There have always been different perspectives on the value of prescription drugs. Are pharmaceuticals being overprescribed? Is there adequate research within the pharmaceutical industry? Are physicians encouraged to promote the use of prescription drugs? These are all questions that skeptics have posed over the years.
Alternative medicine or Eastern methods have become more and more popular. People are turning to herbs, organic foods and supplements, acupuncture, and chiropractors for relief. Instead of taking antidepressants, for example, a patient may choose to take St. John’s Wart and start a new exercise regimen before resorting to Lexapro. There are many reasons why people are beginning to use caution when taking prescription medication.
Known Side Effects
Everyone has seen those commercials on TV advertising some medicine or another where the list of potential side effects lasts longer than the actual advertisement of the medicine. This has become a joke in our culture; however, there is some truth to it. You might be hesitant to take a medication if the possible side effects include “headache, nausea, vomiting, infertility, or sudden cardio arrest.” It makes even the most mild medicine sound more dangerous.
There have been many cases where a prescription drug is pulled from the shelf because it was found to be giving people cancer or diabetes. For example, in 2004, Vioxx, a pain reliever for arthritis, was recalled because it was found to increase risk of stroke and heart attack. The drug had previously been prescribed to more than 20 million people. <<need to footnote here with link to foundation below the photo credit)
Just recently, there was a study linking Lipitor to the development of Type 2 diabetes in postmenopausal women. Doyle Raizner, a Lipitor diabetes lawsuit lawyer explains that, “Overzealous marketing is a common problem within the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Results are over promised and risks minimized or not revealed. Lipitor’s studies were inadequate due to the lack of women to understand how the drug affects the different genders.”
Misuse of Medication
There is also the issue of people misusing prescription drugs. When used incorrectly, pharmaceuticals can be lethal. Every day, 100 people die from overdose of prescription drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Keeping prescription drugs off the street and preventing people from misusing pharmaceuticals is becoming a real challenge.
Prescription drugs have also been beneficial in many ways and saved many lives, however, and that cannot be overlooked. Often opponents of prescription drugs do not take into account how pharmaceuticals have helped countless people to live happier, healthier lives.
It’s important for physicians and patients alike to exercise caution when prescribing or taking prescription drugs. If you are considering a new drug that you think may be beneficial for you, make sure you talk to your physician about all of the possible side effects and really consider your options before you make a decision.
Sara Crawford is a freelance writer from Atlanta, Georgia who is passionate about alternative medicine. Doyle Raizner, Lipitor diabetes lawsuit lawyer, has the expertise and knowledge to help patients who have suffered from the effects of prescription drugs.