There are 133,579 American clinical trials registered as of July 2022. Clinical trials help researchers continue to improve healthcare and vaccine availability.
Citizens sign up for clinical research but often have questions about what to expect. Keep reading if you’d like to learn about the clinical trial phases.
Most people wonder if they can continue living life normally. Suppose they have to stop certain activities or regular medications. This guide will teach you all about the different clinical trial phases.
Ready to learn more? Check out the tips below.
Qualifying for a Clinical Trial
There are many different phases of clinical trials. Every step will build more information from the previous trial.
Some people qualify for a particular phase because of their health or illness.
Defining the Different Phases
In Phase I, a doctor will provide new treatment to a small group of people. They want to test the safety of the drug.
Researchers will determine the best route to give the medicine. They will also study the possible side effects and find the best dosage. In phase II, researchers determine how the treatment works for a specific illness.
In phase III, the team will compare this treatment with standard treatment.
Researchers see if there are effects of different dosages or combinations of medicines. They’ll see how treatments affect various populations like young, old, and ethnic groups.
In Phase IV, the treatment will be tried on typical patients. They look for side effects not present in the other phases. The researchers will also determine how the treatment worked out long-term.
The FDA will let drug makers market their treatment in this phase. Clinical trials will help save lives and even the lives of participants.
Advantages of Participating in a Clinical Trial
You’ll get to try a new treatment before it’s released. Researchers will use the information they gather and create improved treatments. Learn more about the benefits.
The agency will usually pay for the tests and doctor visits. Always ask about the costs before beginning the trial.
Any medical treatment will usually carry a degree of risk. The risk will depend on your overall health and the type of treatment. During a clinical trial, researchers aren’t going to know the effects of the treatment on your body. That’s why they conduct the tests.
Moreover, these risks are often compounded by factors such as age, pre-existing conditions, and genetic predispositions. Each of these can influence how your body reacts to new treatments. In clinical trials, while efforts are made to predict and mitigate adverse effects, unexpected reactions can still occur. This uncertainty is a fundamental part of medical research but is also a concern for participants.
Furthermore, the long-term effects of a new treatment may not be fully understood. Clinical trials often focus on immediate or short-term effects, leaving potential long-term consequences less explored. This gap in understanding can be particularly concerning for treatments administered over an extended period or have systemic impacts on the body.
It’s also important to consider the psychological impact of participating in a clinical trial. The experience can be stressful, and the uncertainty regarding the treatment’s efficacy can cause anxiety. Patients might also face logistical challenges, such as frequent hospital visits, disrupting their daily routines, and contributing to emotional and physical strain.
Lastly, there is the ethical dimension of clinical trials. Participants must be fully informed about the potential risks and benefits, and their consent must be given freely, without coercion. Ensuring ethical conduct in these trials is crucial for maintaining public trust in medical research and for the protection of the participants themselves.
Each of these factors underscores the need for thorough and ethical conduct in clinical trials. While they are essential for advancing medical science, participants’ well-being and informed consent must always be a top priority.
Can You Take Your Regular Medications During a Clinical Trial?
During a clinical trial, expect to undergo more tests and exams than you’re used to and follow-ups from doctors.
The researchers and doctors will collect lots of information. You might need to either change or stop your current medications.
You should always talk to the doctor in advance if this is a concern. Find out what you’ll need to stop.
Talk to Your Doctor
Speak with your primary healthcare provider before participating in a clinical trial. Your doctor can help you make an informed decision.
Talk to your doctor about the potential implications.
Consider Participating in a Clinical Trial
Some Americans decide to participate in a clinical trial for different reasons. If you’d like to join a study, make sure you talk to your doctor. You should also find out if you can take your regular medications.
Look at finding a reputable clinical research team.
Contact us today if you’d like more information about current or upcoming studies.