Before Taking Medications, Do You or Are Aware Of Possible Added Health Risks?

Photo of Medications - image of medications
@pyewacket (44037)
United States
February 16, 2008 9:33pm CST
Okay please understand me when I say that if you take medications for anything that you should suddenly ditch them all especially for serious medical conditions, but I'm just wondering how many of you are aware of some of the potential other health risk dangers many can cause. It's pretty much known fact by many of my friends here that I'm not a great advocate of taking medications to begin with. I get that stubbornness I think from my great-grandmother who was a nurse, thought all doctors were a bunch of idiots, and was into natural and herbal cures for everything. In all the years she lived I never saw anything stronger than aspirin and she died in 1970 at the age of 98! So I guess I've inherited her traits from her. In other words, I would rather use some herbal or natural route for a health problem than any of the pharmacuetical concoctions available. Yes, maybe herbal or natural cures might take longer to kick in, but the side effects are practically zilch, where you can't say that with prescribed medications. To give a personal example...I do have very bad ankle and foot joint pain...my doctor suggested prescribing two medications to me....one was Celebrex, an anti-inflammatory medication...I read up on it before getting it filled and said uh, no thanks, as it's one of the medications with severe warnings such as triggering blood clots, strokes and heart attacks...do I want to risk that? Another was a heavy duty painkiller...the kind that make you feel that your in the twilight zone..again, no thanks, I like to have my full thinking capabilities and not be in chronic la-la land. So instead I'm taking a combo of Glucosamine, MSM and other natural remedies..they haven't really taken full effect yet but I'm a tad better than I was. The reason for this discussion was actually due to my other discussion about how so many of those young "killers" that have gunned down fellow students like at that Illinois University just recently have all one thing in common, they all at one time were taking some Psychotropic medications. So it got me thinking... When doctors give out prescriptions do they REALLY know or are really aware of all the potential side effects the medications can cause or are aware of the interactions between a variety of medications...Another example in my own life. One time I had a severe bout of bronchitis...so my doctor gave me a prescription for an anti-biotic and an asthma medication to clear out my lungs...when I went to my pharmacist to get the prescriptions filled he nearly had a heart attack...he told me, if I were to take this combo of meds I'd be six feet under. So my question is. Do you get medications filled without doing any research in all the possible risks involved in taking it? Are you really willing to trade one health problem for another it might trigger? One of the responders to that other discussion by the way, gave me a great link about the dangers of certain medications and even impending lawsuits that are cropping up now..one being the new smoking cessation medication Chantrix which is now being linked to a variety of psychiatric disorders, from panic attacks, nervous breakdowns and suicide. http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/ So again....do you research into any medication you are prescribed and at least try to be aware of any potential dangers? Or do you take them regards and in blind faith that it's the best thing for you?
15 people like this
14 responses
• United States
17 Feb 08
I'm like you in this - as you know. I hardly will take antibiotics unless I honestly to goodness can't see me waiting it out - or in the case of my severe bacterial infection. Recently my doctor prescribed me something for my nausea. When I got it home and read the potential side effects I changed my mind right away about taking it. I do read the side effects and the pamphlet it comes with about it but I really don't take it much further. I don't think the doctors could possibly memorized all the medications side effects, ect. There are entirely too many of them to do so.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
17 Feb 08
That's all the more reason though why doctors should read up on the possible side effects before giving a prescription out right then and there..There are so many websites one can look up the side effects, so why shouldn't the doctor? Then he can discuss it over with the patient before whipping out the prescription pad.
3 people like this
• United States
17 Feb 08
Time seems to be the biggest issue with doctors. There are so many that are entirely over booked. I know it's a simple thing that could take minutes and I agree that it SHOULD be done but I know it's the time factor that causes them not to do it.
3 people like this
@AmbiePam (48609)
• United States
17 Feb 08
I am aware NOW. I had been given two medications that ended up giving me two ulcers, and it was the doctor who had not 'known' that I wasn't supposed to take them at the same time. But I have to take most of the responsibility for my health. When I get a medication, I research it. I look up everything I can so I can be prepared. You know I'm bipolar. Well I research those medications very thoroughly. I'm sure I miss some things, but at least I know the side effects. If I stop taking them, I know what could happen. And it is my responsibility to not take that drastic action. It is frankly stupid for someone on medication for a mental illness to suddenly stop taking their meds. It has to be done with a doctor's authority and advice. I mean they can't monitor me every day, ya know? So while in your case and I think most cases of pain medication and antibiotics the doctor carries the responsibility, there are other cases for medication where the patient just has to read up on it. But frankly when it comes to things that have been around for so long like antibiotics, there is no excuse for the doctor. It's not like it just came out on the market.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
18 Feb 08
This was a number of years ago, but the doctor I was seeing was actually a good one, but would be vague about describing side effects. Well on one of my first occasions I had very bad bronchitis he gave me a shot of Theophyline which is an asthma medication in both pill and liquid form (for shots)..he decided to give it to me to open up my lungs...I really WAS very bad with my breathing...I asked him what are the side effects and he said I might feel a little dizzy...Well dizzy I DIDN'T feel but I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest as Theophyline is a stimulant type medication...I broke out in a sweat, felt panicky...wanted to deck the doctor...many years later I found out that Theo. can only be given genetically now and under severe supervision and has been practically pulled off the market...one of the now KNOWN side effects...cardiac arrest...gee thanks doc
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
19 Feb 08
Nope...they weren't aware of the cardiac arrest "problem" Theophyline caused. I suspect it was the injected Theophyline that killed my grandmother. She did have very bad asthma...number one, I remember one time her doc gave her nitroglycerin cause it was suspected she had a heart problem..nope...if her heart was racing it was probably due to her Theophyline..anyway...in her last year of life she was in and out of the hospital. One day she had to go to the ER because of a bad attack..the doc pumps her up with all kinds of meds including a stronger version of Theophyline...then after she got better she came home...she wasn't home for more than twenty minutes when, wham, she had another bad asthma attack..so we called 911 again and she goes back to the ER...the docs start pumping her up with all the same meds AGAIN....she didn't die from the asthma attack but cardiac arrest due to all those meds again..the irony is, IT WAS THE SAME DOCTOR who had treated her the first time...I mean, shouldn't he have realized NOT to give the same type of meds again so soon??
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
17 Feb 08
I have not taken any medication yet. I had two different prescriptions for my agoraphobia in the last 6 months... and after reading about them on the Internet... I said... "No thanks". The first one was Efexor-XR And the last one Deralin Propranolol The second one was supposed to be simple and control my physical fear... but it has more potential side effects than the first one.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
19 Feb 08
Well I heard of the wonderful side effects Xanax gave to three of my friends who have anxiety disorder...when they told me how they reacted, I said, nope, don't think I'll ever take it. Then one time my former therapist (who I dumped) tried to push it on me, and honestly I wanted to slug him..My anxiety/agoraphobia is now just generalized anxiety now...of course I have a ways to go before thinking of a flight to Europe..LOL..but I'm "getting" there to overcome it
• Australia
19 Feb 08
Well... after a lot of self analysing... I decided to take a different approach to my agoraphobia. I give myself a panic attack before leaving home because I fear to have one in public. So I told myself... "What if it was not anxiety... but simple pure fear?" I also know that many artists are terrify to get up on stage and need to take something. So I went back to see the doctor and told him about all this... and asked him to prescribe the same thing that he would give those singers getting on stage. That is when he gave me Deralin. I was reading again about it last night... and it does not sound as bad as I first thought. I think I am going to try it and see how I go.
• Philippines
17 Feb 08
I don't believe much on medications. I have been given prescriptions and aside from it being expensive I think this medicines can do more harm than good to us with all the chemicals in it.I don't buy or take them at all. There are reactions on each medicine we take..side effects that will cause other problems. If you are aware of the medicine book mims grab one so when a doctor prescribes a medicine for you you could look at the side effects on the medicines before you take them. Herbal medicine is a good source of cure for our illnesses.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
19 Feb 08
I used to have a good prescription pill book that described all the meds..the problem is, there are so many meds that come out practically on a monthly basis that the book got outdated...now if my doc does prescribe something, I first check out the different websites for the medications involved..if I don't like the possible side effects it could cause I won't get it filled
• United States
17 Feb 08
OMG!!!iM TAKING THE CHANTIX RIGHT NOW lmao. THIS IS MY 2ND DAY. but if i start to feel like that in anyway ill definatly quit taking it. I usually read m,y paper i get with my medication BUT I ONLY READ so muxh on the chantix thing. i have a few friends who have taken the chantix and it worked wonderful for them so. now its my turn:) all i remember it saying in the part i read was unusual dreams ...Guess ill have to check it again. and also just because there are horrific side effects doesnt mean they are ganna happen, im only taking this medication for 2 weeks 3 at the most.. im not to waorried about that side effects BUT i will still go and read this link im pretty intrested to know NOW... thanks:)
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
19 Feb 08
Well I hope it works out for you and you don't have any problems...sometimes I think the best way to quit smoking is to just do it cold turkey...yep, the harder way, but maybe safer?? I did quit once but naughty girl here went back to smoking when I was going through a real stressful time--so need to try and quit again
• India
17 Feb 08
Normally, I don't go for research until and unless if heavy dozes are given to me.Also,Mostly researches have technical terms used which obviously,for a normal person like me, of no use and won't be understandable until I do some "research" on that word :-).. -AV
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
18 Feb 08
Well I still think its good to research at least to find out what the side effects are
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
17 Feb 08
Hi pyewacket! Just like you, I really am into herbal medicine. I have learned before that medicines may cure your illness but will one way or the other affect one of your organs. My grandmother has been taking a lot of medicines for her heart, blood pressure and gout. However, those medicines had affected her kidneys and her appetite and have been battling dehydration or electrolyte imbalance since she took those medicines. She has complained to her doctor and was being given other medications. I really just don't take medicines without doing any research on them that is why, at the end of the day I resort to herbal medicines which has been very effective for me. Just my thoughts. Take care and have a nice day! :)
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
18 Feb 08
It almost seems that if a person takes a medication it'll help the initial problem but can have serious problems as you said for organs..like the cholesterol meds that can damage the liver.
@cokyjazz (429)
• Australia
17 Feb 08
Thanks for putting up this post.It's very interesting.I very rarely go to a doctor..my kids always come first.However,recently i did go 2 years after my symptoms had started and now i still have numbness in my foot and part of my leg and at night i get severe cramps in that foot and i can't sleep well.I have referrals for scans,blood tests and the like but simply cant afford to get them done right now so in the meantime,i have been prescribed something.I looked it up and it's also used to treat extreme depression and prescribed to cancer treatments.Without looking at side affects,this already had alarm bells ringing.I mostly dont take these pills.Maybe once a month and the rest of the time i just put up with the pain.If anyone has a natural alternative that they know of,i'd be happy to try it.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
17 Feb 08
yes one should look before they leap
1 person likes this
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
29 Feb 08
I always read the pamphlets that come with any prescription so I know the possible side effects and exactly how to take the meds. I was taking Chantix for 6mo. but, far as I know, I had to take it on a full stomach or I would throw it back up. Now, after reading about the effects of Chantix, I'm wondering if this is the reason why I'm always tired even after a good night's sleep. BTW..dr. took me off it last month cause it wasn't working.
@cripfemme (7718)
• United States
24 Feb 08
I'm especially aware of the dangers associated with the steriods I take each day to combat my allergy- liver damage, emotional side effects (oh, they're fun!). I also sometimes take pain killers for my knees and muscles, often it's over the counter, but sometimes it more hard core stuff like codine or vicadin. I can tell you that hardcore pain killers have so nasty side effecta- numbness, emotions (I'm a crier on meds), spasms (just what I need more of).
@pergammano (7755)
• Canada
22 Feb 08
Thank you, pye! I think some of us from an earlier generation, were brought up to think Doctors are God! (Difference between Drs. & God, God doesn't think he is a Dr.) Therefore, like sheep to slaughter we followed directions from them. It has only been since my son was born, 27 years ago, that I started second guessing all medical treatments. What an eye-opener it has been! Like you I and my son/husband were misdiagnosed many times, with inappropriate treat-ment! I have even had Drs. refuse to treat me when I refused medication, after research. Because I live on a small island, we only got dialup internet,3 yrs ago, and hi-speed this last year. So, I probably have the most extensive Medical library going!
@vivasuzi (4125)
• United States
21 Feb 08
Well about the mixing meds thing, my friend is currently studying to be a pharmacists and she works in a pharmacy now. Anyway, she told me that most doctors really don't know all the things in all the medicenes and all the rules about them. She said it really is the pharmacists job to know that stuff, and that they advise people who are about to get new medications to bring all their current medicenes with them to the pharmacist for a check. So basically, I don't trust doctors that much, but I do trust the pharmacist. When I got had to get a perscription and I wanted a certain brand name, my doctor didn't even take a second thought to explain it to me. She just said "which one do you want" and wrote it down. That's why I think doctors will give you almost anything within reason and they don't always know the potential side effects. Lucky for me I did the research and knew the one I wanted was rated safer than others. However I have to admit until this particular perscription, I never even thought twice about what the doctor perscribed me. I try to avoid medicene unless necessary (which is why I have neck pain right now!!) I only take tylenol if my headaches been going on for hours OR if I have a fever. I agree with you that it seems unnatural to take some of those things.
@babykay (2133)
• Ireland
17 Feb 08
I am with youon this. So many medications are routinely prescribed by doctors and half the time they are not necessary. Some of the time they create further problems and even harm. Examples are antibiotics - how many resistant strains of bacteria are now in existence because of over prescribing? And patients not taking the full course. I don't take much meds, but there are times when they are necessary. I think people should try the natural route before resorting to conventional medicine. You should read PAtrick Holford's book, Food as Medicine. Its great.