Even though you may have heard of clinical trials before, there’s a lot of information that you might not have. This information can heavily influence whether or not you should consider joining a trial so it’s good to know which questions to ask.
15 Great Questions About Clinical Trials
1. What phase is the clinical trial in?
Clinical trials have five different phases and this can determine whether or not you want to participate. Phase zero is usually limited to a few people so researchers can determine if the drug may work. The first phase establishes if the treatment is safe while phase two explores how well the treatment works. Phase three compares the effectiveness of the new treatment against what’s currently available and the fourth phase gives researchers additional information like side effects.
2. How do you think this trial will benefit me?
The expected outcome of clinical trials can vary. Even if it’s designed around your illness, it doesn’t mean that the trial is focused on a treatment that will help you, specifically.
3. How will my routine change?
Clinical trials usually have set schedules when it comes to administering medications, follow-up tests, and monitoring. You’ll likely need to rearrange your regular routine to ensure that you’re on time and have enough time for everything that’s required.
4. Will there be side effects?
This can be a tricky one depending on the phase of the clinical trial and the medication that’s being used. It’s possible that the researchers might not have a list of all the possible side effects. However, there should be a procedure in place for you to report any changes in your health.
5. Will I continue any of my current medications?
This is an important question as you may be dealing with different conditions. Being on certain medications may disqualify you from a clinical trial because of the risk of an interaction.
6. Can you pick which group I go into?
You may want to be in the group that receives the new drug but that’s not always possible. Some clinical trials are randomized, which means recipients of the drug are chosen at random. Additionally, some researchers opt for a double-blind trial so that even the doctors don’t know what treatment you’re receiving.
7. Will I still see you or any of my regular doctors?
While you’ll be seen regularly by the doctors associated with the clinical trial, it’s understandable that you’ll want to keep seeing your regular doctor. They should be able to tell you how that can happen and what information you might be able to share about the trial.
8. Will I know if the treatment is working?
The medications may not work the same way for everyone. Even if the treatment is working, it might not happen on the