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Heart Failure Drug Found To Have Killed Thousands, Injured Tens of Thousands; Yet Doctors and the FDA Continue To Support It


By Michael Adams
Executive Director, Consumer Wellness Research Center

A new study conducted by the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, a health care research organization in Toronto, has concluded that a prescription drug commonly prescribed for congestive heart failure is now responsible for an increased number of deaths of heart patients due to the drug being more widely prescribed by doctors.

The drug, called spironolactone, first looked promising five years ago when studies showed that it decreased the death rate by 30% in people with serious heart failure. But following that study, doctors started widely prescribing the drug, and as a result, the drug has caused an estimated 4,200 deaths in the United States and 37,000 more hospitalizations each year. Possible explanations for this are that the doctors have been prescribing the drug in doses that were too high, or they were prescribing it to people with other illnesses -- such as diabetes or kidney disorders -- that exaggerate the toxic side effects of the drugs.

So here we have a prescription drug that is estimated to be killing thousands of people and hospitalizing tens of thousands, which places it in a category that makes it far more dangerous than any herb or natural approach to healing. So what does modern medicine have to say about this drug? One of the researchers involved in this research actually defended the drug saying, "I have no doubt that in the right patients and with careful monitoring that this is still a good drug combination."

Once again, let's contrast this with what would have happened if this were an herb. If this were an herbal medicine and it were found to be responsible for 73 deaths and 37,000 hospitalizations, the FDA would have been screaming national warnings about it and shutting down the company responsible for manufacturing the herb. Doctors would have engaged in a unanimous outcry about how toxic the herb was and how it was killing people and should be immediately banned from the marketplace. Courts would be demanding that the herbal manufacturer pay back any revenues generated from the product, and the inventory of the product would be confiscated by the FDA.

That's what would have happened if it were an herb, but of course, it's not a herb, it's a prescription drug. So in this case, modern medicine rushes to the rescue, saying the drug is perfectly safe when used with some people; it just needs to be more closely monitored in other patients. In other words, it's okay that this drug is killing people -- it's a pharmaceutical, and all pharmaceuticals are allowed to kill a certain number of people and injure tens of thousands without raising any sort of alarm at the FDA or the pharmaceutical manufacturer.

That's the way things are today with western medicine -- pharmaceuticals can exist as highly toxic -- even fatal -- chemicals that actually kill patients, and yet be perfectly justified by medical doctors and even continue to be prescribed. Meanwhile, natural remedies and herbs are yanked off the market with great fanfare, even when they can only be loosely associated with a handful of deaths (as was the case with ephedra, also known as ma huang, an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine).

Believe it or not, some doctors are even blaming herbal remedies for causing the fatalities that are actually attributed to these prescription drugs. For example, the spironolactone drug mentioned here kills patients by hiking their potassium levels. And yet, in this article, one doctor says that physicians should be aware of herbal remedies that could contribute to potassium problems and therefore cause fatalities of people who are taking this drug.

That idea is ridiculous -- it is the drug that is causing the potassium problem, not the herbal remedy that is interfering with the drug. So often in modern medicine, doctors warn about herbal medicines interfering with prescriptions, but they never warn about prescription drugs interfering with herbal medicines, nor do they warn about prescription drugs interfering with normal, healthy human metabolism in the first place, and that's where the toxic side effects arise, and that's why prescription drugs are now known to kill -- yes, to kill -- 100,000 Americans each year, even when used as directed.