Friday, December 20, 2013

How to Report Drug Side Effects to the FDA

My post from 2010 on Arimidex side effects continues to receive comments, and I encourage you to keep your doctor and the FDA updated if you have serious side effects with this or any other medication you take.

To report online:

Blogs and support groups are important for learning you are not alone, but if the FDA does not receive reports, there will be no changes to information about the drug.  I'm not trying to get anything taken off the market per se, but if we need specific treatment after cancer, we need a drug that we can live with.

I stopped Arimidex, but only after discussing the risks and alternatives with my oncologist. 

Always contact your doctor immediately if you are having side effects or new symptoms.  You don't have to wait until your next scheduled visit.  Follow up visits are scheduled with the assumption that everything is going smoothly.  If it's not, your doctor needs to know so you can get the appropriate care.

Trust your gut - a second or third opinion can change - and/or save - your life.  I spoke to a lady who was told her pancreatic tumor was inoperable because it was too close to an artery.  She went for a second and third opinion, and found a surgeon that said he does that surgery several times a week.

As health care is changing, it is more important than ever to be informed and proactive in your treatment choices.

I wish you a happy, healthy and abundant year ahead!