- Health Care, Drugs & Insurance
Five of the Most Dangerous and Common Prescription Drugs
Prescription medicines are deceiving. It is easy to assume that a prescription medication is safe because, after all, a doctor prescribed it to you. However, prescription drugs are just as dangerous (if not more) than illegal substances. That is why there are classifications for these prescription drugs, and strict control measures. Despite research indicating that these drugs are dangerous, physicians continue to prescribe them to their patients – often without disclosing the actual risks of taking them.
What Are the Five Most Dangerous and Commonly Prescribed Prescriptions?
Prednisone – Prednisone is a short-term medication that is fast-acting. It works on ailments like poison ivy. However, the medication is not for long-term use. When used long-term, prednisone causes ulcers, osteoporosis, hypertension, intestinal bleeding, and other potentially fatal health conditions.
Opioid Pain Medications – Pain medications like OxyContin and Percocet are designed for pain management. However, some physicians prescribe these medications continuously and without further assessment. Long-term use creates a tolerance, but can also lead to accidental overdoses, addiction, slowed heart rate, and breathing complications.
Blood Thinners – Blood thinning medication is often necessary for patients with specific conditions, but medications like Warfarin and Coumadin can lead to excessive bleeding and death – especially when patients are not monitored.
Prozac – Prozac is an antidepressant, but is also associated with increasing symptoms of depression. In some cases, Prozac heightens a patient’s risk for suicide. Often, suicide is preventable just through proper monitoring, follow-ups, and changing of medications.
Benzodiazepines – This class of drugs includes Xanax, Diazepam, Lorazepam, and other psychoactive drugs that alter brain chemistry. They are fast-acting, but patients often develop extreme tolerances and addictions to these drugs. In addition to addiction problems, this class of benzodiazepines can lead to chest pain, vision changes, trembling, weakness, loss of consciousness, impaired coordination, and hypotension.
Physician Negligence is Often to Blame for Complications with These Medications
These medications have known side-effects. While some have encountered class action lawsuits, sometimes it is not the manufacturer, but the physician, who causes injury.
Some instances where a doctor could injure a patient by prescribing these dangerous medications include:
Failure to review the patient’s medical history. Some patients have a history of adverse reactions to medications. Therefore, the physician should scrutinize the medical record before prescribing any new medication – especially one with dangerous side-effects.
Prescribing incorrect dosage amounts or instructions. These medications might be helpful in treating conditions, but when the wrong instructions or dosage is given to the patient, it can lead to serious injuries.
Failure to monitor the patient’s progress. Diagnosing and treating is not enough. Any time a physician prescribes medication, he or she has a duty to the patient to follow up and ensure that the treatment is working. Furthermore, the physician should not continue to renew addictive medications, or medications with dangerous side-effects, without first: i) seeing the patient; ii) assessing his or her need for that drug; and iii) possibly prescribing another drug.
What Options Do I Have if I am Injured?
If adversely affected by a prescription medication due to a physician’s negligence, patients have options. They should first meet with a malpractice attorney to assess if the doctor or pharmacy is to blame for the injury.