Photo: Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash


They said it was the best thing for it.

They hinted that to forgo discussing it will

Mean all manner of awfulness


(And would, perhaps, be partially my fault

For not taking steps to fix

By listening).


They showed how it would better


My house, my shape, my friends

My job.

May even lead to what I never had

Or always wanted

But an illness was sure

To rob.


The ad said it was the best thing for it.

A discovery deserving of a


If only my eyes hadn’t left the screen

To pluck an errant string,

Which had my ears


To the chatter —

Which had previously lay hidden

Under sprawling beaches

And smiling people

And every beautiful

Thing —

And I heard

The actual words

That listed

All the side-effects

(from death, to heart-attack, to vomiting)

That this supposed

Miracle drug

Was likely to also





For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: Flyer/Ad



42 thoughts on “Side-Effects

    • 🙂 I’m always amazed at how pushy those ads are … and how behind the cheery beaches and happy people walking down fairgrounds and shopping and blissing about, there runs the “side effects may include nausea, cancer, heart-attack, nose-bleeds, fractures, infections and death …” (in whatever variation). It’s a US (and NZ?) thing, these drug ads, and they are insidious. I don’t like them one bit … Could you tell? … 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, to be ‘fair’ – part of what happens with some anti-depressants, is that for some people, as some aspects of depression lift (but other issues aren’t resolved) there might be less lassitude and more irritation, which can lead to having ‘more energy’ to make plans for suicide (where earlier, one might’ve been too shut down to move from generally wanting to die to actually making a PLAN to die …). There are some people who are more prone to it (and some age-range who are more impulsive besides and thus at a higher risk still to act on such thoughts) and the warning itself is a valid one. But the whole ad-for-how-your-life-would-be-perfect-if-you-just-asked-your-doctor-about-this-medication drive me bananas.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Totally! Medications are good things (goodness knows some of them are keeping me vertical), but they aren’t quick fixes, and they aren’t instead of actually getting to know the patient/person and what their needs are and what the actual issue is and and and and … Sigh.
        I see parents who come with psychotropic medications that were prescribed for their kids (‘off-label’ AND without there being good research on the impact of those on developing brains besides) for ‘behavior issues’ or ‘attention issues’ that may well have at least some aspects of communication by the child about difficulties, fatigue, shame, frustration, learning issues … and yet are medicated without taking the longer path of actually getting to know the child or looking at alternative/complementary paths to helping the kids … If/When the kids get sleepy/irritated/disoriented/dizzy, they get another medication tacked on for THOSE side-effects or an increase in dose, or both … All without looking into possible underlying issues for the original ‘problem’ which may in of itself be a symptom of something else entirely …
        Drives me nuts.
        Thank you for letting me have a complain-a-thon!
        (off the soap box – for the moment … ;))

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s awful. And now they are saying that more than half the kids who are diagnosed at ADHD are not? Shit… Sorry.
        My son was diagnosed as ADD and took medication for less than a year. He hated that it cut his appetite and the result is that he has learnt what he needs to do to get stuff done… go figure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. Many of the children who are diagnosed with ADHD may not have ADHD, but may instead have anxiety, posttraumatic stress (children often respond to stress and trauma with inattention, hypervigilance, shutting-down, acting out, irritability, etc…). Some of them may just not have enough opportunity to expend physical energy through play and as a result have ants-in-their-pants for a good reason. Some are reflecting lack of structure and/or overwhelming schedules. Some are responding to ongoing over-stimulation of too much screen time and too little practice with quiet listening … So … not all have ADHD, or at least, some are showing ADHD-like symptoms that are reflection of other issues …
        We have ADHD in my family – several of my nieces and nephews have ADD/ADHD, and some have benefited from medication for a period, or for as-needed (e.g. test days), and some could not tolerate the medication and learned other ways to cope. No one thing works for all. Even those who did use medication, outgrew the need for it after a time and have learned to cope with their way of processing information in better ways. So, yeah, medication isn’t bad. Over-use or indiscriminate use is …


    • Thank you, Dan! Yes, sometimes that’s true. All too often, in fact. I’ve nothing against medications — they save lives, they help people function who otherwise might not be able to — but I cannot really find a benefit to having medications advertised on TV, to lay people, in a litigious society where doctors may feel obligated to prescribe something a patient asks for that they’d seen on TV … because the doctors worry they may be sued if the patient feels they’d gotten worse because the doctor ‘refused’ to treat them, or some such. We have such overuse … ugh.
      Sorry, off the soap box …
      Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lol, we don’t get many drugs adverts in the UK but reading the contras that come with them…. Can cause nausea, constipation, diorreha, headache, rashes, fits, fast heart rate , low heart rate…why ever take anything!💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Impressive and quite horrifying poem… once I’d got my head around the notion of advertising drugs other than cold remedies. We don’t in the UK, cos such powerful drugs are prescription only, and only doctors can prescribe; no good a patient asking for something they’ve seen advertised.

    Liked by 1 person

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