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Most Troublesome Drugs in the Pharmacy

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Every year millions of Americans are seriously harmed by the medicines that are supposed to heal them or relieve their discomfort. In far too many cases, the injuries are disabling or even fatal. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices [ISMP] has been tracking the FDA's database of adverse drug reactions for years. ISMP is a "nonprofit organization devoted entirely to medication error prevention and safe medication use."

Patients, pharmacists, physicians, nurses and drug companies can submit adverse event reports or stories about drug failures to the FDA through a system called MedWatch: After someone sends in a report of a bad drug reaction it ends up in a computerized database called AERS (Adverse Event Reporting System). The FDA reviews this information but doesn't make it easily accessible in a usable form for the rest of us. That's where Tom Moore comes in. He has cracked the FDA's code and has been offering quarterly reports of the FDA data for years through ISMP.

If it weren't for Tom we would have very little idea what kind of drug problems have been reported to the FDA. He has summarized the data for last year in his latest report:

http://www.ismp.org/QuarterWatch/default.aspx

Here is what Tom has discovered. Adverse event reports of "serious, disabling, and fatal adverse drug events" are up over 9% in the last year. Roughly 180,000 such reports were submitted to the FDA. Experts estimate that is just the tip of the iceberg. It might represent as little as 1% of the number of people who were seriously harmed by medications last year. That's because most health professionals cannot take the time to submit a report and most patients don't know that they can.

The brand new report from ISMP uncovers the drugs that led to the most reports of serious adverse reactions in 2011. They are in order:

"Suspect drugs ranked by number of direct reports to FDA in 2011"

1. Pradaxa (dabigatran)
2. Coumadin (warfarin)
3. Levaquin (levofloxacin)
4. Carboplatin
5. Zestril (lisinopril)
6. Cisplatin
7. Zocor (simvastatin)
8. Cymbalta (duloxetine)
9. Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
10. Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim)

Most health professionals would understand why Pradaxa and warfarin led the list. These anticoagulants are prescribed to prevent blood clots from causing strokes or other harm from restricted blood flow to vulnerable tissues. The trouble is that older patients are especially vulnerable to complications from such drugs. We think of it a bit like walking a tightrope. On one side are blood clots that can cause lethal complications. On the other side is hemorrhage that can lead to fatal bleeding episodes.

According to the ISMP report, Pradaxa was associated with hemorrhage, kidney failure, stroke, liver failure and more than 500 deaths. Warfarin was linked to over 1000 cases of serious complications and 72 deaths. These are just the serious adverse drug events for these two medications that were reported to the FDA. Goodness knows how many life-threatening or fatal reactions went unreported.

Most physicians would be surprised to see that the antibiotic Levaquin made the top 10 list of problem drugs. We're not. We have received a huge number of complaints about this drug from visitors to this website. Many people report tendon problems. Here is just one example:

"My husband took Levaquin for a sinus infection and within hours the tendons in his legs tightened and he could not walk. It took months for him to get better though he still has some residual leg pain."

Others report psychological or neurological problems with this class of antibiotics (fluoroquinolones): One visitor to this website shared this story:

"I am a college student who is still suffering the effects of Levaquin months later. My doctor prescribed it for painful urination with a fever. Within an hour of taking the first dose, my legs felt numb and it seemed like my brain was frying. I couldn't explain to my mom what was happening and I could barely move. It wasn't that I was paralyzed; more like I was walking on a water bed. I had no balance, my gait was terrible, and I couldn't think.

"My doctor thought the neurological symptoms I was experiencing were due to fever and dehydration, but really it was a consequence of the Levaquin. I still have deep pains in my knees and feet and I am too weak to exercise as I used to. But the biggest problem that bothers me is the brain fog. I get lost easily, cannot remember things and had to withdraw from school. I am wired-tired and have great trouble sleeping."

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine recently noted that levofloxacin can cause serious irregular heart rhythms.

To read more stories about Levaquin side effects, visit these links:

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2010/11/14/levaquin-linked-to-tendon-pain/

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2010/02/15/cipro-floxin-and-levaquin-cause-chaos/

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2011/06/13/antibiotics-can-cause-devastating-side-effects/

Most physicians would probably be amazed to see that lisinopril also made it to the top 10 list of problem prescriptions in 2011. Not us. We have been receiving a steady stream of serious complaints about this ACE inhibitor blood pressure medication for years. Here is just one example:

"Your column saved my life (or at least made it worth living again). I have been in lisinopril hell for over three months.
My insurance company switched me from Micardis, a blood pressure medicine that had no side effects, to lisinopril. They gave me six months free. If I had not agreed to switch, I would have had to pay $100 a month for the Micardis.
Almost immediately, I became incapacitated with a violent cough. It made me choke, gag and vomit, and even lose my bladder control.

"At first I thought I had caught the flu. A doctor then diagnosed a sinus infection. Antibiotics didn't help. I went back to my doctor, who dismissed my symptoms by sending me to an allergist.

"The allergist had me fill out a lengthy history in which I mentioned the lisinopril, but he did not make the connection either. Instead he put me through a series of very expensive breathing tests and gave me breathing medicines (also expensive). Needless to say, none of this worked.

"I was becoming depressed because the cough was interfering with my sleep, work and social life. Then my neighbor showed me your column about lisinopril cough. I stopped the drug and have completely recovered."

More stories can be found at these links:

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2010/04/26/when-will-doctors-pay-attention-to-an-ace-cough/

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2010/06/21/doctors-missed-cause-of-cough/

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/04/16/horrible-cough-from-blood-pressure-pill/

Some people experience a life-threatening allergic reaction to ACE inhibitors like lisinopril:

"On January 15, my brother experienced an allergic reaction that made his throat and tongue swell. He was rushed to the nearest emergency room, but shortly after he arrived his airways closed up so the ER staff could not get a tube in for some time.

"His wife had brought in his meds and it was quickly determined that the culprit was the blood pressure pill lisinopril. He had been been taking it for four years.

"He went into cardiac arrest and was revived but suffered massive brain damage. He died February 8. You might want to warn your readers about this reaction."
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/03/05/blood-pressure-pill-proved-deadly/

We must emphasize that NO ONE should EVER stop taking any medication without careful consultation with a physician and medical supervision. Even dangerous drugs can be essential for health. We have listed these medications because we believe that the ISMP report deserves careful consideration. Recognizing the drugs that have caused the most adverse event reports to the FDA may help patients avoid becoming a statistic or ending up in the FDA database. Always find out what symptoms to look out for. Have your health professionals fill out this FREE Drug Safety Questionnaire.

And take a few minutes to review the latest ISMP Quarter Watch. It provides far more depth about the FDA's MedWatch reports than we can in this brief summary.

You can report any serious side effects directly to the FDA's MedWatch program.

Should you wish to report an adverse drug event to The People's Pharmacy you can do so here. Just go to the comment section below and submit your report.


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32 Comments

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Thank you so much for providing this information to the public.

I read medical information every day and have never seen so much good information in one place and that's so easy to use.

I enjoyed your book--"10 Top Screw-Ups..."

Convince me the FDA is not a willing, corrupted prisoner of the franken-pharma industry.

I'd like to add my reaction to Cipro, as it is given so liberally, especially to women for urinary tract infections. Within two weeks after being prescribed it, I woke one morning with terrible Achilles tendinitis. It was excruciating to try to step on my left foot. I went first to my podiatrist, who was sure of the diagnosis, but referred me to an orthopedic clinic for physical therapy as well as prescriptive pain medicine. I had the appointment, but felt uneasy about the recommendations, I'm highly sensitive to drugs, and now have a long term condition due to inappropriate physical therapy given for a prior problem, so am not so trusting of the "experts".

So I wound up fighting through it with immobilization, and my own aqua therapy in my hot tub, and aspirin to reduce the inflammation and pain. It took 3 months of hobbling and pain but was finally resolved. 1 yr. later I wound up with another UTI, and was prescribed the same Cipro. This time a patient information paper was given with it and the first thing on the page was: "May cause Achilles tendinitis" Do not take if you have had previous tendinitis or are subject to tendon problems." I went back into the pharmacy and told the pharmacist my experience.

He excused himself and went to his computer, then came back and literally took the prescription away from me. He said he had not known of this but it was very serious and I must never take it or any derivative of it and told me to call my doctor for another prescription. I did, and my doctor didn't think it was a related incident and said he still thought it was the best product for my problem. He wasn't even going to check it out. I never went back.

I went to an urgent care and got a simple amoxocillan for my UTI. and have since learned that for me, there is a connection with UTI's and an acid/alcahaline imbalance in my system and I am now more responsible with my diet. Read the info sheets that are handed out. Your doctor doesn't.

I have just been prescribed restasis for dry eyes as a measure to see if I can produce enough tears for multi-focal replacement lenses when I have cataract surgery. I was appalled at the cost when I went to pick it up. I am also concerned that, once started, it might lead to dependence, and am concerned about long-term use of something that lowers immunity, even if it is only eye drops. Do you have any information?

I take Lisinopril 20mg for blood pressure. In summer heat-my blood pressure returns to normal with the heat and even gets to 90 over 50 at times.

In winter, it is high so I need the Lisinopril. At this time,I also get very high surges that my Dr prescribed prn clonidine. I am confused. Should I ask my Dr if I can decrease dosage radically in summer?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Be very careful about decreasing the dose of clonidine. It must be done quite gradually, and not stopped or dropped dramatically all of a sudden.

I think the statins should be listed as dangerous. My personal experience is with Lipitor and I assure you it is very debilitating to lose the feeling in your arms and hands while at the same time feel as if hot pokers are being jammed down the nerves in your arms and into your fingers -- dead to feeling on the outside, extreme pain on the inside.

I am slowly improving after discontinuing the drug two months ago but am still wearing braces on my hands to control movement/pain and still have sleepless nights due to pain. The doctors tell me it could take a year to recover IF I recover. There are multiple class action lawsuits about this problem with Lipitor and yet, the company denies that peripheral neuropathy is a side effect of their drug. Where is the FDA on this one?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: In the FDA-approved manufacturer's prescribing information (http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=c6e131fe-e7df-4876-83f7-9156fc4e8228) peripheral neuropathy is indeed listed as a side effect, but one that didn't show up until after the drug went on the market.

My doctor put me on Levaquin for an upper respiratory infection. Within a few days I noticed mental confusion and depression as well as weakness in my hands and arms. Thanks to years of reading the People's Pharmacy, I paid attention, and my doctor switched me to another antibiotic.

Your links to MedWatch did not work. Excellent article!!

Has there been anything about hyzaar
and kidney disease? I took it for three years and now I have cod stage 3..

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Doctors are warned that patients who already have kidney disease may not do well on Hyzaar.

I don't know if any of this would help anyone because it has not done so for me. A little over a year ago I had what my doctor said was bronchitis. Since then I have had problems with shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and muscle pain. I have been cleared by a pulmonologist and a cardiologist that there is nothing wrong with me that aging has not done. I also have trouble walking and climbing stairs. I need to take an elevator for just for one flight. SOB can occur when just sitting watching TV or preparing meals and then I get nauseous and do not want to eat.

I feel all my symptoms are a result of my meds (five of them). Symvostatin I believe causes my muscle pain for the walking as do the other meds. At one time I loved to country dance. This slowly went downhill. I do not believe this a result of aging but from all five of my meds with the same side effects.I have been taking these meds for more than ten years and have been told these symptoms would have occurred when I started taking them.

Another comment on Pradaxa: a recent article in the Houston Press (May 24-30 edition) explored the problem that Pradaxa presents. Once you are on the drug, if you start bleeding or have a severe fall with a head injury you and your doctors have a real problem since there is no reversal agent and no antidote to stop the bleeding from this anti-coagulant drug. To read the entire article, go to houstonpress.com. It details the injuries and lawsuits against the drug company.

In 2008 I was put on lisinopril and told to come back in 30 days. When I returned to my physician I told him I had developed a hacking cough and could not sleep. He sent me home with a new prescription for a lesser dose, but 30 days later it was the same, a hacking cough. He then told me I was one of the 15% of the population that could not tolerate this drug and prescribed Diovan Hct 160/12H which I have taken uneventfully since.

I was given an Rx for Cipro that was double the amount that is regimented for my age of 77 for an UTI. It was for 500 MG and my research on the web said I should take no more then 250 MG at one time. After the second pill, my arms became numb and I felt strange. Thinking maybe I was having a stroke, my husband called 911. The EMT's said I had all the signs of a drug overdose. They stayed with me until my BP was normal and I felt well again. I have since found a new primary doctor.

Over 10 years ago my doctor put me on Sulfa antibiotics for pneumonia. Within days I became jaundiced and feeling more sick than I had ever felt in my life. After 5 separate tests for hepatitis (all negative) it was determined that I had an allergic reaction to the sulfa antibiotics. In fact, the antibiotics triggered an autoimmune response directed at my liver. My liver was damaged; my body was rejecting my own liver.

I have lived with this condition over a decade, several years in remission, but 2 years ago, a thyroid medication I needed to take triggered the response again. This time doing so much damage that the only option was a liver transplant. I have been waiting nearly 2 years and do not see where I will be saved. Be careful and educate yourself about antibiotics.

I was recently prescribed Lisinopril just 10 mg for high blood pressure. I am healthy take minimal meds and within two weeks I was starting to loose control of my bladder. I saw another doctor and he casually said that that is a side effect of Lisinopril with some people. (great) he put me on hydrochlorot and I don't have the problem.

Six years ago I was given Levaquin because of very inflamed areas in my intestines ie. diverticulitis. It made me feel wretched & the Dr. had me stop it & used another drug. Then I went to a local "good" health food store & they recommended I try the Omega 7 capsules. I have taken them everyday since & when I had a colonoscopy Aug. 2011, the doc said my insides looked the best they had in 20 yrs.

I have had a colonoscopy every 3 yrs. because of having breast cancer & also had polyps, but this last time everything was good & now I can wait 5 yrs. Hallelujah!! The Omega 7 has helped my gums heal up from repeated surgeries for implants & it helps heal other skin issues for me. As the results of this experience, it has made me wary of antibiotics, but I do have to take them because of knee/joint replacements.

CYMBALTA. My Doctor - a DO - suggested I try it. I have Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was also on Misoprostil, Diclofenac and Tramadol - with little side effects. I took one Cymbalta at around 10:30am, by 11:30 I was feeling dizzy so had my husband help me to the living room to lie down. He went to work and called at 12:30pm to see how I was, which was even dizzier.

I had to take a phone call and needed to get on my computer. By the time I reached the computer room at the back of the house I was so dizzy it was terrifying. Hung up and lay on the floor with my eyes shut. I lost control of my bodily functions and sweated profusely. Called my husband to come home and my daughter at Harris Methodist in FTW. She called the doctor and the MA said to get me to Emergency asap. Not possible as I couldn't get up off the floor.

Called an Ambulance and do not remember the 35-40 minute ride from the house to the hospital. BP was Stage 4 and 220/120 when my daughter saw it and it was COMING DOWN! This is Stroke and Heart Attack level. I was diagnosed also with severe dehydration. Came home that night, saw the doctor the next day and he did NOT apologize due I imagine to responsibility issues. He DID have the audacity to tell me to hang onto them and we could try them again when I'd been on the Tramadol a bit longer. Consequently I do not see him any longer.

I took myself off all the meds and changed my diet. No coffee, sugar or fried foods. Dairy is Lactose free and mixed with Almond Milk. I am taking Supplements that are working amazingly well, and wearing Incredisocks for Diabetics made from Bamboo Charcoal and in 2 days of wearing them my left foot is almost the same color as the right and the swellings have gone down to where my slip on sandals are now too big.

I am done with doctors - again! I have studied and used herbs for years, but my poor diet tripped me up. I drink Herb teas and they are cleansing my systems and I am beginning to be able to walk when I first get out of bed instead of doing the "Chicken Dance" as anyone with stiff joints is proficient at.
I hope this lengthy comment will be of assistance to someone. I am always willing to help or discuss.

Dear Joe and Terry,
having just connected with your website on Sunday and reading about drug reactions today.... I need to tell you that I have been on forteo for 18 months and have experienced itchy eyes and problems with my vision also. Using eye drops still leaves me with itchy, red eyelids.... it is frustrating to say the least. I have reported it to the drug company but they pass it on and give me a "2-3 percent" answer of the people on forteo that have reported similarly. It is very upsetting. I am so hoping that Dr. Abel's CD will guide me to the correct eye-drops to purchase.

I must stop the forteo in January as that is the longest time one can take it. My Drs.. have insisted I need two years to help me build my osteoporitic bones. Through falling I have broken many. I am praying my way through the next 5 months. Please guide me with your thoughts. I also have to take dicyclomine before each meal and otc prilosec once a day. I often wonder about those also for their part in reactions.... too long.

discouraged... but ever praying. thank you both for caring so much. Leola

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Be sure to ask your doctor about the Prilosec. Long-term use of such medication has been shown to increase the risk of osteoporosis and fracture--the last thing you need!

It was Cipro that destroyed my life. It made a cripple out of a previously healthy and active 32-year old woman who was prescribed it for a suspected bladder infection.

The true side effects of these antibiotics are only vaguely mentioned in the package insert, and there is absolutely no mention that these can be long term. The side effects that I am suffering from include nerve damage, rheumatoid arthritis-like and pins and needles feelings in my extremities, numbness, electro-shocks, burning and tingling sensations, brain fog, loss of memory, sensitivity to cold temperatures, and such pain in my joints, muscles and tendons that I walk around like an 82-year old woman. It causes me to suffer other physical restrictions, such as not being able to stand in place, drive or lift anything.

It's been 8 months since taking the last pill, and I am still suffering from the debilitating side effects which limit me in every aspect of my life. I have developed extreme food intolerances and cannot eat out anymore. My career has taken a blow as I can no longer work full time. I have no strength to pursue a social life and am falling into isolation. I have spent tens of thousands on alternative treatments because conventional doctors can't find anything wrong with me and don't attribute my condition to the use of the antibiotic at all. I have talked to so many deaf ears and have had to endure insults on my mental state.

I am, however, not alone. If you type the words "Fluoroquinolone Toxicity" into the internet, you will see the stories of thousands of others who are suffering as I. What has gotten me through this is a support group on Facebook. We have all experienced the same symptoms, the same disregard from the medical community. We were all previously relatively healthy American citizens. There are many more sufferers who aren't on these forums - sufferers who don't know that they are suffering from this because the effects of the antibiotics are often cumulative or don't show up til after the course of antibiotics had been completed. In my particular case it was cumulative. I had taken Cipro about 6 months previously as well and I had many phantom illnesses in the interim which I never associated with it then, but now I can attribute them to antibiotic before the next prescription finally did me in. So, be careful. If you "tolerated" it once, you might not again.

In my opinion fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Levaquin and Cipro should only be taken if all safer therapies fail. Take it from me - I lost the life I had when I took Cipro. My old self died then.

3 Years ago I was prescribed LEVAQUIN. All the side effects on the black box warning are NOT rare. Do not let your doctor tell you they are. Most of them hit me like a ton of bricks. These were not side effects for me they were direct effects and started the morning after the first pill. This drug should only be prescribed as a last resort, not for UTI's and sinus infection etc. Fluoroquinolones in cipro, avelox levaquin and many others not only damage health but ruin lives.

I was prescribed Cipro 2 years ago for an infection acquired in a doctor's office from a cystoscopy procedure. I told the prescribing doctor that I did not want to take a quinolone (cipro, levaquin, avelox) because of the side effect profile for tendon injuries... he repeatedly refused to entertain my concerns or prescribe anything else.

Apparently doctors don't believe in adverse effects or black box warnings. I took 10 pills and the consequences were 1000 times worse than I could have dreamed. I am injured to this day and my right hand was damaged so severely that I can no longer practice my profession working with my hands... at something that I was one of the best in the country at.

I belong to a support group with well over 2,000 members and most of them have doctors who will not admit that their injuries, often long term or permanent, including tendon injuries, cartilage/joint injuries, neuromuscular weakness, neuropathy, CNS damage - were caused by this drug, despite these effects being documented in the scientific literature. How is it that the medical community can be so ignorant or in denial of what they are doing to patients... the FDA knows, the Rx companies know... so where is this disconnect coming from?

In Oct. 08 was given 5 days IV Levaquin and 9 days orally for a Sinus Infection, have been in 24/7 severe pain ever since, plus brain fog, achellis tendonities, svt/pvt heart,extreme weakness, can only walk short distances,terribly depressing, when FDA, the medical society and drug company turn a blind eye to this issue.

I agree. Also have taken Lipitor for several years till i started having frightening symptoms:
Weakness, trouble walking, severe cramping in my legs, forgetfulness and bouts of disorientation.

I stopped the drug on my own and when I see the Dr. this month I am going to tell her I refuse to ever take statins again.

My daughter called last night scared to death with chest pain. I immediately assumed it was a panic attack, which I have suffered from in the past and gone to emergency thinking I had a heart problem. I was diagnosed as dehydrated. We are both diagnosed with ADHD/depression and/or anxiety, her with a little OCD on the side. She is also taking Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim for acne. She's been on a worrisome amount of antibiotics to try to clear her face which they claim is hormonal acne. I found this site after reading your column in our local paper and reading about the Wellbutrin generics which I am convinced prolonged and increased my depression leaving me almost disabled.

She called her med management doctor who saw her right away and agreed it was likely anxiety and increased her lamotrigine. After reading the side effects of all her meds, I now think I should not have advised against the emergency room and encouraged calling the med doc. Buried dep in the side effects of the Sulfa drug was this: CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience bloody or black, tarry stools; chest pain; confusion....

She was crying saying she was scared. I was scared of the emergency room bill. Please help. d

Thirteen years ago I was given Bactrim for pneumonia and today I am on a transplant waiting list. The allergic reaction I had to sulfa in the Bactrim damaged my liver. It has ruined my health, lost my means to support myself, and has left me weak and unable to work. This happened when I was in my 40's and had an executive level job, 3 children to raise after the sudden death of my husband. Do not believe for a moment that just because it is prescribed by a doctor that it is safe for you.

You talked about lacking B-12 or unable to absorb it in you Saturday program. I would like more information about this as I have a friend that is having a problem walking and is very bend over and uses a cane. We both missed what you said about what could have caused this in the patient you were talking about. Please rely.

I think Fosamax/Alendronate should be on that list. I had crushing chest pain after taking them 2 different times. Once in 2004 and again in 2012. Both times I had to have cardiac catheterizations that were normal. I had severe esophageal spasms and irritation that lasted for weeks. I don't know if there is sufficient research regarding long term problems to warrant their extensive use. Necrotic jaws, uncommon fractures can occur with this drug. I would like to know if these drugs can affect the bone marrow's ability to form our blood cells and/or immune system.

I have a 44 yr. old downs syndrome daughter. She has always been a joy & very smart. She was put on paxil because of being so clingy approx. 10 yrs. ago. all was well until 2 yrs. ago. her disposition is awful & she cusses at only me (mother) day & night. If I correct her or if I get mad she gets worse throwing things & banging fists on table. She is always sorry about episode & I know she is. When this started I took her to a psychiatrist who only upped mg dosage until paxil was maxed out. Psychiatrist retired. next one added cymbalta, nothing,---then a food supplement called deplin, insurance said they never heard of it. Samples given did nothing. Now she is on risperidone and I am so nervous, because of side effects, and very little change. Her joints are now bothering her and I don't trust those who are treating her. help

I was put on 120mg of cymbalta daily for migraine control and thought I was going to go crazy when they took me off. I have never been the same since. I also don't agree with using a drug that was developed and approved for one use being used for another ie: a antidepressant being used for migraine control. You should no be allowed to treat a patient with the side effects of a drug without re-approval of the FDA. I thing Cymbalta is a dangerous drug esp when trying to wean off. The FDA needs to look into this.

I had the same problem with Cipro and my Achilles tendon and I suspect that I am having the same problem with a new blood pressure medication I am on.

Dear Joe and Terry,

First let me say how valuable I find your show. Secondly, I would like to tell you about my experience with fever blisters.

For several years I was plagued with fever blisters around my mouth due to sun and stress. These were controlled with Acyclovir.

Two years ago my dentist recommended Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste for my sensitive gums. It took me a while to notice the fever blisters completely stopped!

Recently I started taking a variety of vitamin supplements and the dreaded itchy signal of a fever blister recurred.

Is the toothpaste the reason the blisters stopped, and could a vitamin supplement re-start them?

Thanks so much!

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE:

We honestly do not have an answer to this question. Some folks do complain that the SLS ingredient in many toothpastes triggers the problem. Perhaps by switching brands you eliminated SLS.


My experience with Levaquin. Was prescribed Levaquin 750mg for 7 days for Sinusitis that a Z-Pac had failed to cure. Day 3 of the Levaquin and terrible itching over entire body. Called GP who told me to stop taking it and start on Benadryl as an antihistamine to quell the itching. Next morning lump in throat and constant belching and hiccupping. This developed to where a sip of water or any solid food was swallowed an immediate stabbing pain was felt in right upper chest, right ribs and around to right upper back.

This continued all day and the next morning and now included regurgitating any liquid that was drank. A trip to the ER where it was diagnosed that the Levaquin had affected my Esophagus and I was experiencing Esophagial Spasms.

They lasted several days and gradually subsided. It is now 7 days since the last pill was taken and the itching is decreasing slowly but still need the antihistamines. Worst week of my life and at 59 that's saying something! Be very careful if offered this antibiotic!!

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