I have long wondered about some of the medicine commercials I am bombarded with on television, or even in print ads. The one that first brought questions to mind is the Phillips Lady, who asks a group of people about constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gas, as if the product can help all of those ailments. Aren’t these opposite conditions? With one you fill up with air, the other you can only hope it is colorless and odorless. Not to be outdone there is Farxiga, which in addition to relief from constipation has also been shown in clinical studies to help lower diabetic A1C. Without a prescription I can always get Miralax to go, or Kaopectate to stop.

Maybe someday I will realize clearer skin is possible with Humira, Stenaga, or Stelera. But I may have the heartbreak of psoriasis and need Otezla, Cosentyx, or Taltz. Only my doctor or nurse practitioner can tell me for sure.

Like a majority of Americans I take medicine for blood sugar. Is the one I am taking better than Tresiba, Jardiance, or Victoza?

For those with arthritis there is always Humira (which also helps with clearer skin) or Xeljanz. I should start with over-the-counter remedies like Cosequin, Aleve, Aspercreme, Blue Emu, or Australian Dream. If it turns out to be nerve pain instead there is always Lyrica. I suspect that one does not work for someone getting on your nerves.

To help me remember to ask about these medicines at my next checkup there is always Namzaric or Prevagin.

For smokers there is Chantix. But you need to be alert for suicidal thoughts or actions. That is one sure fire way to quit smoking. Even thinking about that is enough to give a person heartburn. For that there is always Nexium, Prilosec, Zantic, or Tums.

Maybe the issue is in my blood. I do not have enough medical training to interpret my blood tests, so I leave it to my Nurse Practitioner to tell me when I might need Brilinta, Eliquis, or Xarelto. The same with Ibrance, Neulasta, Harvoni, and the HPV vaccine. I wonder if my medical team even watches these commercials that are supposed to help me figure it out for them.

Men are encouraged to take Super Beta Prostate. In addition we are supposed to ask about prescriptions for Viagra, or Cialis for daily use. Come on now guys…for daily use? Like every day of the month? In your dreams, maybe. You should be more concerned about the effects lasting more than four hours, and how to explain to the Emergency Room nurse what you have been trying to do about it for the last three hours and 45 minutes before giving up and reporting to the hospital.

All this gives me a headache. It makes my head throb even more to try and decide if I should take Aleve, Tylenol, Advil, or plain old Bayer aspirin. I think I will just shut the blinds and take a nap.

Les Shields,


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