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One Pill Makes You Larger

In the 60s Jefferson Airplane sang "one pill makes you larger, one pill makes you small".  In the 70s Steve Martin exhorted "Let's get small". Funny, I seemed to enjoy these references much more when I was younger.  These days I'm just south of 60 and am on so many prescribed pills I can almost relate to the above catch-phrases.  Today's catch phrase, unfortunately, is "may cause...".

Have you noticed a) the deluge of drug commercials on American television lately and, b) how many spend half their air time discussing the possible side-effects? The euphemisms for these impacts other than what the drugs were intended for include "unwanted effects" and "adverse drug event". This makes me laugh, considering some of the effects. Let me quote from

Most drugs produce several effects. ... Not surprisingly, adverse drug reactions are common. ... Digestive disturbances - loss of appetite, nausea, a bloating sensation, constipation, and diarrhea - are particularly common. ... In older people (they're talking about me!) the brain is commonly affected, often resulting in drowsiness and confusion.

Well I don't know about you but I'd say those are all "unwanted effects". Hell, I'm old. I'm already drowsy and confused. And, hey, how can one drug cause both constipation AND diarrhea? Talk about not knowing if you're coming or going.

The other night I'm watching Dirty Harry on AMC - it's Dirty Harry week over there - and I see drug commercial after drug commercial. And, as I said, half the commercial is devoted to side effects and I'm thinking why would I take a pill that would make me feel worse than I felt before I started taking it? And then I hear something that really makes me sit up and take notice: "may cause suicidal thoughts or tendencies. If you have these thoughts or tendencies please inform your doctor." Inform my doctor? He's the guy that prescribed these drugs in the first place!!!

You laugh. But some of these pills' side effects "may cause death". Try calling your doctor after that "adverse drug event"!

You know, prior to undergoing radiation treatments for my cancer (successful by the way) the doctor explained to my wife and I that long-term effects might include brain-cell loss, whereupon my wife replied, "Oh that's alright; he's already got a good start." Thanks, hon.

But I can tell you one thing. If after taking Viagra I get a four hour erection I'm not calling my doctor. Hell, I'm gonna tweet it, blog about it and call every friggin' body I know!


Ziva said…
And if you're at a hospital and they're giving you a drug with "unwanted effects", they'll just give you another drug for the side effects! By the way, did you know that they apparently have Viagra for women too? I not sure what it's supposed to do, but I want to try it. I've always wanted a 4-hour erection.
nonamedufus said…
Ziva: But it's an endless circle: a drug to handle those side effects and another drug to cover those side effects, etc.

On the 4 hour reaction? You and me both. But if you start growing testicles I'll be forced to look at you in a whole new light. Not to mention having to call you Sven.
Don said…
Don't feel too bad. Harry Callahan himself is in his seventies, and God knows what pills he takes.
A trial lawyer here runs an ad on t.v. reminding viewers "if you have suffered side affects including "experiencing death" you may have a claim."
nonamedufus said…
Don: You went ahead and made my day. Yeah, ha,ha, we have those ads too. Like you're gonna file a claim from beyond the grave.
00dozo said…
Would you really spend all your ... ahem... "up time" bragging about it instead of, say, using it?

On those side effects, I'm almost positive I heard, "... may cause suicidal or homicidal tendancies ..." in a commercial for a depression medication.
I've always thought the same thing about those drug ads with all the disclaimers about side effects. Relatively speaking, I haven't had to take too many prescription drugs in my lifetime so I've never experienced any wonky side effects. Glad to that your cancer treatments were successful! - G
nonamedufus said…
00dozo: Oh, no, I'd put it to good use and call after. When I read that second part I thought you said homocidal tendencies. Gosh, I didn't know there was a drug for that!
nonamedufus said…
G: With my cancer, I've been a walking drug store; taking drugs with side effects to counter previous drugs and their side effects. Funny, when I was younger I would even shun aspirin. Now, unfortunately, I haven't a choice. But I always ask about side effects. Last thing I need is suicidal tendencies! Sheesh.
Quirkyloon said…
Oh my friend, how near and dear this post is to me!

As a fellow pill-taker, it's no wonder I have a muddled mind and muddled behind!


TMI, eh?

"may cause death" Ha! So you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't!
nonamedufus said…
Quirks: Exactly, it's like you can't live with them but you can't live without them.
Leeuna said…
I think I may resemble that man in the photo...except I'm a woman. I take so many pills I rattle when I walk. and yes, those commercials are hysterical. Especially the ones that say the meds can make you: dizzy, nauseated and cause you to faint on standing. I often wonder if, after hearing this, how many people ask their doctor for that particular medication.
nonamedufus said…
Leeuna: Oh. yeah, who knew some legal drugs could be so much fun!
Lisa said…
I'm not old (in my mind) but the eye doc just told me today that he sees the beginnings of cataracts. WTF?!! Please don't tell me there's pill for that too. I refuse!!! I'll go blind before they make me take a pill to see and then one of the side effects is I lose my hearing or sense of smell. Or worse, I might have old lady tendencies with my hair turning blue!!!
nonamedufus said…
Lisa:I can just hear the ads now: "May cause little old lady tendencies". lol
injaynesworld said…
I remember seeing the Airplane perform that song. Well, I don't actually remember remember -- you know, like what I was wearing or anything -- or how I got there -- or got home -- but I'm pretty sure pills were involved and the side effects were the best part.
nonamedufus said…
Jayne: heh, heh. It's like David Crosby said "If you remember the 60s you weren't there, man."
Brian Miller said…
isnt it interesting how the more pills we take the more we seem to need...hmm...nice on the goddess award as well...
nonamedufus said…
Brian Miller: It seems like an endless cycle, doesn't it.

The what award?
I thought this was clever, well written and shares a message that we can all understand.

So I gave you one of my weekly Goddess Awards which you can collect if you like, whenever you like.

Happy Blogging!
nonamedufus said…
Everyday Goddess: That award! Thanks, EG. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece and I'm honoured you'd think enough of it to lay on me such a prestigious award. I'm proudly displaying it now on my awards page. Cool.
Fragrant Liar said…
Ugh, so far, I am refusing to take meds that my doctor offers nonchalantly, but I know that one of these days I'll have to cave. But I'll protest all the way!

Congrats on the POTW.
Couple of things:

First, check out the song "Pillagers" by Sudden Death. I know there are live versions of the song on You Tube, and I'm sure there are mp3s floating around the 'Net. But, you'll love it.

Also, quick observational humor about side effects that... only I find funny, apparently.

My wife and I were watching TV when a commercial for Cialis came on. Among the side effects, listed back-to-back, were constipation and dry mouth.

I start laughing hysterically.

Jess asks me why.

I reply "Now I know that Cialis is the worst drug to be on if I like spitting in someone's face after giving them a Cleveland Steamer."

I was the only one in our household to find the remark amusing.
nonamedufus said…
Fragrant Liar: Thanks for dropping over. When you're sliding into 60 you haven't got much choice. And the doc doesn't offer me these things nonchalantly, believe me. Thanks for the congrats on the POTW. Congrats to you too on a very funny post.
nonamedufus said…
Jeremy: Having looked up the term I'd have to say I'm with your family. But what I don't understand, having watched the commercial, is how you have sex after taking cialis if you're each stuck in separate bath tubs on a hillside. Not exactly conducive to hooking up.
Linda Medrano said…
The first time I heard an ad for Cialis, I thought it was an x-rated commercial for a thinly disguised prostitute called "Alice" and wondered how they got it on the airwaves.

Honey, 60 is the new 40 so not to worry.
nonamedufus said…
Linda: The new 40? Really? lol All I can think about now is "See Alice when she was just small" Hence, the need for Cialis!
yogurt said…
I'm not a guy but I've always thought "a four hour erection" is something to enjoy, not ruin it with a trip to the doctor! Hooray for your cancer survival! This entitles you to wear the T-shirt --> Cancer is my Bitch!
nonamedufus said…
Yogurt: I agree with you completely. I should be so lucky. And on the cancer front, I am. Thanks.
Kristen Haskell said…
Great post. I am in my forties and I also have a whole schlew of meds. I have gotten to the point where I flat out give my doctor a hard time if he tries to give me anything new. Wonderful writing.
nonamedufus said…
Kristen: Thanks for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed the piece. I'm with you. Ask the doc if it's absolutely necessary.
Quirkyloon said…
Oh my friend, how near and dear this post is to me!

As a fellow pill-taker, it's no wonder I have a muddled mind and muddled behind!


TMI, eh?

"may cause death" Ha! So you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't!
Fragrant Liar said…
Ugh, so far, I am refusing to take meds that my doctor offers nonchalantly, but I know that one of these days I'll have to cave. But I'll protest all the way!

Congrats on the POTW.
I thought this was clever, well written and shares a message that we can all understand.

So I gave you one of my weekly Goddess Awards which you can collect if you like, whenever you like.

Happy Blogging!

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