Prescription Drug Side Effects. From: AARP Bulletin
Medications can cause other conditions unrelated to the health problems they're prescribed to treat.
"The symptoms were sudden and severe: tightness in the chest, dizziness, nausea. "I thought I was having a heart attack," says Lynn Golden, a 59-year-old retired scientist living in Maryland. Rushed to the emergency room, she spent two days in the hospital having exhaustive tests that all proved negative. It was only later that she discovered the cause — unexpected side effects from a prescription drug she'd started taking three weeks earlier to manage a mild thyroid condition."
To avoid prescription drug side effects, possibly try exercise and diet change first. — Photo by Chris Mueller/Redux
"Golden's experience is a classic example of how medications can cause other conditions unrelated to the health problems they're prescribed to treat. Unaware of this, patients very often consult their doctors about this "new" condition — only to be prescribed yet another drug that could produce still more side effects.
This syndrome is known as a drug "cascade." It's not as well studied as more dramatic problems with prescription drugs — such as when apparently safe drugs turn out to be deadly — but it is of growing concern. Experts estimate that tens of millions of people are suffering every day — often without knowing why. "There are a lot of people taking drugs to treat the side effects of drugs," says Gordon Schiff, M.D., an internist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and associate director of the Brigham Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice in Boston. "And sometimes that makes sense, and maybe the initial drug is essential. But when you're taking a drug to treat the side effect of a drug which is treating the side effect of another drug, it gets to be rather a house of cards."
Adverse drug effects send about 4.5 million Americans to the doctor's office or the emergency room each year — more than for common conditions like strep throat or pneumonia — according to a recent study by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine estimates that serious drug reactions occur more than 2 million times each year among patients in hospitals and are the fourth leading cause of hospital deaths, topped only by heart disease, cancer and stroke."
Average drug label lists whopping 70 side effects. From Health care on msnbc.com
"Lengthy lists meant to protect against lawsuits, but can overwhelm doctors and patients"
"If you feel overwhelmed by the list of potential side effects on your medication, that's understandable. Drugs, on average, each list a mind-numbing 70 potential drug reactions, researchers say. Such a lengthy list is more likely the product of cautious manufacturers, who want to protect themselves from lawsuits, rather than the inherent dangers of the drugs themselves, the researchers say. But the large number of side effects may make it hard for doctors to know which medications to select for their patients.
"Having a high number of side effects on a drug's label should not suggest that the drug is unsafe. In fact, much of this labeling has less to do with true toxicity than with protecting manufacturers from potential lawsuits," said study researcher Dr. Jon Duke, assistant professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
"But having all these labeled side effects can overwhelm doctors who must weigh the risks and benefits when prescribing a medication," Duke said. "The Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to discourage such 'overwarning,' but at present, information overload is the rule rather than the exception," Duke said.
Using a computer program, Duke and his colleagues analyzed 5,600 drug labels and more than 500,000 labeled effects.
They found the more commonly prescribed drugs averaged around 100 side effects each, with some drugs containing as many as 525 listed reactions.
The greatest number of side effects was found in antidepressants, antiviral medications and newer treatments for restless legs syndrome and Parkinson's disease. In general, medications typically used by psychiatrists and neurologists had the most complex labels, while drugs used by dermatologists and ophthalmologists had the least.
Modern technology should be used to assist patients in understanding which of the side effects may be most relevant to them, the researchers say.
"With current technology, drug labels could be transformed from lengthy static documents to dynamic resources, capable of delivering personalized patient information. Such labels could take into account the individual patient's medical conditions and highlight those side effects that could be especially dangerous," Duke said.
"We can't stop the growing wave of drug information," Duke said, "but we can do a better job of presenting it efficiently to health-care providers."
The study was published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. It was funded by the National Library of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, a non-profit healthcare research organization afflicated with the Indiana University School of Medicine. " From: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43141690/ns/health-health_care/?ocid=twitter
One Out of Every Ten Patients Admitted to the ICU Because of a Doctor Related Side Effect
"The percentage of hospital intensive care unit (ICU) admissions linked to prescription drug side-effects or complications from medical procedures has remained unchanged since 1980. Incidences like these are still a major cause of hospitalization in the ICU, accounting for 11% of admissions. The French authors conclude that, "despite 25 years of experience with high-technology medicine, iatrogenic disease still has a negative impact on the health and resources of society." (Archives of Internal Medicine January 11, 1999;159:71-78)
"For the past 25 years one out of every ten patients admitted to the ICU was there because of a doctor related side effect. DO NOT forget that number. It is absolutely consistent with the fact that doctor prescribed drugs are the FOURTH leading cause of death in this country.
Traditional medicine really is NOT traditional medicine. The type of medical paradigm practiced in this country is really a new age form of alternative medicine that relies on chemicals and surgery to treat illness. This model works exceptionally well for acute emergencies but is an unmitigated disaster when it comes to chronic illness.
What traditional medicine calls "alternative medicine" is the true traditional medicine. Natural therapies are the most common form of medical therapy in the world and have been used for thousands of years. They are NOT the alternative they are the real medicine. I am firmly convinced that American medicine actually kills more patients every day than they save. This clearly is not their intent, but intention does little to comfort the families of those that are devastated by this paradigm." From: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/01/02/doctor-side-effect.aspx
When the Cure is Worse Than the Disease
"One way to build an income in private medical practice is to hook patients on drugs that continually require re-examination, testing and prescription renewal. Blood thinners, for example, require prothrombin tests to determine how long it takes the blood to clot. Blood pressure pills require monitoring of blood pressure. And once patients start taking acid-blocking medications, they will find it is nearly impossible to stop taking them -- withdrawal will provoke rebound acidity with throat-gripping pain.
Critical examination of the effectiveness of prescription drugs reveals convincing data that most prescription drugs are not only ineffective but may worsen the condition being treated. Some of these medications appear to be designed to create life-long dependency upon the drug, since drug withdrawal exacerbates symptoms. Even some long-standing drugs that are the hallmarks of modern medicine have begun to lose their biological punch.
The major classes of prescription drugs are failures. Most drugs are never designed to address the underlying biochemical causes of disease -- and they may intentionally be designed to create life-long dependency."
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
"When people come to my Natural Health Center, it is very common for them to lug in a shopping bag full of drugs, but it almost always starts with just one. One drug that’s supposed to make you feel better, but actually makes you feel worse. Hence the second drug to treat the first drug’s side effects, and on and on until people are turned into walking medicine cabinets.
The number of prescriptions taken per capita in the United States has grown exponentially in the past 75 years. In 1929, the average American received less than two prescriptions per year. By 2007, the average annual prescription rate per capita in the United States was:
• 4 prescriptions per child (age 0-18)
• Over 11 prescriptions per adult (age 19-64)
• Nearly 29 prescriptions per senior, aged 65 and over!
Yet, adverse drug reactions -- from "properly" prescribed drugs -- are actually the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease, cancer, and stroke kill more Americans than drugs prescribed by medical doctors.
Reactions to prescription drugs kill more than twice as many Americans as HIV/AIDS or suicide. Fewer die from accidents or diabetes than adverse drug reactions. And this does NOT include the negative drug reactions in outpatients, cases of malpractice, or instances where the drugs were not taken as directed.
Yet, whenever you feel sick, you probably still think that you need to go to your doctor and get some medicine to make you better. Well, this mindset is deeply engrained in us from the time we’re infants and taken to the doctor for a minor cold, or given a pill to bring down a fever (which is actually there to help you get better) or watch a television commercial or read a magazine (at least in the US).
We’re taught that we need doctors and drugs to heal our bodies, when in reality your body can, and will, heal itself if you give it the right tools (like good food, exercise and a positive outlook).
If you take only one thing from this article, make it this point: Drugs often cause more problems than the disease you’re trying to treat.
And the more you attempt to “cure” one problem after another with multiple drugs, the farther down the rabbit hole you’ll go.
The Countless Ways Prescription Drugs Assault Your Body
The article has an eye-opening list of what can happen if you rely on drugs to treat disease:
• Nearly all anti-diabetic drugs cause a person to become overweight and totally dependent upon insulin.
• Asthma drugs sensitize your body to triggers that worsen this condition.
• There is no evidence that cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce mortality rates.
• All cancer chemotherapy drugs result in tumor resistance.
• None of the many drugs prescribed to control high blood pressure address the cause of hypertension.
• Antacid “heartburn” drugs induce greater problems when withdrawing from them, locking patients into lifetime use.
• Of the many drugs used to treat age-related senility, none stop the progression of mental decline and some hasten it.
• To an increasing degree, man-made antibiotics produce germ-resistance and mortality rates are rising from infections once conquered by these drugs.
Are the drug companies creating these drugs with the sole purpose of keeping you sicker, and reaching for more of their dangerous elixirs? I certainly hope not, but I cannot rule out the thought completely. Their track-record is too spot-on: if you take prescription drugs, you’ll almost always wind up with side effects, many of which are worse than the original disease. Here are some other major offenders to add to the list:
• Cholesterol-lowering drugs actually CAUSE heart disease
• Migraine drugs cause severe rebound headaches
• Asthma inhalers may lead to heart attack and stroke
• Arthritis drugs can cause fatal fungal infections and cancer
Sadly, this list could go on and on, but one of the most glaring examples was Vioxx, the anti-inflammatory drug prescribed to millions of people that later was revealed to double the risk of heart attack. Well, 60,000 people were killed before that drug was pulled from the market, and do not think for one minute that there aren’t other similarly harmful drugs being handed out like candy (expensive candy) right now." From: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/10/04/when-the-cure-is-worse-than-the-disease.aspx
On This Day:
Morse demonstrates telegraph, Jan 6, 1838:
"On this day in 1838, Samuel Morse's telegraph system is demonstrated for the first time at the Speedwell Iron Works in Morristown, New Jersey. The telegraph, a device which used electric impulses to transmit encoded messages over a wire, would eventually revolutionize long-distance communication, reaching the height of its popularity in the 1920s and 1930s.
Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born April 27, 1791, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He attended Yale University, where he was interested in art, as well as electricity, still in its infancy at the time. After college, Morse became a painter. In 1832, while sailing home from Europe, he heard about the newly discovered electromagnet and came up with an idea for an electric telegraph. He had no idea that other inventors were already at work on the concept.
Morse spent the next several years developing a prototype and took on two partners, Leonard Gale and Alfred Vail, to help him. In 1838, he demonstrated his invention using Morse code, in which dots and dashes represented letters and numbers. In 1843, Morse finally convinced a skeptical Congress to fund the construction of the first telegraph line in the United States, from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore. In May 1844, Morse sent the first official telegram over the line, with the message: "What hath God wrought!"
Over the next few years, private companies, using Morse's patent, set up telegraph lines around the Northeast. In 1851, the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company was founded; it would later change its name to Western Union. In 1861, Western Union finished the first transcontinental line across the United States. Five years later, the first successful permanent line across the Atlantic Ocean was constructed and by the end of the century telegraph systems were in place in Africa, Asia and Australia.
Because telegraph companies typically charged by the word, telegrams became known for their succinct prose--whether they contained happy or sad news. The word "stop," which was free, was used in place of a period, for which there was a charge. In 1933, Western Union introduced singing telegrams. During World War II, Americans came to dread the sight of Western Union couriers because the military used telegrams to inform families about soldiers' deaths.
Over the course of the 20th century, telegraph messages were largely replaced by cheap long-distance phone service, faxes and email. Western Union delivered its final telegram in January 2006.
Samuel Morse died wealthy and famous in New York City on April 2, 1872, at age 80."
Theodore Roosevelt dies, Jan 6, 1919:
"Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, dies at Sagamore Hill, his estate overlooking New York's Long Island Sound.
A dynamic and energetic politician, Theodore Roosevelt is credited with creating the modern presidency. As a young Republican, Roosevelt held a number of political posts in New York in the 1880s and '90s and was a leader of reform Republicans in the state. In 1898, as assistant secretary to the U.S. Navy, Roosevelt vehemently advocated war with Spain. When the Spanish-American War began, he formed the "Rough Riders," a volunteer cavalry that became famous for its contribution to the United States victory at the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba. The publicity-minded Roosevelt rode his military fame to the New York governor's seat in 1898 and to the vice presidency in 1900.
In 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated, and Roosevelt, 43 years old, became the youngest president ever to assume the office. He stamped the presidency with a vitality that delighted most Americans and was elected to a second term in 1904. As an American expansionist, Roosevelt asserted his executive powers to defend U.S. interests throughout the Americas as he sought to balance the interests of farmers, workers, and the business class at home. He insisted on a strong navy, encouraged the independence of Panama and the construction of the Panama Canal, promoted the regulation of trusts and monopolies, and set aside land for America's first national parks and monuments. In 1906, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation in the negotiations to end the Russo-Japanese War.
In 1912, three years after finishing his second term, Roosevelt ran for president again as the new Progressive Party candidate. Challenging his former vice president, President William Howard Taft, he campaigned on his "Square Deal" platform of social reform. In November, the divided Republican Party was defeated by Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
In the last few years of his life, Roosevelt became a vocal advocate of the U.S. entrance into World War I and even sought to win a commission to lead a U.S. Army division in Europe. President Wilson declined, and after the war Roosevelt was a vocal opponent of his League of Nations. In 1919, Roosevelt died at his home in New York. The tropical diseases he had contracted during his travels likely caught up with him, and he died at the age of 60."
After doing 'Time', where we deduct his hours off his rent, Ray and I tackled a few jobs, as his back is better for now. I looked on eBay for a new lens for his Grand Am that got broken when someone 'borrowed' his car, and left it in town. We found one $25 cheaper than the local wrecking yard, so that should be on it's way, and it was free shipping.
First, we tried to find out why my old grooming table, which I am having to use since I sold my fancy one, wobbles. Poor Mikey did not feel very secure on it when I was grooming him the day before, and I had to lean my hip against it. We determined the problem and how to fix it, but it is something that Jay will have to do. It will require drilling through some layers of metal on the stand, and some nuts and bolts. Neither Ray nor I have the strength to do it, Jay might be a PITA, but he is handy for some things!
Speaking of Jay, he called to say he had thrown Girlfriend out. He and his mother have already returned one of the furniture loose covers.
Then Ray fixed one of the gates to the dog's back yard. Something had shifted, and it wouldn't latch. We unloaded the big wooden filing cabinet and jewelry armoire out of the Puddle Jumper, and stored them with the Yard Sale Stuff.
We brought the computer desk out of the van, and rolled it into my computer area. I sat at it, trying it out, while Ray 'carved' the excess Great Stuff foam off the back door that we had applied some time ago. The desk didn't seem as handy as the one that I designed, so I am not going to use it in here. It would be great in an RV as it is very compact and only 15" deep with a drop down shelf.
My Misty and Mindi's three old poodles had a great time basking, romping and playing in the sunshine yesterday.