Stacy London: What Not To Take

August, 20, 2013 | 4 Comments


  1. The more I see of AbbVie’s “psoriasis awareness” campaign, the more I’m struck with the mind games they’re playing. On the one hand, they tell us we’re wrong to think of psoriasis as a “mere rash” that’s primarily a beauty question – it’s a serious disease. On the other hand, they zero in on the self-esteem issues and resulting depression that plague many patients, especially women … because of the social stigma.

    So it is looks, after all, they want us to focus on. And wrapping this up in a feel-good “anti-stigma” message from Stacy London is the perfect soft sell.

    What to do about all that stigma and shame? Is AbbVie running ads to tell the public that no, psoriasis isn’t contagious, or a sign of poor hygiene? Are they really helping women with the disease feel good about their whole selves? Nope. In their ads, attractive young people are out living their lives when suddenly someone looks askance at the scaly red patch on their arm or neck, and they feel ashamed.

    That’s when they make the decision to talk to their doctor – and get some medicine that will “work inside their body” to clear up their skin so others will accept them! The litany of scary side effects like TB, fungal infections and cancer is overwhelmed by the soft-focus video stream of the patient’s happy new life.

    If this is an anti-stigma campaign, I’d hate to see what stigmatizing looks like …

  2. Thank you David Healy for helping to uncover the misselling of pharmaceutical drugs and enabling the public to become aware of just how much the industry continues to underplay the serious side effects of today’s prescribed drugs.
    At the moment I am on Tocilizumab – similar to Humira, in that it’s an immunosuppressant biologic used to treat moderate to severe RA. Unfortunately it suits me best to take it at the moment as I have severe RA. While I still struggle with a certain degree of pain and many symptoms associated with Rheumatoid, before treatment I was in extreme pain and physically very limited. Due to this my mental health also significantly deteriorated, and I was at greater risk of serious complications resulting from this disease ( there are many ). However, I am all to aware of the serious risks to these drugs… I have to contend with many side effects but luckily they all seem to be on the minor end of the scale but definitely not pleasant nonetheless! I am just looking forward to the day researchers come up with less toxic treatments for such diseases. I am also hoping that, at some point in the not too distant future, I come off all drug treatments for a time so as I can have a family, when and if I decide to. However, I am aware this will be a particular challenge not only for me but also for those treating me due to having such an aggressive form of RA. I guess that’s all the more reason to look after myself to a greater degree than I have been.

    The decision to take such medications is very personal one, which you are only likely to encounter if you have a serious autoimmune illness. However, I would certainly say that unless you have moderate to severe illness, then the risks may just outweigh any benefit…It’s definitely not a decision to be taken lightly.
    It is vital that people are made aware of just exactly what it is they are taking or being offered as a potential treatment. Drug companies and prescribers should always explain the possibility of any side effects, especially if they may be serious and/or detrimental to quality of life.

    Having to be on such harsh drugs is also a further reason for me not taking a mood stabiliser at this time ~ maybe not so logical but it’s just too much! The decision to go back on an antidepressant was bad enough but one that I have come to terms with at this juncture. It may not be the best or even a recommended treatment for Bipolar but it is one which I am currently content with for myself. And yet another reason to take care of myself more thoroughly and holistically.

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