We’re used to thinking of medicine as the ultimate cure-all. If you get sick, you can go to the doctor and they will prescribe approved and endorsed substances with the power to make you better. Yet, the world of pharmaceuticals is a complex place and the situation isn’t always this black and white. The reality is that prescription drugs come with their unique downsides.
Many are highly addictive, for example, and can lead to long-term dependencies. Some prescription drugs have the power to treat specific conditions, but they may exacerbate or even trigger different kinds of sickness. This is why you have to be really careful about the medicine you take. Trust your doctor, listen to their advice, but be informed and educated too.
This guide to some of the dangers of prescription drugs will help you avoid the risks and make the right choices for your body.
Accelerated Bone Loss
One of the biggest dangers associated with common medications is the loss of bone density. Many people aren’t aware of how prescription drugs actually cause osteoporosis, so they don’t realise it’s happening until they have a break or fracture.
The list of culprits is pretty long, but the main offenders include anticonvulsants, antidepressants, loop diuretics, thyroid medicine, anti-coagulants, and opioid painkillers. If you must take any of these drugs, combine them with a natural, high-quality calcium supplement.
Long Term Dependency
The other big risk is addiction. Many different drugs have addictive properties. Strong painkillers, for example, commonly lead to a physical and psychological dependence. The individual comes to believe that they need medication even after their symptoms have cleared.
It is a very complex issue and one which is becoming a huge problem in America and parts of Europe. Not only are these drugs expensive and make addictions a financially difficult prospect, they can also lead to serious organ damage.
It is important not to be afraid of prescription medication because there are some truly amazing and life saving drugs out there. There are also plenty of not so great meds and, often, the truth is not easily given. You have to research, investigate, and find out for yourself.
The link between some prescription drugs and cancer is pretty shocking. For instance, tamoxifen has been connected (by the Journal of Gynaecological Cancer) to an increased risk of uterine cancer. The terrible irony is that the drug is used to treat breast cancer patients.
When prescription drugs are used as advised and not abused, there is no risk of fatality, unless you have other medical complications. However, long-term dependency does have the potential to lead to death if the problem is not addressed and help sought.
In some cases, death (or serious sickness) is accidental, because the person wasn’t clear about the recommended dose or decided to disregard it. The point is that, even though medicine is designed to make us better, it is very powerful and should be treated with care.
How to Take Prescription Meds and Stay Healthy
The first piece of advice is to listen to what your GP says. They have spent a long time studying to be a doctor and have a lot of knowledge and experience. What this doesn’t mean is that you shouldn’t ever scrutinise or question what you’re told.
It is your body and, if you’re going to put something new into it, you might want to do a little research about the substance first. That way, if you do find anything that you don’t like the sound of (such as a risk of osteoporosis), you can bring it up with your GP.