As a society, we’ve become fairly dependent upon our medications. It’s gotten to the point where many people see pill-popping as a viable alternative to hard work, healthy habits, and determination. However, as anyone in business will be able to tell you, you can’t get something for anything. Quick-fix pills have been known to have some disastrous side effects. Here are seven examples of miracle pills that were (or are) more trouble than they’re worth.
This particular weight loss supplement has been banned twice by the FDA, and it just reformulates and keeps going. Before 2004, it was known to contain ephedra which was ultimately connected to such ailments as skin reactions, behavioral changes, dehydration, hyperthermia, vomiting, heart problems, and strokes. Hydroxycut removed the ephedra and hit the market again. However, in 2009 it was discovered that Hydroxycut contained several substances that could be potentially harmful to the liver. The FDA pulled it from the shelves again, and the third variation of Hydroxycut was reformulated and re-released. These days, the only active ingredient still in Hydroxycut is caffeine.
If you’re marketing a drug aimed towards people with arthritis, you should probably be careful to make sure that it doesn’t also cause any other age-related illnesses. The makers of Vioxx didn’t take this advice to heart, and after only one year on the market, the drug was recalled over concerns that it increased the likelihood of heart problems and strokes. During its one year of availability, it was prescribed to more than 20 million people. After it’s recalled, information came to light suggesting that the drug was rushed into circulation, despite evidence of the dangers associated with it.
If you suffered from acne during the 1980s or 90s, then you’re probably already familiar with Accutane. This acne medication came with a long list of the possible side effects, including birth defects (should one get pregnant while using the medication), irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and a host of other possible problems. However, one massive selling point for Accutane was that it actually worked in most cases. This kept it on the shelves for a long time before it was finally removed.
Usually, the best you can hope for in penis enlargement pills is a placebo that won’t actively hurt you. However, sometimes stray chemicals find their way into non-FDA approved “dietary supplements” (because they can’t legally be called medications, seeing as they don’t really do anything). Such was the case with “Night Bullet,” an enhancement pill that was discovered to contain trace amounts of chemicals that are used in prescription erectile dysfunction drugs. This means that what had been marketed as a dietary supplement had become a full-blown unapproved drug, and had to be recalled.
The various birth control pills on the market generally use synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancy and treat other issues such as acne and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Yaz hits all of these points, but it has also been suggested that it may be connected to the formation of blood clots. However, despite compelling evidence, the FDA has not yet pulled the pill from off of shelves. If someone would rather die than get pregnant, then this would be the pill for them.
The FDA is discovering that more and more “all-natural” dietary supplements actually contain hidden active ingredients. Bethel 30 was a weight-loss pill that was found to contain a couple of chemicals that have been linked to heart problems, strokes, and possibly even cancer. Although no injuries or illnesses have yet to be reported in connection to Bethel 30, the possible side effects just really aren’t worth it for a drug that probably doesn’t do anything for you anyway.
One of the most publicized drugs recalls in history, the Fen-Phen debacle was also one of the most costly liability cases in history (costing its company upwards of $ 21 billion dollars in legal expenses and awards). This is because Fen-Phen was on the market for nearly two and a half decades, and during that time it was used by millions of people to fight obesity. However, early testing failed to note that Fen-Phen use could lead to heart valve damage and constricted blood vessels in the lungs.
When it comes to many modern drugs and supplements, the real dangers lie in addiction. If you or someone you know is fighting addiction, the answer may be enrolling in a holistic drug rehab program. Remember, just because something hasn’t been banned by the FDA, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily safe. Get help today.