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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Just How Badly Do You Want That Pill?

I am not a fan of pharmaceuticals.

I'm a nurse, I thought about becoming a pharmacist, and I really wanted to be a teacher.  These three interests have come together to make me a very informed consumer when it comes to medications, and an outspoken critic of bad and missing information given to consumers of meds......many of whom are seniors.

When I was 21, already an RN with a career, I suddenly developed thrombophlebitis in both legs.  I was sent off duty to bedrest & my excellent physician ordered the medication Butazolidin Alka for me. Within two days I was having wierd attacks of chills.  Being a nurse I screamed for help immediately.  My excellent doctor came to my home and immediately stopped the new brand-name medication, drew a vial of blood from my arm and left.  It turned out I had a life-threatening side-effect of Butazoldin Alka: hemolytic anemia.  My red blood cells were rupturing.

I was one of the lucky ones.  Withdrawing the medication saved my life (though I required treatment for the anemia).  Some other consumers across the nation were not so lucky.  For some people the hemolysis of red blood cells did not stop even when the medication was withdrawn, and death ensued.

Eventually, Butazolidin Alka was taken off the market.  Remember, when I took it, it was on the market.  Thank you, Drug Company, for all those "comprehensive" test studies before you sold it to me!!!  Can't tell you how great it was being one of your unsuspecting uninformed human guinea pigs.....and paying you money for the "privilege".

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, complications from prescription medication use is the 4th Leading Cause of Death in the USA.

In  2006 a report by Dr. Gary Lull revealed nearly 800,000 Americans die every year as the result of medicine made by pharmaceutical companies.
That same year, 2006, the pharmaceutical industry was listed as the #1 most profitable industry in Fortune 500 !!!!!!!!

We teach our kids to "Just Say No To Drugs".

That is excellent advice to us, too.

It is possible to say "No, thank you," to a physician.  Especially to things like statins.  Our grandparents never took a statin and probably ate hogs for breakfast.....and most of our grandparents did not drop  dead from high cholesterol.  Yes, eventually they died, but no pharmaceutical company got rich on their fears.

Take a walk.

Consider leaving the statins alone.

Remember Baycol ( a statin by Bayor)?  In the four years it was on the market (1997 -  2001) it caused 100,000 deaths.

My excellent physician and I have an agreement:  I only accept prescriptions for generic meds.   Brand name drugs lose their patent after 12 years and become relatively cheaper generics.  By that time, hundreds of thousands of guinea-pig-people have consumed the brand name medication.....and we get a better picture of which meds need withdrawn from the market due to causing deaths, liver failure, kidney failure, deafness, blindness, psychotic break-downs, suicides.....on and on and on.  And which are safe.  And which get BLACK BOX WARNINGS.
 
Fen-Phen was taken off the market after 24 years,
Vioxx was taken off after 6 years.....

....heck, even Heroin used to be approved by the FDA....opps all the patientsl got addicted!  Let's take back our approval!........oh, let's arrest those people who peddle the stuff now that we don't approve it!

"FDA Approved" means very little.

I am not saying never take meds prescribed by an excellent physician.
I am just saying, be informed and look out for yourself.
Don't be afraid to ask for more education and explanation....or even ask for time to think about it while you bone up on it yourself before deciding yes or no.

Just how badly do I want that pill?

"What will happen to me if I do NOT take this pill?"
"Is there something I can do to help my health other than take this pill?"
"Is there a cheaper version or cheap relative of this pill if I must have this kind of medication?"
"If I must take it, would a lower dose be effective?"

Be captain of your ship.

New, "brand name" is great in clothes, risky in medications.  Sure, if I am already dying and an experiment is needed, go ahead with the experiment of a brand new "cadillac" medication on me.
Other than that, give me the cheaper safer version about which much is already known.

Riverwatch, RN

PS       I always take my blood pressure pill....always.