Average Prescription Drug Label Lists a Staggering Number of Potential Side Effects
If you take prescription medications, you're probably familiar with the pages of literature listing and describing the possible side effects. Or, if you’ve ever seen one of those prescription drug commercials, you know that the list of potential side effects is seemingly endless. What you may not know is that scientists have determined that the average drug has 70 potential reactions. Yes, 70! And that's on the conservative side.
The most commonly prescribed drugs could have 100 side effects each.
Some drugs list as many as 525 possible reactions. According to MSNBC, “The greatest number of side effects was found in antidepressants, antiviral medications and newer treatments for restless legs syndrome and Parkinson's disease. In general, medications typically used by psychiatrists and neurologists had the most complex labels, while drugs used by dermatologists and ophthalmologists have the least.”
Not particularly reassuring, whether you suffer with depression or a bad case of acne.
What's really shocking is that the researchers analyzing the drug labels told MSNBC “having a high number of side effects on the drug's label should not suggest that the drug is unsafe.” Oh, really? If that’s the case, it would be interesting to see what these guys consider a “dangerous” drug.
In an attempt to downplay the dangers, the researchers state that the exhaustive list of side effects is to protect manufacturers from potential lawsuits. Not surprising in this age of litigation, I guess. But if not a measure of true toxicity, then exactly what are the side effects trying to tell us?
The average adult American consumes more than 11 prescription medications.
These newest findings are particularly alarming when you consider that the average American, age 19 to 64, is prescribed and consumes more than 11 prescription medications. In some cases more drugs are prescribed than needed, especially in the elderly (who may fill more than 31 prescriptions each year). But now even toddlers are being prescribed multiple medications.
The obvious danger is that the more drugs you take, your risk of serious complications drastically increases. Plus, when you consider the average American is taken 11 medications at any given time, and the average drug has 70 side effects, that means any given day you could be a sitting duck for 770 potential individual drug reactions.
As if all of this wasn't bad enough the truth is that most drugs are prescribed to treat conditions that could be prevented or better treated with natural methods. If you’re one of the fortunate few with a doctor that is slow to pull out the prescription pad, that's great. However, most doctors are trained to prescribe a pill to fix the problem. That means you have to take responsibility for your own health. And that means doing your homework on any drug your doctor prescribes you. It's not enough to know all the side effects - you need to have informed knowledge as to if you really need the drug or not. Armed with this knowledge, you may find that natural alternatives are the best strategies.
There's no such thing as a completely safe drug, so don't just take your doctor's word for it when he tells you it is. Many times they're just parroting what drug reps have told them. At the end of the day, it's your body, your health and you alone can decide what medications you’re willing to put in your body.