Are Drug Warning Labels Preventing Side Effects?

submitted by: admin on 11/24/2019

Many people ignore prescription drug warning labels according to a study published in the June 2012 issue of the Public Library of Science online journal. There are 15 million drug errors annually in the US, 2 million hospitalizations, and 400,000 deaths.

In a study measuring eye gaze when reading a prescription drug label in people over 50 years of age, 50% failed to notice a warning label and for 22% they did not even gaze at the area! In people between 20 and 29, 90% fixated on the warning label.

Even MDs don't pay as much attention to side effects as they do to the intended effects. This is not surprising since the goal of medical treatment is usually to use a drug to prevent a symptom and the choices for treatment diminish as attention is focused on the potential complications of that drug. Direct to consumer ads are, perhaps, the worst example of how attention is focused on the benefits rather than the possible side effects, even when they are very dangerous.




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