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 11 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 127 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 9 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 47 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 24 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 99 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…

    By: Joe Graedon February 20, 2008 42 Comments
    Can GI Problems Interfere With Thyroid Medicatio…

    Q. I have suffered with stomach pain and reflux for a long time. I have tried Zantac and Pepcid without much success. I am now taking Prevacid that my doctor prescribed to control excess acid. Even af…

    By: Terry Graedon June 22, 2007 21 Comments
    Coumadin Interactions Pose Dangers

    Q. Does aspartame affect bleeding if you are taking a blood thinner like Coumadin? I know that cranberry juice poses a potential problem with this drug. How can I keep up with Coumadin interactions? A…

    By: Joe Graedon April 15, 2007 0 Comments
    Don’t End Up Like Anna Nicole Smith

    Unless you have been hibernating for the last few weeks, you have probably heard that Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose. According to the Broward County Medical Examiner, the legal medi…

    By: Terry Graedon December 26, 2006 9 Comments
    Grapefruit Interactions Can Be Tricky

    Until 1989, grapefruit was just another citrus fruit. It had a pronounced taste that some people found refreshing and others rejected as bitter. But then Canadian scientists published a surprising fin…

    By: Terry Graedon August 8, 2006 28 Comments
    FDA Warns of Serotonin Syndrome

    Several years ago we got a desperate phone call from a friend. He was afraid his wife had suffered a stroke. She was in a coma, unresponsive and he feared he would soon be forced to decide whether to…

    By: Terry Graedon June 19, 2006 0 Comments
    Pharmacist Prevents Bad Drug Interaction

    Q. My doctor prescribed tramadol with APAP for headaches. He also wrote prescriptions for Lexapro and Effexor for depression and anxiety. He said that Effexor and Lexapro are both antidepressants, but…