By: Joe Graedon June 14, 2018 34 Comments
    Insurers Are Refusing to Pay for Life-Saving Hep…

    One of the great pharmaceutical advances of the last decade has been the development of antiviral medications that are highly effective against hepatitis C (aka HEP C or HCV for hepatitis C virus). Ke…

    By: Terry Graedon June 14, 2018 6 Comments
    Can You Fight Bacteria with Viruses?

    Antibiotic resistance has become a global concern. But Mother Nature has come up with a fascinating option for overcoming bacterial infection: viruses that fight bacteria. Using Viruses to Fight Bacte…

    By: Joe Graedon June 11, 2018 6 Comments
    Can Meloxicam Raise Blood Pressure Dangerously H…

    Meloxicam (Mobic) is one of the most popular prescription NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in the pharmacy. According to our calculations, over 22 million prescriptions are dispensed each…

    By: Terry Graedon June 11, 2018 19 Comments
    How Can You Find Quinine for Leg Cramps?

    When a common remedy becomes unavailable, people often become creative. They find new ways to address the problem. That is what many folks have needed to do once the FDA took quinine for leg cramps of…

    By: Joe Graedon June 11, 2018 4 Comments
    Is There a Dark Side to the Diabetes Drug Jardia…

    If you watch television, there is a decent chance you have seen a Jardiance commercial. The manufacturer is promoting “Big News” about this diabetes drug. Towards the end of the TV spot, the inter…

    By: Terry Graedon June 7, 2018 3 Comments
    Super Immune Therapy Gave One Woman Her Life Bac…

    An experimental immune therapy conducted on a single breast cancer patient has captured a great deal of attention this week. The 49-year-old woman, Judy Perkins, had metastatic breast cancer that had …

    By: Joe Graedon June 4, 2018 11 Comments
    Statins and Diabetes | What Happens When Blood S…

    A few years ago three pillars of modern medicine recommended that virtually all adults with diabetes should take statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs. This is what the American Diabetes Association …

    By: Joe Graedon June 4, 2018 31 Comments
    Is Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Safe For a Dry Nose?

    Vaseline Petroleum Jelly dates back over 140 years. The Vaseline patent was issued in 1872 to British chemist, Robert Chesebrough. He had traveled to Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859 to check out the…

    By: Terry Graedon May 31, 2018 11 Comments
    Will You Gain Weight on an Antidepressant?

    People who take antidepressant medications for many years often complain that they gain weight. Is this observation merely anecdotal, or is there evidence to support it? Do People Gain Weight When The…

    By: Terry Graedon May 31, 2018 7 Comments
    Can You Take Aspirin to Prevent Stroke?

    People who experience a transient ischemic attack, also known as a TIA or a minor stroke, are at a significantly increased risk for another blood clot in the brain. In a TIA, the clot resolves on its …

    By: Joe Graedon May 28, 2018 25 Comments
    The Zyrtec Itch is Unbearable | Where’s th…

    We first heard about the Zyrtec itch over eight years ago. A reader reported horrible itching within three days of stopping Zyrtec (cetirizine is the generic name for this antihistamine). He reported …

    By: Joe Graedon May 28, 2018 3 Comments
    Chantix and Insomnia | Disturbed Sleep and Bad D…

    Chantix (varenicline) has been widely advertised on television. Perhaps you have seen some of the commercials. In this one Mark smiles and says he quit smoking with Chantix. The announcer lists a bunc…

    By: Terry Graedon May 28, 2018 20 Comments
    How to Overcome Stage Fright Without Drugs

    Have you ever tried to overcome stage fright? Most people have experienced performance anxiety at some time during their lives. Acting in an amateur theatre group can trigger stage fright. So can givi…

    By: Joe Graedon May 24, 2018 9 Comments
    Is Aspirin Better Than Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) To …

    Strokes are nasty business. When a blood clot lodges in a brain artery, it leads to the death of neurons. Depending upon where the damage occurs, patients can have difficulty speaking, moving or balan…

    By: Joe Graedon May 21, 2018 14 Comments
    What Can You Do If Ibuprofen Triggers Atrial Fib…

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like diclofenac, ibuprofen, meloxicam or naproxen are extremely popular pain relievers. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen (Aleve) are even availab…

    By: Terry Graedon May 20, 2018 13 Comments
    Could Vitamin B12 Deficiency Make You Fall?

    Falls are a great fear as people get older and less steady on their feet. And no wonder: a fall can result in broken bones and greatly reduced mobility. More than a fourth of older adults who break a …

    By: Joe Graedon May 17, 2018 10 Comments
    Are You Highly Allergic? What To Do About EpiPen…

    With warm weather, bees, wasps and other stinging creatures are on the move. That means people who are highly allergic to stings need to keep epinephrine available at all times. This injectable medica…

    By: Joe Graedon May 14, 2018 12 Comments
    Does Popular OTC Antihistamine Increase Risk of …

    The Food and Drug Administration has been surprisingly silent about the possible risk of dementia associated with anticholinergic drugs. It has been our observation that once this federal agency appro…

    By: Karen Berger, PharmD, RPh May 14, 2018 22 Comments
    A Tale of Drugs That Disappeared for Good

    Recently, I was drinking my morning coffee out of my Vioxx mug. When Vioxx came out, it was BIG. Everyone was going crazy for this drug that was supposed to help pain and inflammation without the typi…

    By: Terry Graedon May 10, 2018 8 Comments
    How Do You Weigh the Benefits and Risks of Aspir…

    Aspirin has been around over 100 years. It is one of the most versatile drugs in the pharmacy. It relieves pain, lowers fever and reduces inflammation. In addition, it has anti-platelet activity that …

    By: Joe Graedon May 7, 2018 12 Comments
    Can the Antidepressant Amitriptyline Mess Up Mem…

    It is estimated that nearly two million people take the antidepressant amitriptyline every day. We suspect that most are not taking this drug to improve mood. That’s because amitriptyline (Elavil) h…

    By: Joe Graedon May 7, 2018 20 Comments
    Are Nuplazid and Other FDA-Approved Drugs Really…

    Nuplazid (pimavanserin) is a fascinating example of the FDA’s confusing drug authorization process. We suspect that many people think a stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration means …

    By: Terry Graedon May 7, 2018 6 Comments
    How to Overcome Hoarseness from Advair

    Have you become so hoarse you could barely talk? Most people have experienced laryngitis as part of a respiratory tract infection like a cold or bronchitis. But some people report that certain inhaled…

    By: Joe Graedon April 30, 2018 3 Comments
    What Is the Best Way to Take Celecoxib (Celebrex…

    A panel of outside advisers to the FDA recently voted on the cardiovascular safety of Celebrex. These experts concluded that people who take celecoxib (Celebrex) to ease arthritis pain are at no great…

    By: Joe Graedon April 26, 2018 14 Comments
    Commonly Prescribed Anticholinergic Drugs Linked…

    Alzheimer’s disease is scary. It robs people of their memories and their ability to function. Many people think it’s brought on by bad genes or bad luck. But there is mounting evidence that our en…

    By: Joe Graedon April 23, 2018 8 Comments
    Generic Celebrex Disappoints | How to Get Author…

    The Food and Drug Administration first approved generic Celebrex (celecoxib) on May 30, 2014. Not long after that, we began getting complaints from people in pain. Many maintained that the generic cel…

    By: Joe Graedon April 23, 2018 27 Comments
    Why Is Antidepressant Withdrawal So Hard?

    It is estimated that one out of every eight Americans takes an antidepressant medication (JAMA Internal Medicine, Feb. 2017). According to the New York Times, roughly 25 million Americans have been ta…

    By: Karen Berger, PharmD, RPh April 19, 2018 19 Comments
    Do You Know Someone Taking Stimulants for ADHD?

    Many of my fellow pharmacists have recently watched the popular Netflix documentary about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder drugs (stimulants) called Take Your Pills. I decided to see what the …

    By: Joe Graedon April 19, 2018 4 Comments
    Overdosing on Acetaminophen in Cold and Flu Reme…

    Many over-the-counter medicines marketed for treating colds and flu contain acetaminophen (paracetamol in Europe, Australia and New Zealand). This non-aspirin pain reliever helps lower fever. Acetamin…

    By: Joe Graedon April 16, 2018 13 Comments
    Is NyQuil A Good Way To Stay Asleep?

    We often wonder whether people read the label of their over-the-counter medicines. If they did, would most know what they were taking? Nyquil Cold & Flu formula is advertised to “relieve your s…

    By: Terry Graedon April 16, 2018 17 Comments
    Will Cannabis Cream Really Ease Neuropathy?

    People with neuropathy are often desperate for relief. The causes of this nerve pain may vary, from drug side effects to the aftermath of an infection. Sometimes too little or too much of a common vit…

    By: Terry Graedon April 15, 2018 7 Comments
    Warning: Adderall Led to Unexpected Liver Injury

    A wise patient asks about possible side effects before filling a new prescription. Sometimes, however, even that is not enough. One reader experienced a serious side effect, acute liver injury, that w…

    By: Joe Graedon April 12, 2018 5 Comments
    Why Did Hot Pepper Headache Land Man in the Emer…

    Those of us who love hot peppers cherish the experience of pain and pleasure brought on by the chemical called capsaicin. That is the active ingredient in hot chili peppers that lights up our taste bu…

    By: Joe Graedon April 9, 2018 4 Comments
    Lyrica and Weight Gain | Can It Be Reversed?

    Pregabalin (Lyrica) has become a go-to drug for nerve pain (neuropathy). There aren't many medications in the doctor’s tool kit for this kind of problem. A similar drug, gabapentin, has been approve…

    By: Terry Graedon April 9, 2018 8 Comments
    Skimping on Magnesium May Mean Trouble Sleeping

    How often does a treatment for one problem lead to another problem? We suspect it may be more common than anyone could imagine. Who would guess that low magnesium levels resulting from a heartburn med…

    By: Joe Graedon April 9, 2018 25 Comments
    What Happens When Minor Drug Side Effects Turn D…

    Health professionals often categorize drug side effects three ways. First come the common complications of medicines. If 20 to 30 percent of patients complain of headaches or diarrhea after taking a m…

    By: Terry Graedon April 9, 2018 3 Comments
    If You’re on Simvastatin, Can You Eat Grap…

    Do you know whether there are some foods you should avoid while you are taking your medicine? The classic example is grapefruit. When its ability to interact with medications was first discovered, man…

    By: Joe Graedon April 2, 2018 15 Comments
    How to Treat Seasonal Allergies: Drugs or Natura…

    Allergy season is here. Even if you did not realize that, the warring drug commercials on television should have alerted you. On the same program you can see ads for Xyzal, Allegra and Nasacort. There…

    By: Terry Graedon April 2, 2018 10 Comments
    Can You Manage the Side Effects of Metformin?

    Metformin is an old drug that doctors use as a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes. While it helps millions of people keep their blood glucose under control, some individuals find that they canno…

    By: Terry Graedon April 2, 2018 4 Comments
    Are You Worried about a Limit on Loperamide?

    The FDA has announced plans to make the anti-diarrhea pill loperamide (Imodium) more difficult to obtain. The agency has developed this initiative as part of the government's efforts against the opioi…