FDA review process of drugs

Q: I have always been pre-hypertensive. At age 48 I agreed to go on some BP meds to appease my life insurance company in order to lower my premium: Lotrel 5-20. I had a stroke 4 months later. Why is it that it takes a Freedom of Information request to find out the real adverse side effects of these dangerous drugs?

A: If you have been following the news, you understand that studies showing positive outcomes are the ones that get reported. Negative results aren’t always presented by the manufacturer. The FDA review process determines if benefits of a drug seem to outweigh the risks. Serious side effects may not be publicly discovered until many people have been taking the drug for a long period of time. A recent example of this is the association of the arthritis drug Vioxx and heart disease. To learn more about the FDA review process click here.

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