Chances are you’ll visit a primary care doctor, who’ll give you a prescription for one or more drugs for a health problem. Although this sounds simple, there is a high probability that your doctor may have prescribed the most dangerous drugs, which can cause havoc to your health and wellbeing.
A study by the Mayo Clinic researchers found that only twelve percent of patients who go for a second opinion walk out with the same diagnosis. That means 88 percent return home with an entirely new diagnosis. Think about the harm you’ll be causing your body if you keep on popping the pills without knowing all these details.
On the other hand, if you frequently use over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or misuse medication, like painkillers or opioids, you could be damaging your body beyond repair. The side effects of these most dangerous drugs could be heart problems, addiction, accidents or even poor academic performance.
Drugs Side Effects and Their Consequences
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may cause an increased risk of heart failure, gastrointestinal damage, ulcers, and internal bleeding. These drugs pose a higher risk of renal failure, severe allergic reactions and worst of all they are a threat to the younger population. For instance, some children and teenagers who had chickenpox or the flu while using aspirin developed Reye’s syndrome. As a result, medical experts are advising against taking this class of OTC medication if at all possible. Some examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
Anticholinergic drugs also cause problems if taken improperly. These anticholinergic substances are used in cold and allergy medicines and painkillers. They are used to treat a broad spectrum of diseases which involve contraction and relaxation of muscles. They block a chemical called acetylcholine which plays a role in nerve cell transmission of electric impulses. An Indiana University study found that use of these set of chemicals for just sixty days caused memory problems in older people. Some commonly used anticholinergic drug brands include Benadryl, Opioid painkillers, Advil, and Tylenol.
It’s important to realize that you can obtain certain drugs only by prescription, and more likely, these may be the most dangerous drugs with harmful side effects. When you talk about prescription drugs and their side effects, there are too many of them to discuss in this article. Nevertheless, the best thing you have to do is to find out more about every single drug you’re using and its side effects.
If you dive deep into the pharmaceutical theories of each prescription medication, you can see these common side effects:
- Depression disorders
- Panic disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Kidney or liver damage
Most Dangerous Drugs in Your Cabinet
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly three in five Americans have taken a prescribed drug since 2000. Another study published in the Journal of Medical Association says the drug use among people who are twenty years or above has increased to fifty-nine percent since 2012. A dozen years earlier it was only fifty-one percent.
The study further goes on to say that within that same period the percentage has doubled for people who took five or more prescription drugs. Initially, it was eight percent, and now it’s fifteen percent.
Nevertheless, added to these most dangerous drugs are the OTC medications and supplements that are taken by these people. Experts fear that this unstable cocktail would threaten the therapeutic benefits of medicines. Moreover, the patients can become worse than before they started taking the drugs.
The following medication is considered some of the most dangerous in your home.
This OTC medication is an NSAID. You can use it to treat muscle pain, menstrual cramps, dental pain, and arthritis. Some of its common side effects include nausea, headache, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness or drowsiness. Midol contains Acetaminophen which helps to reduce your pain. In case of overdose, it may cause liver failure or in some cases death. It is important to never take more than the label of this medication indicates.
Advil is also an NSAID, this over the counter medication is ibuprofen which works by lowering the hormone levels that cause pain and inflammation in your body. It relieves a headache, toothache, back pain, menstrual cramps, sprains, strains, and arthritis.
However, it can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke especially if you take high doses or use it for the long term. Likewise, it may spell trouble if you have heart disease. Never use Advil before or after heart bypass surgery. It can also cause intestinal bleeding which could prove fatal. Never use Advil with any other ibuprofen product, including Motrin, or other NSAIDs.
Used to treat pain and fever, Tylenol contains Acetaminophen and has the same risk factors as Midol. Even a small overdose of this drug can damage your liver or even cause death. Though serious side effectsare rare in regular doses. Make sure you get medical help right away if you notice allergic reaction such as itching, swelling of the face, tongue or throat, rash, trouble breathing or severe dizziness. Never take more Tylenol than the packaging or your prescription indicate.
Antitussives and expectorants are the two types of OTC cough medicines. Antitussives suppress your cough and block the cough reflex while expectorants thin your mucus and clear your airway. Cough syrup can cause dizziness, irritability or sleepiness. Extreme doses of cough syrups that contain Dextromethorphan (DXM) creates a hallucinogenic state.
Some teenagers may use this medication to get high because it’s cheap and simple to use. To prevent kids from using these medicines for recreation purposes never stock them in your cabinet. Especially when they also contain NSAIDs or Tylenol – both of which can cause overdoses if the medication is abused.
Also called as magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is an anti-inflammation remedy and a natural exfoliant. The FDA approves dissolving Epsom salt in water to use as a laxative. Consuming Epsom salt can cause bloating, diarrhea or upset stomach. Drink plenty of water especially if you use it as a laxative to reduce digestive discomfort. Magnesium overdose can cause a headache, lightheadedness, nausea, flushed skin and even death. Also, a high dose of Epsom salt can rupture the intestinal wall, or even cause infection.
Having been issued a black box warning, which is the most severe warning from the FDA, Amitriptyline is available as a generic drug. You can use it only with your doctor’s prescription. Used to treat the symptoms of depression, Amitriptyline can increase the risk of suicidal behavior and thoughts in kids, adolescents, and young adults. You may feel dizziness or drowsiness during the first few hours after taking this medicine. Likewise, the other side effects include confusion, headache, numbness, blurred vision and nausea.
A prescription painkiller Vicodin comprises hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It is an opiate drug that’s used to manage multiple levels of pain. Moreover, its efficacy is similar to that of morphine. Short-term side effects of Vicodin use may cause nausea, constipation, slowed breathing, profound drowsiness, and impaired judgment. Comparatively, long-term use could result in addiction, increased perception of pain, anxiety and poor stress management, and mood changes, agitation or irritability.Enter your text here...
It is an opioid drug mainly used in the management of moderate to severe pain. OxyContin is a prescription medication which is often used for an extended period. The general side effects include constipation, stomach pain, nausea, dry mouth, and headache. The severe side effects include circulatory depression, respiratory arrest, apnea, respiratory depression, shock, hypotension, and death. Avoid using this medication if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding because babies could be born with opioid tolerance and depressed respiration.
Being the single most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States, Xanax treats anxiety and panic disorders. The drug alprazolam is known by the brand name Xanax. It is an effective and safe medication when used correctly. Avoid this medicine if you’re pregnant, planning for a baby or breastfeeding as it could harm your unborn baby. This medication can cause severe breathing problems that could be life-threatening when you use it with narcotic pain medicines.
Inform your doctor if you have kidney, or liver disease, lung problems, glaucoma, depression, mental health problems or seizures. Additionally, Xanax can increase your thoughts of suicide, can make you drowsy and can be habit-forming.
This is a prescription medication used to treat and prevent osteoporosis in men and women. It is also used to treat Paget’s disease of the bone. According to the latest reports, women double the risk of heart conditions while using this medication. Some severe side effects of Fosamax include extreme pain in joints, bones, and muscles. Other side effects include chest pain, bloody stools, skin blisters, eye pain, and swelling of the face, tongue, and throat. Inform your doctor if you’re using cancer medicines, NSAIDs, and steroid medicines.
How to Reduce the Most Dangerous Drugs You Take
Physicians advise you to follow these steps to avoid polypharmacy issues. Before taking the new medication, try to get all your questions cleared. Write down all the medicines you’re taking, including all the OTC meds, vitamins and supplements. Try to review your medication on a regular basis. Ask your doctor about combination pills you may be taking.
Additionally, turn your attention to herbal remedies for simple ailments instead of using the most dangerous drugs. Finally, try to reduce your stress levels. This way you’ll be reducing the intake of the most dangerous drugs and their side effects.