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Magnesium deficiency, due to either inadequate dietary intake, impaired intestinal absorption or excessive urinary loss of the mineral, results in low blood magnesium levels — a condition known as hypomagnesemia — and a wide range of adverse health effects. Importantly, many commonly used drugs also can cause magnesium depletion.
We summarize results of new research showing that thiazides or thiazide-like diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide (MICROZIDE), appear to be the most effective and safest medications for initial treatment of hypertension.
Read about the many prescription medications that can interact in dangerous ways with lithium, the drug of choice for treating bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression.
For the approximately 5 million Americans suffering from chronic heart failure, there is a wide array of lifesaving drug treatments. Find out our take on the most recent expert guidelines for treating this disease.
In December 2013, new guidelines for treatment of high blood pressure were issued by a group of experts appointed by the National Institutes of Health. The guidelines stirred much controversy in the medical community. Get the Public Citizen Health Research Group’s independent take on these new guidelines.
These two widely used diuretics (water pills) are equally effective in lowering blood pressure, but one of them is linked to many more adverse effects than the other.
Recent evidence points to increased acute kidney injury associated with combining nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with two antihypertensive drugs: a diuretic plus either an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). Find out the names of these drugs. This is especially important for patients with hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure or chronic kidney disease, because such patients are routinely treated with diuretics, ACE inhibitors and ARBs.
The article lists many drugs that treat high blood pressure but can also increase the risk of gout. If you have gout, ask your doctor whether your dose of any of these drugs could be reduced or whether you should switch to a medication with a lower gout risk. However, hypertension control is of utmost importance.
Tizanidine (ZANAFLEX) is a muscle relaxant for which more than 3.8 million prescriptions were filled in the U.S. last year. The article lists more than 64 drugs with which it can have dangerous interactions resulting in excess sedation, difficulty breathing or dangerously low blood pressure that can result in falling.
Low levels of sodium in the blood are one of the most common laboratory abnormalities and the consequences range from mild and non-specific to life-threatening. The article discusses the symptoms of low blood sodium and lists 53 prescription drugs that can cause it. We urge that both patients and health professionals be alert for symptoms that may signal the onset of hyponatremia if the patient is predisposed to this disorder as a result of their drug therapy or diseases.
This is the first of a two part series on drug induced psychiatric symptoms that is based on the July 8, 2002 issue of The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. Regular readers of Worst Pills, Best Pills News will recognize The Medical Letter as a reference source written for physicians and pharmacists that we often use because of its reputation as an objective and independent source of drug information. The article lists the drugs and their psychiatric adverse effects.
“You, or at least many of your colleagues, have failed to provide optimal care to your patients with high blood pressure.” This stinging critique of physician prescribing practices starts off an editorial in the Journal of General Internal Medicine for October 2000 that commented on a Harvard Medical School study of high blood pressure in older adults that appeared in the same issue.