The Physicians’ Desk Reference or also known as PDR has more than 3,500 pages. So, we can say that it’s not a quick read, right? It’s probably because it contains every information on more than 4,000 prescription drugs. Well, actually the PDR is a drug – humongous sleeping pill.
Well, many doctors and medical experts in the world actually count on the PDR, to help them make the best choice. Or in other words – to help them choose the best drugs that will solve their patients’ medical problems, without creating new problems. Well, the bad thing about this is that many doctors don’t use the PDR so often. Or, if they use it, they don’t stay versed on emerging research that may suddenly make a once-trusted treatment one to avoid.
Every doctor knows that there are two types of top-selling medications: Those that are popular because they are effective and those that sell well because of big drug company marketing campaigns. It is this second kind of medication that doctors avoid taking themselves. Plenty of doctors know which prescription and over-the-counter drugs are dangerous, duds or both. So, when we asked them which medications would they skip, they answered this:
Here are eight drugs many doctors won’t take when dealing with their own health problems:
Have you ever heard of Advair? Advair is asthma medicine, and the medical experts believe that this medicine might make your asthma deadly. This drug contains the long-acting beta-agonist or also known as LABA salmeterol.
A study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, in 2006, found that regular use of LABAs can increase the severity of an asthma attack. And because salmeterol is widely prescribed than other LABAs, the danger is even greater. The medical experts claim that salmeterol may contribute to as many as 5,000 asthma-related deaths in the United States only, every year.
Other, even more disturbing findings, from another study prompted the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to “tag” this drug with a black bow warning, which is the highest caution level of this agency. Philip Rodgers, a clinical associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy, said that LABA, just like the one in Advair is not the only option. For example, if you have mild asthma, and inhaled corticosteroid, such as Floven is all you need.
Professor Rodgers also says that patients can also consider an inhaled corticosteroid paired with a leukotriene modifier. He says that this combo won’t create any dangerous inflammation and it’s also as effective as a corticosteroid and LABA combo.
We all know that diabetes is very bad for all of us, and if you try to control it with rosiglitazone, also known as Avandia, you can make the condition even worse. This could lead you to a heart attack. A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in 2007, has found that people who took rosiglitazone for at least 1 year, increased their risk of heart failure or heart attack by 110% and 42%, compared to people who took other oral diabetes drugs or a placebo.
Here comes the million-dollar question – what’s the real cause for this? Well, there have been some reports that the use of this drug may cause dangerous fluid retention or raise artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. But, no one is sure about this, because the results from these studies have been mixed. This is why the FDA asked the Avandia’s manufacturer to conduct a new long-term study and to find out everything about its heart risks. But, the biggest problem is that the study isn’t expected to start until later this year.
This is why you should stick with a proven performer. Sonal Singh, the lead author of the JAMA study said that your best option would be – metformin. He says that this is an older, cheaper and more dependable medication. He also says that you should consult your doctor about the cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins or the B Vitamin niacin. You should also know that if you consume high doses of niacin every day (1,000 milligrams) may raise your HDL cholesterol by 24% and it will lower your LDL (bad) and triglyceride levels.
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