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Read label, know side effects

August 9, 2017
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To the editor:

When is the medical profession going to make the pharmaceutical companies responsible and protect the patient? Prescriptions are often dangerous. As an example, a popular antibiotic has side effects described as disabling and potentially irreversible. These include tendon ruptures and peripheral neuropathy. Irreversible is scary.

Recently my wife's doctor prescribed this antibiotic for a strong painful urinary infection. Months later she began having side effects described in the literature, including multiple joint pain issues and decreased mobility.

A relative had four metatarsus tendons severed in an accident. After much surgery she recovered relatively well. Upon having a bladder infection unrelated to the tendon injury, the doctor prescribed this antibiotic even though the accident was described to him. Fortunately we warned her about the irreversible damage that could be done on already damaged tendons and she avoided what could have been a severe and permanent side effect. She recovered when treated with natural remedies.

Another case involves a person who took this antibiotic at a young age. He received the irreversible peripheral neuropathy side effect. He is now permanently disabled and living in a basement because he has no ability to work or even live a pain free life. He would rather be dead. The pharmaceutical company is declared legally not responsible since they have the warnings on the prescription.

This is just one example of many showing that medications are being prescribed with severe irreversible side effects that affect people's lives sometimes permanently. Is the average lay person equipped to read and understand such technical information and would they override the doctor's recommendation? I think not.

Sometimes a very simple solution is available. A dermatologist prescribed an antifungal medicine my wife's skin. Knowing the side effects, she asked the doctor for a natural product. He did some research and suggested coconut oil, which worked just great. We saved ourselves from the toxic effects of the medicine.

Shouldn't the medical profession be the gatekeeper protecting the patient from these dangerous prescriptions? That is their education and why they are licensed to practice medicine. Who else is going to do that? Not the pharmaceutical companies!

John Benedict

Cape Coral



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