Are Prescription Drugs Killing You?

June 15, 2009

Will the prescription drugs you’re taking to improve your health, slowly kill you off? Recently, I discovered that a prescribed drug I took several years ago has some really nasty side effects. For example, it is known to cause hepatitis in 1 in a thousand users. Had that information been available before, I would never have taken it.

And it’s not just prescription drugs that can harm you. A recent study has linked Vitamin A supplements to premature death.

I know some people say we worry too much about what we put in our mouths. But I have to wonder if we’re careful enough. It’s clear that some drugs cause worse health problems than we had to begin with.

What do you think? Would you happily take any drug that a doctor subscribes? Or do you do your own research first, incase prescription drugs really could kill you.?

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23 Responses to “Are Prescription Drugs Killing You?”

  1. Jenny Mannion on June 15th, 2009 5:21 pm

    Hi Cath!

    This one could get me GOING! BUT I have decided to take the high road when it comes to Big Pharma and not fight too hard… I’ll say a few sentences then turn my attention to something positive! ;-)
    Prescription drugs kill MANY more people than illegal drugs now. Pharmaceutical companies spend MORE THAN DOUBLE on advertising than they do on research…. things are definitely askew…. lots of these meds cause harmful side effects leading to drs. prescribing — more meds!

    I am in no way against all medication… I know some are life saving and some are very useful. I am against the over prescribing and doctors not fully informing patients of alternatives to HEAL not just mask pain. I think it is always good to have a holistic doctor as well to get approaches to your condition and also to take initiative and interest in your own health and get on the internet and research alternatives. So called “miracles” are happening every day – you witnessed it through Silva and I witness it every day through the Reconnection. Thankfully now there are MANY options now it is just getting that info made public.

    Hope you are well Cath! Sorry for the rant — guess it was more than a few sentences, huh? Stumbled!
    Love, xo

    Jenny Mannion’s last blog post..We Are All Healers — The NEW Basics Of Healing

  2. Jim Gaudet on June 15th, 2009 10:47 pm

    I research just about everything and Rx is no different..

    Jim Gaudet’s last blog post..Costa Rica Squatters Law

  3. Vered - MomGrind on June 16th, 2009 1:43 am

    I do research, and I also have a doctor who’s pretty good about telling me when something is not worth taking, because of the side effects.

    Vered – MomGrind’s last blog post..Bizarre Vintage Ads

  4. Mrs. Micah on June 16th, 2009 2:09 am

    My mom went off her head a couple times in May because of a strong drug she was taking. She was too sick to do her usual research and the prescribing doctor (in a hospital) didn’t let her know that she didn’t have to take it…it was just a precaution.

    She became convinced that her food was poisoned and that she’d committed mass murder, but smart as she is she also realized that this must be a delusion and started looking online, then contacted her doctor for an alternative. We were very relieved, as my dad wasn’t sure at first what to make of all this.

    This last hospital stay on the whole wasn’t very good–what with a nurse removing her morphine drip without the anesthesiologist signing off (so she was in horrible pain until she could get another nurse) and then the prescription thing. Fortunately, she normally works with a great team of doctors. Just shows how good it was that she’s normally got her regular doctors around.

    Mrs. Micah’s last blog post..The Value of Sewing and Tailoring

  5. Patricia on June 16th, 2009 2:32 am

    I have to research and research before I take anything synthetic or prescription based. I have to research and research before I take anything herbal. Most often time, rest and clean h2o are my best healing companions.

    I had so many side effects from the Metformin I took, for just 10 days, I could not get out of bed and was in agony.

    I am concerned that if I went to the emergency room after a car accident they would kill me with something they injected. It is a scary position to be in…especially with my trip to UK this summer.

    Patricia’s last blog post..How We Met Entry #3

  6. Barbara Swafford on June 16th, 2009 6:09 am

    Hi Catherine,

    I hope you’re feeling better.

    As for me, I don’t take any prescription drugs, and the times when I was told to get a prescription filled (for pain) I did so, reluctantly. I don’t like putting “foreign” material in my body, but do realize there are many who are in need of help that only medications can provide.

    I am a heavy believer in researching and being an informed consumer. As Jenny said, many times the drug only masks the pain and doesn’t get to the root of the problem.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Just The Facts

  7. J.D. Meier on June 16th, 2009 8:26 am

    Just like you need to be your own best accountant, I think you need to be your own best doctor, too. I see too many things go wrong with too many people. Yes, they should at least be able to vet the opinions and suggestions in a more robust way.

    I wish it were easier to:
    1. find the world’s best doctors for exactly whatever you need
    2. get linked to real patients with real stories that can tell you what worked and what didn’t.

    Any time there’s complex information, the quality and caliber can vary dramatically from one person to another. I’ve been toying with the idea of hunting down the world’s best doctors or the world’s best health secrets. I think it’s important, but I haven’t focused yet. I know it will be a complicated journey fumbling through the info jungle, but I think with today’s rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes .. and all the other possible threats … it’s a hunt that’s worth it, even if I only make some progress in improving my network or knowledge base.

    J.D. Meier’s last blog post..Hot Spots for Life

  8. Dot on June 16th, 2009 2:42 pm

    Doctors believe that the cause of my partial blindness was a drug I took for 11 years for an autoimmune disease. The blindness is known to happen, but I skipped two checkups in a row and by the time it was caught, it was too late.

    I research every drug that’s suggested to me before taking any steps. Since they changed the law so that TV ads are required to include all possible side effects, some of the drugs are ridiculous, such as a drug for depression that may cause suicidal thoughts. Drugs are a mixed blessing. However, when you’re really sick, unless you’re a person who has been able to make other alterenatives work (I’m not), you just have to try to make wise choices.

    That being said, I take 9 prescriptions daily. Two are for pain, one each for depression, low thyroid, diabetes, asthma and high cholesterol, two for high blood pressure. As far as I know, only the last three are negotiable, and could be skipped if I ate right and lost weight.

    Dot’s last blog post..Mad Lib-eration

  9. John Hoff - WpBlogHost on June 17th, 2009 1:04 am

    I’m horrible at checking up on what my doctor’s prescribing me, though I don’t really take any medications.

    The problem with doing research is that no matter what you take, there’s always something bad said about it online. Some people even say taking Vit. C is bad. Plus I prefer to rely on what my doctor says as opposed to “what I can find on the Internet”.

    But, there is definitely truth in what you say. Just recently, a very popular a notable Las Vegas entertainer (Danny Gans) passed away because of a prescription he was taking which wasn’t good for a heart condition he had. I don’t know all the details, but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with that.

    John Hoff – WpBlogHost’s last blog post..Where’s John Been?

  10. Jim Gaudet on June 17th, 2009 1:26 am

    True, there is a lot of bad info out there, but at least you can find some reputable sites and get some other opinions

    Jim Gaudet’s last blog post..Costa Rica Squatters Law

  11. wilhb81 on June 17th, 2009 6:38 am

    Cath, if I have the choice here, I would never going to take any drugs, no matter it’s prescribed by doctors nor pharmacies! As we knew that every drug has its side effects to the users!

    To me, more organic foods are better than the slow killing drugs.

    wilhb81′s last blog post..The Useful Business Tips 34: The B2B Selling is as Simple As ABC!

  12. Natural on June 17th, 2009 9:30 am

    hey cath, i never thought about this. i just assume that doctors know what to give me and nope, i don’t research anything – i’m happy to take anything for any kind of pain i’m having if it will make it go away. i hate pain, but death is worse. i do read the print out that comes with the drugs, but that’s about it.

    if anything i worry about all the advils i pop and my liver.

    Natural’s last blog post..Why Wait, Buy Now!

  13. cathlawson on June 17th, 2009 10:56 am

    Hi Jenny – Thank you. for the Stumble. You said, “Prescription drugs kill more people than legal drugs now.” That is terrifying.

    As you say, getting safer options made public is tough though. Nobody has the funds for marketing and research.

  14. cathlawson on June 17th, 2009 11:29 am

    Hi Jim – What is Rx – is that a drug?

    Hi Vered – It’s good that you have a more trustworthy doctor. Not all of them are like that.

    MM – that is frightening – it’s just as well she realised something was wrong.

    LOL Patricia – I would worry more about catching some flesh eating disease in one of our hospitals than death by lethal injection.

    Hi Barbara – I’m with you on masking the pain, instead of fixing the problem.

    LOL JD – totally with you on being your own accountant. I like your idea of hunting down “the best experts”. You could set up an awesome service. I think the hardest thing would be finding the least corrupt people

    Hi Dot – It is scary that you’ve been partially blinded by a drug. I’m not surprised you do your own research. But nine different prescriptions is a lot. You must rattle when you walk.

    Hi John – That’s true – the Internet isn’t always a good place to find reliable information.

    I bet cases like the one you mentioned happens a lot. If you have a long term medical condition – it’s always best to remind your GP before he prescribes something because they don’t often look that far back in your notes to check.

    Hi Jim – There’s definitely reputable sites online too. I’ve found good info on the nhs site recently and also the sites of some health related charities.

    Hi Wilson – It would be great never to need to take anything wouldn’t it. I guess we just have to make more healthy choices and hope we don’t have an accident, or get some horrendous disease.

    Hi Valerie – I guess a lot of Advil’s could be harmful to your liver. Have you tried anything else for pain? I used to use way too many nurofen and painkillers can become v addictive. I don’t take them at all since using the Silva System.

  15. Kathy | Virtual Impax on June 17th, 2009 11:39 am

    My daughter began working in a pharmacy 2 years ago and it has TOTALLY changed my perception of not only doctors but medicine in general.

    FYI – most of those people you see working behind the counter of a pharmacy are almost phobic about taking medicine – even over the counter medicines.

    I have to admit, I miss the days when “ignorance was bliss”. It was EASIER to just blindly trust my doctor to take care of me. However, I’ve put on my “big girl panties” and now I am in control over what I put into my body. Oh, I also had to find a doctor who respected this frame of mind as well – not an easy task!

    Kathy | Virtual Impax’s last blog post..Trust: Essential Element in Word Of Mouth Marketing

  16. Jim Gaudet on June 17th, 2009 1:37 pm

    Yes, RX stands for Prescription Drugs..

    Jim Gaudet’s last blog post..New Google Webmaster Tools | What’s Up?

  17. Kim Woodbridge on June 17th, 2009 3:41 pm

    I don’t take much of anything so it’s not really an issue for me. I think, however, unless the drug is absolutely necessary it’s better to not take it. My ex has to take medication for a condition is constantly having to change because of side effects and then try to find something not as dangerous.

    Overall I think most legal drugs are just as bad, if not worse, than than the illegal ones.

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post..How to Link to Your Facebook Fan Page from Your Profile Page

  18. cathlawson on June 17th, 2009 5:10 pm

    Hi Kathy – it says a lot when folk who work in the pharmacy don’t even like taking the stuff.

    Hi Jim – I didn’t know that – thanks.

    Hi Kim – It certainly does seem that a lot of legal drugs are worse. I guess a lot of people think they’re ok because they’re coming from a doctor.

  19. carla on June 19th, 2009 5:31 pm

    I have to research, research, research before taking anything. I am prone to side effects from drugs and I never just take something without knowing the potential implications. The worst side effect I was was a recent “drug eruption” from MRI contrast. I knew this was a potential side effect but they made it sound like it was sooo rare! That led to a miserable two months and the need to take MORE drugs! Uggh.

    carla’s last blog post..Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash – product review

  20. Michelle @ Find Your Balance on June 19th, 2009 8:30 pm

    I like to say that prescription drugs have their place…I mean, I certainly am grateful for antibiotics when I’ve needed them. But most Americans are on way too many daily prescriptions. I believe changes in diet and lifestyle can heal….prescriptions just mask.

    Michelle @ Find Your Balance’s last blog post..Now, what to do with those sprouts…?

  21. Debbie Yost on June 24th, 2009 2:45 am

    I put some faith in the doctor since they went to school for several years. I do read the warnings and side effects that come with prescriptions and question the doctor when I’m concerned about something. I will also do a little internet research. However, I am more comfortable taking medications over herbal remedies. At least there is some testing going on with the medications. Unfortunatley, you don’t always know the side effects until several years after it is on the market. I took a prescription medicine that was recalled due to some pretty ugly side effects, that thankfully I did not experience.

    In the end, I resist medication as much as I can, but sometimes it’s needed.

    Debbie Yost’s last blog post..Writer’s Block

  22. cathlawson on June 24th, 2009 12:46 pm

    Hi Carla – That is terrible. I hope you’re feeling better soon. As you say, when the side effects sound rare, it makes you feel safe.

    Hi Michelle – I’m with you on the antibiotics – we are so lucky to have them. But like you say – when we’re just using drugs to mask a problem – it creates an even bigger one.

    Hi Debbie – Lucky it was recalled before you got ill. As you say – some herbal remedies can be unsafe too. I just had some nasty side effects from Agnus Cactus – my own fault, I didn’t do the research properly.

    You make a really important point about side effects: “you don’t always know the side effects until several years after it is on the market.” I think that is something we all need to bear in mind when considering whether a drug is right for us.

  23. Friday Links | Blogger For Hire on January 4th, 2010 11:35 pm

    [...] Are Prescription Drugs Killing You? – Cath Lawson asks, “Are the drugs you’re taking to improve your health, slowly killing you?” [...]

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