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Medication reviews, yes. On Dooyoo, no.
Do medication reviews have a place on dooyoo?
Member Name: sy2kgbr
Do medication reviews have a place on dooyoo?
Date: 11/09/06, updated on 11/09/06 (125 review reads)
Advantages: Could be informative.
Disadvantages: Could be deadly.
If there are a lot of reviews on something, it's easier to get a more balanced idea of how good or bad a product is. A glowing report or angry tirade may be an isolated case on its own, but if there are a couple dozen reviews agreeing on something, you can form a clearer idea of how the product performs in general. Everything should always be taken with a pinch of salt though.
With new topics in Speakers Corner, the site has drifted away somewhat from offering advice and useful opinion to letting members (and non-members for that matter!) write about almost anything. So why not different medications?
I think that it's always helpful to read about other people's experiences of the same medical condition from which you suffer, as some people have better coping strategies that you can borrow. For the newly diagnosed, discovering that you have a medical problem that will haunt you for the rest of your life can be hard to deal with, and reading about someone's account of how they dealt with the same thing and how life continued for them could be tremendously reassuring.
However, are people going to look to Dooyoo for this? Would you run a google search for a consumer review site when looking for information on a certain drug? I think there is a need to have a big database of advice and support for people with medical issues, but to make this place Dooyoo does not seem appropriate to me. You cannot have a review on coping with epilepsy on the same site as coping with a ham sandwich. It trivialises health problems too much, and as human beings, this is a very sensitive area. Poor health reminds us of our mortality and few people are comfortable of spending time thinking, "I'm going to die. I don't know when, but I definitely am." Poor health and consequently death, are topics which can freak out a lot of people, and to discuss these topics along with the ordinary is an act of poor taste.
It might be hypocritical of me to say that it's fine to discuss experiences of various medical conditions when these can vary dramatically person to person and say that it's not a great idea to discuss experiences of medications when these can also vary dramatically, but let me explain. If everyone writing about medication here on Dooyoo did so in a balanced manner, it would be fine. However, I have read several reviews saying "THIS IS HORRIBLEDONT USE IT!!" and not much more. With certain medications, you do need to try them for a set length of time before asking your doctor to prescribe you something different, and I'm not convinced that all of those writing reviews have followed this guideline. Not only are the reviews one-sided, but they're also based on incomplete information and the reviewers are not just passing on useless information but may actually not be doing themselves some harm by stopping a drug before it's had time to have an effect.
It can be important to read about the negative side-effects of drugs, as doctors aren't always keen to discuss this side of treatment, preferring to keep you in an optimistic mood (with certain therapies, the more positive you are, the better the results). However, this should always be backed up with the statement that the drug may have better effects for someone else.
Reading about the positive effects of drugs are also useful, as they give hope, however this too needs to be balanced. Hope is good to hold onto, but false hope can be soul destroying, depending on the situation.
Perhaps what is needed, is a website that has information on medical conditions, written by qualified doctors and nurses, backed up with stories written by patients. That way there is something solid, that can be taken as read, to help counter any poor advice from general members of the public. This could be a huge database with the potential to help a lot of people, but it's not a project that Dooyoo should or would take on.
Dooyoo should be, first and foremost, a site for consumers. By introducing more medication reviews, people would understandably mistake this site as an online support group and post questions rather than opinions. You can already see the potential for this to happen, if you read any of the Lipotrim reviews. (With the exception of lellagrace's one, it's actually quite helpful.)
By asking us if Dooyoo should introduce more medication review topics, Dooyoo mean, should they introduce more medication review topics and leave the system "as is"? I think that the structure and ethos of the site right now are just incompatible with drug reviews. Factor in the legal issues and there seems little incentive for Dooyoo to continue down this path. The only people who would really benefit from unbalanced medication reviews would be those earning the 3 penny pieces. Or drug companies with advertisements in strategic places.
Not on this site, please.
Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments:)
Summary: They have a place online, but that place isn't Dooyoo.