08 April 2012

Captain Obvious symbology 101

About two weeks ago I started taking Accutane, an oral medication with a host of terrifying potential side effects. I had discussed said side effects with my doctor - I believe my exact words were, "I AM PROBABLY GOING TO DIE, RIGHT?" - and she pointed out that if you actually read the side-effects panel on pretty much any medication you arrive at basically the same conclusion, which is that you are a goner because that ibuprofen is going to skyrocket your inter-cranial pressure and explode your liver. Oh well. At least your tight IT band will feel better!

For this particular medication, the side effect that most riles people is the potential for severe and scary birth defects. Because of this, the prescription is heavily regulated. I have to take a pregnancy test every month before I can get a refill, and I have to log on to a website and correctly answer a bunch of "trivia" questions regarding contraceptives before I can pick up each refill. It all feels weird and invasive to me, but overall the drug makes sense for me right now* and it's only for six months so I can deal with all of that.

What I cannot really deal with is the packaging. Behold:

The pills come in huge blister packs. Each 30-day refill comes in a 5x7 box with three of these monsters. This is the front. That lady is pregnant (she probably got all of her contraception trivia questions wrong) and the pharmaceutical company is ANGRY about it and has thus emblazoned her with a scarlet no-symbol of shame. NO BABIES.

Then you open the package to see the following:

You have to peel back a stomach-of-shame lady every day in order to take your pill. As if her unborn child's severe birth defects aren't enough, she now has to deal with me popping her head off every night just to get to my drugs. Note the bright red "DO NOT GET PREGNANT" warnings, just in case you aren't fluent in symbology and so couldn't understand what the dozens of NO! BABIES! pregnant ladies were trying to tell you.

But really, the best part is the back.

JUST IN CASE the dozens of printed "DO NOT GET PREGNANT" warnings weren't enough, on the OFF CHANCE that the hundreds of silhouetted pregnant women weren't clear, allow us to show you some mongoloid babies. Behold! Get knocked up while you're on this drug and you'll be giving birth to a conehead! Conehead baby looks sad, because his ears are drifting down toward his neck! Conehead baby is so sleepy, because holding that head up is hard work! Conehead baby looks an awful lot like Sweet Pea, Popeye's child!

I guess Olive Oyl was hitting the 'tane pretty hard while she was pregnant. It also reminded me of the Family Circus children:

Lots of irresponsible mothers in comic-land, evidently.

Unrelated bonus bunny picture because it's Easter:

*Accutane is for acne and is usually the last-resort oral medication, recommended for people who haven't gotten results from other prescriptions. I don't have terrible acne, but I do have consistent breakouts which is not really a thing I want to be dealing with in my 30s. (It was not really a thing I wanted to be dealing with in my 20s, either, but Accutane scared me so I put it off for a long time.) I actually wrote this whole post without mentioning the drug by name, but then I decided that would annoy me if I read it on another blog, so here you go! Sharing inappropriate personal information with strangers on the Internet, I am totes a blogger now!


  1. Wow. I've never seen such regulations for an acne medication. I hope the risks are worth it for you!

  2. Roaccutane is the most effective way for acne treatment. There are no other medicines that treat acne like the way Roaccutane does. Roaccutane contains the active ingredient Isotretinoin. Isotretinoin reduces the excessive production of natural oil (sebum) produced by skin.

    Buy Accutane