By: Joe Graedon August 10, 2017 2 Comments
    Not All Flu Shots Are Created Equal

    How effective are flu shots? The influenza virus changes from year to year, and consequently the vaccine must change as well to keep up. This means that experts need to study vaccination effectiveness…

    By: Joe Graedon August 7, 2017 10 Comments
    Is the Antidepressant Wellbutrin (Bupropion) a S…

    Many people find that traditional antidepressants lower their libido and interfere with sexual pleasure. Drugs like citalopram (Celexa), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Proz…

    By: Joe Graedon August 7, 2017 9 Comments
    What Should Patients Do When Doctors Fight?

    When doctors disagree in public, it drive patients crazy. Most people assume that their health professionals know what the best treatment is for any given ailment. But on some matters there is surpris…

    By: Terry Graedon August 7, 2017 18 Comments
    Will Trazodone Be a Great Sleeping Pill?

    In any given year, nearly one-third of North Americans have trouble with insomnia, and between 4 and 7 percent have prolonged difficulty sleeping (LeBlanc et al, Sleep, Aug. 2009). It isn't any wonder…

    By: Terry Graedon July 31, 2017 25 Comments
    How Can You Counteract Muscle Pain from Statins?

    The doctors' debate over statins has become heated lately. You can read what we have written about that here and here. If you prefer, you can listen to our interviews with leading cardiologists here. …

    By: Joe Graedon July 31, 2017 10 Comments
    How Can You Tell If You Need a Statin?

    Dr. Steve Nissen is Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He maintains that "56 million Americans are considered eligible for statin therapy, with about half a…

    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: Terry Graedon July 31, 2017 10 Comments
    Is Cinnamon Toxic to the Liver?

    How do you know when an herb, spice or supplement is safe? It makes sense to do some reading on anything you are planning to take before you begin swallowing it. Many people are taking cinnamon to con…

    By: Joe Graedon July 27, 2017 47 Comments
    Will Stopping Statins Kill People?

    Statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs have been controversial for decades. Atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), rosuvastatin (Crestor), simvastatin (Zocor) and similar meds have made tens of…

    By: Joe Graedon July 24, 2017 25 Comments
    NSAID Gel Rescued A Vacation

    People in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Italy and many other countries have been able to buy topical NSAIDs for decades without a prescription. In the U.S. you can buy unlimited amounts of oral ibu…

    By: Joe Graedon July 17, 2017 50 Comments
    Problems with Generic Wellbutrin (Bupropion)? No…

    A decade ago we received a message from J. in Danville, New York. She said: "I have been taking Budeprion XL 300 mg for three months instead of Wellbutrin XL 300 mg. I find that I am easily upset and …

    By: Joe Graedon July 17, 2017 21 Comments
    Allergy Sprays and Cataracts?

    Not that long ago, corticosteroid nasal sprays were available only by prescription. Doctors had to monitor a patient's progress and make sure there were no complications from cortisone-like medication…

    By: Joe Graedon July 17, 2017 10 Comments
    Medical Mistakes and Deadly Drug Interactions

    No one likes to make mistakes. It is a humbling experience. Even when lives are not at stake, errors can open you up to ridicule or sanctions. That's why many people try to deny or cover up their erro…

    By: Joe Graedon July 13, 2017 18 Comments
    Humira Side Effects, Complications and Interacti…

    Humira (adalimumab) is the best selling drug (in dollars) in the U.S. (and around the world). Sales were listed between $13 and $16 billion in 2016. That is an unbelievable amount of money for a singl…

    By: Joe Graedon July 10, 2017 13 Comments
    How to Use Baking Soda to Ease Indigestion:

    You have seen ads for all sorts of pricey heartburn remedies. Some go to work quickly. Others, like the proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) take quite awhile to stifle stomach acid and relieve symptoms. Whe…

    By: Joe Graedon July 10, 2017 39 Comments
    How To Get Back to Sleep In the Middle of the Ni…

    According to the CDC, 33% of Americans don't get adequate sleep. Chronic insomnia is linked to all sorts of serious health problems including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart disease and depress…

    By: Joe Graedon July 10, 2017 6 Comments
    Help for Penis Problems (Peyronie’s Diseas…

    Have you ever heard of Peyronie's disease? Most people haven't. That's because it affects a very private part of the anatomy. Many men do not like to talk to their primary care doctors about penis pro…

    By: Joe Graedon July 6, 2017 22 Comments
    PPIs and Death: Why Are These Acid-Suppressors s…

    PPIs (aka proton pump inhibitors) remain incredibly popular. These acid-suppressing drugs help heal ulcers. That's a really good thing. For short term use, they're terrific! The trouble is that they a…

    By: Joe Graedon July 6, 2017 6 Comments
    The Pros and Cons of Metformin for Diabetes

    Metformin is #7 on the doctors' hit parade of top 10 prescription drugs. Each year the number of prescriptions increases substantially. Last year there were 87 million metformin prescriptions dispense…

    By: Joe Graedon July 3, 2017 105 Comments
    Are Prescription Drug Ads on TV Driving You Craz…

    Do you watch television? If so, you have almost inevitably seen commercials for medications we hope you will never need. If you are like a lot of our visitors you are sick and tired of prescription dr…

    By: Terry Graedon July 2, 2017 32 Comments
    How Bad Is Coffee with Levothyroxine?

    Levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid) was prescribed more than any other medication in the US last year. Wouldn't you think people would be eager to learn the best way to take it? Yet there is surprising…

    By: Joe Graedon June 29, 2017 55 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 29, 2017 13 Comments
    Coconut for Crohn’s Supported by Science

    In 1998 we received an intriguing letter from a reader of our syndicated newspaper column. Donald Agar, from Pittsfield, MA, contacted us to say he had finally overcome a long-standing battle with inf…

    By: Terry Graedon June 29, 2017 12 Comments
    Why Is Glyphosate on California’s Cancer L…

    The popular herbicide glyphosate, also known by its brand name Roundup, appears to be headed for a warning label in the state of California. This chemical has been controversial for years. Does Roundu…

    By: Terry Graedon June 29, 2017 1 Comments
    When Cosmetics Do Damage, What Does FDA Do?

    Most people assume that the Food and Drug Administration oversees cosmetics with the same diligence it uses for over-the-counter drugs. In reality, the cosmetic industry is largely unmonitored by the …

    By: Joe Graedon June 26, 2017 23 Comments
    How Does Red Yeast Rice Compare to Statins?

    Tens of millions of people take statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs. Physicians believe such drugs are dramatically effective against heart disease. We will not deal with that controversial topic i…

    By: Joe Graedon June 26, 2017 13 Comments
    How Good Is Aspirin Against Pain?

    Once upon a time doctors actually prescribed aspirin for headaches, backaches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other painful conditions. But once non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs…

    By: Joe Graedon June 26, 2017 5 Comments
    Dutasteride (Avodart) Sexual Side Effects Can Be…

    Avodart was approved by the FDA in 2001 to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland. Dutasteride (the generic name) inhibits an enzyme called 5 alpha reductase (5AR). This reduces the conversion o…

    By: Joe Graedon June 22, 2017 30 Comments
    Hair Dye & Breast Cancer?

    A new study published in the journal Carcinogenesis suggests that dark-colored hair dyes may be linked to breast cancer. That means that millions of baby boomers are caught on the horns of a dilemma. …

    By: Joe Graedon June 19, 2017 7 Comments
    Do Zolpidem (Ambien) Side Effects Include Horrib…

    Zolpidem remains a very popular prescription sleeping aid. When it was only available as the brand name drug Ambien, millions took it to get a "good night's sleep." These days zolpidem (Ambien) side e…

    By: Joe Graedon June 19, 2017 10 Comments
    How Did Grapefruit Lower Blood Pressure So Fast?

    Grapefruit has a reputation for having lots of health benefits. It has been promoted for its ability to help people lose weight. One study reported that a grapefruit extract reduced weight gain in obe…

    By: Terry Graedon June 19, 2017 10 Comments
    What Are the Downsides to Your Nasal Spray?

    Allergy season makes millions miserable. They react to pollen and other allergens with nasal congestion, itchy watery eyes, sneezing and sniffling. No wonder so many people reach for a nasal spray. Na…

    By: Terry Graedon June 19, 2017 3 Comments
    What Is the Risk of Red Yeast Rice?

    One of the pillars of heart disease prevention is keeping blood fats, especially cholesterol, under control. But doctors don't always agree on the best way to achieve this goal. Most recommend a healt…

    By: Joe Graedon June 12, 2017 11 Comments
    Did Hydrochlorothiazide Lead to Dangerously Low …

    Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HCT) is a diuretic (water pill) that is widely prescribed to lower blood pressure. Roughly 50 million prescriptions were written for this "thiazide" diuretic last year. That…

    By: Joe Graedon June 12, 2017 17 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: Joe Graedon June 8, 2017 31 Comments
    How To Stop Tramadol Without Withdrawal Symptoms…

    We have heard from hundreds of visitors to this website about the serious side effects of tramadol (Ultram). They include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, headache, drowsiness, dizzin…

    By: Terry Graedon June 5, 2017 14 Comments
    Does a Nonagenarian Need to Worry About Choleste…

    Doctors interested in preventive medicine often quote Benjamin Franklin approvingly. However, he wasn't thinking of medicine when he noted that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. (Actual…

    By: Joe Graedon June 5, 2017 8 Comments
    Side Effects of TNF Blockers: Enbrel, Humira, Re…

    Most drugs are double-edged swords. In other words, they have the potential both to help and to harm. But some medications have sharper blades than others. TNF blockers are great examples of this deal…

    By: Terry Graedon June 5, 2017 2 Comments
    For a Vegan Diet, Do You Need to Change Medicati…

    Medications often fly under the radar when it comes to dietary restrictions. As a result, people who are following specific diets for religious or ethical considerations may wish to review their drug…