The Sacred Path

Journeys through the mist

Steep rise in adverse drug reactions

The other day the Schwartz Report had a link to a story in the Wall Street Journal written by Jennifer Corbett Dooren, titled Study Shows Steep Rise In Adverse Drug Reactions. In the eight year period from 1998 to 2005 the number of serious drug side effects reported to the FDA more than doubled.

According to the story:

A serious adverse drug event, defined by the FDA, means an event that resulted in death, a birth defect, disability, hospitalization, was life-threatening or required medical intervention to prevent harm.

From 1998 to 2005, there were 467,809 serious adverse events reported. The annual number of reports rose from 34,966 in 1998 to 89,842 in 2005 [250% increase] while the number of fatal adverse drug events increased from 5,519 to 15,107 [274% increase] in the same time frame.

The study noted that, overall, the relative increase in serious reports was four times faster [400% increase] than the growth in total U.S. outpatient prescriptions, which grew in the same period from 2.7 billion to 3.8 billion [140% increase].

So, what has changed to cause this remarkable increase in adverse reaction? We’ve changed – are changing. The shift in consciousness that has been talked about for years is happening, and with that change in consciousness comes a change in our physical manifestations – our bodies. One cannot be separated from the other; changes in one cause changes in the other. It should be noted that from the moment mankind appeared on earth, our consciousness has been shifting – changing – but that shift is now accelerating.

More and more people are seeking alternative solutions to health-related problems such as Acupuncture, visualization exercises and meditation. Some insurance companies have even started covering part of the cost of Acupuncture treatments. Sales of vitamin and herbal supplements continue to rise. The pharmaceutical industry is quietly – and not so quietly – trying to gain control over the vitamin and herbal supplements industries.

The pharmaceutical companies and their trade associations have a very powerful lobby, and according to, and the Center for Public Integrity, between January 2005 and June 2006, they spent a record total of $155 million lobbying Congress, and that number will grow considerably in the future. The article goes on to report that from an industry perspective, it’s money well spent as it has allowed them to win virtually every important battle. Add to that their campaign contributions and “We The People” don’t have much of a chance.

“We The People” don’t have a lobby. I strongly recommend you read the linked articles above.


  1. Hi Richard,

    I feel uncomfortable with the idea that our bodies were ever pleased with our consumption of this artificial crap called pharmaceuticals. I dunno, some of the things that are coming to me, are maybe it’s because more people are sicker, and consequently more are taking the drugs, AND they’re taking more drugs on top of other drugs (to try and remedy what the initial drugs screwed up in their bodies)…as well as per the unbelievable number of commercials and other ads strongly promoting the taking of these drugs. Putting it into our minds that it’s the thing to do, that it’s normal to be taking them… So, more people taking drugs, more people taking drugs upon other drugs…so more reports of ill effects from doing so.

    No doubt, we are changing…but I don’t think that’s the reason our bodies are rejecting drugs. The body is wise, it always has been — you’ll never get me to believe that drugs weren’t causing a plethora of problems in people all along. They just weren’t attributed to the artificial substance that so many are now swallowing.

  2. I don’t know. I would think that an increase in consciousness would lead to a *decrease* in adverse effects — and also to less need to resort to drugs in the first place.

    My experience with drugs goes back nearly six decades, to when I contracted asthma as age two. From that point on until a couple of years ago, when I finally (I think – I hope!) figured out how to control it, my choices were to use pharmaceuticals such as inhalers or pills or injections – or suffer for night after night sometimes as long as six weeks at a time.

    I am not (to put it mildly!) a fan of the over-medication that has become common in our society in the past few decades. Yet how could I condemn them outright, when my life has depended, sometimes, on the effectiveness of such products, and when I have seen friends and family needing such things? My daughter is asthmatic. She uses an inhaler much more than I am comfortable with, but she has not yet learned how to control it using mental tools such as those that took me a lifetime to learn. Perhaps she never will. If she doesn’t, or until she does, should I hope that the tools she relies upon will disappear?

    I incline to think that the increase in adverse reactions comes not (or perhaps not primarily) from increased *consciousness*, but from increased *use*. I think too many people are using too many products too often, and the natural result is that our bodies are adjusting and saying – “this is too much! This is more than I can handle! You will have to find another way to cope with your medical problems.”

    On the other hand, what do I know? What does anyone know? We may just have to see.

  3. I agree that over-medication is a problem. I’ve also noted that there are now people who take herbal products without recognizing that they are medicines. In fact 70% of the new drugs approved by the FDA in the last 5 years are plant based.

    Below are some common contraindications that friends of mine were not aware of. Perhaps you would like to spread the word where appropriate to do so.

    # Echinacea taken with steroids, alcohol or AIDS medications can lead to liver damage.
    # Garlic supplements can prevent diabetes medications from lowering blood sugar and increase the risk of bleeding from Coumadin (warfarin).
    # Ginkgo can increase blood pressure and act as a blood thinner, so shouldn’t be taken with aspirin, warfarin or MAO inhibitors.
    # St. John’s wort doesn’t mix well with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, narcotics, oral contraceptives and Lanoxin (digoxin), a cardiac drug. It can reduce the effect of these drugs and increase the chance of seizures, confusion, nausea and fatigue.
    # All herbs with diuretic properties, such as dandelion and juniper, when combined with lithium can increase levels of lithium in the blood and possibly cause slurred speech, confusion, hallucinations, coma, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, low blood pressure and palpitations.

    Quite aside from this we do have cause for concern when it comes to pharmaceuticals in groundwater and in both plants and animals we eat.

    Remarkably those flushing urine filled with birth control pill residue and with viagra, etc. seem unaware that residues from these drugs are being found in groundwater aquifers.

  4. @ Brightfeather

    It’s interesting that the natural herbs are, um, causing problems primarily when they interact with unnatural substances (and, of course, no doubt if they’re used in excess, which would apply to anything), just like the naturalness of the body has problems with them. Nature at war with not-Nature. Go figure.

    @ Frank

    I chuckled at your last line there. What do any of us know? Hmmm. What I’ve come to know is that we know everything, it’s just a matter of retrieving that wisdom 🙂 And as stated in a previous thread, the body is profoundly wise — it definitely knows the truth. Always.

    The thing is, our precious bodies are so brilliant — and they do the best they can with what we give them. And so often that’s not much…or worse, something vile like pharmaceuticals, etc. It will take a foreign substance, and do the best it can with it, with our survival its top priority.

    And the amazing mind-body connection will make almost anything heal us for a time — as long as we have that powerful belief that it will. I always remember this one study I read about per John Harvey, PhD. A group of pregnant women, all had morning sickness, were given “medicine” for it, a high percentage were “cured.” They had been given something that actually induces vomiting 🙂 We’re amazing beings, ya’ know? So often, it is “all in our minds” 😉 … what we believe.

    In my view, the only thing pharmaceuticals do is to push down the symptoms of something that is invariably rooted in emotional and/or spiritual issues. In fact, that goes for herbs, but at least they mesh with the Nature of the body.

    I remember seeing Caroline Myss on Oprah a while back…she’s amazing. A medical intuitive. She just looked at this guy and knew that is health issues, liver problems, were due to is anger. So many are realizing this, that the physical manifestation of dis-ease is invariably a reflection of some emotional muck or trauma. If we ever learn how to really connect with our emotions, how to respect them…and see how precious and amazing our bodies are, love and honor them…instead of poisoning them…then, I believe, our incessant dis-ease will cease to be a common thing.

    We have been lead to believe that pharmaceuticals are our only choice — that they are these amazing substances. That’s a lie. There are so many different types of alternative therapies that can truly guide the body to healing. No, ya’ can’t just pop a pill. Healing can be, and usually is, a long process, one that most people aren’t willing to endure when they’ve been lead to believe that a pill will fix ’em right up. Unfortunately, that easier road ultimately leads to a rougher one further on down the road of their lives.

    If you push down these symptoms with artificial substances, dishonoring the body and ignoring the real issues, it will just come out somewhere else later on. Nature, of which our emotions are a part, is so very powerful. It’s quite foolish to believe we can truly control it. The consequences of screwing with Nature? Behold a dying world with its sick, grotesquely overweight, emotionally/spiritually “lost,” self-loathing people in denial…

    I’ll concede that if pharmaceuticals are a legitimate answer, they sure as hell should not be an ongoing one. We aren’t machines. Again, it is harming the body when one swallows (or otherwise consumes) something that is so very far from Nature.


  5. Hmm. These replies are loaded with synchronicity, for me. (Fortunately synchronicity has no known toxic effects.)

    Brightfeather, I would appreciate it if you could furnish source references for that very interesting information. I had not come across any of that, and would indeed like to spread the word. Send to muddytracks [at] earthlink [dot] net (Frank, I edited your email address so the spambots will not find you) or post here, if you would.

    Dove, you touch on several issues that I discuss in a book I wrote on maintaining health and wellness through visualization. I don’t know what the eventual title will be (just heard yesterday that I have a publisher!) but I call it Imagine Yourself Well. One point I make is that our bodies are intelligent and can communicate with our minds as though they were separate individuals. Ultimately this is the way into and out of probably every physical illness — and wellness — we will ever experience.

    The thing is, though, that if you are going into diabetic shock, you may not be able to wait to become able to control your body through visualization and other means: Insulin, synthetic or otherwise, may be the only thing that will save your life. I won’t belabor the point, but a moment’s thought will provide examples.

    Remember, too, that synthetics are as alive as anything else in the world. The difference between “living” matter and “dead” matter is more in our perceptions than in any real distinction. No point in demonizing synthetics as if they were something “other.”

  6. @Frank
    My local pharmacist gave me the information.

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