Over Dose;The Case Against the Drug Companies

Reviews

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: "Replete with information supported by recognized and reliable sources, this exposé and health guide should be read by anyone taking prescription medication.... Clear, easy narrative ... an invaluable resource for doctors and patients alike."

JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: "Over Dose
adds to the growing chorus of criticism and is very much in league with the drug industry's harshest detractors. But the book is much more besides. Jay Cohen, MD, long a thorn in the industry's side, has written a highly readable, user-friendly, and well-researched account of a serious clinical issue plaguing the everyday practice of medicine. This popularly-written book is well worth reading and is very likely to provoke modifications in the prescription practices of many physicians who pick it up."

BOOKLIST: "A thorough, solidly based book that deserves to be widely read by medical professionals and the lay public."

MENSA BULLETIN: "If you're one of the 46 percent of Americans on a drug regimen, this book could save your life, so do yourself a favor and get a copy."

KIRKUS REVIEWS: "A call for action and a plan for it as well. A well-planned and documented expose' of how pharmaceutical companies market drug information and how their one-size-fits-all dosage recommendations harm patients. Though not intended as a comprehensive reference, Over Dose is a source of useful drug information, much of it tabulated at chapter ends for easy consultation."

LOS ANGELES TIMES: "The central message of Over Dose is that standard doses of top-selling drugs are excessively strong for millions of people, triggering an epidemic of serious, yet avoidable side effects. Cohen believes that the only way for consumers to circumvent these problems is to become informed about lower, safer drug doses. To this end, the book includes practical advice on dozens of common prescription medications for those who are most at-risk: the elderly, women, and children."

LIBRARY JOURNAL: "Highly recommended for public and medical libraries."

FROM THE BACK COVER OF OVER DOSE

If you are among the forty-six percent of Americans who take at least one prescription drug daily, here is why you should read Dr. Jay S. Cohen's Over Dose:

Medication reactions are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, linked with more than 100,000 deaths, 1,000,000 hospitalizations, and 2,000,000 severe or permanently disabling reactions annually (JAMA 1998). And that's just the statistics from hospitals; adding adverse reactions in outpatients would make the numbers even higher.

Avoidable dose-related side effects cause millions of people to discontinue vital treatment for serious conditions such as high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, and osteoporosis.

This "side-effect epidemic" is due mainly to unnecessarily high medication doses that are developed by the drug companies and approved by the FDA.

Rather than assure that people receive only as much medication as they need, drug companies often choose doses that support marketing strategies an make prescribing easy for doctors.

More than half of our drugs, after being deemed "safe" by the FDA, are subsequently found to have previously unrecognized, medically serious side effects, most of which are dose-related.

For one in five drugs, dosages are ultimately lowered years after FDA approval after millions of people have received the higher doses.

Doses are not adequately tailored for the differing needs of women and the elderly. Nor for the "medication-sensitive:" the millions of people who are sensitive to prescription drugs and, often, alcohol or coffee or other chemicals. These groups are at the greatest risk of serious adverse drug reactions.

Most side effects are avoidable. Side effects can be prevented by matching medication doses to the size, age, medical condition, and medication history of each person.

Many people do well -- and avoid side effects -- by using with Dr. Cohen's "Start Low, Go Slow" approach. By starting low and increasing the dosage gradually, you get the exact amount of medication you need while avoiding excessive dosing. (The Start Low, Go Slow approach is applicable to the majority of medical situations, but not all. Ask your doctor.)

Over Dose shows you how to work with your doctor to take charge of your own prescription health and provides practical information and lower effective dosages based on clinical studies that your doctor can consider for some of the nation's best-selling drugs.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1: The Race To The Bottom
Chapter 2: How Drug Company Policies Harm People
Chapter 3: How Drug Company Policies Cause Problems For 50-75% Of Patients Taking Prozac
Chapter 4: When New Drugs Are Approved, The Experiment Is Just Beginning, And You May Be Part Of It -- Viagra
Chapter 5: How The Drug Companies' Policies Harm Women
Chapter 6: Why 50-75% Of People Quit Taking Their Cholesterol-Lowering Medications
Chapter 7: Why 50-75% Of People Quit Taking Their Medications for High Blood Pressure
Chapter 8: Why Seniors Are At The Greatest Risk
Chapter 9: How The Drug Companies Slant Drug Research Limit Information To Doctors And Consumers, And High Profits
Chapter 10: What The Drug Companies Need To Do To End The Side-Effect Epidemic -- But Will They?
Chapter 11: What's Wrong With The FDA? And What Can Be Done About It?
Chapter 12: What The FDA Shouldn't Do -- Why We Need An Independent Medication Safety Monitoring System
Chapter 13: Doctors, Drugs, And Patients
Chapter 14: How You Can Avoid Side Effects And Use Medications Safely

Plus: More than 500 references you can show your doctors for using the lowest, safest doses of medications.

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Did You Know?

Mainstream doctors receive almost all of their information about medications from the drug industry: 90,000 sales reps, pervasive advertising, drug company-conducted studies, package inserts and the PDR that are written by the drug industry, and drug industry-underwritten continuing medical education courses. No wonder mainstream doctors' methods are skewed toward prescription drugs.

Alternative medicine has its own problems with accurate information. On March 30, 2002, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported: "Many Websites Make False Health Claims: An international sweep of health related websites has uncovered more than a thousand sites that carry misleading information or make false claims."

MedicationSense.com will provide you with accurate, up-to-date, scientifically-sound information that you and your doctors can rely on. Please tell your friends and physicians.