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).