I have received a few comments from people wanting more information about the medical studies. Specifically they wonder if I am worried about the safety of the trials and how one finds a clinical trial to participate in. I´ve covered these topics in previous posts and comments but I´ll try to sum up the information here.
The safety of clinical trials is not something I worry about too much. There is some risk but I think many people vastly overestimate the risk. Many times the drugs I´m taking are already approved drugs but being administered in a different form. Even if they are not already approved drugs they have been extensively tested by the time they have a clinical trial. There are medical staff frequently monitoring you for any signs of side effects so if something were to go wrong they could promptly take care of it. I´ve done at least a dozen medical studies and for most of them I have felt no effects at all. The exceptions were one drug that gave me a headache and a sleeping pill which (not surprisingly) put me to sleep.
While people overestimate the risk of clinical trials I think they underestimate the risk of over-the-counter and prescription medicine. I don´t take any prescription medicine and rarely take any over-the-counter medicine. About half of Americans take at least one prescription drug and one in six take three drugs or more. I couldn’t find statistics on how frequently over-the-counter drugs are taken but since they account for the majority of the medications used in the United States it seems safe to assume they are used more frequently. This leads me to conclude that I take less medication than the average American and am probably not exposed to any more risk than average.
The recent deaths of celebrities such as Danny Gans and Michael Jackson show that just because a medication is prescribed doesn´t mean it is safe. Over-the-counter drugs are also pose dangers as shown by the new acetaminophen warnings that came out earlier this year. Heath Ledger is a famous example of the danger of abusing over-the-counter drugs. This is why I don´t normally take any medication unless I really need it.
If you are wondering how to find a study to participate in it is pretty simple. In my area and other areas I´ve lived there would be advertisements on TV and in the newspaper for upcoming clinical trials. If you don´t see any ads in your area check out ClinicalTrials.gov and GPGP.net to see if there are any clinical trials being conducted in your area.
6 thoughts on “Participating in Clinical Trials”
Andy, being that I am an RN I will keep my comments on this one to myself.
You serious? A lot of these drugs have unknown side effects that don’t really come up until the post-marketing phase (I think that’s what it’s called) where the drug is on the market. You are definitely very brave, as the drugs aren’t truly fully ‘tested.’
The fact that the side effects don´t show up until they are on the market would mean that people taking these drugs once they are on the market are taking the same risk as me but they aren´t getting paid to take them. That point is in my favor.
Andy, I went to one of thoss links and was surprised to see more than 850 trials for my city ! How do you find out if there is a monetary payment for participation ? None of the ones I looked at said anything aboyt compensation. Thx — oh and check out my deals and subscrobe too 🙂 http://www.icoulduseadeal.blogspot.com;
almost all of the trials will offer compensation. You might have to call them to find out how much.
This site will help you find clinical trials that pay good money for participating in. Use the free services here to find the highest paying clinical trials in your area.