Have you noticed all the drug commercials on television and the radio trying to get your attention? The author of this article points out the pharmaceutical advertising which is targeted toward females from the time you go through puberty all the way up to menopause and beyond. Be assured, they have a menopause treatment for you!
Please be aware of this. It is called scare tactics to get you to succumb to the fear they are constantly trying to create.
You can have much more control of your body by natural methods than they want you to believe.
Drugs In Search Of A Disease – Pharma Targets Women
Last week I focused on drug advertisement for “Low T” catching up with all the attention given to menopausal women with declining hormones .
But women still are the primary targets for pharmaceutical advertising, in part because they can be captured for multiple products—if not quite from the cradle, at least from puberty, through pregnancy, to menopause and to grave.
What are some of the consequences of this relentless focus on women’s hormones and common symptoms? For one, it seems to promote a nation of hypochondriacs. It is extremely profitable for pharmaceutical companies, but it is not so good for the target of this attention, women.
For example, for the younger set, we have a new illness, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
In my day, it was moodiness at “that time of the month,” more typically known as bitchiness. We didn’t have an ICD-9 or DSM code. We had uncomfortable days but knew that this, too, would pass.
Now cyclical hormones are a disease. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, revision four, made the diagnosis official, although “an example of a depressive disorder not otherwise specified.” It is said to affect 3-8% of reproductive age women.
Not everyone agrees that PMDD warrants a distinct psychiatric diagnosis. In 1999, the FDA adopted PMDD as a distinct disorder for treatment.
But PMDD is no longer a disease in search of its own drug. Eli Lilly has taken care of that problem, initially rebranding Prozac as Sarafem, “the first and only FDA – approved prescription drug to treat PMDD and ‘help you feel more in control.’ ”
Other pharmaceutical companies have followed suit, and now several selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have approval for this indication. Sometimes these drugs are prescribed to be taken intermittently, only during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (the two weeks before menstruation).
Some have raised concern that the intermittent administration of SSRIs for PMDD might contribute to increased suicides. Another concern is that of drug interactions, as many of these women are also on oral contraceptives. Who knows what unintended consequences there might be with this combination (as well as the myriad of other drugs taken for symptomatic relief?)
Judy Stone, MD is an infectious disease specialist, experienced in conducting clinical research. She is the author of Conducting Clinical Research, the essential guide to the topic.
She survived 25 years in solo practice in rural Cumberland, Maryland, and is now broadening her horizons. She particularly loves writing about ethical issues, and tilting at windmills in her advocacy for social justice.
Do your research always, no matter what. Get second opinions whether it is for a menopause treatment or you are younger and having some kind of hormone issues. There are natural ways to balance hormones for most people. Seek out alternative methods first and try them. They may just be what your body was looking for.
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