THE BLOG
07/05/2014 07:50 BST | Updated 30/06/2014 06:59 BST

The Top 10 Worst Side Effects of Pharmaceuticals Taken Daily in the UK

In light of this weeks' news that the world's biggest drug company Pfizer is trying to buy AstraZeneca to become one of the ten biggest companies in the world I thought we should take a look at what these pharmaceutical companies get away with daily.

1, 'Cholesterol curing' Statins causing Amnesia.

Read for yourself Duane Graveline's book, Lipitor: The Thief of Memory. Graveline is an American physician and was a NASA astronaut. He was one of the six scientists selected in 1965, in NASA's fourth group of astronauts, for the Apollo program so this is no fruit cake conspiracy nut! Following his experience with the cholesterol drugs side effects, Graveline has become a critic of the use of statins to treat high cholesterol levels. While on Lipitor, Graveline developed transient global amnesia and could not recognize his family. He slowly recovered after stopping this medication. He was then switched half the dose, but the amnesia returned. Worse still, research at Harvard Medical School has found that women don't benefit from taking statins at all, nor do men over 69 who haven't already had a heart attack. More and more medical experts are supporting the idea of the 'Cholesterol con' and what really causes heart disease. (Source: Medscape.com/cholesterol)

2, Antibiotics negating the Birth Control Pill!

Two antibiotics rifampin and rifabutin can interfere with the birth control pill leading to unwanted pregnancy. They do this by causing the enzymes in the liver to increase the break-down of estrogens and thereby decrease the levels of estrogens in the body and the effectiveness of the pill. This can result in unwanted pregnancy. Therefore, individuals taking birth control pills should use a second method of birth control when taking these antibiotics or other drugs that can increase the break-down of estrogens.

(Source:NHSuk.com=antibiotics 2011)

3, The Pill reducing the effectiveness of Epilepsy Drugs!

Popular brand name birth control pills have been shown to reduce the effectiveness of many of the medicines used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder! Barbiturates, Phenytoin and Primidone can be far less effective if you are taking a birth control pill. In a cruel twist of a double-edged sword they also make the pill, patch, ring and mini-pill less effective, again increasing the chance of an accidental pregnancy.(www.epilepsy.org.uk/womenscampaigns‎)

4, Aspirin and Children

Children and teenagers should not use aspirin or related medicines for flu symptoms or chickenpox without first consulting a doctor. A rare but serious illness known as Reye syndrome may occur. Reye syndrome is a potentially life-threatening disorder that should be treated as a medical emergency.

(www.nhs.uk/conditions/Reyes-syndrome)

5, Taking Paracetemol and drinking Alcohol.

Paracetemol is one of the most common painkillers available worldwide. The drug is available over the counter to relieve headaches, aches, pains and other minor ailments. However, regular drinking while using Paracetemol (which many people do to get over a hangover!) will accelerate any liver damage caused by the alcohol. In any case All painkillers have some nasty side effects. (www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/27/1/14)

6, Hair Restorer and Breast Growth in Men!

Propecia is the main ingredient in Prescription Hair Restorers (the ones that work!) was developed to treat mild to moderate male pattern hair loss on the top of head and middle front of head in men only. It has been shown that the drug for Propecia increases both testosterone and estrogen while lowering serum levels of DHT. The increase in estrogen creates a side effect called gynecomastia, or breast enlargement, in some men, along with increased body fat and loss of libido (sex drive)

(www.ishrs.org/article/hair-restoration-medications)

7, Pills for arthritic pain and inflammation and Death.

Celecoxib or better known brand names Celebrex or Celebra is used to treat arthritis pain and inflammation. The drug generated $2.92 billion in sales in 2013 alone according to its maker Pfizer and yet according to their own product web page, Celebrex increases the chance of a heart attack or stroke (which can obviously lead to death) Serious skin reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, can occur without warning and may also cause death.

(www.doctoroz.com/.../arthritis-medications-double-heart-attack-deaths‎ 2 Aug 2011)

Medicines for treating Menopause and Weight Gain

Evamist (Sometimes known as Estradiol) used to treat certain symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation is effective but one of the side effects is weight gain and bloating-not to mention nausea/vomiting, breast tenderness, headaches and with long term use it has been linked to cancer, blood clots and dementia! (www.avogel.co.uk › health › menopause › symptoms)

9, Anti-Malaria drugs and hallucinations.

Lariam (generic name mefloquine) was invented by researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to prevent and treat outbreaks of malaria in the U.S. Army. Until recently, it was given routinely to soldiers deployed overseas as well as many tourists. Lariam carries some serious side effects -- one of them being hallucinations. Both soldiers and tourists have reported experiencing frightening hallucinations as well as violent psychotic behavior soon after taking the drug. The American Medical Legal Authority the FDA has required that patients be screened for a history of depression and psychosis before taking Lariam since 2002 but they are still sold routinely online by drug giant Roche.

(www.nytimes.com/.29 July 2013 & en.wikipedia.org/wiki/malaria)

10, Acne pills and suicide.

Top selling Roaccutane or Accutane was touted as a wonder drug for treating acne when they were launched back in 1990 but they soon emerged to be less of a miracle and more of a game of Russian roulette. In some cases it caused terrible depression and suicidal tendencies. Seamus Todd was son of the actor Richard Todd of 'The Dambusters' film. He shot himself in the head in 1997 at the age of 20 while he had been taking Roaccutane. Another fatality was the nephew of Former Champion Race Horse trainer Jenny Pitman who hanged himself at Cheltenham College. The drug was also found by the FBI in the apartment of one Charles Bishop, the 15 year old High School student in Florida who stole a Cessna 172 single engine plane and crashed it quite deliberately into the city's Bank of America Plaza Tower. That was in 2002. In 2008 the drug was discontinued in the US but is still available here in the UK. More disturbingly in 1998 Roche the drug company behind the acne cure added a new warning to its label; may cause depression, psychosis and suicide attempts and suicide. Even more concerning it added; "Discontinuation of Accutane therapy may be insufficient"

(The Sunday Times Magazine Article 20 April 2014)

Quite depressing isn't it? Particularly when you think it's your government that administrates for large corporations like this and ignores the needs of the people whom it was voted in to serve.

For more stories like this see this link: http://www.robblakeman.com/SPRING2014_PRESS.pdf

Picture courtesy of Shape and Style magazine: 2014-05-01-drugs.jpg