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In this month’s news brief, we report on FDA-required changes to the product labeling for hydrochlorothiazide (MICROZIDE), a thiazide diuretic drug (“water pill”), warning about a small increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer associated with use of the drug.
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.
Patients taking the commonly prescribed drug methotrexate, which is used to treat certain autoimmune diseases and several types of cancer, should be aware that it has clinically important interactions with many other prescription and over-the-counter medications.
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.
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.
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.
This article lists practical steps to take to avoid death, hospitalization or other medical problems caused by heat stress. It also identifies over 100 drugs that can impair your response to heat and thereby increase your risk of heat-induced illness and death.
Summer is a terrific time for healthy outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, biking and swim¬ming. But for an unlucky few, certain medications can lead to adverse skin reactions following exposure to the sun. Find out whether you are at risk and how to protect yourself.
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.
This article lists practical steps to take to avoid death, hospitalization or other medical problems caused by heat stress. It also contains a list of 123 drugs that can impair your response to heat.
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.
Research published in the September 2003 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine provides more supportive evidence that the high blood pressure-lowering thiazide diuretics, or water pills, may protect against hip fractures.
The results of a very large clinical trial designed to give a definitive answer to the decades-old question of which of four commonly used families of high blood pressure medications should be prescribed first was published in the December 18, 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The answer is that the oldest drugs — known as the thiazide diuretics, or water pills — are superior in preventing one or more major forms of cardiovascular disease to the other families of drugs.
DO NOT STOP TAKING ANY HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING YOUR PHYSICIAN.
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.