Think All Drugs are Safe? Think Again.

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Did you ever stop to think that all those bottles in your medicine cabinet might not be as safe as you thought? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s true. Just because your doctor prescribed it or you found it on the shelf at the pharmacy doesn’t mean it comes with a “100% safe” guarantee. But you don’t have to take my word for it—look at the facts and see for yourself!

Just last year the FDA reported over 1,700 drug recalls. That’s more than four times the recalls reported in 2008. Not only that, but the number of recalls and warnings just keeps growing. This year there were nearly 300 recalls in January alone, and it’s not just those odd drugs we don’t hear about too much or don’t know what they do. It’s big-name drugs that a lot of people use every day—like Tylenol®, Motrin®, Celebrex® and Avandia®. So what’s going on here??

Experts say it has to do with several things, but a big reason seems to be bad manufacturing practices. Generic drugs in particular are in high demand (accounting for almost 75% of prescription drug sales), so a lot of companies are competing to be the first to bring a generic version of a drug to the market, and when they do they don’t always think about the best way to make that drug, or they’re cutting corners trying to save money and time, and that leads to problems later on. In other words, big drug companies are taking a gamble with your health just to make money. I don’t know about you, but that scares the heck out of me.

Even worse, the FDA says it hasn’t seen any “alarming patterns” in the recent recalls. What?? Isn’t it alarming enough that we have all these recalls in the first place?! Thankfully, I’m not the only who thinks so. Lawmakers introduced two new bills this year demanding stricter FDA regulations for drug manufacturers, so hopefully this means that change is on the horizon.

In the meantime, when it comes to your health, always remember to stay informed. Do your research. Know exactly what you’re putting into your body before you take something. And remember to take good care of your body from the get go with healthy diet and lifestyle choices—that way you can avoid taking unnecessary drugs that might be more damaging to your health than you might think!