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Ten drugs to avoid whenever possible

MagazineAugust 1998 (Vol. 9 Issue 5)Ten drugs to avoid whenever possible

This wonder drug whose side effects are now being uncovered

1. Prozac. This wonder drug whose side effects are now being uncovered. Aside from all the known side effects, including insomnia, anxiety, anorexia and weight loss, Prozac has been known to affect nearly every system of the body. Most recently, it's been linked with sexual dysfunction and also long term dependence (WDDTY vol 8 no 11).

2. Piroxicam (Feldene). Numerous deaths have been linked to this non steroidal anti inflammatory drug, which causes some 110 known side effects, including stomach and intestinal bleeding or perforation, depression and hair loss (WDDTY vol 7 no 5).

3. Predisolone or routine use of steroids for anything other than the short term for life threatening conditions. Even inhaled or rub on steroids cause the side effects associated with their oral cousins: thin skinning, growth retardation or osteoporosis, buffalo hump and dementia (WDDTY vol 7 no 2).

4. Dexfenfluramine. This dieting magic bullet makes you nine times more likely to develop pulmonary hypertension, and also causes depression, insomnia and nervousness. In lab tests it caused brain damage (WDDTY vol 7 no 4).

5. Nifedipine and other calcium channel blockers. New revelations about this class of drug show they increase the risk of cancer, heart attacks, stomach bleeding and suicide (WDDTY vol 7 no 6). Dangerous for diabetics (vol 9 no 2).

6. Larium. At least 300 Britons are claiming severe, long term effects from this supposed malaria preventative, including hallucinations, anxiety attacks, seizures and severe mood swings (WDDTY vol 7 no 11).

7. Septrin. This hybrid antibacterial drug, used to treat everything from traveller's diarrhea to HIV infection, even in children, is extremely toxic. American regulatory agencies warn the drug can cause the potentially fatal skin disease Steven-Johnson syndrome, which also causes death of liver tissue and lowering of blood cell count. The drug, given for HIV positive AIDS patients, causes symptoms uncannily like those supposedly associated with advanced AIDS (WDDTY vol 4 no 10).

8. Sodium valproate. Also known as valproic acid, this anti epilepsy drug has a host of side effects, including the capacity to cause potentially fatal liver failure in some patients (WDDTY vol 5 no 2).

9. Ritalin. This drug of choice for children diagnosed with Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Syndrome (ADHS), the latest name for the hyperactive child, can cause seizures in susceptible children, suppress height and weight, cause nervousness and insomnia, anorexia, nausea, heart palpitations and, involuntary movements. It also can lead to dependence (WDDTY vol 4 no 4).

10. Minocycline. This first line treatment for severe acne has been linked with serious adverse reactions, including liver failure, tooth discolouration, autoimmune hepatitis and lupus (WDDTY vol 8 no 1).


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