logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine
Metformin pills don't affect vitamin D status
DiabetesTerry Graedon - August 30, 2021

How Does Metformin Affect Vitamin D Status?

A randomized controlled trial determined that metformin does NOT affect vitamin D status, but it can lower vitamin B12 levels.

woman staring at cell phone in bed with anxious look on her face
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - August 30, 2021

Can Your Medicines Cause Insomnia?

Hundreds of medicines cause insomnia. Did you know that statins like simvastatin might do it. So can corticosteroids and decongestants.

Atorvastatin pill pack next to a stethoscope and an electrocardiogram
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - August 23, 2021

Doctors and Patients Confused About Statins and Muscle Damage

The FDA lists myositis and rhabdomyolysis as serious statin side effects. What is the connection between statins and severe muscle damage?

Photo of dry medical marijuana buds and a prescription pad
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - August 23, 2021

What Do Americans Really Think about Medical Marijuana?

More than 1,000 Americans in a Yahoo/Marist poll worry more about prescribed opioids than medical marijuana. Can it help cancer patients?

the hot summer sun blazing down
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - August 23, 2021

Is Your Medicine Setting You Up for Heat Stroke?

In case you haven't noticed, we are experiencing extreme heat. If you are taking certain medications, you could be susceptible to heat stroke.

Metformin Prescription Pills With Identification Numbers
DiabetesJoe Graedon - August 19, 2021

Metformin (Glucophage) Side Effects & Complications

Metformin (Glucophage) is the most popular drug for type 2 diabetes, but it can be rough on the digestive tract. Can metformin fight cancer?

Field of dandelions in bloom
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - August 16, 2021

Can You Really Control Blood Pressure With Dandelion Extract?

Some readers report that dandelion extract lowers blood pressure without strong side effects. Clinical studies are lacking.

a cut on a hand
Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib, arrhythmia)Joe Graedon - August 16, 2021

Beware Mixing Xarelto or Eliquis and OTC Pain Relievers

Many people with AFib are taking drugs like Eliquis or Xarelto. Beware Eliquis and OTC pain relievers! Herbs and some teas can also interact.

lonely depressed older man
AnxietyTerry Graedon - August 9, 2021

Do Lonely Older People Take More and Riskier Drugs?

Research shows that lonely older people are more likely to be prescribed potentially risky drugs for depression, anxiety, insomnia or pain.

a bottle of PredniSONE 1mg, short-term steroid use, prednisone side effects
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - August 9, 2021

Prednisone Side Effects Can Be Disastrous

Many doctors like to prescribe prednisone. It's a quick fix for lots of inflammatory conditions. But prednisone side effects can be bad news!

young woman with pancreatitis or microscopic colitis
InteractionsJoe Graedon - August 9, 2021

Flagyl | Metronidazole and Alcohol = Disaster!

Can you absorb enough alcohol (ethanol) through the skin to pose a problem? A reader describes a metronidazole and alcohol drug interaction.

an angry man screaming about side effects of Chantix
nurse using sphygmomanometer in home blood pressure measurement to determine if patient needs blood pressure medication to reduce blood pressure
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - July 29, 2021

Do ACE Inhibitors or ARBs Work Better for Blood Pressure?

When prescribing blood pressure pills, should doctors choose ACE inhibitors or ARBs? ARBs are equally effective with fewer side effects.

Older adult female offering a bottle of wine and glass sitting alone
AgingJoe Graedon - July 29, 2021

Alcohol for Longer Life? How Much Is Enough and How Much Is Too Much?

Is alcohol for longer life a viable concept or a myth? How many drinks count as moderate alcohol consumption? Studies tackle these questions.

Lipid profile with cholesterol and tube of blood
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - July 26, 2021

Is Lp(a) the Best Kept Secret in Heart Disease?

Doctors worry about LDL cholesterol but rarely test for Lp(a). Statins can raise this risk factor for heart disease you've never heard about.

dental exam for gingivitis
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - July 26, 2021

Is There a Link Between Statin Drugs and Gingivitis?

No one knows if statin drugs to lower cholesterol increase the likelihood of inflamed gums and gingivitis. Dentists must study this.

Zantac package
CancerJoe Graedon - July 26, 2021

The Zantac – Ranitidine Weirdness Just Got Stranger

What are we to make of FDA flip flop flips on ranitidine/Zantac? For many people the ranitidine weirdness is overwhelming. Now Zantac is BACK!

aspirin tablets on blue paper
ArthritisTerry Graedon - July 19, 2021

How Do You Weigh the Benefits and Risks of Aspirin?

Before starting a daily regimen, carefully consider the benefits and risks of aspirin. Are you more likely to be helped or harmed by this amazing drug?

woman using asthma inhaler
AsthmaJoe Graedon - July 19, 2021

Trelegy for COPD Leads to Hoarseness

Do asthma inhalers cause hoarseness? If you haven't seen the Trelegy for COPD 'The Power of 1-2-3' ad, please watch it! Trelegy side effects?

Man putting eye drops into right eye
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - July 19, 2021

Will Your Eyedrops Affect Your Heart Rate?

Beta blocker eyedrops like timolol for glaucoma can also lower heart rate and blood pressure. Patients may not be warned of interactions.

Atorvastatin pills with stethoscope
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - July 12, 2021

Statins and Shortness of Breath (Pleural Effusions)

The FDA does not acknowledge a link between statins and shortness of breath. A reader wonders if statins and pleural effusions are connected.

Illustration of damaged human liver
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - July 8, 2021

Do You Love Your Liver Enough?

Are you nice to your liver? Most Americans take their livers for granted. That could be disastrous! Is coffee good for your liver? How much?

a bunch of bananas
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - July 5, 2021

Can People Overdose on Potassium-Rich Foods?

Many people are low in potassium. That's because they take thiazide diuretics to control blood pressure. Is it possible to overdose on potassium-rich foods?

Young woman's back has unbelievable itching with allergy skin problem
AllergiesTerry Graedon - July 5, 2021

Stopping Antihistamine Leads to Unbelievable Itching

Abruptly stopping the antihistamine cetirizine (Zyrtec) led to unbelievable itching. The doctor who reported this had not seen it in the medical literature.

Woman weighing herself on a scale to determine weight gain
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - July 1, 2021

How Well Does the New Weight Loss Medicine Work?

In June, FDA approved a new weight loss medicine, Wegovy. This once-a-week injection works by reducing appetite and improving insulin release.

Dr. Sean Mackey, expert in managing pain
PodcastsTerry Graedon - July 1, 2021

Show 1178: Do We Need a Revolution in Managing Pain? (Archive)

Opioids are an important tool for managing pain, but they are not the only option. Dr. Sean Mackey says we need a revolution in thinking about pain.

a bottle of Abilify & aripiprazole, digital pills
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - June 28, 2021

Can You Reverse Tardive Dyskinesia from Abilify?

Drugs prescribed for bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia can cause involuntary movements. Can new meds reverse tardive dyskinesia

tylenol bottles
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - June 28, 2021

If Acetaminophen Is Killing People, Why Should You Trust Tylenol?

The popular pain reliever acetaminophen may be riskier than you think. A ProPublica report has some chilling stats. DON'T OVERDOSE on APAP!

Man checking blood pressure with systolic blood pressure under 130
Alzheimer’s DiseaseTerry Graedon - June 24, 2021

Which Blood Pressure Pills Help Protect Memory?

ACE inhibitors that can get into the brain may protect memory in older adults. ARBs that cross the blood-brain barrier also seem to work.

confused older man
Cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)Joe Graedon - June 24, 2021

Do Statins Affect Memory or Scramble Your Brain?

Millions take statins to prevent heart problems. Can statins affect memory? This question still remains highly controversial after decades.

Cortisone shots into the knee
ArthritisJoe Graedon - June 24, 2021

Do Steroid Injections Melt Bones and Weaken Joints?

When knees or hips hurt, life gets hard. Climbing stairs is challenging. Hiking hurts. Steroid injections are tempting. Do they cause damage?

a bottle of budeprion xl 300mg
DepressionJoe Graedon - June 21, 2021

Problems with Generic Wellbutrin (Bupropion)? Not Again!

We hoped that problems with the generic antidepressant for Wellbutrin (bupropion) were over. They're still coming! But Wellbutrin is PRICEY!