I always tell my patients that prescription drugs are as effective— and dangerous— as razor blades and should be handled with just as much care.
This wire story about a patient suing GlaxoSmithKline and alleging harm from medication side-effects caught my attention because the claims being made were so unusual…
A French father-of-two is to take GlaxoSmithKline to court on Tuesday, alleging the British firm’s drug to treat Parkinson’s disease turned him into a gay sex and gambling addict.
The 51-year-old’s lawyers say their client’s behaviour changed radically after he was first administered the drug in 2003 for the illness, which causes tremors, slows movement and disrupts speech.
Didier Jambart, a married father-of-two who says he has attempted suicide three times, claims he became addicted to Internet gambling, losing the family’s savings and stealing to feed his habit.
He also became a compulsive gay sex addict and began exposing himself on the Internet and cross-dressing. His risky sexual encounters led to him being raped, his lawyers said.
The behaviour stopped when he stopped taking the drugs in 2005 but by then he had been demoted in his defence ministry job and was suffering from psychological trauma resulting from his addictions, his lawyers said.
More Details Here
I don’t have an opinion about the merit of these claims. There is much we don’t know about neurotransmitters and the drugs we use to manipulate them.
What I do know is that the side-effects, misuse, over-prescription and interactions between prescription drugs is a MAJOR health care problem everywhere, all the time, every day. That is the real story but, as so often happens, the real story is crowded about by the sensational and extremely rare cases.
If I had just one wish, and could use it to improve the health of older people, I would put an end to the overuse of prescription drugs among elders.