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What are the risks of joining a clinical trial?

There are some potential risks associated with clinical trials. The treatment may have side effects or produce adverse reactions. You may be assigned to the group receiving the standard of care, or you may receive the experimental treatment but not derive any benefit. In some cases, you may have some added inconveniences, such as frequent trips to the study site, hospital stays or difficult or uncomfortable procedures, depending on how the trial is designed. Participation in clinical trials isn't always free, so be sure to find out whether your health insurance will cover related costs.

Bottom line: Be sure to learn all you can and weigh your options before enrolling in a clinical trial.

Joining a clinical trial is associated with some risks, since all the effects of a new medication may not be known yet. New treatments can have side effects, which can make people feel unwell. It’s very important that clinical trial participants tell the doctors if they start to feel unwell. Also, clinical trial participants must have regular check-ups throughout the trial, which can take up a lot of time.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.