Another day, another warning about a drug

I can’t emphasize it enough, but then, so many of you still aren’t paying enough attention: Every drug has side effects and potential complications (aka adverse effects).

And those AEs happen to people.

And the person the AE happens to may be you.

And afar too often, we don’t discover what those AEs are until many years after the drug has long been on the market.

Also, if you know anything about numbers, the benefits of drugs happen only to some people, not to everyone who takes the drug.

So it’s no surprise that every week, there are several reports of drugs that, well, we need to be more careful about than we’ve likely been.

All of which leads to this report out this week: Young people who get 3 or more prescriptions in a year for a systemic corticosteroid treatment (most often, an oral cortisone) have a significantly higher risk of suffering an AE than younger people who don’t get such prescriptions.

Now, many prescriptions for oral steroids are life-saving but according to this report, many people get oral steroids just to help them get over a case of bronchitis a little faster, which is – my opinion here – a shameful use of such medication.

For the bottom line, I can do no better than cite a quote from the lead author of this report, who was clearly aiming this at doctors and other health care professionals: “If you don’t absolutely need to give a patient, don’t.”