By: Terry Graedon October 16, 2009 2 Comments
    Will Tamiflu Prevent Swine Flu?

    Q. How effective is Tamiflu against this H1N1 influenza bug? Are there any risks to taking this drug preventively? I am thinking of asking my doctor for a prescription since I will soon have to take a…

    By: Terry Graedon September 28, 2009 25 Comments
    Arthritis Drugs Have Hidden Hazards

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a devastating disease. Besides crippling joints, it can leave the victim exhausted and in excruciating pain. Over the last several decades, drug companies have offered patients…

    By: Joe Graedon September 24, 2009 0 Comments
    PPIs Raise Risk of Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia

    Some hospitalized patients develop a serious complication called stress ulcers. The stress of surgery or a serious illness can lead to bleeding in the stomach and such ulcers can be life threatening. …

    By: Terry Graedon September 7, 2009 18 Comments
    Have You Consented to Drug Risks?

    If you've ever had surgery you were given a form to read and sign first. Doctors are legally and ethically obligated to provide information about the benefits and risks of operations. Patients are exp…

    By: Terry Graedon September 7, 2009 1 Comments
    Gold Injections for Arthritis

    Q. Is it true that gold shots work for arthritis? A. Injected gold salts are an old-fashioned treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. This approach goes back more than 70 years and can be quite effective …

    By: Terry Graedon September 7, 2009 13 Comments
    Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs and Lou Gehrig’…

    Q. My husband started on lovastatin for high cholesterol and soon began to notice weakness in his right arm. This weakness progressed so he saw his doctor, thinking he had a pinched nerve. He was refe…

    By: Terry Graedon September 7, 2009 2 Comments
    Getting Off Antidepressant Can Be Difficult

    Q. I have been taking Effexor XR for two years. At first I was pleased that it relieved the anxiety, depression and excessive worrying I had been suffering. Then I began experiencing insomnia and nigh…

    By: Terry Graedon September 3, 2009 2 Comments
    Anti-Anxiety Drug Puts Seniors at Risk for Falls

    French investigators suggest a strategy for reducing falls among older people. They found an elevated risk of falling among seniors taking long-acting anti-anxiety drugs such as Valium. Regular use of…

    By: Terry Graedon August 27, 2009 3 Comments
    Is Alli a Danger to the Liver?

    A popular diet pill is under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration. When orlistat was first introduced in 1999 it almost seemed too good to be true. This drug, known by the brand name Xenical, …

    By: Terry Graedon August 27, 2009 4 Comments
    Reclast Not for People with Kidney Problems

    The FDA has also issued a new warning about a long-acting osteoporosis drug called Reclast. This medication is injected once a year to strengthen bones and prevent fractures. The FDA has received two …

    By: Joe Graedon August 17, 2009 1 Comments
    Sleeping Pills Pose Risk for Seniors

    Q. My 88-year-old husband was prescribed Ambien for insomnia. After the first dose, he fell while getting up to go to the bathroom, gashed his head and had to go to the emergency room for stitches. A …

    By: Terry Graedon August 14, 2009 1 Comments
    Diabetes Drugs Increase Risk of Fractures

    Certain drugs used to help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes my unexpectedly increase the risk of broken bones. An analysis of records from more than 80,000 patients in British Columb…

    By: Terry Graedon August 9, 2009 56 Comments
    Kelp Supplement Corrected Thyroid Problem But Be…

    Thyroid dysfunction is common, so common, in fact, that Synthroid is the most prescribed drug in the country. That is a synthetic thyroid hormone, levothyroxine. But while many people take Synthroid o…

    By: Terry Graedon August 9, 2009 7 Comments
    Bone-Building Drug Led to Thigh Fracture

    Q. Two weeks after I suffered a thigh bone fracture that had started as a hairline stress fracture, a friend alerted me to your column citing an article in the Journal of the American Medical Associat…

    By: Terry Graedon August 9, 2009 15 Comments
    Drug-Induced Diarrhea Can Be Deadly

    Diarrhea is your gut's way of defending itself against invaders. Sometimes they're germs like E. coli or salmonella. Others times they're drugs. An astonishing number of medications can cause digestiv…

    By: Joe Graedon August 7, 2009 14 Comments
    Asthma Drug (Xolair) Under Safety Review at FDA

    The FDA has been scrutinizing the safety of a relatively new asthma medicine called Xolair (omalizumab). We would not normally issue a People's Pharmacy Alert at this early stage of the investigation,…

    By: Joe Graedon July 31, 2009 629 Comments
    Statins and ALS-Like Syndrome

    We can think of few diseases that are more dreadful than ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Losing muscle control to the point of total paralysis takes an incredible toll on the patient and the family. We sp…

    By: Joe Graedon July 26, 2009 1 Comments
    Blood Pressure Pill Made Tongue Swell

    Q. I was put on Benicar last month to help bring my blood pressure down, since atenolol alone was not doing the job. Within four days I told the clinic I wouldn't take any more Benicar. It made my ton…

    By: Joe Graedon July 21, 2009 3 Comments
    Strange Fracture Linked to Osteoporosis Drug

    Two weeks after I had suffered a femur fracture that had started as a hairline stress fracture undetected in an earlier x-ray, a friend alerted me to your column citing the 2/18/09 JAMA article.After …

    By: Joe Graedon July 20, 2009 6 Comments
    Don’t Let Drugs Make You Feel Ancient

    The generation gap is nothing new. Margaret Mead once suggested that grandparents and their grandchildren are natural allies because they are both battling the generation in between.So perhaps that is…

    By: Joe Graedon July 20, 2009 9 Comments
    Drug-Induced Diarrhea Proved Fatal

    Q. Your column contained a question regarding diarrhea from the antibiotic clindamycin. You advised the writer to see a gastroenterologist. My family suggests that, in addition, he needs to see an inf…

    By: Joe Graedon July 16, 2009 64 Comments
    What Is the Link between Statins and ALS?

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS is a devastating neurological disease that is ultimately fatal. Also know as Lou Gehrig's disease, it leads to loss of muscle control. People eventually lose the a…

    By: Joe Graedon July 13, 2009 3 Comments
    Weekend Warriors Need Safe Pain Relief

    Exercise is now considered an essential pillar of good health. We think it is powerful "medicine" for the body, the mind and the soul. There is growing evidence to suggest that regular exercise is not…

    By: Joe Graedon July 13, 2009 348 Comments
    Doctors Ignore Lisinopril-Caused Cough

    Q. I started taking lisinopril for high blood pressure in December. Soon after, I developed a nagging dry cough that wouldn't stop. I have thrown up because the coughing was so bad. I have also had bl…

    By: Joe Graedon July 9, 2009 1 Comments
    Trusting Tylenol?

    The FDA convened an expert panel recently to make recommendations about acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and hundreds of other OTC products. These range from house brand non-aspirin pai…

    By: Joe Graedon July 8, 2009 1 Comments
    FDA Warns about Acetaminophen Dangers

    For decades Americans have been told to "trust Tylenol" because it was supposed to be safer than other pain relievers. Now the FDA is considering stronger warnings about overdosing on acetaminophen, t…

    By: Joe Graedon July 8, 2009 1 Comments
    Prescription Painkillers Get New Warnings

    The FDA will also call for a black-box warning on two old prescription painkillers, Darvon and Darvocet. Both medications contain propoxyphene, which has been sold in the US for more than 50 years. At…

    By: Joe Graedon July 8, 2009 23 Comments
    Statin Cholesterol Drugs Linked to Muscle Damage

    Many people taking statin-type cholesterol-lowering medicine complain of muscle pain or weakness. Doctors often turn to a blood test to detect signs of drug toxicity. Specifically, they look for eleva…

    By: Joe Graedon July 6, 2009 5 Comments
    Zicam Action Ushers in New Day at FDA

    We first heard about ZIcam on October 9, 2000. That's when the a PR firm touted a study in the ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) Journal showing that a zinc nasal gel shortened the duration of the common c…

    By: Joe Graedon July 6, 2009 0 Comments
    Zicam Zapped her Sense of Smell

    Q. A friend of mine took Zicam for a cold last fall and the next day woke to find she had completely lost her sense of smell. It has not returned.Her sense of taste was also compromised and she has to…

    By: Joe Graedon July 6, 2009 3 Comments
    Arthritis Drugs Can Trigger Headaches

    Q. I get terrible rebound headaches from anti-inflammatory drugs (both prescription and OTC). My doctors seem to not believe me; instead, they insist that anti-inflammatories are just what I need for …

    By: Terry Graedon July 2, 2009 90 Comments
    Statins May Cause Erectile Dysfunction

    It is estimated that 13 million Americans now take a statin-type cholestesrol-lowering medicine like Lipitor, Crestor or Zocor. Such drugs are very good at lowering bad LDL cholesterol and lower the c…

    By: Terry Graedon July 2, 2009 0 Comments
    Diabetes Drug Linked to Bone Loss

    Type 2 diabetes is one of the most serious chronic conditions of the 21st century. Diagnoses of new cases, especially in young people, continue to accelerate. Two medications that are frequently used …

    By: Joe Graedon June 29, 2009 2 Comments
    Unexpected Side Effects Wreak Havoc

    Sometimes the best-laid plans go awry. That's what happened when kudzu was introduced into the U.S. as a way of controlling erosion. Now this invasive plant has taken over large swaths of southeastern…

    By: Joe Graedon June 25, 2009 0 Comments
    NSAIDs May Result in Falsely Low PSA Readings

    PSA or Prostate Specific Antigen is a marker for prostate enlargement and cancer. When levels increase significantly from year to year, it sends a red flag to the doctor that there may be problems wit…

    By: Joe Graedon June 21, 2009 1102 Comments
    Clindamycin Side Effects Can Be Serious

    Q. For an abscessed tooth, I was given a prescription antibiotic called clindamycin. Ever since I took it, I have had unremitting diarrhea. Now my dentist wants me to see a gastroenterologist. Is ther…

    By: Joe Graedon June 21, 2009 3 Comments
    Antidepressant Triggered Suicidal Thoughts

    Q. My 17-year-old son is feeling depressed. He is sad and tired and would sleep all day long if we allowed it. The doctor prescribed Prozac, but after the second day of taking it my son said he had th…

    By: Joe Graedon June 18, 2009 5 Comments
    Beware Zicam Nasal Products!

    After years of controversy, the FDA has finally warned the American public to immediately stop using the following products:• Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel• Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs• Zicam Co…

    By: Joe Graedon June 17, 2009 0 Comments
    Zicam Nasal Cold Remedies Called Out

    Zicam Nasal Cold Remedies Called OutA popular over-the-counter cold remedy is now on the FDA's shady list. Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids …

    By: Joe Graedon June 17, 2009 0 Comments
    Common Drugs Boost Risk of Cognitive Impairment …

    Researchers are asking the FDA to investigate the potential dangers of another class of medications called anticholinergics. Such drugs are widely prescribed for a variety of health conditions running…