It is never too late to learn how to manage your health. You can make changes right now that will positively affect your life in the future. This article will teach you about medications known to be toxic and should be avoided. It will include a detailed description of each medication, along with information on why these drugs should not be taken by anyone who has no pressing need for them, as well as tips for avoiding their use without letting it interfere with your quality of life or treatment goals.
NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat pain and inflammation. Some of these medications include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. These drugs can cause bleeding in the stomach, especially when taken for an extended period. As well as this, they can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and kidney damage. Many other medications have been shown to help people with similar symptoms or conditions for a reduced cost without the terrible side effects of NSAIDs. Acetaminophen is a good alternative for pain relief in most cases, while tramadol has a reduced risk of stomach bleeding.
Benzodiazepines are used for reducing anxiety, but they also cause drowsiness, confusion, and disinhibition. These drugs should only be used when needed to treat severe anxiety or seizure disorders. When used, benzodiazepines should be taken for a short amount of time. In some cases, these drugs cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms when stopped suddenly. Other medications such as buspirone are beneficial in treating anxiety without many of the side effects of benzodiazepines.
SSRIs are antidepressants that work by increasing serotonin in the brain. These medications generally effectively treat depression, but they may also cause tolerance to develop when taken for an extended period. If discontinued quickly, SSRIs can cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, headache, sleep difficulties, and anxiety. Other drugs such as bupropion do not carry the same risk of withdrawal when stopping treatment abruptly. Bupropion is an antidepressant that works by increasing dopamine levels, unlike SSRIs, which work on serotonin.
Opioids are used for pain management and usually function well in this role, but they can become addictive if taken incorrectly. These drugs work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and elsewhere, changing how those cells function. Many people experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, cold sweats/chills, and muscle aches when these medications are stopped suddenly. Opioids should be used with caution. They are generally not recommended for long-term use but can be used under strict medical supervision for short periods. If required, the lowest effective dose with the fastest possible course of therapy should be used. Opioids include oxycodone, morphine, and fentanyl, among others.
Antihistamines are used for allergies and asthma, but they also cause drowsiness. The most common drugs in this category are loratadine, cetirizine, fexofenadine, brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, doxylamine succinate, and promethazine. These drugs have also been known to cause dizziness, sedation, and confusion when used for an extended period. Long-term use can even result in memory loss and reduced motor function if taken with alcohol or other medications that depress the central nervous system. Antihistamines should only be used to treat short-term symptoms such as sneezing or tearing eyes.
Sleeping pills are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. They work by increasing GABA, which can increase sleepiness and reduce anxiety. The most common sleeping pills include zolpidem, eszopiclone, and zaleplon. These drugs should only be used to treat short-term insomnia due to their risk of tolerance and dependency. Other options for improving sleep include melatonin and cognitive behavioral therapy. The most common sleeping pills include zolpidem, eszopiclone, and zaleplon, among others.
Antipsychotics are used to treat psychosis and bipolar disorder, but they also cause drowsiness, weight gain, and changes in blood sugar levels. They work by stimulating dopamine receptors in the brain. These drugs should be avoided for the long-term management of psychiatric conditions. If needed, antipsychotics should only be used short-term and combined with non-drug treatments such as psychotherapy. However, if you’re dealing with any psychiatric disorders, it is best to leave medication decisions up to your doctor and continue taking these drugs for the length of the prescription.
Muscle relaxants work by binding to GABA receptors in the spinal cord and brain. When used for an extended period, they can cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and insomnia when treatment is stopped abruptly. They may also cause confusion, memory loss, dizziness, sedation, slurred speech, weakness of extremities/muscles, and balance issues. Muscle relaxants can also cause respiratory problems when combined with other sedatives such as alcohol and sleeping pills. So it is best to ask your doctor about different medications or treatment options. If your doctor prescribes muscle relaxants, only use them short-term to indicate they were named for.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
Proton pump inhibitors are used to treat heartburn by reducing stomach acid. However, they can increase the risk of harmful bacteria in your GI tract. They also cause headaches, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting when taken for an extended period. If you require long-term treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), check with your doctor to see if there are alternatives such as histamine-2 receptor blockers (antacids).
Anticonvulsants reduce the nervous system’s activity and work by reducing brain excitability. However, they can cause blurred vision, confusion, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Elderly patients are at a higher risk of side effects from anticonvulsants because their bodies may not break them down as effectively. If possible, avoid anticonvulsants that have been linked to cognitive impairment, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, and valproic acid.
The medications listed above are linked to harmful side effects if taken over an extended period. They also have a high risk of abuse, tolerance, and dependency. If you need medication for any of the conditions listed, it is best to consult with your doctor about alternative treatments or possible alternatives. If you find yourself taking these medications for longer than they are prescribed, you must seek treatment to help with your dependency.