What to Know About Clinical Trials

When you look at the world of medicine 700 years ago, you will realize that medical treatment has progressed greatly. One of the main changes of this progress is clinical trials. These types of trials are beneficial because this type of medical research involves individuals. There are two different kinds of clinical research, which are:

  • Observational Studies
  • Clinical Trials

Medical researchers use observational studies to watch people in a certain environment. For this to happen, researchers need to gather information and find volunteers according to the information they gathered. After that, they should compare the changes that take place over a definite time frame. Clinical trials work differently from this.

Clinical Trials: What Are They?

Researchers conduct research studies on people to understand a medical, behavioral, or surgical aspect better. This research method is one of the most useful ways for researchers to find a new way to treat patients in real life. Clinical trials could include finding a new drug, discovering new medical equipment, and more. With clinical trials, researchers could consider the advantages and disadvantages that participants face throughout it. Other than the reasons mentioned above, clinical trials can be used for:

  • Figuring out ways to find a disease in the first phases
  • Try out new drugs or medical equipment
  • Avoid health concerns
  • Work on improving the quality of life for people with a fatal condition and/or a chronic issue
  • Provide more clarity for caregivers or other groups that support patients

However, only some people can perform clinical trials on people. Firstly, researchers will perform lab tests and trials on animals. Once they understand that the clinical trial is safe and can be tested on humans, it requires approval. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for approving clinical trials before people can take part in them. Once the FDA approves the clinical trial, it will start.

The Four Stages of a Clinical Trial

There are four stages that a clinical trial goes through:

First stage: The first phase of the trial is when an experimental treatment is conducted on a sample group of people. Usually, the sample could be from 20 to 80 people. During the first phase, researchers will understand how safe the treatment is.

Second stage: The second phase is mostly a continuation of the first phase. However, the only difference is that the second phase will have more participants. Typically, the number of participants could be from 100 to 300. While the first phase focuses on the safety of the treatment, the second phase focuses on the treatment’s effectiveness. If they want to know more about the possible effects of the treatment, the second phase could continue for years on end.

Third stage: The third phase of the trial is gathering as much information as possible on how safe and effective a treatment is. Throughout the trial, researchers focus on different doses, different groups of people, and more. In terms of how many people participate in the third phase, it typically falls from a couple hundred to about 3,000 participants. If the results of these three stages seem promising, then the FDA approves the tested treatment. This treatment could be a drug, medical equipment, and more.

Fourth stage: The fourth phase of the trial takes place after the FDA approves the treatment. This allows the treatment to be assessed with a bigger population. This phase allows researchers to know more about the safety and effectiveness of something on a wider scale.

What Could Someone Get Out of Participating in a Clinical Trial?

There are many different reasons why a person would want to participate in a clinical trial. Popular reasons include:

  • Looking for assistance for their health issues when traditional ways do not work anymore
  • People that consider finding any kind of treatment for their health issues that do not have a current treatment
  • Want to figure out about the newest treatments before it reaches the market
  • Want to work on progressing medical technology

No matter what the reason is, you need to consider your own health condition to find the most suitable reason for why you want to participate in a clinical trial. As an example, if you have migraines and cannot find pain relief, a clinical trial for preventing migraines could offer you some relief.

How Clinical Trials Operate

How clinical trials operate can differ based on the trial. On the other hand, you can generally define the process in seven steps:

  1. Researchers and medical professionals will offer more information about the clinical trials and get to know you.
  2. If you are eligible and interested in taking part in the trial, you will be required to sign a consent form.
  3. The medical professionals will conduct a screening to figure out whether you actually qualify or not.
  4. If you are eligible, then you will be able to join the trial.
  5. Once you join the trial, the medical staff will schedule your baseline visit, which is your first visit as a participant.
  6. The medical staff will place you in one of two groups: the control group or the treatment group.
  7. You will go through the procedures of the trial. If you have any questions, feedback, or issues, then you can talk to the medical staff or researchers.

Finding a Clinical Trial

It can be easier than you may realize to find a clinical trial if you want to take part in one. There is a wide range of different methods to look for clinical trials.Some ways that you can find clinical trials is through:

  • Social media ads
  • Asking a medical professional like your doctor, a healthcare provider, etc.
  • Online searches
  • A registry for clinical trials

The Final Verdict

Medicine and medical technology has progressed in this day and age farther than it ever has in the history of time. One of the reasons that helps with medical progress is clinical trials. However, there are only some people that can conduct a clinical trial. There are four stages that a clinical trial goes through. Clinical trials can support the progress of medicine. This is due to the fact that clinical trials work to:

  • Figuring out ways to find a disease in the first phases
  • Try out new drugs or medical equipment
  • Avoid health concerns
  • Work on improving the quality of life for people with a fatal condition and/or a chronic issue
  • Provide more clarity for caregivers or other groups that support patients

There are many reasons that people decide to participate in a clinical trial. If you want to take part in a clinical trial, there are many ways to look for opportunities. The best place to find opportunities is online.