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shadow hands reach to anxious womanAnxietyJoe Graedon - September 18, 2023 - 11 comments

The Love-Hate Relationship with Anti-Anxiety Benzos

Millions of people rely upon anti-anxiety benzos to calm their nerves and put them to sleep. What are the pros and cons of benzodiazepines?

man holding fast food container and clutching his chest because of heartburn
Acid RefluxJoe Graedon - May 15, 2023

Getting Off Omeprazole Can Be Challenging!

Many remedies can help with the challenge of getting off omeprazole by easing the symptoms of rebound reflux. Can famotidine (Pepcid) help?

pharmacist hands selling medicines to a customer on a pharmacy desk; simple job description; refill prescriptions
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - April 10, 2023

Why Is Pharmacy Pushing to Refill Prescriptions?

Pushing to refill prescriptions intended for short-term use and failing to refill needed prescriptions can both cause patients problems.

Spravato, esketamine is available as a nasal spray
ColdsTerry Graedon - March 6, 2023

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?

Angry patient being refused by pharmacist
Drug Side EffectsDennis Miller, RPh - February 16, 2023

What Pharmacists Don’t Tell You

When your pharmacist discusses your drugs with you, you may not learn all the relevant information. Here’s what pharmacists don't tell you.

bottles of medications with warning stickers and information
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - February 9, 2023

Deprescribing: Can You Ever Stop Taking So Many Pills?

When people take lots of pills they may start experiencing drug-induced ills. Getting off the medication merry-go-round has a new name: deprescribing.

sleepy woman with alarm clock
Drug Side EffectsJoe Graedon - January 16, 2023

Stopping Zolpidem (Ambien) for Insomnia Can Be Challenging

Have you had trouble getting a good night's sleep? Who hasn't? That's why sleeping pills are so seductive. Stopping zolpidem can be tricky.

Bowl of psyllium husks, an excellent source of dietary fiber, to help you get off a PPI
Acid RefluxTerry Graedon - January 2, 2023

Can You Get Off a PPI Without Suffering Heartburn?

Readers found ways to get off a PPI without withdrawal symptoms: Eat just one low-carb meal a day to reduce discomfort, or take psyllium.

desperate young woman calling Suicide Hotline Number
Drug Side EffectsTerry Graedon - December 5, 2022

People in Pain Need Access to Suicide Hotline Number

People contemplating suicide because of untreated pain or any other reason should call 988, the Suicide Hotline Number.

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.

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 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!

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.