The 5 most dangerous medications doctors still prescribe in Chicago and across the US include acetaminophen, benzodiazepines, prescription opiates, antidepressants, and methadone. Learn more about these drugs below.

Top Five Most Dangerous Prescription Medications

The following are the top five most dangerous prescription drugs:


Doctors often prescribe Tylenol or other forms of acetaminophen to relieve pain, but it can cause significant liver damage over time. In fact, studies have found that acetaminophen is the second leading cause of liver transplantation in the world, leading to 500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone.


Doctors may also prescribe benzodiazepines to relieve anxiety, including Valium and Xanax. The reason these drugs are dangerous is their combination of potential for nervous system depression and their high rate of prescription.

Prescription Opiates

These drugs include Fentanyl, Oxycontin, and other similar opiates. They typically help treat pain, but they also produce a high that may supplement other drugs, such as alcohol and cocaine, which often leads to fatal overdoses.


Psychiatrists frequently prescribe antidepressants to treat certain conditions, ranging from major depression to anxiety. While these medications may benefit patients at first, they can have serious long-term side effects, including insomnia and even suicidal tendencies in some patients.


Similar to morphine, doctors often prescribe methadone because of its similar effects as a heroin substitute for patients going through heroin withdrawal. However, like heroin and other addictive drugs, patients may abuse methadone.

The Dangers of Prescription Medications

The different types of dangerous drugs present different risks based on their chemistry and interactions with patients’ biology.

If a doctor irresponsibly prescribes medication, this could constitute medical malpractice, especially if doctors lie about drug safety when prescribing them.

Risk of Drug Addiction in Prescription Medications

One of the biggest dangers of certain prescription drugs is the ability to develop a drug addiction. Doctors must do what they can to advise patients on the safe use of medications like opiates that can easily lead to addiction.

If you want to learn more about the dangers of medications and believe you may have a medical malpractice case, consider consulting a medical malpractice lawyer to discuss a potential case. He or she will be able to review the details of your case, illustrate the difference between medical malpractice and negligence, and may help build a claim or lawsuit against liable medical professionals.