Doctor Finds an Average of 100 Side Effects for Most Common Drugs

In All Health Watch, Featured Article, Health Warning

Big Pharma wants you to believe that their drugs will make you feel better and prolong your life. They want you to believe they are safe and won’t do you harm. But just read the label on any medication. You’ll see that the drugs you may be taking for diabetes, depression, arthritis, or even a simple headache could be putting your health at risk.

The most important thing to understand is that there are no “side effects” of drugs. That term was made up by the pharmaceutical marketing machine to make you feel better about harming yourself. They want you to believe that these are minor issues that should be ignored… or better yet, treated with other drugs.

You see, there may be “unintended” or “unwanted” effects of taking a drug. But these are not side effects. They are DIRECT effects. They are your body’s response to consuming foreign (and often toxic) substances that are not recognized as nutrients.

And the number of these “side effects” on drug labels is growing… dramatically.

Dr. Jon Duke is a medical researcher and a professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine. In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. Duke and his colleagues examined more than 5,000 drug labels. 1

In all, they recorded more than 500,000 labeled effects. Dr. Duke’s team found that the most-prescribed drugs list an average of 100 side effects each. In some cases, a single label listed more than 500 potential effects. The drugs with the most risks included antidepressants, antivirals, and treatments for Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome.

Dr. Duke launched the study after seeing a patient whose blood platelets were abnormal. He looked at the medications the patient was taking. There were about a dozen. So he read the side effects. The list was so long he was overwhelmed.

Pharmaceutical drugs have very real risks – including death. But many warning labels include every reaction you could imagine. In many cases, these reactions contradict each other.

“I took a medication that had the side effect of drowsiness,” Jim Murrell, a patient from Atlanta, told The New York Times. “I read a little further and saw it had another side effect. Insomnia. One medication had diarrhea as a side effect and it also had constipation.”

So why are drug companies doing this?

Duke says they’re trying to protect themselves from lawsuits. Disclosing every potential risk connected with a drug helps the drug companies if they’re sued.

A report from Harvard Medical School addressed this issue in 2006. The authors – Drs. Jerry Avorn and William Shrank – called it “linguistic toxicity.” As a result, the FDA set out to make drug labels more user friendly. They even asked the drug companies to avoid “exhaustive lists” of potential risks.

Lists of every possible reaction help to hide the real (and more common) risks of these drugs. The FDA website states that risks “could be less serious things, such as an upset stomach, or more serious things, such as liver damage.” The site goes on to say the FDA “approves a drug for marketing after determining that the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks.”

But there have been many cases where FDA-approved drugs turned out to be unsafe. Vioxx is just one example. FDA whistleblower Dr. David Graham testified before Congress that this drug may have caused as many as 55,000 deaths. The FDA estimates nearly 28,000 victims.

Vioxx was on the market for six years. It was prescribed to 20 million people before it was recalled.

Two more examples are the FDA-approved weight-loss drugs Fen-Phen and Meridia. Both of these drugs were linked to cardiovascular problems before they were recalled.

And in 2010, the FDA reversed an earlier decision to approve Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer. Its risks included high blood pressure, internal bleeding and heart failure.

Modern Medicine Is All About Money

Despite the risks associated with prescription drugs, they are still the “go to” solution for most doctors. Even though there are natural alternatives available.

But natural supplements can’t be patented. That means there’s no money in them for Big Pharma. And the drug companies will do whatever it takes to make sure doctors keep prescribing drugs.

Ultimately, your health is your responsibility – not your doctor’s. It’s up to you to make smart choices. When your doctor prescribes drugs, you could defer to the white coat. Or you could insist on exploring other options. You could educate yourself about the risks you may be facing… and the possible alternatives.

The great news is that safe, natural alternatives exist for just about every ailment. Healing protocols abound that have been proven to work. And nothing works better than a lifestyle and diet that keep you healthy and free from the need to take medication in the first place.

Here at the Institute for Natural Healing we will continue to report on the most effective natural cures from around the world. That’s our job. Your job is to stay informed.

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