The following steps can help students analyze differences among a variety of health-care products and evaluate claims made by product promoters include the following:
- Look through a Physician's Desk Reference (PDR)
- Compare several over-the-counter or prescription drugs that are in the same category (for example: compare two or more cough medicines, two or more fever or pain-reducing medicines)
- Compare side-effects and complications, indications and contraindications
- Compare product labeling and advertisement to information found in the PDR
Points to Consider
Consider the following points:
- Product effectiveness: Is one product more effective than other products? What research has been conducted to support product effectiveness claims?
- Side-effects: Does one product have fewer side effects than other products?
- Dose-amount, frequency, method (by mouth, by injection): Is one product more convenient to use than the other products?
- Special instructions, precautions-take with food, keep refrigerated, avoid use of certain types of other medications: Is one product more convenient to use than are other products?
- Cost: Is one product cheaper than other products, yet does it compare well on the above considerations?