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 February 13, 2017 2 Comments
    Does Ranitidine Have the Same Risks as a PPI?

    Americans must suffer from an awful lot of heartburn, because drugs to treat this painful condition have been best-sellers for a number of decades. The current favorites are proton pump inhibitors (PP…

    By: Terry Graedon February 13, 2017 12 Comments
    What Is the Trouble with Vicks VapoRub?

    Vicks VapoRub is a venerable brand. It was developed by pharmacist Lunsford Richardson in Greensboro, North Carolina, not long before the turn of the 20th century. Richardson had a long last name and …

    By: Joe Graedon February 7, 2017 13 Comments
    If Your Ears Are Ringing (Tinnitus) Could Your P…

    Tens of millions of people complain that their ears are ringing (tinnitus). It is a devastating condition that drives many people to distraction. Some even consider suicide because the constant hissin…

    By: Joe Graedon February 6, 2017 10 Comments
    Will Low Blood Pressure Increase the Danger of D…

    Many physicians are trained to believe that a good blood pressure (BP) is right around 120/80, regardless of age. Some aggressively prescribe several blood pressure medicines to achieve that goal. Ne…

    By: Joe Graedon January 30, 2017 6 Comments
    Unbearable itching after Stopping Antihistamines…

    This website is devoted to helping people make informed decisions about their health. To do that, people need information from health professionals and other patients. Over the years millions of peopl…

    By: Terry Graedon January 30, 2017 4 Comments
    Is Osteoporosis a Downside of Your Antidepressan…

    Balancing the benefits and the risks of a medication is essential to deciding whether or not to take it. This can be difficult, however. Sometimes we don't learn about serious side effects until after…

    By: Terry Graedon January 26, 2017 0 Comments
    Do People on PPIs Have More Infectious Diarrhea?

    Is it smart to block the production of stomach acid with powerful proton pump inhibitor drugs (PPIs)? Millions of people take these drugs to control acid reflux, ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux dis…

    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 23, 2017 24 Comments
    Do Simvastatin Side Effects Include Diabetes and…

    Many physicians tell us that even if statins increase the risk for diabetes, the drug benefits far outweigh any increase in blood glucose. But diabetes is a challenging condition to treat. Then there …

    By: Joe Graedon January 19, 2017 7 Comments
    Will Antidepressant Medications Increase Your Ri…

    Antidepressants are among the most popular pills in the drugstore. A research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine (Dec. 12, 2016) noted that one in six adults take psychiatric drugs. Antidepressant medic…

    By: Joe Graedon January 16, 2017 16 Comments
    Do Ibuprofen Side Effects Include Scary High Blo…

    We have heard ibuprofen referred to as vitamin I. That's because a lot of weekend warriors rely on ibuprofen and other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve inflammation and pain. …

    By: Joe Graedon January 16, 2017 11 Comments
    Do Statin Side Effects Make It Harder To Exercis…

    How important is exercise for overall health? Researchers report that exercise reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, body fat and depression (British Journal of Sports Medicine, June, 2015)…

    By: Terry Graedon January 9, 2017 11 Comments
    Will You Save Money Buying Synthroid from Canada…

    Drugs are more expensive in the US than anywhere else in the world. In many other countries, the government puts a cap on what the pharmaceutical companies can charge for their products. This does not…

    By: Joe Graedon January 9, 2017 36 Comments
    How Good Is Restasis for Dry Eyes If It Causes B…

    If you watch television chances are pretty good that you have seen commercials for Restasis for Dry Eyes. In one you are asked: "Do you use artificial tears often?" In another you are told by the beau…

    By: Joe Graedon January 5, 2017 10 Comments
    Are NSAID Pain Relievers Like Ibuprofen Hurting …

    Americans love NSAID pain relievers. Millions take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), or naproxen (Aleve) every day. Millions more swallow NSAID pain relievers their physicians prescribe. These drugs incl…

    By: Joe Graedon January 2, 2017 11 Comments
    Suicide and Chantix: Was There A Connection?

    Chantix helps many people stop smoking. That's the good news. But there is a darker side to Chantix. There used to be a black box warning (the FDA's strongest message to doctors about drug dangers) ab…

    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 29, 2016 5 Comments
    Can Aspirin Use Cut the Risk of Pancreatic Cance…

    Pancreatic cancer is a killer. Less than 8 percent of those diagnosed with this disease are still alive after five years. It is more common than most people realize. So news that people who took asp…

    By: Terry Graedon December 29, 2016 13 Comments
    Will Your Sleep Aid Make You Stupid?

    Getting a good night's sleep can be an ongoing challenge. As a result, people try every possible option they can. A recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports has found that a large number of people …

    By: Joe Graedon December 26, 2016 29 Comments
    Is Your High Blood Pressure Reading due to Bad M…

    One of the most fundamental measurements that is taken at almost every doctor's visit is blood pressure. After you get weighed, a nurse frequently will check to see whether your blood pressure is with…

    By: Joe Graedon December 26, 2016 40 Comments
    Can Surgical Anesthesia Cause Brain Fog and Conf…

    When a doctor discusses the pros and cons of elective surgery, the conversation often focuses on the desired benefits and the potential risks of the procedure itself. Rarely does the subject of surgic…

    By: Terry Graedon December 22, 2016 7 Comments
    Chantix Fights Free of Black Box Warning

    The manufacturer of the stop-smoking drug Chantix received a Christmas gift from the Food and Drug Administration. The medication has carried a black box warning for seven years. It warned of serious …

    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 16 Comments
    How to Get Rid of a Wart with Tagamet

    Warts can affect almost anyone. For reasons that are not clear children seem especially susceptible. But adults can also develop warts. Sometimes a single wart on the sole of the foot multiplies and …

    By: Joe Graedon December 19, 2016 17 Comments
    Is the FDA Biased Against Dietary Supplements?

    Will your vitamins or dietary supplements hurt you? Millions of Americans take multivitamins, herbs or other supplements every day. Most people don't worry about possible dangers from these pills. Man…

    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 15, 2016 31 Comments
    Giant Generic Drug Scandal: Companies Accused of…

    We have long suspected that something was rotten within the generic drug industry. Put aside questions about substandard factories in China and India or fraudulent test results. The latest bombshell t…

    By: Joe Graedon December 15, 2016 7 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 12, 2016 14 Comments
    Can you trust Canadian online pharmacies?

    The FDA has a peculiar philosophy about drug importation. It allows pharmacy chains, drug wholesales, big box discount drug stores, nursing homes and lots of other drug distributors to purchase drugs …

    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: Joe Graedon December 12, 2016 5 Comments
    Is Your Doctor Telling You the Truth About His M…

    A shocking article appeared in the medical literature a while back (BMJ, May 3, 2016). It was titled: "Medical Error--The Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S." The physician who spearheaded the in…

    By: Joe Graedon December 8, 2016 8 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: Terry Graedon December 5, 2016 7 Comments
    Did Victoza for Diabetes Damage the Pancreas?

    Type 2 diabetes has become an epidemic in the US and around the world. Doctors can choose from a number of medications to treat it. Each medicine has its own side effect profile. Both patients and …

    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: Terry Graedon December 1, 2016 9 Comments
    What Should You Know About Drug-Induced Liver In…

    The liver is the organ that detoxifies many compounds that humans ingest, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and herbs. Could some of these chemicals result in drug-induced liver injury…

    By: Joe Graedon November 28, 2016 15 Comments
    Don’t Let Psychiatric Side Effects Surpris…

    There are few drug side effects as unsettling as those that affect the brain. What makes them especially challenging is that prescribers may fail to mention them. As a result, many people are totally …

    By: Joe Graedon November 28, 2016 12 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 November 28, 2016 7 Comments
    Is There a Link Between NSAIDs like Ibuprofen an…

    Pain relievers like ibuprofen, indomethacin, meloxicam, naproxen and piroxicam have been popular for decades. Tens of millions of people take these non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) daily…

    By: Joe Graedon November 22, 2016 2 Comments
    Proton Pump Inhibitors, Kidney Damage and Brain …

    There is growing evidence that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can cause kidney injury. A report from the meetings of the American Society of Nephrology in Chicago (November 18, 2016) has added more dat…