By: Joe Graedon May 4, 2017 134 Comments
    Where Can I Find A List of Anticholinergic Drugs…

    Anything that interferes with the crucial neurotransmitter acetylcholine can be bad for the brain. A great many medications have what has been called "anticholinergic" activity. Research has verified …

    By: Joe Graedon May 1, 2017 14 Comments
    Should You Worry About Scary Corticosteroid Side…

    Cortisone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone and prednisone are called corticosteroids or glucocorticoids. These drugs dampen an overactive immune reaction. They can soot…

    By: Terry Graedon May 1, 2017 2 Comments
    Could an Unexpected Reaction to a Blood Pressure…

    High blood pressure is a risk factor for strokes and heart attacks as well as kidney disease and other chronic conditions. Doctors can choose from a wide range of medications to control hypertension. …

    By: Joe Graedon April 24, 2017 3 Comments
    Alarming Anticholinergic Load Scrambles Brain

    A surprising number of medications can affect the nerve messenger chemical acetylcholine. This compound is crucial for nerves to communicate with each other, so it should not surprise us that limiti…

    By: Joe Graedon April 24, 2017 34 Comments
    Overlooked Antibiotic Side Effects Can Destroy L…

    Antibiotics are amazing. The discovery of penicillin was one of the greatest advances in modern medicine. But Americans love of antibiotics has gotten out of hand. They think of such drugs as magic bu…

    By: Terry Graedon April 24, 2017 15 Comments
    How to Ease Statin-Induced Muscle Pain

    Statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs are an important part of every cardiologist's tool box. They lower cholesterol, which is a significant risk factor for heart disease. People who already have hea…

    By: Terry Graedon April 24, 2017 4 Comments
    Could Pain Reliever Cause Ringing in the Ears?

    Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be a maddening problem. No one else can see or hear what is going on for the sufferer, so they get too little sympathy. Even so, the ringing, hissing, chirping or…

    By: Joe Graedon April 20, 2017 18 Comments
    Statins and ALS: Is There a Connection?

    One of the most tragic diseases of mankind is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It is a mystery disease in that we do not know what causes it and we do not…

    By: Terry Graedon April 20, 2017 24 Comments
    What Do Americans Really Think about Medical Mar…

    Americans are changing their attitudes about marijuana. A new Yahoo News and Marist poll of more than 1,000 adults found that two thirds think opioids prescribed by a physician are more dangerous than…

    By: Terry Graedon April 20, 2017 13 Comments
    What Are the Unexpected Risks of Short-Term Ster…

    Corticosteroids such as methylprednisolone or prednisone are powerful anti-inflammatory medications. Doctors frequently prescribe these medications for bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, allergic reaction…

    By: Joe Graedon April 17, 2017 14 Comments
    Will White Coat Hypertension Make You a Pill Zom…

    Physicians and nurses like to think of themselves as helpful healers. They have a hard time imagining that their mere presence can provoke anxiety. Data demonstrate, however, that some people react to…

    By: Terry Graedon April 17, 2017 14 Comments
    Did Lyrica Trigger Scary Sleepwalking Attack?

    Have you ever told your doctor about a side effect you experienced and heard that the drug doesn't do that? Plenty of people have become extremely frustrated by that message. One reader tried to tell…

    By: Joe Graedon April 17, 2017 11 Comments
    How to Soothe Allergy Symptoms Without Serious S…

    Allergy season takes a terrible toll on people who are susceptible to pollen. This is the time of year when invisible particles in the air trigger sneezing, sniffling, itching and congestion. Allergy …

    By: Terry Graedon April 17, 2017 8 Comments
    Can You Afford Repatha to Crush Your Cholesterol…

    Two years ago, the FDA approved a new type of cholesterol-lowering medicine. It sends "bad" LDL cholesterol into the basement, lowering it even more than potent statin drugs. But at the time, the FDA …

    By: Joe Graedon April 10, 2017 46 Comments
    NasalCrom (Cromolyn Sodium) Is Surprisingly Help…

    You've probably never heard of NasalCrom nasal spray for allergies. It doesn't get the kind of attention that many other allergy treatments receive. There are commercials for antihistamines like Clari…

    By: Terry Graedon April 10, 2017 13 Comments
    Coated Aspirin Is No Guarantee of Safety

    Familiarity breeds contempt, as the saying goes. Sometimes we think familiarity simply breeds a lack of caution. How could anything as ubiquitous as plain old aspirin be responsible for serious conse…

    By: Joe Graedon April 10, 2017 21 Comments
    Are There Reasons Not To Follow Your Doctor̵…

    The phrase "doctor's orders" often means doing something because a physician says to do it. These days that usually that means swallow a certain pill. Noncompliance or Nonadherence? Doctors have a nam…

    By: Terry Graedon April 10, 2017 5 Comments
    Stopping Zyprexa Safely So You Can Lose Weight

    Treating serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia is difficult, so psychiatrists are often willing to accept the side effects and drawbacks of drugs such as aripiprazole (Abilify) or olanzapine …

    By: Terry Graedon April 6, 2017 2 Comments
    Will Inhaled Steroids Make You Vulnerable to Met…

    Inhaled corticosteroid medications such as beclomethasone or fluticasone are prescribed to calm lung inflammation. Such drugs make it easier for people with asthma or COPD to breathe. Doctors have f…

    By: Joe Graedon April 4, 2017 21 Comments
    Ibuprofen Makes Life Bearable So Do Not Ban It!

    Pain is part of the human condition. Sometimes it can be useful, warning us to keep our hands away from flames and sharp tools. Recurrent or chronic pain is not helpful, but it can be extremely diffic…

    By: Joe Graedon April 3, 2017 5 Comments
    Rare Skin Reaction to Drug Drove Hubby Crazy

    Doctors sometimes worry that mentioning a side effect of a medication will make a patient more likely to experience it. Such a response might be due to a type of negative placebo effect. There are tim…

    By: Joe Graedon April 3, 2017 4 Comments
    How Bad is Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure) for …

    Ask public health officials about hypertension and you will be told by the CDC that "about 1 of 3 U.S. adults--or about 75 million people--have high blood pressure." You will also learn that hypertens…

    By: Joe Graedon March 30, 2017 8 Comments
    Are Men Taking Prostate Drugs More Likely to Be …

    Medications to shrink an enlarged prostate may contribute to depression. Doctors have not previously recognized this possible side effect for men taking prostate drugs. What Do Prostate Drugs Do? Drug…

    By: Joe Graedon March 30, 2017 7 Comments
    Prostate Drug Had Lasting Effects on Sex Life

    People don't always ask about potential side effects when they accept a prescription from the physician. They should, of course. Most men would probably want to know if the medicine they take for thei…

    By: Joe Graedon March 27, 2017 8 Comments
    Does the New Cholesterol Drug Repatha Save Lives…

    The results are finally in on an eagerly anticipated trial of a new cholesterol-lowering medicine. Many cardiologists are happy with the results, calling the drug a breakthrough. But others are disapp…

    By: Joe Graedon March 23, 2017 19 Comments
    Lyrica (Pregabalin) Is An Ineffective Sciatica T…

    Sciatica sucks! Sadly, so does sciatica treatment with pregabalin (Lyrica). That's the conclusion of a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (March 23, 2017). Even though the drug…

    By: Joe Graedon March 20, 2017 12 Comments
    Was Amitriptyline a Factor in Wife’s Demen…

    Americans are justifiably concerned about Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Aging baby boomers are hitting the age where they could be vulnerable to cognitive decline. Anticholinergic …

    By: Terry Graedon March 20, 2017 13 Comments
    Does Splitting Pills Result in the Wrong Dose?

    How important is the dose your doctor prescribes? If it matters, patients should be encouraged to take exactly the prescribed dose. The perverse incentives of the pharmacy business sometimes lead doct…

    By: Joe Graedon March 20, 2017 18 Comments
    Will PPIs Protect You from Esophageal Cancer?

    There are new guidelines from the American Gastroenterological Association (Gastroenterology, March, 2017). They inform physicians that best practices require prescribing proton pump inhibitors (PPIs…

    By: Joe Graedon March 19, 2017 52 Comments
    Should We Ban Ibuprofen?

    A study published in the European Heart Journal - Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy (April, 2017) reports that ibuprofen is associated with a 31% increased risk of cardiac arrest. Now some people are ask…

    By: Joe Graedon March 16, 2017 9 Comments
    Will Drugs for Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)…

    Millions of men are discovering that an enlarged prostate gland is negatively affecting the quality of their lives. But two popular prescription drugs designed to treat benign prostate hyperplasia (BP…

    By: Joe Graedon March 13, 2017 22 Comments
    Do Statin Side Effects Make It Harder To Exercis…

    Regular exercise is considered essential for good health. The benefits include weight control, diabetes prevention, blood sugar management, blood lipid control, improved mood, better sleep and a reduc…

    By: Joe Graedon March 6, 2017 19 Comments
    Should You Worry About Kidney Damage with PPI He…

    Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are incredibly popular. By one estimate, nearly 8% of adults took a prescription drug like esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec) in the …

    By: Joe Graedon March 6, 2017 7 Comments
    Is It Safe to Take Off Label Drugs for Unapprove…

    Are you taking a medication off label? By that we mean, has your physician prescribed a drug for an unapproved indication? Off label drugs are prescribed far more often than most patients realize. One…

    By: Terry Graedon March 6, 2017 10 Comments
    Is Diphenhydramine for Sleeping Bad for Your Hea…

    Getting a good night's sleep is one of the pillars of good health, but for many people it is a real struggle. They toss and turn, worrying that they won't be able to fall asleep at all. It is no wonde…

    By: Joe Graedon February 23, 2017 31 Comments
    Can PPI Heartburn Drugs Harm Kidneys Without Ear…

    Millions of people take prescription-strength acid-suppressing medications daily. Millions more take over-the-counter versions. A new study suggests that such PPI heartburn drugs may trigger serious k…

    By: Terry Graedon February 20, 2017 69 Comments
    Has Your Doctor Fired You?

    The relationship between a patient and her doctor is special. Patients tell their doctors things they wouldn't tell anyone else. Doctors are expected to hold these revelations in confidence and to tre…

    By: Joe Graedon February 20, 2017 16 Comments
    What Are Metoprolol Side Effects When Prescribed…

    Metoprolol is one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States. At last count, nearly 90 millions prescriptions were dispensed annually. It has FDA approval to treat high blood pressure and heart…

    By: Joe Graedon February 20, 2017 4 Comments
    Deprescribing: Can You Ever Stop Taking So Many …

    Once a doctor prescribes a medication there is a good chance you will be on it for months, years or even decades. This is especially true for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension or high cho…

    By: Terry Graedon February 16, 2017 0 Comments
    Are You Taking Too Many Mind Medicines?

    There is an alarming trend among senior citizens. More of them are taking multiple mind medicines. Over the last decade the number of older adults taking three or more psychiatric or pain medications …