Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in the country according to many sources. It’s a huge problem. Millions more suffer from side effects of medications, and all too often the side effects are worse than the condition the drug was intended to treat.
The FDA approves an average of 24 drugs per year. Yet as a nation we’re not any healthier than we were a decade ago. We’re certainly less healthy than we were 40 years ago. 70% of adults take at least one prescription drug, and Big Pharma would like to see that number reach 100%.
Big Pharma doesn't care about the side effects as long as we buy into the advertising and shell out the cash for their pills. Study results that show drugs are ineffective or even downright harmful are often hidden — even from the FDA. Drugs often aren’t tested thoroughly before they hit the market. And drug advertising often promotes minimizes huge or even life-threatening side effects.
The result is that we're often unwilling guinea pigs for Big Pharma’s concoctions. And even when a drug shows horrific side effects, it’s nearly impossible to get it withdrawn from the market. Vioxx is a good example. It killed people for years before the FDA finally forced a recall. Ambien is another example — the effects are so well-documented that “the Ambien defense” has been successfully used in court more than once.
When you’re offered a prescription, the question is always, “Do the benefits of this ‘medication’ outweigh the risks?” All too often the answer is “No.” Unfortunately, some of the most popular drugs on the market fall into this category. The newest wave of prescription drugs seems to be particularly bad, but there are plenty that have been around for decades. Here are 5 prescription medications whose benefits just don’t outweigh their dangerous side effects.
This little gem is still one of the most-prescribed drugs on the market, in spite of its serious side effects. One of the most well-documented side effects of this drug and its sister drug, Lunesta, is driving in your sleep.
And this behavior isn’t uncommon. There are numerous incidents of people sleep-driving and causing accidents. It happens often enough, and has been used as a defense in court often enough, that lawyers now use what they call “the Ambien defense.”
This diabetes drug has been on the market since 1999. It was marketed as a wonder drug back then, but the real wonder is that it’s still on the market.
In clinical trials it sometimes caused congestive heart failure, but was approved in spite of that little problem. It's been linked to bladder cancer time and again. It actually raises the risk of bladder cancer by over 80%. The U.S. is one of the few countries that hasn’t recalled this dangerous drug. Instead, the FDA merely added another warning to the package insert and gave Big Pharma the go-ahead to keep poisoning us with it.
Type 2 diabetes is manageable with weight loss, diet, and exercise. However, if you must take a drug, there are older, safer ones out there. Cancer and heart failure are a high price to pay for lower blood sugar.
This drug is in the same class as Actos and came out at the same time. In a rare case of Big Pharma at war with itself, Actos’ makers blackened Avandia’s reputation and, after several years, the FDA restricted how it can be used and by whom. It’s been linked to tens of thousands of heart attacks and strokes.
However, it’s still on the market, and it’s still killing people. If you’re one of the chose few who’s “allowed” to take this drug, the risks far outweigh the benefits.
The third in the unholy triad of dangerous diabetes drugs, Januvia got a lot of press earlier this year for its supposed ability to protect against heart attacks. What no one is telling you is that even in clinical trials, Januvia was found to cause some life-threatening side effects — including pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and thyroid cancer. Manufacturer Merck is still facing lawsuits.
Of course, two kinds of cancer just aren’t serious enough for the FDA to recall a lucrative drug by a company as big as Merck. Januvia is still out there and getting more popular by the day thanks to its alleged “heart-protecting” effects.
Since menopause has become a “condition” to be “treated,” the market for drugs aimed at menopausal women has exploded. EvaMist is one of the more popular drugs, intended to “treat” symptoms like hot flashes. The side effects however, may be worse than the original symptoms.
It can cause nausea and vomiting, migraines, and memory problems. You’re also more likely to develop blood clots, just as if you’re taking birth control pills. Blood clots, of course, lead to heart attacks and strokes. And here’s the kicker — this drug can actually cause some of the very symptoms it claims to treat.
EvaMistProtect yourself from dangerous side effects
Big Pharma doesn’t want us to know how dangerous their drugs are. TTheir only concern is to get them on the market as fast as possible and be as profitable as they can. They’re perfectly happy to let us be unwilling test subjects. So when you’re offered a prescription, don’t just blindly accept it. Take a few steps to protect yourself before you fill it.
• Ask your doctor if you really need it, or if he’s prescribing it “just in case.”
• Ask what will happen if you don’t take it.
• Ask about his personal experience with the drug. What kind of problems have other patients had?
Research it yourself. Read the side effects on the manufacturer’s site. Look it up on sites like Drugwatch.