Friday, 2 March 2012

All Prescribed Drugs Have Side Effects

Whenever a synthetic substance is introduced into the body there is a reaction. Prescribed drugs are synthetic substances –that is they are man- made and not naturally occurring. Sometimes the body’s reaction to such a substance is severe at the outset; at other times the initial reaction may be mild but the cumulative effect over time is significant. Most prescribed drugs fall into the latter category.

 A side effect is an unintended occurrence that results from taking a drug. The pharmaceutical companies who manufacture these drugs either deliberately downplay the side effects, or carefully manage the information pertaining to their concoctions so as not to alarm the public. They only usually get found out in their manipulation of the information when a significant number of patients make a complaint about a specific drug.

In 2004, Merck were forced to take their arthritis drug, Vioxx, from the market when it became obvious that a significant number of patients were likely to develop cardiovascular problems if they continued taking the drug. In 2011, GlaxoSmithKline took their Avandia drug for diabetes from the market when it was found to significantly increase the risk of heart attack. Both of these drugs at the time of their removal were on general release having passed all clinical trials.

Some drugs do not get enough complaints to merit their removal from the market but nonetheless have serious side effects. Here is a list of the most serious of these as they have an impact on the body: affecting the blood causing dizziness, high blood pressure or heart attack; affecting the brain causing amnesia, speech disorder or stroke; affecting the bowels causing abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea; affecting vital organs involving hepatitis, kidney or liver failure; affecting the lungs causing  colds, flu or sore throat; affecting the mental state causing aggression, depression or confusion;  affecting the senses causing tingling sensations, ringing in the ears or vision problems; affecting the skin causing itching, skin rash or sweating.

The possible consequences of taking prescrption drugs are such that every opportunity should be taken to avoid them if at all possible. Doctors should only use them in treating a patient for a complaint as a last resort instead of as a first option.

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