By February 12, 2013 24 Comments Read More →

The 7 Most Prescribed Drugs in the World and Their Natural Counterparts

Pills vs plantsDave Mihalovic, Prevent Disease
Waking Times

We don’t have to live in a medicated world, but we certainly choose to. The crux of the matter is that we refuse to proactively think about prevention because we reactively commit to treating the symptoms of underlying health problems. This is the allopathic model. We want the quick fix so we can continue our poor lifestyle and dietary habits. It doesn’t have to have to be this way, but it is. We can blame doctors, the medical institutions and healthcare systems all we want, but self-responsibility is our only recourse if we are ever to surface from this mess. There are no excuses–if you’re taking one of these drugs, consult with a Natural Health Practitioner this week about phasing out your medication and phasing in these powerful natural foods and remedies.

Of the over 4 billion prescriptions written every year, the United States and Canada make up more than 80% of the world’s prescription opioids (psychoactive medications). Between 1997 and 2012 prescription opioids increased in dosage by almost 500%. Pharmaceuticals and medical errors are now a leading cause of death. Painkillers are the leading cause of accidental death.

In the last 15 years of life, people are experiencing more pain for longer periods than at any point on our historical record. If you think life expectancy has increased to the benefit of mankind, you’re not looking at the numbers.

78% of U.S. prescriptions written in 2010 were for generic drugs (both unbranded and those still sold under a brand name). The most prescribed drugs aren’t always the best selling drugs, there’s a difference.

Prescriptions for pain, cholesterol reduction, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, antacids, antipsychotics, diabetes and antibiotics make up 100% of the most prescribed drugs.

Make a commitment to yourself right now and start incorporating some of these amazing foods into your diet with no consequence of side effects. When you accept this, you will get off prescription medications for good.

Check out the top 7 most prescribed drugs and the best natural remedies to treat and prevent disease.

1. HYDROCODONE (Acetaminophen/Vicodin/Oxycontin)

Use: For Pain
Currently the single most prescribed drug in the world. More and more doctors are getting huge payouts from pharmaceutical companies to promote these hydrocodone, especially generic drugs. They make up more than 20% of the top prescribed medications.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Fox News that doctors are handing out narcotics like candy. These patients also happen to have a wide array of hydrocodone based substances to choose from. Some doctors are giving patients prescriptions for narcotics for even minor injuries.

How it Works: 
It is an orally psychoactive compound that works as a narcotic and analgesic. It is biotransformed by the liver into several metabolites. It is highly dependent on metabolism by the Cytochrome P450 pathway.

Respiratory depression; bradycardia; coma; seizures; cardiac arrest; liver damage; and death. Inherited genes such as the Cytochrome P450 affects metabolic pathways–some cannot process it at all, whereas a smaller percentage can get even more strength from it than usual.
Natural Foods: 
Ginger, turmeric, berries, cayenne pepper, celery/celery seeds, cherries, dark green veggies, walnuts.

See: Natural Healing Remedies: 10 Foods That Fight Inflammation And Pain

2. STATINS (Generic versions of Lipitor/Zocor/Crestor)

Use: Reduction of LDL Cholesterol

Approximately 15% of the top prescribed medications are generic statins. A study published in January 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine linked statins to 48 percent increased risk for type-2 diabetes.

The are NO scientific studies ever documented which have proved through causation that lowering LDL cholesterol prevents disease. The obsessed culture of lowering cholesterol may actually be causing cancer.

How it Works: 
Statins artificially lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting a critical enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver.

Inflammation and pathological breakdown of muscle, acute kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, interference with sex hormones and death.

Natural Foods:
Nuts, spinach, apples, turmeric, cranberries, tomatoes, green tea, fatty fish, beans, alfalfa herb, capsicum fruit, garlic, psyllium, fenugreek seeds, butcher’s broom, licorice root, hawthorn berry.
– New Data Shows Lycopene Reduces Heart Disease Up To 26 Percent
– Two Apples a Day More Effective At Reducing Heart Disease Than Statin Medications 
– Top 5 Foods and Herbs To Control Cholesterol
– World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease

3. LISINOPRIL (Prinivil/Zestril) AND NORVASC (Amlodipine)

Use: Reduction of High Blood Pressure

In combination, Lisinopril and Norvasc make up a whopping 23% of the top prescribed medications. This makes them the most prescribed generic medications (if combined) for cardiovascular disease and blood pressure. Individually, Lisinopril constitutes approximately 14% and Norvasc about 9%.

How it Works: 
Lisinopril is typically used for the treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure, and heart attacks. Norvasc is used for hypertension and angina. It accomplishes this by inhibiting the influx of calcium ions into vascular smooth muscle and cardiac muscle so it essentially interferes with the metabolism of calcium.

Cancer, blood disorders, development of breasts in men, impotence, depression, tachycardia, enlargement of gums, inflammation of the liver, elevated blood glucose, hepatitis, life threatening skin conditions.

Natural Foods:
Any foods high in vitamin C (chili peppers, guavas, bell peppers, thyme, parsley, dark leafy greens, broccoli), any foods high in magnesium (chocolate, green leafy vegetables, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin and squash seeds, pine nuts, and black walnuts) and any foods high in potassium (mushrooms, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, oranges and dates). Coconut oil/water and CoQ10 are also very effective for lowering blood pressure.
– Magnesium Reduces Blood Pressure Naturally Without Side Effects
– Low Salt Diets Do Not Decrease Blood Pressure, Period
– Vitamin C Supplements Reduce Blood Pressure Without Side Effects Associated With Medication
– Low Potassium Linked To High Blood Pressure

4. SYNTHROID (levothyroxine sodium) 

Use: Hypothyroidism

A synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine, generic Synthroid makes up more than 11% of the top prescribed medications. It’s used to treat hypothyroidism. The related drug dextrothyroxine (D-thyroxine) was used in the past as a treatment for elevated cholesterol but was withdrawn due to cardiac side-effects.

How it Works: 
It replaces the thyroid hormone which is naturally occurring in the thyroid gland essentially halting natural production.

Long-term suppression of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) causes cardiac side-effects and contributes to decreases in bone mineral density (high TSH levels are also well known to contributes to osteoporosis.) May also cause elevated blood glucose levels, heart failure, coma and adrenal insufficiency. TSH directly influences the whole process of iodine trapping and thyroid hormone production so use of synthroid directly affects how the body metabolizes iodine.

Natural Foods:
Any foods containing iodine such as seaweed, kelp, radish, parsley, fish, seafood, eggs, bananas, cranberries, strawberries, himalayan crystal salt. Also, copper, iron, selenium and zinc are essential in the production of thyroid hormones. Exercise a minimum of 20-30 minutes per day — enough to raise the heartbeat.
– Seaweed Extracts Can Help You Lose Weight, Mostly Body Fat
– 8 Critical Nutrients Lacking In More Than 70 Percent of Diets
– The Number One Reason So Many Women Have Trouble Losing Weight

5. PRILOSEC (omeprazole/generic versions of nexium) 

Use: Antacid

A proton pump inhibitor which constitutes just over 8% of the top prescribed medications. Omeprazole is one of the most widely prescribed drugs for reflux disease (GORD/GERD/LPR) and ulcers internationally and is available over the counter in some countries.

How it Works:
It suppresses gastric acid secretion by specific inhibition of the gastric acid ions in cells. The absorption of omeprazole takes place in the small intestine essentially turning off the switch which promotes healthy digestion of foods. Omeprazole is also completely metabolized by thecytochrome P450 system.

Angina, ulcers, tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitations, elevated blood pressure, development of male breasts, inflammation of the pancreas, irritable colon, mucosal atrophy of the tongue, liver disease/failure, elevated blood sugar, muscle weakness, skin conditions, tinnitus, inflammation of the eyes, urinary frequency, testicular pain, anemia and blood cell disorders.

Natural Foods:
Grapefruits, probioticsbroccoli sprouts, manuka honey, mastic gum, marshmallow tea, glutamine, slippery elm, deglycyrrhized liquorice (DGL), aloe vera juice, baking soda, pickle juice.
– Grapefruit Heals Stomach Ulcers
– Broccoli Sprouts May Prevent Gastritis, Ulcers and Stomach Cancers
– Manuka Honey Reverses Antibiotic Resistance, Treats Disease


Use: Antibiotic?

In combination, azithromycin and amoxicillin contribute towards a mind-blowing 17% of the top prescribed medications. Then we wonder why we have antibiotic resistance. On their own, each contributes about 8.5%. Azithromycin is one of the world’s best-selling antibiotics and derived from erythromycin. Amoxicillin is usually the drug of choice for children.

How it Works: 
Inhibits the synthesis of bacterial cell walls and interfering with their protein synthesis. These drugs also inhibit the protein synthesis of good bacteria needed for immunity and proper digestion.

Inflammation of the liver, inflammation and destruction of the stomach lining, destruction of healthy bacterial populations, inflammation of the colon, allergic reactions, obesity, human antibiotic resistance.

Natural Foods:
Sunlight (vit D), garlic, coconut oil, turmeric, foods high in nicotinamide(vit B3) such as salmon, sardines and nuts. Also manuka honey, olive leaf extract, green tea, pau D’Arco, rose water, myrrh, grapeseed extract, golden seal, oregon grapes, oregano oil, andrographis paniculata, and probiotics.
– Garlic Proven 100 Times More Effective Than Antibiotics, Working In A Fraction of The Time
– Before Antibiotics Ever Existed, Sunlight Was Used To Treat Diseases With Great Success
– The Most Potent B Vitamin That Combats Infections Better Than Antibiotics Ever Could

7. GLUCOPHAGE (metformin)

Use: Oral anti-diabetic drug

Glucophage drugs round up the top 7 but the prescription rate of this drug is rapidly increasing. It makes up about 7% of the top prescribed medications. It is the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in particular, in overweight and obese people. It also acts to indirectly lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

How it Works: 
By suppressing natural glucose production by the liver, the drug activates an enzyme which plays an important role in insulin signaling, whole body energy balance, and the metabolism of glucose and fats.

Lactic acidosis, impaired liver/kidney function, decreasing thyroid stimulating hormone and testosterone, increased homocysteine levels, malabsorption of vitamin B12, B12 deficiency, bladder cancer, heart failure. The biggest consequence of diabetes drugs is that it causes pancreatic function to substantially decrease inhibiting several hormones and causing other imbalances which are never correctable without abstaining from the drug.

Natural Foods:
Black tea, Sunlight (vit D), potentially coffee (more research needed), turmeric, nuts, chia seeds, green leafy vegetables, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, red grapes, steel cut oatmeal, broccoli, spinach, green beans and strawberries. 90% of all cases of diabetes can be resolved by eating foods with a low glycemic load, and pursuing both weight training and aerobic exercise.
– Study on Black Tea Consumption From 42 Countries Shows It Lowers Diabetes Risk
– Two More Bombshells For Vitamin D: It Prevents Both Type I Diabetes and Cavities
– Coffee’s Anti-Diabetes Benefit
– Healthy Diet, Moderate Exercise Reduce Diabetes Risk Better Than Drugs
– How Turmeric Has An Anti-Diabetic Effect On The Body

The drugs on which we spend the most money are those that are still new enough to be protected against generic competition. That’s why drugs like Abilify and Seroquel (antipsychotics), as well as Plavix (blood thinner) and Advair Diskus (asthma inhaler) don’t make the list.


About the Author

Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.

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  • Pat Roome

    There is only a grain of truth in what you say. I try to avoid most medications but food choices cannot substitute for most drugs. I suffer from SIBO which causes chronic diarrhea. This problem which is symptomatic of fermentation of food in the stomach rather than digestion of those foods. The foods that I cannot eat are most green vegetables, soy bean oil, potatoes in all forms, sweetened foods and rice. These things cause intestinal problems and probiotics are only a partial answer. I rarely eat packaged or other prepared foods and never eat fast foods. There is nothing in natural foods that can substitute for drugs at times and they can have negative effects too.

  • xAnonymous

    #3.1 in book The.Luciferian.Doctrine.

  • Monique

    Right, the next time I have a bacterial infection, I’ll just put a little sunlight on it, rub some garlic, and eat some salmon and hope for the best. I’m all for natural remedies, but give me a break. Antibiotics save lives. Please get your facts straight.

    • SoccerMom51

      All human ailments result from nutritional deficiencies, including bacterial infections. Vitamin C is known to kill all pathogenic microbes, and virtually everyone is chronically deficient in Vitamin C. Vitamin D enables the production of over 200 amino acids which have antibiotic properties, and most people are deficient in Vitamin D. Iodine is another essential nutrient which kills all pathogenic microbes, and in which virtually everyone is chronically deficient. Iodine sufficiency requires about 12mg per day, same as the traditional Japanese diet which is heavy in sea vegetables (seaweed). Only about 3% of the body’s need for iodine applies to the thyroid glad. When iodine is sufficient it saturates the lining of the stomach and all mucus membranes – which kills all harmful pathogens entering the body. Suffice it to say, people succumb to bacterial infections because they don’t get enough Vitamin D producing sunlight and they don’t eat enough of the food nature intended them to eat – which is primarily raw vegetables such as kale, spinach, watercress, cabbage, etc. Even with a poor diet, bacterial infections can be stopped with hydrogen peroxide, colloidal silver, oil of oregano, and chlorine dioxide (aka MMS). There is no need to resort to pharmaceutical antibiotics, which destroy “friendly” gut bacteria.

  • Andrea

    The real point is that the way our society lives with processed foods and lack of exercise, we have created medical issues that go above and beyond the capability of natural remedies to heal. I agree that all the drugs given today are far more harmful than helpful. We need to step back and revise our medical system. We’re killing people with prescription drugs.

  • Devon

    First, the sentence, “Prescriptions for pain, cholesterol reduction, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, antacids, antipsychotics, diabetes and antibiotics make up 100% of the most prescribed drugs,” is absolutely in need of an revision. Whoever wrote this is spreading a very slanted version of what could benefit some people but keep others from seeking out the medications they need. Please understand that you are adding to public misinformation regarding health. Although there are natural pain medications that relieve chronic pain, the best acute pain relief comes from narcotics. I agree that these are handed out like candy but you can’t grind up a bunch of turmeric and ginger and expect your fresh back-surgery pain to go away.

  • Doug Jobe

    Ginger, turmeric, berries, cayenne pepper, celery/celery seeds, cherries, dark green veggies, walnuts. OK, I break my leg and you try to give me one of these instead of hydrocodone for pain, and I will break your leg and give you a stalk of celery to chew, fair enough?

    • Pam

      lol. such a literal response, well done.

  • Iindigo

    Recommending people replace T4/synthroid with iodine is very irresponsible. While T4 is the least effective thyroid medicine,using iodine without proper testing etc can actually make a thyroid problem worse and also create an autoimmune response called Hashimoto’s which is basically the body attacks the thyroid and destroys it.Thyroid problems are much more complicated than…….hey just take some iodine.
    Recommending iodine for thyroid problems or replacing medication is VERY IRRESPONSIBLE.

    • Mark

      It’s also unrealistic if you’ve been on synthroid for years. I think the iodine approach would only be helpful for someone with low normal thyroid function who just needs a little boost.

      Personally, I prefer the natural route, but you have to recognize that there are times when man made meds are necessary. I’m wary of anyone who believes in taking one approach all the time, no matter what.

  • Azmul

    While its true that herbal remedies and natural products do have some role to play in treating diseases, your article has exaggerated the side effects of drugs as well as the health benefits of natural products. Let me present you with my unbiased opinion on this issue. I am a medical student and have read medical literature and seen patients clinically as well. But let me tell you my personal experience. I am suffering from GERD (heartburn/acidity) for last 15 years. In an attempt to treat heartburn I tried every natural product I could come across. But none of them had benefit lasting even for a single day. What’s more telling is that few of them even increased my acidity, two of them were Honey and Pickle juice. I am neither obese nor lead a sedantary life style but I’ve inherited this problem from my family. Therefore I don’t have any treatable cause of acidity. Finally, eight years back I started using Omeprazole and it drastically changed my quality of life. I just take one capsule twice in a week now and i’ve never had any side effect mentioned in this article or even written by the pharmaceutical companies. Here I must mention that I do not mean that they don’t have side effects, they do, infact sometimes very severe and fatal but that’s rare. Specially omeprazole is very safe. My paternal uncle is using it for last 20 years and he too hasn’t had any side effect.
    What i meant to say is, where some drugs like Digoxin and Lithium have severe side effects, many drugs used in our daily life have minimum effects if any. But of course it depends upon the frequency of its usage. The antidepressants which strangely you haven’t mentioned and one of the most widely prescribed drugs, are full of side effects and I am staunch opponent of their widespread use. Big pharmaceutical companies are buying doctors and bribing them to prescribe such drugs especially when we have very safe alternatives for them like psychotherapy and family support which work far efficiently to treat depression than anti depressants.
    Similarly antibiotics are life saving as well. When a patient contracts lethal sepsis, antibiotics save the life of patient without causing any harm. As far as antibiotic resistance is concerned, its again due to malpractice. The greed of doctors engenders resistance in bacteria. You have mentioned Garlic as a remedy and have also provided links to it. I do not disagree with that information but I want to point out one major limitation mentioned in that research. Garlic has shown to be effective for a very small class of bacteria, including C. Jejuni which only cause gastrointestinal problems. So if we start treating a critically ill patient on Garlic, he may never survive if the organism is not susceptible to it.
    Lastly I’ll mention that majority of the side effects you’ve written are either not true or extremely rare. Even Garlic causes allergic reaction to a small population but we never express it so widely and its justified because that allergic reaction is very rare. Simiarly, Acetamiophen cause liver failure is less than 0.01% of people taking it. And majority of cases of liver failure occur due to overdosage in suicidal attempts.
    I’ll conclude by saying that although it’s good that you have mention herbal remedies for protracted diseases, and people should include these things in their diet to remain healthy, its not approriate to exaggerate the harms of drugs just to justify your views.
    Thank You.

    • Pam

      blah, blah, blah

    • Anonymous


    • Mark

      That’s good for you, but not always the case. I couldn’t tolerate omeprazole at all – it gave me horrible, debilitating anxiety.

  • Loving that you spreading this info. Shared on FB. Keep up the good work. There is a place for drugs, but unfortunately most people go to them first. Best to try the natural route first.

  • Paul

    What happens if you already taken these medications before? Is it still too late to heal?

  • Charles Waller

    I notice the total absence of cannabis in your lists of natural alternatives. That seems rather prejudicial.

    • lerizzle

      mainly painkiller but also the diabetes, and the hypertension. 3 lists it could have been on!!

    • Pam

      yes for sure. there are so many things missing but i dont think that is the point. it would be very hard to weave all the healing threads into this very subjective expose. how about the energy field and emotional healing, equally as important for many. its important to start the discussion, anywhere.

  • Bret

    Natural food and herbs are the deal.

  • cosmic

    The naural cures are not strong enough to be effective unless you completely shut out all the bad stuff in your diet which is exceedingly difficult in these days of being under attack on all fronts by the rulers of this planet.

    • Pam

      agreed for sure. this list is a starting point only but gives good grounds for changing your diet over the longer term

  • abinico warez

    Man made drugs are nature’s way of exterminating the human plague.

    • Anonymous

      that is true and helps the economy if less people to take care of

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