America Is the Most Overmedicated Nation on Earth!

By Chris Centeno, MD /

Receive a Regenexx® Patient Info Packet by email and learn why it's a superior regenerative solution.

taking multiple prescription drugs

Most of us have been prescribed and taken prescription drugs at one time or another: an antibiotic for a strep throat, a muscle relaxant or pain medication for a bad back, statins when those cholesterol numbers are high…Seeing patients every day, it seems like a large segment of the adult population is taking multiple prescription drugs on an ongoing basis. This issue is called polypharmacy, and a new study shows that the phenomenon continues to increase.

Importantly, we need to remember that prescription medication is one of the wonders of the modern age of medicine. Before antibiotics, countless people died from simple bacterial infections. Individuals with compromised respiratory systems who struggled to breathe can now live relatively normal lives. Cancer research has amazingly turned cancer from the automatic death sentence it once was into a disease that is conquered by many. As wonderful as these advances are, there are two problems. Let me explain.

Drug Side Effects and Interactions

First, Big Pharma is still making sledgehammer drugs, meaning while they are targeting these issues, what’s needed is a precision nail, and the closest they can get to the issue is hitting the general area with a sledgehammer. This lack of focused effects means unintended targets are being hit as well, resulting in the numerous side effects you hear listed very quickly at the end of TV prescription-drug ads.

It’s the unintended interaction of known, and unknown, side effects that can cause enormous problems. For example, while steroids injected epidurally (around irritated back nerves) can act as a potent anti-inflammatory, in middle-aged and older women, they can also cause significant bone loss and increased fracture risk. This unintended damage highlights the complexities of drug mechanisms and the potential for unexpected drug interactions.

Prescription-medication side effects can also interfere with the effectiveness of medical procedures. For instance, our research has shown that certain common prescription drugs negatively affect stem cells, which is why our initial candidacy evaluation goes over all prescriptions. Our goal is to temporarily suspend the problematic ones to ensure a better outcome for our patients.

FDA-Approval Process

Second, the FDA-approval process for prescription drugs is incredibly long and unimaginably expensive, (average 359 million for drug approval in 2012). Add to that, for every one drug that the drug company gets through FDA approval, they have funded the research of an average of 100 that have not. That enormous financial pressure to get a drug to market can result in the “we’ll deal with that later” plan for side effects. In addition, you want your drug to be a sledgehammer so that it’s more likely to get through the FDA gauntlet.

National Health and Nutrition Survey Looks at Taking Multiple Prescription Drugs

To evaluate if we’re taking more or less medication over time, a new study out of Boston and New York looked at the trends in prescription-medication use in two distinct time periods. To do so, the new study reviewed data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey, representing almost 40,000 patients. Their findings were that the use of any prescription drugs was increased by 8% in 2011 to 2012, and the use of five or more prescription drugs (polypharmacy) increased by 6.6% in the same period! Not surprisingly, the meds that most increased in this time period were cholesterol-lowering drugs, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and stomach-acid-reducing drugs. Meaning we’re increasingly out of shape, depressed, in pain, and stressed out!

The upshot? Back in the day, the town GP knew everyone, their family, and their medical history. It was a close relationship, and the cons of medication were weighed against the benefit in that particular patient for that particular situation. With the advent of prescription medication being hawked on TV and with dividing patients up into body parts and systems treated by specialists, some of the big-picture checks and balances of that primary relationship have been lost to history. The modern-day issue of taking multiple prescription drugs makes me think of my Venezuelan grandmother. Every evening, she used to look at her handful of pills, line them up on the table in groups that made sense to her, and proclaim, “I can’t let this one get together with that one or they’ll have a party together and make me loco in the head!” Not a lot of science in there, but maybe she was on to something!

Category: Latest News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “America Is the Most Overmedicated Nation on Earth!

  1. Jon Wigby

    I’m currently taking a collagen supplement for my hip pain, which seems to works at times. I’m interested in your Regenex Advanced Stem Cell joint supplement. Would it work for me? And what is the cost?
    I’m 83 years young and want to travel the world. I don’t particularly want to have any hip surgery. My daughter is 50 years old and has had both knee joint replacements. One seemingly successful and the other not so. She is a self proclaimed expert on the body. She says that the apparent arthritic bone spurs that I might have, cannot be removed via the stem cell procedure! From your post, it does not help to remove it! What is your advice?

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Jon,
      The Advanced Stem Cell Support formula works differently than Collagen supplements, as in a year’s worth of lab research we tested supplements individually to see what, and in what combinations and ratios they best supported stem cells (the repairmen of your body) and cartilage. That said, each person, their medical history, and their arthritis is different, so what it would do in an individual case needs to be tried. Surgery, and especially joint replacement should always be a last resort. Bone is very alive and interactive to it’s enviroment and bone spurs occur as your body’s way of shoring up an unstable joint. So to remove them, without correcting the instability, leaves the joint in worse shape. http://www.regenexx.com/blog/removing-hip-bone-spurs-hip-impingement-no-better-nothing/ and http://www.regenexx.com/hip-labrum-surgery-complications/ Bone spurs can be removed with a needle technology called Barbotage if necessary. If you’d like to see if you’d be a good Candidate, please submit the Candidate form. More info and prices on the supplement here: http://www.regenexx.com/regenexx-advanced-stem-cell-support-formula/

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
View Profile

Get Blog Updates by Email

Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Regenerative procedures are commonly used to treat musculoskelatal trauma, overuse injuries, and degenerative issues, including failed surgeries.
Select Your Problem Area
Shoulder

Shoulder

Many Shoulder and Rotator Cuff injuries are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder replacement, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.

  • Rotator Cuff Tears and Tendinitis
  • Shoulder Instability
  • SLAP Tear / Labral Tears
  • Shoulder Arthritis
  • Other Degenerative Conditions & Overuse Injuries
Learn More
Cervical Spine

Spine

Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
Learn More
Knee

Knees

Knees are the target of many common sports injuries. Sadly, they are also the target of a number of surgeries that research has frequently shown to be ineffective or minimally effective. Knee arthritis can also be a common cause for aging athletes to abandon the sports and activities they love. Regenerative procedures can be used to treat a wide range of knee injuries and conditions. They can even be used to reduce pain and delay knee replacement for more severe arthritis.

  • Knee Meniscus Tears
  • Knee ACL Tears
  • Knee Instability
  • Knee Osteoarthritis
  • Other Knee Ligaments / Tendons & Overuse Injuries
  • And more
Learn More
Lower Spine

Spine

Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
Learn More
Hand & Wrist

Hand & Wrist

Hand and wrist injuries and arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and conditions relating to overuse of the thumb, are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
  • Hand and Wrist Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigger Finger
  • Thumb Arthritis (Basal Joint, CMC, Gamer’s Thumb, Texting Thumb)
  • Other conditions that cause pain
Learn More
Elbow

Elbow

Most injuries of the elbow’s tendons and ligaments, as well as arthritis, can be treated non-surgically with regenerative procedures.

  • Golfer’s elbow & Tennis elbow
  • Arthritis
  • Ulnar collateral ligament wear (common in baseball pitchers)
  • And more
Learn More
Hip

Hip

Hip injuries and degenerative conditions become more common with age. Do to the nature of the joint, it’s not quite as easy to injure as a knee, but it can take a beating and pain often develops over time. Whether a hip condition is acute or degenerative, regenerative procedures can help reduce pain and may help heal injured tissue, without the complications of invasive surgical hip procedures.

  • Labral Tear
  • Hip Arthritis
  • Hip Bursitis
  • Hip Sprain, Tendonitis or Inflammation
  • Hip Instability
Learn More
Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle

Foot and ankle injuries are common in athletes. These injuries can often benefit from non-surgical regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
  • Ankle Arthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ligament sprains or tears
  • Other conditions that cause pain
Learn More

Is Regenexx Right For You?

Request a free Regenexx Info Packet

REGENEXX WEBINARS

Learn about the #1 Stem Cell & Platelet Procedures for treating arthritis, common joint injuries & spine pain.

Join a Webinar

RECEIVE BLOG ARTICLES BY EMAIL

Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Blog

FOLLOW US

Copyright © Regenexx 2019. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.