last time I had a 'flu jab was when I worked in General Practice and, after that jab, I felt awful. It wasn't as bad as 'flu, I'm sure. But it was worse than any cold I'd ever had. So, for me, it seemed that the 'flu jab an a medication to take when well, to reduce risk of a possible infection, wasn't a smart idea for me. If I had health problems so the risk/benefit was different I'd think again, but for now, for me, it's nto something I'm keen on.
Rabies jabs were worse. I was abroad in a third world country, fiddling around in patients brains and spinal cords, so needed rabies jabs before going. They hurt. A lot. And made me feel really grotty.
The worst medication I've ever taken has been an antimalarial. I'm almost never nauseous/vomitting but my wife and I were so sick on them we were hurling up daily. Urgh. Felt so wretched on them we had to stop taking them, which made us much more paranoid about netting and safety so overall worked out well enough for us.
All this no doubt has coloured my conceptions of a medication's risk, benefit and role, which is why I'm wont to stop medication more often than I am to start it.
PS : Zealots in "proper" English, do tell . . . should a full stop go before or after the brackets in the opening sentences of the second paragraph?
I could write (with comments like this.)
Or, I could write (with comments like this).