Day: September 20, 2023

The Dangers of Prescription DrugsThe Dangers of Prescription Drugs

Almost half of the medications prescribed in the United States are paid for out of pocket. This puts a lot of pressure on consumers, especially those with chronic conditions. It also leads many to take less than the recommended dosage or not follow up with their health care provider.Resource: professional services from

What are prescription drugs?

Prescription drugs can be dangerous when used for the wrong reasons. They have chemicals that have psychoactive effects, meaning they affect the mind or emotions. The most commonly abused prescription medicines are depressants, opioids and stimulants.

Depressants slow down brain activity by making changes in certain brain chemicals. Examples include sedatives, like alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan), and antidepressants, such as valproate (Depakote, Zyprexa, Effexor) and carbamazepine (Tegretol). These can make you feel drowsy, and cause depression or anxiety. Opioids (also called narcotics) are painkillers that reduce your appetite and increase the blood flow to the skin and stomach, thus easing pain. These include oxycodone (Vicodin) and hydrocodone (Percocet, Lortab). Large doses of these can cause life-threatening breathing problems.

Stimulants increase brain activity. They can help you pay attention and stay alert, and give you energy. Doctors prescribe these to treat ADHD, narcolepsy and some other conditions. They can increase your heart rate, blood sugar and blood pressure. Some examples are dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat, ProCentra), lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) and methylphenidate (Concerta, Daytrana, Ritalin). These are sometimes abused by crushing pills to snort them. You should not take these with decongestants, as high doses can cause uneven heartbeat.