A cancer diagnosis brings a lot of anxiety as patients and their loved ones fear for the worst. Unfortunately, cancer remains one of the most common battles in today’s medical world. Sadly though, some of the drugs administered to treat many conditions may also contribute to the patient developing cancer.
Drugs that cause cancer
Cancer-causing elements are generally referred to as carcinogens. Unfortunately, many people are exposed to dangerous carcinogens in the forms of medication and drugs without necessarily knowing how bad they are. These dangerous drugs can be divided into three categories, which are:
- Procarcinogens: These are carcinogens that cause cancer when they are transformed during metabolic processes. The elements only become carcinogenic after transformation.
- Cocarcinogens: These cause cancer when they act with other chemicals.
- Direct-acting carcinogens: These will cause cancer by self-acting. They do not need a second trigger to act.
Popular drugs that cause cancer
Different prescription drugs used daily have been found to contain carcinogens. Unfortunately, most of the users of such drugs use them without suspecting the potential dangers they expose themselves to. Researchers have discovered some drugs are risky, but your doctor and pharmacist may not know if the manufacturing company or drug rep fails to disclose the information.
Paroxetine and Fluoxetine for Testicular Cancer
These are drugs that inhibit the reuptake of serotonin. They are said to be linked to testicular cancers. They include SSRI antidepressants. Research has proven that in recent years, testicular cancers seem to be on the rise, but they have not determined the cause. Future research may uncover a link between these medications and testicular cancer.
Hydrochlorothiazide for Lip Cancer
Research proves that most of the patients who took diuretic hydrochlorothiazide for a certain period suffered an increased risk of developing lip cancer. While there was a potential for developing renal tumors, it was linked to hypertension. Lip cancer also seems to affect the lower lip because of exposure to sunlight.
Hyoscyamine for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
This is a natural element found in plants. The component has been used in drugs that are then administered to improve pupil’s dilation, giving an illusion of a softer look. Unfortunately, this component is a gastrointestinal agent and an atropine isomer. It competes with acetylcholine at the muscarinic receptors in the salivary, bronchia, and sweat glands. It also competes with receptors at the eye, heart, and gastrointestinal tract level.
Hyoscyamine affects the heart’s general functioning, causing issues with heart rate, not to mention decreasing secretions from the glands discussed above. This drug is often used to reduce gastrointestinal spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, and colic and treat heart disease. Unfortunately, it can also cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma in just four months of use. This is one of the most common cancers in America.
Nifedipine for Laryngeal Cancer
This first-generation calcium channel blocking drug has been in existence for years. Over time, second- and third-generation drugs of the same have been developed. It is associated with laryngeal cancer, lip, and lung cancer, although the latter is rare.
Nortriptyline for Esophageal Cancer
The drug is commonly used as a tricyclic antidepressant. It can also be applied as an active metabolite of amitriptyline. While there are other triggers of esophageal cancer, the use of nortriptyline regularly is believed to be a major trigger.
Patients should be careful about the use of certain drugs. It helps to discuss with your doctor before choosing a specific drug, especially when there are other alternatives. If you have developed cancer while using any of these medications, it is also in your best interest to seek out the counsel of an experienced attorney.