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(Washington Post)   60 percent of Americans - the highest ever - are taking prescription drugs. More surprisingly, 10% of those people actually got them WITH a prescription   ( washingtonpost.com) divider line
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955 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Nov 2015 at 11:14 AM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2015-11-05 10:07:34 AM  
The use of antibiotics decreased from 5.7 percent to 4.2 percent.

Neat!
 
2015-11-05 10:25:55 AM  
In fairness, my blood thinners are to keep the clicky thing that replaced my aortic valve spinning and not sutter-stopping and causing a ruckus are a damn sight easier than trying to eat enough sweet clover or mildly fermenting hay to get the coumarin that occurs naturally. Besides, dosing that sh*t would be even more difficult. I accept the pharma industry's contribution to keeping me alive.

Of course, they're not charging me more than $4 a month for the stuff either. Go Team Wildly Available and Often Prescribed Anti-Coagulant...
 
2015-11-05 11:28:55 AM  
 
2015-11-05 11:31:33 AM  
One of the things that I can be happiest about is that being a pilot made me too paranoid to use prescription painkillers for very long after my accident. You can't fly a plane (obviously) if you're on real, or synthetic, opiates - even those a doctor has prescribed. I've seen enough people get hooked on them to now consider myself lucky.

You should still feel a little pain if you have the right dosage. If you feel "buzzed", you're taking too much.

/be careful
//very, very careful
 
2015-11-05 11:35:49 AM  
Ask any family practice doc at a free clinic how they feel about prescription opiate rates (and how their patients ask them for refills). Hope you've for some time on your hands, maybe a lorazepam to calm them down again. You'll need both.
 
2015-11-05 11:48:34 AM  
Thanks, tirob!
 
2015-11-05 11:50:48 AM  
How does the increase correlate to a number of drugs that did not previously require a prescription? You have to jump through hoops to get Sudafed for reasons unrelated to its efficacy against cold symptoms. It's not the only such drug. There used to be a cheap OTC drug for mild asthma symptoms. Now the only OTC options are very expensive. I'm sure there are more people on Albuterol now that could previously have been fine with an occasional OTC drug.
 
2015-11-05 11:57:10 AM  
Depends on the drug. Painkillers and anti-depressants? Yeah, you could make the case. I've had a few docs offer me oxy, but even when I blew my knee, I was good with T3s (Vicodin does nothing). I hate morphine; makes me feel like I'm on a boat.

On the other hand: I just got taken off my BP and fibro meds. BP med + 3rd trimester of pregnancy = BP 104/63. Doc was like, nah, that's a little low, though I'll probably have to get back on it once I've delivered. I sucked up my ego and finally accepted the BP scrip because I realized I wasn't going to make the necessary lifestyle changes, which is probably the impetus for most people to ask the doc for a scrip. The fibro one I argued with her about, but I actually feel better now that I'm off it. Pregnancy does weird things to your body chemistry.

And then there's my Humira. 20K a year, if I wasn't on Medi-cal. Not going to feel shame for having clear skin for the first time in 20 years, sorry. It's nice to walk down the street and not have people stare, and I probably wouldn't have been able to get a job without it. No one really wants to hire someone whose skin falls off and is constantly bleeding or scabbed over. Better living through chemistry does have its uses.
 
2015-11-05 11:57:38 AM  
I work as a pharmacy tech. Some people are on lots of maintenance meds, say 5-10/month depending on their condition(s). The VAST majority take 2-3. I wonder how much of this increase in people getting meds is because they're finally insured and able to afford things?

On the other end of the spectrum are the regulars for their CII's. My favorite combo is a "pharmaceutical speedball": Adderall XR in the morning, maybe Adderall non-XR around noon, and Ambien at night to put you to sleep after all the amphetamines. That, and the whole families on drugs together. Mom drops off her script(s), plus 1-2 scripts for every kid, all taking Ritalin/Concerta. Then there are people on impressive amounts of opiates. So pleasant and patient in the morning.

Still, not a bad job.
 
2015-11-05 11:58:18 AM  
I think we should change the patent system for drugs.

A 'maintenance drug' that you have to take every day to keep a disease or disorder in check: patent lasts 7 years.
A fix that you take one sequence of, and then you're cured: patent lasts 40 years.
 
2015-11-05 12:09:54 PM  
Fark, middle aged now and my primary care doc never wants to let me leave after my annual physical without pushing another script. Already it's a diuretic, a blood pressure drug and a potassium supplement because the diuretic is draining my potassium. Drives me nuts. Worse, this time she tried to push a statin and something for diabetes because my blood sugar was elevated. This time I told her no and have been making diet and exercise changes. Good news is I'm down 14 pounds in two months and my levels are already much improved.

I guess the doctors have given up on trying to get people to improve their own health, and are just in mitigation mode now.
 
2015-11-05 12:15:22 PM  
There are countries in the world where most folks can go to the pharmacies and buy whatever they believe they need.  Well stocked.  That scares me even more.
 
2015-11-05 12:18:06 PM  

Greylight: There are countries in the world where most folks can go to the pharmacies and buy whatever they believe they need.  Well stocked.  That scares me even more.


What's wrong with that?
 
2015-11-05 12:22:31 PM  

HempHead: Greylight: There are countries in the world where most folks can go to the pharmacies and buy whatever they believe they need.  Well stocked.  That scares me even more.

What's wrong with that?


It depends on the drug.  Some will cause folks to become threats to themselves and the public if for instance they withdraw too quickly.  It isn't a matter for me of controlling what other people do to themselves, but how that affects others in the long run.
 
2015-11-05 12:25:16 PM  

Peki: And then there's my Humira. 20K a year, if I wasn't on Medi-cal. Not going to feel shame for having clear skin for the first time in 20 years, sorry. It's nice to walk down the street and not have people stare, and I probably wouldn't have been able to get a job without it. No one really wants to hire someone whose skin falls off and is constantly bleeding or scabbed over. Better living through chemistry does have its uses.


I had to look that one up given the costs- I had no idea that they were using monoclonal antibodies to treat psoriasis.  Learn something new every day.  Lucky for you it should come off patent next year, although I doubt any monoclonal antibody is ever going to be asprin cheap
 
2015-11-05 12:30:43 PM  
Got a problem? Take a pill!
/remember that show?
 
2015-11-05 12:32:45 PM  

Greylight: HempHead: Greylight: There are countries in the world where most folks can go to the pharmacies and buy whatever they believe they need.  Well stocked.  That scares me even more.

What's wrong with that?

It depends on the drug.  Some will cause folks to become threats to themselves and the public if for instance they withdraw too quickly.  It isn't a matter for me of controlling what other people do to themselves, but how that affects others in the long run.


I'm sure it's minimal compared to unrestricted alcohol or gun sales.
 
2015-11-05 12:41:41 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: The use of antibiotics decreased from 5.7 percent to 4.2 percent.

Neat!


As someone who is currently forced to be on antibiotics, that is good news.

I'd imagine (and hope) that the increase in people taking prescription drugs has to do with the advances in being able to treat many more conditions, not to mention us boomers are falling apart now.
 
2015-11-05 12:44:58 PM  
Divalproex Sodium users represent.
 
2015-11-05 12:50:41 PM  
If only there was a natural plant that would help reduce that number...and only if there was a person willing to bring that discussion to the table on a National level...
 
2015-11-05 12:59:21 PM  

pdieten: I guess the doctors have given up on trying to get people to improve their own health, and are just in mitigation mode now.


Because they know the odds.
 
2015-11-05 01:14:27 PM  

WhiskeySticks: If only there was a natural plant that would help reduce that number...and only if there was a person willing to bring that discussion to the table on a National level...


You're suggesting putting people on the devil weed to replace their pharmaceuticals??  Do you have any idea how many people would die from overdoses if we did that??

Here's the answer:  all of them

/just like Becky
 
2015-11-05 01:31:02 PM  
I'm not a big fan of the doctor's office, and so I have to be clearly ill or in a lot of pain to consider going (shame on me).  When I manned up and had a colonoscopy (dad died of colon cancer and my mom has been nagging me to get checked out), the doctor was shocked when I told him I was on no meds at all.  I was waiting for him to start suggesting some regimen, but he didn't.  I am very fortunate to be in good health, despite the foibles of youth and middle age.
 
2015-11-05 01:32:08 PM  
Some times they make you an offer you can't refuse:

It used to be that a Bp of 118/82 was pretty damn good - now it's enough to get you put on meds for control even though all they're looking to do is shave 2 or 3 points off that diastolic number.

Since I am both treated by, and insured by the same company they get to tell me about how I can pay "X" for insurance if I comply with their treatment course or I can pay X +10% if I'd rather not.
 
2015-11-05 02:06:46 PM  
Never been on anything stronger than an antibiotic and T3. The T3 was for the aftermath of a MRSA infection on my face that had to be scraped out and packed with gauze.
Took the T3 once and it gave me a terrible stomach cramp. Stuck with the regular stuff after that. Pain isn't the end of the world.
 
2015-11-05 02:07:11 PM  

jonny_q: How does the increase correlate to a number of drugs that did not previously require a prescription? You have to jump through hoops to get Sudafed for reasons unrelated to its efficacy against cold symptoms. It's not the only such drug. There used to be a cheap OTC drug for mild asthma symptoms. Now the only OTC options are very expensive. I'm sure there are more people on Albuterol now that could previously have been fine with an occasional OTC drug.


I remember Primatine Mist disappearing from shelves, as far as I know there isn't even a non-prescrition alternative. it's infuriating.
 
2015-11-05 02:15:48 PM  
Depending on how you define "taking prescription drugs".  Daily, no, but my Imitrex is necessary when I get a migraine.
 
2015-11-05 02:23:02 PM  

Hunter4242: jonny_q: How does the increase correlate to a number of drugs that did not previously require a prescription? You have to jump through hoops to get Sudafed for reasons unrelated to its efficacy against cold symptoms. It's not the only such drug. There used to be a cheap OTC drug for mild asthma symptoms. Now the only OTC options are very expensive. I'm sure there are more people on Albuterol now that could previously have been fine with an occasional OTC drug.

I remember Primatine Mist disappearing from shelves, as far as I know there isn't even a non-prescrition alternative. it's infuriating.


Not as an inhaler - Primatene and Bronkaid still exist as tablets, and they're pretty effective, but the medical folks sure hate when you use them and it's a PITA to buy them because they're just straight epinephrine.

Primatene mist was discontinued a couple years ago because it contained CFCs, and a reformulated version isn't allowed on the market because the FDA wouldn't approve it, because its medical experts didn't want it to, because doctors do not want Primatene Mist on the market. They want asthmatics to use albuterol.
 
2015-11-05 02:24:33 PM  
60 percent of Americans...........now THAT is what a Bidness wants to hear!!
 
2015-11-05 02:27:43 PM  
Derp. The pills are ephedrine. The mist was epinephrine. Sorry.
 
2015-11-05 02:28:34 PM  

Fizpez: Some times they make you an offer you can't refuse:

It used to be that a Bp of 118/82 was pretty damn good - now it's enough to get you put on meds for control even though all they're looking to do is shave 2 or 3 points off that diastolic number.

Since I am both treated by, and insured by the same company they get to tell me about how I can pay "X" for insurance if I comply with their treatment course or I can pay X +10% if I'd rather not.


Treatment of mild hypertension is controversial. A 2012 Cochrane consensus said that is very little scientific evidence to support this. I searched Pubmed without finding anything to support lowering your diastolic by 2 or 3 points.
 
2015-11-05 02:51:26 PM  

HempHead: Greylight: HempHead: Greylight: There are countries in the world where most folks can go to the pharmacies and buy whatever they believe they need.  Well stocked.  That scares me even more.

What's wrong with that?

It depends on the drug.  Some will cause folks to become threats to themselves and the public if for instance they withdraw too quickly.  It isn't a matter for me of controlling what other people do to themselves, but how that affects others in the long run.

I'm sure it's minimal compared to unrestricted alcohol or gun sales.


Just think about people going to a pharmacy to buy antibiotics because they have a mild flu (yes I know). They then take those pills for one or two days, feel better, and stop.

Now imagine that paricular antibiotic becoming useless.
 
2015-11-05 03:02:41 PM  
The over use of anti-depressants is a little bit alarming.

"Oh wow, Prozac has made all the difference! I feel like a veil has been lifted, and feel better than I have in I WANT TO STAB YOU IN YOUR TAINT!"
 
2015-11-05 03:48:02 PM  
I am proud to have added to that percentage!

/synthroid
 
2015-11-05 03:49:10 PM  

DerAppie: HempHead: Greylight: HempHead: Greylight: There are countries in the world where most folks can go to the pharmacies and buy whatever they believe they need.  Well stocked.  That scares me even more.

What's wrong with that?

It depends on the drug.  Some will cause folks to become threats to themselves and the public if for instance they withdraw too quickly.  It isn't a matter for me of controlling what other people do to themselves, but how that affects others in the long run.

I'm sure it's minimal compared to unrestricted alcohol or gun sales.

Just think about people going to a pharmacy to buy antibiotics because they have a mild flu (yes I know). They then take those pills for one or two days, feel better, and stop.

Now imagine that paricular antibiotic becoming useless.



I know I read about that being exactly what happens somewhere. Somewhere in some stupid country, and then someone brought one of their superbugs with them on an airplane. Had to do dangerous dosages of antibiotics on an IV drip.
 
2015-11-05 03:59:31 PM  
There's def an issue with a broad, sweeping statement like "on a prescription medicine"

For instance, I'm on the lowest dose of statin for cholesterol. Not exactly life threatening. My doc actually said I'm close enough that if I'd lay off the beer, he'd prolly cancel that scrip.

Same for the BP med. Again, very low dose, and if I'd stop the beer, prolly cancelled.

Omeprazole for stomach acid. Yea, I could get on without it, but it feels a ton better with it.

All three of these are 'prescription' drugs. Yet, I don't like antibiotics and I detest painkillers, so I usually fight against it when someone tries to make me take either.

*shrug*

I'll keep my beer and my 'lifestyle scrips', thanks.
 
2015-11-05 04:08:14 PM  
I joked the other day about how I messed up making pancakes "because I have trouble following simple and clear directions." I shiat you not, another person at the table in all seriousness suggested I go get checked out for ADHD and proceeded to lecture me about it for like twenty minutes.

If I had to guess, I'd say that around 70% of the people I interact with regularly socially are on antidepressants (cue joke about it being depressing to know me).

It's to the point that every single damn behavior is a symptom of some disease. I'd be less worried except that something like 75% of the doctors working on the DSM-V were employed by drug companies, and I'm not willing to believe that pharmaceutical companies aren't that greedy.

/ not saying mental illness isn't real
// saying it's overdiagnosed
 
2015-11-05 04:27:33 PM  
Ah, statistics.

If we keep fixing people health issues (Cancer, disease, etc), people are still going to die, probably by having their hearts give out...so future headline "Heart disease the number one killer by a wide margin!!!"

The more problem that are fixed by taking medication, the higher the percentage of people taking medications will become...not necessarily something to panic about.
 
2015-11-05 05:07:32 PM  
I have never been a regular user of prescription medications in my life. Until this week.

I'm finally on blood-pressure meds (Lisinopril), after resisting my doctors' advice for years and years. It's day 3. We'll see how it goes from here.

Amazingly cheap stuff, tho. Like $5 a month cheap.
 
2015-11-05 05:26:57 PM  

HempHead: Greylight: HempHead: Greylight: There are countries in the world where most folks can go to the pharmacies and buy whatever they believe they need.  Well stocked.  That scares me even more.

What's wrong with that?

It depends on the drug.  Some will cause folks to become threats to themselves and the public if for instance they withdraw too quickly.  It isn't a matter for me of controlling what other people do to themselves, but how that affects others in the long run.

I'm sure it's minimal compared to unrestricted alcohol or gun sales.


Drug overdoses take the lead. today's article ->  http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/dea-drug-overdoses-ki​l​l-more-americans-car-crashes-or-firearms

Homicide rate by firearm is about 3.5 in 100,000. not good, not lottery odds,  but not like other causes of death.
 
2015-11-05 05:31:00 PM  

uttertosh: Thanks, tirob!


I bear total responsibility for this, just as it was entirely my doing that legal weed was defeated in Ohio.  Mouahahaha!

/do you read French as you do the Germanic languages, by any chance?
 
2015-11-05 05:33:10 PM  

pdieten: Fark, middle aged now and my primary care doc never wants to let me leave after my annual physical without pushing another script. Already it's a diuretic, a blood pressure drug and a potassium supplement because the diuretic is draining my potassium. Drives me nuts. Worse, this time she tried to push a statin and something for diabetes because my blood sugar was elevated. This time I told her no and have been making diet and exercise changes. Good news is I'm down 14 pounds in two months and my levels are already much improved.

I guess the doctors have given up on trying to get people to improve their own health, and are just in mitigation mode now.


This could be said for every facet of American society really, we don't build towards anything anymore because we're scared of failure and we're impatient.
 
2015-11-05 05:41:12 PM  

AdamK: This could be said for every facet of American society really, we don't build towards anything anymore because we're scared of failure and we're impatient.


Nah, scared of offending people and getting sued.  My ex-wife had a conniption when her GP told her she had to lose weight.  Was like World War 3
 
2015-11-05 07:29:49 PM  
I took Tramidol for a few days. Best sleep ever.
 
2015-11-05 08:45:17 PM  

HempHead: Greylight: There are countries in the world where most folks can go to the pharmacies and buy whatever they believe they need.  Well stocked.  That scares me even more.

What's wrong with that?


1. poor, undereducated third-worlders assumes they have bacterial infections
2. said third-worlders buy antibiotics over-the-counter
3. take said antibiotics until they feel better, saving the rest for future illness
4. antibiotic-resistant illnesses wipe out the human race
 
2015-11-05 09:48:55 PM  

Bonanza Jellybean: HempHead: Greylight: There are countries in the world where most folks can go to the pharmacies and buy whatever they believe they need.  Well stocked.  That scares me even more.

What's wrong with that?

1. poor, undereducated third-worlders assumes they have bacterial infections
2. said third-worlders buy antibiotics over-the-counter
3. take said antibiotics until they feel better, saving the rest for future illness
4. antibiotic-resistant illnesses wipe out the human race


It's like a plot by the 1%'ers.
 
2015-11-05 10:27:39 PM  

Bonanza Jellybean: HempHead: Greylight: There are countries in the world where most folks can go to the pharmacies and buy whatever they believe they need.  Well stocked.  That scares me even more.

What's wrong with that?

1. poor, undereducated third-worlders assumes they have bacterial infections
2. said third-worlders buy antibiotics over-the-counter
3. take said antibiotics until they feel better, saving the rest for future illness
4. antibiotic-resistant illnesses wipe out the human race


Most of the places that you think are like that in fact keep the antibiotics behind the counter and you ask the pharmacist.  No scrip needed, but the pharmacist will make the call to give it to you or not.

As for undereducated jackasses taking 1/2 their scrip, that happens here in the US all the damn time, and that's AFTER a doc has prescribed it.
 
2015-11-05 11:57:07 PM  
I take meds for mental health, yes.

Modern society is a clusterfark of stimuli, and too much stress gives me breakdowns.  However, I have to hold down a job.  Ergo, happy pills.

Lest anyone think the good old days pre-prescription were a halcyon paradise, I'd prefer we not go back to the to the time of my great-grandmother, who committed suicide because no effective mental health treatment of any kind was available back then.
 
2015-11-06 01:11:51 AM  

pdieten: Fark, middle aged now and my primary care doc never wants to let me leave after my annual physical without pushing another script. Already it's a diuretic, a blood pressure drug and a potassium supplement because the diuretic is draining my potassium. Drives me nuts. Worse, this time she tried to push a statin and something for diabetes because my blood sugar was elevated. This time I told her no and have been making diet and exercise changes. Good news is I'm down 14 pounds in two months and my levels are already much improved.

I guess the doctors have given up on trying to get people to improve their own health, and are just in mitigation mode now.


You're in the minority, sadly.
 
2015-11-06 02:20:01 AM  
13 pills a day, except on Tuesday when it is 20. I'm in your statistics, blowing the curve.
/And on year 6 of a "couple years max" disease.
//blowing the curve
 
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