Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday On Friday - "Side Effects May Include..."

Are you taking prescription medications? If you are, you may want to read this article as soon as possible. Your life may depend on it.

Bill Friday is on vacation. Please enjoy this blast from Friday past.

No one likes to feel stupid. That's probably why the furniture with the funny names from Ikea comes with assembly instructions in 47 different languages. Probably why, if you've ever stood in line at the pharmacy inside Kaiser-Permanente, you know that the most thoroughly explained part of your managed care experience is the two minutes you spent listening to the pharmacist tell you what to do - and not do - with your prescription. If Heath Ledger had spent two minutes with the pharmacist at Kaiser instead of several private physicians spread out over three continents, he might still be with us today.

As cautious drinkers know not to mix the grape with the grain, and post-Belushi nug smugglers know not to combine heroin and cocaine, so now every actor from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach knows OxyContin and Vicodin, Valium and Xanax, Restoril and Unisom don't mix.

And don't think you're safe just because you haven't formed the habit of mixing your meds. A whole slew of "safe when used as directed", FDA approved medications - target-marketed toward YOU - are being sold and sold and sold again through incredibly innovative radio and television ad campaigns. You've seen them. You've sung along to them.

Catchy, sure. But maybe also a little misleading.

What follow is a little "advertising between-the-lines". The things you won't hear when Side Effects May Include...

(cue music intro)
"We're not gonna take it... NO!, we ain't gonna take it!... We're not gonna take it... ANYMORE!"

(up-beat female announcer)

"Introducing YAZ, the first birth control pill marketed exclusively for the viewers of the mindless reality programs Jersey Shore and Keeping Up With The Kardassians. YAZ contains the same hormones as regular birth control pills, but with MORE of the exciting reality generation side effects than any other oral contraceptive.

"Use YAZ according to directions and you too may experience... symptoms of a MASSIVE HEART ATTACK... symptoms of FUGU POISONING... symptoms of a STROKE... symptoms of BOWEL and LIVER CANCER... and, of course, symptoms of CLINICAL DEPRESSION!

"Ask your doctor if sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden headache, confusion, pain behind the eyes, problems with vision, speech or balance is right for you. If stomach pain, chest pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, breast pain, loss of scalp hair, vaginal itching or discharge is right for you, then YAZ is right for you. Check it out for yourself at or ask someone who's nearly died from it."

(cue music outro)

"We're not gonna take it... NO!, we ain't gonna take it!... We're not gonna..."

(celebrity voice impersonation of Michael Clarke Duncan)

"Men, you've tried, craigslist, J-Date, even E-Harmony, but still haven't found... the woman of your dreams. With increased competition on Internet dating sites, and the growing Federal restrictions making on-line purchases of Rohypnol more and more difficult, we at the Flunitrazepam Advocacy Group believe it's time to take chemical romance in a whole new direction.

"Introducing... ROPINIROLE. Once used exclusively to treat the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome, ROPINIROLE is the only FDA approved medication proven to cause increased sexual urges in double-blind, clinical trials. Women taking ROPINIROLE have been shown to regularly engage in obsessive/compulsive high risk behaviors such as A PATHOLOGICAL URGE TO GAMBLE... INCREASED SEXUAL URGES... HYPERSEXUALITY... other UNUSUAL URGES AND BEHAVIORS.

"With more and more clinical evidence becoming available daily, we at the Flunitrazepam Advocacy Group believe that ROPINIROLE, when used as directed, has the potential to become the Roofie of the new millennium.

"If you want to know if ROPINIROLE is right for you or your partner, or if you would like information on how to become a distributor of ROPINIROLE in your area, log on to to find out more.

"ROPINIROLE. Much more than medicine... it's a new way of life."

Finally, the mother of all Side Effects May Include... warnings, courtesy of NOZULLA.


"At Gene Enterprises, we've harnessed the power of the human gene so you can say good-bye to your allergies forever with new NOZULLA. NOZULLA may cause the following symptoms:

"Itchy rashes... Full body hair loss... Projectile vomiting... Gigantic eyeball... The condition known as "hot dog fingers"... Children born with the head of a golden retriever... Seeing the dead... Bone liquefication... Possession by the Prince of Darkness... Tail growth... Elderly pregnancy...

Now enjoy the video one (okay, fifty) more time(s).


  1. Bill, you should be in advertising. :) I hope you're having a happy, side-effect free vaction.

  2. I agree with Janene; you should be in marketing. FYI, though, I don't consider myself an idiot, but I fucking hate putting together IKEA furniture or any other furniture for that matter!

    Happy vacay!