side effects

  1. How Big Pharma hides the truth on drug side effects

    What drug salesmen really tell your doctor

    Dangers? What dangers?

    Big Pharma sales reps almost never mention risks and drug side effects when they're pitching drugs to your doctor -- including drugs that come with some of the most serious warnings of all.

    A new survey of 1,700 drug presentations finds that just 6 percent include any mention of serious risks -- and it's not because those products don't have any drug side effects.

    Just the opposite: 57 percent of the drugs in the survey are so risky they have the strongest possible warnings, such as the FDA's "black box" label, according to the survey of doctors in the United States, Canada, and France.

    This is criminal, and I mean that literally since all three nations have laws requiring any sales presentation on a drug's benefits include information on drug side effect and risks.

    Of course, a good doctor -- a skeptical doctor -- knows better than to simply trust a sales rep to give him all the information he needs before dishing out the drug.

    But the survey finds we're also short of good doctors, because they actually admit to prescribing the drugs in the sales pitch despite the dangerously incomplete data on drug side effects.

    Why?

    You know the old saying... follow the money.

    Drug reps consistently treat doctors to everything from meals to posh consulting gigs where they get paid -- sometimes handsomely -- to give a little talk to a group of fellow doctors.

    And doctors return the favor by prescribing the meds they're told to, especially if they hope for more meals and bigger paydays.

    It's a quid-pro-quo system that has the potential to hurt you and your loved ones -- but thankfully, it's getting easier than ever to find out where your own doctor stands in this relationship.

    New laws are taking effect that require drug companies to report everything they give to docs -- right down to the cash value of those meals I mentioned. You can search for information on your own doctor in this database.

    If you're not comfortable with your doctor's willingness to accept industry handouts, maybe it's time to make a switch to a doctor who isn't on the payroll -- a holistic doctor focused on safe solutions instead of drug company compensation.

  2. Feeling tired? Could be your statin

    Statins cause fatigue

    Tired, and can't figure out why?

    It might not be your diet, your age, or even your sleep habits. It could be your drugs instead.

    Fatigue is a common side effect of any number of meds, and a new study finds one class of drugs that dramatically up the odds of the condition in women.

    And they're the drugs being given out to practically everyone.

    Alarming new numbers show that fatigue can slam up to 40 percent of women who take cholesterol-lowering statin medications -- and that for 10 percent of women, their energy levels sink to such lows that they rated themselves as "much worse" after taking the drugs.

    That was the lowest possible rating they could have used in the six-month study, which compared simvastatin (aka Zocor) and pravastatin (aka Pravachol) to a placebo.

    The researchers say both drugs increased the risk of fatigue, but the effect was much more noticeable among the women who took simvastatin.

    But I don't think you need to pick one drug over the other based on how they might affect your energy levels -- because you don't need either, or any other statin for that matter.

    These widely used meds are far more dangerous than most people realize, and even patients who've taken them for years can suddenly find themselves battling side effects out of the blue.

    One recent warning from the feds confirmed that statins can cause diabetes as well as memory loss and confusion. We also know that these drugs as a class can raise the risk of severe muscle pain, kidney and liver problems, cataracts, and have even been linked to sexual dysfunction.

    There are so many side effects that even many of the doctors I know who once stood by them are now trying to get their patients off them.

    Fortunately, I've never prescribed them in the first place, because there are much safer and far more effective ways to bring your cholesterol levels down to where they need to be.

    Start with the basics, diet and exercise -- and if you succeed with those lifestyle changes, your cholesterol levels will come down to where they should be and you'll feel more energetic than you have in years.

    And for more on natural cholesterol control, subscribe to my printed newsletter, Health Revelations.

  3. FDA admits drug safety record falls short

    An FDA report reveals that up to 50 percent of drug side effects are not revealed until after a drug is said to be safe, approved, and being taken.
  4. New diet drug lorcaserin is not effective for weight loss

    New drug lorcaserin, approved by an FDA panel for weight loss, fails to meet even minimal FDA standards for effectiveness and is linked to cancer and heart problems.
  5. The darkest shade of green

    Imagine a drug that failed to meet basic targets set by the FDA, came with a higher risk of side effects than its predecessors, and was found to be so unimpressive and even dangerous that the agency's own experts advised against approving it. Now, stop imagining -- and just take a look at Aricept 23.
  6. Feds finally own up to statin risks

    Well, maybe now the push to give everyone statins will start to slow a bit: The FDA has finally admitted that all those side effects the drug industry and its paid--for experts once brushed off are actually very real.
  7. From KO'd to OK'd: Rejected diet drug stages a comeback

    Nearly two years ago, an FDA panel rejected the Qnexa diet pill over safety concerns. Now, that same panel has given the drug the OK, which means the agency itself will almost certainly approve it for sale soon.
  8. The worst way to lose weight

    Surgery is supposed to be the ultimate shortcut when it comes to weight loss: Let the doc put you under, and when you wake up you're on your way to a brand-new body. If only it were that simple.
  9. The everyday pill that'll wreck your vision

    An aspirin a day won't do much for your heart, but it can do plenty for your eyes -- and not in a good way.
  10. The dirt on colon cleansing

    Never take medical advice from Hollywood stars...One of the more recent trends in Hollywood's boutique medicine industry involves colon cleansings -- the idea that a very elaborate (and often expensive) chemically enhanced enema can somehow cure all sorts of health issues.
  11. The real secret to saving your eyes

    At some point in the next month, the feds are expected to approve a new drug to help treat macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in seniors.
  12. Skyrocketing side effects

    Researchers looked at more than 500,000 potential side effects listed on some 5,600 drug labels, and found that the average medication lists at least 70.
  13. Polypill madness strikes again

    Right now, researchers are busily testing the limits of the ultimate in supersized meds: A drug that combines FOUR different pills in one, giving you a chance to swallow once... and experience side effects in four different ways.
  14. Drug side effects skyrocket

    My favorite part of any drug commercial is the long list of side effects at the end--the rhythmic chant of all the "bonuses" you might expect when you take the med.
  15. Drugged into violence

    One of the most common drugs given to smokers is actually turning them into raging monsters, and could even make them homicidal: Chantix.
  16. The painkiller deception

    I know plenty of people with arthritis who are left wondering why even the most powerful drugs never quite do the trick. So they take more – and higher doses… all the while still fighting pain and getting no better.
  17. Drugs for the side effects of other drugs

    Big Pharma's endless vicious cycle added another loop recently when the Food & Drug Administration approved a med to treat the side effects of another med.
  18. The answer is not in a pill

    It's been clear for some time now that there's been an explosion in the use of prescription drugs to control mental illness.
  19. A fistful of pills brings a bucket full of trouble

    Posted by: on
    I was struck by a recent article in Prevention magazine, which looked in-depth at how people's lives are being adversely affected not by their illnesses, but by all the pills they are being forced to swallow to deal with those illnesses.
  20. Docs prescribing meds despite evidence of ineffectiveness

    Here's how hooked on pills we are: Docs give them – and patients take them – even when they don't work.

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