By: Joe Graedon July 30, 2015 0 Comments
    The Fuss Over Amalgam Fillings Intensifies

    In our last newsletter we discussed an investigative report from Greg Gordon titled "Health Officials Kill Proposal to Curb Mercury Dental Fillings." Mr. Gordon pointed out that the FDA was poised to …

    By: The People's Pharmacy July 30, 2015 0 Comments
    Drug Companies Delay Reporting Drug Reactions Th…

    When a drug company finds out that one of its medications caused a serious or unexpected reaction, it has 15 days to report the case to the Food and Drug Administration. How well do pharmaceutical fir…

    By: Joe Graedon July 27, 2015 34 Comments
    The Dental Fillings Cover-Up and the FDA

    Did you know that the FDA proposed restricting mercury amalgam dental fillings back in 2011? If that comes as a surprise, don't feel bad. We didn't know about it either, and we pay close attention to …

    By: The People's Pharmacy July 27, 2015 6 Comments
    Tart Cherries Excel in Marathon Competition

    Dedicated athletes of many stripes often rely on "vitamin I"-ibuprofen. (The other OTC nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, naproxen, may be nearly as popular but lacks a snappy moniker.) We have hear…

    By: Joe Graedon July 23, 2015 73 Comments
    Devastating and Surprising Side Effects of Cipro…

    Over 20 million people take a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones annually for everything from sinusitis and urinary tract infections to bronchitis and skin infections. Two of the most famous…

    By: The People's Pharmacy July 20, 2015 10 Comments
    Patients Detect Drug Side Effects Before FDA Doe…

    How do you know what side effects your drug can cause? If you ask doctors or pharmacists, they will often consult the official prescribing information sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration. T…

    By: The People's Pharmacy July 16, 2015 22 Comments
    More Drug Recalls From India – Do You Trus…

    The overwhelming majority of generic drugs are now made abroad. India supplies a large proportion of those formulations. In recent days two large Indian drug companies have received bad news from the …

    By: The People's Pharmacy July 13, 2015 12 Comments
    Is Your Medication Causing Nightmares?

    We are all encouraged to get a good night's sleep. That's because scientists have found that restful sleep is important for brain function, cardiovascular health and diabetes management. Nothing inter…

    By: The People's Pharmacy July 13, 2015 2 Comments
    Some Drugs Should Not Be Given to an Elderly Per…

    Sometimes it seems as if the very people who are most likely to be taking medications are those who are most vulnerable to side effects, not to mention interactions. Of course, accumulating birthdays…

    By: The People's Pharmacy July 9, 2015 9 Comments
    New FDA Warning About NSAIDs and Heart Attacks I…

    On July 9, 2015, the FDA issued another warning about non-aspirin NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). We have been warning about cardiovascular complications for years and now the FDA is st…

    By: The People's Pharmacy July 2, 2015 7 Comments
    Natural Crystal Deodorant Caused Bad Body Aches

    Q. For years I have used a crystal-type (stick or rock) deodorant. This last year I have noticed frequent all over body aches; playing golf, taking walks, just moving around. I quit the crystal deodor…

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 29, 2015 3 Comments
    Common Medicines Throw a Monkey Wrench Into Ment…

    Many people fear a diagnosis of Alzheimer's more than cancer or heart disease. That's because we have treatments for the two big killers, but virtually nothing to reverse the inevitable decline of dem…

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 25, 2015 1 Comments
    ADHD Drug Daytrana Can Cause Permanent Disfiguri…

    A "Drug Safety Communication" from the FDA (June 24, 2015) is alerting physicians, pharmacists and patients that the Daytrana skin patch containing the drug methylphenidate can cause permanent skin c…

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 22, 2015 14 Comments
    Do Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Damage Memory?

    Q. I read that a new study on statins and short-term memory was published in the June 8, 2015, JAMA Internal Medicine. Would you address this? It seems contrary to what I have read in your column. A. …

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 18, 2015 7 Comments
    Hidden Hazards of MRIs

    Have you ever had an MRI to diagnose osteoarthritis of the hip or check for cancer or an aneurysm? MRI or magnetic resonance imaging is considered much safer than CT scans that require ionizing radiat…

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 18, 2015 9 Comments
    You Could Be Risking Bad Sunburns If You Are Tak…

    Forty years ago baby boomers enjoyed soaking up the sun's rays and admiring their golden tans. Today, they are spending more time with dermatologists and plastic surgeons trying to undo the damage. Ag…

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 15, 2015 5 Comments
    Sex Pill for Women Cracks Medical Taboo

    The topic of women's sexuality has been taboo for centuries. Both men and women are often uncomfortable discussing female libido. Men's sexuality, on the other hand, has received a lot of attention. P…

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 15, 2015 3 Comments
    Cataracts and Diabetes Could Be Complications of…

    It can be extremely frustrating to discover that a medication you have been taking conscientiously to prevent illness has resulted in a new health problem. Unfortunately, this has been the experience …

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 11, 2015 13 Comments
    Heartburn Medicines Boost Risk of Heart Attacks …

    Here we go again...another serious complication linked to acid-suppressing drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). This time the adverse reaction appears to be an increased risk of heart attacks…

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 8, 2015 3 Comments
    Aroma of Testosterone Gel Smelled Up the House

    It isn't often that the fragrance of a medication causes a reaction. But added scents can sometimes be irritating, and one reader found that the aroma of testosterone gel was unbearable. Q. My husband…

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 4, 2015 15 Comments
    Does Hair Dye Cause Cancer?

    Q. I had bladder cancer, which was treated successfully with surgery. When I asked my doctor why people get this kind of cancer, he talked about smoking and exposure to dyes in manufacturing. I quit s…

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 4, 2015 0 Comments
    Are Antidepressants in Pregnancy Safe?

    For years, obstetricians have worried about whether women suffering from depression during pregnancy should be prescribed antidepressant drugs. On the one hand, depression during pregnancy has been as…

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 1, 2015 13 Comments
    Do Flonase and Nasacort Harm the Sense of Smell?

    The benefits of steroid nasal spray for allergies are significant. There are, however, some side effects that you may want to know about before you start using them. A loss of the senses of smell and …

    By: The People's Pharmacy June 1, 2015 3 Comments
    Help with Pricey Prescription Drug Bills

    Pricey prescription drug bills are a serious problem for anyone paying out of pocket or whose insurance has a hefty copay. (That may be most of us these days.) Having the doctor write the correct pres…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 25, 2015 26 Comments
    Can You Put Lipstick on Big Pharma and Its Piggy…

    Big Pharma has a problem. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Drug Makers are Having Trouble Improving Their Reputations." A new survey shows that drug companies are not perceived as outstanding in…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 25, 2015 6 Comments
    Turmeric Plus Coumadin Triggered Scary Nosebleed

    Turmeric and its major component curcumin can cause bleeding trouble when combined with drugs used to prevent clotting. It is smart to check on possible interactions before mixing herbs and medication…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 21, 2015 14 Comments
    Cinnamon Plus Statins Could Be Extremely Harmful…

    A Trip to the ER A woman showed up in the emergency department at the Providence Hospital and Medical Center in Southfield, Michigan "complaining of abdominal pain associated with vomiting and diarrhe…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 21, 2015 5 Comments
    Aluminum and Alzheimer’s Disease: Is There…

    Q. Is it true that aluminum contributes to Alzheimer's disease? If so, I would like to avoid it as much as possible. Are there any underarm deodorants that don't contain aluminum? A. Aluminum's potent…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 18, 2015 15 Comments
    Does FDA Care Whether Generic Drugs Work?

    There has been a lively debate about whether generic drugs are truly equivalent to their brand-name equivalents. That has been stirred up even further by questions about the effectiveness of certain g…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 18, 2015 14 Comments
    Doctors Still Doubt Antidepressants Can Trigger …

    Shortly after Prozac was approved for treating depression in 1987 we received a heartbreaking letter from a physician. He was writing as a bereaved father: "My daughter committed suicide in 1988 one m…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 18, 2015 6 Comments
    Popular Sleeping Pills Raise Risk of Dementia

    People with chronic insomnia are caught in a difficult dilemma. Too many popular sleeping pills may affect cognitive function and contribute to a potential risk of dementia in later years. Q. I am hav…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 18, 2015 6 Comments
    Supplements for Blood Pressure

    Many people would prefer to use natural approaches to managing blood pressure, but mixing certain supplements for blood pressure with anti-hypertensive drugs can be risky. Make sure to check out such…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 14, 2015 16 Comments
    Why Do So Many Doctors Ignore Obvious Drug Side …

    Some adverse drug reactions are subtle and easy to overlook. For example, doctors could be forgiven for not catching a vitamin B12 deficiency associated with long-term prescriptions of popular acid-su…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 11, 2015 3 Comments
    Diabetes Drug Actos and Billion-Dollar Settlemen…

    People with type 2 diabetes may not need insulin to control their blood sugar, but they often need some medicine. Unfortunately, despite a proliferation of medications designed to help people with thi…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 11, 2015 7 Comments
    Stopping Allergy Medicine Abruptly Leads to Itch…

    Spring allergies are in full force in some parts of the country, and people are looking for ways to alleviate their congestion, sneezing and itchy eyes. A non-sedating antihistamine can be extremely h…

    By: Joe Graedon May 7, 2015 19 Comments
    Safety Concerns Mount for Sleeping Pill Zolpidem…

    A brand new analysis by the ISMP (Institute for Safe Medication Practices) Quarter Watch reveals a surprisingly high incidence of problems associated with the sleeping pill zolpidem. It is found in Am…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 4, 2015 10 Comments
    Anti-Anxiety Drugs Pose Hazards for Seniors

    Americans are anxious. That is the inescapable conclusion of a recent analysis of anti-anxiety drug use (JAMA Psychiatry, Feb. 2015). The study shows that more than 10 percent of women over 60 are tak…

    By: The People's Pharmacy May 4, 2015 2 Comments
    Statins Raise the Risk of Developing Diabetes

    Statin drugs to lower cholesterol are prescribed very widely and are generally seen as well tolerated. Although many people, especially younger individuals, seem to do well with low doses of statins, …

    By: Joe Graedon April 30, 2015 16 Comments
    Actos Maker Settles Lawsuits Worth Billions but …

    The drug Actos (pioglitazone) has been one of the most financially successful drugs in the history of diabetes treatment. It first went on sale in the U.S. in 1999. Since then it has been estimated th…

    By: The People's Pharmacy April 27, 2015 3 Comments
    Beware Dangerous Grapefruit Juice Interactions w…

    Grapefruit and grapefruit juice have the potential to interact in a dangerous way with a wide range of medications. It makes sense to ask the prescriber and the pharmacist about this potential. Q. I'v…