BEWARE: Dangers of These Certain Prescribed Drugs

There are very serious health risks in taking prescription drugs. Every day, Americans are injured by side effects of dangerous drugs. For many, their only recourse is to file lawsuits against the companies that sell the products.

The pharmaceutical industry makes sky-high profits that allow them to move quickly from one faulty drug to the next. From 2004 to 2008, Pfizer, one major pharmaceutical company, took in $245 billion. During that same time period, another company, Eli Lilly, made $36 billion from just one of its drugs (Zyprexa).

Between 2004 and 2010, major drug companies paid out $7 billion in fines, penalties and lawsuits — just a drop in the bucket when compared with soaring profits. No one seems to care that every day, Americans are injured or killed by dangerous prescription drugs.

Since 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an average of 24 drugs a year, including many that pose health risks and serious long-term side effects.

Drug companies help this happen when they conduct flawed or dishonest clinical trials by:
  • Failing to report negative results to the FDA
  • Study of side effects for a short period of time
  • Studying a tiny group of people
The FDA responds to adverse reactions to drugs in a variety of ways, such as meetings, reports, reviews, demands for more trials, letters to doctors, added warnings to labels, and requirements that patients enroll in special programs for drugs. FDA action, however, can take years — something patients may not have.

Consumers who have been injured by a prescription drug often take action of their own by filing lawsuits against drug companies. 

These lawsuits can cover exorbitant medical costs, as well as pain and suffering. The most important role of the lawsuits is that they speak the drug companies’ language — money — and can teach them a lesson.

A few dangerous drugs out there are:
  • Type 2 diabetes drugs Avandia and Actos.
  • Antidepressants Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft and Lexapro.
  • Mood stabilizer Depakote.
  • Birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin.
These drugs come with side effects that range from: 
  • birth defects
  • liver damage
  • suicidal behavior
  • blood clots
  • bladder cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • heart attacks
  • strokes
  • uncontrollable bleeding 
  • heart failure.
Diuretics, alpha and beta blockers, ACE Inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and blood vessel dilators are used to lower the blood pressure. Side effects of these medicines are also commonly reported.

These are only a few of the dangerous drugs doctors are prescribing. For a complete list scroll to the bottom of the page...

Side Effects 

Hypertension medicines can have many side effects, according to the John Hopkins Health Alerts. They vary significantly depending on the type of high blood pressure medication that the person is taking. 

The most common side effects include:
  • constipation, which is typically caused by calcium channel blockers 
  • dry mouth, caused by central alpha agonists 
  • dehydration caused by diuretics 
  • dizziness caused by alpha-blockers 
  • drowsiness
  • upset stomach
  • headaches
  • increased sensitivity to cold or sunlight caused by several medications
Several types of high blood pressure medications have been linked to an elevated risk for cancer.

Drs. Ilke Sipahi, Daniel I. Simon and James C. Fang completed an analysis of over 60,000 patients randomly assigned to take either placebo or a blood pressure medication known as angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB). 

They found that ARB was linked to an increased risk for cancer. For example, the risk for lung cancer was 25 percent higher among participants taking ARBs than among the control subjects. These findings were published online in The "Lancet Oncology” journal in July 2010. 

For five years, Dr. A.L. Fitzpatrick and colleagues followed 3,198 women over age 65 taking short-acting calcium channel blockers, other types of high blood pressure medication, or no blood pressure drugs. They found that women taking calcium channel blockers were twice as likely to develop breast cancer as subjects who were not taking high blood pressure medication. The study was published in the “Cancer” journal in October 1997. 

Heart Attack and Stroke Risks

Not only are the short-acting calcium channel blockers been linked with cancer, but they have been shown to increase risk of death from a heart attack, says the National Institutes of Health, which also says they should be prescribed with caution. 

Statins were developed to reduce cholesterol levels, but are increasingly prescribed to lower blood pressure. 

They have been linked to numerous medical conditions, such as:
  • liver disease
  • depression
  • heart attacks
  • strokes, says that a high dose of such medicine resulted in a liver injury in 271 patients out of 100,000.

Statins and Muscle Pain

Statins are well known to cause muscle pain and muscle weakness. 

 Rhabdomyolysis is the term for severe muscle injury that can cause kidney injury, kidney failure and death. Data on rhabdomyolysis in the new study was sparse. Nevertheless, some data was obtained on statin dosage and the risk of rhabdomyolysis. For example, in one clinical trial, the reported rate of rhabdomyolysis was more than 7-fold greater with high-dose Zocor (simvastatin) than with a moderate dose.

Statins and Cancer

Dr. Alsheikh-Ali et al. also examined data from thirteen clinical trials for associations between LDL reduction with statins and the risk of cancer. The authors noted, "there was a highly significant inverse relationship between achieved LDL levels and rates of newly diagnosed cancer.

"This meant that as subjects achieved lower LDL and cholesterol levels from their use of statins, their frequency of developing cancer increased. Similarly, there was a trend toward more new cancer cases with increasing statin dosage.