When drug companies first started advertising their new offerings, I thought, “Oh, no…now along with ads for feminine protection, birth control options and attorneys, we have to listen to endless ads touting the benefits of medication. Joy.”

What I didn’t realize at the time was how entertaining these little jewels could be. Don’t get me wrong, the commercials themselves are painfully boring; it’s the disclaimers I enjoy.

Have you ever listened to those things? Like car ads that speed through APR and licensing disclaimers, drug ads’ side effect disclaimers are nothing more than quick little additions to the end of the real messages. Unlike the car ad disclaimers, though, side effect and drug interaction disclaimers can be hilarious.

Case in point - Alli. This drug sounds like a God-send for overweight people. It blocks fat, allowing them to slough off up to 1/3 of the fat in the foods they eat.

Sounds great; right?”

It sure does…that is, until you listen to the disclaimer being read by a peppy little narrator, who acts like the side effects are no big deal. She sounds so happy reading her lines, “Potential treatment effects may include gas with oily spotting, loose stools and more frequent stools that may be hard to control.”


Yep; the side effects can be so bad that GlaxoSmithKline, the drug’s maker, suggests first time users take a day off, wear dark pants or bring a change of clothes to work to avoid potentially embarrassing consequences. Keep in mind that we’re not talking about a little accident here — those “dangerous consequences” can include something they refer to as “explosive diarrea.”

Imagine you’re standing around the water cooler with friends when it hits you. Something called “explosive diarrhea” is not going to allow you to save face by escaping quietly to the restroom. Oh, no! You’ll be standing there, one second discussing global warming with your coworkers, and the next blowing chunks out of your ass while everyone around you hits the floor to avoid collateral damage.

You have to admit that this is a pretty funny image, as long as it doesn’t involve you! :)

Even funnier are some of the comments on the drug’s website, www.alli.com that prove beyond any doubt that, when taking this drug, your sphincter is no longer your trusted friend.

One favorite says, “I’ve pooped my pants three times today, and sorry to get descriptive, but it even leaked onto the couch at one point!”


Another says, “Ya know how when you start moving around in the morning ya pass a little gas? Well, I did and then went into the bathroom, and to my horror, I had an orange river of grease running down my leg.”

Okay, yewwwwwwww!

With comments like this, I think we can conclude that, in some cases, Alli is not your ally!

These are not experiences one wants to hear about much less share! It sounds like a Stephen King novel happening in your drawers! Thanks but no thanks! I’ll just read about it instead.

So all comedy aside, I’ll just stick with Weight Watchers and hope for the best. I may lose my extra weight 50% more slowly, but at least I won’t have to wear diapers or change jobs every few weeks!


P.S. For those of you who are interested, I’ve lost 23 lbs in about eight weeks, all without crapping my pants once! Goooooo Weight Watchers!