liver failure

  1. Pradaxa quickly climbs the list of dangerous drugs

    Lawsuits mount over new blood thinner

    New and improved? When it comes to blood thinners, they got the "new" part right... but they're definitely not improved.

    Pradaxa, first in a new generation of blood thinners, was supposed to be safer than warfarin -- a blood thinner so dangerous it's been used as rat poison over the years.

    As you can imagine, patients couldn't wait to get off warfarin -- so Pradaxa sales quickly shot past the $1 billion mark, making it the newest blockbuster drug. And now, it looks like it might be on the wrong end of the next blockbuster lawsuit, too -- because Pradaxa has been linked to thousands of serious problems, including bleeding problems, and hundreds of deaths.

    Last year, Pradaxa was responsible for more reports of adverse events than any other drug -- including 542 deaths, 2,367 cases of hemorrhaging, 644 strokes, and 291 cases of acute renal failure.

    If that's not enough, it was also a suspect in 15 cases of liver failure, according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

    That's quite a long list of problems for a drug that's barely been on the market for two years -- and since up to 99 percent of all drug side effects go unreported, the real numbers could be much higher.

    As a result, there are attorneys ready to make a career off this. According to USA Today, one major firm has 70 lawyers devoted to Pradaxa litigation

    It's tough to choose between rat poison and becoming the next potential client in a lawsuit, which is why it's important to know about preventative approaches that can thin the blood naturally.

    And it starts with learning why your blood has thickened in the first place.

    In many cases, I've found that thick blood is the result of excess levels of a protein called fibrinogen. One way to reduce those levels is with fish oil, as the omega-3 fatty acids can help thin the blood. The enzyme nattokinase is another excellent natural blood thinner.

    Don't fly solo on this one, and don't start swapping fish oil for meds on your own as there are certain conditions that require medication to thin the blood.

    Work with a holistic doctor who can run some tests to help determine why your blood thickened and then help you figure out the best -- and, just as importantly, safest -- natural solutions.

  2. New instructions for Tylenol

    Way too many people are taking way too much Tylenol -- and Johnson & Johnson's latest window-dressing maneuvers won't fix a thing.

    J&J says the changes it will make -- next year, mind you, not today -- will help stop the overuse that's turned the drug's main ingredient, acetaminophen, into the leading cause of liver failure in the United States.

    But they're not changing the drug.

    They're not even changing the dose.

    They're simply changing the maximum number of pills a patient should take each day from eight to six.

    Big stinking deal -- and when you consider the musty odor that's led to a recall of some Tylenol products, I do mean "stinking." Anyone who's been paying attention can tell you that the real problem isn't the instructions on the label, or even that awful smell.

    It's the drug itself -- along with the fact that drug makers have put it into just about everything from painkillers like J&J's Tylenol to cold meds like Procter & Gamble's Nyquil... not to mention prescription drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet.

    Many people overdose on acetaminophen simply because they have no idea how much they've taken.

    Then, they find out the hard way what happens when you take too much -- and liver failure is just the beginning. One study earlier this year found people who pop just four Tylenols a week have double the risk of blood cancers.

    Two other recent studies found that kids given acetaminophen regularly -- say, to reduce an ordinary and often harmless low-grade fever -- have a higher risk of asthma, wheezing, and other breathing problems.

    And let's not forget the infamous recalls of both regular and children's Tylenol lines due to quality control issues ranging from that musty odor I mentioned earlier to bacterial contamination and "tiny particles" -- including bits of metal -- in the medicine.

    Throw in all the other problems linked to acetaminophen -- nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and allergic reactions, just to name a few -- and it's bad news all around, no matter how many pills you take.

  3. Heart drug in death risk

    Here's an urgent warning for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who've taken the heart drug Multaq: The FDA says it may double the risk of death in some patients.

3 Item(s)