Harry took part in a trial of medication for high blood pressure. He had some side effects early on, but otherwise has been very happy with his care and how well he feels.
Harry was first invited to take part in a drug trial over 10 years ago, through his GP surgery, after he had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. At the time he was not taking any medication. He went to a hospital clinic and was assessed as eligible to join the trial. The first drug he was given was all right at the original dose, but when they increased the dose he felt painful tightness in his chest as if he were having a heart attack. The doctor Harry saw at the clinic reduced the dose again, but he still had the same side effects, and feels the doctor should have anticipated that and changed the drug straight away. He decided to withdraw from the trial and not to go back to the clinic, until the clinician running the trial rang him to ask him what the problem had been and encouraged him to come back for another review.
After that he was changed to a different drug, and he has been on the same one ever since with few problems, although once he found it was interacting with another drug he was taking for something else. It made him feel suicidal. He does not remember being told by the clinicians running the trial that there might be any interactions, but he has since discovered that he should not take the two drugs at the same time of day and then the problem is avoided. On another occasion trial staff had increased his medication and this caused his blood pressure to become too low. This was picked up by hospital staff caring for him when he was admitted to hospital for something completely different. The hospital rectified the situation and returned his blood pressure to an acceptable level.
On the whole he has been very pleased with the care at the trial clinic, and is glad that he has had the opportunity to find a drug that really works for him. He feels very well and fit for his age. Most of the staff have been very professional and he trusts them. One exception was a young nurse who got into a heated discussion with him before taking his blood pressure for routine monitoring. This heated discussion made him agitated and caused his blood pressure to increase, and he did not think her approach was sensible. Other staff were very good at making sure he felt calm and relaxed before checking his blood pressure.
Harry is glad he stuck with the trial, and advises anyone else who gets side effects during a trial not to give up but to go back to the clinicians and get help and advice. His main reason for taking part in the trial was for the benefit of his own health, but he also hopes the results will benefit other people in future.