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 349 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 1110 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…

    By: Joe Graedon June 17, 2009 7 Comments
    Memory & Muscles Slip on Statins

    Recently, a call-in guest on The People's Pharmacy mentioned noticing that his mother seemed to show improvement in mental clarity when he missed her dose of Zocor. The discussion that followed and th…

    By: Joe Graedon June 15, 2009 3 Comments
    Travatan Changes Eye Color

    Q. I use Travatan, similar to Lumigan, for glaucoma. My eyes have turned from brown to almost black. Blue-eyed people should be warned about this. A. A change in the color of the iris is a well-known …

    By: Joe Graedon June 15, 2009 3 Comments
    Too Many Medications Make Mother a Zombie

    Q. I'm worried about my mother. She's 65 and has type 2 diabetes and mild depression. In the last few months, her behavior has changed dramatically. She is extremely lethargic and has no energy to do …

    By: Joe Graedon June 15, 2009 1 Comments
    Should We Trust Tylenol?

    When Tylenol was first introduced in 1955 it was a liquid prescription pain reliever and fever reducer for children. It wasn't until 1961 that Tylenol tablets were launched as over-the-counter pain pi…

    By: Terry Graedon June 12, 2009 0 Comments
    Avandia Linked to Heart Problems

    A new study of the diabetes drug Avandia clarifies its effect on the heart. The study, called RECORD, confirmed that this medicine doubles the likelihood of a patient developing heart failure. In this…

    By: Joe Graedon June 3, 2009 6 Comments
    Blocking Stomach Acid Increases Risk of Hip Frac…

    People who take acid-suppressing drugs appear more susceptible to hip fractures. Scientists at Kaiser Permanente compared data from nearly 40,000 patients taking drugs like Prevacid or Zantac to 130,0…

    By: Joe Graedon June 1, 2009 63 Comments
    Side Effects from Blood Pressure Drug Atenolol

    Q. I have been on atenolol for blood pressure for a little over a year. I am having problems like extremely cold feet, dizziness, fatigue and trouble breathing. My doctors say I have to take this medi…

    By: Joe Graedon May 27, 2009 4 Comments
    Heartburn Medicines Raise Risk of Pneumonia

    Acid suppressing drugs are linked to pneumonia. Proton Pump Inhibitors or PPIs for short are among the most popular pills in the pharmacy. These are drugs like Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix and Nexium.…

    By: Joe Graedon May 20, 2009 1 Comments
    Pain Relievers to Get Clearer Labels

    Millions of Americans pop a pain pill every day. Whether it is Advil, Aleve, aspirin or acetaminophen, many people assume that their over-the-counter pain reliever is perfectly safe. New labeling requ…

    By: Joe Graedon May 17, 2009 5 Comments
    Did Simvastatin or Detrol Trigger Heat Stroke?

    Q. I have taken simvastatin for many years and over the last year or so I have developed extreme intolerance to heat. My face gets flushed beet red, to the dismay of my companions who wonder if they s…

    By: Joe Graedon May 16, 2009 7 Comments
    Cozaar and Swollen Tongue

    Q. My blood pressure medicine was recently switched to Cozaar. After taking my pills this morning my mouth and tongue swelled up so I could barely talk. Could my medicine have done this?A. Cozaar (los…

    By: Joe Graedon May 13, 2009 2 Comments
    Less HRT and Fewer Heart Attacks

    Ever since news about the negative effects of hormone replacement therapy made headlines, women started cutting back on HRT. Within a relatively short period of time, epidemiologists noted a dramatic …

    By: Joe Graedon May 13, 2009 3 Comments
    New Drug Makes Lashes Longer and Thicker

    Q. A few years back someone wrote to you and asked about eye drops making a family member's eyelashes grow. I lost this article. Please tell me the name of the medicine. A. The prescription glaucoma m…

    By: Joe Graedon May 11, 2009 2 Comments
    Safe Sunscreens for Breast Cancer Survivors

    Q. Breast cancer runs in my family. My mother had it first and I was diagnosed six years ago. Mine was estrogen receptor positive so I avoid sources of estrogen. Last year I read that some sunscreens …

    By: Joe Graedon May 6, 2009 12 Comments
    Medications May Contribute to Hair Loss

    Q. I am convinced that hormone replacement is contributing to my hair loss along with medications for cholesterol and blood pressure. Some of my friends are also complaining that their hair is thinnin…

    By: Joe Graedon May 4, 2009 32 Comments
    Scary Rage Reaction to Chantix and Booze

    Q. My husband and I decided to take Chantix to help us stop smoking. Initially, we had side effects: daily headaches at the base of the skull, very vivid dreams, talking in our sleep, severe exhaustio…

    By: Joe Graedon April 10, 2009 232 Comments
    Pros and Cons of Premarin Cream

    Q. My doctor recently prescribed Premarin Vaginal Cream. It has improved my life dramatically, reducing dryness and easing other symptoms of menopause. Are there any negative effects? Is it absorbed i…

    By: Joe Graedon March 30, 2009 3 Comments
    Will Supplement Offer Escape from Pain?

    Q. I have been on so many cholesterol-lowering drugs I have nearly lost count. Crestor, Lipitor, Zetia and Zocor all give me terrible pains in my shoulders, back and arms. I also have had dreadful mus…