Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When Physicians Drown in Noise

The infrequent side effects of Paxil
(Click to enlarge)

I was just trying to look up the side effects of Paxil and was greeted to this incredible and quite ridiculous array of potential side effects.

I had to ask myself: how helpful is such a list? Why do we have this noise available to us?

The answer, of course, is obvious to anyone who understands our legal system in America.

But we should ask ourselves another question: in our effort to assure patient safety, might we be losing important signals to care-givers amongst the recesses of all of this incredible noise?



Anonymous said...

Yes, but that one is likely to "gift" rather persistent and unpleasant SEs. Sort of seems to take patients minds off their original anxieties to focus on the SEs... which may be a positive in disguise?


Lisa said...

I can see why that may lose you. But the list gave me about 4 reasons that I was right to refuse that medication when it was offered. I refused it because chemo fatigue is not depression. I never even looked at the list.

Anonymous said...

that looks like the back-of-the-book index from Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine or the Merck's Manual (... damn I'm getting old... haha)

Leslie said...

I totally get that. I have stopped looking at drug interactions on my electronic medical record because there are just too many, and the vast majority are not clinically significant. This means that last week, when I had a patient whose nasty ear infections were not responding to azithromycin and I changed him to levofloxacin, I got a call from the pharmacist asking if I realized this combination could cause prolonged QT syndrome. I haven't found a happy medium for myself.