Author's Perspective: Drugs for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. are the norm -- more than 2 out of every 3 people take some kind of medication for something. More than 68% of TV commercials are about prescription drugs, OTC drugs or fast food. 

More than 81% of Americans take or have taken some kind of drug for a health problem during their lifetime. Some people take as many as 12 pills a day while their health continues to deteriorate!

But, I must admit: Long before the coma, I used to take a statin drug (Lipitor) because it worked so well to lower my cholesterol and I didn't have to make any dietary changes. So, it's easy for anyone to get bamboozled by the constant barrage of TV commercials and the slick marketing of drugs in America as the norm.

Unfortunately, I discovered later on that Lipitor causes a reduction in cellular insulin sensitivity, which is a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes! Read below for more details about these dangerous statin drugs.

High Blood Pressure Drugs

The medical approach to addressing high blood pressure is to artificially lower your blood pressure through biochemical changes instead of fixing the root cause of your high blood pressure. 

Everyone with high blood pressure doesn't need to be treated with drugs. Most people may do just as well by reducing weight, eating properly and getting the right amount of physical activity.

Also, don't insist that your doctor use a certain drug because you've read or heard about its effect on other people. You can have a serious side effect if you take a "wonder drug" that isn't right for you.

You should ask your doctor and insist on non-drug solutions for your blood pressure. Unfortunately, most doctors are not trained to provide non-drug solutions for your health -- they are trained to "push" the pharmaceutical company's drugs.

Although high blood pressure and diabetes are "connected" and are driven by similar root causes, instead of addressing these root causes, Western Medicine focuses on the symptoms.

As a result, more than 82% of Type 2 diabetics are doomed to take multiple drugs to suppress the symptoms instead of address what's actually causing the health problems.

Danger! Your blood pressure is artificially lowered while you are taking these high blood pressure (HBP) drugs; and, your heart muscle and cardiovascular system become biochemically dependent on these drugs. 

As a result, it becomes difficult to get off these drugs once you start -- so insist on a non-drug solution, if possible.

Are you aware that most high blood pressure drugs cause damage to the kidneys? Yes, the kidneys -- the organs that control your blood pressure!

And, are you aware that some high blood pressure drugs actually weaken your heart muscle? And, you can never ever come off those drugs!!

High Cholesterol Statin Drugs and Their Dangerous Side Effects

Cholesterol-lowering drugs, especially the statin drugs, have become very popular. In fact, statin drugs have become one of the top-selling prescription drugs in America (next to pain-killers).

Why is that? Because the pharmaceutical companies and the doctors convinced us that these drugs would prevent heart attacks and strokes. But, the latest studies show that these drugs do not prevent heart attacks or strokes, and, may, in fact, trigger a heart attack or stroke!

Several recent studies have concluded that statin drugs cause diabetes! -- by decreasing cellular insulin sensitivity, leading to pre-diabetes, and full-blown diabetes!

Types of Cholesterol-lowering Drugs:
-- Statins
-- Niacin
-- Bile-acid resins
-- Fibric acid derivatives (fibrates)
-- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors

Statins: block the production of cholesterol in the liver, but also blocks the production of a key nutrinet called CoQ10.
Side effects: intestinal problems, liver damage, and in a few people, muscle tenderness.
Brand names: Crestor, Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor

Niacin (Nicotinic acid): is a B-complex vitamin that lowers LDL cholesterol and may raise HDL cholesterol.
Side Effects: flushing, itching, tingling and headache.
Brand names: Nicolar, Niaspan

Bile-acid resins: work inside the intestine, where they bind to bile from the liver and prevent it from being reabsorbed into the circulatory system. Bile is made largely from cholesterol, so these drugs work by depleting the body's supply of cholesterol.
Side effects: constipation, gas and upset stomach.
Brand names: Questran, Questran Light, Colestid, WelCho

Fibrates: reduce the production of triglycerides and can increase HDL cholesterol.
Side effects: upset stomach, diarrhea, temporary dizziness, temporary blurred vision, anemia, gallstones, muscle pains.
Brand names: Atromid, Tricor, Lopid

Note: You should avoid taking other cholesterol-lowering drugs and anticoagulants. Also, you should not drink grapefruit juice and limit fresh grapefruit consumption while taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, as it can interfere with the liver's ability to metabolize these medications.

WARNING About Statin Drugs: Can Be Dangerous with Long-Term Use!

Statin drugs can impair the production of certain proteins involved in muscle metabolism and function. This can result in muscle pain and tenderness — a condition known as statin myopathy. If you notice moderate muscle aching, stop taking your statin medication and contact your doctor. Muscle aching usually goes away within a couple of weeks after stopping the statin drug.

In severe cases, statins may cause muscle cells to break down. This rare but potentially life-threatening side effect is known as rhabdomyolysis. The most common signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include:
-- Severe muscle aching throughout the entire body
-- Muscle weakness
-- Dark or cola-colored urine

The higher the dose of statins, the higher the risk of rhabdomyolysis. The risk also increases if certain drugs — including cyclosporine and gemfibrozil (Lopid) — are taken in combination with statins.

If you have signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, stop taking your statin medication immediately and seek medical treatment right away. If necessary, your doctor may take steps to help prevent kidney damage and other complications.

Types of Blood Pressure Drugs

There are several major types of high blood pressure (HBP) drugs:

  • Diuretics
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  • Calcium antagonists (calcium channel blockers)
  • Beta-blockers
  • Sympathetic nerve inhibitors
  • Vasodilators

These drugs help to lower your blood pressure and may be helpful in acute health-threatening situations, but these drugs are dangerous because they slowly cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and heart muscle, and, can eventually lead to congestive heart failure!

Diuretics: rid the body of excess fluids and salt (sodium) and should be used as initial therapy for most patients.
Examples:

  • hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix, Hydrodiuril, Microzide) 
  • chlorthalidone (Hygroton) 
  • furosemide (Lasix) 
  • indapamide (Lozol) 
  • metolazone (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn)
  • amiloride hydrochloride (Midamar) 
  • spironolactone (Aldactone) 
  • triamterene (Dyrenium)

ACE inhibitors: interfere with the body's production of angiotensin, a chemical that causes the arteries to constrict.
Examples:

  • benazepril hydrochloride (Lotensin) 
  • captopril (Capoten) 
  • enalapril maleate (Vasotec) 
  • fosinopril sodium (Monopril) 
  • lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril) 
  • moexipril (Univasc) 
  • quinapril hydrochloride (Accupril) 
  • ramipril (Altace)
  • trandolapril (Mavik)

Angiotensin II receptor blockers: block the effects of angiotensin.
Examples:

  • candesartan (Atacand) 
  • irbesarten (Avapro) 
  • losartin potassium (Cozaar) 
  • telmisartan (Micardis) 
  • valsartan (Diovan)

Beta-blockers: reduce the heart rate and the heart's output of blood.
Examples:

  • acebutolol (Sectral) 
  • atenolol (Tenormin) 
  • betaxolol (Kerlone) 
  • bisoprolol fumarate (Zebeta) 
  • carteolol hydrochloride (Cartrol) 
  • metoprolol tartrate (Lopressor) 
  • metoprolol succinate (Toprol-XL) 
  • nadolol (Corgard) 
  • penbutolol sulfate (Levatol) 
  • pindolol* (Visken) 
  • propranolol hydrochloride (Inderal) 
  • timolol maleate (Blocadren) 

Sympathetic nerve inhibitors: reduce blood pressure by inhibiting the sympathetic nerves from constricting blood vessels.                     Examples: 

  • hydrochlorothiazide

Vasodilators: relax the smooth muscle in the walls of the blood vessels (especially the arterioles), allowing the vessel to dilate (widen).
Examples:

  • clonidine (Catapres) 
  • doxazosin (Cardura) 
  • guanfacine (Tenex) 
  • hydralazine (Apresoline) 
  • methyldopa (Aldomet) 
  • minoxidil (Loniten)
  • prazosin (Minipress) 
  • terazosin (Hytrin)

Calcium antagonists (calcium channel blockers): reduce the heart rate and relax blood vessels.
Examples:

  • amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) 
  • diltiazem hydrochloride (Cardizem CD, Cardizem SR, Dilacor XR, Tiazac) 
  • felodipine (Plendil) 
  • isradipine (DynaCirc, DynaCirc CR)
  • nicardipine (Cardene SR) 
  • nifedipine (Adalat CC, Procardia XL) 
  • nisoldipine (Sular) 
  • verapamil hydrochloride (Calan SR, Covera HS, Isoptin SR, Verelan)

Prescription Drugs -- The Answer?

Prescription drugs help to (artificially) lower your blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol -- but, are they really the answer to you improving your health? 

Warning: Recently a clinical diabetes study was halted after researchers found an increased death rate among those taking higher doses of blood sugar-lowering diabetic medications.

The fact is that adverse effects from medications are the fourth-leading cause of death in the US (after heart disease, cancer and stroke). About 6% of patients who take two medications daily will experience a drug interaction. If you’re taking five medications a day, the risk rises to 50%.

New results from a large government-run trial confirm that very aggressive treatment to lower blood sugar is associated with an increased risk of death in people with type 2 at high risk for heart attack and stroke.

FYI: There are various websites such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website and other websites that provide drug information about drug recalls, side effects, law suits, alerts, etc.:

  • http://www.fda.gov/default.htm
  • https://www.drugwatch.com/
  • http://www.drugwatch.org/

However, be careful with some of these websites -- do your own research; and, don't give out your email address.

How to Safely Wean off the Drugs

If you want to safely wean off these dangerous drugs:

  1. Start a sound nutritional program such as the Death to Diabetes Diet.
  2. Avoid the 5 "dead" foods.
  3. Perform blood glucose testing.
  4. Exercise on a consistent basis.
  5. Read Chapters 11 and 12 of the Death to Diabetes book; or, get the How to Wean Off Drugs Safely ebook and/or flow chart.

References

  1. ^ Alsheikh-Ali AA; Maddukuri, PV; Han, H; Karas, RH (2007). "Effect of the Magnitude of Lipid Lowering on Risk of Elevated Liver Enzymes, Rhabdomyolysis, and Cancer: Insights From Large Randomized Statin Trials". Journal of the American College of Cardiology 50 (5): 409–418. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2007.02.073. PMID 17662392.
  2. ^ a b Poynter JN, Gruber SB, Higgins PD, et al. (2005). "Statins and the risk of colorectal cancer". N. Engl. J. Med. 352 (21): 2184–92. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa043792. PMID 15917383. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/352/21/2184.
  3. ^ Mayo clinic: article on interference between grapefruit and medication
  4. ^ Kane GC, Lipsky JJ (2000). "Drug-grapefruit juice interactions". Mayo Clin. Proc. 75 (9): 933–42. doi:10.4065/75.9.933. PMID 10994829.
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  6. ^ Saito Y; Yoshida S; Nakaya N; Hata Y; Goto Y (Jul-Aug 1991). "Comparison between morning and evening doses of simvastatin in hyperlipidemic subjects. A double-blind comparative study". Arterioscler Thromb 11 (4): 816–26. PMID 2065035.
  7. ^ Wallace A; Chinn D; Rubin G (4 October 2003). "Taking simvastatin in the morning compared with in the evening: randomised controlled trial". British Medical Journal 327 (7418): 788. doi:10.1136/bmj.327.7418.788. PMID 14525878.
  8. ^ Cilla DD Jr; Gibson DM; Whitfield LR; Sedman AJ (July 1996). "Pharmacodynamic effects and pharmacokinetics of atorvastatin after administration to normocholesterolemic subjects in the morning and evening". Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 36 (7): 604–9. PMID 8844442.
  9. ^ Ma PT, Gil G, Südhof TC, Bilheimer DW, Goldstein JL, Brown MS (1986). "Mevinolin, an inhibitor of cholesterol synthesis, induces mRNA for low density lipoprotein receptor in livers of hamsters and rabbits" (PDF). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 83 (21): 8370–4. doi:10.1073/pnas.83.21.8370. PMC 386930. PMID 3464957. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/83/21/8370.PMC: 386930 Full text at
  10. ^ Furberg CD (19 January 1999). "Natural Statins and Stroke Risk". Circulation 99PMID 9892578. http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/99/2/185. (2): 185–188.
  11. ^ Ridker PM, Danielson E, Fonseca FAH, et al. (2008). "Rosuvastatin to prevent vascular events in men and women with elevated C-reactive protein". NEJM 359 (21): 2195–207. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0807646. PMID 18997196. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/NEJMoa0807646v1.pdf.
  12. ^ The interactive pathway map can be edited at WikiPathways: "StatinPathway_WP430". http://www.wikipathways.org/index.php/Pathway:WP430.
  13. ^ Chasman DI, Posada D, Subrahmanyan L, Cook NR, Stanton VP, Ridker PM (2004). "Pharmacogenetic study of statin therapy and cholesterol reduction". JAMA 291 (23): 2821–7. doi:10.1001/jama.291.23.2821. PMID 15199031. http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/291/23/2821.
  14. ^ Iakoubova, O. A.; Sabatine, M. S.; Rowland, C. M.; Tong, C. H.; Catanese, J. J.; Ranade, K.; Simonsen, K. L.; Kirchgessner, T. G. et al. (2008). "Polymorphism in KIF6 Gene and Benefit from Statins After Acute Coronary Syndromes: Results from the PROVE IT-TIMI 22 Study". Journal of the American College of Cardiology 51 (4): 449–55. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2007.10.017. PMID 18222355. edit
  15. ^ The SEARCH Collaborative Group (2008). "SLCO1B1 Variants and Statin-Induced Myopathy - A Genomewide Study". NEJM 359: 789–799. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0801936. PMID 18650507. http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa0801936.
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  17. ^ Steinberg, Daniel. The Cholesterol Wars: The Skeptics vs. The Preponderance of Evidence. Academic Press, 2007, pp. 6–9.
  18. ^ "Randomised trial of cholesterol lowering in 4444 patients with coronary heart disease: the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S)". Lancet 344 (8934): 1383–9. November 1994. PMID 7968073.
  19. ^ Abramson J, Wright J (2007). "Are lipid-lowering guidelines evidence-based?". Lancet 369 (9557): 168–9. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60084-1. PMID 17240267.
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