Is Your Family's 'Medicine' Killing You?


Everyday we are faced with making a decision about our health (physical, emotional, mental) - what to eat, how we choose to feel, deciding to continue or discontinue relationships, which employment to choose (yes, this affects your health!), how to address a health condition...and on and on. With the latter, taking the time to consciously decide on the best, most safe options for you and your family is vital. Whatever you choose will have a defining effect on your health, and quality of life.

Are you aware that most, if not all, common conventional medicine possess a list of potential adverse effects? As with any form of medicine you're considering for you and your family, I recommend that you learn as much as possible about its true purpose and effect - immediate and long-term - on your health.

Are you familiar with these?

Claritin (or Loratadine) - is used to temporarily relieve the symptoms of hay fever (allergy to pollen, dust, or other substances in the air) and other allergies. These symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, nose, or throat. Loratadine is also used to treat itching and redness caused by hives.

Loratadine may cause side effects. Some include:

headache

dry mouth

sore throat

mouth sores

difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

stomach pain

hives

swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, arms, feet, ankles, or lower legs

difficulty breathing or swallowing

(Benadryl has similar effects)

Prednisone - is used alone or with other medications to treat the symptoms of low corticosteroid levels (lack of certain substances that are usually produced by the body and are needed for normal body functioning). Prednisone is also used to treat other conditions in patients with normal corticosteroid levels. These conditions include certain types of arthritis; severe allergic reactions; multiple sclerosis (a disease in which the nerves do not function properly); lupus (a disease in which the body attacks many of its own organs); and certain conditions that affect the lungs, skin, eyes, kidneys blood, thyroid, stomach, and intestines. Prednisone is also sometimes used to treat the symptoms of certain types of cancer.

Prednisone potential adverse effects:

headache

difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

inappropriate happiness

extreme changes in mood

changes in personality

bulging eyes

red or purple blotches or lines under the skin

slowed healing of cuts and bruises

irregular or absent menstrual periods

decreased sexual desire

heartburn

increased sweating

vision problems

eye pain, redness, or tearing

sore throat, fever, chills, cough, or other signs of infection

seizures

depression

Allegra or Fexofenadine is used to relieve the allergy symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis (''hay fever''), including runny nose; sneezing; red, itchy, or watery eyes; or itching of the nose, throat, or roof of the mouth in adults and children 2 years of age and older. It is also used to relieve symptoms of urticaria (hives; red, itchy raised areas of the skin), including itching and rash in adults and children 6 months of age and older. Fexofenadine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking the effects of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergy symptoms.

Fexofenadine potential adverse effects:

headache

dizziness

diarrhea

vomiting

pain in the arms, legs, or back

pain during menstrual period

cough

hives

rash

itching

difficulty breathing or swallowing

swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

hoarseness

difficulty swallowing or breathing

Tums or Calcium Carbonate is commonly found in antacids (for heartburn) and some dietary supplements.

Some products that contain calcium carbonate are:

antacids (Tums, Chooz)

hand lotions

vitamin and mineral supplements

Symptoms of a calcium carbonate overdose include:

abdominal pain

bone pain

coma

confusion

constipation/diarrhea

depression

headache

irregular heartbeat

muscle twitching

nausea

vomiting

Nystatin - is used to treat fungal infections of the skin, mouth, vagina, and intestinal tract.

Nystatin potential adverse effects:

itching

irritation

burning

diarrhea

nausea

stomach pain

skin rash

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc) - Prescription ibuprofen is used to relieve pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis (arthritis caused by a breakdown of the lining of the joints) and rheumatoid arthritis (arthritis caused by swelling of the lining of the joints). It is also used to relieve mild to moderate pain, including menstrual pain (pain that happens before or during a menstrual period). Nonprescription ibuprofen is used to reduce fever and to relieve minor aches and pain from headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, menstrual periods, the common cold, toothaches, and backaches. Ibuprofen is in a class of medications called NSAIDs. It works by stopping the body's production of a substance that causes pain, fever, and inflammation. Ibuprofen potential adverse effects:

constipation

diarrhea

gas or bloating

dizziness

nervousness

ringing in the ears Additional adverse effects include:

shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

swelling of the abdomen, feet, ankles, or lower legs swelling of the eyes, face, throat, arms, or hands

difficulty breathing or swallowing

yellowing of the skin or eyes

fast heartbeat

cloudy, discolored, or bloody urine

headache

confusion aggression Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine

According to the Food and Drug Administration, potential adverse effects of the birth control pill include: blood clots heart attack high blood pressure stroke Here's a list of the FDA-approved birth control and their potential adverse effects. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) sites some of the following linked to receiving any vaccination: life-threatening illness hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization permanent disability congenital anomaly birth defect death May you use this information to make educated decisions about you and your family's health.

Over to you: Are the above drug options in your medicine cabinet? Were you aware of the potential adverse effects? How will this affect your healthcare choices in the future?

~N

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