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Find Out About New Medications

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 25 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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While many of us rely on traditional, 'tried and tested' medications and formulations for good health, it's still important to keep abreast of the latest new medications. Your medicine cabinet should still hold the medications you know will provide relief when you need them, but it doesn't mean you can't upgrade to a more effective formulation.

Pharmaceutical research is a rapidly changing and growing field, with an enormous number of clinical trials being conducted at any given time – across many therapeutic areas. While many of us rely on our doctors to keep us posted regarding the newest drugs relevant to our health needs, there are still other important ways to find out about newly available drugs as well as ones currently being investigated.

Word-of-mouth

The interesting aspect of new medications is that many people simply never hear about these new drugs. While some medicines are advertised in print or on the television or radio, others tend to gain momentum through word-of-mouth.

You might hear about a new over-the-counter pain reliever from your mother and once you purchase the drug, you might then share the information with your friend. In this way, medications become somewhat of a trend, which could be the product of good marketing or simply that the drug works very effectively and consistently.

Advice from a Doctor

If you are taking medications through a doctor's prescription, particularly over the long-term for a chronic condition, your doctor will usually alert you to new medications that might be better for your health. However, doctors are not the impartial practitioners that one might expect.

They are influenced to some extent by pharmaceutical advertising that is used to specifically target doctors. As new drugs hit the market, pharmaceutical sales representatives will lecture to doctors about the benefits of the drugs, sometimes downplaying side effects and risks. In this sense, doing your own research is a good addition to your doctor's advice about new medications

Researching New Drugs

While it may sound like a formidable task, researching does not involve hours of endless investigative work to find new medicines for your health. Instead, try to simply read from a wide range of health sources. The local newspaper or reputable online news websites can alert you to new treatments. Also, forums for a specific health condition such as diabetes will usually discuss the newest medicines.

Email Alerts

You can sometimes sign up for email alerts that provide information on new treatment developments for specific health conditions. The most important thing to do if you become aware of a new, approved treatment that is available on the market is to ask your doctor for more information. Sometimes, the risks will prevent a person from using that medication, despite it being successful in other patients.

Choosing Medications

While many products will probably remain staples in the medicine cabinet, new treatments and devices – even a better thermometer, for instance – will replace old, outdated medications. Read from many sources, speak to your doctor and stay informed of the newest medications, whether they are general ones for your medicine cabinet or prescription medications to treat your specific health conditions.

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