View Full Version : "impartial" opinions on medication?


ben37
09-02-09, 09:10 AM
just joined this site , i have recently been diagnosed and i think i am going to be prescribed strattera. I decided to see other peoples experiences. I have found vastly differing opinions!! Heres a thought.... bearing in mind what a huge multi million dollar industry the pharmacutical business is....... is it cynical of me to wonder wether these forums could be hijacked by people with an vested interest in the promotion of certain types of medication, or even negetive propaganda about others! Like any large company i am sure that they have teams of people and millions to spend on promotion and the advancement of their products. Knowing how, anecdotal evidence, hearsay and rumour are in imprinting opinions in peoples minds, it would make sense to fill these forums with "members" with a hidden agenda! now maybe paranioa, cynicysm and an over active imagination are part of my "disorder" still I thought it is a fair point to make!

meriwether
09-02-09, 09:25 AM
Hey Ben,
It is a smart questions, but as a former employee of a pharmaceutical company, who just happens to have ADD, I can absolutely say that they would not do this.
They think in broad terms of marketing....commercials, and brochures...etc. There are way too many forums on the internet for them to post positive things and then monitor the possible negative feedback that may arise from those post. Plus, there are tons of generic drugs and mutiple companies that make the different generics. It would be a waste of time for them to post anything.
Politicians and fly by night attys on tv love to make pharmaceutical companies look like these super bad vultures who are sitting waiting to feed on the weak, but I can tell you that they are so heavily monitored by the FDA that they would not dream of setting themselves up for the fines that would occur should they be discovered on here. It would just not happen. You are ok. Trust your doctor.

Imnapl
09-02-09, 09:26 AM
Ben, are you always this judgmental? You haven't been a member of these forums long enough to make an informed opinion about these forums. I pay $1500 a month for a new drug that just might slap my immune system upside the head and knock some sense into it and I am thankful that some drug company keeps putting money into research so they can develop new drugs because the old ones don't work for some people.

If you take the time to really read the forums (I'm talkin' years, here), you would also know that ADDForums is a well moderated forum and people with hidden or visible agendas soon realize they have to play by the rules or they leave.

The search function works pretty good too.

Welcome to ADDForums.

Archon
09-02-09, 10:44 AM
is it cynical of me to wonder wether these forums could be hijacked by people with an vested interest in the promotion of certain types of medication, or even negetive propaganda about others!

It's not cynical at all. You'll often find that people (or one bored, soulless person) will create accounts, write one or two subversive posts and disappear into the sunset.

Is it cynical of me to think a good portion of these posts are motivated by Scientology (a corporation/religion).

DobieDebbi
09-02-09, 10:51 AM
When we are first diagnosed, it is a blessing and curse wrapped together. None of us want to believe that we may need a drug for any reason. But the journey has started to correct a problem we know has existed for a long time...with no name to put to it, no explanation of what was going on. Now, it is a matter of making ourselves be bluntly honest about it so that we can tell what is really working. It is/will be a process that we can somewhat compare results with each other. Read everything you can on this condition; read everything you can on the drugs that are involved in treatment; read medical journels and forums like this and then compare it with how you are feeliing as time goes on. You can trust yourself first. What you find out from others later will help you get the big picture and a better feeling about what information to sort out as "nonapplicable" to me. One of the problems with having ADHD is that we sometimes get bored with the investigative work it takes to make good decisions. But, it has to be done.

Imnapl
09-02-09, 11:25 AM
It's not cynical at all. You'll often find that people (or one bored, soulless person) will create accounts, write one or two subversive posts and disappear into the sunset.

Is it cynical of me to think a good portion of these posts are motivated by Scientology (a corporation/religion).Like Defeat (fill in the blank) Now?

andyum
09-02-09, 12:01 PM
I can assure that I have no ties to the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, I went 48 years without taking medication of any kind (let alone for my ADD) so I did not take the decision to try meds lightly. I am now on ritalin and glad that I decided to try it. But, as a previous poster stated, trust your doc.

chartreuse
09-02-09, 11:29 PM
Hey Ben,
It is a smart questions, but as a former employee of a pharmaceutical company, who just happens to have ADD, I can absolutely say that they would not do this.
They think in broad terms of marketing....commercials, and brochures...etc. There are way too many forums on the internet for them to post positive things and then monitor the possible negative feedback that may arise from those post. Plus, there are tons of generic drugs and mutiple companies that make the different generics. It would be a waste of time for them to post anything.
Politicians and fly by night attys on tv love to make pharmaceutical companies look like these super bad vultures who are sitting waiting to feed on the weak, but I can tell you that they are so heavily monitored by the FDA that they would not dream of setting themselves up for the fines that would occur should they be discovered on here. It would just not happen. You are ok. Trust your doctor.

I just spent over an hour typing out a huge response to this, but got my tabs mixed up when trying to copy over links and managed to erase the whole thing.

I simply don't have the energy to recreate it tonight (I will try again tomorrow), but for now I will just say this: The pharmaceutical companies, like all corporations, think in terms of one thing only - PROFIT. Brochures and commercials are infinitely more expensive than the Internet, which has built-in advantages for those who want to spread misinformation or give false impressions of support. One - it's free, two - it's anonymous. And three - you can post something on one site and it will be copied to dozens of other sights by morning. I've got to be blunt - it's delusional to think that they marketing departments of these companies aren't making use of the Internet in exactly the way the OP described.

As for the FDA "heavily regulating" pharmaceutical companies....REALLY? Then how do dangerous drugs keep making it to the market, and we only find out after the fact that the studies showed huge problems from the get-go? If the FDA actually regulated drugs in the manner they should, this simply wouldn't keep happening. And it is more than a little obvious that if the FDA isn't competently regulating the drugs themselves, why would they be twisting themselves up over regulating postings on the Internet? Also, assuming the marketing depts. of the pharmaceutical companies are smart enough to use computers and accounts that can't be traced back to them, how is it exactly that you think the FDA would "regulate" this kind of behavior in the first place?

fxfake
09-03-09, 12:10 AM
As for the FDA "heavily regulating" pharmaceutical companies....REALLY? Then how do dangerous drugs keep making it to the market, and we only find out after the fact that the studies showed huge problems from the get-go? If the FDA actually regulated drugs in the manner they should, this simply wouldn't keep happening

A "dangerous" drug might be recalled because it kills a few dozen people, even if it saves many more lives. To put this in perspective, a car with a similar number of users will kill thousands of people, and may kill hundreds more people than a similar, but safer, car.

There are few industries that are more regulated than the pharmaceutical industry. It's an industry where the more you regulate, the more you risk denying people life-saving and live-changing treatments. Regulate less and you risk another thalidomide (which, ironically, is now an FDA approved drug); regulate more and you will make people suffer and die.

People do get hurt from meds, but the vast majority of those cases are because of errors on the part of a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, patient, etc. Making the approval process more highly regulated would not change this.

Imnapl
09-03-09, 12:43 AM
Chartreuse, you make some excellent points that have got me thinking, but it took me some time to figure out why I hadn't thought that employees of drug companies were posing as concerned parents or patients and posting on discussion forums. They very well might be. Just a thought: when members of groups who lobby against people taking psychotropic medication, they strongly encourage people to take alternative medications or treatment.

Customers of at least one, expensive, alternative, non-medicinal, therapy gave customers a healthy kick back for every referral they brought to the clinic which generated a lot of traffic on any discussion board who allowed it.

It occurred to me that if one wants to discourage someone from doing or taking something, it is best to encourage or substitute another desired behaviour. In my experience, people who question or challenge the reports of supplements or alternative therapies curing or decreasing symptoms of ADHD don't then suggest that someone take a specific medication and / or a specific brand of medication. In fact, some people are uncomfortable when new members insist upon discussing dosages and dosing schedules of medications and never post about their life with ADHD when medication is only a small part of dealing with ADHD on a daily basis.

I notice balance. When the scales tip, I become distracted and then curious. I like to know how things work and why people do the things they do.

Recently, I have started taking a new drug for arthritis and have spent the last two weeks visiting forums that discuss arthritis and treatments. The subject of alternative treatments comes up just as often as it comes up here; the same people who are selling treatments spam ADHD and arthritis sites; but there seems to be more acceptance regarding the use of very serious medications. Why? Is it because one is mostly physical and the other is mostly mental?

ysabeau
09-03-09, 04:19 AM
Its not beyond the realms of possibility, but it's highly unlikely.

Trooper Keith
09-03-09, 08:45 AM
Impartial opinion:

Strattera has a reputation for working better to treat the inattentive type of ADHD. It does less for hyperactivity and impulsivity because those problems are generally believed to be issues of dopamine downregulation. The variety of opinions you see may well be split between people with inattentive type versus combined type or hyperactive/impulsive type ADHD.

Or I might be an Eli Lilly shill. :rolleyes:

meriwether
09-03-09, 10:05 AM
Drugs do not get easily passed through the FDA. Sometimes it takes millions of "patient lives" to figure out the small subset that react poorly to some medications. I blame the ambulance chaser attorneys who fill the people's heads with this kind of paranoia.

Bottom line, if you do not trust your doctor then find another one.

plindboe
09-03-09, 11:21 PM
Strattera has a reputation for working better to treat the inattentive type of ADHD. It does less for hyperactivity and impulsivity because those problems are generally believed to be issues of dopamine downregulation.

That's interesting. Do you know if there are any studies indicating this?

Not because I doubt it. I'm the inattentive type as well, and Strattera has had a very positive effect (until I had to go down in dosage due to hypertension :().

Peter :)

Kiddder
09-03-09, 11:29 PM
It's MY opinion that the pharmacutical companies have always done it and have far more influence incenting the individual doctors to Rx their product than manipilate forum media.....what, nobody read the Pfizer settlement in paper today?

plindboe
09-04-09, 12:04 AM
Heres a thought.... bearing in mind what a huge multi million dollar industry the pharmacutical business is....... is it cynical of me to wonder wether these forums could be hijacked by people with an vested interest in the promotion of certain types of medication, or even negetive propaganda about others!

I don't find it cynical, it's certainly worth a thought. That said, I doubt it's the kind of tactic big companies would engage in. The most important reason being that big companies have reputations they need to uphold. There's a big risk in using deceptive tactics as it's bound to taint their brand if exposed.

That said, smaller companies might use such tactics as they can easily declare bankruptcy and start anew once exposed. They usually use bots to do the dirty work for them, but these are usually easy to spot. Real medications are produced by big companies, as there are big costs in developing medicine and making the research needed to establish effects and side-effects.

On the other side of the coin, I'm sure there are scientologists and other anti-psyhciatry nuts who enter forums to bad-mouth medications and spread their propaganda.

One good rule of thumb is never to trust anyone who's either 100% uncritical or 100% critical towards a product. Such behaviour might reflect an agenda.

Peter :)

Imnapl
09-04-09, 12:35 AM
They usually use bots to do the dirty work for them, but these are usually easy to spot.Do tell, please. Bots are a whole new subject for me and inquiring minds want to know.

chartreuse
09-04-09, 12:58 AM
That's interesting. Do you know if there are any studies indicating this?

Not because I doubt it. I'm the inattentive type as well, and Strattera has had a very positive effect (until I had to go down in dosage due to hypertension :().

Peter :)

I still haven't had time to recreate the post I lost yesterday (referenced above), but regarding studies - relatively recently there was a study done that showed, not surprisingly, really, that the results of the study depended on who was paying for the study.

And a survey of studies involving anti-depressants showed that placebos were, overall, just as effective as the drugs themselves, which of course begs the question - what if the improvement witnessed in those who received the "real" drugs was actually due to the placebo effect? How would you ever know?

And then there is the fact that no one, IMHO, can credibly deny...that far more often than not, our experiences match our expectations.

Taking another approach: The only truly meaningful experience is your own. Buddha said it well: Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

In other words, considering your doctor's opinion is fine. Worshipping it is dangerous.

plindboe
09-04-09, 01:10 AM
Do tell, please. Bots are a whole new subject for me and inquiring minds want to know.

Oh, I'm not an expert on them. I've just noticed them on several forums.

All I know is that bots are programs that automatically join forums and post spam, masquerading as real people. The programs can post stuff like "hey all, i'm new here. anyone heard of the UltraClean washing up liquid? It's simply amazing!!", and then it posts some dubious URL, that I advice anyone not to click on.

Many forums today require people to look at some graphics with random words and to write them down when registering. These automated spam programs can't decipher the graphics, so it's an effective way of keeping them from registering.

Peter :)

plindboe
09-04-09, 02:03 AM
I still haven't had time to recreate the post I lost yesterday (referenced above), but regarding studies - relatively recently there was a study done that showed, not surprisingly, really, that the results of the study depended on who was paying for the study.

And a survey of studies involving anti-depressants showed that placebos were, overall, just as effective as the drugs themselves, which of course begs the question - what if the improvement witnessed in those who received the "real" drugs was actually due to the placebo effect? How would you ever know?

Considering that you just made a post saying that I should trust no one, it's a bit strange that you seemingly expect me to take your word for it. In other words, it would be nice if you could provide me with links or names of the studies so I can read them myself.

That said, I do appreciate the irony of someone accepting studies that cast studies in doubt.


And then there is the fact that no one, IMHO, can credibly deny...that far more often than not, our experiences match our expectations.

True. Hence controlled double-blinded studies are required. Nothing can ruin a study more than bias.


Taking another approach: The only truly meaningful experience is your own. Buddha said it well: Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

And what determines one's reasoning abilities and common sense? The environment where one is brought up, i.e. parents, school, friends. Seems Buddha is advocating people to be slaves of their own preconceived biases.

If you don't want to be fooled I suggest you to be skeptical of everyone, including yourself. Personal biases run amuck will innevitably lead to false beliefs.


In other words, considering your doctor's opinion is fine. Worshipping it is dangerous.

I agree. Doctors are humans and can make mistakes like the rest of us. Any consultation should be a two-way respectful communication, otherwise get a different doctor.

Peter :)

Imnapl
09-04-09, 11:25 AM
In other words, considering your doctor's opinion is fine. Worshipping it is dangerous.And you can substitute the word doctor with so many nouns.

Pure gold. :cool:

chartreuse
09-06-09, 10:27 PM
Considering that you just made a post saying that I should trust no one, it's a bit strange that you seemingly expect me to take your word for it. In other words, it would be nice if you could provide me with links or names of the studies so I can read them myself.

That said, I do appreciate the irony of someone accepting studies that cast studies in doubt.




True. Hence controlled double-blinded studies are required. Nothing can ruin a study more than bias.




And what determines one's reasoning abilities and common sense? The environment where one is brought up, i.e. parents, school, friends. Seems Buddha is advocating people to be slaves of their own preconceived biases.

If you don't want to be fooled I suggest you to be skeptical of everyone, including yourself. Personal biases run amuck will innevitably lead to false beliefs.




I agree. Doctors are humans and can make mistakes like the rest of us. Any consultation should be a two-way respectful communication, otherwise get a different doctor.

Peter :)

First of all, I realize that I haven't yet got around to recreating the post I originally lost, but there's actually nothing whatsoever to stop you from doing your own research.

Second of all, I apparently have a somewhat different view of people than you do - I don't believe that they are just their environment. Environment plays a part, certainly, but so does the essential make-up of your being, which is something that is absolutely and uniquely you. What Buddha was advocating was honoring the unique aspect of your soul, not the part that fearfully and obediently follows the crowd.

As for "accepting studies that cast studies in doubt," the only reason the study I referenced resonates with me is because it DOES agree with my own unique experiences and observations - specifically those which have proven to me that what we choose to observe does indeed affect outcome. Perhaps it would have been better not to quote that study to make my point but I have found that many people simply shut down when I start to talk about things like quantum physics, and in any case I thought that those folks who give credibility to studies to begin with would find it interesting.

chartreuse
09-06-09, 11:07 PM
I don't find it cynical, it's certainly worth a thought. That said, I doubt it's the kind of tactic big companies would engage in. The most important reason being that big companies have reputations they need to uphold. There's a big risk in using deceptive tactics as it's bound to taint their brand if exposed.

That said, smaller companies might use such tactics as they can easily declare bankruptcy and start anew once exposed. They usually use bots to do the dirty work for them, but these are usually easy to spot. Real medications are produced by big companies, as there are big costs in developing medicine and making the research needed to establish effects and side-effects.

On the other side of the coin, I'm sure there are scientologists and other anti-psyhciatry nuts who enter forums to bad-mouth medications and spread their propaganda.

One good rule of thumb is never to trust anyone who's either 100% uncritical or 100% critical towards a product. Such behaviour might reflect an agenda.

Peter :)


There's a big risk in using deceptive tactics as it's bound to taint their brand if exposed.

You have no idea how much I wish this were true, how much I wish that a company simply using fraudulent advertising techniques were enough to turn people against it.

But that is simply not even remotely the case.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x6441029 (details baby chicks being ground up alive at plants that supply KFC, recently got widespread coverage but there has been no significant backlash against KFC )

http://walmartwatch.com/issues/labor_relations/ (details WalMart's unfair labor practices, practices which have been widely talked about for years and aren't a secret to anyone, but WalMart continues to grow regardless. )

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/parties/overview02.html (details the victories of the Republican party in the 2002 midterm elections, well after Bush told Americans to "keep on shopping" after 9/11, rammed the Patriot Act down our throats, and made it very, very clear that he, for no credible reason whatsoever, intended to invade Iraq. Indeed, Bush himself went on to win a second term two years later.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frey (signed a three-book deal - the first book of which has now been released, and has made the NYT bestseller list) AFTER it was exposed that his "memoir," A Million Little Pieces, was largely fiction.)

What world do you live in that using "deceptive tactics" to promote a product even matters? That doesn't even rate on today's scale of outrageous behavior.

ashisbaby17
11-10-10, 09:43 AM
I think anything is possible. Doctors will favor certain drugs because they get kick backs from the company. In turn parents turn around and talk about how wonderful it work for their kids (I know my mom did.) A lot of them you can spot right off the bat. They will basically write the same thing that's on the company website. Sometimes even copy and paste it. I posted on a birth control website for essure and I noticed a lot of people who were completely against it making false claims such as "you can't get an MRI because it will pull the coils out of you." Turns out I noticed the same people posting complaints about every form of birth control. Hhmmm? Why would anyone use eight different types of pills at once, while having their tubes blocked, and using many other forms? Turns out there was an organization that is extreme pro-life and didn't think birth control should be legal. People will do all sorts of things to promote or discredit companies or products. What I can say about my experience on medication was that it was not a good long-term solution. I think if I had only used it for six months and then tried to find ways to cope otherwise I would have done much better. Try changing your diet, organizing things better, setting a schedule, and having relaxation time. Let your doctor know you don't want to be on medication forever and they should be able to help you come up with some methods of helping you cope. Good luck.

Lunacie
11-10-10, 11:21 AM
I don't find it cynical, it's certainly worth a thought. That said, I doubt it's the kind of tactic big companies would engage in. The most important reason being that big companies have reputations they need to uphold. There's a big risk in using deceptive tactics as it's bound to taint their brand if exposed.

That said, smaller companies might use such tactics as they can easily declare bankruptcy and start anew once exposed. They usually use bots to do the dirty work for them, but these are usually easy to spot. Real medications are produced by big companies, as there are big costs in developing medicine and making the research needed to establish effects and side-effects.

On the other side of the coin, I'm sure there are scientologists and other anti-psyhciatry nuts who enter forums to bad-mouth medications and spread their propaganda.

One good rule of thumb is never to trust anyone who's either 100% uncritical or 100% critical towards a product. Such behaviour might reflect an agenda.

Peter :)

Quoting because I think this post may have been skimmed over too quickly and this makes the most sense to me of anything I've read in this thread.

(bolding ADDed by me)

Mocodity
11-10-10, 05:12 PM
In terms of stimulant medications, all I can say is that those babies sell themselves.

I'm sure there's a reason why adderall and ritalin are the bigger medication subforums here that has to do with pharmaceutical company promotion, but if those medications didn't work, good-intentioned psychiatrists wouldn't prescribe them (I venture to say that doctors need a reasonable success rate with their patients to sustain a practice). So, yes there's more money pumped into popular drugs, and combined with their effectiveness ratings, more people take them for ADHD and more people post about them here on this forum.

I'm just learning more about how the generic drugs work too, pharmacies getting money for dispensing them, but as you can see on their related drug forums, if they don't work they get discredited and don't make as much money in the long term.

I don't wanna like, defend capitalism here, but it creates the organic process of word-of-mouth on forums like these, not hundreds of hired goons posing as consumers. That would be inefficient, especially given that the drugs work relatively well.

hmmmm
11-10-10, 09:34 PM
Well I am 100% uncritical of concerta, been takin it 9 yrs now, no side effects and it really helps me... why should i be critical???

And I am definitely not from Lilly. It just happens that my body needs concerta and does really well with it. Yours might not, that doesn't mean I am Lilly.