Saturday, June 23, 2012

50,000 People Die From Taking A Drug That Should Not Be Prescribed

An article in JAMA (June 6, 2012, Vol. 307, No. 21, page 2247) states, “For years, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that target the…Cox-2 enzyme have been linked to increased cardiovascular risks.  New research indicates that these elevated risks occur because COX-2 inhibitors suppress prostacyclin—a vasodilator and platelet inhibitor with heart protecting properties.”

This ‘new’ research has come much too late for the 50,000 who died and over 100,000 patients who suffered a stroke or a heart attack directly related to the use of a COX-2 inhibitor such as Vioxx or Celebrex. 

However, simply looking at the mechanism of action of COX-2 inhibitors would lead anyone to predict that their use would be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems including stroke and heart attack. 

How can I make such a strong statement?  In my book, Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do, I discuss the biochemical mechanism of action of commonly used drugs.  Nearly all prescription medications work by poisoning enzymes or blocking receptors in the body.  Either way, most prescription drugs disrupt the normal biochemistry of the body which lead to adverse effects.

In the case of the COX-2 medications, they work by poisoning the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).  As previously stated, this enzyme is responsible for producing prostacyclin which is a vasodilator and a platelet inhibitor.  It does not take an M.D. or a PhD to predict that a disruption in prostacyclin production will lead to an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events.  I describe the problems with the COX-2 inhibitors in more detail in my book.

What can you do?  The best advice I can give you is to be careful about taking prescription medications, especially for the long-term.  This includes commonly prescribed medications for treating diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and gastritis.  Each of these conditions is discussed in my book.  Having said that, it is important to point out that there is a time and a place for most prescription medications.  Keep in mind that doctors prescribe too many inadequate drugs which are associated with too many serious adverse effects.  

Many conditions can be effectively managed by making better lifestyle choices such as improving the diet, exercising, and correcting nutritional and hormonal imbalances. This has been my clinical experience after treating patients for over twenty years.  COX-2 inhibitors are prescribed for their anti-inflammatory effects.  There are many natural products such as enzymes and curcumin that have equal or even more anti-inflammatory effects as compared to prescription NSAID's.  Furthermore, the natural anti-inflammatory items do not have the serious side effects that plague all the NSAID's (both COX-1's and COX-2's). 

Most importantly, you need to educate yourself about the mechanism of action of a prescribed drug.  Once you have the relevant information you can decide whether it is in your best interest to take the prescribed drug.  Remember, it is your decision on whether or not to take a prescription medication.  
Drugs That Don't Work and Natural Therapies That Do can be ordered by clicking here:  


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