Alzheimer’s drugs may cause heart valve damage.
Aging is a tough process and diseases such as Alzheimer’s make that process even more challenging for millions of Americans, both sufferers and care givers.
Two drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease may cause similar problems as the withdrawn fen-phen diet drugs, leading to heart valve damage in about one in four patients, according to two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday.
According to a Bloomberg News report, “reports of thickening and stiffening heart valves were linked in the past several years to Pfizer Inc.’s Dostinex and pergolide, originally sold as Permax by Eli Lilly & Co.” The studies show that these drugs could have a negative effect on thousands of patients.
Parkinson’s disease, which afflicts about 1.5 million Americans, is a progressive disorder where nerve cells that produce a chemical in the brain used to control muscle movement are destroyed.
Many experts say these study results have broken new ground providing some powerful information regarding drug-induced side effects.
This is what an Byron L. Roth, professor of pharmacology at the University of Noarth Carolina at Chapel Hill, an expert in the field told a Bloomberg News reporte in a telephone interview:
This is some of the most astounding, clear-cut data on drug-induced side effects I’ve ever seen. If your mother had Parkinson’s disease, you would not want her on this medication. The damage can cause heart valves to thicken, stiffen and retract, so that blood flows backward into the heart. Eventually, heart failure can develop. The condition is generally diagnosed when a patient goes to the doctor for weakness, shortness of breath or chest pain, and a murmur is detected. The effect can be reversed by stopping the drugs if the condition is caught early enough, the researchers said. Otherwise, valve replacement surgery is needed.
For more information about these studies, visit the New England Journal of Medicine’s Web site at http://content.nejm.org/
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After being involved with so many bad prescription drug cases, I am to the point of not trusting the Food & Drug Administration or the products coming out of the world’s pharmaceutical companies. I realize now that when I taking any type of medication, that there are side effects. I want straightforward, truthful, full disclosure of the risks of any drug I take. I want to make an informed decision befoe talking any medicatiion.