For the last 8 years I have been in over a dozen clinical trials as a participant of the ‘Control’ group. I have had my eyes tested, bone density tested, some taste sensation, pain thresholds, blood tests, and exercise evaluations. Some of the trials have paid, up to $75.00, but others did not pay a fee but validated my parking or I received a cup of coffee. I obviously don’t participate for the money!
The trials are looking at matching a healthy adult in the same age or sex or height or weight, socioeconomic or race to the subject group. I have learned about some diseases and have gathered a new understanding to the ramifications of many diseases and drug effects.
After the eye study the data was sent to my eye doctor. He was amazed at the depth of the examinations. A normally quite individual he became animated in showing me the results and what it meant and how expensive the equipment was and how some of the tests done he had only read about in his journals but never saw the data from an actual patient of his. Another welcomed side effect of being a participant.
Last week I was a control subject for a hearing test. The study is evaluating the control group to subjects who have had long use of high amounts of antibiotics intravenously and the relationship to hearing loss. Who knew right? It was a 3-hour study with the last hour in a passive state where I could read. The first part of the study I had to respond when I heard a sound. Some sounds I was told would be high and only dogs could hear. The test went well and my hearing is with-in range, all good things since the last time I had my hearing tested I was in grade school!
The next day I woke with a migraine. I do get occasional migraines. This one was a doozy and I was trying to think of what contributed to it. Usually an additive in food triggers my migraines and I don’t know until it is too late. I usually just don’t eat anything flavored or seasoned with a flavoring that is artificial and that helps me a great deal. I didn’t eat anything unusual in this case. So as my head is aching I am thinking and then remember the high dog sounds that although I couldn’t hear, my brain heard them and did not like them! I called the researcher and reported an adverse effect.
This is the first time I have ever had an adverse effect to a study. It won’t stop me from participating in future studies, but I may have to think more carefully if dog sounds are involved. Would you ever participate in a clinical trial? Have you been a subject and what has been your experience?