Do you get sleepless without having taken your daily pill of Brufen? Or do you get sleepless after having Brufen? Do you take your medicines without asking the doctor about them? Or are you the one who asks him so many questions that he may have second thoughts about prescribing it for you?
Whether you are a pill paranoid or a thoughtless popper of them, here’s a site that tells you all you would want to (or should) know. Click over to Drugs.com/sfx to know all that your daily Brufen could do to you. For your information, the site tells me that the side effects of Brufen can cause:
Constipation; diarrhoea; dizziness; gas; headache; heartburn; nausea; stomach pain or upset.
Makes you think twice about popping one the next time?
This site is very useful for those whose daily conversation revolves around discussing knee pain among one’s peers. It makes a great splash when you can reveal that using aspirin can cause heartburn; nausea; upset stomach. I find it very useful to keep a conversation going with family elders during weddings, or to describe in gory detail just after a neurotic twenty-year old has popped a pill she doesn’t need (And I meet many of these).
But sarcasm aside, this site is truly useful. I used to unquestioningly accept the doctor’s prescription, till I discovered this site. Now I look up every drug on the site, through its search function coupled with an auto-suggest. It gives you the information classified at two levels – those that are mild and those which might require immediate medical attention. It also gives the information separately for the consumer (jargon-free, easy to understand and act upon) and for the medical professional, who can know what to do if somebosy is referred with a side effect. There’s also information organised by bosy system (like respiratory, digestive etc) where data is available.
What’s also useful is that it gives side effects of drug combinations also. Given that many drugs are actually combinations (like Saridon is made of paracetamol, caffeine and propyphenazone), the side effects are not just additive, but new ones can emerge. So now I can ask my doctor to change the medication, in case I feel the side effect is not acceptable.
The site is built and maintained by professional pharmacists Philip Thornton & Karen Wilson (New Zealand) and Judith Stewart (Australia). While the page for each drug does not cite the source (a thumbs down for transparency), the editorial policy does make a mention of the major sources, which include published databases, books and indices.
To me, Drugs.com/sfz is in a way representative of the liberating power of the internet. The dream of relevant information that is both free and reliable. So that you can make your own choices, and not have to rely on anyone to make them for you.