Women Hurt More By Drugs Now Banned
The Associated Press reported today that more women than men were hurt by 8
out of 10 medications pulled off the market since 1997, according to congressional
investigators. These results aren't really a surprise. Many of these medicines
were prescribed more to women than to men, including two once wildly popular
weight-loss medicines, Redux and Pondimin ("Phen-phen"). What was surprising
was that while others were used by both sexes, they were banned for causing
an irregular heartbeat that has recently been discovered to be more likely in
women than men.
The recent drug bans has drawn criticism that the FDA, under congressional
pressure, is approving new medicines too quickly. However, few of the recently
banned products actually "sped" through the agency. In some cases, including
the weight-loss drugs, rare side effects never seen in pre-sale testing were
only seen to cause serious problems after the drugs were used by millions. FDA
scientists say the main problem is that doctors ignored or never read warning
labels that could have prevented deaths. Patients should always read
the patient information in any new medicine that they take.
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Created: 2/14/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.