Medication A caused vomiting and diarrhea in 4% of test subjects during approval trials for the Food and Drug Administration.
Medication B caused hives in 2% of test subjects during approval trials for the Food and Drug Administration.
Medication C caused sneezing in 0.5% of test subjects.
What do these statistics mean for you in routine use of these medications?
If ten of your family members take medication A should you expect four of you to experience vomiting and diarrhea?
During approval trials every clinical sign experienced by every participant must, by law, be reported.
Medication C caused sneezing in 25% of test subjects. Medication C was produced to control signs and discomfort from inhalant allergies. How do victims of inhalant allergies suffer? Runny nose, cough, red itchy eyes and sneezing. Does this mean that 25% of those taking Medication C suffered sneezing caused by Medication C?
Very likely at least 25% of inhalant allergy patients were already sneezing before they began the medication! Yet, because they experienced sneezing during trials, sneezing had to be reported as a possible side effect of Medication C.
So, please understand that when reading the package insert or clinical trials performed for approval of a medication that not every “side effect” listed is going to be one that patients will experience.
As always, ask your pet’s doctor if you have questions about a medication or your pet experiences what you think may be a side effect.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.