Thursday, October 23, 2008

Deaths and serious injuries from prescription drugs at record levels

Annual deaths by drug Reaction or interaction
Injuryboard

"The U.S. Government’s Center for Disease Control has reported that drug use, including prescription drugs, may actually account for as many fatal auto accidents as drunk driving. And in U.S. courts, thousands of injuries or deaths linked to defective FDA drugs are being settled or awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in damages each year."

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Prescription drug injuries and deaths reach record levels
Los Angeles Times

By Thomas H. Maugh II
October 23, 2008
Full story

[This study does not include Vaccines]

"A watchdog group reports that 4,825 deaths and nearly 21,000 injuries occurred in the first three months of 2008. The drugs heparin and varenicline are cited as the most dangerous.

The number of deaths and serious injuries associated with prescription drug use rose to record levels in the first quarter of this year, with 4,825 deaths and nearly 21,000 injuries, a watchdog group said Wednesday.

Those numbers represent a nearly threefold increase in deaths from the previous quarter and a 38% increase in injuries from last year's quarterly average, according to the Horsham, Pa.-based Institute for Safe Medication Practices.


The increase in deaths during the first quarter was not dominated by any one drug. Instead, 10 drugs each caused more than 100 deaths, compared with an average of one to three drugs in previous quarters.

Many of the reports were linked to powerful painkillers or narcotics such as oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, methadone and hydrocodone, all of which have a high potential for abuse.

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen were among the top 10 drugs causing both injuries and deaths. The drugs are often used in suicide attempts because they are easily accessible. Overdosing or prolonged usage of either of the over-the-counter medications can cause side effects including gastrointestinal damage and heart attacks."

Maugh is a Times staff writer.

thomas.maugh@latimes.com

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