WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Drugs Your Doctor Won't Take

Drugs Your Doctor Won't TakeThere are over 4,000 prescription medications approved almost universally for human use. Unfortunately, because a medication is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the British National Drug Council, or any other drug administration, does not necessarily mean it is safe for us.

This is not intended to knock any drug administration, because it is a very complex process from the creation of a medication to its final approval for distribution. As a result, an error can be made anywhere along that process, and see us prescribed a medication that is detrimental to our health.

One of the problems lies in the studies or trials done on these medications. At times, the reports are inaccurate or incomplete, or the interpretation of results could be very different, depending on who is doing the interpretation, and their agenda.

Another problem lies in the growing commercialization of  health care - especially the pharmaceutical industry. Companies that can make the cure-all drugs, the poly pills (single tablets that can take care of multiple problems), and fast acting meds are likely to have commercial success. Hence, at times, some of the rigorous safety tests may be compromised.

Additionally, the fact that prescription medicationss can be advertised on popular media compounds the problem. It  means that disciplined behaviours are not encouraged. How often have you seen the commercial of the man gobbling down the chili dog, knowing that when he gets heartburn he can take a fast acting tablet to end the pain? The advertisement is so enticing that the side effects go virtually unnoticed.

Then there are the thousands of over-the-counter medications whose use are subject to very little regulation. Patients often do themselves considerable harm without even knowing it.


With all the conflicting information around, is there is any hope for us?

In a report by Morgan Lord of msnbc.com, he outlined the eight medications that physicians surveyed would not take, their reasons, and the alternatives.

The first on the list was Advair, which is used in the treatment of asthma. This medication contains a substance called salmeterol that can actually increase the severity of an asthma attack. Researchers estimated that it may contribute to as many as 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. In 2006 the FDA tagged Advair with a "black box" warning _ the agency's highest caution level. For those who might be suffering severe asthma symptoms from the Mt Souffriere volcano ash, there are effective and safer alternatives including Becotide, Pulmicort, and Singulair.

If you are diabetic, please avoid Avandia (rosiglitazone). This medication has been shown to increase heart failure risk by 109 percent and heart attack risk by 42 percent compared to other oral diabetic medications. It has been implicated in fluid retention and raising "bad cholesterol" levels but definitive evidence is still being investigated. Glucophage (metformin) is older and cheaper, but is more dependable. Newer is not always better.

Celebrex was once called super aspirin, but is now linked to stomach bleeding and kidney and liver disease. But its biggest threat is to the heart. People taking 200 mg of Celebrex twice daily more than double their risk of dying of heart disease, while those taking 400 mg twice daily more than triple their risk. Celebrex's first cousins, Bextra and Vioxx have been pulled off the market; maybe it is time for it to follow. For your musculo-skeletal pains, physiotherapy, acupuncture and homeopathy are safer and can even be more effective.

Ketek (telithromycin) is an antibiotic widely used to treat respiratory infections such as pneumonia. It effectively kills bacteria but it also may kill us by causing severe liver disease and serious heart rhythm problems. Suitable, safer alternatives include Augmentin, azithromycin and doxycycline.

Prilosec and Nexium are two medications that effectively treat heartburn. But as Lord puts it, heartburn is uncomfortable, but a heart attack kills. The link between heart disease and Prilosec and Nexium has not been definitively proven, but several other side effects of these drugs have been.


Their ability to block acid production may lead to pneumonia, decreased protein digestion, and decreased calcium absorption, and hence increased risk of fractures. The alternative medications may be just as bad, therefore treat acid stomach naturally with ripe papaya and ginger, avoid fried foods and extra-refined foods, and lose some weight.

Visine, which contains tetrahydrozoline, can effectively take the red from our eyes in the short term; but it does this by shrinking the blood vessels in our eyes. This is similar to what Afrin does to our nostrils. Long term use of Visine can lead to more long-term redness due to the repeated dilation/constriction cycles of the blood vessels. The best way to deal with eye redness is to find the cause and treat accordingly.

Nasal congestion and sinusitis are among the most frequent reasons for visiting a physician and even more so for buying over-the-counter drugs. To treat this congestion, pseudoephedrine is often used. However, it can be a very dangerous drug. Firstly, it can be converted into methamphetamine, which is highly addictive, can cause sleep disorders and debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

It not only causes constriction of blood vessels  in the nose and sinuses, but it also causes constriction in the heart, leading to increased heart rate, heart attack, and stroke. It also worsens the symptoms of prostate enlargement and glaucoma.

Alternative treatments for nasal congestion include steam inhalation or the use of a normal saline solution nose drop such as Deep Sea. But better yet is a swim in refreshing sea water.

So having done this review, are we going to continue taking the drugs that our doctors refuse to take, or are we going to be part of the re-education process? Are we going to break the cycle of getting sick and taking drugs, or are we going to change our mentality? Are we going to recognise that health is a balance of physical, mental, spiritual, and social factors, or are we going to be slaves to big business (the pharmaceutical industry) interests?

Dr. Jerry SimonIn the words of Dr Micheal Wegmann, medication has its place, but real health will never be found at the bottom of a pill bottle. He further adds, "Unfortunately many of us have fallen into the philosophical pitfall that the body needs external drugs to function properly."

Dr. Jerry Simon ( NSA Medical Surgical Rehab Centre, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 462 0631 )

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10 Comments In This Article   

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good article

#10 always watching » 2010-09-13 13:25

great information Dr.Simon it takes competent and strong hearted individual to write on these areas that the people dont have any clue whats going on in the world of medicine. I see by your article you are a caring Dr. who are willing to informed his people . You are one of a kind.
And to Very educational - it takes a quack to know one
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always watching

professor

#9 cd » 2010-09-13 06:47

Are you Dr. Lester Simon's son? Very informative article. Please name some other drugs,
There are lots of them. Please educate 'Err.'
Cassi
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cd

Re Quackwatch

#8 Dr. J Simon » 2010-09-13 05:53

As a physician that practice conventional medicine I have no problem in the recommendation of natural medicine, including homeopathy. I personally have befitted from homeopathic medicine when conventional medicine had no answers or a solution for me.
Notice I did not claim that homeopathy can work for any condition whatsoever, like you put it. But there are cases when it is effective.
By the way, conventional medicine has its limits too, especially when the commercial interest takes over.
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Dr. J Simon

very educational

#7 JR » 2010-09-13 05:15

Dear Doc.
Very education indeed but how many of us will remember to tell our doctor when he prescribe to us one of these drugs that Dr. Simon said it is not good for me. And concerning the over the counter drugs, can we get the pharmacies to place a warning sign at each of them or give us the complete information before we purchase this. many times the pharmacist is the one that recommend the use of these drugs such as Visine for removing red eye. Is their not a consumer protection affair to make sure we are properly advised before we decide to kill yourself. Even cigarette companies were forced to make sure their ads stated that "Cigarettes can cause Long Cancer. And not to mention alcohol. No warning needed there. You mention about homeopathy for treatment, however for weeks now some Juergen Wagentrotz is warning Antiguans about it. What is your take on this. Would like to hear from you.
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JR

#6 ..... » 2010-09-13 03:12

An interesting article. Good information.
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Good Article

#5 Educated National » 2010-09-13 00:13

Am glad to see that an article doesn't have to take several hours to read to be informative and helpful. Well thought out and well written article.
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Educated National

Errr......

#4 Quackwatch » 2010-09-12 23:27

"For your musculo-skeletal pains, physiotherapy, acupuncture and homeopathy are safer and can even be more effective"

I find it quite disturbing that a medical practitioner would suggest the use of homeopathy or acupuncture for anything, seeing as both have been shown time and time again to be useless beyond a placebo effect. Dr. Simon, I challenge you to produce a single properly designed clinical trial of homeopathy which shows its efficacy for any condition whatsoever. Not only has homeopathy been quite conclusively show to be useless, there is no reason to expect that it would work, nor any plausible mechanism of how it could work as the proposed fundamental principles are absolutely absurd. A physician should know better than to promote such quackery.
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Quackwatch

#3 Observer Overseas » 2010-09-12 21:52

Very informative and well written article. It makes a break from the 'highly intellectual but useless' opinion pieces that are often featured on this web site. Its great to see a Caribbean doctor (Dr. Lester Simon being another) educating the public about health matters. I look forward to your next piece.
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Observer Overseas

#2 jill » 2010-09-12 12:57

Great information, Dr. Simon!! I do hope everyone reads your article and if and when this drugs are prescribed or recommended to them by their doctors, they should challenge him or her.
Several months ago, my doctor prescibed a drug to me that was recalled by the FDA 6 months earlier. I downloaded the information from the FDA file printed a copy and took it to my doctor. He was shocked when I gave him the info. He never prescibed this drug to me again.
Keep up the godd works. Antigua needs 21st cetury doctor.
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jill

#1 Caj » 2010-09-12 12:13

Very interesting article.
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Caj

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Dr. Jerry Simon

Dr.Jerry Simon,a general physician, is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and Villa Clara (Cuba) Medical School. He has previously worked in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. Presently he is Medical Director of the NSA Medical Surgical Rehab Centre and is a certified member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

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