By: Joe Graedon January 22, 2015 8 Comments
    Dangerous Interactions with Warfarin (Coumadin) …

    Q. Last year I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. I am now on warfarin and understand I will have to take it for the foreseeable future. I have regular blood tests to make sure my blood is clotti…

    By: The People's Pharmacy January 19, 2015 11 Comments
    Is MiraLAX Safe for Children?

    Q. My 2-year-old grandson has problems with constipation, and his pediatrician has recommended MiraLAX to be taken daily. He has now been taking it for about two months. I am concerned that his pediat…

    By: The People's Pharmacy January 19, 2015 0 Comments
    Prostate Pill Leads to Stuffy Nose

    Q. Is a stuffy nose a side effect of Flomax? I can't think of any other reason my nose is so stuffed up. A. In the studies done for this drug to be approved to relieve symptoms of an enlarged prostate…

    By: The People's Pharmacy January 19, 2015 9 Comments
    Anti-Anxiety Drugs Raise the Risk of Alzheimers …

    Are anti-anxiety agents and sleeping pills making us stupid? That is a question that is giving some scientists nightmares. These are among the most prescribed drugs in America. Alprazolam (Xanax) is d…

    By: The People's Pharmacy January 15, 2015 3 Comments
    FDA Is Concerned about Drug Quality

    The Food and Drug Administration has just announced a restructuring. The agency will be adding a new department, the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality, to rectify some serious manufacturing problems th…

    By: The People's Pharmacy January 12, 2015 10 Comments
    Popular PPI Heartburn Drugs Have Scary Side Effe…

    Q. More and more evidence suggests that long-term use of PPIs is bad for health. I've read they contribute to osteoporosis, C diff, pneumonia, vitamin deficiencies and other problems. There are 30 mil…

    By: The People's Pharmacy January 12, 2015 3 Comments
    Tramadol Interaction with Antidepressants Can Be…

    Q. Recently my husband took tramadol after back surgery. He was also taking an SSRI anti-depressant. He suffered severe hallucinations and sleep-talking throughout the night. The ER doctor suspected s…

    By: Joe Graedon January 8, 2015 8 Comments
    New Eliquis (Apixaban) Alert: Unexpected Side Ef…

    In our inbox yesterday morning was a media alert from Adverse Events, Inc., regarding the anticoagulant Eliquis (apixaban) and some new cases of colon cancer and liver injury. There is nothing in the …

    By: The People's Pharmacy January 8, 2015 4 Comments
    Corn Syrup Study Raises Red Flag

    Just how risky is a sweet tooth? While we have been warned not to overdose on sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, we are usually assured that they are identical in their physiological effects. Now a st…

    By: The People's Pharmacy January 5, 2015 14 Comments
    Does General Anesthesia Affect Brain Function?

    Q. I know two senior citizens (in their 70s) who had misadventures with surgical anesthesia. They are both rapidly losing their short-term memory. Do specific anesthesia drugs cause this in geneticall…

    By: The People's Pharmacy January 5, 2015 5 Comments
    Natural Vitamin D3 is Easier on the Stomach

    Q. My doctor says I need to take vitamin D3, but I know from past history that vitamin D3 upsets my stomach, no matter what the dose. I was pleased to learn that there are two different kinds of vitam…

    By: The People's Pharmacy January 1, 2015 5 Comments
    Flu at Epidemic Levels! What Should You Do?

    Have you noticed that friends, family and co-workers are sick? Perhaps you too have fallen prey to this year's influenza virus. Well, the CDC has just acknowledged that the country is in the midst of …

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 29, 2014 0 Comments
    Blood Pressure Pill Makes Skin Sensitive to Sun

    Q. I am taking Dyazide for high blood pressure and have developed skin rashes and itching when exposed to the sun even after generous coatings with sunscreen. What is it and why does exposure to sunsh…

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 29, 2014 14 Comments
    The Inside Story of Tamiflu: Side Effects &…

    If you have been watching TV lately you may have seen a commercial for Tamiflu (oseltamivir). A very sick-looking man is seen creeping about in a very small house. He blows his nose with a teeny tissu…

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 29, 2014 11 Comments
    Generic Drug Failure Can Be Life Threatening

    Q. My 7-year-old child had not had a seizure in four years. Her epilepsy has been controlled with Keppra and the ketogenic diet. Recently, she was switched to levetiracetam, the generic form of Keppra…

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 25, 2014 10 Comments
    Can Cocoa Substitute for Aspirin?

    Q. My husband takes a baby aspirin every day on the advice of his doctor. He wants me to do the same, but I am afraid to. Years ago, before I met him, I had a frightening allergic reaction to aspirin.…

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 22, 2014 25 Comments
    Hallucinating Ghosts on Tramadol

    Q. I was recently prescribed tramadol for pain from a bad hip. (There is probably surgery in my future.) I ended up with hallucinations. Ghost-like people were floating along next to my shoulder. I th…

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 22, 2014 5 Comments
    Blood Pressure Pill May Lead to Hair Loss

    Q. I am a 47-year-old female who once had very thick red wavy hair. It was so thick hairstylists would comment on it. In the past several months, however, I have been losing so much hair that I am rea…

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 22, 2014 3 Comments
    Vitamin C Can Protect Stomach from NSAID Injury

    Q. I read that taking vitamin C at the same time as aspirin can reduce stomach irritation. Does this protective effect of vitamin C also apply to other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen? A. One of …

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 22, 2014 16 Comments
    Do Statins Mess Up Mental Function?

    There are few more contentious issues in cardiology today than the pros and cons of statins. These cholesterol-lowering medications are among the most successful drugs in history. Statins Save Lives! …

    By: Joe Graedon December 18, 2014 2 Comments
    Falls Can Be a Deadly Consequence of Medicine

    Decades ago Mom and Dad protected you from accidents and picked you up if you fell. Now it's time for you to return the favor. A fall can be life-threatening for an older person. A broken hip can lead…

    By: Joe Graedon December 18, 2014 0 Comments
    Does Antidepressant Act Like An Aphrodisac?

    Q. I have been taking Wellbutrin (bupropion) for depression for seven years. I don't think it increases my sex drive, but it doesn't interfere with it either. Before that I took sertraline during a ve…

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 15, 2014 8 Comments
    Drug Combo Causing Intolerable Dry Mouth

    Q. My mother has atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure. She takes Lasix for heart failure and Detrol for an overactive bladder. Her arthritis is troublesome, and her doctor prescribed Lyric…

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 11, 2014 7 Comments
    Trouble with Tramadol

    Doctors often worry about their chronic pain patients becoming addicted to narcotics. That may explain the popularity of a pain reliever perceived as non-addictive. Tramadol is categorized as a weak o…

    By: Joe Graedon December 11, 2014 4 Comments
    A Deadly Drug Interaction Often Ignored by Docto…

    Combining a common antibiotic with an even more common blood pressure medicine can result in sudden death. The interaction can lead to dangerously high levels of potassium (hyperkalemia) in the body, …

    By: The People's Pharmacy December 7, 2014 1 Comments
    Questions About Generic Forms of Concerta

    Q. I was delighted to read about FDA concerns regarding generic Concerta. My prescription insurance is going to an essentially generic-only pricing system that will push the price of brand-name Concer…

    By: Joe Graedon December 3, 2014 26 Comments
    Expose Reveals Why We No Longer Trust All Generi…

    For more than 25 years we were among the most enthusiastic boosters of generic drugs in America. That began to change in the late 1990s because we were receiving so many complaints from patients. Inve…

    By: The People's Pharmacy November 26, 2014 0 Comments
    Paracetamol Is Acetaminophen

    Q. I have taken just about every arthritis medicine known to man including Advil, Voltaren, Aleve, Celebrex and Vioxx. They either make me constipated or give me a stomach ache. A friend from Australi…

    By: Joe Graedon November 26, 2014 18 Comments
    All Adults Between 66 and 75 Should Be On Statin…

    A research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine (online, Nov. 17, 2014) points out that 97% of older Americans between 66 and 75 years of age should be taking statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs. That …

    By: The People's Pharmacy November 26, 2014 6 Comments
    Reflux Drugs Reduce Diversity of Gut Microbes

    Scientists at the Mayo Clinic noted that people taking the strong acid-suppressing drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to treat reflux are more susceptible to intestinal infections such as thos…

    By: The People's Pharmacy November 26, 2014 8 Comments
    Getting Patients to Take Their Medicine

    Doctors usually assume that if their patients would only take their medicine as prescribed, they would get better. The problem is that only about half of all those getting a prescription follow throug…

    By: The People's Pharmacy November 24, 2014 2 Comments
    Did Cholesterol Drug Take the Joy Out of Sex?

    Q. I am a healthy 53-year-old man with high cholesterol. I take atorvastatin to keep it under control. Soon after starting on this drug I noticed that my erections were softer. Cialis solved that prob…

    By: The People's Pharmacy November 24, 2014 2 Comments
    Generic Drug Prices Are Skyrocketing

    Generic drugs are supposed to be inexpensive alternatives to pricey brand name medications. But in recent months there has been a surge in the price of some generic drugs, making them absurdly expensi…

    By: Joe Graedon November 23, 2014 17 Comments
    Should You Give Up On Aspirin?

    The aspirin headlines were grim. If you read no further you would conclude that aspirin is a bust when it comes to heart health. Here is just a small sampling of the spin on the latest aspirin study: …

    By: The People's Pharmacy November 20, 2014 1 Comments
    NSAID with Anticoagulant Raises Risk of Bleeding

    A Danish study has found that a common combination of medications can increase the possibility of serious or even lethal hemorrhage. People with the irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (…

    By: Joe Graedon November 17, 2014 16 Comments
    FDA Drops a Bombshell on Slow-Release Generic Dr…

    The Food and Drug Administration's announcement last week that two generic Concerta formulations might not work as well as the brand name medication has rekindled questions about the FDA's generic dru…

    By: The People's Pharmacy November 17, 2014 18 Comments
    Scary Reaction to Flu Shot

    Q. I was given a flu shot at a routine doctor visit. Afterwards, I didn't feel well. I went to bed early and slept for over 11 hours. The following day, I began to have difficulty breathing. I thought…

    By: Joe Graedon November 13, 2014 3 Comments
    Will Your Food Foil Your Medicine? Deadly Drug I…

    Are you taking your medicine correctly? Or are you wasting good money by swallowing your pills with food that can counteract their benefits? Millions of people make mistakes without realizing it. In s…

    By: The People's Pharmacy November 10, 2014 7 Comments
    New Discoveries Confirm Amazing Aspirin Benefits

    Aspirin is more than 100 years old and it is still capturing headlines. Research continues to reveal new uses for this ancient drug. Aspirin Against Cancer A number of studies have shown that aspirin …

    By: The People's Pharmacy November 10, 2014 4 Comments
    Crestor Should Not Be Combined with Red Yeast Ri…

    Q. Is it harmful to take Crestor with red yeast rice? My doctor prescribed Crestor, but I have also been taking red yeast rice. I would like to get my cholesterol level lower so I do not need to take …