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30 Risky Prescription Medicines

Methotrexate

When used in high doses, methotrexate is listed as a “chemotherapeutic” drug, but these drugs are designed to kill living cells to combat cancer. They’re dangerous because they have difficulty differentiating between normal cells and cancerous ones.

 

In addition to treating cancerous cells, it is frequently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in smaller doses.

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Blood Thinners

Blood thinners such as coumadin and warfarin are used to thin out the blood, but this is the very thing that makes them dangerous. Even simple, small cuts take on a whole new threat level when you take this drug.

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Side effects can include nosebleeds, bloody stool, rashes, or even hair loss. 

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Prednisone

While this drug may be extremely beneficial if you are treating poison ivy, it’s dangerous when used for periods longer than 2 weeks. Symptoms of long exposure to this drug include everything from osteoporosis to weakness to high blood pressure.

 

Despite its danger, this drug is finicky. If you’ve been taking it for months, you’ll need to taper or switch to a new drug because quitting cold turkey can be dangerous as well.

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Statin Drugs

Statin drugs are a type of drug designed to lower your cholesterol by reducing the production of cholesterol in your liver and changing the way this cholesterol enters your cells. These changes can cause liver toxicity.

 

In addition to liver damage, statins may sometimes also cause muscle problems, an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and neurological conditions. 

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Bile Acid Sequestering Agents

These drugs absorb bile acids and force your body to excrete them. Because your body is not used to handling these acids in that way, constipation and nausea are common side effects.

While these symptoms are generally mild, some people may experience more severe side effects. Additionally, these agents can sometimes interfere with the absorption of nutrients, leading to a vitamin deficiency. 

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Diuretics

Diuretics help kidneys to perform their jobs better, pushing fluids through the body. This is can be beneficial for temporary treatments, but long-term use will flush minerals from the body.

In extreme cases, this can sometimes lead to certain nutrient deficiencies. 

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Atromid and Lopid

These drugs are designed to raise your “good cholesterol” levels, but studies have found an increased number of deaths related to long-term use of this drug.

 

Additionally, these medications may cause serious intestinal issues like nausea and stomach pain. They may also be a cause of jaundice as well. 

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Amphetamine

Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall are often used to treat ADD and ADHD, but they are often misused. While they are not physically addicting, they are often psychologically addicting.

They work to “zombify” people until they calm down instead of helping the person reach a normal functioning level.

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Type II Diabetes Drugs

Using these drugs for extended periods of time has been known to cause headaches, liver damage, increased risk of heart attacks, and more.

For some, it may be better to find a natural way to get your insulin levels up to normal. Naturally, you should speak to your doctor before stopping your medication. 

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Opioids

Opioids are readily prescribed, easy-to-get-ahold-of drugs used as painkillers. They are considered to be one of the most abused drugs in the United States and are easily addictive. They slow your breathing and heart rate, causing fatalities in extreme cases.

 

Recently, there has been pushback about the frequency with which doctors prescribe opiods, but that being said, the United States is still a long ways away from getting this problem under control. 

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Oxycodone

Oxycodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain, but it is considered to be a high-risk habit-forming drug. It can cause respiratory problems or death when combined with other substances or alcohol.

In addition to its addictive properties, can still be dangerous. Accidental overdose can also occur for a number of reasons--including if patients take doses to close to one another. 

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Prozac

Prozac is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for people suffering from depression. The problem? It’s highly addictive.

Additionally, it can potentially mess with your serotonin levels, causing you to think and act in ways you normally wouldn’t.

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Arthritis Drugs

Arthritis drugs may initially help treat the pain of arthritis, but they have been known to destroy cartilage, cause intestinal bleeding, and damage the liver.

These drugs are often designed more to deal with the pain than to fix the problem.

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Cold and Flu Medications

Most people will self-medicate when they get sick, but oftentimes, the drugs we take inhibit our immune system. They have even been known to increase the amount of time we are sick.

 

Additionally, some common over-the-counter medications can be habit forming and have the potential to be abused illegally, like NyQuil or Robitussin. 

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Beta Blockers

Beta Blockers are used to lower blood pressure by weakening the heart, and they have also been shown to lower libido and cause fatigue.

 

Additionally, some studies have shown that beta blockers actually increase a person's risk of heart disease if they are used over a long period of time. 

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Reglan

Metoclopramide, also known as Reglan, is used for nausea treatment. It has been known to cause tardive dyskinesia. Don’t know what that is?

 

It’s a condition that causes involuntary movements in your extremities, tongue, lips, and face. Not something many people would want to have to deal with.

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Remicade

Remicade is an immunological agent that enhances or suppresses the immune system to treat several diseases, including arthritis and Crohn's disease. It has been known to cause fluctuations in heart rates, fevers, hives, rashes, and nausea.

 

In very severe cases, it can lead to serious infection and can actually increase your risk for several kinds of cancer. 

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Calcium Channel Blockers

These drugs are used to lower blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering your cells. The problem is that your body needs calcium, and this drug has been shown to have a correlation with an increased risk of death by heart disease.

And even if that doesn't happen, these blockers can still lead to some unpleasant side effects. These include sleepiness, swollen feet and ankles, bleeding gums, and GERD. 

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Avastin

When coupled with chemotherapy, 16 clinical trials have found that users of this drug are put at a much higher risk of death. This is bad because this drug is a chemotherapy drug.

 

Additionally, more than 30% of users experience some pretty terrible side effects, like respiratory infections, abdominal pain, and nausea. 

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Morphine

Morphine is one of the most well-known severe painkillers out there. Its users are at high-risk for addiction, however. It affects your actions, brain, psyche, sexuality, and general health.

It is dangerous in many ways. It should only be used in the most necessary of circumstances.

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Reclast

Reclast is used to regulate the excessive calcium levels caused by cancer.

 

However, it has been tied to osteonecrosis, a condition where blood stops flowing to the bones, causing them to break down and die.

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Decadron

Decadron is an anti-inflammatory drug that has been tied to diarrhea, pneumonia, weight gain, and irregular sleep cycles.

 

While it can help with numerous conditions like allergies, lupus, or ulcerative colitis, many of these side effects can be just as unpleasant and difficult to manage. 

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Clozapine

Clozapine is used to treat schizophrenia, and experts love to argue over its side effects. Some people say it cuts puts users at risk of death while others argue that it does the opposite.

Maybe people should wait to take this drug until the smoke clears and we figure out what’s actually going on.

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Rituxan

Rituxan is used to treat specific types of cancer. It can cause severe skin and mouth reactions while also putting you at risk for reactivating Hepatitis B.

Other side effects include infections, serious bowel problems, and low blood cell counts.

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Zoloft

Zoloft is a drug used to treat a number of psychological problems, ranging from depression to OCD to PTSD. It poses serious side effects, including birth defects for unborn children, that were not disclosed at first.

 

The manufacturer Pfizer is now facing serious lawsuits.

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Cotolone

Cotolone is an immunosuppressive drug that is associated with cataracts, bone loss, and a weakening immune system.

 

It’s not a drug to use without giving serious thought to the side effects.

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Cytoxan

Cytoxan is another chemotherapy drug. It’s used to slow or stop cell growth but has been shown to cause fevers and pneumonia.

In some cases where cancer isn't responding to other treatments, Cytoxan might be a necessary life-saver. However, it's seen more as a last resort and not a first option. 

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Xanax

Xanax is used to treat anxiety that can be addictive when used in high quantities for extended periods of time. It’s dangerous when it’s used in high quantities or coupled with alcohol.

 

While Xanax is technically classified as a drug with a low risk of abuse, thousands of people seek help for their Xanax addiction every year--so it's not quite as safe as it might seem. 

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Ativan

Ativan is a drug used to treat anxiety. It is dangerous when used carelessly and can put its users at risk of addiction.

 

In severe cases of misuse, it can cause fatal seizure activity.

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Tramadol

Tramadol, also known as Ultram, is used to treat a number of pain-related scenarios, including post-operations, cancer, and chronic conditions.

 

There are numerous warnings about Tramadol, specifically concerning addiction, and users are put at risk for seizures.

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