Since advertising deregulation in the United States first started allowing prescription drug makers to push their products on the public we have been inundated with images of the joy that a wide variety of drugs will bring us. There is no rational reason to purchase any drug you see advertised on TV. The advertisements usually consist of a vague list of symptoms and people suddenly becoming happy after implicitly taking the drug. If they tell you what the drug does then they have to mumble through the side effects. If they don't tell you exactly what it does and keep things vague they can ignore the side effects.

I'm going to cut through the middle man on this one. I am going to give you the specific application, the side effects, and tell you how good or bad the drug is based on the smiling people I found on the manufacturer's website. How happy will the drug make you? Let the marketing department try to tell us!

Viagra (sildenafil citrate)
What it's for: Erectile dysfunction
Best Side Effects: Temporary changes in color vision (such as trouble telling the difference between blue and green objects or having a blue color tinge to them), heart attack, stroke, irregular heart beats, and death.



The Smile: As of the date of my writing this article Viagra is the second most common punch line to jokes during Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" monologues, second only to Monica Lewinsky. For a drug that is supposedly so hilarious you would think the guy taking it would look a bit happier. Making him monochrome is also an interesting choice. A possible reference to Viagra's numerous eye-related side effects? Could be! Judging on smiles alone Viagra is the least effective drug of the bunch. The marketing tagline associated with the image is also pretty dubious. Get back to some mischief, like what? Building a potato cannon and shooting it at cats? Stealing the Johnson's newspaper? Date raping underage girls with your chemically engorged meat wand? Tell your mischief to the judge, Viagra.

Cialis (tadalafil)
What it's for: Erectile dysfunction
Best Side Effects: If you take nitrates, often used for chest pain (also known as angina), or alpha-blockers (other than Flomax 0.4 mg once daily), prescribed for prostate problems or high blood pressure, do not take CIALIS. Such combinations could cause a sudden, unsafe drop in blood pressure.



The Smile: Dick drugs are big business and Cialis has developed a reputation as one of the best, although it has been tough growing up in Viagra's blue-tinged shadow. Perhaps overcompensating, Cialis has slapped two grinning idiots on its website to prove to you that it is far superior to the smirking, mischief-making, grayscale goober taking Viagra. The picture is also more than a little disturbing. Is he sneaking up behind her and sliding a round down the mortar tube or is he about to do that head smashing attack from "Fist of the North Star"? Whatever atrocities they are about to commit in the name of their religion, Cialis has made them really happy about it. A truly amazing drug.

Levitra (vardenafil HCl)
What it's for: Erectile dysfunction
Best Side Effects: Before taking LEVITRA, tell your doctor about all your medical problems, including if you have a deformed penis shape.



The Smile: Levitra finishes out the triumvirate of popular dick drugs, thanks in no small part to a massive TV advertising campaign that you couldn't miss even if you had your cable disconnected by an earth-destroying meteor. The grinning imbeciles featured on Levitra's website indicate that not only will Levitra make you much happier; it will also transport you to a soft-focus cloud-wrapped fantasy world. Viagra might make you see blue but our drug will turn your life into a flashback! Assuming you don't have a bent dick.

Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium)
What it's for: High cholesterol
Best Side Effects: Rare cases of rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria have been reported with atorvastatin and with other drugs in this class.



The Smile: Our drug will make you smile when you talk to fats. Even the stink of fatness that lingers about their fatty-fatskins will not get you down.

Wellbutrin (bupropion HCl)
What it's for: Depression and other emotional problems
Best Side Effects: Some patients get seizures while taking WELLBUTRIN XL. If you have a seizure while taking WELLBUTRIN XL, stop taking the tablets and call your doctor right away.



The Smile: The woman on the Wellbutrin site looks happy but also slightly worried. Maybe the Wellbutrin isn't working properly and some of that crushing social anxiety is filtering in. On the other hand, she might just be worried about having a seizure. Yes, Wellbutrin makes you happy, but you also have to carry around a stick that you can bite when the seizures start.

Neurontin (gabapentin)
What it's for: Partial seizures and pain after having shingles
Best Side Effects: Children taking NEURONTIN may have behavior problems, hostility, a hard time concentrating, and changes in schoolwork.



The Smile: I love the smiling giraffe-necked old woman on the Neurontin site. She's so goddamn purple and happy. I can't explain the purple hue, but I'd be happy too if Neurontin took care of that cartoon bullet wound I was suffering from earlier. Man, that thing was terrible.

Zoloft (sertraline HCl)
What it's for: Depression and other emotional problems
Best Side Effects: Hyperthermia, rigidity, myoclonus, autonomic instability with possible rapid fluctuations of vital signs, mental status changes that include confusion, irritability, and extreme agitation progressing to delirium and coma.



The Smile: The smiling puffball, as seen on TV, represents the happy dreamlike state Zoloft will put you in. I think the ladybug represents myoclonus, whatever the hell that is.

Effexor (venlafaxine HCl)
What it's for: Depression and other emotional problems
Best Side Effects: When people suddenly stop using EFFEXOR XR, they can get symptoms from stopping the medicine too fast. Some of these symptoms include agitation, anxiety, confusion, diarrhea, dizziness or vertigo, dry mouth, fasciculation (muscle twitching), headaches, hypomania, impaired coordination, insomnia (trouble sleeping), loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, seizures, sensory disturbances (including electric shock sensations), somnolence (sleepiness), sweating, tinnitus, tiredness, tremor, unpleasant mood, and vomiting.



The Smile: Existing…functioning…back to me…life destroyed because I stopped taking Effexor. Based on that laundry list of side effects Effexor must be what they gave Snake Pliskin in "Escape from LA". "Rescue the president's daughter from post-apocalyptic Los Angeles or we'll cut off your Effexor supply and laugh as you die from fasciculation!"

Paxil (paroxetine HCl)
What it's for: Depression and other emotional problems
Best Side Effects: Other side effects may include injury, yawning, abnormal vision, and sexual side effects.



The Smile: Paxil girl looks very happy and very alternative. Paxil has turned her frown upside down and transformed her into a Bohemian with a cute toque who will go to coffee shop open mic nights and read beat poetry about her menstrual cycle. "Heat…hot…flash in my body…white fire/red tide. Blazing carmine ocean, of my abstract despair."

Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium)
What it's for: High cholesterol
Best Side Effects: Pharmacokinetic studies show an approximate 2-fold elevation in median exposure in Japanese subjects residing in Japan and in Chinese subjects residing in Singapore compared with Caucasians residing in North America and Europe.



The Smile: Crestor and Lipitor both make me think that cholesterol lowering drugs are only for skinny women in sleeveless shirts. Hey, at least it makes them happy, although Crestor's woman is suspiciously small.

Celebrex (celecoxib)
What it's for: Arthritis pain
Best Single Sentence Corporate Response to Medication Being Revealed as Dangerous: In placing this new information in context, it is important to understand that the APC trial results differ from both the PreSAP cardiovascular results as well as the large body of data that we and others have accumulated over time, in which an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events in arthritis patients, even at higher-than-recommended doses, had not been seen.



The Smile: According to archive.org the Celebrex site originally had a lineup of grinning seniors marching happily along now that Celebrex has given their arthritis pain a 1-2 punch. Now the front page of Celebrex's site is covered with lame damage control by Pfizer after it was revealed that Celebrex is likely to cause you to die. Since it doesn't definitely cause you to die they're still allowed to sell it, which means they're doing their best to convince you that the death risk is hogwash. Where are the smiling seniors now? Dead from heart attacks caused by Celebrex, of course!

Zocor (celecoxib)
What it's for: High cholesterol
Best Side Effects: Unexplained muscle pain or weakness could be a sign of a rare but serious side effect and should be reported to your doctor right away. ZOCOR may interact with other medicines or certain foods, increasing your risk of getting this serious side effect.



The Smile: She emerged from the sea, a dread worshipper of Dagon, her skin wet and glistening in the dim light of a fading sun. Her smile was hungry. Hungry for the cholesterol inside my blood. As she dragged me down in a spreading spill of red, my arms thrashing, my eyes wild with pain, she told me her name in her sibilant alien tongue; Zocor.

I now have a four hour erection of my bent penis, it looks blue, my kidneys have failed, and I'm having seizures and a heart attack. But oh God, the sweetness of life. I can't get this smile off of my face!

– Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons (@sexyfacts4u)

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