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4. Asthma Drugs: Symbicort, Advair Diskus, Serevent Diskus, Dulera and Foradil. As unbelievable as it may seem, these anti-asthma drugs are strongly suspected of causing deaths and, actually, many more deaths than result from asthma itself each year.  Even worse, the primary population dying from these drugs are children. Why aren't they pulled off the market? Money at lots of it - these drugs are huge cash cows for the pharmaceutical giants behind them.
5. Meridia. This weight loss drug worked by turning you into a zombie. That's right - it worked by blocking reuptake of seratonin and dopamine, sort of a lobotomy in pill form, eh? So this drug should be good for the heart, since losing weight is always good for cardiovascular outcomes, right? Unfortunately, Meridia was a heart-stopper very frequently and was shown to increase both the risk of heart attack and stroke.  Yes, the cure can be worse than the disease and the company, Abbott, recalled the drug.
6. Vioxx. This COX-2 inhibitor, supposedly a miraculous improvement over standard NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin, just had one little problem: it doubled your risk of heart attack  This led Merck to make the biggest recall of a medicine in history. Good riddance is all we can say.
7. Chantix. This drug utilized a simple strategy for smoking cessation: it stopped the heart from beating. Indeed, one hardly desires a puff when you are fighting for your last breath, eh? Well, this bad boy increased the risk of heart attack by 72% in smokers. 
8. Calcium Channel Blockers. Ironically, some hypertension medications can signficantly increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.  Just how did that little fact slip by the FDA?
9. Propecia (Finasteride). This hair loss drug has been found to permanently castrate (at least partially) a significant percentage of men. For more information, read my link about The Risks of Propecia.
10. PDE5 Inhibitors (Cialis, Levitra and Viagra). These drugs can cause temporary and sometimes permanent loss of hearing, tinnitus and dyspepsia (upset stomach). Perhaps worst of all, they can often cause loss of vision. Researchers have recently found out why: they tend to cross over and affect other PDE enzymes including those in the eye. And they found this means in many cases decreased blood flow to the optic nerve.  So, ironically, these drugs may increase blood flow to the penis and yet decrease it to the eye. Who knows if this is causing long term damage, but it is likely in my opinion as decreased blood flow is rarely a good thing in the body.
11. Sleeping Pills. These have been found to greatly increase the risk of dying. Researchers discovered, for example, that even those taking low doses, 4-18 per year, increased their risk of deat by 3.6 times!  Yes, the cure can be worse than the disease!
12. Celexa (Citalopram). What about an antidepressant that increases your risk of death from sudden cardiac issues? A recent study showed that that is just what Celexa does.  This drug, which is very popular, actually changes one's heart beat and increases the risk of fatal arrythmias.
This list could go on and on. I have not even discussed the drugs that lower testosterone, Drugs Associated with Erectile Dysfunction or the Problems with Statins. (Nor have I discussed the 100,000 plus deaths every year in America from drug interactions, Tylenol liver poisoning and so on.) The bottom line is that we need a champion, someone in the medical community who is willing to take on the FDA and the pharmaceutical lobbying machine. Until then, "let the consumer beware." And let the consumer exercise and eat a Mediterranean or Low Fat Diet!
And, hopefully, someone has alerted intelligence agencies around the globe that they can stop using primitive tools such as strichnine, cyanide and arsenic to do their dirty work. Almost every home in America has a whole medicine chest full of pills that will do a much less messy job.
1) N Engl J Med, 2007, 356:2457-2471, "Effect of Rosiglitazone on the Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Death from Cardiovascular Causes"
2) Medications Found to Cause Long Term Cognitive Impairment of Aging Brain, Study Finds ScienceDaily (July 13, 2010)
7) N Engl J Med, 2010 363:905-917, "Effect of Sibutramine on Cardiovascular Outcomes in Overweight and Obese Subjects"
12) Drugs Today 2005, 41(8):547, "Drugs of Today"
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