The endless TV ads for drugs never ceases to amaze me. They are after all prescription, you can’t just find them at your local supermarket. It needs a doctor to write the little note that you then give to a Pharmacist who supplies the pills or potions.

Does the advertising of a drug on TV have any effect on sales? I do not know.

One of the more bizarre aspects of these drug ads is the FDA’s requirement that side effects be disclosed. One of my favorites being an erectile dysfunction drug that tells the viewer that if they have an erection  lasting more than 4 hours medical help should be sought. I seriously doubt that any guy would call for help, rather he would be saying “wow I am a teenager again”!

These drug ads also offer advice on things to avoid. If you are higher than a kite, do not operate heavy equipment. Others suggest moderation in drinking, booze may change the effectiveness of the drug. These are all very reasonable suggestions. They make perfect sense. Slightly less easy to make sense of is the almost rote statement, concerning suicidal tendencies and death. You are advised to stop taking the medication!

Today on the TV I saw a new twist. There is drug aimed to assist bi-polar disorder, it goes by the name Latuda. Along with the popular death warnings, it offers this sage advice:

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while you take LATUDA since these can affect the amount of LATUDA in the blood.

You can read the warning here.

Clearly LATUDA has something about Grapefruits. Is it a personal vendetta? Grapefruits and Oranges are remarkably similar other than sweetness. My guess is that there must be some bad blood between Latuda and some Grapefruit farmers.

Simon Barrett

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