By: Joe Graedon June 17, 2009 0 Comments
    Zicam Nasal Cold Remedies Called Out

    A 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 Size, are for use in the nose to all…

    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 5 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 35 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 234 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 7 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 …