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How Somebody’s Medicines May Be Making You Sicker

prescription_drugsThis week we discuss several ways prescription drugs may be making us all sicker—whether through illnesses brought on because these medicines deplete critical nutrients in our body, or because we’re unwittingly consuming pharmaceuticals in the municipal water we drink.

Drug-induced nutrient depletions
The number of dollars spent on prescribed medications in the US is at all time high. Seniors are expected to use an average of 38.5 different medications this year. The number of prescriptions written, drugs dispensed, and dollars spent are carefully recorded each year, particularly for those over the age of 65, but we’re doing a lousy job of quantifying the toll our prescription drug use has on our health because of nutrient depletions.
Now comes a study from a Netherlands university linking vitamin B12 deficiency with the use of metformin, a commonly-used diabetic medication. Given that 10% of Americans are now diagnosed as type II diabetic—with up to 40% being pre-diabetic—the number of cases of metformin-induced vitamin B12 deficiency may be immense. Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly manifested by memory loss, though it is also linked to fatigue, anemia, nerve damage (including neuropathy), and other mental changes.
Coenzyme Q10—a substance found in our mitochondria—is an essential element in the creation of 90% of the human body’s energy. Statin drugs deplete CoQ10. While some cardiologists advise their patients on statin drugs to take supplemental CoQ10, most doctors are poorly educated on the subject, and consumers don’t know to ask what nutrients a particular drug will affect.
Ironically the first patent on statins included a patent combining them with supplemental CoQ10. So Merck, the manufacturer, knew about the damage to CoQ10 from statins but chose to say nothing and do nothing about it.
Dirty showers?
Another way our medications are making us sick is through our morning baths and showers. According to the American Chemical Society (ACS), showers and baths are sending hormones, antibiotics, and other medicines down the drain—and right into our drinking water.
It has long been known that toilets are a source of environmental pollution from active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) being excreted in urine and feces. But the ACS’s new study links bathing, showering, and laundering with API water pollution.
“These routes may be important for certain APIs found in medications that are applied topically. They include creams, lotions, ointments, gels, and skin patches,” according to Dr. Ilene Ruhoy, director of the Institute for Environmental Medicine at Touro University in Nevada. And topical APIs can have a greater impact on the environment than APIs released in feces and urine, because the latter have been broken down to some extent by the liver and kidneys.
“We need to be more aware of how our use of pharmaceuticals can have unwanted environmental effects,” Ruhoy continued.
Direct from the source
Perhaps worst of all, researchers have now found that the pharmaceuticals which have been turning up in streams and rivers may come directly from the drug plants that manufacture them. Researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS) looked at the effluent from two New York state treatment plants serving drug manufacturers, and compared it to plants not receiving pharmaceutical waste.
Effluent samples from across the country showed evidence of the drugs, but concentrations were all very minor. By contrast, the New York plants that serve drugmakers released seven painkillers in massive concentrations—the highest was the muscle relaxant metaxalone.

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18 thoughts on “How Somebody’s Medicines May Be Making You Sicker

  • this means that you are just now seeing that the drug companies use the public as guienie pigs
    if we are dumb enought to buy them … why not
    when a tv commercial for a drug company takes the time to state a long, long list of potential side effects so that they will not be liable when things go sour …….
    wake up for heaven’s sake dahhhhhhhhh

    • BOTTOM LINE!!!! Drug Companies…Companies are businesses…I challenge everyone who reads this reply to go look up the word: Pharmacy in the Webster Dictionary. The root word is pharmakia which is the Greek word meaning Sorcery! Sorcery is a form of witchcraft…..So, need I say anymore! Look up the words Doctor and Physcian. The more people put their faith in the wrong practices of medicine and in their Doctors the more problems this Industry is going to come up against. People do not like pain or being sick so going for the quick fix is the answer this day in time. It is a matter of changing the way we Think!!!!!! Majority of people, when they see a hand full of Vitamins, they think…….Medication!!!
      It is time for us to take control of our own Health and quit relying on the Government and people!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Irene

    Industrial waste still out performs municipal and private waste for not purifying the polution they spew. What filter cleans birth controle hormones and insecticides and herbicides from the water? Who washes the GMO grain of it’s round up and BT toxin? No companie is too big to fail when they participate in environmental polution, human genocide and massive crop failures in the ocean and on land for the next century or so. What EVER? We’re all so dead anyway.

    • Because the citizens of this country as so apathetic that they would rather say “What Ever” instead of taking an action to write or call their elected officials in the home State or in DC, this Nation is doomed!!!

      • I was just thinking the same thing… Defeatism…apathy…just the repsonse that is wanted & expected, which comes when someone does not feel self-empowered.

  • Karen

    Every year, I feel more under attack in this country. Our rights to fresh air, clean water, to healthy food, to choose what we put into our bodies is constantly under attack. We have this powerful senator (Waxman) who is really just a paid promoter of Big Pharma constantly attempting to take away our right to choose safe supplements over dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. I wonder what lies Henry Waxman has to tell himself in order to sleep soundly at night.

  • Dolly

    This is such disgusting news. The supreme court is not a court of the land and the people any more it is a court of and for big business. The industrial society has been destroying our planet for over a century and we just continue to take it. It makes money that is the bottom line.
    Just like war. It does nothing to enhance life. The planet has been through some tough times in the past and will probably still be around when we have destroyed ourselves and our food supply.
    Monsanto the name has always been disgusting to me and always will be. Why do they think that they know more than natural intelligence. And we buy it. They have made terrible chemicals that have already poisoned the planet’s water and food supply and now they want to change the plants so that they are not affected by the bugs and other parts of nature that are a natural part of the eco system. bugs are part of the food chain, and if you destroy their food source then you are destroying a part of the food chain. This cannot be good for any living thing on this planet. It is not in the natural order of things. Birds as well eat the fruit and the bugs and seeds that come from it. Modified food will effect every part of the food chain and every part of life. Just like we have destroyed our fish in the sea with our polution so that it is no longer healthy to eat. We are manufacturing chickens and beef cattle in dark sheds and on assembly lines and now starting to do it with pigs. All in the guise of providing food for the masses, and these food manufacturing farms are incredibly big poluters. . When it is really about making cheap food for the mass of fast tood chains that riddle our planet. It is time to say NO MORE!

    • When all is observed & examined one begins to see an agenda form…something so largely complicit in the destruction of planet earth & humanity. Both forms of destruction serve as energetic food for the sychophant, like vampires feeding off human fear and promoting glamour & illusion as distractiions from knowing ones inner life & self intitiated thought. People have become robotized as they interface more & more with technoloogy. They feel less and care less for life. Blatant disrespect & the desire for self power…which comes from inner weakness.
      If people actually came together in unity for like cause, , the very actions that we speak of would be put in check or eliminated. The power of the people has come to their knees. I tis time for men to move beyond testosterone inhibition & pscyhogical castration and step up as a warrior of thruth & freedom. Women need to take her place and uphold the values of peaceful resolutions without the need to wear borrowed testicles. Emotionally balanced men & women can climb high, without it there is nothing but defeatism.

  • Glenn S.

    If pharmacy drugs help us recover from disease then we should all take them as a preventive therapy against getting a dis-ease. It seems that its a lot easier to name a disease in our body than to recover from the effects of the so called cure.
    Seek out a holistic lifestyle before you get sucked into the sic care system.

  • Joan

    I live beside a state mental hospital, with its own water well, situated on a creek with a salmon hatchery and yearly run. The local sewage treatment plant is 1/2 a mile up the coast. The tidal creek empties into the the Sound.
    Massive amounts of psychotropic medication is flushed by the hospital through the treatment plant into the sound and creek (tidal). Every medication change requires the patient’s previous meds, stored in the pharmacy, to be dumped. No patients can share from the same opened medication bottle. Never mind the $ waste. Local people eat the salmon, dungeness crab, goeducks,etc. and restaurants farm the seaweed. We also ship that salmon which is caught up and down the coast. Sweet.

  • Bern

    I was struggling to come out of two decades of chronic fatigue and pain and went through a host of tests and medications. After seeing a heart specialist I was given another three prescriptions (Simvastatin, etc.) on top of the dozen I already had.
    After three months I had double vision, fainting spells, and hand tremors – 48 hours after dropping the heart meds I was almost back to “normal”. I realized that there was no real oversight of the medications I was taking by either my doctors or pharmacist and that each doctor just seemed to focus on their area of specialty without regard for the possible interaction with other medications.
    I had already been researching the effects of my medications; I doubled my efforts to make sure that I understood the mechanism of each of them and looked more deeply into possible interactions.
    On the plus side I live in Anchorage, Alaska and our city water is better than in most other parts of the nation.

  • Kathleen

    It is distressing to read that the leading diabetic medication depletes the body of B-12. Diabetics suffer from perpherial neuropathy and it is no wonder if B-12 is deficient in their bodies. Even if blood levels are within “normal” ranges, B-12 may still be out great help for the terrible pains of nerve damage.
    And what about the effect of all these drugs going into the water shed and the animals whoo swim and drink the tainted water. They are already developing deficits that prevent them from reproducing.
    How do you control an industry that controls our politicans and government? And how do you remove the soup of chemicals, most never existing in nature before man’s invention, from our water.
    We take our “clean” water for granted. Meanwhile more and more of our water is becoming toxic to even shower in. The natural gas industry is slowly polluting huge sections of our country due to their fracking practice which it is contaminating thousands across this great country.
    When will our government put “We the People” as their first concern and not the profits of some few mega companies?

  • Our government has gone ‘rogue.’ It is time to take the third way and just say – NO! to government.
    We are on our own now – always have been. What we need are tools to defend ourselves – it appears that now we have to filter our water – soon we will have to filter our air, also.
    Until the people who cross over and go to work for the government find true values and find it within themselves to act on behalf of those they are supposed to represent – we will continue to have a government that represents the interests of corporations – the people be damned.
    This is a critical time in history – those who favor global governance are building ‘barns’ – just like for cattle and sheep, we are branded (SSN), injected with all the shots, fed agribusiness GMO frankenfoods, and led to slaughter down the corridors of the medical system. No longer free citizens, we are nothing more than consumers, being cared for or treated like a crop of mushrooms.

  • Cheriel Jensen

    It has always required an amazing amount of work to make public officials aware of their responsibility to curb the chemicals that seem so convenient or glamorous. We are always fighting the money interests to protect our environment. We are always trying to make our leaders do the right thing with the ‘effluent’ of our lives.
    I have seen it all in my long life. I can remember when most streams, creeks, lakes and oceans were stinky with sewage. I remember seeing the first plastic carry-out bag in Europe in the early 70’s and thinking, ‘Oh God no.’ Five years later they were in common use here. Five years later they started mucking up our creeks and ocean. Now they are killing the ocean life on a large enough scale that we finally see.
    As far as pharmaceuticals go, all one has to do is read the fine print BEFORE purchasing any of them. If they did, no one would take anything made by big pharma.
    It is our job to be vigilant, constantly and always about what we ourselves buy and do.
    It is our job to continually play our role as a person within a democratic government. There are many more of ‘us’ than all the big pharma, big chemical lobbyists IF we accepted our role to write and phone everytime we see what needs to be done.

  • The Bible speaks of “perilous times,” and these must be them! It’s downright dangerous just to live in this modern world. I have been fortunate enough to avoid nearly all of the ills that beset older folks (I’m 68), so I haven’t had to take so many prescription drugs.
    So I have the option to JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS–all drugs, legal and illegal. I am presently trying to wean myself of a few anti-psychotic (and addictive) drugs, since I am no longer psychotic.
    I say the best thing, maybe the only thing, we can still do for ourselves is to AVOID TAKING ANY DRUGS and learn how to get proper nutrition. And we MUST keep nutritional supplements out of the hands of the FDA if we are to continue to afford them!

  • Jordan

    Does anyone know if there are any whole house water filters that can filter hormones and pharmaceuticals?

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