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Lethal Drug Cocktails: Iíll Bet You Didnít Know ThatÖ

By January 9, 2009

More people die from misusing prescription drugs that were legally prescribed than from illegal drugs bought on the street!

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of people who die each year from accidental poisoning, mostly from prescription drugs, has been increasing steadily.

The increases in deaths from prescription drugs is due to a combination of factors, including more people who are taking multiple medications, aging of the population, and bad decision making about combining medications to relief pain and stress.

Seniors are especially vulnerable because they take more medications, and may have reduced liver and kidney function that causes medications to linger for a longer time in their body. Additionally, seniors who suffer from memory loss may not take medications as directed.

An Example:
Mrs. Jones takes a high dose of an antidepressants. She recently developed back pain after some heavy lifting and has not been able to sleep. Her doctor prescribed a potent sleep aid and a narcotic painkiller. Because of continued trouble sleeping, she doubled the dose of both her sleep aid and painkiller. The combination of all these medications potentially could cause her death.

Keep Safe
If you think your medication is not working, talk to your doctor. Don't increase the amount of medication you take on your own, especially a narcotic pain reliever.

If you are taking an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication, ask your doctor which painkillers, sedatives, or sleeping aids are safe for you to use.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or in the Medication Forum.

To ask me a question about medication, email me at drugs.guide@about.com.

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Photo ©iStockphoto.com/VisualField

Comments
January 9, 2009 at 10:31 am
(1) Rosiecee says:

People must be very cautious when using antidepressants.

Go to http://www.SSRIstories.com where there are over 2,800 cases, with the full media article available, involving bizarre murders, suicides, school shootings [47 of these] and murder-suicides – all of which involve SSRI antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc, . The media article usually tells which SSRI antidepressant the perpetrator was taking.

January 9, 2009 at 10:57 am
(2) drugs says:

I checked out this site and looked at some of the articles. People need to be careful not to assume that there is a cause and effect in all of these cases. Also, I am very leery about health-related websites that do not give any information about who is sponsoring the site and who is writing/compiling the information.

January 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm
(3) Rosiecee says:

It is not necessary to leave a name for the Website http://www.SSRIstories.com since all the information on the Website comes from the media, not from any individual or from any personal stories.

This is a chance to see what the media [and the FDA!] has had to say about the SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro, and the SNRIs like Effexor and Cymbalta, plus the antidepressant dopamine reuptake inhibitor Wellbutrin, also known as Zyban.

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