Higher living through chemistry

By Dan Martynowicz

The modern pharmaceutical industry has created medication for everything. It really is incredible to behold; anything from high blood pressure to depression to thinning eyelashes can be solved by a medication.

Sounds great right? Just pop a pill and you’ll feel better within minutes. Like my father always says, “Higher living through chemistry.”

Warning: Reading Daniel Martynowicz’s columns has been known to cause rapid heart rate, uncontrollable laughter and insomnia. Falling madly in love with the author is also a very real possibility (ladies).

See what I did there? Just like the FDA requires pharmaceutical companies to fully disclose all side-effects of any medication advertised on television, I’m required by the Northern Star to disclose all possible side effects of reading my columns. Not really, but just roll with me on this one OK? Don’t ruin it by asking questions.

Anyway, I was watching television and was struck by the following thought: Do the benefits of taking these drugs really outweigh the alternative? Below are several prescription drugs and their side effects taken word for word from television commercials. You be the judge.

VESIcare: Taken to manage bladder leakage and reduce the urge to urinate.

Side-effects: Abdominal pain, constipation, dry mouth, blurred vision, indigestion.

My thoughts: You may not wet the bed as often, but you won’t be able to find the toilet because you’re blind and doubled over with constipation pain.

Abilify: Prescription Depression Medication

Side-effects: Worsening depression, suicidal thoughts, high fever, stiff muscles, confusion, and uncontrollable muscle movements which might be permanent. High blood sugar is possible, which can lead to coma or death. Decreases in white blood cells, dizziness upon standing, seizures, trouble swallowing, and impaired judgment or motor skills may occur.

My Thoughts: Dear God in heaven, are you serious? This sounds like radiation sickness.

Ambien CR: Prescription sleeping medication

Side Effects: When taking Ambien CR, don’t drive or operate machinery. Sleepwalking and eating or driving while not fully awake with memory loss of the event as well as abnormal behaviors like being more outgoing or aggressive than normal, confusion, agitation and hallucinations may occur. Don’t take it with alcohol as it may increase these behaviors. Allergic reactions such as shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue or throat may occur and in rare cases may be fatal. Side effects may include next day drowsiness, dizziness and headache. In patients with depression, worsening of depression including the risk of suicide is possible.

My thoughts: This drug is essentially “Paranormal Activity 4” in a pill. I had no idea demonic possession required a doctor’s note. I hope my HMO covers exorcism.