Risks and benefits
Clinical trials are designed to make the risks as low as possible and the benefits as great as possible for all who participate.
Benefits of taking part in a clinical trial
Participating in a clinical trial means you may be given a new treatment that works better than the standard one. You will also be helping doctors discover which treatments can benefit future patients.
When you take part in a trial, you will be monitored closely before and after the study. Your doctors will probably want you to have regular examinations such as blood tests, and they may want you to answer some additional questions about how you feel. This careful monitoring means that any change in your health—whether it is related to the treatment you are receiving or not-may be noticed and treated as soon as possible.
The potential risks of participating in a clinical trial
With any clinical trial there is always a slight risk that the treatment may do you harm or cause unpleasant or unexpected side effects. During the trial, researchers do everything possible to minimize these risks.
Practical issues when taking part in a clinical trial
Taking part in a clinical trial can mean going to your hospital or GP more frequently than usual, and this must be taken into consideration before you agree to participate. Going to the hospital can be exhausting, and the commute may be costly.
Ask your doctor if many extra visits will be necessary and think about what is best for you. You can also ask if the research trial can pay you for the extra travel expenses and how you can claim these.