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Tuesday 9 June 2009

"side effects", or "you could die horribly while we claim to be fixing you"

Someone recommended the new drug Humira, which is apparently just now listed on the PBS, so its price is restricted. Works WONDERS for psoriasis, I was told.

Since I've also just been told that the endlessly open wound on my back is a psoriasis lesion, when I had previously thought I only had a small patch on my toes, suddenly a "cure" seems more relevant. So I went to, and looked up the Patient Information for Humira.

Dear God. I think I'd have to have oozing psoriasis lesions all over my head and body before I'd even contemplate this stuff.

Side Effects:

Type 1:

* Severe Rash, hives or other sign of allergic reaction
* Swollen face, hands, feet
* Trouble breathing, swallowing
* Shortness of breath with exertion or upon lying down or swelling of the feet (sorry - what? Shortness of breath with (a) or upon (b) or (c)? And... Why would you have shortness of breath with swelling of the feet? If not, why mention swelling of the feet? Didn't we cover that in the 2nd OMGWE'REGOINGTODIE point above?)
* Signs and symptoms suggestive of blood disorders such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, paleness (please play again - there are no "blood disorders such as ... etc". Oh, "signs and symptoms such as..." - well, sorry, but that's not what you said)

These are very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are rare.

Type 2:

* Persistent cough, weight loss, listlessness, fever (although weight loss would look good on me, if I get any more listless I may remain horizontal forever, so... bad.)
* Signs of infection such as fever, malaise, wounds, dental problems, burning on urination ("malaise" - definition: (1) a condition of general bodily weakness or discomfort; (2) a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy or discomfort. Not really a "sign of infection" per se. Also "dental problems"...?)
* Signs of nervous system disorders such as numbness or tingling throughout your body, arm or leg weakness, double vision
* A bump or open sore that doesn't heal (wait... that's the problem I'm having NOW. hmmmm)

These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.

Type 3:
* Injection site reactions (including pain, swelling, redness or itching)
* Upper respiratory tract infections (such as bronchitis, pneumonia)
* Headache, dizziness
* Increased Cough (randomly capitalised word, perhaps the writer thought he was in Germany briefly. Would that be "thought he was in Germany for a brief span of time" or "for a moment, thought he was in Germany"? Yes, I even heckle myself.)
* Abdominal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, (ha! random end-of-sentence comma that belongs nowhere!)
* Rash, itching
* Fatigue
* Urinary Tract Infection

These are the more common side effects.

You know, according to this, I might already be taking this medication.