With all of the horribly dangerous drugs that the FDA has allowed on the market, it’s hard to pick the “worst of the worst.”
But for anyone who wants a quick fix to stop those urgent dashes to the bathroom… or has been told by their doctor that they need to take a blood thinner… or is looking for a way to alleviate the pain of fibromyalgia… there are three best-selling meds on the market that might well compete for that dubious distinction.
Not only aren’t they very effective, but they can cause some absolutely horrific side effects that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. They’re so bad, in fact, that a major consumer group has recently added them to its “Do Not Use” list.
So, here’s what you need to know to make sure you steer clear of three of Big Pharma’s worst.
Few benefits, many risks
Of the dozens of drug commercials we’re forced to endure while watching television, the series that features the pink, blue-eyed, walking bladder includes some of the most bizarre.
That animated organ is the brand icon for a drug called Myrbetriq that is made by Astellas Pharma US.
But perhaps what’s even stranger than those ads is how Astellas got this drug approved in the first place!
The FDA seemed to have no problem with the fact that the drug’s benefits, as a doctor on the agency’s advisory committee observed, are “quite small and marginal.” For example, during a 12-week trial, patients given the drug still needed to pee around 10 times a day. For those taking the placebo, the average was 11 times.
That’s right, just one fewer daily bathroom visit.
And in exchange for that, here’s what you’re risking: UTIs, high blood pressure (including a severe “hypertensive crisis”), palpitations, A-fib, angioedema (a life-threatening swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), and — get this — “urinary retention.”
As the group Public Citizen said when adding Myrbetriq to its “Do Not Use” list, its “significant risks far outweigh its minimal benefits.”
The next one in the group’s toxic threesome is a little more frightening, if that’s even possible!
It’s a fairly new blood-thinning drug — called Sayvasa — that is given out for A-fib (perhaps caused by taking Myrbetriq?) and “deep vein thrombosis.”
Now, if your doctor has prescribed this med for one of those conditions, it’s serious stuff. But then again, so is suffering a drug-induced hemorrhage and discovering that there is no antidote that stops the “potentially fatal bleeding” caused by Sayvasa!
On top of that, there’s also no blood test that can tell your doctor if the dose you’re on is too high or low.
Talk about a shot in the dark!
And finally, there’s Savella, another med Public Citizen says not to start up on under any circumstances.
You may already be familiar with it if you suffer from fibromyalgia.
Although the FDA gave it the green light over eight years ago, European regulators have yet to approve it due to its “marginal” benefits.
But while Savella may be short on giving you a respite from fibromyalgia pain, it has a long, long list of side effects. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve seen an Rx med that can cause so many terrible adverse reactions — including suicidal thoughts, increase in blood pressure and heart rate, bleeding, mania, and glaucoma, to name just a few.
You may not think you have any other choice than to take the meds recommended by your doctor, but that’s just not true!
- As far as treating an “overactive” bladder goes, check your medicine cabinet for drugs known to cause the condition. These include benzo meds (like Xanax and Valium), antidepressants, alpha-blockers, hormone replacement therapies, and drugs for dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s possible that by simply ditching one of these meds, you could put a stop to those bathroom dashes entirely!
- Some recent research has found that around a quarter of A-fib patients who are at low risk for a stroke really don’t need to take a blood thinner in the first place! And if you must, there are safer ones than Sayvasa, which was found to be no more effective than one of the oldest blood thinners out there, warfarin (the effects of which can be quickly reversed if need be simply with a shot of vitamin K).
- And for fibromyalgia, therapies that include acupuncture, exercise, probiotics, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish or fish-oil supplements, are far more effective.
The bottom line is that these conditions — and many, many others — can very often be treated with natural, non-drug solutions.
And in the event that you really do need an Rx, do some research before you start up on any med to see if there are safer options available.
You might be very surprised with what you find out!