Modern medicines can work miracles, but hazards are associated with them also.

Is that Prozac you’re taking? For what reason? The drug has been approved mainly as an anti-depressant. But despite reports of drastic side effects, some doctors prescribe it to treat weight loss.

And is that Seldane in your cabinet? Do you know that when taken with certain antibiotics, this anti-allergy drug can produce heart problems? Does your doctor even know that? Better make sure; the combo can kill you.

More that 1.5 billion prescriptions are written each year. Most are safe, but adverse reactions cause 659,000 hospitalization annually, costing $27 billion. Prescription error is the second-leading cause of malpractice suits, accounting for more than $250 million in settlements.

The elderly are most vulnerable. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that 25% of all older Americans are prescribed at least one “inappropriate and dangerous drug” each year. Other studies say that 3,300 older Americans die of ulcers caused by arthritis medication each year and 1,500 from hip injuries suffered during drug-induced falls.

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