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Dangers of Fluoride Prescription Drugs

by
author image Jeffrey Traister
Jeffrey Traister is a writer and filmmaker. For more than 25 years, he has covered nutrition and medicine for health-care companies and publishers, also producing digital video for websites, DVDs and commercials. Trained in digital filmmaking at The New School, Traister also holds a Master of Science in human nutrition and medicine from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Dangers of Fluoride Prescription Drugs
A pharmacist is looking at a prescription. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Overview

Fluoride is derived from fluorine, an element with unique properties that are ideal for synthesizing drugs. Fluorine is the most electronegative element and can substitute for hydrogen in medicinal compounds, making the compound stronger and more stable, acidic and lipophilic. These qualities increase the bioavailability of the drug and its ability to attach to binding sites on cellular receptors and enzymes. Fluorine-containing drugs are used to treat dental disease, neuropsychiatric disorders, cancer, infections and heart disease.

Fluoride for Teeth

Fluoride is used as a prescription drug to prevent tooth decay, strengthen teeth, resist acid and block cavity-forming bacteria, according to MedlinePlus. It is prescribed for adults and children who do not have access to fluoridated water. Fluoride should not be taken if the level in drinking water exceeds 0.7 parts per million, according to Drugs.com. Side effects from overdose of fluoride include increase in saliva, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle stiffness, skin rash, tremors and seizures. Some people may develop discolored teeth and weakened tooth enamel.

Fluoxetine

The active pharmaceutical ingredient in Prozac is fluoxetine hydrochloride, a chemical compound containing fluoride. Prozac is a prescription drug indicated for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa and panic disorder, according to its product label. The product label warns users that taking Prozac may increase risk of suicidal thoughts, seizures, mania, altered appetite, weight loss, anxiety, insomnia and potential for impairment of judgment. Prozac may increase risk for neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by altered mental status, muscular rigidity, irregular pulse, rapid blood rate and irregular heart rhythm.

Fluphenazine

Fluphenazine hydrochloride is the active ingredient in Prolixin, an antipsychotic prescription drug used to treat schizophrenia, according to Drugs.com. The actual chemical compound of the drug is a trifluoromethyl phenothiazine derivative that contains fluoride. The product label warns users that the drug can cause tardive dyskinesia, an involuntary movement disorder; neuroleptic malignant syndrome; and potential birth defects. Abrupt cessation of the drug may cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness and trembling.

5-Fluorouracil

A compound containing fluoride that is used to treat various types of cancer, according to the Cleveland Clinic and Drugs.com, is 5-fluorouracil. The chemotherapy drug is highly toxic, with a narrow margin for safety. There is a risk of blood toxicity, gastrointestinal bleeding and even death. The drug may also cause birth defects, so it should not be taken by pregnant women.

Tipranavir

Tipranavir is a fluoride-containing prescription drug that is known by the brand name Aptivus. Aptivus is indicated for treatment of HIV-1 infected patients. According to the product label, this medicine may cause liver toxicity and impairment, including inflammation, decomposition and bleeding in the brain. Fatalities have been reported from use of the drug.

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