Clinical trials can be a wonderful opportunity, but since not all clinical trials are alike, you are wise to consider this carefully. Some benefits of participating in a study are early access to much-needed treatment, free medications and extra support.

The biggest downside is that the test drugs are usually experimental and there isn’t as much information about them compared to drugs on the market. Also, in some studies there is a risk of getting assigned to a test group that isn’t using the treatment you hoped for.

Phase III studies are usually better options than Phase I or II studies. Before you enroll in any clinical trial, find out about all the known risks, benefits, rights and responsibilities.