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 34 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 233 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…

    By: Joe Graedon March 30, 2009 8 Comments
    Seniors Susceptible to Side Effects

    The law of unintended consequences can lead to devastating outcomes. During the 1950s thalidomide was developed and prescribed in Europe to help pregnant women cope with morning sickness and insomnia.…

    By: Joe Graedon February 21, 2009 13 Comments
    In Praise of Ambien

    Q. After reading all the complaints about Ambien, I would like to put in a good word for this sleeping pill. I've had trouble sleeping all my life. When I finally fell asleep, I had a hard time waking…

    By: Joe Graedon February 13, 2009 54 Comments
    ACE Inhibitor Blood Pressure Pill Causes Cough

    Q. You ran a story about lisinopril causing cough. I had the same experience. My regular doctor referred me to an audiologist who diagnosed acid reflux. I then went to an ENT doctor who had no suggest…

    By: Joe Graedon February 4, 2009 62 Comments
    Side Effects from Blood Pressure Drugs

    Q. I was on atenolol for high blood pressure and kept complaining to my doctor about fatigue, tiredness, light-headedness and swelling feet and ankles. I couldn't breathe or walk up a flight of stairs…

    By: Joe Graedon February 2, 2009 3 Comments
    Modern Mind Medicines Lose Luster

    Hundreds of years ago, people with mental illness might be burned at the stake or locked away in a dungeon. In the early 20th century, some patients with schizophrenia were lobotomized with an ice pic…

    By: Joe Graedon January 12, 2009 28 Comments
    Sleep-Driving Is Danger with Ambien

    What most people are thinking about when they swallow a sleeping pill is a good night's restful sleep. Sleep-driving, sleep-eating or sleep-walking are usually far from their imaginations. But many me…

    By: Joe Graedon December 29, 2008 11 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 6 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 22, 2008 19 Comments
    Alternatives to Beta Blockers for Blood Pressure

    Q. I’m not a pill taker, but my doctors insist I get my blood pressure down to 120/80. I started on beta blockers (first propranolol, then atenolol and now metoprolol). They make my joints ache and …

    By: Joe Graedon October 20, 2008 18 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 6 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 13 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 …