A Glance at the Ill Effects of Prescription Meds

More and more Americans are taking prescription medications – many for cardiovascular issues (Tenorman, BB), but also for behavioral problems (zolof), anti aging issues (botox, hormone replacement therapy).  The percentage of American adults who now take at least one prescription drug is about 50%, and growing.
Ill Effects
One of the most pervasive problems with Rx drugs is poisoning.  Each year the US Poison control center receives almost 500,000 calls relating to young children who accidentally (or intentionally) get into medicine cabinets.  This is approximately one call per MINUTE of each day.   
Drug Overdoses
With celebrities such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Heath Ledger dying of drug overdoses – the American public gets a glimpse of a tragic problem in this country.  The overdose of cocaine, meth, heroin and other “street drugs” is high, but the abuse and overdose of Rx drugs is even worse.  This includes the use of narcotics, painkillers, and other opioids which is essentially creating a epidemic of overdose deaths.   Rx drugs can now be called the “gateway” drug to heavier types of drugs.  According to a 2013 US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services report – 80% of persons who started using heroin had previously used prescription painkillers.
Although the federal government is making some strides into increasing controls on painkillers (re-scheduling drugs, and having restrictions on refills), much of the genie is out of the bag.  Most Americans are unaware that a higher and higher percentage of our Rx drugs are being manufactured in China – where controls are much more lax than in the US.  In fact, reports have surfaced that specific types of drugs are going to market BEFORE any traditional phase I clinical trials have taken place.
Unsafe Rx
We also know about the types of drugs brought to the market that were blatantly unsafe.  According to Worstpills.org web site – brands such as Meridia/Subutramine (anti-obesity drug marketed from the late 1990s until withdrawn in 2010), Vioxx /Rofecoxib (Anti-inflammatory NSAID drug from 199 until 2004 ), and Redux/dexfenfluramine (appetite suppressant / weight loss drug marketed form the mid 1990s to 2010). All of these drugs, and the ones listed in the table below, were withdrawn from the market after their manufacturers KNEW they were problematic – either from selectively hiding research results, to illness and death as side effects in persons who took the drugs.

  Generic Name (BRAND NAME)   Readers Warned   Date Withdrawn   Years between  
sibutramine (MERIDIA)                          4/1/1998            10/8/2010             12.5 years   
gatifloxacin (TEQUIN)                           7/1/2002           5/1/2006               3.8 years   
rofecoxib (VIOXX)                                4/1/2001            9/29/2004            3.5 years   
valdecoxib (BEXTRA)                           12/1/2002         4/7/2005                2.4 years   
cerivastatin (BAYCOL)                          3/1/1998           8/8/2001                 3.4 years   
troglitazone (REZULIN)                        1/1/1998            3/21/2000               2.2 years   
grepafloxacin (RAXAR)                        4/1/1998           8/11/1999                 1.4 years   
dexfenfluramine (REDUX)                    7/1/1996           9/15/1997                1.2 years