Ask Your Doctor

Just saw a commercial for Ozempic. It basically shows a bunch of attractive people saying either they take this medication or asking what it is. It is not explained, and I have seen this in regard to many medications that may actually be for diabetes, IBS, modifying the immune system response for autoimmune conditions, etc. It seems to have the advantage of making a medicine seem relatively trendy (as far as this goes) without having to mention any side effects or even making any claims, which might require evidence.

But who really asks their doctor about random medications? Some must, drug companies are savvy and would not waste time on this if it didn’t work. But I can’t say I’ve personally seen a lot of folks do this.

After my doctor switched one of my pills to Abilify, I felt much better and the shaking of my hands was greatly reduced. I saw an ad for the related new drug Rixulti and asked my doctor about it. He said it wasn’t covered by my insurance.

True story.

My patients ask me all the time about advertised drugs. They have ever since it became legal in the US for pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to the patient. Even now, with my patients having no internet access; they still bring in articles/ads about these meds.

Maybe canadians are less susceptible to such blandishments?

The problem (solution?) is drug advertising laws in Canada allow commercials to either mention the name of the drug or what symptoms it treats, but not both. So you can have a group of young, happy people on a sail boat and mention “Lymvesteride” or you can have those same happy people on a boat and knowing that they are suffering from disfiguring eye warts.

This is opposed to the US where you can mention both but you also have to list every possible side effect that could happen, from hangnails to death.

I feel I should also mention that I have psiorasis. The lists of possible side effects from drugs designed to treat this condition have convinced me that my psoriasis isn’t that bad.

Of course, sometimes the drug company considers mentioning the side effects to be a plus, especially if those side effects can last over four hours.

The oral chemo I was on paired with radiation put me in hospital almost at the point of organ shutdown from dehydration, but I figured that once stabilized I needed to get the final 8 days of treatments and so did my doc … 2 years later I am alive and kicking [mostly] Would I take it again, knowing what it did? Yup. Would I recommend it? Yup with advice on how to deal with the symptoms.

Sometimes you just have to trust the specialist and the pharmacist to be on point with your medications.

Is this true? Drugs in medical journals often mention both the name, generic name and symptoms treated? Maybe different rules?


Monograph type ads are fine, lifestyle advertising isn’t:

Information for prescription drug manufacturers

Websites of pharmaceutical manufacturers must either:

  • be non-promotional in nature
  • comply with federal advertising requirements

We allow 2 types of prescription drug messages directed to consumers:

  • reminder ads, which:
    • are limited to the name, price and quantity of a prescription drug
    • do not include reference to a disease state
  • help-seeking messages, which:

There is a blurb with Whoopi Goldberg that pops up between YouTube items. It is like this: three seconds of Whoopi sitting in a chair, she looks into the camera and says Ask your doctor about Ramshackle. Two more seconds, end of commercial. There is no indication of what Ramshackle is supposed to do – maybe it fixes your Whoopie?

Did it give a generic name?

I asked my doc if patients asked for advertised drugs.

He said yes, and that it greatly irritated him. He said they ask for drugs for ailments they do not have.

I think that side effect can be controlled with a side-prescription of mycoxafloppin.

Sometimes I irritate those in the room with me by making jokes about this. It’s usually along the lines of being frustrated with keeping track of all of these medicines so I can ask my doctor about them.

One of the commercials shows people at meetings or in classes or golfing awaiting others who don’t show up. It kind of implies they are having wild monkey sex or something. But it is for a immunosuppressant aimed at people with inflammatory bowel disease. As only a small fraction of people do, it makes me wonder about the intended audience. It seems strange to me.

After doing some research on various diseases at the British Museum, Jerome somehow concluded that he has all the diseases known to man except for housemaid’s knee.

There’s no advertising of prescription only meds to the public in the UK, but you can advertise OFC drugs. I was perusing the rules, one of which is

You cannot quote recommendations by scientists, healthcare professionals or celebrities

And from this, I’m guessing that toothpaste doesn’t count. Are there ANY toothpaste ads which don’t come with dentist recommendations?

Paraphrasing Dave Barry: If you suggest to your doctor that s/he should prescribe a drug you saw on TV, s/he is going to be pissed because they have 12 years of med school and you don’t know dick. And then they are going to order a test done on you where they take a small chunk of your liver once a week for four months. Because reasons?

@burpo_the_wonder_mutt Stop revealing our secrets!

^ Heh, heh, heh.