Are Clinical Trials Safe? 5 things To Know Before You Sign Up

Clinical trials can be a good way of making a few extra dollars. However, many people wonder if the trials are safe, so they are hesitant to participate. Safety can vary between trials depending on the clinic that is holding the trial, the qualification of the staff, what the trial is testing, what medication is used, etc. However, there are a few things to know about clinical trials in general before you commit. It is important to thoroughly research the trial you intend to participate in, but here are a few things you should know before signing up for a clinical trial anywhere.

You’re Not the First Test

Clinical trials are made safer by extensive research prior to administration to humans as well as animal trials on animals that have a similar genetic makeup to humans. Researchers are extremely confident of the drug’s efficacy and lack of serious side effects before they begin conducting clinical trials on humans. If any of your findings suggest that you are the first group to try a new drug or treatment, find out what that really means. Try to find out how extensively the clinic has tested the treatments before they plan to test them out on you.

Liability is High

The value of human lives is high for researchers, and any problems with the clinical trials could mean millions of dollars in payouts to the participants. So you can be sure that researchers will take all of the safeguards necessary to prevent possible injury or side effects. Because of the liability involved in clinical trials, they are not just thrown together (for the most part.) They take careful planning and are meant to benefit people, not put human lives in danger. Because of liability issues, the clinic you choose should have a highly skilled staff of individuals who know what they are doing. They will use a high grade of medical devices, even for small things like syringes, a Luer Lock, needles, and other instruments. Any legitimate clinical trial will have a professional staff, adequate equipment, and high confidence in the success of the trial and safety of the patients.

You Will Be Monitored Carefully

Researchers will be sure to monitor their clinical trial participants very carefully for any signs that the drug is having an unintended effect. Your health, vitals, experiences, and symptoms will be of great importance. Any signs of trouble will mean that the trials will be stopped, and the symptoms will be treated carefully. Those holding the trial will be sure to give you explicit instructions of what to do if you experience any abnormal symptoms, and prepare you for anything that could go wrong. They should also provide you with contact information you can use either for an urgent situation, or just for any questions or concerns you may have. They will want to communicate with you as thoroughly and frequently as possible, not only to monitor your status, but to make sure that nothing is out of the ordinary or endangering your life in any way.

You Are Not Obligated to Continue

If at any time during a trial you feel that you would not like to continue, you are able to quit taking the medication and end the trial. So you can feel safe in knowing that you will not be obligated to continue a trial if you think that you may be experiencing negative symptoms from the medication. However, your health will still be monitored for a certain period, even if you choose to end the trial. In most cases, you will still get paid and won’t be penalized for ending the trial early. The clinic will want you to end the trial if it is putting your life and health at risk, so you will likely still receive compensation for the part of the trial that you participated in.

There are Various Levels of Safety

As mentioned before, the level of safety of the test depends on many factors. For instance, it could be considered a “safer” trial depending on how many trials have been conducted with the medication before. If you are in the fourth round of human trials, and the first three have gone successfully, then you can be fairly confident that you will be safe. It will also depend on what the trial is testing, like what diseases or body parts are the main focus of the trial. This is where your judgment comes into play. It is up to you to do the research necessary to decide if a particular trial is right for you. After weighing the pros and cons of a study, you can decide if it is worth your time, the amount of money offered, and the risk to your personal health.


Clinical trials do have their risks, but companies and researchers have a lot of interest in making sure that the drugs are safe before they administer them to people. The public backlash, human cost, and moral concerns make it certain that the clinical trials will be well monitored. Most clinical trials are very safe, and there is a lot of effort put into making the trials as safe as possible.

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