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8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take

July 10, 2008

Doctors know which prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most dangerous. The writers of this article asked them the question, "Which medications would you skip?" Here were their answers:


It‘s asthma medicine that can make your asthma deadly. Advair contains the long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) salmeterol. A 2006 analysis found that regular use of LABAs can increase the severity of an asthma attack. Researchers estimate that salmeterol may contribute to as many as 5,000 asthma-related deaths in the United States each year.


Diabetes is destructive enough on its own, but if you try to control it with rosiglitazone, better known as Avandia, it could cause a heart attack. A study found that people who took rosiglitazone for at least a year increased their risk of heart failure or a heart attack by 109 percent and 42 percent, respectively.


This painkiller has been linked to increased risks of stomach bleeding, kidney trouble, and liver damage. And according to a 2005 study, people taking 200 mg of Celebrex twice a day more than doubled their risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. Those on 400 mg twice a day more than tripled their risk.


This antibiotic, which has traditionally been prescribed for respiratory-tract infections, carries a high risk of severe liver side effects. In February 2007, the FDA limited the usage of Ketek to the treatment of pneumonia.

Prilosec and Nexium

The FDA has investigated a suspected link between cardiac trouble and these acid-reflux remedies, although they did not find a "likely" connection. But whether this is true or not, they can raise your risk of pneumonia, and result in an elevated risk of bone loss. The risk of a bone fracture has been estimated to be over 40 percent higher in patients who use these drugs long-term.

Visine Original

These eye drops “get the red out” by shrinking blood vessels. Overuse of the active ingredient tetrahydrozoline can perpetuate the vessel dilating-and-constricting cycle and may cause even more redness.


This decongestant, found in many drugs, can raise blood pressure and heart rate, setting the stage for vascular catastrophe. Over the years, pseudoephedrine has been linked to heart attacks and strokes, as well as worsening the symptoms of prostate disease and glaucoma.

Seemingly positive and helpful articles like these really highlight how pervasive the conventional drug culture is. Although these drugs are exposed as being dangerous and best avoided at all costs, the writer failed miserably in providing “healthier” alternatives; in all cases but two, merely citing alternative drug treatments. 

Folks, there are far better alternatives than drugs that fail to address your underlying problem.  My schedule prevents me from expanding a comment on all of these, but you can always use the search engine on the site (at the top of every page) for an expanded review of the items I did not review. But  let’s take a look at  three of them now. 

A Better Strategy for Asthma  

Increasing allergies and asthma may be in large part due to the more sterile environments we are now living in and the widespread continued use of antibiotics, anti-bacterial soap, and vaccinations. This theory, known as the "hygiene hypothesis" has been discussed in my newsletter numerous times.  

Other reasons of course include all the environmental toxins that you are exposed to, such as solvents, pesticides and heavy metals such as mercury. Vaccinations and unresolved emotional stresses are also likely significant factors in most individuals. 

Advair is clearly not a healthy option to prevent or control your asthma, but neither are inhaled corticosteroids, which this MSN Health article recommends.

According to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997, people who inhale corticosteroid drugs are at increased risk for developing cataracts (a loss of transparency of your eye's lens).

According to that study, cataracts affecting the central (nuclear) area of the lens were 50 percent more prevalent among those who used inhaled corticosteroids compared with people who never used the drugs. Additionally, cataracts affecting the back (posterior) surface of the lens -- the most visually disabling type -- were 90 percent more prevalent among steroid users.

Other asthma drugs that contain triamcinolone can have an adverse effect on your bone mineral density, and effectively lowers your immune system, making you more prone to infections of all kinds. 

Instead of relying on asthma and allergy drugs that carry the risk of debilitating side effects, here are a few viable alternatives and guidelines to help you prevent or manage your asthma naturally. 

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 16 million adults, and almost 7 million children suffer from asthma in the United States alone. If you are among them, I also strongly recommend you to consider utilizing what is perhaps the most effective preventive against allergens in your home: a high-quality air purifier.

A Better Strategy for Diabetes 

That health disaster Avandia gets the thumbs down is good news. But simply switching to metformin, a drug that makes your body's tissues more sensitive to insulin, is not the answer here. This drug-switching recommendation is a particularly unfortunate one, since type 2 diabetes is virtually 100 percent avoidable, and can be effectively treated without medications, supplements or surgery.

Type 2 diabetes is not a disease of blood sugar, but a disease of insulin, and perhaps even more importantly, leptin signaling. Therefore, diabetes can be controlled by recovering your insulin and leptin sensitivities. And, the only known way to reestablish proper leptin and insulin signaling is through a proper diet and exercise! 

You may also remember that normalizing your weight and treating diabetes go hand-in-hand. Fortunately, following these simple guidelines will help you achieve both.  

If you can't seem to follow this advice, then you may want to try medical hypnosis to eliminate the subconscious barriers to your success.

 A Better Strategy for Heartburn and Acid Reflux 

Extinguishing the fire with over-the-counter drugs Zantac or Pepsid AC instead of Prilosec or Nexxium is plain misinformed advice. Losing weight, as recommended by Dr. Michael Roizen is a step better, but his explanation still does not tell the whole story.  

As Dr. Jonathan Wright explained in detail in an interview I did with him earlier this year (if you’re a member of my Inner Circle, you may have received it already), heartburn and GERD are almost always caused by a LACK of stomach acid, rather than an overproduction thereof.  

You can get your stomach acid level checked through a simple and precise test, which will tell you if your level is too high or too low. According to Dr. Wright’s own clinical experience, 95 percent of all heartburn cases are actually due to stomach acid being too low

So what happens if you have low stomach acid and take acid blockers like Zantac and Pepsid AC? 

It gets worse! 

The answer to heartburn and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function by taking some extra hydrochloric acid with your meals, which is available in every health food store. 

For more guidelines and natural alternatives for managing the ailments that the other drugs in this MSN Health article addresses, I recommend you search my site. I have literally thousands of pages covering all of the ailments that these drugs are designed to treat.

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