You see them every day. It seems to me that a large percentage of commercials are about drugs, the legal kind. They all begin the same, telling consumers the almost unbelievable benefits of taking their product. Then they get into the truth, the side effects. They range from dizziness, shortness of breath, blurred vision, continue to headache, pain in the extremities. Then they get into the serious stuff. They tell you not to take them if you take other drugs or are suffering from asthma, high blood pressure, are pregnant, etc., etc., because if you do you might die, or at least get cancer, or something just as deadly.
So, I know you have two questions. Why do doctors quickly and constantly prescribe so many medications? And seeing other ads by law firms who are suing over side effects of drugs we saw advertised only a year or two ago, why do the drug companies continue to produce a product that might be dangerous?
First, let’s tackle the doctors. It’s about 50/50 that your doctor is one who is a “pill pusher”. If he or she is, you have to know that they don’t know anything about the drug they are prescribing. While in Medical School, they have one year of pharmacology. So, where do they learn about the new drugs? From the drug company’s salesperson. Doctors don’t have the time to research the thousands of new drugs that come to market every year.
Now let’s get to the real villain in this drama, the Pharmaceutical Industry. Law suits for damages incurred while taking their drugs don’t frighten them. In fact they expect them. They make profits of so many millions of dollars from the sale of every drug, that being forced to return a small portion to victims of their product, doesn’t put even a small dent in their “aluma-wallets”.
I was told some years ago that I had high blood pressure. I was put on medication, and told to take my blood pressure several times a week. It stayed high. When I was laid off in 2008, I couldn’t afford the medication. I continued to take my blood pressure, and it was going down. It might have been the job.
This story I’m going to tell is very sad. It’s about drugs and mis-diagnosis. I want to tell it to you so next time you are given a med, you’ll talk to a pharmacist, and research it before you take it.
Kathy Fee’s son, Richard, was given a prescription from a psychiatric association for Adderall, and amphetamine-based drug given for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Sitting in that doctor’s parking lot she told her son he did not now, and never had previously acted as someone who had ADHD. She told him she was afraid he was becoming addicted to the medication. He husband, Rick, pleaded with Richard’s doctor to stop giving him prescriptions for Adderall, he said “you’re going to kill him”.
Richard began experiencing violent delusions, and spent a week in a psychiatric hospital in 2011. His doctor prescribed 90 more days of the drug. Two weeks after the prescription ran out, this 24 year old, athletic, personable, class president, and aspiring medical student, hung himself in his bedroom closet.
Experts say: Medications like Adderall can markedly improve the lives of children and others with the disorder. But the tunnel-like focus the medicines provide has led growing numbers of teenagers and young adults to fake symptoms to obtain steady prescriptions for highly addictive medications that carry serious psychological dangers. These efforts are facilitated by a segment of doctors who skip established diagnostic procedures, renew prescriptions reflexively and spend too little time with patients to accurately monitor side effects.
I take a drug every day, aspirin. It’s non-addicting, and according to research has positive effects on men my age. When I was younger and was given prescription medications, I found that I hated the side effects more than the minimal pain I had to endure. I vowed not to take them again. In my forties I had to have an operation. It was an “in and out” procedure, so my doctor told me he had a “triplicate” prescription for me to pick up. I would need it for the pain after all the benefits of the anesthesia wore off. I never went to his office, I had to coach Little League practice that afternoon.
Columnist-The Guardian Express