logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine
Angry patient being refused by pharmacistDrug Side EffectsDennis Miller, RPh - February 16, 2023
Spravato, esketamine is available as a nasal sprayColdsTerry Graedon - March 6, 2023 - 4 comments

How to Beat Nose Spray Dependence One Nostril at a Time

Decongestant nasal sprays such as Afrin can lead to rebound congestion if they are overused. How can you overcome such nose spray dependence?

Young woman hold her hands up in fear
Acid RefluxJoe Graedon - December 5, 2022

Do Doctors Know How to Help Patients Stop Medications?

Have you ever been told how to stop medications? It's rare for prescribers to provide detailed withdrawal instructions. The FDA doesn't help.

Oxycodone tablets and pill bottle for people in pain
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - November 21, 2022

Are People In Pain Committing Suicide For Lack of Opioids?

When people in severe pain are denied access to effective pain meds, it's a travesty! Are pain patients dying because of a lack of opioids?

Depressed doctor leaning against wall in hospital corridor
aortic aneurysmJoe Graedon - November 3, 2022

What’s Up with Paxlovid COVID Rebound Infection?

What do you know about Paxlovid COVID rebound? What should you do if you experience COVID symptoms after taking Paxlovid? Here's an update!

woman scratching her back
AllergiesTerry Graedon - October 24, 2022

Zyrtec Withdrawal Is a Nightmare

We've heard reports from many people that getting off of Zyrtec (Cetirizine) poses a real itching challenge. Is there such a thing as Zyrtec withdrawal?

Dr. Anna Lembke talks about medicating normal emotions
PodcastsTerry Graedon - September 15, 2022

Show 1315: Are We Medicating Normal Emotions?

A psychiatrist and a patient each describes her perspective on the dangers of medicating normal emotions with psychotropic drugs.

A bottle of generic delayed-release Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - September 8, 2022

Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Side Effects & Withdrawal

The anti-depressant Cymbalta (duloxetine) can cause a host of side effects, but stopping the drug could also provoke unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

woman pulling out her hair
AnxietyJoe Graedon - September 1, 2022

Stopping Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Suddenly Flipped Her Out

It's easy to start taking a new med. You just pop a pill in your mouth and hope for the best. But stopping duloxetine (cymbalta) can be tricky.

a bottle of PredniSONE 1mg, short-term steroid use, prednisone side effects
AllergiesJoe Graedon - June 20, 2022

Prednisone Withdrawal: Can You Ever Stop Corticosteroids?

Corticosteroids are prescribed to millions of people. Many may not be informed about side effects or strategies for prednisone withdrawal.

COVID-19 long hauler Woman in bed with fatigue feels bad after COVID-19
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - March 17, 2022

How to Sleep During Anxious Times

Many people are finding the news of the day overwhelming. We offer tips on getting to sleep during anxious times like these.

Packet of Antidepressant Prozac Pills
DepressionJoe Graedon - March 7, 2022

Prozac Poop Out and Other Drug Drop Offs

If a medication you have taken for years stops working, it can be disastrous. In the case of fluoxetine, we call it Prozac Poop Out.

Bottle of Bayer Low Dose Aspirin (baby aspirin) 81 mg
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - February 7, 2022

How Dangerous Is It to Stop Taking Aspirin?

The US Preventive Services Task Force says millions of people should stop taking aspirin to prevent a heart attack. Better be careful!

A bottle of generic delayed-release Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg
AnxietyJoe Graedon - January 3, 2022

How To Stop Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Without Withdrawal Symptoms

Millions of people take antidepressants for anxiety, arthritis, depression, nerve pain or fibromyalgia. Are they told how to stop duloxetine?

Young woman's back has unbelievable itching with allergy skin problem
AllergiesJoe Graedon - October 4, 2021

Stopping Zyrtec (Cetirizine) Led to Itchy Nightmare

When people take cetirizine for allergy symptoms they do not think about side effects when they stop the drug. But reports of withdrawal itching continue!

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 appears anxious and depressed
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - July 6, 2020

Withdrawal Results from Refusal to Renew Alprazolam

Over 5 million people take alprazolam (Xanax) for anxiety. If a doctor does not renew alprazolam prescriptions he can trigger some very nasty symtoms!

woman staring at cell phone in bed with anxious look on her face
AnxietyJoe Graedon - June 22, 2020

Zolpidem for Insomnia | COVID-Related Anxiety

Has the coronavirus been causing you anxiety, depression or insomnia? You would not be alone. Prescriptions for drugs like zolpidem for insomnia are way up!

woman with shoulder pain
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - March 9, 2020

Gabapentin Risks for Persistent Shoulder Pain?

Gabapentin is taken by nine million Americans. Many of those prescriptions are off label. What are some gabapentin risks? Beware confusion and depression.

A bottle of tramadol 50 mg
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - September 15, 2019

Stopping Ultracet (Tramadol + Acetaminophen) Led to Withdrawal

Because of the opioid epidemic many physicians have stopped prescribing drugs like hydrocodone. Is tramadol safer? Stopping Ultracet can be challenging.

Man uses a nasal spray for treatment
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - June 17, 2019

Decongestant Spray Addiction is Hard to Kick

Have you ever had a stufy nose? Were you tempted to use a nose spray? Did you develop decongestant spray addiction? Is there a way to kick the habit? Yes!

man with burning mouth syndrome breathing fire
Acid RefluxJoe Graedon - June 6, 2019

Why Popular Heartburn Drugs PPIs Are Linked to Premature Deaths

Acid-suppressing drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are go-to drugs for heartburn. Should you be concerned that PPIs are linked to premature deaths?

Hand with pen drawing the chemical formula of CBD (cannabidiol) approved as Epidiolex
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - May 23, 2019

Will CBD Help Opioid Addicts Kick Their Habits?

A new study suggests that cannabidiol might help some people with drug-use disorder kick their habits. It seems to ease cravings and anxiety.

Gabapentin pills in a bottle, 300mg
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - April 4, 2019

New Concerns About Gabapentin and Pregabalin (Lyrica) for Nerve Pain

Over 10 million people take GABA agonists for nerve pain. A recent report raises new concerns about gabapentin and pregabalin. What are the pros and cons?

depressed teen holding her head
DepressionJoe Graedon - March 18, 2019

How To Stop Venlafaxine: Very, VERY Slowly!

Are you surprised to learn that many antidepressant drugs are hard to stop? The discontinuation syndrome can be awful. Learn how to stop venlafaxine slowly!

Dr. Aaron Carroll, author of The Bad Food Bible: How and Why to Eat Sinfully
PodcastsTerry Graedon - February 14, 2019

Show 1153: How to Listen to TV Drug Commercials

What do TV drug commercials tell you about the medicine you might be taking? What other sources do you use to learn about your drugs? Join the conversation.

Senior man in pajamas sits on bed unable to sleep
Back PainTerry Graedon - February 7, 2019

What Is the Other Drug Epidemic?

Researchers say there is another drug epidemic in addition to opioids. Doctors are prescribing more benzodiazepines than ever for longer periods of time.

Man uses a nasal spray for treatment
AllergiesTerry Graedon - August 19, 2018

Can You Overcome an Afrin Addiction?

One reader reports that spicy green chile salsa would open up the sinuses enough to help break an Afrin addiction. Others have used steroid nasal sprays or even saline spray to accomplish this goal.

illustration of a head splitting in two with green waves of pain radiating out
DepressionJoe Graedon - June 25, 2018

Getting Off Venlafaxine Can Be Incredibly Challenging

Effexor (venlafaxine) is a frequently prescribed antidepressant. But getting off venlafaxine can be extremely difficult. Many patients are not told how to taper the drug VERY slowly.

Woman scratching itchy arm
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - May 28, 2018

The Zyrtec Itch is Unbearable | Where’s the FDA?

We have reported "the Zyrtec itch" to the FDA with disappointing results. Hundreds of people have reported problems with itching when they stop Zyrtec suddenly. The FDA doesn't respond to our concerns

sad and depressed young woman crying
AnxietyJoe Graedon - April 23, 2018

Why Is Antidepressant Withdrawal So Hard?

Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms were not recognized for decades. Now the FDA requires a warning about "discontinuation syndrome." Are patients warned about this devastating condition?

a bottle of Cymbalta 20 mg
DepressionTerry Graedon - February 12, 2018

Stopping Duloxetine Leads to Terrible Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness and 'brain zaps' can make coming off duloxetine (Cymbalta) a terrifying ordeal.

young man holds his hands to his head for dizziness or head pain
DepressionTerry Graedon - January 22, 2018

How Long Will Dizziness Last After Stopping Lexapro?

One reader still experiences bouts of vertigo a month after stopping Lexapro. When might this withdrawal symptom disappear?

Family Fight at Holiday meal
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - November 20, 2017

Can You Avoid Family Fights Over the Holidays?

How will you cope with the stresses of shopping, cooking and family feuds? Do you need anti-anxiety meds or is there another way to prevent family fights?