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When Pradaxa (dabigatran) was approved by the FDA in 2010 it was hailed as a "major milestone" in reducing the risk of strokes for patients with the irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (A-fib). Prior to Pradaxa, doctors relied primarily... (Read More)
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Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril) is one of the most commonly prescribed blood pressured medications in the world. It belongs to a class of drugs called ACEis (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors) that includes: Benazepril (Lotensin)
 Captopril (Capoten)
 Enalapril (Vasotec)
 Fosinopril (Monopril) Lisinopril... (Read More)
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For decades doctors have been telling patients to get their "bad" LDL cholesterol levels down and to boost their "good" HDL cholesterol. Cardiologists have been prescribing niacin to do both for more than 50 years. Niacin lowers LDL cholesterol levels... (Read More)
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Caraco, a division of the huge Indian drug company Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd, has had to recall 41,127 bottles of the antidepressant venlafaxine (Effexor XR). According to our calculations, that equals 2,109,630 pills that must be pulled off pharmacy shelves... (Read More)
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Q. I read about the person who thought she suffered from heartburn, self-treated with antacids, and died in her sleep of a heart attack.  I can't tell you how close I came to being such a victim. I also thought... (Read More)
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Want to watch Joe & Terry's appearance on "A Healthy You & Carol Alt"? This show aired on the Fox network on July 5th to great acclaim. In case you don't follow such things, Carol Alt was one of the... (Read More)
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When North Carolina pharmacist Lunsford Richardson set out to formulate a vaporizing cold salve for his family over 100 years ago, he had no idea he would create an American icon. His children had come down with bad chest colds... (Read More)
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Here we go again: another generic metoprolol recall from an Indian drug company. The FDA announced problems with Dr. Reddy's metoprolol succinate 25 mg extended release tablets and the company is in the process of recalling 1,356,000 pills. What is... (Read More)
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There's nothing nicer than getting together with friends and family to cook your favorite foods over a grill. This is a primal ritual than goes back thousands of years across all cultures. But most people don't know that grilling meat... (Read More)
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Drugs that shut down acid production in the stomach are among the most popular pills in the pharmacy. The FDA considers them so safe that you can buy Prilosec (omeprazole) and Prevacid (lansoprazole) without a doctor's prescription or supervision. Now... (Read More)
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Statin enthusiasts have half jokingly suggested that statins are such marvelous medications that they should be introduced into the water supply, almost like fluoride. Their argument goes that if everyone got a daily dose of statins, they could dramatically reduce... (Read More)
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Americans love antibiotics. We tend to think of them as magic bullets, protecting us from life-threatening infections with almost no downside. But one kind of antibiotic called fluoroquinolones (FQ, quinolones or quins for short) has left many patients permanently impaired.... (Read More)
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The FDA has just announced that a maker of generic Toprol XL will have to recall 109,744 bottles of metoprolol succinate. That could represent a substantial number of pills. Wockhardt is a large Indian drug maker and it has supplied... (Read More)
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Strokes kill. Nearly 130,000 Americans die from one each year. Maybe even worse, strokes can cause terrible disability and depression. Almost 800,000 people suffer a stroke annually. As a result many will never walk independently again. Others will have trouble... (Read More)
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When I was a kid I was allergic to lots of stuff--ragweed, cat dander, grass pollens, mold and fungi (Alternaria). I would sneeze continuously every morning in the spring and fall. It was nothing for me to sneeze 30 or... (Read More)
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"I took Allegra for years, and then switched to Zyrtec (cetirizine) about seven years ago. Over the years, when I tried to stop Zyrtec, I experienced intense itching EVERYWHERE -- feet, palms of hands, inside ears, throat, private areas, scalp,... (Read More)
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Let's get one thing straight. I (Joe) am not a germaphobe. Yes, I do wash my hands before eating, but I do not sterilize everything in sight. What I don't understand is why so many visitors to this website seem... (Read More)
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A friend recently asked us the question: "I would love to find out what you think about the thought-provoking article regarding a breakthrough against Alzheimer's disease." It's hardly any wonder people are intrigued. The headlines have been tantalizing. Forbes offered... (Read More)
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Every day millions of people swallow pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, etc) or prescription medications such as celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren) or meloxicam (Mobic). The National Ambulatory Care Survey showed that 95% of... (Read More)
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For decades public health officials have been preaching a low-salt diet. Ask the experts at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and they would probably say that you can't have too low a golf score or salt intake.... (Read More)
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Remember when we were told that butter was bad and margarine was marvelous? Ooops! Turned out that the trans fats in margarine actually increased the risk for heart disease. Diet drinks were supposed to help people lose weight and presumably... (Read More)
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When James Fixx died at the age of 52 on July 20th, 1984, in the middle of his daily run, it was a huge shock to runners, athletes and fitness buffs. When Fixx was 35 he weighed 240 pounds and... (Read More)
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The tragic news yesterday confirmed what we have all been anticipating, ie, that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean with 239 people on board. This heartbreaking news for the families and for the world at... (Read More)
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If you are not confused and maybe even exasperated over all the flip-flops over food in recent months, we would be amazed. The latest head-spinning headline appeared in the New York Times this week: "Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease... (Read More)
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We are frequently told that randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials are the gold standard for high quality drug research. Heck, we've even said it ourselves on numerous occasions. We believed this mantra until a recent meta-analysis of statin studies forced... (Read More)
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The headlines have taken our breath away: "Statin Side-Effects Questioned" "Statins do NOT have major side effects, claims study" "Statins Have Virtually No Side-Effects, Study Finds" "Side Effects Reported in Those Taking Statins Are Not Actually Attributable to the Drugs"... (Read More)
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When most people think of muscle cramps what comes to mind are leg cramps. That's because a "Charlie horse" can be super painful. The muscles in your legs are long and strong and when those muscles contract, especially in the... (Read More)
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According to the Wall Street Journal (March 3, 2014), Lipitor brought in roughly $13 billion for Pfizer in 2006. That was during the drug's heyday. This cholesterol-lowering statin-type medication made only $2.6 billion in 2013. The precipitous decline can be... (Read More)
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Without admitting that there is a problem with generic drugs, the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just announced that it is initiating a $20 million testing program. The FDA's new Office of Pharmaceutical Quality will scrutinize generic drugs, over-the-counter... (Read More)
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Gardiner Harris has written a powerful front-page story for the New York Times titled "Medicines Made in India Set Off Safety Worries" (Feb. 15, 2014). If anything, the headline downplays the seriousness of the problem. Here is the first sentence... (Read More)