By: Joe Graedon July 19, 2018 48 Comments
    Worrisome Implications of Valsartan Recall Over …

    On July 15, 2018 we issued a People’s Pharmacy Health Alert: Valsartan Blood Pressure Pills Recalled Over Cancer Concerns. We tried to provide you, our faithful readers, the story behind the headlin…

    By: Joe Graedon July 19, 2018 16 Comments
    Beware Unnecessary Antibiotics from Urgent Care …

    Have you ever visited an urgent care center or a retail clinic (like those found in some pharmacies)? Getting a quick doctor’s appointment during flu season can be challenging. It may take a week or…

    By: Joe Graedon July 19, 2018 17 Comments
    Should You Take Probiotics with Antibiotics? New…

    Health professionals in the U.S. have been slow to embrace probiotics. European doctors have been recommending probiotics with antibiotics for a long time. For reasons that puzzle us, American physici…

    By: Terry Graedon July 16, 2018 8 Comments
    Try Olive Oil for Your Dry Mouth

    Dry mouth is not a life-threatening condition, but it certainly can make you miserable. Quite a few medications can cause this irritating symptom. If your prescriber writes it off as a "minor" side ef…

    By: Joe Graedon July 16, 2018 22 Comments
    Antibiotic plus BP medicine Led to Deadly Drug I…

    We have been writing about the dangers of drug interactions for over 40 years. We assumed that when computers entered the scene doctors would check for dangerous drug combinations before prescribing a…

    By: Joe Graedon July 16, 2018 37 Comments
    Health Professionals Disagree About Putting Vase…

    Have you ever experienced a really dry nose. It can happen in hot, dry areas like Arizona or New Mexico. It can happen in the winter when the heat is on and the humidity is low. Some drugs can cause a…

    By: Joe Graedon July 16, 2018 8 Comments
    Is Contrave For Weight Loss Fantastic or Disappo…

    Would you like to lose a few pounds? Who wouldn’t? According to the CDC over 70% of Americans are overweight or obese. But shedding pounds and keeping them off is really hard. Sometimes a chemical c…

    By: Joe Graedon July 15, 2018 58 Comments
    Valsartan Blood Pressure Pills Recalled over Can…

    This is scary. Please pay attention. Valsartan (Diovan) is a popular blood pressure and heart medication. According to our calculations, over 16 million prescriptions are dispensed annually. That mean…

    By: Joe Graedon July 12, 2018 46 Comments
    A New FDA Warning About Serious Fluoroquinolone …

    We can hardly believe that once again the Food and Drug Administration is warning about fearsome complications from antibiotics like Cipro and Levaquin. Serious fluoroquinolone side effects have been …

    By: Terry Graedon July 12, 2018 5 Comments
    Can Acupuncture Help Your Joint Pain?

    Can acupuncture help your joint pain? The answer might be yes, if you are a woman being treated for breast cancer. Many postmenopausal women with breast cancer may receive aromatase inhibitors such as…

    By: Joe Graedon July 9, 2018 4 Comments
    How Can You Find a Legitimate Canadian Pharmacy?

    The cost of brand name drugs has skyrocketed in the U.S. Many people are finding it hard to afford their medicines. That's especially true if the copay is very high or if an insurance program does not…

    By: Terry Graedon July 5, 2018 6 Comments
    Will Diabetes Drug Metformin Also Help Your Lung…

    Metformin is a very old drug that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It was developed from the French lilac plant, Galega officinalis. Healers in the 17th century used extracts from this plant to treat…

    By: Terry Graedon July 5, 2018 2 Comments
    Watch Out for Pain Relievers When Trying to Conc…

    Women who are trying to become pregnant often want to know what they should do to improve their chances for success. New research suggests that those trying to conceive should avoid taking pain reliev…

    By: Joe Graedon July 2, 2018 7 Comments
    Are You Taking A Sleeping Pill That Messes with …

    Sleeping pills are big business. That is especially true for over-the-counter drugs. Millions of people take “PM” pain relievers regularly because they fear they may not fall asleep easily. Diphen…

    By: Joe Graedon July 2, 2018 21 Comments
    Which Medicines Can Cause Severe Depression?

    Most people experience sadness or depression sometime during their lives. Divorce, the death of a loved one, work-related problems or financial setbacks can all trigger severe depression. Once the cri…

    By: Joe Graedon June 25, 2018 17 Comments
    Getting Off Venlafaxine Can Be Incredibly Challe…

    Many years ago we heard from a reader who was trying to get off alprazolam (Xanax). It was not commonly recognized that short-acting benzodiazepines (benzos) could pose unbearable withdrawal symptoms …

    By: Joe Graedon June 25, 2018 19 Comments
    Could Suicide Be Prevented with Better Access to…

    Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain and Marilyn Monroe are just a few of the celebrities who have taken their own lives. To say their deaths made headlines would be an understate…

    By: Joe Graedon June 21, 2018 12 Comments
    Alcohol for Longer Life? How Much Is Enough and …

    The alcohol wars have been raging for decades. Some studies suggest that “moderate” amounts of alcohol have health benefits. In other words, people who drink a little alcohol for longer life may b…

    By: Joe Graedon June 18, 2018 82 Comments
    Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics and Life-Threatening…

    For decades, doctors have prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics with abandon. They were perceived as highly effective and safe medications against a wide variety of bacterial infections. Tens of mill…

    By: Joe Graedon June 14, 2018 39 Comments
    Insurers Are Refusing to Pay for Life-Saving Hep…

    One of the great pharmaceutical advances of the last decade has been the development of antiviral medications that are highly effective against hepatitis C (aka HEP C or HCV for hepatitis C virus). Ke…

    By: Terry Graedon June 14, 2018 8 Comments
    Can You Fight Bacteria with Viruses?

    Antibiotic resistance has become a global concern. But Mother Nature has come up with a fascinating option for overcoming bacterial infection: viruses that fight bacteria. Using Viruses to Fight Bacte…

    By: Joe Graedon June 11, 2018 9 Comments
    Can Meloxicam Raise Blood Pressure Dangerously H…

    Meloxicam (Mobic) is one of the most popular prescription NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in the pharmacy. According to our calculations, over 22 million prescriptions are dispensed each…

    By: Terry Graedon June 11, 2018 21 Comments
    How Can You Find Quinine for Leg Cramps?

    When a common remedy becomes unavailable, people often become creative. They find new ways to address the problem. That is what many folks have needed to do once the FDA took quinine for leg cramps of…

    By: Joe Graedon June 11, 2018 4 Comments
    Is There a Dark Side to the Diabetes Drug Jardia…

    If you watch television, there is a decent chance you have seen a Jardiance commercial. The manufacturer is promoting “Big News” about this diabetes drug. Towards the end of the TV spot, the inter…

    By: Terry Graedon June 7, 2018 4 Comments
    Super Immune Therapy Gave One Woman Her Life Bac…

    An experimental immune therapy conducted on a single breast cancer patient has captured a great deal of attention this week. The 49-year-old woman, Judy Perkins, had metastatic breast cancer that had …

    By: Joe Graedon June 4, 2018 11 Comments
    Statins and Diabetes | What Happens When Blood S…

    A few years ago three pillars of modern medicine recommended that virtually all adults with diabetes should take statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs. This is what the American Diabetes Association …

    By: Joe Graedon June 4, 2018 32 Comments
    Is Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Safe For a Dry Nose?

    Vaseline Petroleum Jelly dates back over 140 years. The Vaseline patent was issued in 1872 to British chemist, Robert Chesebrough. He had traveled to Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859 to check out the…

    By: Terry Graedon May 31, 2018 13 Comments
    Will You Gain Weight on an Antidepressant?

    People who take antidepressant medications for many years often complain that they gain weight. Is this observation merely anecdotal, or is there evidence to support it? Do People Gain Weight When The…

    By: Terry Graedon May 31, 2018 7 Comments
    Can You Take Aspirin to Prevent Stroke?

    People who experience a transient ischemic attack, also known as a TIA or a minor stroke, are at a significantly increased risk for another blood clot in the brain. In a TIA, the clot resolves on its …

    By: Joe Graedon May 28, 2018 26 Comments
    The Zyrtec Itch is Unbearable | Where’s th…

    We first heard about the Zyrtec itch over eight years ago. A reader reported horrible itching within three days of stopping Zyrtec (cetirizine is the generic name for this antihistamine). He reported …

    By: Joe Graedon May 28, 2018 3 Comments
    Chantix and Insomnia | Disturbed Sleep and Bad D…

    Chantix (varenicline) has been widely advertised on television. Perhaps you have seen some of the commercials. In this one Mark smiles and says he quit smoking with Chantix. The announcer lists a bunc…

    By: Terry Graedon May 28, 2018 20 Comments
    How to Overcome Stage Fright Without Drugs

    Have you ever tried to overcome stage fright? Most people have experienced performance anxiety at some time during their lives. Acting in an amateur theatre group can trigger stage fright. So can givi…

    By: Joe Graedon May 24, 2018 9 Comments
    Is Aspirin Better Than Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) To …

    Strokes are nasty business. When a blood clot lodges in a brain artery, it leads to the death of neurons. Depending upon where the damage occurs, patients can have difficulty speaking, moving or balan…

    By: Joe Graedon May 21, 2018 15 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 20, 2018 13 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: Joe Graedon May 17, 2018 11 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: 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: Karen Berger, PharmD, RPh May 14, 2018 22 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: 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 12 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…