While it’s bad enough that almost half of the entire US population (48.7 percent) has used at least one of the most common prescription drugs in the past 30 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 10 percent of the population has used a whopping 5 or more of these drugs in the last month (1)!
And these medications are certainly not cheap. Statistics show that “between 2013 and 2015, the average annual drug spending for patients who stay in community hospitals increased by 23.4 percent, from $5.2 million to $6.5 million. And on a per admission basis, hospital spending on drugs jumped nearly 39 percent, to $990.” (2)
What’s worse is that the number of children prescribed dangerous drugs is on the rise. Doctors seem to prescribe medication without being concerned with the side-effects.
Worldwide, 17 million children, some as young as five years old, are given a variety of different prescription drugs, including psychiatric drugs that are dangerous enough that regulatory agencies in Europe, Australia, and the US have issued warnings on the side effects that include suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior.
According to Fight For Kids, an organization that “educates parents worldwide on the facts about today’s widespread practice of labeling children mentally ill and drugging them with heavy, mind-altering, psychiatric drugs,” says over 10 million children in the US are prescribed addictive stimulants, antidepressants and other psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs for alleged educational and behavioral problems (3).
In fact, according to Foundation for a Drug-Free World, every day, 2,500 youth (12 to 17) will abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time (4). Even more frightening, prescription medications like depressants, opioids and antidepressants cause more overdose deaths (45 percent) than illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and amphetamines (39 percent) combined. Worldwide, prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death.
A Medical Problem
The medical community trains us to believe that prescription medicines are not only necessary but safe.
Your doctor will likely tell you that although they have side effects, the benefits of these toxic medications far outweigh any negative repercussions.
So, we blindly take them and teach our children that taking prescription medications is simply part of life. And this attitude has definitely trickled down to our kids.
A recent survey shows that over half of all teens believe that prescription drugs are much safer than illegal street drugs. An amazing 60 to 70 percent even say that home medicine cabinets are their source of drugs (5).
What we are not told, however, is that big pharmaceutical companies are literally making billions of dollars on your back (and every other part of your body for that matter), and they care little about the outrageous side effects and devastating repercussions their drugs have on you or your family.
It all comes down to the bottom line for these companies, which are part of what some call an unholy trinity that includes the AMA (American Medical Association) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration). This trio is often likened to a “Medical Mafia.” (6)
Big Pharma’s Plan for Profits
While there are definitely some off-the-wall conspiracy theories out there, what big pharmaceutical companies are doing to North Americans is very real. In order to keep their pockets lined and their shareholders happy, big pharma will make sure you continue to need their drugs, which include an endless array of supposedly necessary vaccines.
It becomes an endless circle of sickness with big pharma in the middle. Every medication you are prescribed for an illness comes with a slew of side effects that eventually result in more illnesses, for which your doctor prescribes more medications.
Luckily, many European countries are a little more savvy when it comes to the dangers of prescription medications. In fact, more Europeans opt for natural alternatives than North Americans.
And in India, according to an A.C. Nielsen survey, “62 percent of current homeopathy users have never tried conventional medicines and 82 percent of homeopathy users would not switch to conventional treatments.” (7)
The Top 7 Most Common Prescription Drugs
For every prescription medication, there are a number of natural alternatives. Here are just 7 of the most dangerous and heavily promoted common prescription medications your doctor prescribes with the natural alternatives they aren’t likely to tell you about.
1. Ritalin, Cylert, Dexadrine, And Adderal
Prescribed For: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
These drugs are some of the most common over-prescribed drugs for kids and they are also one of the most highly abused and misused medications. According to the CDC, as of 2011, approximately 11 percent of all US children between 4 and 17 were diagnosed with ADHD.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA), however, says that only 5 percent of these children actually suffer from the disorder even though today, over 15 percent of all children are diagnosed with the condition (8). And the number is only rising.
Side Effects: While these drugs are supposedly short acting, they do cause some severe side effects like “zombie-like” behavior, and drooling.The FDA has further issued a warning about possible worsening of depression or suicidal thoughts in people who take these antidepressants.
Other side effects include (9):
- Abdominal pain
- Alopecia (loss of hair)
- Angina (chest pain)
- Appetite loss
- Blood pressure and pulse changes (both up and down)
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Diaphoresis (sweating)
- Psychosis and psychiatric disorders
- Stunted growth
- With children aged 5-10 years old, 1 OPC 165 (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins) per day (contains Pine bark extract, 75 mg., grape seed extract, 75 mg., and quercetin, 15mg), 500 mg of Essential Fatty Acids. 20 mg of Zinc.
- For children aged 11-15 years old, 1 OPC 165 2x daily. 1000 mg of Essential Fatty Acids. 40 mg of Zinc.
- Over 15 years old: 1 OPC 165 2x daily. 1200 mg of Essential Fatty Acids. 50-75 mg of Zinc (10).
2. Prednisone or Cortisone
Prescribed for: Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma, allergies and many other conditions.
Corticosteroids are designed to mimic the effects of the natural hormones your adrenal glands produce, which sit just above your kidneys.
They are typically prescribed in doses that exceed your body’s normal levels in order to suppress inflammation.
- High blood sugar, which can trigger or worsen diabetes
- Increased risk of infections
- Osteoporosis and bone fractures
- Suppressed adrenal gland hormone production
- Thin skin, easy bruising and slower wound healing
- Moon Faces (swollen face)
Turmeric (curcumin) has similar physiological healing effects to steroids.
Studies show it can treat inflammation caused by arthritis (rheumatologic or immunologic imbalance), swelling, pain, allergic skin reactions, eczema and other conditions normally treated by steroids.
3. Coumadin or Warfarin
Prescribed For: Blood Clots
This medication is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that prevents the formation and migration of blood clots.
Side effects (12):
- Haemorrhage (bleeding)
- Bleeding from the gums after you brush your teeth
- Swelling or pain at an injection site
- Black or bloody stool
- Severe headaches or stomach pain
- Joint pain, discomfort or swelling, especially after an injury
- Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
- Bruising that develops without an injury you remember
- Dizziness or weakness
- Heavier than normal menstrual bleeding or bleeding between menstrual periods
- Diarrhea, vomiting or inability to eat for more than 24 hours
- Vitamin C – 1,000 mg daily. Vitamin C coats red blood cell walls and prevents them from breaking and bleeding. You need to be careful however because too much of this Vitamin can inhibit calcium absorption
- Vitamin E -400 IU. Vitamin E coats red blood cells and binds collagen in blood vessels to prevent bleeding and strokes.
- Turmeric, bromelain, garlic are also excellent blood thinners and can help strengthen the blood vessels (13).
4. Cholesterol Lowering Drugs
Prescribed for: Lowering Cholesterol
There are several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs. Atromid and Lopid, for example, work by absorbing bile acids that are produced from cholesterol in your intestinal tract. You’ve no doubt heard of “statin drugs.” These medications work by reducing the production of cholesterol in your liver and altering the way in which LDL cholesterol enters your cells.
- Myositis –inflammation of your muscles.
- Rhabdomyolysis (rare) – With this condition, muscles all over the body become painful and weak. The severely damaged muscles release proteins into your blood that collects in your kidneys, which can be damaged in an effort to eliminate large amounts of muscle breakdown caused by statin use. This can lead to kidney failure.
- Foods such as fish and whole foods including oats, nuts, beans, spinach and avocados
- Supplements such as Chinese red yeast rice, green tea, niacin, artichoke leaf extract, soluble fiber and policonsanol (made from Cuban sugarcane wax) (14).
5. Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lovan and Luvox
Prescribed for: Depression
These drugs belong to a class of drugs that alter the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain. Serotonin affects your mood, agitation, anxiety, and sleep. They essentially mock the re-uptake or removal of serotonin by the nerve cells in your brain, thus leaving more serotonin to bind to the receptor sites. This alters your mood and behavior.
Side effects (15):
- Worsens depression and suicidal symptoms in some patients
- increased appetite and weight gain
- loss of sexual desire and other sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction and decreased orgasm
- fatigue and drowsiness
- dry mouth
- blurred vision
- Turmeric (Curcumin) supplements are as effective as Prozac (500 mg standardized curcumin extract twice daily)
- Saffron Extracts also prove as effective as Prozac (15 mg morning and evening) (16)
- St. John’s Wort (Hypericum peroratum) (450 mg 2x daily).
- Tryptophan (1,000 mg per day best taken before bedtime as it also aids in sleep.
- Vitamin B6 (50-100 mg of B6 with the tryptophan as it improves the movement of tryptophan into the brain).
6. Beta Blockers and Calcium Channel Blockers
Prescribed for: Hypertension
Calcium-channel blockers work by blocking “voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs)” in the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels.
This then prevents calcium levels from rising in your cells when stimulated, thus leading to less muscle contraction. This decreases cardiac contractility (systolic pressure) in your heart and results in less contraction of the vascular smooth muscle in your blood vessels, thus an increase in vasodilation (diastolic pressure).
These effects lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
Side Effects: An ongoing study shows that people taking higher doses of calcium channel blockers for hypertension have a 60 percent higher death rate compared to people taking diuretics or beta blockers.
Other side effects include (17):
- shortness of breath
- cold extremities
- congestive heart failure
- Low blood pressure
- Slower heart rate
- Swelling of feet ankles and legs
- Increased appetite.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Tenderness or bleeding of the gums.
- Sexual dysfunction
- reduce processed sodium intake
- reduce alcohol consumption
- exercise regularly
- Eat a whole food diet
- Studies show that hawthorn has natural calcium-channel-blocker properties and the active constituents this herb can help to lower mild to moderate hypertension (150-300 mg per day of hawthorn extract (standardized to contain 3 percent to 5 percent flavonoid content) are recommended (18).
7. Cold and Flu Medications (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and decongestants)
Prescribed For: Cold or flu symptoms such as fever, aches, pains, congestion
Side Effects: While over the counter (OTC) medications may seem harmless, they are often highly often overused and abused and can cause severe repercussions such as liver failure.
Acetaminophen is the leading cause for calls to Poison Control Centers across the US.
There are more than 100,000 instances per year that result in more than 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and an estimated 458 deaths due to acute liver failure (19).
Other studies show that these OTC medications actually suppress your immune system’s response to the virus, resulting in increased healing time and greater respiratory discomfort.
- Herbal Teas: Echinacea, cold and flu blends etc. are very good and will also keep you hydrated
- Sambucol: a highly effective anti-viral syrup (4 oz).
- Supplements: Ginseng (daily supplements can help prevent and cure a cold or the flu), Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Garlic, and White Willow (a natural anti-inflammatory for pain and fever)
- Honey and Lemon (great antibacterial and to ease sore throats)
- Chicken soup (medically proven to help cure a cold or fever).
While prescription medications do serve a purpose in some cases, whenever possible, it is best to try and heal your body the way nature intended.
Proper nutrition is the foundation of health.
And eating properly, exercising regularly and living a healthy lifestyle are the only ways to assure you stay strong and healthy.