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Prescription Drugs, Vitamin & Mineral

Deficiency Linked to Excess COVID-19 Death Rate in Elderly Population


Poor Diet & Some Prescription Drugs Have Adverse Effect on Immune System


By:  David Deschesne

March 10, 2021


   Malnutrition, poor vitamin and mineral intake and a steady regimen of prescription drugs in the elderly population has been found to be a major contributor in the frailty of their immune system and inability to cope with COVID-19, as that group suffered an excessive amount of deaths last year.

   With all the hype and hoopla around the purported COVID-19 vaccines today the fact seems lost on the establishment media that vaccines do not fight viruses, they only stimulate the immune system; but, a person needs to have an adequately functioning immune system to begin with or vaccines either won’t work, or will be more harmful to the recipient than the virus they are intending to stimulate protection against.  Furthermore, if a person has a fully functioning immune system they’ll be much better equipped to fight off viral, fungal and bacterial infections without the need for the experimental, unapproved and potentially toxic vaccines that are now circulating among an unwitting public today, and have already killed more than 1,200 people in the U.S. alone.1

   An article published by United Energy Healthcare in February, 20192 listed the top prescription drugs used by elderly Americans.  Those drugs are: Hydrocodone, Simvastatin, Lisinopril, Levothyroxine, Amlodipine Besylate, Omeprazole, Azithromycin, Metformin, and Hydrochlorothiazide.  While some of those drugs have been tentatively found to have positive effects in dealing with respiratory viruses, like COVID-19, most have negative, adverse effects on the immune system and thus can actually increase the severity of a respiratory viral infection, perhaps leading to an unnecessary death. 

   Looking at the aforementioned drugs and how they can either positively or negatively affect the immune system, people taking prescription drugs should always consult with their physician before altering or otherwise changing their drug schedule since greater harm can be caused by making unsupervised changes than the drugs may be causing at the time.

    Of the list of top prescription drugs, four have been found to have negative impacts on the immune system, three were found to be positive, one neutral and one is still being studied.

    According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation nearly nine out of ten adults 65 and older report they are currently taking prescription medicine.  This compares with three fourths of 50-64 year olds who report taking prescription drugs.

   Listed in the order of the aforementioned list, the drugs, what they’re prescribe for, and potential impact to the immune system are as follows:



   Prescribed for patients suffering severe pain.  It is often blended with acetaminophen and sold under the brand names Lorcet, Norco and Vicodin.

   While common side effects are upset stomach, vomiting, drowsiness, blurred vision and difficulty urinating, a report published in Frontiers in Microbiology in June, 20162 found opioid use can have negative impacts on viral infections.  The authors of the study found those who used opioids on an ongoing basis “have a higher prevalence of opportunistic infections, which may be directly associated with impaired immune function.”  They also noted, “studies that showed non-addicted individuals who were treated with opioids resulted in reactivation of latent viruses, which can be directly explained by a dampened antiviral immune function.”



   Simvastatin, commonly sold under the brand name Zocor, is a cholesterol-lowering drug designed to lower the number of triglycerides and LDL (“bad cholesterol”) while raising the amount of HDL (“good cholesterol”).

   Common side effects are; confusion, weight gain, fever or flu symptoms and allergic reactions.   According to a study published in the medical journal, Vaccine, researchers have found that those who have been inoculated with the traditional influenza (flu) vaccine and who also use a statin are at a greater risk for medically attended acute respiratory illness.3



   Lisinopril is an ACE inhibitor, prescribed to patients suffering from high blood pressure and congestive heart failure.  It is sold under the brand names Qbrelis, Zestril and Prinivil.

   Some of the common side effects are dizziness, headache, low blood pressure and chest pain.   A study by Baylor University in October, 2018 found “those who were on ACE inhibitors prior to admission for viral pneumonia and subsequently discontinued medication had a higher mortality than those not on an ACE inhibitor prior to admission.”4  That means if a patient was on ACE inhibitors, then came down with pneumonia and had their medication stopped when admitted to hospital, they were more likely to die than those who stayed on the medication; or those who were not on the medication to begin with.



   Levothyroxine is used to treat hypothyroidism - a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, which disrupts metabolism and heart rate.

    Common side effects are headache, fever, irritability, hot flashes and sweating.   There are no known adverse impacts on the immune system caused by Levothyroxine.  However, it’s interesting to note that viral infections are frequently cited as a major environmental factor in subacute thyroiditis and autoimmune thyroid disease.5


Amlodipine Besylate

   Amlodipine Besylate is a blood pressure medication sold under the brand name Norvasc.  It is a Calcium Channel Blocker (CCB) which makes blood flow easier by slowing the heartbeat and decreasing each beat’s strength.

   Common side effects are dizziness, drowsiness, stomach pain and nausea.  In laboratory settings, CCBs have been found to have unique anti-viral properties and other studies have shown a decreased Case Fatality Rate of COVID-19 patients with high blood pressure as the only comorbidity who were taking CCBs to treat their blood pressure.6  (More information on this story is printed on page three of this issue of Fort Fairfield Journal.)



   Omeprazole, sold under the brand names Prilosec OTC, Zegerid and Zegerid OTC is used to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, esophageal damage and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

   Common side effects are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and upper respiratory infection.   However, researchers have found that subjects treated with omeprazole family compounds displayed a lower risk of catching Influenza Like Illnesses.7



   Azithromycin is a common anti-bacterial used to treat bacterial infections and bacterial pneumonia. 

   Common side effects are nausea, stomach upset, vomiting and dizziness.  While it is used to treat bacterial pneumonia, by itself it is not effective against viruses.  However, it has been found to be an effective treatment component when used with Hydroxychloroquine and zinc in the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms.  While hydroxychloroquine is a safe drug when used properly and zinc is a common mineral humans must have for a strong immune system, this particular treatment was shunned and discredited by the establishment “news” media for political reasons throughout 2020 because it was so effective at reducing or eliminating the severe symptoms of the disease when used at the proper dosage.



   Metormin is a medication used to treat diabetes.  Common side effects are physical weakness, diarrhea, abdominal pain and low blood levels of vitamin B-12.

   Due to its ability to lower blood sugar levels, some studies have found it may be linked to positive outcomes in viral infections, but those studies are inconclusive at this point and remain ongoing.



   Hydrochlorothiazide is a blood pressure medication sold under the brand name Microzide.  It is a diuretic that works by stimulating urine production to flush water and salt from the body to lower blood pressure.

   Common side effects are low blood pressure, blurred vision, nausea and pancreatitis.  Up to ten percent of the negative side effects are sinus abnormality, cough and upper respiratory infection.8


   Various other classes of drugs can also adversely affect the body’s immune system and its subsequent ability to combat disease.  These classes are:



   In addition to prescription drugs, overuse of antibiotics can also have a negative effect on the body’s immune system.  A report in Insider magazine9 quoted Alex Berezow, PhD, a microbiologist at the American Council on Science and Health, “[antibiotics] can affect the functioning of your digestive system, metabolism and parts of the immune system that are in the digestive tract.”  The report also stated, “As Case Western Reserve University researchers found in one lab-based study on mice, antibiotics can destroy the good bacteria that work on behalf of the immune system to fight off fungal infections.  Another mice study found that antibiotics made immune cells less effective at destroying bacteria, as well as changing their cells in ways that caused them to protect (instead of kill) the pathogen.”


Antipsychotic Medication

   Researchers at the University of New England have been studying the side effects of drugs for more than ten years.

   In a recent report,10 UNE noted how their researchers “have discovered that antipsychotic drugs are getting into bone marrow, making it difficult for them to fight off infections.”

   “Antipsychotic medications, such as Risperidone, are some of the most highly prescribed drugs in the United States. They are widely prescribed for diverse psychiatric conditions including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. They are also prescribed ‘off-label’ for many conditions where they have not been proven to have a beneficial effect. Clinical reports indicate that schizophrenics have three times the risk of infection compared to population norms, but the role medications play in these risks has never been clear.”


Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency

   While prescription medications have a proximate adverse effect on the body’s immune system, a proper diet and proper amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have a direct effect on the immune system.  Conversely, it is the lack of vitamins and minerals that damages the immune system.  In today’s Standard American Diet (SAD) many people, especially the elderly who don’t eat as much as they used to, do not receive enough vitamins and minerals to have a healthy body or fully functioning immune system.  Even with vaccines, the body’s immune system can only be stimulated to fend off disease if it is properly equipped to do so with the right amount of vitamins and minerals that it needs to do its job.

    While most prescription drugs don’t directly impact the immune system in a negative way, their side effects of exhaustion, sleeplessness, inactivity and dehydration all work against the body and reduce the effectiveness of the immune system.

   According to a March 10, 2020 report in the medical journal Nutrients,11 it was pointed out that, “Often missing in public health discussions around immunity and infection are nutritional strategies to support optimal function of the immune system.  This is surprising, given that the importance that nutrition plays in immune function is well established.  Several vitamins, including Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate; and trace elements, including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper, play important and complementary roles in supporting both the innate and adaptive immune systems.”  They also noted, “Other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids also support an effective immune system, specifically by helping to resolve the inflammatory response.”

   When it comes to deficiency in these vitamins and minerals, the researchers stated the obvious, “It is not surprising, then, that deficiencies and even suboptimal status of these nutrients can impair immune function.”


   So, when an aging population that is malnourished with vitamin and mineral deficient food sources is then thrown on a steady diet of prescription drugs, it should not be surprising when they succumb to a respiratory virus like COVID-19 and seasonal flu at much greater rates than the younger portions of the general public who get more sun, more exercise, more fresh air and more food and nutrients on a daily basis.