By: Joe Graedon August 2, 2012 10 Comments
    Don’t Let Food Destroy Your Medicine

    The Case of the Bran Muffin Breakfast: Breakfast is hardly the usual suspect in a medical mystery. Yet the case of the bran muffins could have led to tragedy were it not for psychiatric sleuthing. Th…

    By: Joe Graedon July 23, 2012 20 Comments
    Soothing Joint Pain Without Strong Drugs

    Q. I can't take aspirin or other over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen. They all make my stomach hurt! I am having trouble with joint pain, though, and wonder what you can sugg…

    By: Terry Graedon June 28, 2012 4 Comments
    Drug Interactions Are ICU Problem

    Drug interactions make hospital intensive care units dangerous places for patients. A month long study in a medical intensive care unit uncovered almost two drug-drug interactions per patient. At leas…

    By: Joe Graedon May 26, 2012 715 Comments
    Surprising Gabapentin Side Effects

    Gabapenin is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs by doctors. At last count over 50 million prescriptions were dispensed annually. It is used for an amazing array of off-label indications. That …

    By: Joe Graedon April 19, 2012 25 Comments
    Antidepressant Interactions Can Be Deadly

    Serotonin has become a household word, thanks to fluoxetine (Prozac). Millions of people take this popular antidepressant or related drugs such as sertraline (Zoloft) or paroxetine (Paxil) every day.…

    By: Terry Graedon March 26, 2012 1 Comments
    Dad’s Drugs Behind Mental Decline

    Q. Our father is taking medicine for an enlarged prostate, high blood pressure, heartburn, allergies, cough and postnasal drip. A partial list of his drugs include Avodart, doxazosin, hydroxyzine, ipr…

    By: Joe Graedon March 15, 2012 17 Comments
    Potassium Plus Blood Pressure Pills A Deadly Mix

    Do you know how your diet relates to your medication? Prescribers don't always mention dietary precautions when they hand out a prescription. But often they should discuss this to avoid a potential pr…

    By: Terry Graedon December 29, 2011 2 Comments
    Botox May Cause Surgery Complications

    Botox has become a household name. It stands for Botulinum neurotoxin type A and is used to eliminate facial wrinkles and frown lines. Other indications include excessive perspiration, chronic migrain…

    By: Terry Graedon December 19, 2011 2 Comments
    Mixing Drinks with Drugs Could Be Lethal

    Ethanol, also known as drinking alcohol or booze, may be the oldest and most popular drug in human history. In fact, there is strong evidence that alcohol was consumed before the dawn of history. Arch…

    By: Terry Graedon September 12, 2011 12 Comments
    Be Wary of Drug Interactions with Simvastatin

    Q. I had a heart attack 10 years ago, when I was 62, and I have had several stents put in my arteries since then. My doctor has me on a bunch of medicine for blood pressure and heart: amlodipine 5 mg …

    By: Joe Graedon September 5, 2011 33 Comments
    Do Heartburn Drugs Deserve Strong Warning?

    Is your heartburn drug harming you? Acid-suppressing drugs are among the most popular pills in the pharmacy. But evidence is growing that they may produce some unexpected and unpleasant complications.…

    By: Terry Graedon July 18, 2011 3 Comments
    Plavix and Nexium Don’t Mix

    Q. You might wish to tell readers to beware taking both Plavix and Nexium. After installing a stent near my heart, my doctor said no changes were needed in my list of medications, even though I would …

    By: Terry Graedon June 29, 2011 4 Comments
    Caution Urged on Drug Combinations

    Combining common medicines can be bad for brain power. Research in Great Britain reveals that older people taking drugs that affect the brain chemical acetylcholine are at higher risk for cognitive de…

    By: Terry Graedon June 9, 2011 6 Comments
    Vitamin D Improves Response to Osteoporosis Drug…

    Osteoporosis drugs like Actonel, Boniva, Fosamax and Reclast are prescribed to strengthen bones. They may not work as well as expected, however, if vitamin D levels are low. A study of 160 postmenopau…

    By: Joe Graedon May 19, 2011 57 Comments
    Calcium Blocks Thyroid Absorption

    Q. I was diagnosed as hypothyroid last year and my doctor said that once I started taking Synthroid I would feel great. Well, I don't. I am health conscious and walk at least a mile every day. I take …

    By: Terry Graedon April 28, 2011 4 Comments
    Do Pain Relievers Undermine Antidepressants?

    Popping pain relievers may hamper the effectiveness of many popular antidepressants. Surveys suggest that over 20 million Americans swallow nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs every day. These are me…

    By: Terry Graedon April 25, 2011 4 Comments
    Seniors Suffer from Too Many Medicines

    Geriatricians are in short supply. These physicians have spent years learning how to care for older patients. The scarcity of these specialists could not come at a worse time. Aging baby boomers are a…

    By: Terry Graedon April 10, 2011 9 Comments
    Deadly Drug Interactions Are Preventable

    What do you do when the red check-engine light comes on in your car? Most people realize that this is a warning of a potentially serious problem. They pull over right away to find out what's going on.…

    By: Joe Graedon February 22, 2011 12 Comments
    Drug Interaction Disaster Waiting to Happen

    Q. I take a lot of medicine. Even my doctors say I am a walking drugstore, and I am only 37. My husband's in the Army so I use the military hospital and rarely see the same doctor. I take Prozac for d…

    By: Joe Graedon January 20, 2011 10 Comments
    Wife Cries Out for More Sex

    Q. I am plagued with a shameful problem of not being able to sustain an erection, and therefore haven't been sexually active with my spouse for the past three years. My wife cries out for sex sometime…

    By: Terry Graedon December 5, 2010 9 Comments
    Do Doctors Ignore Dangerous Drug Interactions?

    In the United States most law-abiding citizens don't run red lights. They know that the traffic rules are there to protect everyone from accidents. There's also the fear factor. If a policeman catches…

    By: Terry Graedon September 13, 2010 10 Comments
    Too Many Medicines Threaten Seniors’ Healt…

    If you watch any prime-time network television you would have to conclude that America is a nation of sick old people. That's because so many of the commercials focus on conditions of aging. There's S…

    By: Terry Graedon August 26, 2010 128 Comments
    Taking Thyroid Medicine Properly

    Q. I've been taking levothyroxine for more than a dozen years. I just recently learned I've been taking it at the wrong time. I was taking it along with breakfast and coffee, not to mention vitamins, …

    By: Terry Graedon July 1, 2010 1 Comments
    Dangerous Antibiotic Interactions

    Potassium is an essential mineral, but it can be tricky. Having too much potassium in the system can be just as dangerous as having too little. A new study shows that some common medicines are linked …

    By: Terry Graedon January 7, 2010 3 Comments
    Mixing Many Head Meds May Pose Risk

    A new study suggests that psychiatrists frequently prescribe multiple medications to help people with mental disorders. The proportion of people who are taking at least two drugs for their psychiatric…

    By: Terry Graedon December 22, 2009 0 Comments
    Celebrex Interferes with Aspirin Anti-Clotting P…

    Aspirin is often used to reduce the risk of heart attacks in middle-aged and older people. A new study suggests that the anti-clotting benefits of aspirin might disappear if people also take a common …

    By: Joe Graedon November 19, 2009 12 Comments
    Many Drugs May Interact with Plavix

    The anti-clotting drug Plavix has been heavily advertised on television to reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes. This medication is frequently prescribed to people who have had a stent placed…

    By: Joe Graedon October 15, 2009 6 Comments
    Mixing and Matching Can Be Lethal!

    You don't get to be a Supreme Court justice unless you are pretty darn smart. But Justice Ginsburg made a mistake that could have cost her her life. She had a long flight to Europe ahead of her, and h…

    By: Terry Graedon September 14, 2009 4 Comments
    Michael Jackson’s Drug May Not Deserve Bad…

    Before Michael Jackson's tragic death, most people never heard of the drug propofol (Diprivan). It's not the kind of medication that anyone would ever seek out on the street. You can't use it to get h…

    By: Terry Graedon August 2, 2009 0 Comments
    Beware Deadly Drug Interactions

    When celebrities die from drug interactions it makes headlines. But ordinary people die every day as a result of the wrong combination of medications. These deaths don't make news, but they are no les…

    By: Joe Graedon June 3, 2009 0 Comments
    Antidepressants Reduce Tamoxifen Effectiveness

    Tamoxifen is an important drug to prevent recurrence of breast cancer, but a new study shows it should not be taken in conjunction with certain antidepressants. Roughly 1,300 women were followed for o…

    By: Joe Graedon June 1, 2009 12 Comments
    Interactions May Have Deadly Results

    Ask any sixth grader what 1+1 equals and you will be told the answer is 2. Ask a pharmacist, though, and you might get a very different answer. In the Alice-in-Wonderland world of pharmaceuticals, som…

    By: Joe Graedon January 12, 2009 6 Comments
    Drug Interactions Are Common and Dangerous

    Americans take way too many medications. They mix and match with barely a second thought.Researchers found that 81 percent of older adults took prescribed drugs. More than half “used 5 or more p…

    By: Joe Graedon January 7, 2009 48 Comments
    Turmeric Interacts with Coumadin

    Q. Turmeric increases the anticoagulant effect of Coumadin. I have been on Coumadin for 15 years because of an artificial aortic valve. I had read that turmeric was effective in lowering cholesterol a…

    By: Joe Graedon October 10, 2008 4 Comments
    Multiple Medicines May Not Help Mother-In-Law

    Q. I am concerned about all the drugs my 81-year-old mother-in-law takes. Her forgetfulness has gotten progressively worse and she is dizzy much of the time. She is taking: amitriptyline, Aricept, Art…

    By: Joe Graedon October 3, 2008 25 Comments
    Don’t Take Synthroid with Iron

    Q. Can Synthroid and ferrous sulfate be taken at the same time of the day? A. No. Iron supplements such as ferrous sulfate interfere with the absorption of Synthroid (levothyroxine) taken to treat thy…

    By: Joe Graedon August 18, 2008 2 Comments
    Unexpected Food-Drug Interactions Pose Risks

    Who would imagine that guacamole, cranberries or mango could interact with a medicine to cause a potentially life-threatening interaction? All these foods may alter the action of warfarin (Coumadin), …

    By: Terry Graedon August 11, 2008 8 Comments
    Amiodarone and Simvastatin Warning

    Amiodarone (also prescribed under the brand names Cordarone and Pacerone) is a medication designed to control abnormal heart rhythms. It can be a lifesaving drug, but it is especially prone to interac…

    By: Joe Graedon April 23, 2008 1 Comments
    Multiple Medications May Put Mother at Risk

    Q. My 81-yr-old Mom is currently prescribed allopurinol to prevent gout, enalapril and labetalol for high blood pressure, metformin for diabetes, Plavix to thin her blood, Zocor to control cholesterol…

    By: Joe Graedon March 30, 2008 103 Comments
    How Much Magnesium Is Enough?

    We do not understand why magnesium does not get the respect it deserves. Physicians have been recommending extra calcium for decades but magnesium is often a step child. We think health professionals…