You’re a big believer that medications can help your ailments. When you have a headache, you take Tylenol. When the seasons change and your nose gets all stuffy, you take an allergy pill. When your doctor diagnosed you with high blood pressure, you took the pills he prescribed. Your doctor knows what he’s doing and if the medication is supposed to help, than why not take it? At least that was your initial thought. Now you’re not quite as confident.
Since you began taking the blood pressure medication, your family has been telling you stories about the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) recalls. You’re sure that they’re going out of their way to scare you out of love, but some of the side-effect stories have you more than a little bit worried. To ease your mind, you started your own investigation into different drug types and FDA recalls, thinking that there wouldn’t be a pattern of defects to worry about.
Yeah…if you weren’t paranoid before, you are now.
Most of the information you found linked specific types of drugs with specific defective side effects. Is this actually the norm? Are certain types of drugs more susceptible to dangerous side effects than others? What types of drugs does the FDA most commonly recall?
Recall Links With Specific Drug Types
The Food and Drug Administration defines a recall as an action taken by a manufacturer to remove a product from circulation. These actions can either be performed as a direct initiative by the manufacturer to keep its products from causing harm, or by a specific request or order from the FDA itself. Unfortunately, these recalls occur more often than you may think. According to a study performed by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and reported on by ABC News, the United States has a staggering rate for drug recalls. The study estimates that up to 20 drugs a month are placed on the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Alert database. Although this may not seem like a devastating number, when you factor in the millions of potential patients each drug could be affecting, one recall can become alarming—let alone a dozen or more.
Interestingly enough, the drugs that are most often placed on this database and that cause the most incidences of severe side effects, belong to one of these eight drug classifications.
- Blood thinners
- Sleep aids
- Heart meds
Easing Your Worry While Staying Safe
If you have recently started taking a type of medication listed above, make sure you take the proper precautions to protect yourself. It is essential that before taking any medications you speak with your doctor and pharmacist about potential side effects, monitor your behavior, and receive regular check-ups if you start to feel any strange side effects.
Hundreds of people a year suffer debilitating side effects from their drugs every year. Don’t be a statistic. Make sure your family and friends are aware of the potential risks of certain drugs. Remember, they may not know their risks until it’s too late.