What is a clinical trial? Basically, clinical trials are medical studies or experiments performed in clinical trials. These studies are usually done on humans who have specific health conditions that could benefit by new drugs or other treatments. These studies are used in the development of new medications or treatment procedures and may be supervised, approved or financed by different medical institutions or agencies.
To answer the question: what is a clinical trial, you need to know what the main aim of such medical studies is. They are usually done to test new treatments for serious diseases or for those that are expected to have serious side effects after regular use. In most cases, these drugs are not approved for general use before being given to patients. This is why patients who are taking part in the study are monitored closely and the drug is switched as needed for the success of the experiment.
Clinical trials usually take several phases. There are basically four phases in each study. The first is the ‘seed’ phase, where the medication is tested on volunteers. During this phase, small groups of volunteers are given the new drugs under supervised conditions. The safety monitoring is done only during this phase. This is also the stage where some of the possible side effects that may occur during the new drugs can be discovered.
Clinical trials that last longer are known as the phase trials or the research studies. In these long-term medical research studies, new drugs are given to large groups of people who have already been taking part in the specific medical research study. The participants in this phase are usually informed about the new treatments that they might receive. They are also advised if this kind of medical research study is worth their participation and how they can support the research.
However, clinical trials which are shorter in duration are known as the phase I clinical trials or the basic research trials. This is usually conducted on larger groups and with larger financial budgets. There are no restrictions on the number of volunteers that can be included in this phase. In addition, there are more controls made in this type of medical research trial to monitor the different outcomes of the drugs.
There are also two other types of clinical trials: the investigator-sponsored and the sponsor-sponsored clinical trials. In an investigator-sponsored research project, the medical research project is supported by an outside agency. Some of the projects are sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies. Sponsors give money to investigators so that they can conduct medical research project. There are also some companies that will finance the project. The study participants in this kind of medical research project are paid for their time and services.
Similar to the sponsor-sponsored clinical trials, there are also independent-sponsored clinical trials. This is the case when the company that makes the drug or device is funding the research team conducting the study. In this way, they can control the results of the research project. However, there are some drawbacks in this type of clinical trials. Usually, there is no control over the patients and other persons who are involved in the study.
If you are looking for clinical trials which are less costly, then the phase II and phase III clinical trials are the best choices. These are also known as the placebo-controlled trials. This means that the patients are not sure whether they are actually using the real treatment or not. Also, in these studies, the dosage of the active ingredients are reduced so that the side effects of the drugs can be lessened. Some of the most common side effects of the drugs in these phases are headaches, muscle pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, joint pain, allergic reactions, itching and swelling of the face or hands.