Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, vertigo, depression, anxiety, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, ulcers, sweating, dry mouth, dry itchy eyes, nose bleeds, loss of hearing, rashes, passing out, and even death are all common side effects found to happen to people when taken pharmaceuticals. Each year millions and millions get prescribed these drugs that are supposed to help to suppress symptoms of illness. Sometimes, the side effects of these drugs are worse than the sickness they're supposed to be curing. Nowadays, we have thousands upon thousands of different options to choose from when it comes to our pills, syrups, needles and suppositories. Prescription drugs, taken as prescribed in hospitals are the fourth leading cause of death in the US and Canada, after cancer, heart disease and strokes. They cause about 10,000 deaths a year in Canada and about 106,000 deaths a year and over two million serious injuries in the US. As many as another 10,000 deaths a year in Canada are thought to occur outside hospitals due to the wrong drug, dosage errors and adverse reactions. One out of four admissions to internal medicine in Canadian hospitals is related to prescription drugs, of which 70% are preventable. Canadians now spend more on prescription drugs ($24 billion) than we do on doctors ($18 billion).
Over-the-counter drugs also cause many deaths. Every year, more than 15,000 patients die in North America from ordinary aspirin and Ibuprofen. Tylenol is the cause of thousands of hospital admissions and hundreds of deaths annually in North America. I believe in most cases there our better alternatives then going for the short term drug solutions. Not in all cases of course, but the majority.
All drugs cause adverse effects. The only difference between a drug and a poison is dosage. Many drugs are marketed at dosages that are risky for many patients, referred to as a narrow therapeutic index.
Its not all bad news though, specially if you own one of these high profiting companies. Hopefully most of the time you don't experience any side effects. These medicines also actually do help a lot of people, especially in managing pain, recovering from surgery and prolonging life. One should only go to the doctor if it necessary, otherwise that cold will get better on its own. Don't take advantage of the system, because what if it wasn't there one day?
12 ARANESP $4.4 Billion
11 SINGULAIR $4.5 Billion
Singulair is a leukotriene (loo-koe-TRY-een) inhibitor. Leukotrienes are chemicals that your body releases when you breathe in an allergen (such as pollen). These chemicals may cause things like swelling in your lungs and possible tightening of the muscles around your airways, which may result in asthma symptoms. Singulair is used to prevent asthma attacks in adults and children aged 12 months +. Singulair is also used to prevent exercise-induced broncho spasm in adults and children who are at least 6 years of age or older.
10 SEROQUEL $4.7 Billion
Seroquel (quetiapine) is an antipsychotic medicine. It works by altering the actions of chemicals in the brain. Seroquel is mainely used to treat schizophrenia in adults and children who are a minimum age of at least 13 years old.
Seroquel is also used to treat bipolar disorder (manic depression) in adults and children who are at least 10 years old. It is also used together with antidepressant medications to treat major depressive disorders in adults. Some young people have thoughts of suicide when first taking Seroquel. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular intervals while you are using this medicine. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
9 RISPERDAL $5 Billion
Risperdal is also used as an anti psychotic to treat bi-polar disorders and schizophrenia. Risperdal is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. While you are taking these meds, you may be more sensitive to temperature extremes such as very hot or cold. Avoid getting too cold, or becoming overheated or dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise. It is easier to become dangerously overheated and dehydrated while you are taking this medication. Risperdal may impair your thinking or reactions.
8 ZYPREXA $5.3 Billion
Zyprexa (olanzapine) is also another antipsychotic medication that affects chemicals in the brain. These medications are used to treat the symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression) in adults and children who are at least 13. Zyprexa is sometimes used together with other antipsychotic medications or antidepressants.
7 ENBREL $5.4 Billion
Enbrel is a medicine that affects your immune system. This medicine can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Serious infections have happened in patients taking Enbrel. These infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, and or viruses that have spread throughout the body. Some patients have died from these infections.
6 Seretide $7.2 Billion
Seretide (serre-tied) is medicine that is used for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This popular drug contains two medicines – fluticasone and salmeterol. Fluticasone belongs to a class of medicines called steroids. Steroids are used to help reduce inflammation. Both ingredients in Seretide work together to help keep the airways open and make it easier to breathe.
5 Nexium $7.27 Billion
Nexium (esomeprazole) belongs to a group of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. Nexium is suppose to decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach.
Nexium is used to treat symptoms of excessive stomach acid or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Nexium is also used to promote healing of erosive esophagitis (damage to your esophagus caused by stomach acid).
3 Plavix $7.3 Billion
Plavix (clopidogrel) keeps the platelets in your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots that can occur with certain heart or blood vessel conditions. It is used to prevent blood clots after a recent heart attack or stroke, and in people with certain disorders of the heart or blood vessels.
1 LIPITOR $13.5 Billion
Lipitor comes in at number one by a long shot, profiting almost twice as the second place product. Lipitor (atorvastatin) belongs to a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or "statins." It may reduce levels of "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of "good" cholesterol.
Lipitor is used to treat high cholesterol, and to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications in people with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, or other risk factors.
Most common side effects may include: Cough, difficulty with swallowing, dizziness, fast heartbeat, fever, hives, and or itching.
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