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OTC Drugs Can Be Lethal

The FDA proposed stronger safety warnings on over-the-counter pain killer drugs last week.  In an article in the LA Times last week, the FDA is concerned about consumers getting serious side effects from certain painkiller drugs sold without a prescription.

The drugs in question fall into two classes: acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDS like Motrin, Alleve and aspirin.

Tylenol has liver side effects that can cause liver failure, jaundice and death.  I have seen many people over the years take 8 or 10 Extra Strength Tylenol in a day - and do this for several days in a row.  Some of them combine this with prescription medications like Vicodin, which contains even more acetaminophen in it for further toxicity.

More than 8 Tylenol a day can be lethal.

People also take NSAIDS like water.  Motrin and Alleve are the most popular, but they come in many house brands like Walgreens as ibuprofen.

These OTC NSAIDS are just smaller doses of prescription medications. 

The main problem with NSAIDS is that they cause stomach irritation and bleeding.  Many ulcers sulcers can eventually bleed out bright red blood.  They kill people daily.

In fact the FDA estimates that the drugs from both classes listed above account for 56,000 ER visits a year in the US alone.  Nearly half get hospitalized and 200 die.

I think these figures are exceedingly low.  I once read where researchers estimate the deaths from prescription and OTC painkillers running in the thousands.

Any drug that is not natural and not found within the human body, by definition, has side effects.  These chemicals are foreign to the body and just vary in the amount of poisoning that they achieve. 

On the other hand, natural hormones that we advocate for the treatment of migraine headaches and other problems in women are entirely safe with no side effects other than dose dependent effects.

In contrast to the painkillers mentioned above, our treatment program using natural hormones is infinitely safer and virtually impossible to cause harm.  This is why we are so adamant against prescription drugs and their OTC little brothers.

Andrew Jones, M.D.

Medical Director, Women’s Health Institute of Texas


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