Not sure if this will surprise you or not. I was actually rather taken aback.
Almost HALF of Americans are on some sort of prescription drug.
Right now. This very minute!
This includes children by the way, it’s not just adults.
Americans are truly a drugged up nation yet thorough examination of the situation reveals that most prescription drugs only work for 30% of the people for which they are originally intended!
The most popular drug prescribed by doctors is by far antidepressants although these drugs work no better than a placebo. Even “talk therapy” was found to work 20% more effectively than antidepressants in clinical trials.
Why are half of doctors (by their own admission) routinely prescribing drugs they know won’t work and despite the fact that 85% of new drugs hitting the market have been found through research to provide little to no benefit to their patients?
Psychiatrists, for example, earn twice as much when they prescribe drugs instead of therapy for their patients.
It’s easy to point the finger at Big Pharma and corporate greed in general as the cause of America’s drug woes. The fact is that many doctors are complicit and just as guilty. If doctors refused to go along with the drug companies’ shenanigans, the game would be over tomorrow.
Big Pharma has your doc’s back though. $7 Billion was paid out by the pharmaceutical industry between 2007 and 2010 for lawsuits where doctors were actually paid to prescribe drugs for unapproved uses.
Insist on the 10 Year Rule
The best way to protect yourself from falling victim to unnecessary prescription use is to question when a doctor writes you a script rather than dutifully filling it without a second thought which is what most people do.
Do you really need this drug? Would wiser lifestyle choices result in a better outcome long term? Would herbs or natural therapies produce the same improvements without any risk of toxic side effects?
If you do feel that you need the drug for whatever reason, be sure to research it yourself and determine whether it is really as effective as marketed. A good rule of thumb is to insist that your doctor only prescribe you a drug that has been on the market for at least 10 years. This is the rule my father used when prescribing for his patients and he never felt like he was being overcautious in his approach.
By using the 10 year rule, he knew it was highly unlikely his patients would turn out to be guinea pigs for the drug companies and that the drugs his patients did take under his guidance would most likely work as he anticipated given that they had been on the market for awhile.
What is your doctor’s drug prescribing philosophy? It might be worth your while to ask a few questions and find out.
You just might be surprised.
Hint: If they don’t have one, run!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Source: We Pop Way Too Many Pills and They Don’t Even Work
I was prescribed high blood pressure pills after blood pressure was 155/90, when I told him I was smoking and drinking alot of caffeine, The pills made me sick, and was surprise why didn’t he just tell me to make a healthy change, and now I quit smoking and been exercising and now my blood pressure is 112/78.
HELLO??! Are you aware that you posted a pic of a bottle of prescription meds with a person’s name clearly being shown to everyone reading your blog. Irresponsible behavior from you at the very least. SMDH.
Drugs have their place. They are necessary for some people, even life-savers. Diet and exercise are of course important, but do not cure *everything*. Some medical issues go beyond dietary sensitivities etc.
The problem is not the existence of drugs themselves, but their *overuse*. When they are prescribed for off-label purposes. When they are prescribed because a patient asked for it after seeing an ad, whether or not it’s appropriate for them. When the target audience is ignored. Eg — anti-depressants are found to be very effective in people with *severe* depression, not so much in people with *mild* depression.
Another problem could be that people may see a certain drug that “works” for a portion of the population (the ones who truly need it) and think ‘hey, that might help me’ even though their case is very mild, treatable with diet, a different case altogether, etc. This is partly the case with Ritalin and other stimulant drugs over-prescribed for ADHD. My son is one of those who NEEDS medication in order to *function*. Not in order to ‘sit still in school’ — at age 14 he has in fact never been to school, we work at home around his needs. But until we started meds at age 12, he was quite literally unable to even function, couldn’t even do the things he wanted to do, floated around in a fidgety fog, literally throwing himself against the walls, perpetually upside-down, and was just not mentally *present*. When he started meds, the fog lifted and he said “I finally feel like myself.” And he finally started to blossom and discover his talents and passions.
And yes, we tried all the ‘natural’ and dietary treatments first. I do honestly believe that there’s something misfiring in his brain that requires extra sensation in order to ‘feel normal’, and the meds provide that for him so that he doesn’t have to expend all his mental energy on providing self-stimulation. There are side effects, but we’ve carefully evaluated everything and believe that yes, this is better, at least at this point in time, than not taking the meds.
The problem becomes that parents and teachers look at the kids who legitimately need ADHD treatment, see the meds helping, and then say “hey, let’s try it for this kid who’s a bit hyper” — when perhaps all that kid needs is a change in educational approach, more time outside, or a different diet. Maybe there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with that kid at all!
In my own case, I’ve been struggling with rising blood pressure, which runs in my family. It is ‘essential hypertension’, NOT affected by any lifestyle choices. I went on a medication last year and by golly it worked great. I experienced one minor side effect, so we tried something else that didn’t work at ALL. I went off the meds completely and for the past half-year or so I’ve been trying to regulate it again through natural means… (various supplements, etc etc) with NO success whatsoever. It continues to rise, I’m feeling the effects of it, and I’ve reached the point where I believe it’s best that I go back on the first medication. It’s a very, very difficult decision.
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I just figured Out HOW to fix my Body after 3 months of Following the Docs Perscribed Meds for a Rectol Polyp…..the First Lie was Myralax…” It just sits in your intestines & doesnt absorb keeping it Moist”…its a Laxitive…hense the term Lax in its name!…….there were 3 more…but the worst was colace…It litterally stripped my intestines of all Nutriants and whatever Oil its made out of must be horribly hydrogenated…It gave me a Migrain….at 47 I had never had one before…..I went off for 5 days & tried it again…same responce…the ONLY thing that fixed it ….A prenatal Vitamine 2x a Day with Coconut Oil………The Kicker..I went for my follow up……Hubby Got the Chart Before we went so we would finally KNOW what it said….So I asked the question…can you exsplain my Lower GI information to me..were there any more Polyps..remember I am Holding My Chart & I am Unisured….She said …You didnt have a Lower GI…Im looking at the Lower Gi results in My hand….when I finally sat down at home I discovered the worst Lie came from the doctor I trusted the Most……my red blood cells were a 4 count when they checked me in to figure out what was wrong with me…..a month later they said they were fine…..In the Chart it list them at a level 7 & I was told they need to be a 12
Argh! This post hits close to home for me as a natural healthcare provider. I see patients every day that are on a dozen or more medications and have no idea what they are for. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely a time and place for prescription medications, and I absolutely have referred patients back to their PCPs or other specialists for pain medication to get them through a particularly acute situation. Most people have absolutely no idea the actual efficacy of their prescriptions or that their prescriptions have never been studied in combination with the other drugs they are taking.
On the other hand, as some commenters have noted, it is frustrating to work with patients that just want a quick fix. They want you to snap your fingers and magically all the damage they’ve been doing to their bodies with years of unhealthy habits, poor diet, no exercise, etc. will be gone. There are some people who don’t want to work at it themselves. I absolutely love, love, love to advise patients who want to hear it about lifestyle choices, whole foods, exercise, strategies they can use to help themselves stay well because the ones that are diligent about these types of things tend to see big improvements.
Did a research paper on psychiatric drugs, specifically the expensive new ones coming out. I found that the government (through Medicare/caid) paid for around 90% of these drugs.
For the vast majority of psychiatric disorders, exercise works so much better than any pill.
Somebody much wiser than I said something to the effect that we should let food be our medicine and medicine be our food. Something close to this effect. If we put the right things in our mouths our bodies will have the proper materials to make repairs and we won’t need worthless or worse, dangerous drugs. Eat right stay healthy. Nothing better than a good surgeon when we get hurt and need to be put back together but, we only need the right foods for the rest of our degenerative diseases
You may not be religious but, you still might find this to be interesting. Somebody a long time ago knew what modern man would be facing today.
Rev 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceriesG5331 were all nations deceived.
From G5332; medication (“pharmacy”), that is, (by extension) magic (literal or figurative): – sorcery, witchcraft.
I’m not surprised by this, but then i read John Abramson’s Overdosed America long ago. What did surprise me was your statement that the drugs work on 30% of the population. Then i re-read it: work for 30% of the people for which they are originally intended Most drugs have been far expanded beyond the original intent. Statins are one example. There is a tiny group of people for which this drug is appropriate. But the drug companies were instrumental in getting the “safe cholesterol” number lowered, and now hundreds of thousands of folks fall into the “unsafe” category for which this drug is targeted. But it is still only helpful for about 1 person in 5,000 for which it is prescribed.
We tend to think that our drugs are rigorously tested. “The gold standard study” is highly regarded. However, when i worked hospital, i saw these “gold standard” studies performed, and there was room for the data to be manipulated at every step on the road.
I used to believe in medical science. I took the (legally prescribed) drugs. I ruined my health by trusting in medical science. I may never recover, tho i’m working hard at it with nutrition, supplements, and as healthy a lifestyle as i can manage. I work very hard a living 100% drug free. It is my goal to NEVER take another prescription drug again, and to come very close to the same in regard to OTC. (I’ve used Excedrin twice in the last year for migraine.) I try to use natural methods to deal with pain and illness.