Doctors often prescribe newer, more expensive drugs for high blood pressure instead of the ones recommended under medical guidelines, and the practice is costing the nation more than $1 billion a year, researchers say. The researchers did not examine why, exactly, doctors go with the costlier drugs, but they speculated that aggressive drug-company advertising may be one reason.
This isn’t just true for high blood pressure, but for nearly every disease and disorder out there. Doctors will more often than usual prescribe a newer medication largely because they believe it to be more effective with less side effects than older medications. The truth is, most newer medications are proven to be just as effective (not more) as existing medications and their side effect profiles vary widely. In depression, for instance, would you rather have ‘dry mouth’ as a side effect, or the inability to have sex?? The former side effect is common in older antidepressant medications, the latter (more serious one, most would argue) is more common in newer antidepressant medications.
What do doctors often do when confronted with such a quandry? Well, heck, they prescribe another medication on top of the antidepressant to combat the sexual side effects!