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Word Count: 1665 Use Article For Free Send Article To Friend Print Article

When Legal Drugs Kill
by Freda Douglas  
11/25/2007 / Health


I don't very often quote another person's writing in my space, but this is one I believe everybody should read
to protect themselves. Freda Douglas

By Claudia Kalb NEWSWEEK, April 27,1998

*It was to have been Jerry and Mary Sagen's first New Year's Eve together as a married couple. But on that morning in 1996, says
Jerry Sagen, "I awoke to hear her dying." As Mary gasped her last breaths, Jerry dialed 911 and frantically blew air into her lungs, but it was too late. At first the death of the healthy 45-year-old
woman was a mystery. But last month an answer was stamped onto Mary's death certificate: accidental death due to a toxic level of the antihistamine Hismanal.* (While not commenting on the case,
Janssen Pharmaceutica, the maker of Hismanal, said it is difficult to confirm a drug as the ultimate cause of death and stressed that "it's been taken safely by a huge number of people.") For Jerry Sagen,
53, it was unfathomable. "You're numb," he says; "you can't believe it happened."

For millions of Americans, prescription drugs are a way of life - about 2 billion are dispensed each year. We rely on them for
everything from allergies to diabetes to depression. *But in a study published last week in The Journal of the American Medical
Association, researchers found that adverse reactions to prescription drugs may rank somewhere between the fourth and sixth
leading cause of death in the United States*. Dr. Bruce Pomeranz, a professor at the University of Toronto, and his team analyzed 39 studies conducted in American hospitals over four decades (the study was
funded by a scientific-research group). *Of 33 million patients admitted to hospitals in 1994, more than 100,000 died from toxic reactions to medications that were administered properly, either before
or after they were hospitalized. And more than 2 million suffered serious side effects*.

Drugs by nature are powerful substances, and individual responses are unpredictable. While the study didn't look at specific drugs, it has been documented that antihistamines, in combination with the wrong antibiotic, can lead to abnormal heart rhythms; in rare instances the
result can be fatal. (Mary Sagan was taking an antibiotic with the Hismanal,
though that combination has not been linked to her death). Mixing drugs isn't the only problem. Blood thinners alone, for example, can cause fatal internal hemorrhaging. "We have to realize drugs are not magic
bullets," says Pomeranz. "They don't just hit the tissue we want them to hit, they hit all the other tissues as well."

He and others say the Food and Drug Administration must work harder to address the problem. Though the FDA has been lauded for a much-needed increase in the number of new drugs it approves each year (a record
46 in 1996), critics say it hasn't done enough to monitor medications once they're on the market. The FDA requests reports on adverse drug reactions from hospitals and physicians, but few participate in this voluntary program. Information that might warn of - or perhaps even ward off - side effects is buried in doctors' offices
and hospital wards. "It's the best FDA system in the world, but it's not
enough," says Pomeranz. "We need more post-market surveillance."

The FDA says it hopes to soon launch a computerized system that will make it
easier to report adverse drug reactions. Monitoring medications is "terribly important," says Michael Friedman, the FDA's acting commissioner. "We want to give more attention to this." But surveillance
isn't the FDA's dominion alone. "I see problems at every link of the safety
chain," says Thomas Moore, a senior fellow at the George Washington University Medical Center and author of "Prescription for Disaster." He says physicians need to be much more cautious about the drugs -
and drug combinations - they prescribe. And *patients need to become wiser consumers*. While the Pomeranz study didn't deal with
patients who misread or disregard warning labels - taking an incorrect dosage, for example - that is a serious cause of adverse reactions.

Some experts raised concerns about last week's study, noting that the hospitals surveyed were all teaching hospitals, where patients are sickest and receive the most drugs. And while 100,000 deaths is 100,000 too many, those represent just .32 percent of hospitalized patients. "When you realize how many drugs we use," said Dr. Lucian Leape of the Harvard School of Public Health, "maybe those numbers aren't so
bad after all." Pomeranz isn't warning people to stay away from drugs. "That
would be a terrible message," he says. "But we should increase our vigilance." That's a prescription everybody can live with.

____________________________________________*
I use a natural supplement mangosteen juice, a category creator phytonutrient distributed by Xango and I no longer use any
prescription drugs. If you would like to learn about the product visit www.freda.themangosteenrevolution.com and for Q&A call 256-796-0651, CST, 9 am 9 pm, closed Sunday.
_________________________________________________























I don't very often quote another person's writing in my
space, but this is one I believe everybody should read
to protect themselves. Freda Douglas


WHEN *LEGAL* DRUGS KILL*100,000 Die Every Year*
By Claudia Kalb NEWSWEEK, April 27,1998

*It was to have been Jerry and Mary Sagen's first New Year's Eve
together as a married couple. But on that morning in 1996, says J
erry Sagen, "I awoke to hear her dying." As Mary gasped her last
breaths, Jerry dialed 911 and frantically blew air into her lungs,
but it was too late. At first the death of the healthy 45-year-old
woman was a mystery. But last month an answer was stamped
ontoMary's death certificate: accidental death due to a toxic level
of the antihistamine Hismanal.* (While not commenting on the case,
Janssen Pharmaceutica, the maker of Hismanal, said it is difficult
to confirm a drug as the ultimate cause of death and stressed that
"it's been taken safely by a huge number of people.") For Jerry Sagen,
53, it was unfathomable. "You're numb," he says; "you can't believe it
happened."

For millions of Americans, prescription drugs are a way of life -
about 2 billion are dispensed each year. We rely on them for
everything from allergies to diabetes to depression. *But in a study
published last week in The Journal of the American Medical
Association, researchers found that adverse reactions to prescription
drugs may rank somewhere between the fourth and sixth
leading cause of death in the United States*. Dr. Bruce Pomeranz, a
professor at the University of Toronto, and his team analyzed 39
studies conducted in American hospitals over four decades (the study was
funded by a scientific-research group). *Of 33 million patients
admitted to hospitals in 1994, more than 100,000 died from toxic reactions
to medications that were administered properly, either before
or after they were hospitalized. And more than 2 million suffered serious
side effects*.

Drugs by nature are powerful substances, and individual responses are
unpredictable. While the study didn't look at specific drugs, it has
been documented that antihistamines, in combination with the wrong
antibiotic, can lead to abnormal heart rhythms; in rare instances the
result can be fatal. (Mary Sagan was taking an antibiotic with the Hismanal,
though that combination has not been linked to her death). Mixing
drugs isn't the only problem. Blood thinners alone, for example, can cause
fatal internal hemorrhaging. "We have to realize drugs are not magic
bullets," says Pomeranz. "They don't just hit the tissue we want them to
hit, they hit all the other tissues as well."

He and others say the Food and Drug Administration must work harder to
address the problem. Though the FDA has been lauded for a much-
needed increase in the number of new drugs it approves each year (a record
46 in 1996), critics say it hasn't done enough to monitor
medications once they're on the market. The FDA requests reports on adverse
drug reactions from hospitals and physicians, but few
participate in this voluntary program. Information that might warn of - or
perhaps even ward off - side effects is buried in doctors' offices
and hospital wards. "It's the best FDA system in the world, but it's not
enough," says Pomeranz. "We need more post-market surveillance."

The FDA says it hopes to soon launch a computerized system that will make it
easier to report adverse drug reactions. Monitoring medications
is "terribly important," says Michael Friedman, the FDA's acting
commissioner. "We want to give more attention to this." But surveillance
isn't
the FDA's dominion alone. "I see problems at every link of the safety
chain," says Thomas Moore, a senior fellow at the George Washington
University Medical Center and author of "Prescription for Disaster." He says
physicians need to be much more cautious about the drugs -
and drug combinations - they prescribe. And *patients need to become wiser
consumers*. While the Pomeranz study didn't deal with
patients who misread or disregard warning labels - taking an incorrect
dosage, for example - that is a serious cause of adverse reactions.

Some experts raised concerns about last week's study, noting that the
hospitals surveyed were all teaching hospitals, where patients are
sickest and receive the most drugs. And while 100,000 deaths is 100,000 too
many, those represent just .32 percent of hospitalized patients.
"When you realize how many drugs we use," said Dr. Lucian Leape of the
Harvard School of Public Health, "maybe those numbers aren't so
bad after all." Pomeranz isn't warning people to stay away from drugs. "That
would be a terrible message," he says. "But we should increase
our vigilance." That's a prescription everybody can live with.

*
I use a natural supplement mangosteen juice, a category creator
phytonutrient distributed by Xango and I no longer use any
prescription drugs. If you would like to learn about the product
visit www.freda.themangosteenrevolution.com and for
Q&A call 256-796-0651, CST, 9 am 9 pm, closed Sunday.
_________________________________________________

Freda Douglas is a published author. Her first book "Cherish the Past", still available on Amazon.com, was published in 2004. Her second book "Winds of Change"
is now available at your local book store by using this ISBN # 978-1-60145-367-9


Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS
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