Warning: Our Product May Do The Opposite Of What We Say - Macleans.ca

Warning: Our Product May Do The Opposite Of What We Say


I saw this commercial yesterday, and while I know it’s not uncommon for medicine ads to have long lists of side effects in voice-over, this one seemed to stand out for me. It’s not all that long a list of side effects by the standards of other commercials, so it might have just caught my attention because the subject interested me personally (I have asthma). But mostly because I just found it such a mind-scramble that a commercial for an asthma medication would warn us that this very product might “increase the risk of asthma-related death.” (The regulatory agency forced them to include this warning due to a study that was published in 2006.) It’s like if Mr. Clean had a voice-over saying “Warning: may actually make your counter-tops dirtier.”


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Warning: Our Product May Do The Opposite Of What We Say

  1. Many antidepressants increase risk of suicide, too.

    And cleaning products, while designed to protect us from dirtiness, obviously *are* toxic if used improperly. Advertisers just aren’t forced to say as much in their commercials.

  2. It's far from clear whether or not antidepressants "increase risk of suicide". Rather some people who take anti-depressants kill themselves (but probably a lot more would do so if they didn't take medication) . There's correlation but not necessarily causation.

    Same thing with this asthma medication I suspect.

    It would be more accurate to say "this medication won't work for everyone", but, of course, a**-covering has to be the highest priority.

    • The process put forth by the medical "community" is that while in the grip of a true
      Black Dog the suicidal thought may be present but the energy to act on it is not there.

      Tx with antidepressants can lead to the point where the energy level is increased while
      the suicidal thought is still present and can be acted on. If the person gets past that point
      there can be continued improvement … temporary or permanent.

      At least that's how it is explained .. not the medication itself so much as a risk inherent in
      the "healing" process.

  3. I find it a mind-scramble that these pharmaceutical comps can advertise on TV at all — sending people to their lazy doctors who are only too willing to prescribe something based on a feel-good TV ad.

  4. Wow Jaime. We should braid each others hair. I saw that ad too and had the same reaction. I've always been uncomfortable with the idea of ads agitating patients to pressure their doctors for treatment options, but this seemed like some sort of rubicon had been crossed.