By: Joe Graedon March 18, 2019 9 Comments
    How To Stop Venlafaxine: Very, VERY Slowly!

    It has taken the medical profession a very long time to acknowledge that many of the most popular drugs in the pharmacy can cause a kind of dependence. By that we mean such drugs can precipitate serio…

    By: Terry Graedon February 25, 2019 3 Comments
    How to Beat Nose Spray Dependence One Nostril at…

    Decongestant nose spray is fabulous when your nasal passages are so congested you can't breathe. Just a spritz can open clogged sinuses. However, such nasal sprays have a big downside: nose spray addi…

    By: Terry Graedon February 14, 2019 12 Comments
    Show 1153: How to Listen to TV Drug Commercials

    If you watch television, you can’t avoid TV drug commercials for maladies from type 2 diabetes to auto-immune diseases like psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis to refractory cancers. Do you see these …

    By: Terry Graedon February 7, 2019 38 Comments
    What Is the Other Drug Epidemic?

    Much has been written about the epidemic of opioid drug misuse, overdose and death. With more than 130 people dying every day in this country as a result of opioid overdose, we all have a right to be …

    By: Terry Graedon August 19, 2018 19 Comments
    Can You Overcome an Afrin Addiction?

    Have you ever become addicted to your nasal spray? Millions of people do. Decongestant nasal sprays can be used safely for only a few days before they start to produce rebound congestion that can be q…

    By: Joe Graedon June 25, 2018 18 Comments
    Getting Off Venlafaxine Can Be Incredibly Challe…

    Many years ago we heard from a reader who was trying to get off alprazolam (Xanax). It was not commonly recognized that short-acting benzodiazepines (benzos) could pose unbearable withdrawal symptoms …

    By: Joe Graedon May 28, 2018 31 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 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: Terry Graedon February 12, 2018 17 Comments
    Stopping Duloxetine Leads to Terrible Withdrawal…

    Before anyone starts taking an antidepressant, the prescriber should give them some guidance on how to quit. As it turns out, getting off a medication like duloxetine can be extremely difficult becaus…

    By: Terry Graedon January 22, 2018 5 Comments
    How Long Will Dizziness Last After Stopping Lexa…

    It is always smart to have an exit strategy. That is just as true when you begin taking a prescription medication as when you take a new job that might or might not be quite suitable. One reader found…

    By: Joe Graedon November 20, 2017 3 Comments
    Can You Avoid Family Fights Over the Holidays?

    In these highly polarized times, family gatherings like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be stressful. Many people may worry about interacting with relatives whose political views differ. Just thinking …

    By: Terry Graedon November 13, 2017 7 Comments
    How Dangerous Is It to Stop Taking Aspirin?

    Aspirin, a drug that has been easing pain and even saving lives for more than a hundred years, gets very little respect. Perhaps because it is so old or maybe because it is available over the counter,…

    By: Joe Graedon October 5, 2017 15 Comments
    Will Stopping Aspirin Lead to A Heart Attack?

    Many people take low dose aspirin, usually 81 mg, to prevent cardiovascular complications. Doctors frequently prescribe aspirin after a patient has had a heart attack or after a stent has been placed …

    By: Terry Graedon September 10, 2017 9 Comments
    How to Stop an Antidepressant Without Difficulti…

    Have you ever tried to stop an antidepressant abruptly? We have heard from many people who have found that this can trigger an extremely unpleasant experience. They report a discontinuation syndrome t…

    By: Terry Graedon August 20, 2017 8 Comments
    Stopping Cetirizine Led to Itching Like Crazy

    Who would guess that stopping an antihistamine taken for allergies could lead to dramatic hives and itching? Although it may seem improbable, scores of readers report that they developed dreadful itch…

    By: Terry Graedon July 31, 2017 1 Comments
    Could Mom Be Suffering Cough Syrup Withdrawal?

    Stopping certain medications suddenly can lead to symptoms that are extremely uncomfortable. Many readers are familiar with the withdrawal symptoms from pain medicine or antidepressants such as duloxe…

    By: Joe Graedon June 29, 2017 216 Comments
    How To Stop Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Without Withdr…

    From what we hear from readers of our syndicated newspaper column and visitors to this website, most patients are not warned about how to stop duloxetine (Cymbalta). Perhaps the prescriber assumes tha…

    By: Joe Graedon June 12, 2017 23 Comments
    Do Doctors Know How to Help Patients Stop Medica…

    Starting a new prescription is easy. If your doctor tells the pharmacist to write on the label, "take once a day with food," you know exactly what to do. Most people can manage such a simple instructi…

    By: Terry Graedon June 12, 2017 11 Comments
    How Can You Get to Sleep Without Zolpidem?

    Americans tend to be sleep deprived, and the problem may be getting worse. Watching the evening news could be enough to make a person anxious, and anxiety frequently leads to insomnia. No wonder so m…

    By: Terry Graedon May 29, 2017 5 Comments
    Can an Antidepressant Really Help with Hot Flash…

    Menopause offers women numerous challenges, but the most significant symptom is probably hot flashes (vasomotor symptoms in doctor-speak). This may also be among the most variable symptoms. Some women…

    By: Terry Graedon May 8, 2017 2 Comments
    How Can You Stop Taking Klonopin for Insomnia?

    When you are feeling stressed and can't seem to get to sleep, medicines can help. Many people have found, however, that it is too easy to rely on a sleep aid. Then, when you no longer feel you need th…

    By: Joe Graedon May 7, 2017 309 Comments
    Serious Tramadol (Ultram) Side Effects & Wi…

    America is undergoing a massive opioid anxiety attack. It has been called an epidemic by lawmakers and the media. While many people used opioids responsibly for chronic pain, there has been substantia…

    By: Terry Graedon April 10, 2017 6 Comments
    Stopping Zyprexa Safely So You Can Lose Weight

    Treating serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia is difficult, so psychiatrists are often willing to accept the side effects and drawbacks of drugs such as aripiprazole (Abilify) or olanzapine …

    By: Joe Graedon March 30, 2017 15 Comments
    Stopping Xyzal Triggers Horrible Itching

    Allergy season has already begun in some parts of the country. Sufferers are reaching for antihistamines to reduce the runny nose and calm the itchy eyes and other pollen reactions. There is a new opt…

    By: Joe Graedon March 6, 2017 22 Comments
    Should You Worry About Kidney Damage with PPI He…

    Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are incredibly popular. By one estimate, nearly 8% of adults took a prescription drug like esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec) in the …

    By: Joe Graedon February 20, 2017 4 Comments
    Deprescribing: Can You Ever Stop Taking So Many …

    Once a doctor prescribes a medication there is a good chance you will be on it for months, years or even decades. This is especially true for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension or high cho…

    By: Joe Graedon December 15, 2016 8 Comments
    1 Out of Every 6 American Adults Takes Psychiatr…

    The numbers are startling: one in six American adults has taken a psychiatric drug. This is the finding from a study reported in JAMA Internal Medicine (online, Dec. 12, 2016). The researchers reviewe…

    By: Joe Graedon December 8, 2016 9 Comments
    Add Strokes to the Scary List of PPI Side Effect…

    Proton pump inhibitors like esomeprazole, lansoprazole or omeprazole are the most popular treatments for heartburn and reflux disease. It is estimated that 15 million Americans spend $10 billion on su…

    By: Joe Graedon November 28, 2016 18 Comments
    Stopping Duloxetine (Cymbalta) Suddenly Flipped …

    Antidepressants like desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), sertraline (Zoloft) and venlafaxine (Effexor) have become extremely popular. Millions take such drugs regularly. When such medicat…

    By: Joe Graedon September 5, 2016 22 Comments
    Stopping Zyrtec (Cetirizine) Led to Itchy Nightm…

    Over six years ago we heard from a reader who had used the antihistamine cetirizine (Zyrtec) to ease allergy symptoms. In preparation for allergy tests he tried stopping Zyrtec. He noted that: "withi…

    By: Joe Graedon August 8, 2016 88 Comments
    Have You Had Problems with Generic Cymbalta (Dul…

    Brand name drugs like Cymbalta have become unaffordable for many patients. That's why most people are dispensed generic Cymbalta (duloxetine). We have received complaints that some generic formulation…

    By: Terry Graedon July 25, 2016 34 Comments
    Stopping Antihistamine Leads to Unbelievable Itc…

    Every so often, doctors discover something from their own experience as patients that they didn't learn in medical school and haven't heard from their colleagues. Often, the symptoms of withdrawal fr…

    By: Joe Graedon May 15, 2016 6 Comments
    Did Sleeping Pill Cocktail Leave Insomniac Zombi…

    Tens of millions of people have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. They are frequently told that inadequate sleep can contribute to a variety of health problems from weight gain and hypert…

    By: Terry Graedon March 28, 2016 29 Comments
    How to Stop Prilosec by Taking Papaya

    Popular heartburn medicines called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can be great for alleviating symptoms. If a person decides it is time to stop taking one of these PPIs, however, the withdrawal can t…

    By: Terry Graedon December 21, 2015 2 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: Joe Graedon October 26, 2015 6 Comments
    Stopping PPIs Suddenly Triggers Heartburn That M…

    Doctors occasionally assume that if symptoms return when a medication is stopped, the original problem is reasserting itself. That seems to indicate an ongoing need for the drug. That may be true in m…

    By: Joe Graedon October 26, 2015 3 Comments
    Stopping Cetirizine Suddenly Leads to Unbearable…

    When you get a prescription for a specific health problem, there are a few questions that you should ask. What is it? Why am I taking it? When (and how) should I take it? When should I discontinue it?…

    By: Joe Graedon August 31, 2015 8 Comments
    Fennel Seeds Help Overcome Heartburn Drug Withdr…

    We hear often from people who have had difficulty discontinuing a proton pump inhibitor drug such as omeprazole, esomeprazole or lansoprazole. These acid-suppressing drugs are widely prescribed for st…

    By: Joe Graedon August 31, 2015 79 Comments
    Stopping Lyrica Suddenly Can Trigger Withdrawal …

    Many drugs are capable of causing physiological dependence, so that when a person quits taking the medicine he immediately experiences side effects. In many cases, these reactions may be similar to th…

    By: Joe Graedon July 16, 2015 51 Comments
    More Drug Recalls From India – Do You Trus…

    The overwhelming majority of generic drugs are now made abroad. India supplies a large proportion of those formulations. In recent days two large Indian drug companies have received bad news from the …