Vytorin warnings neglected

It’s all over the news this week; people taking the potentially life-threatening, cholesterol lowering medication, Vytorin, should think twice before continuing its use.

Vytorin is a widely popular anti-cholesterol drug that is prescribed to about 4 million Americans. Yet when a major study, recently published by the New England Journal of Medicine, compared this medication to other drugs in its category, Vytorin’s benefit claims fell flat. It was also shown to cost about five times more than other similar drugs that perform on a similar level.

Wait, the bad news just gets worse.

In 2004 when pharmaceutical companies were pushing for Vytorin’s release to the public, the FDA’s very own pharmacology reviewer found that even the smallest dose of Vytorin caused severe toxicity in laboratory animals and recommended against its approval. Yet somehow this dangerous drug still got FDA approval and has now raked in over 5 million dollars for its manufacturers, Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp.

Since its approval, scores of people taking Vytorin have reported all kinds of serious side effects that have dramatically reduced the quality of their life, often times leading to hospitalization. The side effects of this drug can be so bad that New England Journal of Medicine says is should only be taken as a last resort.

Despite the public’s outcry to know the truth about Vytorin, the two pharmaceutical companies behind the pill are shrugging off the concerns, saying they will continue to make and promote their drug.

It’s clear that pharmaceutical companies are in the business of making money, not health. The good news is that you can drastically enhance your health by taking simple steps, like eating plenty of fresh produce (think vegetables and fruits), and avoiding processed foods and foods high in sugar. You’ll be surprised at what an impact your diet has on internal body processes—like the ability to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

Another simple way to improve your health is to schedule regular chiropractic adjustments. By maintaining a healthy spine, you’ll be opening the door to health in other areas of your body, as well.

[Source: Consumer Affairs report Doctors Warned About Vytorin, 3/31/08, and CNN.com/health report “Trial: Popular cholesterol drug fails to improve heart disease”]

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