Pill Poppers

Pill Poppers

2010, Health  -   23 Comments
Ratings: 5.40/10 from 15 users.

Pill PoppersHow much is really known about the medicines we take, and can they be trusted to work?

Over a person's lifetime they are likely to be prescribed more than 14,000 pills. Antibiotics, cholesterol lowering tablets, anti-depressants, painkillers, even tablets to extend youth and improve performance in bed. These drugs perform minor miracles day after day, but how much is really known about them?

Drug discovery often owes as much to serendipity as to science, and that means much is learnt about how medicines work, or even what they do, when they're taken. By investigating some of the most popular pills people pop, Horizon asks, how much can they be trusted to do what they are supposed to?

Developing Drugs. The GSK pharmaceutical lab holds over 2 million nameless chemical compounds. These compounds could be toxic, or they could be a miracle cure; but how do the scientists find out?

The Effects of Drugs on the Healthy. Two people discuss the outcomes of the drug Ritalin, which is prescribed to patients with ADHD. One person actually has the condition, while the other doesn't; what will the results show?

The Success of Viagra. Research Fellow Chris Wayman talks about how one of the best-selling drugs of all time came to be. Some experts, however, are critical of the drug's marketing.

Contraception. Women worldwide use - and rely - on the contraceptive pill, although this wasn't their main purpose. Meanwhile, one scientist has discovered a male contraceptive pill.

Side-Effects. All drugs come with side-effects; however, the side-effects of some drugs proved fatal for a number of people taking them.

Addiction. For some, the drug solution has turned out to be the problem. One woman talks about her addiction to painkillers and the issues surrounding it.

Antibiotics. Antibiotics have been credited with increasing the lifespan of humans by nearly a decade. However, the body is becoming resistant to said drug, which could prove to be a big problem in the future.

Statin. A new drug, Statin, can aid an illness or disease even before someone is diagnosed, but it doesn't come without risks.

Choosing to Die. The Exit International group believe that they should choose when they die. They have even gone about trying to create a pill with the power to kill in a peaceful manner.

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4 years ago

I don't trust the BBC! This video seems to be an advert for big pharma. Filling yourself with chemical bullshit is wrong, there are always natural, healthy alternatives to introducing chemicals into your body.

9 years ago

Overweight woman playing fetch while sitting....get healthy and avoid almost all drugs. *^$$^^ the money-making drug companies. Take charge already!!!!!!

10 years ago

My little brother is severely ADHD. He told us he actually likes to take his medication because without it he feels out of control. And he is, he's 16 but without his medication he acts like a 2 year old. He even has tantrums where he throws himself across the floor. Once my dad (who works a 6 to 6 day and never sees him when he doesn't take the pills and doesn't know how he acts) threw his pills away in a fit of rage over his loss of apatite, and my brother freaked out saying he was going to lose control. Nevertheless, the 2 year old came out and he missed school for a week.

On the other hand, the woman who choreographed the musical Cats, Gillian Lynne, had ADHD back before there was medicine for it. Her mother took her to the doctor, and after a while of talking he turned a radio on and left Gillian in the room alone. They watched through a window, and she got up and began to dance. The doctor said instantly, "She's not a student, she's a dancer." Her mother took her to a preforming arts school, where she obviously excelled. In today's world, however, she would have been given some medication and told to calm down.

I think my perspective is rather unique because I see how my brother literally cannot function, but I also wonder how much potential we're drugging away. But really, I don't think anybody can fully condemn the drugging of children unless they see firsthand how some children like my brother are without it.

Aaron van Schie
11 years ago

I think mothers who choose to administer Ritalin to their children fight more for their own well being than for their young ones. Kind of the easy way out. Although I do not judge those who decide to do so, as our models of society virtually just requires them to keep a peaceful, "well behaved" child. Children are noisy and curious. In many different ways.

11 years ago

100's of millions of tests? (lies@!) OMG, they are pushing their ADHD medications on this vid...what a crock of crapola. I have seen kids who were administered these drugs. OMG...RITALIN>>SHEEZ< lady get real...change his diet. Most diseases are nutrition related...lack of important nutrients. Or, food allergies...sugar, gluten, msg,etc....wake up and smell the coffee...this VIDEO IS SELLING MORE PILLS...CORRUPT PIGS! They over medicate children and the elderly and it is a crime!

11 years ago

Being the lady in the documentary,dependent on codeine,I was thrilled to be asked to partcipate. I am aware of the effects of codeine, and agree it is almost as close as being dependent on Herion, 23 years on,after being prescribed heavy Dihydrocodeine from a Dr, I am fighting hard to beat the addiction, the withdrawals are horrendous, I hope this programme has saved just one family from that hell. Thankfully I have a first class GP now...Please help me to support others follow me @thesecretaddict on Twitter.

thursday child
12 years ago

That lady addicted to codiene is no different than a heroin addict. What she's describing is dopesickness. I bet she's got no idea how close the codine molecule is to the heroin molecule.

Goes to show it's all in the name. Call it heroin and people run for thier lives, call it codine, and people go, "oh, it must be ok if it's from the doc."

Same thing with methamphetimine, call it ritalin and it's all ok. We don't even know how the brain gets addicted to meth, and they prescribe it like candy. No wonder the whole world is addicted to it. Thanks alot Japan.

12 years ago

As a writer I use modaf every once in awhile. I think it helps control the wooziness from the clonazepam, methadone, and norco I take. Cannabis also helps even it all out. One day I look forward to just using cannabis and maybe modafinil every once in awhile when I need to do heavy research. It's basically meth but without the extreme euphoria

12 years ago

One of the hardest thing for me is to be in contact with a person who is hypercondriac. My fault.
I lived for years with a man who worked in the pharmaceutical industry, a supervisor of clinical trials, a subject we best stayed out of.
What wouldn't we do for sex under the name of love!


12 years ago

the documentary made it seem like the research itself is a total shot in the dark, which comprises of a machine making experiments with 2 million compouds automatically and the last round of human trial experiments being created from scratch (such as the viagra one shown).... based on that It seems to me that the conspiracy around drug companies... that they don't want to find cures on purpose.... is total BS... the truth is that they can't actually find any cures because it is just how shot in the dark trial and error drug research works.

Of course there are many other ways to see it....such as the technology was created for that purpose to begin with... but I don't think so myself.

Gary V
12 years ago

Another superb doc by the BBC horizon team, it was great to be able to watch this doc again, very interesting stuff.
The pharmaceutical companies will never find an outright cure for anything, simply because it does not make economic sense as a business to do so. It is more lucrative to just make something that helps to keep the symptoms under control but never to completely cure the disease. Once again it is all down to the root of all evil - the lust for money. These companies never have & never will be in business to make cures.

12 years ago

I like how honestly and clearly this documentary shows the current state of pharma research and drug discovery. And it makes me feel that I made the right decision when I opted not to take some of the medicines that were prescribed to me which could have resulted in addiction or dependence.

12 years ago

This is a great Advertisment for phizer

12 years ago

i'm a rilatinne taker so lets check it out