By: Joe Graedon February 8, 2016 7 Comments
    Mistakes in the Pharmacy Could be Deadly

    Pharmacists used to be one the of most respected group of professionals in America. But their working conditions have become untenable, making their work dangerous, if not deadly, for patients. Too o…

    By: Joe Graedon February 8, 2016 20 Comments
    Did This Year’s Flu Shot Cause Persistent …

    How can you keep from getting the flu? The answer from the CDC has long been "get your flu shot." When people ask about side effects they are told reactions are rare and mild, disappearing within a da…

    By: Terry Graedon February 8, 2016 4 Comments
    Why Don’t Generic Drug Names Make Sense?

    Pronouncing names properly can be tricky. Prescription drug advertisements on TV tell you how to pronounce the brand names that presumably were designed to be snappy and memorable. Every drug with a b…

    By: Joe Graedon February 4, 2016 7 Comments
    How Can You Get Off the Laxative Merry-Go-Round?

    Laxatives remain one of the most popular products in the pharmacy. Millions worry that if they do not have a bowel movement every day they will become sick. But sometimes a laxative habit can develop …

    By: Terry Graedon February 3, 2016 22 Comments
    Should You Worry About Indian Pharma Firms’…

    Over the last several years, dozens of Indian drug manufacturers have received warnings from the FDA about bad manufacturing practices. In one of the latest incidents, Indian pharma firm Wockhardt is …

    By: Joe Graedon February 1, 2016 13 Comments
    When Should High Blood Pressure Be Treated?

    How low should your blood pressure go? Doctors have a surprisingly hard time answering this seemingly simple question. Historical "High" Blood Pressure: In the mid 20th century, doctors accepted as na…

    By: Terry Graedon February 1, 2016 2 Comments
    People Taking Metformin Need a Vitamin B12 Suppl…

    How many medications do you take? How do they affect your nutritional status? Doctors don't always think about possible nutritional effects when they write a prescription. If you take pills prescribed…

    By: Terry Graedon January 28, 2016 0 Comments
    Teens on Antidepressants Are More Prone to Aggre…

    Questions have been raised in the past about the balance of benefits and risks of antidepressants for youngsters. In fact, a Swedish study published in 2015 showed that people between 15 and 24 were m…

    By: Joe Graedon January 25, 2016 31 Comments
    Should Doctors Worry About Heartburn Drug Danger…

    When powerful acid-suppressing drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were first introduced in 1989 they were promoted as highly effective and extremely safe. Doctors embraced drugs like Prilosec,…

    By: Terry Graedon January 25, 2016 22 Comments
    No One Is Watching Out for Older People’s …

    As we get older, things change. We can see the gray hair cropping up, and try as we might, we can't hide the wrinkles. (At least, not entirely.) Interior changes aren't so visible, but aging also alte…

    By: Joe Graedon January 25, 2016 17 Comments
    How Was Your Medicine Stored, Shipped and Delive…

    There is a dirty little secret that many generic drug manufacturers and mail order pharmacies prefer you not know about. They break the rules on a regular basis when it comes to proper storage of med…

    By: Terry Graedon January 21, 2016 5 Comments
    Are You Risking a Car Crash on Ambien?

    One popular prescription sleeping pill is zolpidem, sold under the brand name Ambien. Americans have been taking it to get to sleep for more than a decade. It is currently available as a generic drug …

    By: Terry Graedon January 18, 2016 73 Comments
    Are You Suffering From Severe Statin Side Effect…

    Statins have been characterized as miracle drugs against heart disease. By lowering cholesterol dramatically, these drugs are supposed to prevent heart attacks and prolong life. Some researchers belie…

    By: Terry Graedon January 18, 2016 11 Comments
    Baby Aspirin Caused a Catastrophic Collapse

    Every medicine has risks as well as benefits. Perhaps the best example of that is aspirin. It has multiple uses but can also cause severe internal bleeding, even at the low doses referred to as baby …

    By: Terry Graedon January 14, 2016 9 Comments
    Do Heartburn Drugs Disturb Bacterial Balance in …

    Popular heartburn medications can disrupt bacterial balance in the digestive tract. Comparing Twins: A new study of British twins compared stool samples from more than 900 pairs. When one twin took a …

    By: Terry Graedon January 14, 2016 0 Comments
    Will Cough Syrup Recall Protect Kids from Overdo…

    The maker of several store-brand cough syrups for children has recalled several batches of grape and cherry-flavored cough medicine. The plastic cups provided with the syrup to measure the proper dose…

    By: Joe Graedon January 11, 2016 11 Comments
    Should Breast Cancer Patients Avoid Aluminum Ant…

    There is a great deal of confusion about the safety of aluminum-containing antiperspirants when it comes to breast cancer. Most health professionals and patients aren't even aware that there is a cont…

    By: Joe Graedon January 11, 2016 36 Comments
    Are Your Kidneys in Danger from Heartburn Drugs?

    Here we go again. America's favorite heartburn drugs are in trouble because of a new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine (online, January 11, 2016). The research suggests that regula…

    By: Terry Graedon January 11, 2016 11 Comments
    Is Orange Juice Worth the Hassle from His Wife?

    Grapefruit juice has become notorious since the 1991 discovery that drinking grapefruit juice can change the blood levels of certain medications (The Lancet, Feb. 2, 1991). It turns out, however, tha…

    By: Terry Graedon January 7, 2016 3 Comments
    How Safe Is Transvaginal Surgical Mesh?

    Surgeons have found that plastic mesh can make certain pelvic repairs much easier, and surgical mesh has been widely used to repair hernias and reproductive tract problems such as uterine prolapse (dr…

    By: Joe Graedon January 4, 2016 7 Comments
    Atorvastatin Lowers Cholesterol but Raises Blood…

    As many as 40 million people may be taking statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs daily in the U.S. Although medications like atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, and rosuvastatin can b…

    By: Joe Graedon January 4, 2016 12 Comments
    Exerciser Needs Home Remedy to Overcome Knee Pai…

    It is estimated that 30 million Americans take an NSAID-type pain reliever each day to ease their sprains, strains, arthritis and bursitis. Familiar brands include Advil, Aleve, Anaprox, Cataflam, Mob…

    By: Joe Graedon December 28, 2015 14 Comments
    Don’t let Blood Pressure Drugs Ruin Qualit…

    Q. I have been on medication for high blood pressure for years, but over the past eight months my doctor has changed my prescriptions quite a few times. My blood pressure readings have improved but at…

    By: Joe Graedon December 28, 2015 16 Comments
    Dextromethorphan Cough Medicine Ruins a Life But…

    A few weeks ago we reported on a new study demonstrating that a drug called Nuedexta (containing dextromethorphan and quinidine) might ease some devastating complications of Alzheimer's disease. A p…

    By: Terry Graedon December 24, 2015 10 Comments
    FDA Warns Sun Pharmaceutical of Quality Problems

    Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is India's largest drug manufacturer. It supplies many generic medications to the U.S. market. But the giant is once again in trouble with US regulators. FDA Warning to S…

    By: Terry Graedon December 21, 2015 9 Comments
    Is Nexium Too Risky for Older People?

    Sometimes drugs that people have long taken for granted become less appropriate-possibly even dangerous-as patients grow older. Popular drugs used to treat heartburn probably should be considered in t…

    By: Terry Graedon December 21, 2015 0 Comments
    Running Out of Zyrtec on a Remote Island Causes …

    Some medicines can be unexpectedly difficult to quit. By now, most people realize that benzodiazepine drugs such as alprazolam (Xanax) or lorazepam (Ativan) used to treat anxiety can cause distressing…

    By: Terry Graedon December 17, 2015 2 Comments
    Mothers on Antidepressants May Have Babies with …

    Taking popular antidepressants during pregnancy appears to increase the risk that the baby will be diagnosed with autism or a similar developmental problem (autism spectrum disorder) as it grows older…

    By: Joe Graedon December 14, 2015 8 Comments
    Don’t Leave Your Mail Order Medicine Out i…

    Why Mail-Order medicine Poses a Problem: More and more people are getting prescription medicines through the mail. That's because their insurance companies are encouraging them to use specific mail-or…

    By: Joe Graedon December 14, 2015 5 Comments
    How Cherries and Celery Combat Gout Naturally

    Q. I take HCTZ for high blood pressure. It gave me gout in my big toe. Would tart cherries counteract this side effect? A. The hydrochlorothiazide (abbreviated HCTZ, HCT or HZT) diuretic you are takin…

    By: Terry Graedon December 14, 2015 11 Comments
    Is It Risky to Read About Remicade Side Effects?

    How much should patients learn about their conditions and the medications they may need to treat them? That topic has been contentious for years. For a telling example, see this post at e-patients.net…

    By: Joe Graedon December 7, 2015 12 Comments
    Misdiagnosed Cough from Hell Makes Life Miserabl…

    Q. I have had the cough from hell with retching and even vomiting for six months now. The first doctor suggested I have a "post-viral hyper-reactive cough." The second recommended drugs for acid reflu…

    By: Terry Graedon December 7, 2015 2 Comments
    Is Bitter Tonic Causing Your Terrible Headache?

    Many readers recall the days when their doctors prescribed quinine to prevent nighttime leg cramps. That era is long gone; the FDA banned over-the-counter sale of quinine products in 1994. In late 200…

    By: Joe Graedon December 7, 2015 18 Comments
    Why Top Doctors Prescribe a Ban on Drug Ads

    The sleeping giant has awakened. The American Medical Association (AMA) is the largest organization of physicians in the U.S. At its interim meeting in November, the AMA called for a ban on direct-to-…

    By: Joe Graedon November 30, 2015 10 Comments
    Drug Interaction and Diagnostic Failure Led to D…

    It is far too easy to assume that an over-the-counter medication won't cause any trouble. After all, you don't even need a prescription for it. How risky could it be? Unfortunately, the answer might b…

    By: Terry Graedon November 30, 2015 7 Comments
    Side Effects from Multiple Meds Are Double Troub…

    Next time you go to a pharmacy take a few minutes to do some secret research. Linger around the prescription counter and play detective by observing what happens. If you watch people pick up their pre…

    By: Joe Graedon November 30, 2015 8 Comments
    Price Differential between Brand-Name and Generi…

    There is no question that generic drugs can offer big savings. Sometimes it is worthwhile to see just how great the price difference might be. Q. My sister takes brand name Ativan, as her doctor does…

    By: Joe Graedon November 26, 2015 15 Comments
    Doctors Endorse Generic Drugs to Save Money-But …

    A key organization says that doctors should write more prescriptions for generic drugs to hold down the high cost of medicines. That sounds reasonable. Why might this recommendation be problematic? We…

    By: Joe Graedon November 23, 2015 10 Comments
    New Way to Calm Patients with Alzheimer’s …

    Q. My wife has late stage Alzheimer's disease. She is now in a memory care facility. They often give her sedatives to calm her agitation. I have read that such drugs are dangerous, especially for olde…

    By: Joe Graedon November 23, 2015 6 Comments
    Patients in the Dark about Prednisone Side Effec…

    There are some key questions you should ask whenever you are handed a prescription. You should know what the drug is and why you are taking it. Find out how to take it (how many times a day, with food…