"Miracle drugs! Pills for your ills! Cure-all creams! Step right up....... sucker!"
If you look at the media ads on television and in magazines you will find a "miracle" drug for whatever ails you. From RLS, (restless leg syndrome), to arthritis, to dry eye problems, to erectile dysfunction, to vaginal dryness, there's a miracle drug or cream. The pharmaceutical companies tout these products with the same zeal and fervor formerly seen in snake-oil salesmen of the late 1800's. "Miracle drugs! Pills for your ills! Cure-all creams! Step right up....... sucker!"
But there is one difference in the ineffective but harmless "medicines" (usually a concoction containing castor oil and syrup), those snake-oil salesmen were selling and the highly touted miracle pills of 2012. The ones that are so easily obtainable today can literally damage or kill you.
The warnings list everything from dizziness, faintness, and nausea to sudden death! Sudden death?! I can hear a hurried conversation taking place in a pharmaceutical board meeting now.
"Yes, well, Jim, Caryn, thank you for bringing this to the board's attention. It's true, we do know, sudden death is a bit of a problem. I mean the drug is good, effective, and approved by the FDA. It would be perfect if it wasn't for that SD warning. But, you know, what can we do? That's life....or, ummm, death, uh, I guess."
Have you seen the commercial for sleeping aids that show happy, seemingly healthy, people (who have obviously taken this drug) walking outside in the sunshine while the announcer says:
"People who have taken this medication have sleepwalked, prepared or eaten food, made phone calls, or had sex while not fully awake. Often, these people do not remember these events. This problem can be dangerous to you or to others. If you find out that you have done any of these activities after taking this medication, tell your doctor right away."
Prepared food? Eaten? Had sex? All without remembering? And this is on the market?
Another one for a popular pain med that I have taken for achiness after tennis says that users may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness on one side of your body, indicating a stroke, and slurred speech. These events can occur without warning and can lead to loss of life.
The possibility of a stroke is bad enough, but the wording "loss of life" has scared me enough to switch painkillers and not to take anything at all unless there is real pain not just discomfort.
Now I realize that all products, even baby aspirin are required to carry warnings, but still some of the drugs seem to have warnings on their labels that make a person have to choose between feeling better or being dead. And sometimes dead isn't the worst effect. There's something called severe senility and loss of quality of life.
A good example is a hormonal vaginal cream taken by many women. It is prescribed by doctors for menopausal women to relieve vaginal dryness and burning. Women who use it say it not only makes sex comfortable, it also promotes vaginal health making this area feel pretty much as normal as before menopause. A cure-all cream indeed! There's only one problem - it can cause dementia.
The choice between having a normal sex life by using the cream and possibly getting dementia or not using it and having an uncomfortable dry vagina, but less risk of dementia, is a tough decision. Since we're living longer, we definitely want to have good quality of life and that includes healthy, normal sex. Do we have to choose between dryness and dementia? It's a no-win situation to my way of thinking. I really am not looking forward to having to choose between the two in my future.
Men don't get off so easily either, no pun intended. Even with the popular erectile dysfunction cure-all pills for men there comes a major warning. Men taking these pills may be in danger of priapism, a painful erection that lasts for more than four hours and develops when blood in the penis becomes trapped and unable to drain. If the condition is not treated immediately, it can lead to scarring and permanent penile damage. So the drug you're taking to help your sex life can possibly end your sex life, now there's a conundrum. How do you win in this case?
I hate to think what these choices are doing to society. If we take them we risk dementia and death; if we choose not to take the risks we're going to end up being dry, flaccid, doped up, and frustrated. We'll be living......in a matter of speaking, longer.
We just won't be enjoying it.
twoday magazine wants to know: What is more important....quality or quantity of life? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
© 2012 Kristen Houghton all rights reserved
Need some laughter in your life? Read Kristen Houghton's new e-book: No Woman Diets Alone - There's Always a Man Behind Her Eating a Doughnut available on Kindle, Nook, and all e-book venues.
The Writers Review calls it, “A brilliantly funny, irreverent romp through marital misadventures told completely tongue-in-cheek by one of the newest and best writers today. No Woman Diets Alone is a wonderful gem of a book. Houghton takes relationships to a whole new level of hilarity!"
Or give the book the Houston Chronicle calls, "Savvy, sane advice for all! Highly recommended, Houghton is a gem of a writer!"
And Then I'll Be Happy! Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness and Put Your Own Life First