By: Joe Graedon April 26, 2018 0 Comments
    Commonly Prescribed Anticholinergic Drugs Linked…

    Alzheimer’s disease is scary. It robs people of their memories and their ability to function. Many people think it’s brought on by bad genes or bad luck. But there is mounting evidence that our en…

    By: Karen Berger, PharmD, RPh April 19, 2018 7 Comments
    Do You Know Someone Taking Stimulants for ADHD?

    Many of my fellow pharmacists have recently watched the popular Netflix documentary about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder drugs (stimulants) called Take Your Pills. I decided to see what the …

    By: Joe Graedon April 19, 2018 1 Comments
    Overdosing on Acetaminophen in Cold and Flu Reme…

    Many over-the-counter medicines marketed for treating colds and flu contain acetaminophen (paracetamol in Europe, Australia and New Zealand). This non-aspirin pain reliever helps lower fever. Acetamin…

    By: Joe Graedon April 16, 2018 12 Comments
    Is NyQuil A Good Way To Stay Asleep?

    We often wonder whether people read the label of their over-the-counter medicines. If they did, would most know what they were taking? Nyquil Cold & Flu formula is advertised to “relieve your s…

    By: Terry Graedon April 16, 2018 9 Comments
    Will Cannabis Cream Really Ease Neuropathy?

    People with neuropathy are often desperate for relief. The causes of this nerve pain may vary, from drug side effects to the aftermath of an infection. Sometimes too little or too much of a common vit…

    By: Terry Graedon April 15, 2018 6 Comments
    Warning: Adderall Led to Unexpected Liver Injury

    A wise patient asks about possible side effects before filling a new prescription. Sometimes, however, even that is not enough. One reader experienced a serious side effect, acute liver injury, that w…

    By: Joe Graedon April 12, 2018 4 Comments
    Why Did Hot Pepper Headache Land Man in the Emer…

    Those of us who love hot peppers cherish the experience of pain and pleasure brought on by the chemical called capsaicin. That is the active ingredient in hot chili peppers that lights up our taste bu…

    By: Joe Graedon April 9, 2018 1 Comments
    Lyrica and Weight Gain | Can It Be Reversed?

    Pregabalin (Lyrica) has become a go-to drug for nerve pain (neuropathy). There aren't many medications in the doctor’s tool kit for this kind of problem. A similar drug, gabapentin, has been approve…

    By: Terry Graedon April 9, 2018 5 Comments
    Skimping on Magnesium May Mean Trouble Sleeping

    How often does a treatment for one problem lead to another problem? We suspect it may be more common than anyone could imagine. Who would guess that low magnesium levels resulting from a heartburn med…

    By: Joe Graedon April 9, 2018 22 Comments
    What Happens When Minor Drug Side Effects Turn D…

    Health professionals often categorize drug side effects three ways. First come the common complications of medicines. If 20 to 30 percent of patients complain of headaches or diarrhea after taking a m…

    By: Joe Graedon April 2, 2018 15 Comments
    How to Treat Seasonal Allergies: Drugs or Natura…

    Allergy season is here. Even if you did not realize that, the warring drug commercials on television should have alerted you. On the same program you can see ads for Xyzal, Allegra and Nasacort. There…

    By: Terry Graedon April 2, 2018 9 Comments
    Can You Manage the Side Effects of Metformin?

    Metformin is an old drug that doctors use as a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes. While it helps millions of people keep their blood glucose under control, some individuals find that they canno…

    By: Terry Graedon April 2, 2018 4 Comments
    Are You Worried about a Limit on Loperamide?

    The FDA has announced plans to make the anti-diarrhea pill loperamide (Imodium) more difficult to obtain. The agency has developed this initiative as part of the government's efforts against the opioi…

    By: Joe Graedon March 29, 2018 7 Comments
    Taking Prostate Drug Abiraterone (Zytiga) with F…

    Should you take your medication with food or on an empty stomach? Many people don’t pay much attention to how they swallow their pills. That could be in part because very few folks ever talk to a ph…

    By: Joe Graedon March 26, 2018 9 Comments
    Can Atorvastatin Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

    Tens of millions of American men take a statin every day: atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin and rosuvastatin, to name just a few. Do drugs like atorvastatin cause erectile dysfunction…

    By: Terry Graedon March 26, 2018 6 Comments
    Sensitive to Quinine? Beware Tonic Water!

    Quinine was once available both as a prescription drug and over the counter. Doctors would prescribe it to help people cope with nighttime leg cramps. For some people, however, quinine can trigger a s…

    By: Joe Graedon March 26, 2018 11 Comments
    Metoprolol for High Blood Pressure Raised Blood …

    Metoprolol is a beta blocker heart medicine. It is perennially on the doctors’ top 10 hit parade of most prescribed medicines. Over the last decade, roughly 70 million prescriptions were dispensed e…

    By: Terry Graedon March 26, 2018 10 Comments
    How Can You Ease Arthritis Pain Safely?

    People with chronic pain such as the joint pain of severe osteoarthritis are often faced with terrible trade-offs. To get relief from the inflammation and discomfort, they may have to rely on medicati…

    By: Joe Graedon March 19, 2018 27 Comments
    Can Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) Blow A Hole…

    People have been using a natural antacid (sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda) for a very long time. It is cheap and surprisingly effective for easing symptoms of indigestion. But too much of a good t…

    By: Joe Graedon March 19, 2018 29 Comments
    Steroid Inhaler Laryngitis (SIL) More Common Tha…

      The standard treatment for asthma and COPD often involves inhaled corticosteroid drugs like beclomethasone (Qvar), budesonide (Pulmicort, Symbicort) and fluticasone (Advair, Flovent). One side …

    By: Joe Graedon March 15, 2018 13 Comments
    New Calcium Study Has People Confused and Upset

    A new calcium study has created a lot of confusion and consternation. To refresh your memory: a randomized trial of calcium supplements has revealed an unexpected complication (Gut, March 1, 2018). Do…

    By: Joe Graedon March 12, 2018 7 Comments
    Lyrica (Pregabalin) Side Effects Include Confusi…

    Lyrica is widely advertised on television. It's hard to miss the commercials for fibromyalgia or diabetic nerve pain. A few years ago there was this ad featuring Terry, a retired police officer. Terry…

    By: Joe Graedon March 12, 2018 17 Comments
    Should You Worry About Calcium Side Effects Like…

    Until recently, extra calcium was considered essential for good health. Millions of women popped a calcium pill or two every day. They assumed there were no calcium side effects, though some complaine…

    By: Terry Graedon March 12, 2018 1 Comments
    Why Do TV Drug Ads Warn About TB?

    Do you ever see something on television that gives you pause? If so, you are not alone. Plenty of prescription drug advertisements contain warnings that would be downright scary if the people in them …

    By: Joe Graedon March 12, 2018 9 Comments
    Licorice Side Effects Can Be Scary If Not Life T…

    Most people think of licorice (liquorice in Europe) as yummy candy. We happen to be licorice lovers ourselves. Natural black licorice from the Netherlands is one of our favorite sweet treats. But we a…

    By: Joe Graedon March 5, 2018 8 Comments
    Are Heartburn Drugs (PPIs) Linked to Stomach Can…

    According to our calculation (based on the most recent data available), more than 110 million prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are filled each year. That does not count the tens of mill…

    By: Terry Graedon March 4, 2018 5 Comments
    How Could Heartburn Drug Help Plantar Warts?

    Plantar warts, those that appear on the soles of the feet (and occasionally the palms of the hands), can be devilishly difficult to remove. Doctors sometimes use freezing or laser therapy, but even th…

    By: Joe Graedon March 1, 2018 9 Comments
    Aspirin vs. Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) After Hip or K…

    People who undergo hip or knee replacements are at high risk for developing blood clots during the first several weeks after surgery. How serious is this complication? A research paper published in Cu…

    By: Terry Graedon February 26, 2018 55 Comments
    People with IBS Worry about FDA Crackdown on Imo…

    Sometimes the FDA takes actions that make people nervous. Concerns about abuse of the anti-diarrhea drug loperamide (Imodium) have the agency considering restrictions on this over-the-counter product.…

    By: Joe Graedon February 25, 2018 7 Comments
    How Dangerous Are Antipsychotic Medications for …

    Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are among the cruelest afflictions known to man. These conditions rob people of their memories, their personalities and their independence. Friends and famili…

    By: Terry Graedon February 19, 2018 8 Comments
    How Does the Heart Drug Amiodarone Hurt Your Lun…

    The heart drug amiodarone (Pacerone) is prescribed for serious, life-threatening heart rhythm abnormalities, such as ventricular fibrillation or unstable ventricular tachycardia. These technical terms…

    By: Joe Graedon February 15, 2018 18 Comments
    What Do You Really Know About Scary Ibuprofen Si…

    Do you read the labels on OTC pain relievers? Be honest now. The last time you purchased Advil, Motrin IB or some house brand ibuprofen pills, did you check out the dosage instructions or the warnings…

    By: Joe Graedon February 12, 2018 23 Comments
    What Are the Most Dangerous Drugs for Older Adul…

    Imagine you are a space alien from the Planet Xelziga. You land somewhere in North America and turn on your television monitoring system. As you attempt to learn the basics about human behavior, you m…

    By: Terry Graedon February 8, 2018 29 Comments
    Why Do Nursing Homes Dispense Risky Antipsychoti…

    The Food and Drug Administration has long warned that administering antipsychotic drugs to people with dementia is dangerous. That practice can increase the risk of premature death. Previous studies s…

    By: Joe Graedon February 5, 2018 16 Comments
    What’s the Story on Metformin for Diabetes?

    Metformin has become the go-to drug for type 2 diabetes. It's easy to understand why. The drug works to control blood sugar and it is incredibly inexpensive compared to many of the newer diabetes drug…

    By: Joe Graedon February 5, 2018 15 Comments
    Hydrochlorothiazide Triggers Gout |Cherries to t…

    Are you taking HCTZ or HCT? Those are the abbreviations for hydrochlorothiazide. This “thiazide” diuretic is probably one of the most prescribed drugs in the world. By our count, over 20 million p…

    By: Terry Graedon February 5, 2018 12 Comments
    Will Do-It-Yourself Mouse Repellent Be Toxic to …

    Nobody wants to share their home with pests. As a result, people develop all kinds of ingenious methods to discourage mice. None are foolproof, however. It is worthwhile considering whether a do-it-yo…

    By: Joe Graedon February 5, 2018 4 Comments
    How To Choose Safe and Effective Over-The-Counte…

    Americans love to play doctor. And the FDA has made it easy. That’s because the agency has allowed Pharma companies to switch many Rx drugs to OTC in a big way. We spend $33 billion on over-the-coun…

    By: Joe Graedon February 1, 2018 34 Comments
    Why Does the Flu Kill So Many Healthy People?

    Influenza continues to make millions of people sick around the country. There have been way too many deaths. Clearly, this year’s influenza epidemic caught health professionals by surprise, even tho…

    By: Terry Graedon February 1, 2018 22 Comments
    Can You Stop People from Abusing Diarrhea Medici…

    The opioid epidemic has spawned some improbable activity, such as people abusing diarrhea medicine. The FDA is cracking down on the over-the-counter pill loperamide. This drug, sold as Imodium A-D, ha…