A damning Harvard University report has advised that according to the European Commission, about 328,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe die from prescription drugs each year – making prescription drugs the 4th highest cause of death, on a par with stroke.
We could get into legal trouble if we advised you to go against the recommendations of your doctor; however we can advise you to be as informed as possible about the risks involved in taking prescription meds.
According to the World Health Organization, the pharmaceutical industry is worth 300 billion dollars annually
– with an additional hundred million expected to add to the value in
the next three years. A third of this entire multi-billion-dollar market
is controlled by ten of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the
world. According to CMR International, a partner of Thomas Reuters,
global pharmaceutical sales reached one trillion dollars in 2014 and
will be booming to 1.3 trillion by 2018.
It goes without saying that this is big business – but like every big
business, there is a dark side as well. Can we really trust the
research – seeing as the same companies selling the pills are funding
many of the medical journals? And then we have the issue of doctors
receiving kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs, after being
“educated” on the benefits of the drugs by pharma salesmen.
Take a look at this list of seven of the most dangerous prescription drug types and see how they can hurt you.
#1: Sleeping Pills (OTC and prescribed)
use of sleeping pills has been associated with an increased risk factor
for stroke. A study published by Petrov, et. al. in 2014 revealed that
over-the-counter and prescription sleeping pills increased a person’s
risk for stroke, independently and beyond any of the other known risk
factors like blood pressure, personal history of heart disease, and
vices like smoking and drinking alcohol. Isn’t it worrying that compared
to all other factors that place a person at risk for stroke, sleeping
pills top that list?
#2: Cholesterol Drugs (Statins)
Did you know that deaths
attributed to heart failure more than doubled from 1989 to 1997, while
statins were first given pre-market approval in 1987? This is an
alarming “coincidence” – to say the least. Interference with production
of Co-Q10 by statin drugs has been proposed as the most likely
Drugs that are meant to control your
cholesterol levels may also be damaging your liver. Hepatotoxicity is
not completely absent among people who undergo statin therapy, but it is
uncommon. However, several studies have discovered that statins cause
severe liver damage, especially in in dosages higher than 50 milligrams
per day – a scary thing to realize when statin dosages can climb up to
80 milligrams per day when a person has high or uncontrollable
cholesterol levels. Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Fluvastatin, Lovastatin,
and Pravastatin have all been linked to liver injury.
#3: Blood Pressure Drugs (Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers)
the different drugs prescribed to manage hypertension, calcium channel
blockers have been found to be the most common ones linked to adverse
drugs reactions (ADRs). The most common ones linked to CCBs are bipedal
edema, chest pain, hypersensitivity, and difficulty of breathing. A
recent study published in 2014 discovered that immediate-release CCB use
was positively associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. On
the other hand, beta-blockers have been associated with several adverse
side effects, such as increased incidence of post-operative dysrhythmia,
troponin elevation, and heart failure, risk for hepatic failure, and
small-for-gestational age births.
#4: Alzheimer’s Drugs
the positive effects of psychotropic drugs have been well-documented,
there have also been studies revealed their adverse effects. A study
conducted on the pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer’s disease found
that antipsychotics increased a person’s risk for developing diabetes
mellitus, heart disease, and stroke, and even overall mortality. The
most popular drug prescribed for Alzheimer’s is Aricept or Donezepil and
has been linked to nausea, diarrhea, malaise, dizziness, and insomnia.
#5: Arthritis Drugs (NSAIDs)
is so easy to be prescribed a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for
pain, and even easier to purchase one from the pharmacy. What most
people fail to realize is that NSAIDs are one of the leading causes of
drug-related morbidity, especially in elderly and immunocompromised
people. They have been directly linked to gastrointestinal problems,
destroying the inner lining of the stomach and increasing the risk for
ulceration and internal bleeding. Renal effects have also been linked to
NSAID use, causing fluid and sodium retention and hypertension (and
eventual cardiovascular problems). In worse case scenarios, people with
severe kidney problems might even require dialysis. This seemingly
innocuous drug is one of if not the most dangerous ones on this list.
#6: Diabetes Drugs (Actos, Avanida, Byetta, Metformin)
class of drugs to watch out for are those prescribed to manage high
blood sugar, a characteristic symptom of diabetes. Liver damage has been
linked to metformin use. In a study focusing on different ADRs,
metformin-induced hepatitis was seen in a case of a person taking 500
milligrams of Metformin three times a day and insulin glargine. Liver
damage can manifest as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and
discoloration of the urine and stool. Further liver damage can cause
uncontrollable bleeding and insufficient clearing of toxins from the
#7: Chemotherapy (Tamoxifen)
one category of drug on the list that is universally regarded as
harmful to a person’s health is chemotherapeutic drugs. When people
diagnosed with cancer are advised to undergo chemotherapy, they are
prepped for the side effects they will undoubtedly experience along with
it. Chemotherapeutic drugs are strong enough to kill rapidly
proliferating cancer cells – however there is collateral damage: Healthy
cells are also killed and it’s the oft-repeated hope with chemotherapy
that it “kills the cancer and doesn’t kill you”. Weakness, hair loss,
and appetite loss, are the mildest of these side effects, with more
serious ones involving blood in the urine or stool, high-grade fever,
severe pain over the chemotherapy infusion site, vomiting and diarrhea,
and difficulty breathing. Chemotherapy is known to kill a significant number of cancer patients.
If you are interested in alternatives, check out our Giant List Of Herbal Remedies For 50+ Conditions.
This article is not medical advice.