The People's Perspective on Medicine, since 1976

Helping you to make informed decisions about both traditional and alternative treatments.

People's Pharmacy video
    By: Joe Graedon May 21, 2018 18 Comments
    Why Did Purple Toenails Outrage This Reader?

    We have a motto at The People’s Pharmacy: The customer or the reader is always right. We do our best to be understanding and supportive, but sometimes our patience is pushed to the limit. Such was t…

    By: Joe Graedon May 21, 2018 9 Comments
    What Can You Do If Ibuprofen Triggers Atrial Fib…

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like diclofenac, ibuprofen, meloxicam or naproxen are extremely popular pain relievers. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen (Aleve) are even availab…

    By: Terry Graedon May 21, 2018 23 Comments
    Is Cooked Oatmeal Better for You Than Instant Oa…

    Oats have been a dietary staple for many centuries, and they have a reputation as a healthy whole grain. Eating cooked oatmeal on a regular basis (daily or several times a week) can help control chole…

    By: Terry Graedon May 20, 2018 13 Comments
    Will Taking T3 with T4 Make You Feel Better?

    Thyroid disorders, particularly underactive thyroid, are extremely common, and most doctors treat them with a single medication. For hypothyroidism due to inadequate thyroid hormone production, they p…

    By: Joe Graedon May 20, 2018 6 Comments
    Are Sky-High Orphan Drug Costs Bankrupting Healt…

    Drug companies have fallen in love with rare diseases. That’s because they are huge money makers for the pharmaceutical industry. It wasn’t always this way. Before the Orphan Drug Act, rare or unu…

    By: Terry Graedon May 20, 2018 10 Comments
    Could Vitamin B12 Deficiency Make You Fall?

    Falls are a great fear as people get older and less steady on their feet. And no wonder: a fall can result in broken bones and greatly reduced mobility. More than a fourth of older adults who break a …

    By: Terry Graedon May 20, 2018 7 Comments
    Can You Improve Blood Sugar Control by Cutting C…

    A century ago, before insulin was discovered in 1921, the way people with diabetes controlled their blood sugar was by not eating carbohydrate-rich foods. Could cutting carbs help improve your blood s…

    By: Terry Graedon May 17, 2018 13 Comments
    Show 1122: Can You Keep Fast Food from Killing Y…

    Fast food is taking over the American diet, and the effects are deadly. Processed meats, such as pepperoni or bologna, could be considered carcinogenic. Moreover, highly processed foods and fried food…

    By: Terry Graedon May 17, 2018 9 Comments
    How to Eat to Maintain Your Brain

    If you are an older person who wants to maintain your brain, you should be very careful about what you eat. You may feel that lifestyle changes after age 65 couldn't make much difference for your heal…

    By: Joe Graedon May 17, 2018 9 Comments
    Are You Highly Allergic? What To Do About EpiPen…

    With warm weather, bees, wasps and other stinging creatures are on the move. That means people who are highly allergic to stings need to keep epinephrine available at all times. This injectable medica…

    By: Terry Graedon May 17, 2018 7 Comments
    What Is the Best Time to Eat?

    A small study shows that the timing of meals can have a profound impact on blood sugar, insulin secretion and blood pressure. But what is the best time to eat? Finding the Best Time to Eat: Many Ameri…

    By: Terry Graedon May 17, 2018 3 Comments
    Risky Trans Fats in the Global Food Supply

    Where in the world are risky trans fats? For years, food manufacturers and fast food restaurants used hydrogenated vegetable oils because they were shelf stable and low in cholesterol. At one time peo…

    By: Terry Graedon May 17, 2018 0 Comments
    You Don’t Have to Be a Farmer to Benefit f…

    Epidemiologists have observed that children who grow up on farms are less susceptible to allergies than their urban counterparts. (Our previous report on this interesting phenomenon is below.) Now a D…

    By: Joe Graedon May 14, 2018 6 Comments
    Exercise Plus Sauna Bathing Better Than Either A…

    People in Finland love to spend time sauna bathing. They do not view a sweat bath as an indulgence. They think of the sauna as a special place with healing properties. The majority of people in Finlan…

    By: Joe Graedon May 14, 2018 12 Comments
    Does Popular OTC Antihistamine Increase Risk of …

    The Food and Drug Administration has been surprisingly silent about the possible risk of dementia associated with anticholinergic drugs. It has been our observation that once this federal agency appro…

    By: Terry Graedon May 14, 2018 15 Comments
    Is Fish Oil Really Useless for Dry Eyes?

    Fish oil has a reputation for helping ease the symptoms of dry eye, but a recent study found it was no more helpful than the olive oil placebo the scientists used. (Both groups–those taking fish oil…

    By: Terry Graedon May 14, 2018 2 Comments
    Will Zinc Help Woman with Unwanted Facial Hair?

    What can you do about unwanted facial hair? Many women struggle with this problem. One reader did some online research, but the results were confusing. Could a supplement help solve this problem? Zinc…

    By: Karen Berger, PharmD, RPh May 14, 2018 20 Comments
    A Tale of Drugs That Disappeared for Good

    Recently, I was drinking my morning coffee out of my Vioxx mug. When Vioxx came out, it was BIG. Everyone was going crazy for this drug that was supposed to help pain and inflammation without the typi…

    By: Joe Graedon May 14, 2018 13 Comments
    What Are the Best Drugs for a Desert Island Adve…

    Remember Robinson Crusoe? He was the protagonist in a novel written by Daniel Defoe that was published in 1719. Crusoe was stranded on a desert island for 28 years before being rescued. A modern versi…

    By: Terry Graedon May 14, 2018 8 Comments
    Antifungal Cream for Cracks in the Corners of th…

    Have you ever been troubled with cracks in the corners of the mouth? Many people have. When tracking down the cause of this condition (also called angular cheilitis or perlèche), you may wish to cons…

    By: Terry Graedon May 14, 2018 4 Comments
    Will Spices Help Protect Your Memory?

    Dementia is as frightening to most people as the prospect of heart disease or cancer. You probably know that to avoid heart disease you want to control your weight, eat a healthful high-vegetable diet…

    By: Joe Graedon May 10, 2018 19 Comments
    Should Men Get a PSA Test to Screen for Prostate…

    Middle-aged men have been getting conflicting messages about prostate cancer screening. A decade or two ago, many were regularly urged to get a blood test for prostate specific antigen; aka a PSA test…

    By: Terry Graedon May 10, 2018 6 Comments
    Show 1121: How Can We Protect Children from Envi…

    Since the middle of the last century, more than 85,000 chemicals have been developed and used. In many cases, they persist in the environment long after their immediate utility has vanished. The World…

    By: Joe Graedon May 10, 2018 11 Comments
    Diabetes Diet Smackdown | Richard Bernstein, MD …

    Dr. Richard Bernstein has had type 1 diabetes since he was a kid. That was a long time ago. He will soon be 84. Because people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) can’t make insulin they have to in…

    By: Terry Graedon May 10, 2018 7 Comments
    Can People with Diabetes Really Eat Eggs?

    For decades, Americans were warned not to eat eggs for fear that their blood cholesterol levels would rise. After all, egg yolks are high in cholesterol. Even after data showed that there was no link …

    By: Terry Graedon May 10, 2018 8 Comments
    How Do You Weigh the Benefits and Risks of Aspir…

    Aspirin has been around over 100 years. It is one of the most versatile drugs in the pharmacy. It relieves pain, lowers fever and reduces inflammation. In addition, it has anti-platelet activity that …

    By: Joe Graedon May 7, 2018 56 Comments
    Pain Reliever Confusion: Aspirin | Advil | Aleve…

    Walk into any pharmacy and you will find an aisle devoted to pain relief. There are so many brands and generic options that it could give you a headache just trying to figure out which of the many pro…

    By: Terry Graedon May 7, 2018 6 Comments
    Raw Onion to Quell Pain of Sting

    You may have simple ingredients in your kitchen cupboard that can ease pain in an emergency. Perhaps you have read about using soy sauce or yellow mustard to cool the pain of a burn. No doubt you are …

    By: Joe Graedon May 7, 2018 11 Comments
    Can the Antidepressant Amitriptyline Mess Up Mem…

    It is estimated that nearly two million people take the antidepressant amitriptyline every day. We suspect that most are not taking this drug to improve mood. That’s because amitriptyline (Elavil) h…

    By: Terry Graedon May 7, 2018 3 Comments
    Should Reader Worry About His Anticancer Supplem…

    Once cancer patients finish treatment, do they put that entire episode behind them and just move on? Some do, but most find that periodic checkups to make sure the cancer has not returned remind them …