Participant story: Clive MacDonald
Please could you give us a brief summary of the trial that you are participating in?
I am involved in a trial which is testing the use of Dapagliflozin, a drug that has traditionally been used in the treatment of Type II diabetes. The drug is being tested because researchers believe that it has recuperative benefits for people who have suffered from a recent heart attack. You have to start the drug in the first week of being admitted to hospital, which obviously meant the research team came to me very quickly to ask if I wanted to be a part of the trial, and of course, I was happy to do so.
So how long ago was it that you suffered a heart attack?
It happened on the 10 July last year, and it was due to a complication from a previous procedure. I had to have a stent fitted in early 2020, just before the first lockdown. Because of COVID-19 I didn’t have any of the normal routine follow up appointments, which meant that when the stent became blocked, it wasn’t spotted in time, and this is what caused the attack. I had just been to the gym, but when I got home I started to feel very strange. I soon realised what it was, and my wife called the ambulance which took me into hospital to be admitted.
From there I was invited to take part in the trial, and I suppose I made a good candidate as my heart attack was recent and I am not a diabetic. This means they are able to investigate what the drug can do when it is repurposed for something outside of its intended use.
Did you have any doubts about participating?
When I read through the list of potential side-effects, I think there was a small seed of doubt planted, but I know I can stop at any time. I said that the first sign of anything on that list, then I’m sorry but I’m stopping, ha! But in all seriousness, for me it was comforting to have the extra follow-up appointments, ECGs and monitoring. I don’t know whether I’m actually taking the drug or the placebo and I have no issue with that, but if I am taking it and does benefit then that’s fantastic, and if I’m not, at the very least I’m still helping!
What sort of time commitment is there for this trial?
Well actually I don’t remember - haha! I don’t know how long I’ll be doing it for but all I have to do is make sure to take the pills and come in for follow up appointments. Sometimes they’ll send me the odd questionnaire which doesn’t ever take that long. I’ve got my own company so I’m fortunate that I can be really flexible - I’m quite happy to come down here and go through the testing etc. whenever is necessary, especially as the staff are always so pleasant and helpful…they are fantastic! There is also an added benefit when going to regular testing for the trial; if there are any issues or concerns, they will be spotted quickly and sent over to my doctor to be addressed.