Rick's Space: Pill’s side effects are worse than what ails you

Doctor Doctor Mister MD




I’m not big on going to the doctor. The way I figure it, doctors don’t make any money on healthy people. Put another way, there must be a little something wrong with everyone. My working philosophy is: If it don’t hurt, don’t worry about it.

Most everyone I know who has died was seeing a doctor at the time. At these prices, I say just go straight from good health to death and cut out the middlemen.

I watch “Jeopardy” every night on TV. There must be a lot of senior citizens who watch, because every commercial is pushing some kind of drug. Oftentimes, the potential side effects of the drug are much worse than whatever it is the pill is supposed to help.

We all know the usual warnings. It used to be, “Do not operate heavy equipment.” I get that.

“Mom, I’m going to take Judy out in the crane tonight.”

“Not if you take that Viagra, mister!”

Consider this minor little side effect: “rare cases of severe hepatic reactions, including jaundice and fatal hepatitis, liver necrosis and hepatic failure, some of them with fatal outcomes have been reported.”

This is for Torodal, an anti-inflammatory pill that people with ulcers take. So, let’s break it down. One minute you have a stomach ache because you ate some pepperoni. Next minute? You’re dead. . . and yellow.

Have a headache? Ibuprofen works, right? You can buy it anywhere, even 7-Eleven. But “if your tongue swells up and you have difficulty breathing, consult a physician.”

Imagine THAT phone call:

Me: Hawoo Derkter Tong Thwell (choking) . . .

Doctor: “Do you have health insurance? We’ll need you to read the information on the back of your card to us.”

Ambien poses an interesting risk: Some people who have taken it have performed certain activities while they were not fully awake. These have included sleep driving, making and eating food, and having sex.

Who knew?

We’ve all seen this one: “If you experience a prolonged, painful erection, stop using this medicine and seek immediate medical attention or permanent problems could occur.”

So, you go to the doctor and he says, “I don’t see any evidence of this occurring.” Now, that hurts.

It’s not just medicines that have bizarre warnings. For example, “Warning: has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice” is written on a box of rat poison, I kid you not. Hey, we’re not animals — we don’t want to give them tumors; we just want to kill them.

“Warning: do not use if you have urination problems” — this is a tough one, because I personally urinate each and every day. Is this a problem?

It’s written on a box of Midol PMS relief pills. (Alert readers will note women suffer from PMS 23 days each month, have their periods for six days and are completely normal for two days — except in September, April, June, and November. It should be noted women should be avoided at all costs on Feb. 29 unless you are carrying a crucifix.)

Not to belittle doctors, but all parents know that when our little ones were growing up, we took them to the doctor way too often, some of us every time they had a sniffle or a sneeze. This is the meat-and-potatoes of the industry — every time we walked into the office, the cash register sounded, and since our health care provider got the bills, we never knew how costly each little check-up could be. Then, after a battery of tests, which 99 percent of the time were unnecessary, we’d get prescriptions to fill, not realizing the pills were probably worse for your kid than whatever ailed him or her.

I don’t take pills. I never did. Even when I was a kid and the doctor gave me something and the directions said, “take three a day with meals” I would carefully throw one out with breakfast, one right before lunch, and one after dinner. Guess what? I didn’t die.

I told my mom I intended to live my life like a Native American warrior. She’d counter with the fact that the average life expectancy of a Native American Indian Brave was 31.

Maybe so, but the cool ones like Crazy Horse rode around with loincloths on and nothing else. Except maybe a peace pipe.