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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.
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.
Patients taking the commonly prescribed antifungal drug fluconazole (DIFLUCAN) should be aware that it has clinically important interactions with many other prescription medications. Some of these interactions can lead to an increased risk of fatal heart rhythm abnormalities.
Unused, unneeded or expired drugs in homes present a number of risks, including intentional or accidental overdose in humans (particularly young children). Learn how to safely dispose of these drugs.
Read about the many prescription drugs that can interact in dangerous ways with grapefruit or grapefruit products.
The article reviews a recent petition to the FDA seeking improvements on the labels of prescription opioids (narcotics). The label change would prevent drug companies from promoting these drugs for noncancer pain for dangerously long periods of time, at doses that are too high, and for uses other than severe pain in noncancer patients. The petition was signed by 37 public health experts, including leaders in the fields of pain medicine, addiction and primary care; the health commissioners of New York City and New York state; and Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.
The article lists 24 drugs that can increase the toxicity of oxycodone if taken together with the drug and 11 other drugs that can weaken its effectiveness as a painkiller if they are simutaneously used.
A few months ago the FDA warned about the potential of methadone - when used to treat pain - to cause life-threatening breathing problems and heart rhythm disturbances. When it made this safety announcement, however, the FDA negligently failed to point out that they had recommended a drastic reduction in the starting dose for pain to prevent some of these life-threatening adverse reactions. The new recommended starting dose is more than a 2.5 fold reduction in the dosage for the initial treatment of pain. Symptoms of overdose with the older, higher doses are discussed in the article.
Deaths, cardiac and respiratory, have been reported during initiation and conversion of pain patients to methadone treatment from treatment with other opioid agonists. Because methadone has some of the effects of other narcotics, do not stop the drug without consulting the prescriber because of the possibility of serious and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.