Top 12 most dangerous prescription drugs

Top 12 most dangerous prescription drugs
April 8, 2014 10:16 AM

Today we know more about diseases and their cures more than ever. The diseases that were once thought to be lethal and life threatening are now being treated successfully with the use of novel drugs. But this comes at a price. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that we’ve not yet created a medicine that is without some side effects. When we say a drug is “safe to use”, it doesn’t mean we’re excluding it from the list of drugs having side effects. What we mean is that the drug safe and has minimal side effects as long as taken according to the prescription.

There are two things that make a drug potentially harmful. One is the composition of the drug itself. For example anti-cancer drugs have serious side effects even when taken according the prescription. Second is the misuse or abuse of a drug that makes it dangerous. The most common example of such medicines is aspirin.

Although it is called “over the counter medicine” but it has some serious side effects ranging from gastric ulcers to full blown renal failure. According to a report published in the Washington post, more than 1 million people die due to the side effects of drugs in US alone. The stats are truly alarming. Before we can move on, one thing should be noted here.

This article is certainly not meant to frighten the reader making them give up their drugs altogether. The only purpose of this article is to educate the readers the things they need to keep in mind while taking drugs prescribed by their doctors. Following is the list of 12 most dangerous prescription drugs, their effects on human body and special considerations regarding their use.

Cortisone or prednisone

What is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a steroid having immunosuppressant effects. In smaller doses it can be used in the treatment of inflammatory disease like allergies due to poison ivy. However, in higher doses this drug can be used in the treatment of several types of cancers.

What are its side effects?

There is a very long list of side effects but few are mentioned below:

  • It can cause an increase in blood glucose level, a condition particularly devastating in patients with diabetes mellitus.
  • Due to its mineralocorticoid like effects it can cause an increase in salt and fluid retention and a resultant increase in blood pressure.
  • A syndrome of steroid excess called Cushing syndrome.
  • Steroid dementia syndrome.
  • It can cause a decrease in bone marrow density leading to increased chances of fractures.
  • The side effects of this drug on eyes are substantial. It increases the chances of glaucoma and cataracts.
  • Uncontrolled level of blood sugar can lead to weight gain.
  • It can cause several symptoms of mental impairment ranging from depression, difficulty in controlling emotions and inability to make decisions.
  • It can also cause abdominal pain, peptic ulcers and hepatic steatosis.

What are the recommendations for its use?

Prednisone is an exceptional drug when taken over a short time. The trick is never to give up the drug at one.

The patients usually have to use it for several months. So in order to minimize its side effects you should add some supplement with that drug including:

  • OPC 165
  • Squalamine
  • Some sort of complex containing digestive enzymes, mineral and vitamins (excluding vitamin K and B12)
  • Immuzyme

Also never give up the drug without consulting with your doctor.

Methotrexate

What is Methotrexate?

This drug belongs to the antimetabolite group of anticancer drugs. The major therapeutic uses of this drug include the treatment of several types of cancers, ectopic pregnancy, autoimmune disease and is also used for the induction of medical abortions. It accomplishes this by inhibiting the synthesis of folic acid.

What are its side effects?

Some side effects of this drug include:

  • Inflammation of mouth called ulcerative stomatitis.
  • A significant decrease in white blood cells counts making the person prone to infections.
  • Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
  • Weakness, dizziness, fatigue and fever.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis and pneumonia.
  • This drug is particularly contraindicated in pregnancy because when taken in pregnancy can lead to congenital anomalies in fetus.

What are the recommendations for its use?

Over the period of 3 months, make sure to add following things in your drug regime:

  • Ameriden
  • OPC 165
  • Squalamine
  • Immuzyme
  • Glucosomine Sulfate with Chondroitin
  • Daily Health® Formula (Enzymes)

Warfarin

What is Warfarin?

Warfarin is a blood thinner or anti-coagulant drug that functions by inhibiting the function of vitamin K epoxide reductase, an enzyme critical in the formation of several components of clotting cascade. It finds its use in conditions where it is desired to thin blood to prevent the formation of thrombus. It is used in the presence of artificial heart valves, in the cases of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.

What are its side effects?

The side effects of this drug are nothing more than the extrapolation of its therapeutic effects. The major side effects of this drug include:

  • Skin necrosis, especially in the early stages of treatment.
  • When used in excess, it can lead to excessive hemorrhage and increased chances of blood loss.
  • It can lead to increased erosion of bone and increased chances of bone fracture and osteoporosis. 
  • This drug is especially contraindicated in pregnancy because of its negative effects on the fetus.

What are the recommendations for its use?

We recommend you use following supplements along with the prescription drug:

Statins

What are Statins?

Statins are cholesterol lowering drugs. These drugs function by acting on an enzyme called HmG CoA reductase, an enzyme inhibiting the rate limiting step up of the cholesterol synthesis. This drug finds its use in conditions where lowering the level of cholesterol is desired for example in patients of high blood pressure, patients with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and in patients after mayocardial infarction.

What are the side effects?

Major side effects include:

  • The most serious side effects of this drug rest with its effects on liver enzymes. It can derange the effects of liver enzymes.
  • It can cause weakness or excessive breakdown of muscles.
  • It significantly increases the risks of diabetes.
  • It also increases the chances of several types of cancers like lung, kidney, bladder and colorectal cancer.

What are the recommendations for its use?

Following are the recommendations that should be kept in mind while using this drug:

  • Although using this drug would decrease the levels of cholesterol but try alternative methods as well like dietary restriction of cholesterol, eating a diet rich in proteins and poor in fats and regular exercise.
  • Make maximum use of Omega-3 fatty acids on regular basis.
  • Supplement your diet with vitamin C sources or vitamin C supplements.
  • Take niacin.

Prozac

What is Prozac?

Prozac or fluoxetine is an anti-depressant belonging to the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Prozac is used in the treatment of a number of medical conditions including major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, bulimia nervosa and other psychiatric illnesses.

What are the side effects?

Following are the side effects seen with the use of Prozac:

  • Cardiac anomalies including QTc interval prolongation
  • Mania
  • Seizures
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Propagation of suicidal thoughts in an individual
  • Erythema multiforme (a potentially lethal skin reaction)
  • Gastroinstetinal hemorrhage
  • Hepatitis
  • Mucosal hemorrhage
  • Memory impairment.

What are the recommendations for its use?

Although Prozac is very effective in the treatment of several illnesses but it has got some very serious side effects. In some cases its side effects out weight its benefits. In such conditions we recommend that you use some alternatives including:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Tryptophan
  • If the use of Prozac is necessary, make sure never to use it without the recommendation of your doctor.

Ritalin, Cylert, Dexadrine, Addera or amphetamine like drugs

What are these drugs?

These drugs belong to the group of amphetamine like drugs, which is a potent stimulator of central nervous system. These drugs are most commonly used to improve attention, in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.

What are the side effects?

There is a long list of side effects that these drugs might cause. Some of these side effects include:

• Irregular heart rhythm. • Hypotension. • Seizures. • Weight loss. • Insomnia. • Excessive alertness. • Irritability. • Psychosis. • Decreased self confidence.

What are the recommendations for its use?

We recommend that you combine following things along with the drug to minimize its side effects:

  • OPC
  • Essential fatty acid supplements
  • Zinc supplements
  • Diuretics

What are diuretics?

This is a group of drugs with different chemical structure and properties. All these drugs are meant for eliminating excessive amount of water from the body. These drugs find use in conditions including hypertension, cerebral edema, generalized edema, congestive heart failure and increased pressure inside the eyes.

What are the side effects?

Following are some side effects seen with the use of diuretics:

  • Hypovolemia
  • Hyponatremia
  • Decreased or increased amount of potassium inside body
  • Derangement of body metabolism leading to acidosis or alkalosis
  • Increased risk of renal stones
  • Allergic reactions
  • Hormonal derangements
  • Hypotension.

What are the recommendations for its use?

While using these drugs make sure to add following things in your drug regime as well:

  • OPC 165
  • Immuzyme
  • Colloidal minerals
  • Selenium supplements
  • Combination of digestive enzyme supplements.

Proscar

What is Proscar?

Finasteride, also known by Proscar, is a drug that is used for the treatment of male pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

What are its side effects?

Following are some side effects seen with its use:

  • Increased risk of prostate cancer
  • Erectile and sexual dysfunction
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Male breast cancer

What are the recommendations for its use?

In order to minimize the side effects of this drug, we recommend that you add following things in your drug regime:

  • OPC 165
  • Immuzyme
  • Squalamine Diabetes Drugs.

What are diabetic drugs?

As the name indicates, these drugs are used for the management of diabetes. These drugs accomplish this by either increasing the amount of circulating Insulin or decreasing the amount of circulating glucose.

What are the side effects?

Following are some side effects seen with the use of these medicines:

  • Increases risk of hypoglycemic attacks
  • Increased risk of heart attack and hepatic failure
  • Obesity
  • Gastrointestinal complaints including gastric upset, nausea and vomiting.

What are the recommendations for its use?

While using these drugs make sure that you’re using following things as well:

  • Chromium Picolonate
  • Vanadyl Sulfate
  • Gamma Linolenic Acid supplements
  • Biotin supplements

Arthritis drugs

What are these drugs?

These drugs are used in the treatment of arthritis and its related complaints like pain and inflammation. Some drugs just minimize the symptoms while others tend to cure the disease from its root by either increasing the excretion of uric acid or decreasing its production.

What are their side effects?

Following are some side effects:

  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Liver function derangement
  • Renal failure
  • Increased chances of bleeding
  • Significant drug interactions.

What are the recommendations for their use?

Make use of following to minimize side effects:

  • Ameriden
  • OPC-165
  • Immuzyme
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Glucosomine Sulfate with Chondroitin
  • Use probiotics.

Cold and Flu Medications

What are these drugs?

These drugs include aspirin and ibuprofen, drugs that are most commonly used as over the counter medications.

What are the side effects?

A number of side effects are associated with the use of aspirin:

  • Renal failure
  • Gastroinstetinal bleeding
  • Hepatic failure
  • GIT upset.

What are the recommendations for use?

In case of such infections make sure to use following:

  • Colloidal Silver
  • OPC-165
  • Ameriden
  • Drink a lot of water.

Beta Blockers and Calcium channel Blockers

What are these drugs?

These drugs function to decrease blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attacks, in the management of angina, in the treatment of migraines and in the management of arrhythmias.

What are the side effects?

The most common side effects include:

  • Hypotension
  • Cardiac rhythm abnormalities
  • Cardiac function abnormalities
  • GIT upset.

What are the recommendations for use?

Keep following things in mind:

  • Drink more water
  • Make use of fruits and vegetables
  • Make use of digestive enzyme supplements
  • Make use of carnitine and taurine supplements.
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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Published: April 8, 2014 10:16 AM
Next scheduled update: April 8, 2016 10:16 AM
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