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In September 2020, the FDA announced that it would require the manufacturers of all benzodiazepines to update the black-box warning (the strongest warning that the agency can require) for these drugs to describe risks of abuse, addiction and other related adverse reactions. Such action was long overdue.
Patients taking the commonly prescribed epilepsy drug carbamazepine (CARBATROL, EPITOL, EQUETRO, TEGRETOL, TERIL) should be aware that it has clinically important interactions with numerous other prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Combining opioids with other central nervous system depressants — mainly alcoholic beverages or benzodiazepines — greatly increases the risk of opioid overdose and death. These dangers are highlighted by new research showing that alcohol and benzodiazepines were commonly co-involved in U.S. opioid overdose deaths in recent years.
Although impaired driving usu¬ally is caused by alcohol or marijuana, many commonly used prescription and over-the-counter medications also can impair one’s ability to drive safely. Learn about several classes of medications that can cause this serious problem to protect yourself, your passengers and others who share the road with you.
Drugs are the most frequent cause of taste disturbances. In this article, we identify more than 60 commonly used prescription medications that have been linked to problems with taste.
Learn how patients can initiate a discussion with their doctors to begin the process of weaning off benzodiazepines, a class of highly overprescribed sedative hypnotic drugs primarily used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Read about the numerous medications that can interact with digoxin, a drug commonly prescribed for heart failure and atrial fibrillation. These interactions can result in either digoxin toxicity or decreased digoxin effectiveness depending on the other drug being used concomitantly.
In this article, we summarize the results of a recent research study showing that use of medications that have depression as a potential adverse effect is very common. We also identify some of the many prescription medications that can cause depression symptoms, including suicidal thoughts or behavior.
Abnormal involuntary movements (movement disorders) occur as adverse events associated with many widely used medications and can cause substantial hardship for affected individuals. Find out which drugs are associated with these adverse effects.
Every year, more than 300,000 older Americans are hospitalized due to hip fractures, and almost all of these fractures are caused by falls. Read about new research further linking use of sleeping pills to an increased risk of falls and serious injury.
In this month's News Brief section, we report on action taken by the Food and Drug Administration to add important new warnings to the labeling of all opioid and benzodiazepines drugs.
Urinary incontinence, or loss of bladder control, is a common and often embarrassing problem that can have a huge impact on quality of life. Find out which drugs can cause this problem.
Recent research revealed that many patients consume alcohol while using drugs that may can cause dangerous side effects when combined with alcohol. Read this article to learn about the many ways alcohol can adversely interact with prescription and over-the-counter medications.
This article discusses recent research showing increasing frequency of benzodiazepine use as people get older in the U.S. We also review results of a new study showing a possible link between use of these drugs and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
For many years, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group has recommended against using tranquilizers and sleeping pills to treat insomnia and anxiety. This article presents new evidence linking use of these drugs to an increased risk of premature death.
We oppose the use of all sleeping pills, based on experts’ findings that “nonpharmacological treatments not only cause fewer side effects, but … can sustain long-term improvements more successfully than pharmacological treatments.” Read this article to learn about some suggested nondrug approaches.
Find out the names of 11 different drugs in this popular family of tranquillizers and sleeping pills that can increase the risk of dementia 30 to 40 percent in older adults.
This article updates and expands our earlier list of drugs that can have harmful interactions with grapefruit juice. The list now includes 82 different drugs.
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.
The January 5th issue of the Medical Letter, a widely respected source of independent information about pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements, has a review of the increasingly researched problem of the interaction between grapefruit juice and many prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Like most interactions between chemicals in the body, this one involves the impairment, by grapefruit juice, of the body’s ability to metabolize many drugs, leading to higher than expected — and sometimes dangerous — levels of these drugs.This article lists the drugs.
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.
Grapefruit juice can interact with a number of therapeutically important drugs that could lead to the possibility of toxicity. These drugs are listed in the article.