What percentage of Americans take at least 1 prescription medication? Would you be surprised if I told you the number was 70%. Naturally, lifestyle (in many cases) leads to a diagnosis that is treated using pharmaceutical agents. It is important to emphasize the word “TREATED”, because most of the conditions are never cured. We have become so complacent that we accept life long “treatments” without blinking an eye. Do you think our attitudes would change if the cost of these medications came directly out of our individual pockets? It seems that as long as insurance pays a majority of the costs, we are willing to “pop the pill” everyday, forever, if our doctors instruct us to do so.
After considering this model of “health care”, it occurred to me that our health care system has a SECOND SOURCE OF PRESCRIPTIVE REVENUE AS WELL. It’s called “side effects medication.” That’s right, medications have potential “side effects” that cause ADDITIONAL symptoms, conditions and diseases. How are these symptoms, conditions and/or diseases treated? You guessed it; more prescriptive medications.
I thought it would be interesting to look at the top 6 conditions treated by primary doctors today. They include:
cholesterol and triglyceride
high blood pressure
I then wondered how many of these conditions were inadvertently caused by the doctors prescribing medications for unrelated conditions. Naturally, the patient would have no idea that a prescribed medication was actually causing or complicating one of these six conditions. So, I compiled a small list of prescribed medications that list these conditions as possible side effects. See if your over the counter or prescribed medication is on the list. If it is, do you suffer any of these six conditions?
Drugs causing GERD (Indigestion):
NSAID (ibuprofin, aspirin), bone strengthening (fosamax, actonel), cardiac (calcium channel blockers, beta blockers), anxiety (valium), anti depressants (imipramine, amitriptyline), bacterial treatment (antibiotics)
Drug induced hypothyroidism may be caused by:
Drugs used for hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) such as propylthiouracil (PTU), radioactive iodine, potassium iodide, and methimazole
Drugs that can lower good cholesterol and raise bad triglycerides:
cardiac meds (thiazide diuretics, beta blockers), (hormones) estrogen, (corticosteroids) prednisone
Drugs causing high blood pressure:
NSAIDS, (Celebrex, Ibuprofin, motrin, aleve, advil), decongestant (sudafed), migraine meds (fioricet, imitrex)
Drugs causing diabetes:
cardiac meds (thiazide diuretics, beta blockers), cholesterol meds (statin drugs- multiple)
Drugs causing depression and anxiety
breathing disorder (singulair), acne (accutane), stop smoking (chantix)
The purpose of this article is to stimulate people to think about their health and to decide whether they want prescriptive medications part of their life until they die. Medication certainly has a vital role when indicated. It can also be extremely dangerous. There are over 100,000 deaths annually from prescribed medications. If you’re taking medications for convenience or because someone else is paying for it, do you think it might be time to rethink your strategy? Discuss your health with multiple health care professionals to gain different perspectives. Making an informed decision for yourself today with professional guidance may prevent you from adding your name to the mortality statistics tomorrow.