eMEMBERSHIP  LOGIN

Prescription Drugs and Their Potentially Adverse Effects

Posted on Nov. 7, 2003, 12:48 p.m. in Functional Medicine

The Potentially Adverse Effects of Prescription Drugs

Discovering dangers of prescription drugs after they have been marketed to the medical community and public is common. Generally, 51% of FDA-approved drugs have serious adverse effects not detected prior to approval. Each year prescription drugs injure 1.5 million people so severely they require hospitalization. In addition, prescription drugs cause 100,000 deaths annually. With these numbers, how can the public be protected from dangerous drugs?

A recent study in JAMA examined the incidence of serious and fatal adverse drug reactions (ADR) in hospital patients. An ADR is any harmful, unintended, or undesired effect of a drug. This definition does not include drug abuse nor intentional or accidental drug overdose. The results of this study were conclusive: the rate of severe and deadly adverse drug reactions in U.S. hospitals was found to be extremely high-high enough that ADRs ranked fourth, after heart disease, cancer, and stroke, as a leading cause of death in the U.S.

Despite FDA attempts to incorporate various drug safety measures prior to approving prescription drugs, they often overlook potentially dangerous effects. The use of prescription drugs is often crucial; however, in order to avoid potentially harmful side effects and drug-interactions, natural remedies should be incorporated whenever possible. Herbal therapies and nutritional supplements may support the relief of many health problems without the harmful effects of prescription drugs.

References

US General Accounting Office. FDA Drug Review: Postapproval Risks, 1976-85. Washington, DC: US General Accounting Office; April 26, 1990. GAO/PEMD-90-15.
Lazarou J, Pomeranz BH, Corey PN. Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. JAMA 1998;279(15);1200-04.

  

Health Headlines MORE »

Research suggests that swapping carbohydrates or foods rich in saturated fats for those containing polyunsaturated fatty acids can significantly reduce the risk
Patients who reported changes in their memory were nearly three times more likely to develop memory and thinking problems later in life.
Regularly engaging in moderate-to-vigorous exercise appears to help protect the brain by maintaining the structural integrity of white matter.
A compound found in the popular curry spice turmeric has been shown to promote stem cell proliferation and differentiation in the brain.
Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables may protect both mental and physical wellbeing.
An extract of a wild berry native to North America boosts the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine.
Making healthy lifestyle choices could prevent as many as 4 out of 5 coronary events in men.
Women who go up a skirt size after the age of 25 are at increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.
Older men and women who volunteer for 2-3 hours a week enjoy physical, mental, and emotional benefits.
Each day of hospitalization due to an infection raises by 1% the risk that the infection will be multidrug-resistant.