posted on Jul, 24 2009 @ 12:23 AM
This is a pretty obvious conspiracy, but I was wondering if anyone had any input and commentary on it.
I look up medication information online all the time. It's a bad idea, I don't recommend it. Here's why-
There are three and a half types of people who comment on medications online.
1. People who are looking for new medications, or checking up on a medication that they take. Sometimes doctors can't provide enough information
about it, or you're looking for yourself or for a friend, or you want to see how common certain side effects are. Whatever.
2. People who are dissatisfied with a medications, are very unhappy, are a small percentage of the full population who takes the medication, and who
feel the need to let everyone else online know how awful it is. For them. If you're happy with a medication, you don't think about it. You just take
it and you don't feel the need to let others know about it.
3. This one is a hunch. And a conspiracy. People who support a competing medication who post negative things about a medication to make less people
use it. Sometimes they suggest theirs as an alternative, but that makes it obvious. Usually they just give very very low ratings with little
explanation, or citing all of the worst possible side effects.
3 1/2. People who are genuinely happy with their medications and who want others to know that it's a good medication for them.
Clearly since medications are different for everyone, from pain meds to tooth whitening products to antidepressants to whatever, reading reviews
online is kind of dumb. I still do it, and I find that it makes you more nervous about taking something than comforted. Pick any medication and you
can find horror stories about it. It's my belief that many of these stories are due to some misuse, a misunderstanding of the directions, or lies.
But I believe some of them are genuine.
I don't know, but I think that if every story about a medication online was true, many more would be discontinued. I also think that the internet is
a great, tricky place to market. And probably people endorsing one product would be proud to shoot down a competitor.
Personally I think the reviews should be removed from the internet. I think that organizations should be put up, non profit organizations, to gather
information on a regular about side effects and satisfaction about medications and present it to the public. More in-depth than the stats you find on
the little sheets of paper folded stapled to your perscription.
This way, any sponsers could be screened out. It would take some time and effort. People would have time to think, rather than going and posting as
soon as something happens with all the blame on the medication. There are mitigating factors the reader doesn't know about, other contributing
factors which could create some of the side effects recorded by someone who posts about a bad medication. There's no way for the reader to know what
is from the medication and what could be caused by something else, if the writer is on the medication at all, and much less anything about the larger
percentage of the population who takes the medication and is satisfied with it.
But at this point, tons of man-hours are spent daily writing, organizing, and reading reviews of medications and procedures, when everything depends
on the individual and only you and your doctor can decide if the benifits outweigh the risks.