There’s no effect without a side effect. Sure, everyone knows that any medication you take can have side effects. However, there are quite a few types of medication with side effects that could have serious consequences for your health. With these risks in mind, you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth taking them in the first place.
Here are the five most dangerous types of medication (or medication groups) in the world. They can save lives, but also make you ill. Therefore, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of taking them.
1. Cytotoxic drugs (chemotherapy)
Many cancer sufferers undergo chemotherapy as it’s often the only hope for recovery. Once the treatment is complete, well-known side effects such as hair loss, fatigue and a weakened immune system will disappear in time. Though it’s good news when the cancer is gone, patients should be aware of the damage this life-saving treatment can cause to the body; cytotoxic drugs used to prevent the cancer cells from spreading attack healthy tissue as well as the tumor. This could result in permanent damage to the organs once the treatment is over. There’s also an increased risk of the patient suffering from cancer again in the future. If that wasn’t enough, a study conducted by an Australian scientist showed that conventional cancer treatments had a success rate of less than 10 percent (you can find out more by watching the documentary movie “A Shocking Look at Cancer Studies”).
Nearly everyone has had to take antibiotics to fight bacteria that are making you ill. However, doctors often prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, such as the common cold. As well as being ineffectual, this can have serious consequences — you may build up antimicrobial resistance to the medication, meaning illnesses that require antibiotics could become life-threatening. In addition, antibiotics attack both good and bad bacteria in your gut. To keep healthy intestinal flora at normal levels, you should always take a probiotic preparation when you’re being treated with antibiotics.
Medication is the last resort for many people suffering with depression. Treatment often involves prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) which increase serotonin levels in your brain and improve your mood. This medication is primarily used to treat anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. However, taking SSRIs may result in various side effects that have the opposite effect. Young people in particular can develop aggressive behavior and — paradoxically — suicidal thoughts. In addition to less harmless side effects such as fatigue, headaches, nausea, and digestive problems, treatment with SSRIs may also lead to permanent sexual dysfunction. Taking this medication over a long period of time increases the risk of developing osteoporosis, too.
4. Birth control
For millions of women, contraceptive isn’t just a means of birth control — many take the pill in the hope of having larger breasts, clearer skin, and fuller hair. Gynecologists often prescribe birth control when women are suffering from acute period pain or have an irregular cycle. Yet a quick look at the side effects shows that the risks may outweigh the benefits. These include depression, weight gain, a loss of libido, and headaches; there’s also an increased risk of developing thrombosis which can sometimes lead to a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Women over the age of 35 are also more susceptible to a heart attack or stroke when they’re on birth control. If you’re overweight, have high blood pressure or regularly smoke, you should consider other forms of contraception.
Acetylsalicylic acid (ASS), better known as aspirin, is an anti-inflammatory painkiller that’s also used to treat high fever. For many people, aspirin is the go-to drug for a wide number of ailments, ranging from headaches to rheumatism. However, few know that approximately 8,000 Americans die from taking aspirin each year. That’s because the side effects can cause a great deal of harm, resulting in stomach ulcers, bleeding in the digestive tract, kidney damage or asthma attacks. Therefore, aspirin should only be used when it’s absolutely necessary.
This list shouldn’t prevent you from taking these types of medication if your doctor has prescribed their use; refusing treatment could even be life-threatening for some illnesses. However, you always need to weigh up the severity of the ailment with any possible side effects. In many cases, there are alternative treatments that are just as effective.