By: Joe Graedon December 29, 2008 10 Comments
    Medicine Triggers Musical Hallucinations

    Q. I read in your column a while back that a person heard music after taking the antidepressant amitriptyline. My urologist prescribed a similar drug (imipramine) for a mild urinary problem. After a f…

    By: Joe Graedon December 24, 2008 6 Comments
    How to Reduce Inflammation

    Q. I have been hearing that something called CRP may be more important than cholesterol when it comes to heart disease. I don't know much about it. What are normal CRP values? My doctor says everythin…

    By: Joe Graedon November 14, 2008 3 Comments
    Aleve Makes Her Drowsy

    Like other medicines, over-the-counter medications like naproxen or ibuprofen cause off-target (side) effects as well as on-target effects such as pain relief. However, you might have trouble tracking…

    By: Joe Graedon October 31, 2008 33 Comments
    Chantix Success Story

    Q. I used Chantix to quit smoking on May 30. I don't recall any psychological side effects and have been recommending it to everyone. After using it successfully, I figured all smokers should try it a…

    By: Joe Graedon October 20, 2008 16 Comments
    Do Prescription Drugs Cause Cancer?

    Do you consume carcinogens? These cancer-causing chemicals are everywhere, but most people either don’t recognize them or can’t avoid them.Obviously, cigarette smoke is one of the most not…

    By: Joe Graedon October 20, 2008 3 Comments
    Antidepressant’s Sexual Side Effects May L…

    Q. I have been taking Prozac for the past five years. I am happily married, but I've definitely noticed a downturn in my ability to achieve a climax.My doctor recently switched me to Celexa to see…

    By: Joe Graedon October 15, 2008 14 Comments
    Did Ambien Contribute to Accident?

    Q. I believe my friend was sleep driving when he was killed in a car accident. A dump truck slammed into his car at an intersection he'd known all his life. It was only two blocks from his house. I ca…

    By: Joe Graedon October 6, 2008 6 Comments
    Stop-Smoking Drug May Trigger Violence

    Q. Last night my boyfriend became so violent I was afraid he was going to hit my 22-year-old daughter or me. He threatened to burn down our home and he tried to kick me out. I just realized that he st…

    By: Joe Graedon October 1, 2008 9 Comments
    Are Antibiotics Responsible for GI Woes?

    Q. My teenage daughter has been taking antibiotics to treat her acne for years, but she's also had terrible GI problems (stomachaches and diarrhea) for much of that time. I didn't think of a connectio…

    By: Joe Graedon September 9, 2008 27 Comments
    Can Asthma Drug Cause Thin Skin?

    Q. I was prescribed Advair for asthma. It worked well for my breathing problem but my skin became thin and I started bruising badly. Then I experienced horrible damage to my skin with deep gashes from…

    By: Joe Graedon August 27, 2008 1 Comments
    Flomax Can Complicate Cataract Surgery

    Q. My husband took Flomax for a prostate problem. Recently he needed cataract surgery. Who knew that Flomax would cause complications? Not only was the surgery very painful, but I have heard that some…

    By: Joe Graedon August 6, 2008 2 Comments
    Arthritis Pain Reliever May Aggravate Ulcer

    Q. Five years ago I developed duodenal ulcers after taking Fosamax for six weeks. I was also taking ibuprofen for headaches at the same time.Last year, after taking baby aspirin for a few months, an e…

    By: Joe Graedon August 4, 2008 5 Comments
    Beware Unexpected Drug Side Effects

    Antihistamines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) often make people drowsy. No surprise. Antibiotics frequently cause diarrhea and digestive upset because they wipe out helpful intestinal bacteria along …

    By: Joe Graedon July 23, 2008 223 Comments
    Could Your Blood Pressure Medicine Be Causing Yo…

    Q. I have been taking Toprol XL for about two years for high blood pressure, and my hair is getting so thin you can see through it. Is there any other medication that can replace Toprol XL that would …

    By: Joe Graedon July 22, 2008 4 Comments
    Getting Rid Of Gas

    Q. I am in good health and take Toprol for blood pressure, Crestor for cholesterol and Evista to prevent osteoporosis. My problem is smelly gas. I have so much that it is very embarrassing when I work…

    By: Joe Graedon July 11, 2008 5 Comments
    Are Your Eye Drops Lowering Your Heart Rate?

    Q. Can glaucoma eye drops lower heart rate? Ever since I started using timolol I haven't been able to reach my target heart rate when I exercise. A. Timolol (Timoptic) is a beta blocker, which means i…

    By: Joe Graedon June 20, 2008 10 Comments
    Is Vitamin Deficiency At The Bottom Of Burning S…

    Q. Can you help me? I've had a burning sensation on my tongue and the soles of my feet for weeks. I've tried Benadryl, OTC hydrocortisone cream and ice packs. Nothing is helping. My internist has said…

    By: Joe Graedon June 2, 2008 24 Comments
    Pay Attention To Statin Side Effects

    Doctors love Lipitor. Last year this cholesterol-lowering drug was the single most prescribed brand-name medicine in the country. Over 50 million prescriptions were filled. Doctors also loved Vytorin.…

    By: Joe Graedon May 26, 2008 4 Comments
    Some Drugs Dull Mental Edge

    Patients should not have to choose between bladder control and brain function, but some medications prescribed for overactive bladder can have a negative impact on memory and concentration. In a recen…

    By: Joe Graedon May 21, 2008 39 Comments
    Are Acid-Suppressing Drugs Responsible For Vitam…

    Q. After taking Aciphex to treat serious heartburn for four years, I developed a severe vitamin B12 deficiency. I complained to my doctor about being extremely tired all the time. I needed to rest aft…

    By: Joe Graedon May 19, 2008 12 Comments
    Stop-Smoking Drug Triggered Despair

    Q. I started taking Chantix and was surprised how quickly it cut my smoking in half. I continued with the Chantix until I finally quit. Depression was slowly creeping up on me, but nothing prepared me…

    By: Joe Graedon May 14, 2008 11 Comments
    Can Water Pills Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

    Q. I am 43 years old and have had high blood pressure for 15 years. I have taken atenolol to control it until recently, when my doctor changed me to a water pill, hydrochlorothiazide. I had a fasting …

    By: Joe Graedon May 12, 2008 7 Comments
    Dermatologist Disputes Acne Remedy

    Q. As a dermatologist, I am dismayed by your article suggesting that milk of magnesia could treat cystic nodular acne. This is not a recommended treatment, and the false belief that it might be helpfu…

    By: Joe Graedon May 7, 2008 64 Comments
    Long-Term Laxative Addiction

    Q. No one knows I have this problem. I have been using the laxative bisacodyl every day for twenty years and have steadily increased the dosage. I've stopped taking it for a few days at a time. Not su…

    By: Joe Graedon May 5, 2008 2 Comments
    Man Seeks Cause For Big Breasts

    Q. My wife thinks I have gynecomastia. I may; I do have man boobs, but it could be from being overweight. If I do have gynecomastia, I guess it could be from some of the medications I take and/or the …

    By: Joe Graedon April 28, 2008 1 Comments
    Is Low Cholesterol Bad for the Brain?

    What may be good for the heart could be bad for the brain. Lowering cholesterol, especially bad LDL cholesterol, appears to reduce the risk of heart attacks. But new studies suggest that very low chol…

    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 April 18, 2008 1 Comments
    Breathing Problem May Be Linked to Pain Medicine

    Q. I have back problems and have been taking Vicodin daily for pain. The last six months, my breathing has been terrible. I'd have to stop and catch my breath with any little thing. I've been off Vico…

    By: Joe Graedon April 16, 2008 282 Comments
    Cough Is Reaction to Blood Pressure Medicine

    Q. I developed a dry cough soon after my doctor diagnosed me with hypertension and put me on Altace. I would cough and cough until I would gag and throw up at work into my trashcan because the coughin…

    By: Joe Graedon April 14, 2008 5 Comments
    Popular Drugs Are Linked to Suicide

    What should the FDA do when a drug might make someone depressed or even suicidal? The agency has wrestled with this dilemma for decades.When reports surfaced in the 1990s that the antidepressant Proza…

    By: Joe Graedon April 13, 2008 1 Comments
    Doing Away With Gluten

    Q. I was diagnosed with celiac disease and advised to avoid gluten from wheat, rye and barley. Avoiding gluten in my diet has made a huge difference for me. Are there any resources to help me avoid gl…

    By: Joe Graedon March 19, 2008 5 Comments
    NSAIDs Can Cause Kidney Damage

    Q. I read in your column that naproxen can cause kidney damage. I want to reinforce that warning. I lost my kidneys as a result of taking prescription strength naproxen in 1995. I took this anti-infla…

    By: Joe Graedon March 14, 2008 4 Comments
    Sorting Out Complicated Coumadin Interactions

    Q. I have atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm for which I take Tambocor (a heart rhythm drug) and warfarin (a blood thinner). I also have arthritis. I was taking Tylenol for it, but my lab t…

    By: Joe Graedon March 7, 2008 12 Comments
    Calcium Overdose?

    Q. How much calcium is too much? I take 1500 mg/day and my doctor wants me to add another 500 mg for my thinning bones. I drink milk and wonder if I may be overdosing. A. Too much calcium (2,000 mg/da…

    By: Joe Graedon March 5, 2008 19 Comments
    Is It Dementia Or Is It Statins?

    Q. My husband has taken Zocor to lower cholesterol since he was 48. In 2006, he started to notice problems. His feet became numb and he had trouble writing. He believed that he was less sharp mentally…

    By: Joe Graedon February 27, 2008 2 Comments
    Do NSAIDs Cause Gas?

    Q. I am taking naproxen for pain in my lower back, hands and knees. It seems to do the trick for the pain but I am having lots of flatulence. There is probably no connection but I would like to know f…

    By: Joe Graedon February 4, 2008 15 Comments
    Is Stop-Smoking Drug Linked to Violence?

    Q. I live in the U.K. On Christmas Eve my boyfriend had been been using Champix for some months. He was drinking and went berserk for no reason, assaulted me and destroyed my apartment. I fled and wai…

    By: Joe Graedon January 14, 2008 15 Comments
    Is Death An Acceptable Drug Side Effect?

    Would you take a medicine that listed death as a possible side effect? Lots of people do. Have You Read the Fine Print? If you read drug ads in popular magazines, you might end up wondering who would …

    By: Joe Graedon January 9, 2008 67 Comments
    Are Generic Beta Blockers Less Effective?

    Q. My doctor prescribed Toprol-XL several years ago and it worked well. Last week my pharmacist refilled my prescription with generic metoprolol succinate. Two days later my blood pressure shot sky hi…

    By: Joe Graedon December 31, 2007 71 Comments
    Lower Blood Pressure Without Side Effects

    Q. A few months ago, I finally yielded to my doctor's pressure and went on a blood pressure medication, against my better judgment. I am a 63-year-old female. The medication is metoprolol succinate. I…