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When Prescription Drugs are Harmful to Your Health

March 22, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

You probably have at least one prescription medication in your medicine cabinet at home. As you get older, that number will likely increase. Statistics from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) point out that 85 percent of people over age 65 take an average of three different prescription medications every day. Overall, almost one-half of the U.S. population used a prescription drug in the last month, according to the FDA.

While most prescription drugs have some side effects, some cross the line and become dangerous to your health. Defective drugs such as Vioxx, Accutance, Avandia, Yaz and Reglan have caused serious injury and death to users. Prescription drugs meant to improve life can make it worse when the drugs are subject to the following:

  • Improper labeling
  • Dangerous ingredients
  • Exaggerated claims by the manufacturer
  • Manufacturer fails to disclose risks and known side effects of the drug
  • Manufacturer marketed the drug for use outside the scope of FDA approval
  • Doctors prescribing the drug for off-label uses

The FDA is the main regulatory body for prescription drugs in the United States. However, it usually takes reports of injuries or deaths from prescription drugs before the FDA issues a warning or recall.

Are you taking a prescription drug with harmful side effects?