So I’m watching the tube the other day and there’s a commercial break which has me wondering what I saw in the refrigerator the last time I passed through. I hesitated, though, because you don’t want to waste a lot of energy on a fruitless refrigerator trip, and by fruitless I mean beerless. While trying to remember if I brought that case in from the garage and exactly what the Cheetos situation might be, I become conscious of some pleasant music swelling, and a glance at the screen showed me a joyful interlude, filmed through gauze, of a happy older couple, and by older I mean marginally younger than me, and by marginally I mean, eh, quite a bit. They’re engaged in some playful activity that has them spooning and billing as they used to say. It’s a pharmaceutical ad, one of those “Ask your doctor about new Repulsin” type of things. I always wondered about that concept. If you have to ask your doctor about a certain drug, whereupon he says, “Wow, I never thought of that! Let me write you a prescription for it!” don’t you think you should be looking for a new doctor?
Anyway, they’re all targeted at consumers of a certain age, mostly because the drugs favored by consumers of a certain much younger age can’t be marketed on television. I made the mistake, however, of listening to the voiceover. It’s horrifying. While the happy couple, after taking Repulsin, are rapturously prancing through a field of daisies, the voiceover is calmly informing us that it has certain side effects, including “painful swallowing, chest pain, or severe or continuing heartburn, as these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems.” Check.
Wait, they’re not done: “Side effects are generally mild or moderate and may include diarrhea, pain in the arms or legs, or upset stomach. If you develop severe bone, joint, and/or muscle pain, contact your healthcare provider.” Mild or moderate diarrhea? Right. Wait, what was I taking this for again?
There is one medication that has an interesting and famous side effect, and by side effect I mean the entire point of the treatment. I’m sure you’ve heard this famous disclaimer: “Seek immediate medical help if you experience a (certain condition) lasting more than 4 hours.” Some side effect. As computer geeks are heard to say, that’s not a bug, that’s a feature.
As shocking as all this is, the Idler has discovered something even worse. It seems there is one more popular and heavily advertised product that you should probably avoid based on its history of hideous side effects, which include: “worsening depression, thoughts of suicide, or sudden or severe changes in mood or behavior, for example feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, hyperactive, overly excited, or not being able to sleep” Sound like a bad drug trip? Think again. Those are the side effects of watching the Steeler offense.