By: The People's Pharmacy July 2, 2015 4 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 6 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 8 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 2 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 12 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 25 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 12 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 13 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 13 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 5 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…

    By: The People's Pharmacy April 23, 2015 10 Comments
    Blood Pressure Drug Combos That Could Be Lethal

    When doctors prescribe blood pressure medication, their goal is to reduce the likelihood that a patient with hypertension will develop heart attacks, strokes, kidney damage, eye problems or even Alzhe…

    By: The People's Pharmacy April 23, 2015 5 Comments
    Joe Graedon Discusses Generic Drugs on WTVD

    Joe Graedon talked about the pros and cons of generic drugs on ABC11 (WTVD Durham NC) on April 22, 2015. Here's a link. Saving money is a big advantage, but only if the medication works properly. How …

    By: The People's Pharmacy April 23, 2015 9 Comments
    Another Scary Side Effect Linked to Heartburn Dr…

    Canadian researchers have found that older people taking acid suppressing drugs such as esomeprazole, lansoprazole and omeprazole are at higher risk for kidney failure. The scientists used medication …

    By: Joe Graedon April 20, 2015 34 Comments
    New Statin Study Confirms Scary Link to Diabetes

    Statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs like atorvastatin, lovastatin and simvastatin are supposed to prevent heart attacks and strokes. New research from Finland suggests that such drugs may increase …

    By: The People's Pharmacy April 20, 2015 16 Comments
    Reader Was Enraged by Advice about Stopping Cymb…

    We were taken to task recently by a reader who thought our answer to a question from someone having a terrible time with Cymbalta withdrawal indicated a lack of respect. None was intended. Q. You blew…

    By: The People's Pharmacy April 16, 2015 6 Comments
    Diabetes Drug Dust-Up Reveals FDA Deficiencies

    A week ago the FDA put out a report that "suggested significant or near-significant increases in all-cause mortality" associated with the diabetes drug Onglyza (saxagliptin). In other words, more pat…

    By: The People's Pharmacy April 13, 2015 12 Comments
    Stopping Cymbalta Suddenly Led to Disaster

    Certain medications have the potential to cause a very disorienting withdrawal syndrome if they are discontinued abruptly. People should be warned about this possibility before they begin taking the d…

    By: The People's Pharmacy April 13, 2015 31 Comments
    Is Mustard for Leg Cramps Snake Oil or the Real …

    One of the strangest remedies we have stumbled across in recent years is a spoonful of mustard to combat leg cramps. If you have ever experienced a charlie horse in a calf muscle in the middle of the …

    By: The People's Pharmacy April 13, 2015 8 Comments
    Do the Risks of Acetaminophen Outweigh the Benef…

    Acetaminophen is a popular pain reliever sold under the brand name Tylenol and around the world as paracetamol. A new analysis of research shows that it may not work as well as expected for some commo…

    By: The People's Pharmacy March 30, 2015 19 Comments
    Can Flu Shots Cause Long-Lasting Arm Pain?

    On December 27, 2014 we first heard about the possibility that a flu shot could lead to persistent arm pain. Don V. shared his experience with the relatively new "Quad" influenza vaccine. This quadriv…