Most helpful positive review
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Required reading for any empowered patient
on February 5, 2002
I didn't know about Stephen Fried and "Bitter Pills," much less quinolone antibiotics, until I myself was, like Mr. Fried's wife, "Floxed," just a few weeks ago. I began my search for information on reactions to quinolones after four days of gatifloxacin (brandname Tequin) left me with tingling and weak arms and legs, difficulty swallowing and breathing, visual disturbances, headaches, dizziness, and more. I seriously thought I had a stroke or Guillain Barre syndrome or rapid onset multiple sclerosis, I was so sick.
Let me say that first, Stephen Fried's book is an excellent overview of the circumstances of adverse drug reactions to quinolone antibiotics. And with the increased visibility and use of Cipro, and the ease with which doctors dispense heavy-hitting antibiotics like Levaquin and Tequin, I'm sure I'm not going to be the last person to suffer a reaction and end up being "Floxed" and needing the information and reassurance provided by this book.
But it is also much much more. It's an expose of the pharmaceutical industry's fast and loose way of dealing with drugs, drug safety and the American public. This is not a rant -- it's an impeccably researched and detailed presentation of the intricacies involved in drug approvals and tracking of adverse reactions that exposes the limitations of the system, and the dangers those limitations present to us as patients and consumers.
As a patient advocate and spokesperson for thyroid and autoimmune disease patients, I know all too well the feeling of being held hostage to big pharmaceutical companies at the expense of my health and wellness.
Stephen Fried has finally exposed and explained -- clearly and without rancor -- how the drug industry really works, and his book, including the excellent appendix on how to contact pharmaceutical companies, report adverse reactions, protect yourself against bad drugs, and generally protect yourself as a consumer -- is must-reading for every empowered patient or health consumer.
I highly recommend this book to doctors, patients, and anyone who prescribes or takes prescription drugs.