As promised in this space last Saturday, our quest now is to probe just a few of the side effects of just a few of the mysterious concoctions drug marketers are blitzing us with daily on the tube.

First, perhaps, is to dispose of that most awkward Peyronie’s disease remedy, Xiaflex.

This dreaded malady, rarely if ever seen in females of our species, is the one for which a bent carrot is used to graphically illustrate this most awkward condition.

Here are a few Xiaflex ‘cautions’ shall we say: Some people using this medication have developed lower back pain soon after receiving an injection. Tell your doctor right away if you have sudden lower back pain or back pain that spreads to your legs, feet, arms, or chest. The back pain may also include spasms and make it hard to walk. Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings, chest pain or tightness, difficult or labored breathing, lower back pain, possibly radiating to the legs, feet, arms, or chest, muscle spasms.

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What’s left to say, fellas, except, Yikes!

Ok, what about KISQALI? Kind of a heavyweight, it appears to me, KISQUALI can cause severe or life-threatening inflammation of the lungs during treatment that may lead to death. Seek medical help right away if you get severe rash; reddened skin; flu-like symptoms; skin pain/burning; blistering of the lips, eyes, or mouth; or blisters on the skin or skin peeling, with or without fever. KISQUALI can cause a heart problem known as QT prolongation. This condition can cause an abnormal heartbeat and may lead to death. KISQUALI can cause serious liver problems. Tell your health care provider right away if you experience: yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice), dark or brown (tea-colored) urine, pain on the right side of your stomach area, bleeding or bruising more easily than normal. KISQALI can cause low white blood cell counts that can result in severe infections.

Yowser! They worked death in there … twice.

Quelbree, by comparison, is almost puppy-like. Quelbree can increase blood pressure and heart rate and … may cause manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder. Tell your doctor if you show any signs of mania.

The most common side effects of Qelbree in patients 6 to 17 years are sleepiness, not feeling hungry, feeling tired, nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, and irritability, and in adults, insomnia, headache, sleepiness, tiredness, nausea, decreased appetite, dry mouth, and constipation.

In the interest of brevity, let’s take a restaurant menu approach to BREZTRI and simply make a list: upper respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, back pain, thrush in your mouth (say what?) and throat, joint pain, flu, headache, high blood sugar levels, muscle spasms, cough, inflammation of the sinuses, diarrhea, hoarseness, painful and frequent urination, nausea, difficulty sleeping, feeling anxious and (I especially appreciate this one) awareness of your heart beating.

Permit me a moment to catch my breath. That was a boat load of nonstop side effects typing.

CAPLYTA more than holds its own in our off-the-cuff analysis, too, including possible stroke in elderly people with dementia-related psychosis that can lead to death and/or high fever, confusion, changes in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, stiff muscles and increased sweating that may be symptoms of a rare but potentially fatal condition. There are more … lots and lots and lots more … but let’s move on to …

… Mavyret: tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of hepatitis or worsening liver problems. These symptoms may include: confusion, dark urine or stools, diarrhea, fatigue or drowsiness, reduced appetite, nausea or vomiting especially vomiting blood (a nice touch there don’t you think), pain or swelling in your belly, unusual bleeding or bruising, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the whites or your eyes) and of course itching.

Let’s wrap up with ENTRESTO AND YERVOY because they’re arguably naughtiest of the bunch.

ENTRESTO may cause angioedema. Angioedema associated with laryngeal edema may be fatal. ENTRESTO lowers blood pressure and may cause symptomatic hypotension. Decreases in renal function may be anticipated in susceptible individuals treated with ENTRESTO. In patients … with severe congestive heart failure, treatment with ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor antagonists has been associated with oliguria, progressive azotemia and, rarely, acute renal failure and death.

That kinda covers it all? Lots of the ‘D’ word in there. But then along comes YERVOY.

YERVOY can cause serious side effects in many parts of your body which can lead to death.

Boy, these folks invoke the ‘D’ word right out of the gate.

Other serious side effects may include: colitis that can cause tears or holes in the intestines, liver problems that can lead to liver failure, skin problems that can lead to severe skin reaction, nerve problems that can lead to paralysis, hormone gland problems (especially the pituitary, adrenal and thyroid glands), lung problems (pneumonitis), kidney failure, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), eye problems, severe infusion reactions and, mercifully, last on the list graft-versus-host disease whatever that is.

The committee has duly met and designated YERVOY to be ‘Mostest Scariest’ and thus deserving of the title in our dubious competition.

To its credit, however, YERVOY has an enormous job to do, which is to treat melanoma (a kind of skin cancer) that has spread (metastatic) or cannot be removed by surgery. Lethal, in other words.

With a death-defying task like that, perhaps we should cut YERVOY a little slack. And maybe all those others, too.

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