It is a bizarre world, the United States drug market. Although the federal government, specifically the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, must first deem a medication “safe and effective” before it is distributed to patients all across the country, the drug sometimes comes back to bite them in the ass.
There have been a number of medications recalled throughout the years because their side effects end up proving detrimental to patients. This is funny, considering that the cannabis plant still remains a Schedule I dangerous drug under the DEA’s Controlled Substances Act. Meanwhile, somewhere around 30 states have legalized it for medical purposes. So far, no shocking side effects have reared their ugly head. Still, the feds continue to block any chance of making it easier to research the herb to find out if it fits the criteria of an FDA approved medication. The only exception being the recent green light of GW Pharmaceutical CBD drug Epidiolex – a deal that cost the company billions to bring to fruition.
The fact that the FDA sometimes has to recall prescription drugs shows that the research process leading up to the all-important seal of “approval” is a bit of a scam. And the agency, perhaps trying to avoid getting wrapped up in a major scandal, does not make a lot of noise when it comes to pulling these drugs off shelves. In fact, most people would never know a drug has vanished from the market unless they were taking it at the time when the kill switch was tripped.
The FDA says it only does this “when the risks of the drug outweigh its benefits.” Basically, when harmful side effects come up “that were not known at the time of approval.” This happens when the drug simply isn’t given enough attention in the research phase. Considering there have been thousands of cannabis studies conducted over the years, here are 10 medications that were researched less than weed.
Accutane: The drug was marketed for nearly 30 years as an acne treatment. It was later found to cause a variety of birth defects and even miscarriages. The drug was also found to cause suicidal thoughts.
Darvocet: It was popular painkiller for more than five decades. It was later banned after being linked to thousands of heart-related deaths.
Cylert: Prescribed for around 30 years for ADHD, this drug was eventually pulled from the market for causing liver damage.
Posicor: This drug was used to treat hypertension and chronic angina pectoris. But it was short lived. After a year on the market, it was recalled for its capacity to have fatal interactions with common drugs.
Redux (Dexfenfluramine): A popular, but short-lived appetite depressant that was often prescribed with Phentermine (often referred to as Fen-Phen). It was pulled after just one year for causing heart problems.
Selacryn: The drug was marketed as a way to lower blood pressure. Come to find out, the drug company suppressed its negative research. It was later shown to cause liver and kidney damage.
Vioxx: Prescribed to millions of people as a NSAID painkiller (For example: aspirin, ibuprofen), the drug was yanked from the market after causing heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths.
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Quaalude: A popular sedative for more than 20 years was eventually declared a Schedule I dangerous drug after causing a variety of side effects, including seizures and death.
Permax: The drug was prescribed for almost 20 years for Parkinson’s disease. It was recalled for obstructing blood flow to the heart.
Omniflox: Once considered a groundbreaking antibiotic, the drug was pulled from the market after five years because it caused blood abnormalities, kidney failed and life-threatening breathing distress.