Clinical trials advance through four phases to test a treatment, find the appropriate dosage, and look for side effects. If, after the first three phases, researchers find a drug or other intervention to be safe and effective, the FDA approves it for clinical use and continues to monitor its effects.
Clinical trials of drugs are usually described based on their phase. The FDA typically requires Phase I, II, and III trials to be conducted to determine if the drug can be approved for use.
Risks & Benefits
You may ask yourself, "Why should I try something that researchers are not sure will work?" That is a good question. Being part of a clinical trial may have risks, but it may also have benefits. Past clinical trial history has led many to hesitate to sign up for research. However, today there are strict rules in place to keep your health and privacy safe.