Side effects

I was sent an advertisement yesterday.

I don't know if Brianf thinks I'm overweight or what [thanks, Brianf!], but it intrigued me.

Big Pharma has found the answer to the deadly obesity epidemic.

One of the things that struck me about this advertisement were the number of little bits of text they kept flashing up in the hope that we wouldn't notice them.

"It is not known if BELVIQ is safe and effective with other weight loss products, or if BELVIQ changes your risk of heart problems, stroke or death due to heart problems or stroke"

"The exact mechanism of action is not known"

"BELVIQ is not a narcotic.  It is a federally controlled substance with some risk of abuse or dependence"

Yer Wan who does the voice waffles on about the potential side effects which range from cough to suicide [which I thought was nicely comprehensive?] so I thought I would look up the actual list of side effects.

Common –

  • Anxiety
  • bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision
  • body aches or pain
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • confusion
  • cool, pale skin
  • cough
  • depression
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty with breathing
  • dizziness
  • ear congestion
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • headache
  • increased hunger
  • loss of voice
  • lower back or side pain
  • nasal congestion
  • nausea
  • nightmares
  • pounding in the ears
  • runny nose
  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • slurred speech
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males
  • unexpected or excess milk flow from the breasts
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common –

  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • decreased ability to exercise
  • dry mouth
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • increased hunger
  • increased sensitivity to sunlight
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • itching, pain, redness, or swelling of the eye or eyelid
  • joint pain
  • loss of consciousness
  • rapid weight gain
  • severe skin rash or hives
  • stomachache
  • sweating
  • swollen glands
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • trouble with breathing
  • trouble with sleeping
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vomiting
  • watering of the eyes

Not quite so common –

  • Black, tarry, stools
  • chest pain
  • cough or hoarseness
  • pale skin
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

They really haven't a fucking clue about these but throw 'em in anyway –

  • Agitation
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • diarrhea
  • high fever
  • increased sweating
  • loss of bladder control
  • overactive reflexes
  • painful or prolonged erection of the penis
  • poor coordination
  • restlessness
  • severe muscle stiffness
  • shivering
  • talking or acting with excitement you cannot control
  • trembling or shaking
  • twitching
  • unusually pale skin

Listed up there are some pretty interesting ones?

Coma?  Weight gainIncreased hunger [and I thought it was supposed to suppress appetite]?  Convulsions?  Loss of consciousness?

They do say that the pills are only effective alongside a regular diet and exercise, but then if you have a proper diet and do exercise then you won't need their pill.  Catch 22, or are they admitting that their pill does sweet fuck all?

So there you have it.  Big Pharma in all its glory trying to flog off chemicals which may or may not do anything for your weight but are almost guaranteed to make you wish you had never been born.

Given a choice of a possibility of a heart attack through morbid obesity or running the gauntlet of that lot above, I know which I would choose.

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Side effects — 5 Comments

  1. I love the fact that unexplained weight loss is described as a side effect of a medication designed to cause weight loss – although weight loss is likely to become a minor concern while trying to survive all the other effects.

  2. I think the moral of this little story is that if you want to stay really healthy – stay well clear of any pharmaceutical products.

  3. It looks like the only thing missing from that list is sudden death. Everything else seems to be pretty well covered. Having said that, I suppose quite a few of those side effects could result in sudden death; they just don't take it to that level in the list.

    Still, I imagine that it would be a pretty efficacious drug – you'd worry yourself to a shadow thinking about all those possibilities. The pounds would just fall away…

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