The 5 Most Dangerous Recalled Drugs
Just because these drugs haven't been pulled off the market yet doesn't make them safe. After all, there are plenty of drugs out there that have quietly "gone away" after years of wreaking havoc on unsuspecting people. And while major drugs being pulled from the market are worthy of lead stories on the 11 o'clock news, too often the stories about "minor" drugs that get pulled are tucked away in places where they're easy to miss.
Here's a list of a few of the most dangerous drugs pulled off the market over the past few years.
1. Vioxx - I'm sure you're familiar with this infamous anti-inflammatory. Merck had to pull Vioxx off the global market in 2004 after a clinical study demonstrated that it significantly increased the risk of cardiovascular "events" such as heart attacks and strokes.
2. Bextra - Like Vioxx, this prescription painkiller caused an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Pfizer pulled it off the market in the U.S. a year after the Vioxx fiasco in 2005.
3. Cylert - Abbott pulled the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) drug off the U.S. market in 2005 after the FDA discovered 13 cases of liver failure. Turns out that Cylert patients have as much as a 25 percent higher rate of liver failure compared to the general population.
4. Baycol - This cholesterol-lowering drug caused users to suffer from a much higher rate of rhabdomyolysis, a debilitating muscle ailment that can be fatal. There were 31 reported deaths that were directly linked to Baycol, and it was yanked off the market in the U.S. in 2001.
5. Palladone - This slow-release narcotic painkiller by Purdue Pharma was pulled off the market in the U.S. in 2005 because it was found to cause side effects like depression and even coma when mixed with alcohol.
FDA to post drugs with "potential safety issues" on website
The FDA has finally begun to post on its website a list of all the drugs that it is evaluating for potential safety issues. "If a drug appears on a quarterly report, it means we have begun analysis to determine whether it's a safety problem that requires further evaluation," said the FDA's director of the Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Dr. Gerald Dal Pan.
While the list will name the drug and the potential problems that are associated with it, it will stop short of giving critical details. The list will NOT mention the extent of the potential safety issue, nor will it reveal how many reports of adverse reactions have been filed.
But I suppose it's better than nothing. If you want to check out the drugs currently on the outdated list that may or may not be updated in the future, go to http://www.fda.gov/cder/aers/potential_signals/potential_signals_2008Q3.htm
About the author
William Campbell Douglass I.I., M.D. has been called "the conscience of modern medicine."
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