Thursday, March 26, 2009

Freebies from the friendly GP.
For your information, be wary of drug reps bearing freebies… I sent this to all the papers I could because with what I know about how it all works, I got caught at a time of not being well and just followed doc’s orders… will be more wide eyed and bushy tailed in future

Dear Editor,
Doctors must be aware of the dangers of dispensing “Doctor’s sample” packets of medication to patients; of their responsibility to fully inform the patient of the risks of side effects; check the patient’s history and check present state of health before handing them out. People appreciate receiving samples but one I was given came in a packet without any product sheet information such as contraindications and possible serious and not so serious side effects.

Yesterday I went to the GP, for various things, one being a long standing lung infection which I couldn’t get over, and another being for a swelling in my arm after a bad fall. I was handed a sample of an anti inflammatory called Mobic. Normally I would query the medication and never take anything I hadn’t checked out myself, but as I felt worn out
from the lung infection I wasn’t aware as usual.

I took one in the afternoon and another in the early morning. My daughter asked me had I checked what it was and what it might do. I told her I had shown the packet to the Chemist, but had only asked her about how it worked to reduce inflammation.

I was horrified when I found out the possible side effects, one of which was a danger for me. After my husband’s death, I developed a high blood pressure, which was recorded in the notes the GP have had in front of her. I now have my BP under reasonable control but it can still be an issue depending on stress levels. High Blood Pressure was one of the most important contraindications.

The GP did not check my BP before giving this to me. As she had not checked my notes she had no idea if I had any of the other serious contraindications, only some of which are listed from “Drug Information Online.”
There I found out that NSAID (Mobic) can increase your risk of serious effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation (forming of a hole). These conditions can be fatal and gastrointestinal effects can occur without warning at any time while you are taking an NSAID. Older adults may have an even greater risk of these serious gastrointestinal side effects. Do not use Mobic if you are allergic to meloxicam, or to asprin or other NSAIDs. The doctor should know id you are allergic to any drugs or if you have a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot; disease, congestive heart failure; High Blood pressure a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding, bowel problems, diverticulosis; liver or kidney disease; asthma; polyps in your nose; or if you smoke.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop taking Mobic and seek medical attention or call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects: chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance; black, bloody, or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; urinating less than usual or not at all; nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness.
And there is a swag of less serious possible side effects such as upset stomach, mild heartburn or stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation; bloating, gas; dizziness, headache, nervousness, mood changes; skin itching or rash; dry mouth; increased sweating, runny nose; blurred vision; or ringing in your ears. And even this list is incomplete.
For a swelling in my arm which I only presented with as I thought there may have been bone damage, it seems that the cure could be much worse than the disease.
I will just put up with the swelling, take more anti inflammatory Cod liver Oil, and be much more vigilant in future. With such serious side effects possible it is the duty of the GP to fully explain. I would think it would be a legal requirement to provide a product sheet for any free samples provided by the very friendly Drug Rep. If not then it should be in the interests of safety.


Ann ODyne said...

I hope you get over it all real quick.

the quacks are great for splints and sutures.
that is all.

(this opinion expressed under the influence of a lot of Tramadol for the pinched sciatic nerve pain driving me nuts.)

Sara said...

Man, I hate taking medicine and it's because of scary crap like this.

FoxyMoron said...

Good God isn't that medical negligence? Glad you're okay, and thank goodness for the Therese's of this world!

Cazzie!!! said...

Mobic is a very strong medication and yes they ought to have taken your observations down and then described what the medication doe for you IF your BP was at an appropriate level.
Gah! Duty of care!

Middle Child said...

Ann o quack in melbourne (who i see when I visit my daughter) is wonderful...I have four fused vertebrae in my lower back and was in constant pain...down the sciatic nerve...She got me onto Blackmores Fish Oil 1000 - you can take up to 12 a day but four seem to fo it for me. it took about 10 days for the pain to lessen, but I have been almost pain free since I started in January...they have the big containers on special a lot...if you can get it $$$$ wise...its worth a shot...its an anti inflammatory and you can take it for life.

Sara - wise girl...being a bad patient like me can save your life...eyes wide open and don't worry about their "feelings" its your life.

Foxymoron...if they can suction my husband's lungs at the same pressure you put in your car tyres, and collapse both of them... try to cover it up...and thats not considered negligience...welll what is?

Cazzie, how many people must drop dead or arrive at emergency and are just marked down as a heart attack, strokle, internal bleeding...and because there was no prescription for these one ever knows what happened???The tip of the ice burg