By: Terry Graedon May 22, 2017 0 Comments
    Can You Safely Take Fish Oil with Blood Thinners…

    Many of us make a clear distinction between the drugs we take and the vitamins or supplements we use. It seems logical enough for our brains, but our bodies don't recognize categories like that. An…

    By: Terry Graedon April 10, 2017 64 Comments
    Drinking Coffee with Synthroid Means the Morning…

    How do you take your Synthroid, the levothyroxine medication used to treat an underactive thyroid gland? Usually, people are urged to take it first thing in the morning. Ideally, it is taken at least …

    By: Terry Graedon February 16, 2017 2 Comments
    How to Save Money by Taking Zytiga with Breakfas…

    Food and drug interactions are often unpredictable. That is why people taking warfarin are counseled to avoid leafy vegetables that could reverse the effects of this anticoagulant. People with high ch…

    By: Joe Graedon February 13, 2017 8 Comments
    Food and Drug Interactions Are Important! Levoth…

    The next time you get a prescription from your physician that says "take once a day," stop! Do not accept such a vague instruction. Ask the prescriber what precisely that means and follow up with the…

    By: Terry Graedon February 13, 2017 1 Comments
    Will Your Antibiotic Interact with Your Blood Pr…

    Before you start taking any new medicine, it makes sense to ask about potential interactions with the drugs you are already taking. It is a good thing one reader asked about potential interactions be…

    By: Terry Graedon January 26, 2017 10 Comments
    Will You Suffer a Scary Side Effect?

    Americans take a lot of medicines. Almost two-thirds of us take at least one prescription medication daily. One fifth take more than five different doctor-prescribed drugs. That does not include any o…

    By: Joe Graedon January 2, 2017 4 Comments
    Why the Pharmacy Safety Net Has HUGE holes

    When was the last time you talked to a pharmacist? If you get your medicine through the mail or at a chain drugstore, the chances are good that you did not speak directly with a health professional. I…

    By: Joe Graedon December 22, 2016 14 Comments
    Is Your Pharmacist Dispensing Deadly Drug Combin…

    One of the most important health stories of the year disappeared almost without a trace within days of making headlines at the Chicago Tribune (Dec. 15, 2016). This newspaper sent investigative report…

    By: Terry Graedon December 19, 2016 5 Comments
    How Does Diltiazem Increase the Danger of Simvas…

    Do you take more than one medication? If so, have you checked to see whether they are safe together? One reader discovered that a blood pressure pill raises the danger of simvastatin. How Does Diltiaz…

    By: Joe Graedon December 12, 2016 13 Comments
    Amiodarone Side Effects Can Be Life Threatening

    Amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone) is approved by the FDA for two very serious irregular heart rhythms: "1. Recurrent ventricular fibrillation and 2. Recurrent hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachy…

    By: Terry Graedon December 1, 2016 2 Comments
    Could Heart Drug Combo Be Hurting People with AF…

    Patients with an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (AFib) are frequently prescribed an anticoagulant to prevent blood clots. But adding another common cardiovascular drug might be dan…

    By: Joe Graedon November 7, 2016 7 Comments
    Should You Fortify Your Life With Vitamins and M…

    We continue to hear from many health professionals that vitamins and minerals are a total waste of money. This popular refrain has been repeated for decades: "If you take vitamins and minerals all you…

    By: Terry Graedon October 3, 2016 4 Comments
    Do Anti-Anxiety Drugs Cause Sweating and Insomni…

    Many people suffer from anxiety that can interfere with their ability to function from day to day. Doctors often prescribe anti-anxiety drugs, but that might not be a perfect solution. Some medicati…

    By: Terry Graedon August 13, 2016 9 Comments
    Is Your Breakfast Messing Up Your Medicine?

    When was the last time you read a manual? Most of us are so impatient that we skip straight to plug and play. That's true whether it's a computer program, a cell phone or a rental car. Taking pills is…

    By: Joe Graedon August 8, 2016 2 Comments
    Can You Trust Your Electronic Prescriptions?

    There was a time when a visit to the doctor's office often resulted in a paper prescription that you would take to the pharmacy. Nowadays there is a strong likelihood that if you need a medication you…

    By: Joe Graedon July 4, 2016 4 Comments
    Will My PM Sleeping Pills Lead to Dementia?

    People with insomnia are caught between two hard rocks. On the one hand they are told that lack of sleep can lead to all sorts of health problems including high blood pressure, forgetfulness, diabetes…

    By: Joe Graedon June 13, 2016 4 Comments
    Why Potassium Chloride Is Not Always a Safe Salt…

    People have been warned that salt (sodium chloride) is dangerous, especially for people with high blood pressure. New research suggests that is only true when people with hypertension consume a lot of…

    By: Joe Graedon June 9, 2016 11 Comments
    Side Effects, Interactions and Problems with Pro…

    A lot of men who never contemplated problems peeing are now taking drugs to help them urinate: tamsulosin (Flomax, Jalyn), alfuzosin (Uroxatral), silodosin (Rapaflo), doxazosin (Cardura) and terazosin…

    By: Joe Graedon May 30, 2016 14 Comments
    Tremors from Tramadol Could Be Scary Serotonin S…

    Tramadol is becoming a mainstay in the treatment of pain, especially now that opioids have come under such scrutiny. But the FDA warns that this medication can interact with many other drugs to trigg…

    By: Joe Graedon May 9, 2016 6 Comments
    Are You Swallowing A Deadly Drug Combination?

    Americans are swallowing more medications than ever before. A recent nationwide study showed that one in three older people take at least five different prescription drugs (JAMA Internal Medicine, Apr…

    By: Terry Graedon January 11, 2016 11 Comments
    Is Orange Juice Worth the Hassle from His Wife?

    Grapefruit juice has become notorious since the 1991 discovery that drinking grapefruit juice can change the blood levels of certain medications (The Lancet, Feb. 2, 1991). It turns out, however, tha…

    By: Joe Graedon November 30, 2015 12 Comments
    Drug Interaction and Diagnostic Failure Led to D…

    It is far too easy to assume that an over-the-counter medication won't cause any trouble. After all, you don't even need a prescription for it. How risky could it be? Unfortunately, the answer might b…

    By: Terry Graedon November 30, 2015 7 Comments
    Side Effects from Multiple Meds Are Double Troub…

    Next time you go to a pharmacy take a few minutes to do some secret research. Linger around the prescription counter and play detective by observing what happens. If you watch people pick up their pre…

    By: Joe Graedon November 16, 2015 13 Comments
    Are TV Commercials Pushing People To Take Too Ma…

    Americans love their pills. We're taking more medicine now than ever before. Are we taking too many pills? Just watch the evening news or a prime-time television show and you will likely see a variety…

    By: Joe Graedon November 12, 2015 13 Comments
    Doctors Often Ignore Deadly Drug Interaction War…

    The news this week about aggressive control of hypertension (see this news article) will doubtless lead to many more prescriptions for blood pressure medicine. As it is, Americans are taking more medi…

    By: Joe Graedon August 17, 2015 7 Comments
    Medicines that Shift Serotonin Levels Can Cause …

    Serotonin used to be an esoteric term used by neuroscientists to describe a chemical found in the brain, digestive tract and blood. But thanks to drugs like Paxil,  Prozac and Zoloft, this chemical t…

    By: Joe Graedon May 25, 2015 6 Comments
    Turmeric Plus Coumadin Triggered Scary Nosebleed

    Turmeric and its major component curcumin can cause bleeding trouble when combined with drugs used to prevent clotting. It is smart to check on possible interactions before mixing herbs and medication…

    By: Joe Graedon April 27, 2015 3 Comments
    Beware Dangerous Grapefruit Juice Interactions w…

    Grapefruit and grapefruit juice have the potential to interact in a dangerous way with a wide range of medications. It makes sense to ask the prescriber and the pharmacist about this potential. Q. I'v…

    By: Joe Graedon April 23, 2015 14 Comments
    Blood Pressure Drug Combos That Could Be Lethal

    When doctors prescribe blood pressure medication, their goal is to reduce the likelihood that a patient with hypertension will develop heart attacks, strokes, kidney damage, eye problems or even Alzhe…

    By: Joe Graedon March 23, 2015 3 Comments
    Chantix and Alcohol Don’t Mix, Says FDA

    It can take years for the FDA to recognize a drug interaction problem. That's because there is no organized system for anticipating or testing potentially dangerous drug combinations. Alcohol and Chan…

    By: Joe Graedon January 26, 2015 19 Comments
    Simvastatin User Misses His Grapefruit

    Iteractions between food and medicines don't usually get a lot of attention. The exception is grapefruit. People didn't take grapefruit interactions seriously when they were first discovered, but deca…

    By: Joe Graedon January 22, 2015 16 Comments
    Dangerous Interactions with Warfarin (Coumadin) …

    Q. Last year I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. I am now on warfarin and understand I will have to take it for the foreseeable future. I have regular blood tests to make sure my blood is clotti…

    By: Joe Graedon January 12, 2015 12 Comments
    Tramadol Interaction with Antidepressants Can Be…

    Q. Recently my husband took tramadol after back surgery. He was also taking an SSRI anti-depressant. He suffered severe hallucinations and sleep-talking throughout the night. The ER doctor suspected s…

    By: Joe Graedon December 11, 2014 11 Comments
    A Deadly Drug Interaction Often Ignored by Docto…

    Combining a common antibiotic with an even more common blood pressure medicine can result in sudden death. The interaction can lead to dangerously high levels of potassium (hyperkalemia) in the body, …

    By: Joe Graedon November 20, 2014 1 Comments
    NSAID with Anticoagulant Raises Risk of Bleeding

    A Danish study has found that a common combination of medications can increase the possibility of serious or even lethal hemorrhage. People with the irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (…

    By: Joe Graedon November 13, 2014 4 Comments
    Will Your Food Foil Your Medicine? Deadly Drug I…

    Are you taking your medicine correctly? Or are you wasting good money by swallowing your pills with food that can counteract their benefits? Millions of people make mistakes without realizing it. In s…

    By: Joe Graedon November 10, 2014 4 Comments
    Crestor Should Not Be Combined with Red Yeast Ri…

    Q. Is it harmful to take Crestor with red yeast rice? My doctor prescribed Crestor, but I have also been taking red yeast rice. I would like to get my cholesterol level lower so I do not need to take …

    By: Joe Graedon July 17, 2014 21 Comments
    Do Doctors, Nurses & Pharmacists Need Educa…

    Modern medicine has shunned its past. There was a time when medical students, nursing students and pharmacy students were taught about herbal medicines. That's because many of the drugs they prescribe…

    By: Joe Graedon July 3, 2014 30 Comments
    Common Lack of Vitamin B12 Linked to Depression …

    Vitamin deficiencies are supposed to be a thing of the past. But a lack of vitamin B12 may be surprisingly common. Most people don't think twice about this nutrient, also known as cobalamin. Vitamins …

    By: Terry Graedon May 1, 2014 12 Comments
    Taking Herbs or Other Dietary Supplements as Wel…

    One in three Americans takes at least one dietary supplement in addition to a prescription medication. This sets them up for the possibility of a hazardous interaction, according to investigators for …