Inappropriate Drug Prescriptions are Wasting Millions and Raising Health Risks

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March 24, 2009 | 32,078 views

Drugs designed for treating the most severe mental illnesses are often prescribed for use in conditions where their benefit has not been established, and often in inappropriate doses, a recent study suggests.

Prescription drugs that might cost as much as $20 to $25 a day are being widely used to treat problems for which they are not FDA-approved. Some of those problems could have been addressed with generic medications costing $1 a day, with better results and less risk of serious side effects.

This is a reflection of the widespread use of medications for "off-label" uses that have not been carefully considered or approved by the FDA, according to the study, some of which are raising medical costs and reducing the effectiveness of health care.
Antipsychotic medications are some of the most expensive and side-effect-riddled drugs on the market. And while they’re only approved to treat severe forms of mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, this recent study found that the vast majority of people receiving these powerful drugs did not have either one of those disorders.

In fact, out of the 830 Oregon Medicaid patients given the drugs, most were suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and even insomnia. These are all issues that can be handled using safe, non-drug methods, yet these people were instead given expensive and dangerous antipsychotic drugs.

Imagine visiting your doctor because you have anxiety or insomnia, then being prescribed a drug that can cause potentially even worse conditions, such as:

Stroke and heart arrhythmias
• Moderate to severe weight gain

This is exactly what happens far too often with these drugs.

Off-Label Drug Use is Common

Because doctors can legally prescribe any drug to any patient for any condition, drug companies heavily promote "off-label" and frequently inappropriate and non-tested uses of medications to doctors. In this way they can bypass the costly and time-consuming FDA approval process, yet still get their products sold to more and more people.

This happens not only with antipsychotic medications but many other drug classes as well, and to all age groups of patients. One study even found that when a "suitable alternative" did not exist, doctors gave off-label medicine to 90 percent of babies in neonatal intensive care units and 70 percent of children in pediatric intensive care units.

Worse still, children taking these medicines face a higher risk of side effects, with one estimate suggesting they suffer up to three times more side effects as a result.

Children are also often at the receiving end of these dangerous antipsychotic drugs, and they’re not being given to children for life-threatening conditions or to treat acute emergencies … they’re being prescribed for behavioral problems such as attention deficit disorder.

There is also the issue of cost. As the study above pointed out, patients are being given drugs for unapproved uses that cost $25 or more a day, when a similar generic drug that costs just $1 a day could have been prescribed instead.

While in most cases you’re better off skipping the drugs altogether (and instead opting for natural treatment methods, which I’ll get to below), if you DO decide to take a drug, there’s absolutely no point in using an exorbitantly more expensive, more dangerous and unapproved version.

So why does this keep happening?

Most would agree that it appears the drug companies will stop at nothing to sell their products; after all, billions of dollars are at stake. They are out to make a profit so enticing doctors to prescribe their drugs for as many uses as possible, regardless of whether or not they have scientific evidence to back them up, will only allow them to sell more drugs and make more profits.

Unfortunately, their gains are at your expense.

What Can You do Instead of Taking Drugs?

Psychotropic, mind-altering drugs have been a goldmine for drug makers. Through savvy marketing aimed at consumers and physicians, people are now convinced that what previously had been their normal emotions -- feelings like sadness, anger, shyness, and stress -- now fall outside of normalcy and require the use of some expensive and potentially toxic prescription pharmaceutical.

And most drugs are merely just patchwork, meant to make things "okay" temporarily as your underlying structure continues to degrade, and is subjected to side effects.

What can you do instead? A truly healthy diet and emotional wellness management are what’s needed to build and solidify your health so you can avoid all the cracks (the symptoms) that drugs patch over in the first place.

Along those lines, I’ve developed 10 basic tenets of optimal health; truths that have survived the tests of time and will push your body in the direction of healing, with no drugs needed:

   1. Eat a healthy diet that’s right for your nutritional type (paying very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down)
   2. Drink plenty of clean water
   3. Manage your stress
   4. Exercise
   5. Get appropriate sun exposure
   6. Limit toxin exposure
   7. Consume healthy fat, including animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil
   8. Eat plenty of raw food
   9. Optimize insulin and leptin levels
  10. Get plenty of sleep

[+]Sources and References [-]Sources and References