By: Terry Graedon January 9, 2006 1 Comments
    How Safe Is Aspartame?

    People love to hate artificial sweeteners. Starting with saccharin in the late 1950s, some have enthusiastically embraced the idea of sweets without calories. Others have warned that saccharin, cyclam…

    By: Joe Graedon December 27, 2005 0 Comments
    New Lesson from COX-2 Catastrophe

    Even before aspirin was developed, people with arthritis used willow bark to ease their pain and inflammation. By the 1850s, natural derivatives of the bark were widely used in Germany. But even then …

    By: Terry Graedon December 20, 2005 0 Comments
    Cold Remedies May Pose Unsuspected Risks

    Are you sniffling, sneezing and coughing? If so, you’ve joined millions of others infected with a cold virus. Traveling, shopping and holiday stress can all increase the possibility of catching a co…

    By: Joe Graedon September 5, 2005 0 Comments
    Arthritis Sufferers Caught In Dilemma

    Pity anyone with pain that lasts more than 10 days. That's how long the FDA says you can safely take an over-the-counter analgesic such as Advil, Aleve or Tylenol on your own. The trouble is that one …

    By: Joe Graedon July 25, 2005 0 Comments
    New Antidepressant Warning Is Too Late For Some

    Some psychiatrists may have been shocked by the FDA's recently revised labeling for antidepressants: "Adults being treated with antidepressant medication, particularly those being treated for depressi…

    By: Joe Graedon June 27, 2005 0 Comments
    New Questions About Safety of Pain Relievers

    here's more bad news for people in pain. First we learned that Vioxx could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Then Bextra and Celebrex came under similar scrutiny. Now the entire category o…

    By: Joe Graedon May 16, 2005 1 Comments
    Allergy Medicines Make Driving Dangerous

    People often think that the most dangerous time to drive is between Christmas and New Year's. That's because of all the holiday parties that lead revelers to drink too much and get behind the wheel. W…

    By: Joe Graedon April 18, 2005 0 Comments
    Patients Find Statins Can Have Side Effects

    Guidelines for cholesterol control have become much more stringent. For millions of Americans, achieving the new targets requires strong medicine. Over the last decade, prescriptions for statin-type c…

    By: Joe Graedon March 21, 2005 0 Comments
    FDA On The Hotseat Because Of Safety Concerns

    According to the old proverb, "He who pays the piper calls the tune." FDA officials are now facing the music. They must answer to the American public, the people who really pay the bills. For decades …

    By: Joe Graedon February 28, 2005 0 Comments
    Can Drugs Trigger Violence?

    Americans have a hard time imagining that a drug could change someone's behavior. Maybe that's why the Zoloft defense failed. A jury took just six hours to decide that Christopher Pittman was guilty o…

    By: Joe Graedon February 21, 2005 4 Comments
    Beware Drug-Induced Skin Rash

    Allergies and skin rash are common adverse reactions to drugs. But they rarely considered serious. Patients and doctors alike may brush off such symptoms as a minor annoyance. In too many cases, thoug…

    By: Joe Graedon February 14, 2005 0 Comments
    Arthritis Drugs Linked to Strokes

    Q. I took Vioxx for three years to ease arthritis pain. When it was taken off the market, my doctor switched me over to Bextra. Two months later I had a stroke. My doctor says I should no longer take …

    By: Joe Graedon February 14, 2005 0 Comments
    Talking About Side Effects Can Prevent Problems

    If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then doctors may be from Pluto. Communication is hard enough between men and women, but doctors and patients might as well be speaking different language…

    By: Joe Graedon January 17, 2005 0 Comments
    What Is A Safe Drug?

    "There is no such thing as a safe drug. Each medication is a double-edged sword, with a good side and a bad side." We wrote those words thirty years ago in the first edition of our book The People's P…

    By: Joe Graedon December 6, 2004 0 Comments
    Can The FDA Handle Drug Safety

    How safe are America's medicines? Ask the pharmaceutical industry or the FDA, and you will be told that we have the safest drugs in the world. But the Vioxx fiasco has Americans starting to wonder if …

    By: Joe Graedon October 4, 2004 0 Comments
    New Drug Warnings Require Vigilance

    If you've ever watched TV commercials for drugs like Viagra, Vioxx or Zocor, you know that they present such medications in a very appealing light. Actors smile and seem to be having such a wonderful …

    By: Joe Graedon September 27, 2004 0 Comments
    The Dark Side Of Statins

    Bill Clinton's recent bypass surgery has captured a lot of attention. Some commentators publicly rebuked the former president for his fondness for fast food and cigars and for stopping his cholesterol…

    By: Joe Graedon August 9, 2004 3 Comments
    Older People Are Vulnerable To Drug Disasters

    Children are not just small adults. Drugs that are safe and effective for grown-ups, such as antidepressants or cough syrup, may not work well for kids. Pediatricians have worked hard to tailor childr…

    By: Joe Graedon May 31, 2004 0 Comments
    Are Antidepressants Hazardous Just Kids?

    The Food and Drug Administration is in a bind. Millions of people, including many children, have taken antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil and Wellbutrin. Physicians and patients assumed that the FDA s…

    By: Joe Graedon April 12, 2004 0 Comments
    FDA Issues Warning On Antidepressant Dangers

    When Prozac (fluoxetine) came on the market in 1987 there wasn't a lot of fanfare. Eli Lilly introduced it slowly and carefully as the first of a new generation of antidepressants called SSRIs (select…

    By: Joe Graedon March 1, 2004 0 Comments
    Drugs Hold Special Hazards For Seniors

    Old age ain't for sissies--at least, that's what some seniors tell us. It's even harder when the medicines that are prescribed to help overcome ailments end up causing more harm than good. A new study…

    By: Joe Graedon January 5, 2004 0 Comments
    Do Antidepressants Provoke Suicide In Kids?

    In 1988 an ophthalmologist contacted us because his daughter had unexpectedly committed suicide while taking Prozac. He was convinced that this antidepressant had somehow triggered her sudden violent …

    By: Joe Graedon October 13, 2003 0 Comments
    Older People At High Risk For Drug Disasters

    If you live long enough, you may end up taking a fistful of pills every morning. Millions of older Americans swallow five or more medicines daily, not counting vitamins and other supplements. Visit an…

    By: Joe Graedon July 28, 2003 0 Comments
    Is Your Medicine Bringing You Down?

    If you develop a rash within hours of starting a new medicine, you don't need Sherlock Holmes to help you make the connection. But some drug side effects are harder to recognize. Psychological reactio…

    By: Joe Graedon March 31, 2003 0 Comments
    Drug Side Effects A Leading Killer

    Imagine a condition that causes millions of hospitalizations and hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. By some accounts, it is the third leading cause of mortality in this country, right after he…

    By: Joe Graedon February 17, 2003 0 Comments
    Over The Counter Drugs Have Hidden Dangers

    When was the last time you used an over-the-counter remedy? Tens of millions of us pop down products like Advil, Alka-Seltzer, Bayer Aspirin, Benadryl, Excedrin, Sudafed, Tylenol or Zantac without hes…

    By: Joe Graedon September 9, 2002 0 Comments
    Sleep Paralysis Can Be Terrifying

    Q. For many years, from age 25 to 45, I experienced the horrifying feelings that I now have learned are associated with "sleep paralysis." I never knew what it was and had no one to ask about it. Luck…

    By: Joe Graedon September 9, 2002 0 Comments
    Extra Care Needed For Elder’s Drugs

    Gun enthusiasts are fond of pointing out that guns don't kill people; people kill people. Drugs are a lot like loaded guns. When used with great care, they rarely cause harm. But if they are prescribe…

    By: Joe Graedon September 2, 2002 0 Comments
    Drug Leaflets Flunk Pharmacy Test

    Have you been to a pharmacy lately? If you got a prescription filled, chances are pretty good that you had to wait a long time to get your pills. Pharmacists are slammed with too much work and not eno…

    By: Joe Graedon June 3, 2002 4 Comments
    ‘Save-The-Baby’ Hard To Find

    Q. More than fifty years ago when I was a child, my mother used "Save-the-Baby" on us when we had a bad cold. She rubbed it on our chests. I loved the smell and it seemed to work quite well. In the ea…

    By: Joe Graedon May 28, 2002 0 Comments
    Sweaty Arm Pits Pose Embarrassing Problem

    Q. My daughter suffers from excessive underarm perspiration. I told her to ask her doctor about it, but the doctor said she has not heard of a prescription deodorant to deal with this problem. My daug…

    By: Joe Graedon May 20, 2002 5 Comments
    Beware Of Baking Soda Overdose

    Q. I want to warn people about using baking soda to treat heartburn and indigestion. Although there are instructions right on the package for treating GI upset with baking soda, I must stress the impo…

    By: Joe Graedon May 13, 2002 0 Comments
    Sunscreen Allergy Makes Her Red

    Q. Can you tell me what to do about sunblock? I have become increasingly sensitive to the sun, although I always wear sunblock. The problem is that I seem to be very allergic to the ingredients that m…

    By: Joe Graedon May 6, 2002 0 Comments
    Will Viagra Prolong Intercourse?

    Q. I have suffered from an embarrassing problem for years and I cannot bring myself to discuss it with my doctor. No matter how much I try to concentrate on other things or how slow I go, I climax wit…

    By: Joe Graedon April 29, 2002 1 Comments
    Libido Loss At Menopause Threatens Marriage

    Q. I am a 48 year old woman who has been happily married for 17 years. Now I have entered menopause and have no more sexual desire. Since my mother died of breast cancer, I am reluctant to start hormo…

    By: Joe Graedon April 29, 2002 0 Comments
    Solutions For Sweaty Armpits

    Q. I am a 50 year old male in good health. For years I have perspired heavily in my armpits. This begins early in the morning and continues all day. By the time I get to work, my shirt is soaked. This…

    By: Joe Graedon April 29, 2002 1 Comments
    Can Sugarless Gum Cause GI Problems?

    Q. I have a nervous stomach. This results in frequent, unpredictable bouts of diarrhea. I have also been chewing sugarless gum daily for years.   I just heard that sugarless gum can combat c…

    By: Joe Graedon April 22, 2002 1 Comments
    Shelf Life Of Sunscreen

    Q. I just found some left over sunscreen from last summer. Is it safe to use it again this year?   A. Check the expiration date on the label. Most sunscreens are good for a couple years even…

    By: Joe Graedon April 15, 2002 1 Comments
    Don’t Kill Kitty Yourself

    Q. I have a 19-year-old cat to which I am very attached. I know her time will come soon. I don't want to take her to the vet to be put down because she is terrified of both vets and needles. I would l…

    By: Joe Graedon April 15, 2002 0 Comments
    Is Enteric Aspirin Safer?

    Q. What is the value of the "enteric" form of aspirin? I need to take aspirin for my heart and I'm aware it can cause gastric ulcers. I thought the enteric aspirin would be safer than re…