The Naturopathic News letter
Top 10 most prescribed UK generic drugs
Cardiovascular therapies dominate generic prescribing in England, figures from the NHS Information Center show.
Drugs for cardiovascular disease (CVD) make up four of the five highest places among the top 10 most prescribed generic drugs
The thyroid treatment levothyroxine sodium is the only non-CVD (cardio vascular) treatment encroaching in the top five places.
Numbers of prescriptions for two proton-pump inhibitors (lansoprazole and omeprazole) are almost equal and scrape in to the tail end of the top 10, though if combined these two would be amongst the top three most prescribed generic drugs.
Top 10 most prescribed generic drugs
- Simvastatin ( elevated cholesterol) 37.3 million prescriptions
- Aspirin(blood thinner) 33.9 million prescriptions
- Levothyroxine (thyroid hormone) 21.9 million prescriptions
- Ramipril (high blood pressure) 19.3 million prescriptions
- Bendroflumethiazide (diuretic and CV disease) 18.8 million prescriptions
- Paracetamol ( pain headaches etc) 18.8 million prescriptions
- Salbutamol (asthma & chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)18.7 million prescriptions
- Omeprazole (dyspepsia and digestive ulcer)18.3 million prescriptions
- Lansoprazole(dyspepsia and digestive ulcer) 14.9 million prescriptions
- Co-codamol (combination pain killer migraine etc)14.6 million prescriptions
As you can see the most common proscription are the statin group.
Statins why do they actually bother?
Many of you will come across people who are hardly aware that statins are actually, in the long term, potentially dangerous. This list is taken for the NHS website, when you look at, it recommends that you talk to your GP about side effects, the list is long and nasty. I have yet to come across a person who was recommended statins (including myself) who actually had a discussion with their GP concerning the side effects, most people are wandering around oblivious to the affect that the recent headache, nausea, sore throat and hike in their blood sugar medications is down to the ‘beneficial’ use of statins. Its important to know that the headache and elevated blood pressure may well get you a repeat prescription for a couple of pain killers and Rampiril, because now you will have started down the dark slope of being medicated because you are on medication.
Common side effects
Although side effects can vary between different statins, common side effects (which affect up to 1 in 10 people) include:
a runny or blocked nose (non-allergic rhinitis)
problems with the digestive system, such as constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion or flatulence (passing wind)
muscle and joint pain (see below)
increased blood sugar level (hyperglycaemia)
an increased risk of diabetes
Uncommon side effects of statins (which may affect up to 1 in 100 people) include:
loss of appetite or weight gain
difficulty sleeping (insomnia) or having nightmares
dizziness – if you experience this, do not drive or use tools and machinery
loss of sensation or tingling in the nerve endings of the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)
blurred vision – if you experience this, do not drive or use tools and machinery
ringing in the ears
inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), which can cause flu-like symptoms
inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which can cause stomach pain
skin problems, such as acne or an itchy red rash
feeling unusually tired or physically weak
Rare side effects
Rare side effects of statins (which may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people) include:
bleeding or bruising easily
yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
Statins can occasionally cause muscle inflammation (swelling) and damage. Your doctor will carry out a blood test to measure a substance in your blood called creatine kinase (CK), which is released into the blood when your muscles are inflamed or damaged.
If the level of CK in your blood is more than five times the normal level, your doctor may advise you to stop taking the statin. Regular exercise can sometimes lead to a rise in CK, so tell your doctor if you have been exercising a lot.
Once your CK level has returned to normal, your doctor may suggest you start taking the statin again, but at a lower dose.
The Dark Side
Statin drugs are classified as pregnancy Category X medications, meaning they cause serious birth defects and should NEVER be used by a pregnant woman, or women planning a pregnancy. Shockingly, many physicians are still unaware of this serious risk and continue prescribing statin drugs to pregnant patients.
Statin drugs are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the US. One in four Americans over the age of 45 is now taking a statin drug, and few are properly warned about the related health risks, which include diabetes, premature aging, and heart failure, in the UK we are catching up fast on this number.
A recent meta-analysis of 72 trials, which involved a total of close to 160,000 patients, revealed that statin treatments significantly increased the rate of diabetes and liver damage.
Statin drugs interfere with a number of biological functions, including a central pathway for steroid management, which negatively affects all of your sterols, sex hormones, cortisone, and Coenzyme Q10, which is critical to the energy generation in every cell of your body.
If you’re taking a statin drug, it is absolutely CRITICAL that you also take a CoQ10 supplement, to limit the damage of the drug. This basic piece of biochemistry is unknown to most physicians.
What’s the alternative?
In 1997 Dr Rainer H Boger at Hanover School of Medicine in Germany performed a medical study of l-Arginine against Lovastatin (Mevacor). In the standard rabbit/cholesterol test (it’s easy to induce high cholesterol in rabbits via diet). In the rabbit test l-Arginine exceeded the results of the statin used by comparison. This study was published in Circulation the Journal of the American Heart Association August 1997. Study went on to show that L-Arginine also inhibited free radicals which statins cannot. If you add the results of the 10,000 peer reviewed medical papers on L-Arginine you will see that it also can be used for all of the common side effects associated with statin use as well.
Bottom line is I use ARK1 and ARK2 and achieve equal if not better results with none of the side effects or damaged caused by statins. It is also proven to normalise blood pressure and has been shown in studies to very effective in migraine headache.
I recommend ARK1 because it can be found in the blood stream 8 hours after ingestion. I feel the most important aspect is that Ark1 maintains the blood and lymphatic flow during the sleep cycle for the entire cycle. This I feel is crucial and at the moment, as far as research papers can be found, ARK1 is the most potent enduring formula now available.
If you read up on the net you will find that ARK1 and L-Arginine can often be used as a viable alternative to all of the 10 most common prescriptive medications offered on the NHS. Why take all 10 or three or four when you can take one with no side affects apart from increased health.