Alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs are among the most dangerous substances known to man. But due to the greed of big pharmaceutical companies, many prescription drugs have joined this list.
Even if an over-the-counter or prescription drug has been subjected to unbiased, stringent, long-term testing, anything can happen when it is released into the uncontrolled environment of your body, natural health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola points out.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require independent testing. It merely accepts safety studies from Big Pharma, which are frequently biased and contain skewed results to fast-track drug approval.
Drug manufacturers rarely investigate a drug’s interaction with other drugs. “Popping a pill nowadays is like playing Russian roulette since no drug can be labeled as ‘100 percent safe.’ The more drugs you take, the greater the potential danger to your health,” Dr. Mercola warns.
Here’s a list of the most dangerous legal drugs that even most doctors probably won’t take:
1. Advair (GlaxoSmithKline)
Used to treat asthma, Advair contains salmeterol, which can increase the severity of an asthma attack. Salmeterol-based drugs contribute to an estimated 5,000 asthma-related deaths each year in the U.S. alone.
2. Ambien (Sanofi-Aventis)
Sedatives like Ambien only decrease get-to-sleep time by 18 minutes and can cause somnambulism side effects – resulting in people driving, walking, having sex, or making phone calls while asleep.
3. Avandia (GlaxoSmithKline)
A diabetes drug that makes fat cells more insulin-responsive to control blood sugar levels, Avandia has been linked to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death among its users compared to patients using other treatment methods.
4. Boniva (Roche)
Women are advised to avoid lying down after taking this postmenopausal anti-osteoporosis drug, which can cause abdominal pain, arm pain, back pain, bronchitis, diarrhea, headaches, heartburn, indigestion, and leg pain.
5. Celebrex (Pfizer)
Used by arthritis sufferers as a painkiller, Celebrex has been associated with increased risks of kidney problems, liver damage, and stomach bleeding. According to a 2005 study, those taking 200 mg of Celebrex twice a day more than doubled their risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, while those taking 400 mg twice a day more than tripled their risk.
6. Chantix (Pfizer)
The FDA has received more than 1,000 reports of health problems and injuries among users of this anti-smoking drug during the first quarter of 2008 alone. That’s more adverse reaction reports than from the top 10 bestselling brand-name drugs combined! These include 28 deaths from suicide. Chantix is associated with agitation, anxiety, depression, dizziness, loss of consciousness, mood swings, muscle spasms, nervousness, suicidal behavior, impaired driving ability, and unexplained behavior.
7. Crestor (AstraZeneca) and Lipitor (Pfizer)
These are two ineffective and over-prescribed statins or cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statin drugs impair important biochemical functions in your body and deplete the supply of the coenzyme CoQ10, leading to fatigue, heart failure, muscle weakness and soreness.
8. Humira (Abbott) and Prolia (Amgen)
Humira is believed to worsen psoriasis – a disease it is supposed to treat. Both drugs are injectable biologics made from genetically engineered hamster cells that suppress your immune system. They can cause lethal infections, lymphoma, melanoma, tuberculosis, and cancer in children and teenagers.
9. Lamictal (GlaxoSmithKline), Lyrica (Pfizer), and Topomax (Johnson & Johnson)
Now prescribed for pain, these epilepsy seizure drugs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. All three drugs can result in memory loss and hair loss.
10. Premarin and Prempro (Pfizer)
Used for hormone replacement therapy, Prempro and Premarin cause a 50 percent increase in blood clots, a 26 percent increase in breast cancer risk, a 29 percent increase in heart attack risk, and a 41 percent increase in stroke risk. These have also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, cataracts, deafness, dementia, gout, joint degeneration, lupus, cancers (endometrial, gall bladder, lung, melanoma, and ovarian), scleroderma, and urinary incontinence.
11. Ritalin (Novartis)
Despite having the same pharmacological profile as cocaine, this drug is commonly prescribed to children diagnosed with ADHD. It stimulates the central nervous system, causing side effects such as increased blood pressure and heart rate. Short-term use can cause chromosomal damage, while long-term use can lead to severe health problems including cancer.
12. Tamoxifen (Zeneca)
A powerful drug used to treat breast cancer, Tamoxifen is associated with birth defects and atrophy of the uterine lining, coexisting hyperplasia, and uterine polyps in women.
13. Yasmin and Yaz (Bayer)
In a study, these over-hyped birth control pills were associated with blood clots, gall bladder disease, heart attacks, and strokes among 18-year-olds.