Friday, November 07, 2014

Off your meds? That may not be the problem ...

What if being on your meds is more dangerous?

I was reading the side effects information on the medication guide a friend received with his new prescription from the pharmacist.  One of his prescriptions is for a common antidepressant.  The side effects range in degree, may go away, or may not go away, or - this was my thought, what if the negative reaction to the drug suddenly occurs after longtime use?  That information wasn't included.

Here are a couple of serious side effects listed:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • New or sudden changes of mood
  • Attempts at suicide
  • Acting on dangerous impulses
  • Acting aggressive or violent
There are more side effects listed, but I just noted the scary ones.


I bet almost every single reader of this blog is on some form of medication for some thing - not necessarily anti depression drugs - just any kind of drug.  Most drugs can have side effects.  Likewise, drug interaction may pose another problem, then, if you drink, that may create more problems.  Today many states want to legalize marijuana.  Combine that with alcohol, prescription drugs, more illegal drugs, and emotional instability and what do you have?  Zombie apocalypse when the well runs dry.

Seriously, just last week a kind, gentle, older man in a local hospital freaked out in his room,  dismantled his bed, and went on a rampage savagely attacking nursing staff, beating them with a rod from his bed.  [Story here.]  It was totally out of character for him and he never acted that way before.  What happened?  Was he given a sleep aid or a tranquilizer, a pain killer?  We don't know yet - it is still under investigation.

It made me wonder however.  Adam Lanza for instance; what kind of meds was he taking before he attacked the school at Sandy Hook.  What about all of the other so-called sudden murder rampages, school attacks which happen almost regularly throughout the country?  How many school kids have been on some sort of psychotropic drug with or without therapy, during their formative years?  How many use or experiment with legal or illegal drugs as well?

What are the side effects?  How about long term use?  How does it change the brain?

People are different today.  How have drugs changed cultural-social anthropology?  That's a bigger question.

Back to everyday questions, problems: How many adults on these meds experience sudden mood swings, maybe suddenly get up one day and quit their job, leave a spouse, or freak out on a co-worker?  Or just go nuts in the com box of a blog?

Read the warning labels and medication guide for your prescriptions - I'm not sure the doctors are very good about doing that for you.   Before stopping any medication check with your doctor of course, and before going on a medication - make your doctor explains its function, side effects, and why he thinks you need it.


  1. I do not take one single drug and at almost 69 that's unheard of. I used to think anti-depressants were pretty cool. No anymore. I think they're very, very dangerous.

  2. I'm not on any prescriptions. There are too many side effects and drs are free to prescribe off label, meaning use them for problems they weren't approved for. That can open a separate can of worms.

  3. Never take anything,not even Advil if I can help it. No prescriptions, no vitamins, no weird supplements, nada.

    As for the elderly gentleman, it is not unusual for the elderly to suffer extreme side effects. Not sure if he was under anaesthesia previous to the incident, but bizarre behavior is not an uncommon side effect of anaesthesia in elderly patients. Also, many elderly patients are taking all kinds of crazy prescription cocktails, and not all health care providers are aware of what the others are prescribing. We had to step in and sort out my MIL's scripts after she exhibited some odd behavior. Apparently, unbeknownst to each doctor, she'd been prescribed anti-depressants, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety meds by three separate physicians, without any real reason. Adult children should keep track of their aging parents meds and study the side effects and contraindications so they can recognize behavior issues caused by the drugs.

    As someone intimately aware of the pharma industry and the FDA, the majority of issues arise from doctors who prescribe all kinds of stuff willy-nilly, or who are to weak to say no to pushy consumers who insist they want to be on something, yet it's pharma that gets stuck with the lawsuits, hence all the long lists of side effects and warnings.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.