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Death by Prescription: The Shocking Truth Behind an Overmedicated Nation Paperback – 1 Oct 2006
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We learn that any drugs have side problems, the differences are only how bad this can turn out, either because we all are unique individuals, or caused by reactions between 2 or more drugs. And we learn that what is sold in health-food stores, including herbs, and got without prescription from a physician, also are drugs, if it’s not the daily vitamins or minerals.
Historically we read that way bag in 1906 the Congress passed the first drug law, and around 30 years later then the Food and Drug Administration system, (FDA), was started. But when the system with FDA releasing of drugs began only around 5 % of the internationally sold drugs then being on the marked had been released by FDA, opposite to now where it’s more than 70 %.
And we learn that the problem is that it now it has turned over in too fast allowing new drugs, as result of the pharmaceutical companies screaming after fast getting their new invented and patented drugs on marked, before the concurrent, for getting the biggest part of the yearly selling for billions of $. And we read that this is coursed by FDA having too much connection to the pharmaceutical companies, as 50 % of the FDA’s total budget comes as “user fees” from them.
In the start of the book we read that in 1994 more than 2.2 million people in U.S. required hospitalization because of serious reaction to medications and that more than 106,000 – in Lancet written 180.000 - of these actual died because of adverse drug reactions.
And throughout the book we are getting many actual cases as results of persons by doctors getting drugs with too bad side effects, or even by drugs which the persons just bought over-the-counter, and thereby supposed in being without any harm.
We read how Ray during the education had learned that the pharmaceutical drugs only were having weak side problems, but how his knowledge was changed after he in his practice ran into problems after he to a patient with high blood pressure ordered a drug from the new ACE inhibitors class. Then after some times the patient visited him again but now because of a dry hacking cough, an extremely brutal coughing. As result of this there first were tried antibiotics, but as this didn’t cure the problem, he then was send to specialists, researches were made, and so on, but still nothing helped. Then after 18 months Ray from a physician received a note with a copy from a journal, telling that he should try to stop in using the actual drug. And then, by doing so, after a week the patients problem was solved, and Rays thinking about drugs had changed.
In the connection to how we shall take care when buying over-the-counter drugs, we among other read about a case in which a teenager wanting to lose some pound, then without her parents knowing she starts taking a drug which she has seen in her favorite teen magazine. And after some time, she can see that it has helped on her body. But then a day when she is sitting in choir she gets a crushing headache, then passing out, and 30 minutes after arriving to the emergency room she is declared dead. There then is made an autopsy, whereby it’s found that she was hit by a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding into the brain), and that this was caused by an active ingredient in the drug. So a teenager, as the result of a drug, hit by a stroke, which we always connect to persons at least 60 years old!
Concerning the herbs, we read that when Ray started on the doctor study then by his grandmother got a big old book with natural cures, in which she believed, but that he never put an eye on herbs before his wife was terribly ill and nothing he prescribed could help. He then for the first time went to a health-food store and the nutritional supplements which he there bought cured the problem, so after this he continued visiting health-food stores. But we learn that herbs also have drug effects but normally with less strength than the synthetic drugs, as for example the St. John’ wort is basically a half-strength Prozac, (an antidepressant with serious side effects). Actually around ¼ of all prescription drugs contains active constituents from plants.
So herbs are also drugs and as a case we read about how bad it turned out when a person in his twenties, at a wrong time started using the Ephedra. Few years earlier he had been using it in connection to his body building, but then he starts using it again as he by much to do at work are getting tired and stressed. And one day in the afternoon at work, he collapses and starts having a grand mal seizure, and at the hospital it turns out that he by the way he had been laying have been missing oxygen, and thereby brain damage. And the result that now for the rest of his life requiring care as he now only have a mental capacity of a 3-4 years old child.
In the book we read about how they in Germany, opposite to U.S., have much control and researches concerning herbs, and that it’s common for doctors also to prescript herbs.
In the book we learn that it’s nearly impossible to predict which bad side problem might be the result of mixing drugs, as the result of the chemical interaction between drugs. In connection to this we also learn that the grapefruit not must be eaten by persons using just one of many of the well-known drugs as for example Zocor, Viagra, Valium, or the blood pressure medication Posicor as they all use the same enzyme Cytochrome P450. So any of these taking at the same time will increases their effects. And we get a table showing 78 of drugs that all use this enzyme.
But concerning the result of using drugs, or rather too many, we are retold a story which Ray got from a pharmaceutical rep. It is about an eighty-nine years old person in Nebraska who daily was taking 12 different medications, and who as time passed by got weaker and weaker and couldn’t eat food or swallow his medication. So his physician concluded that he by age soon now would die, and then discontinued the Grandpas daily drugs, and called the family. The family came, but had to wait as Grandpa did not die, and while waiting and waiting instead Grandpa started to wake up and talking with the family, and asking for food. So it turned out that it was the drugs which had made Grandpa tired. And when the story was told to Ray the Grandpa then just had celebrated his ninety-third birthday and being more fresh than before he was using so many drugs.
So it’s a cautionary book by which we understand that, as he put it, first to use a new drug when it by FDA has been allowed during at least 5 years, by which all of it side problems then should be known; in the book there are horrifying cases proving this. And besides we have to read about the actual drugs being used, for example by going to Google. But in Google especially searching after information’s not only written by the producers.
Good Book. If you take prescription medicine you should read this book.