Antibiotics are, by all means, incredibly useful drugs, and they’ve turned what used to be lethal illnesses into mere annoyances (and maybe a day or two off from school or work). That said, they are frequently over-prescribed – and it may be to the detriment of our future health.
The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that a certain class of diabetes drugs may cause severe and debilitating joint pain. The class of drug in question includes medications such as Januvia, Onglyza, Tradjenta and Nesina, some of which have been on the market for almost ten years.
Pharmaceutical drugs have their place in human health but really only in certain circumstances. We have become a society of pill-poppers, taking prescription (and over-the-counter) medication for everything from a cold to cancer.
The issues with this are many but the most important can be boiled down to two: 1) pharmaceutical drugs mask symptoms—they never cure the basic problem—and 2) they often come with many side effects. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016 75.2% of all doctor visits resulted in patients walking out with a prescription. It then comes as no surprise that 48.9% of Americans are on at least one drug, 23.1% take at least three, and 11.9% regularly use five or more.
In 1994, 2% Americans aged 45 and older were taking statins. In 2011, it had risen to 25% (1). The majority of these people are prescribed statin medication as a prevention measure against cardiovascular disease.
However, the Huffington post reports that a recent scientific review of 14 studies shows that statins are virtually useless for primary prevention.