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Elderly patients regularly prescribed dangerous medications with severe side effects

Thursday, August 19, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
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A new study conducted at the Duke Clinical Research institute reveals that one in five older patients is currently receiving at least one prescription drug deemed unsafe according to a database of unsafe drugs. This study looked at prescriptions written for 765,000 patients, all over the age of 65, and compared those prescriptions against a database listing drugs that are known to be toxic to older patients (and that may result in severe side effects). It found that an astounding 21% of the patients were taking at least one drug on the list, and that half of those prescriptions were for drugs considered to have serious side effects.

What this study indicates is that even when prescription drug safety databases are published, and even when the adverse side effects of drugs are apparently well-known, doctors will continue to prescribe these drugs to elderly patients. Unfortunately, our population is increasingly dosed on prescription drugs, and this is especially true in elderly patients, where symptoms of aging are almost always masked with drugs and medications rather than lifestyle changes or nutritional approaches.

And sadly, once an elderly person gets on at least one prescription drug, it usually sets off a cascade of medications because the first drug causes side effects that have to be masked by a second drug, and the second drug causes additional side effects that have to be masked by a third drug, and so on. The cascade continues until the person is sometimes taking a dozen or more prescription drugs and their body is practically in shock trying to deal with the toxicity of the chemical cocktail.

What about deadly drug combinations? Even though this study didn't look at the danger of drug combinations, this is also a huge risk for elderly patients. Often, patients are taking so many prescription drugs that even the doctor forgets to look at the dangerous drug combinations. As a result, severe toxicity can easily creep into the equation and result in liver failure, neurological damage, or even death.

I also find it amazing that there are some drugs that even the industry itself admits are dangerous drugs. They are so dangerous that they have to be placed on a special list. It begs the question: if these drugs are so dangerous, shouldn't they be pulled off the market? And if the industry considers these drugs to be dangerous, does it automatically consider all other drugs not on the list to be safe?

What's the threshold for making this danger list, because in my studies, I've found that virtually all prescription drugs are dangerous. There is no synthetic chemical drug that does not have side effects that compromise the health of human beings taking them. In effect, all prescription drugs should be on the "dangerous" list.

My last comment on this is that I find it very sad that so many patients over 65 end up being guinea pigs for the American pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharma). They are dosed up based on shoddy recommendations from their physicians, and many of these people don't question the authority of doctor. They think doctors know best, and if the doctor recommends a prescription for joint pain, they go ahead and willingly take it. After all, they say, my doctor recommended it. That's the story with Vioxx, which has now been pulled from the market due to fatal side effects.

Prescription drugs are never the answer. People at the age of 65 shouldn't be aging as rapidly as we're seeing in the general population in the first place. The human body is designed to stay perfectly healthy up to the age of 100 and beyond. What's required to achieve that sort of longevity is, of course, lifestyle changes that include regular physical exercise, outstanding nutrition, and avoidance of all metabolic disruptors such as refined sugar, white flour, aspartame, MSG, sodium nitrite, and so on.

If you are an older person, take this to heart, because this study proves the fact that if you go to a doctor and actually believe what they're telling you, there is a 20% chance they are going to be prescribing you a drug that even the pharmaceutical industry admits is extremely dangerous and should never be prescribed to elderly patients.

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About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health author and award-winning journalist with a strong interest in personal health, the environment and the power of nature to help us all heal He has authored more than 1,800 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, and he has authored and published several downloadable personal preparedness courses including a downloadable course focused on safety and self defense. Adams is an honest, independent journalist and accepts no money or commissions on the third-party products he writes about or the companies he promotes. In 2010, Adams launched TV.NaturalNews.com, a natural health video site featuring videos on holistic health and green living. He's also the founder and CEO of a well known email mail merge software developer whose software, 'Email Marketing Director,' currently runs the NaturalNews email subscriptions. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and pursues hobbies such as martial arts, Capoeira, nature macrophotography and organic gardening. He's also author of numerous health books published by Truth Publishing and is the creator of several consumer-oriented grassroots campaigns, including the Spam. Don't Buy It! campaign, and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. He also created the free reference sites HerbReference.com and HealingFoodReference.com. Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the ending of corporate control over medicines, genes and seeds. Known on the 'net as 'the Health Ranger,' Adams shares his ethics, mission statements and personal health statistics at www.HealthRanger.org

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Related Articles:

The FDA Exposed: An Interview With Dr. David Graham, the Vioxx Whistleblower

The great direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising con: how patients and doctors alike are easily influenced to demand dangerous drugs

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