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Medicines That Kill: The Truth about the Hidden Epidemic Paperback – January 17, 2013

36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Medications can harm as well as heal. In cardiologist Marcum’s mind, medicines are the number one cause of death in North America and possibly the world. Human error—by physicians, nurses, and pharmacists—plays a role. Misuse of medicines and mistakes by patients are also to blame. Slipups in manufacturing, distribution, and labeling of medications happen. Problems with prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs include incorrect doses, drug-drug interactions, inappropriate administration for improper conditions, and lack of monitoring for side effects. Opioid painkillers, chemotherapeutic agents, blood thinners, antiarrhythmic drugs, and steroids head Marcum’s list of the most dangerous medications. Nevertheless, he admits that many medicines are worth the risks they carry. He encourages patients to ask questions: What is the rationale for the prescription? What are specific risks and common side effects? Are there alternatives to the use of drug therapy? But the final two chapters are preachy as Marcum injects a heavy dose of religion and makes an astonishing assertion: “I consider the Bible to be the greatest health journal ever written.” --Tony Miksanek

Review

Medications can harm as well as heal. In cardiologist Marcum’s mind, medicines are the number-one cause of death in North America and possibly the world. Human error―by physicians, nurses, and pharmacists―plays a role. Misuse of medicines and mistakes by patients are also to blame. Slipups in manufacturing, distribution, and labeling of medications happen. Problems with prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs include incorrect doses, drug-drug interactions, inappropriate administration for improper conditions, and lack of monitoring for side effects. Opioid painkillers, chemotherapeutic agents, blood thinners, antiarrhythmic drugs, and steroids head Marcum’s list of the most dangerous medications. Nevertheless, he admits that many medicines are worth the risks they carry. He encourages patients to ask questions: What is the rationale for the prescription? What are specific risks and common side effects? Are there alternatives to the use of drug therapy? But the final two chapters are preachy as Marcum injects a heavy dose of religion and makes an astonishing assertion: “I consider the Bible to be the greatest health journal ever written.” ―Tony Miksanek (Booklist)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; 1 edition (January 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414368852
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414368856
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. James L. Marcum is a practicing, board certified cardiologist with the Chattanooga Heart Institute. He is speaker/director of HeartWise Ministries, heartwiseministries.org, which is dedicated to truth in Medicine.

The radio program HeartWise is heard worldwide. The new television program "Heart of Health LIVE" will be introduced this summer and will answer questions live with leading doctors. The new program Ultimate Prescription can be seen starting in May on the Three Angels Broadcasting Network. Dr. Marcum presents seminars focusing on Biblical technology nationwide.

There is a place for modern medicine and a healthy lifestyle, but it is the relationship with the Creator which leads to truth, love, and healing.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ~Marianne Is-Loved~ on February 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
Review of Medicines That Kill, by James L. Marcum.

full review posted at Sandling All Day
I was expecting, when I recevied this book to review, a mere informational book about all the medicines that do more harm than good, but quickly realized it's much more than that.
When I read about Martha, and how her VERY routine surgery eventually ended in her death, it REALLY made me think about how easy it is to fall victim to simple things, like a MRSA infection, something that you should NOT find in hospitals, but you do. While we assume that a surgery room is completly sterile, anything not properly sterilized could introduce this deadly infection into your bloodstream.

Dr. Marcum gives us his top 10 deadliest classes of medictions.
We assume and understand the risks of taking opioid medications (narcotics/pain killers) and know that they are easy to overdose on, and even easier to get hooked on. (His #1)
But do you realize just how deadly some other, most prescribed, medications are?
Here is the rest of his list:
2: Chemotherapy
3: Blood Thinnners
4: antiarrhythmics
5: steroids
6: diuretics
7: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen anyone???)
8: ADD/ADHD medications
9: Diabetes meds
and
#10 (really surprised me) Antidepressants.

Dr. Marcum lists 5 questions to improve patient literacy. I challange EVERYONE out there to ask these questions when you are prescribed a medication!!

Why am I taking this medication?
How and when do I take this medication?
What are the side effects, especially the dangerous ones?
When should I NOT take this medication?
What should I do if I forget to take this medication?
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Milk Donor Mama on January 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Medicines That Kill: The Truth about the Hidden Epidemic by James L. Marcum, MD explains the overuse and abuse of prescription drugs.

From celebrities to the person next door, there are frequent reports of people who become addicted or overdose on drugs that many people think are safe because they are prescribed by a doctor. This book takes a Biblical approach to guiding physical health and spiritual health.

There are many examples of patients misinformed about their medicine or who accidentally misused it or did not read the directions and nearly died because of doing so. There are also examples of how the toxicity of commonly prescribed medications can inadvertently cause death. From dosing mistakes to receiving the wrong medication entirely, there are countless ways that people die every day from so called "safe" medicines.

When it comes down to it, the author essentially feels that we should not have blind faith in pharmaceuticals and I whole-heartedly agree. Every medicine has a long list of side effects, some of which can be dangerous. However, each person must weigh the risks of taking a medication versus not taking it. And not just that, but those issues should be discussed with a doctor, not made by the patient by himself.

There is also advice on how to deal with an addiction or abuse of prescription drugs for yourself or a loved one. This advice is sound and well placed.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion here is entirely my own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shelley Walling on January 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Author James L. Marcum brings to light a growing epidemic of people misusing prescription drugs by thinking if one can do then one more will not hurt. they don't realize that overuse and taking more than the directions say is misuse. The patients need to realize that every prescription they take is important because of drug interactions can be fatal. This books also brings out in the open, how many people when filling out forms at the doctors office they don't ask for help if they don't understand something. The Doctors and patients need to work together to get the right medications for the Illness.
I really enjoyed this book as It makes one think about how easy it is to just to take medicines, than make the changes in diet that are necessary for Good Health.
I received this book from Tyndale for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denise M. DiFalco on January 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Author James L. Marcum MD explores our nation's escalating problem of drug abuse, particularly prescription drug abuse . Too many individuals are blinded by the fact that a drug can be fatal if it is prescribed by a physician. Nothing is further from the truth as is outlined in this recent publication. This book is a must read for everyone because drug abuse is so prevalant in society today and most everybody knows someone perplexed by this problem. Dr. Marcum does a fine job in covering the following topics: medications can kill, medications that do kill and medications have killed. My only concern being that he tends to overlook the fact that there are people who do need specific medication and that this can safely be done if the patient follows as prescribed. Ironically, I have been in a chronic pain clinic for six years and have a stellar specialist. The pain that I live with daily causes my hypertension to skyrocket even with high blood pressure medication. My doctor prescribes my medication to also keep my blood pressure at a reasonable rating. The pain clinic I am a part of is very strict. All patients must get all of their medications from one pharmacy location that keeps a record of everything you may have to take from all doctors, this way there is no duplication of prescriptions. Every client must have urine testing often and blood testing. I have always known the seriousness of the medications that I am on and have always feared taking too much. I am thankful for the safe enviroment provided by our Chronic Pain Clinic. Not everyone is tempted too take to many or abuse drugs and likewise there are doctors who are concerned for their patients. I was offered to read this book for the Tyndale Network in exchange for my review. I do applaud Dr.Read more ›
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