COMMERCIAL CRITIQUE PAPER 7
Gastrointestinaldisorders include the diseases that affect the functionality of thebowel. Accordingly, the bowel usually looks normal but does notfunction appropriately. These disorders are the common problemsaffecting the rectum and the colon. They include irritable bowelsyndrome (IBS) and constipation among others. Some of the causesinclude consuming a diet that is low in fiber, consumption of largepercentages of dairy products, travelling and other alterations toregular routine, stress and restating the urge to accomplish a bowlmovement. Different medications have been developed to treat anderadicate symptoms associated with these conditions. Some of thedrugs are offered under prescription while others are available overthe counter. Consumers of these drugs usually access informationabout their existence, their usage and their effectiveness throughmarketing strategies used by their manufacturers it is important toassess whether the information provided by the drug companies throughtheir marketing strategies is reliable or misleading. Based on this,the paper will evaluate television ads for loperamide (Imodium) andtegaserod (Zelnorm).
FDA-Regulated Prescription Drug- Zelnorm
Thetelevision ad for this drug includes words written on stomachs ofdifferent people. The ad commences by explicating the variousgastrointestinal problems the drug teas such as bloating, abdominalpain, and constipation. The advert encourages a person whoexperiences these conditions to go the doctor (Axakowsky, 2014). Thisis a decisive factor because the ad does not encourage a patient totake the medication but go to the physician to ascertain the realcondition. Thus, abdominal pain may not necessarily be a stomachachebut could be because of a more severe condition that could haveadverse effects on health. With reference to the advert, these signscould indicate the presence of irritable bowel syndrome withconstipation. The advertisement presents Zelnorm as the solution toirritable bowel syndrome (Axakowsky, 2014). It points out clearlythat the drug is only used by women. It also explicates how the drugworks. Accordingly, it works by coordinating the nerves and musclesinvolved in the GI tract. Subsequently, the drug helps in enablingthe GI tract to function appropriately.
Theadvert has provided vital information that facilitates appropriateusage. As stipulated early, Zelnorm is only used by women.Conversely, and indicated by the ad, it is not effective is allwomen. In accordance with the advert, women with a history ofdiarrhea, kidney, liver or gallbladder disease should not use thedrug (Axakowsky, 2014). In addition to this, a patient should testfor blockages before the utilization of the drug. Provision of suchinformation is helpful in thwarting the complication of disease andhealth conditions. The patient is also advised not to make a personaldecision regarding the use of this drug but seek the advice of thedoctor for prescription purposes.
Contractionsof the intestinal muscles, principally in the colon are responsiblefor the movement of food throughout the gastrointestinal tract.Patients suffering from constipation have fewer contractions (Ford,et al., 2009). Serotonin has been established to be a major factor inrelation to controlling the contractions. The nerves in the intestineare responsible for manufacturing serotonin. Subsequent to itsmanufacture, the nerves release serotonin that then travels and bindsthe receptors. The binding sites are the surfaced of the receptorsthat are near the nerves (Ford, et al., 2009). When serotonin bindsto the receptors, it can either prevent or promote contractions. Thetype of receptor the receptor bind to determines whether thecontractions will be prevented or promoted. The binding of serotoninto the serotonin receptor 5-HT4 has been established to preventcontractions (Ford, et al., 2009). Tegaserod works by blocking the5-HT4 receptor hence thwarts serotonin from binding to this receptor.As a consequence, this drug increases contractions. The escalation onthe contractions escalates the transit of foods and reversesconstipation. Furthermore, tegaserod decreases the sensitivity of theintestinal pain-sensing nerves hence decreases the perception of pain(Ford, et al., 2009).
Non-FDARegulated Over-the-Counter Medication- Loperamide (Imodium)
Thead commences with a girl waiting for her boyfriend who has gone tothe toilet. The boyfriend is suffering from a kind ofgastrointestinal disorder, which has kept him in the bathroom for along time. The girl gets tired of waiting and decides to go away. Theboyfriend takes loperamide and feels better in a split of a second.He runs after the girl and gives her flowers. This ad is acombination of actions and a song. The song helps in comprehendingthe actions taking place. According to the ad, the drug helps you notto stay away from loved ones because of stomach upsets or discomfort(Singapura, 2014).
Theadvert does not provide information pertaining to thegastrointestinal disorder it treats. Many gastrointestinal diseasescause stomach discomfort. Consequently, discomfort alone does notprovide sufficient information related to the disease Loperamidetreats. The advert does not also provide information regarding theage or gender of those who are supposed to use the drug. In the samecontext, it does not indicate whether the general populationirrespective of age or gender can utilize the drug. In the advert,those used to advertize the drug are young adults. If the advert usedpeople of different age groups, this would provide information aboutthe age groups that can use the drug. Moreover, the advert does notprovide information about those who are not supposed to use the drug.
Formarketing purposes, the choice of a storyline can contribute tomaking sales. This is with the explication that the drug is presentedin a way that it promotes comfortable living. Nevertheless, theadvert does not provide information for patients to know what theyare buying. Moreover, as indicated in the advert, the drug works in asplit second. This is useful for marketing purpose but does notprovide information about the factors that can compromise thefunctionality of the drug including its interactions with otherdrugs.
Furthermore,according to the advert, when a person takes the drug, theircondition will automatically improve. This is because the advertdoes not encourage people to seek further treatment from theirdoctors in case the symptoms persist. The advert would have providedinformation about the duration the drug is expected to have acted. Ifthe symptoms persist or when the patient does not realize changesafter this period, the patient should see a doctor.
Loperamideis a drug used to relieve acute diarrhea. It is also employed in themanagement of chronic diarrhea in patients suffering frominflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis as Crohn’sdisease (Faure, 2013). This medication decreases diarrhea by slowingthe forward propulsion of intestinal contents, which is enabled bythe intestinal muscles (Lu, Chung, & Cheng, 2011). Therefore,loperamide functions by acting on the µ receptors that are along thesmall intestine. Consequently, this reduces the longitudinal andcircular muscle activity. The antidiarrheal action of loperamide isachieved by slowing down the intestinal transit and escalating thecontact time (Faure, 2013). Moreover, this medication works byinhibiting electrolyte and fluid secretion and stimulating theabsorption of water and salt.
Comparisonof the Two Commercials
Withregard to patient safety, the Zelnorm advert focuses more on thesafety of the users compared to loperamide. Thus, the Zelnorm advertprovides information about those who cannot use the drug.Additionally, the advert advises people to seek for doctor’s adviceprior to the use of the drug On the other hand, the loperamide advertdoes not provide information about those who are exempted from theuse of the drug. Moreover, the advert does not advise one to seek fordoctor’s help. The drug treats diarrhea, which is associated withdehydration. The advert does not help the patient to take measureslike taking fluids to reduce the rate of dehydration.
Accordingto the loperamide drug, the drug alleviates the symptoms very fast.With regard to the different studies that have been carried out onthis medication, it significantly reduces diarrhea. After 24 hours ofuse, the drug reduces the number of stools (Faure, 2013). Therefore,the advert has over-presented the benefits by pointing out that thedrug acts in a few minutes. On the other hand, studies have indicatedthat Zelnorm is superior to placebo when it comes to the treatment ofirritable bowel syndrome (Ford, et al., 2009). The advert has pointedout the drug treats this disease alone and has gone further toexplore situations when it is not effective.
Theadvertising of the prescription drug seen to be detailed compared tothe one for over-the-counter. Irrespective of the category of thedrug, manufacturers should provide sufficient information that shouldprevent the user or patient from further complications.
Axakowsky,N. (2014, Aug 13). NadiaAxakowsky Zelnorm Commercial.Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHBvuyEobv0
Faure,C. (2013). Role of Antidiarrhoeal Drugs as Adjunctive Therapies forAcute Diarrhoea in Children. InternationalJournal of Pediatrics, 2013(ArticleID 612403). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/612403
Ford,A., Bradnt, A., Young, C., Chey, W., Foxx-Orenstein, A., &Moayyedi, P. (2009). Effi cacy of 5-HT 3 Antagonists and 5-HT 4Agonists in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Systematic Review andMeta-Analysis . AmJ Gastronenterol, 104,1831-43. doi:10.1038/ajg.2009.223
Lu,C., Chung, H., & Cheng, J. (2011). Prostatic relaxation inducedby loperamide is mediated through activation of opioid µ-2 receptorsin vitro. Experimentaland Therapeutic Medicine,281-5. doi:10.3892/etm.2011.201
Singapura,E. (2014, Jan 25). LoperamideImodium BSBA/FM-IIA.Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdWZbOHf8zw