Substance D, Soma, Melange – they’ve all been part of our culture for decades. Gabe Habash looks at the side effects for Publishers Weekly:
In fiction and in reality, medicine is designed and set up to operate with the best of intentions, to eliminate pain and disease and the things that push us toward mortality. In theory. In practice, we know that there are holes in this theory. But for all the problems in the reality of medicine, at least we don’t have to worry about these 6 fictional drugs, which were designed to make the world a better place, but failed in all types of spectacular ways.
1. Altruizine from “Altruizine” by Stanislaw Lem
Unintended Side Effect: It makes people too altruistic.
Lem, one of the most widely-read sci-fi writers in the world, wrote a short story within his collection The Cyberiad about Altruizine, a metapsychotropic drug that causes the user to feel the pains and emotions of others within a radius of fifty yards.