Worst Pills, Best Pills

An expert, independent second opinion on more than 1,800 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and supplements

chlorpheniramine (ALERMINE, CHLOR-TRIMETON)


Search results below include Disease and Drug Family Information where your selected drug is a secondary subject of discussion.

Dietary and Herbal Supplements
In the other chapters of this book, we have had access to published articles describing randomized, controlled trials in medical journals, medical textbooks, the FDA-approved label, and, importantly, the detailed review of the drug (based on a review of the raw data from the sponsor’s clinical trials) conducted by the FDA medical officer, at least for more recent drugs. This evidence base is far from complete for any dietary supplement. By definition, no supplement has passed an FDA safety and efficacy review (otherwise it would be a drug).
Antipsychotic Drugs: Dangerously Overused
Antipsychotic drugs, also called neuroleptic drugs or major tranquilizers, are properly and successfully used to treat serious psychotic mental disorders, the most common of which is schizophrenia. In younger adults, an alarming number of those with schizophrenia who could and often have previously benefited from antipsychotic drugs are not receiving them. They are seen, among other places, on the streets and in homeless shelters. In older adults, the problem is not underuse but, rather, gross overuse by people who are not psychotic.


A comprehensive review of the safety and effectiveness of this drug. If the drug is not a Do Not Use product, information on adverse effects, drug interactions and how to use the medication are included.
Search results below include Drug and Dietary Supplement Profiles where your selected drug is a secondary subject of discussion.

  • We list this drug as a Do Not Use drug because it is an irrational combination of two Do Not Use drugs.
pseudoephedrine, triprolidine, and codeine (TRIACIN-C)
  • We list this drug as a Do Not Use drug because it is an irrational combination of ingredients and for one ingredient a safer alternative is available.
guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine (GUIFENEX PSE, MUCINEX D, ROBITUSSIN PE SYRUP)
  • We list this drug as a Do Not Use drug because it is an irrational combination of ingredients and one of the ingredients is ineffective.
fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine (ALLEGRA D); loratadine and pseudoephedrine (CLARITIN D, CLARITIN D 24); promethazine and phenylephrine (PROMETHAZINE VC); triprolidine and pseudoephedrine (ACTIFED)
  • We list this drug as a Do Not Use drug because it is an irrational combination of ingredients and the individual ingredients either have safer alternatives or are ineffective.
thioridazine (MELLARIL)
  • We list this drug as a Do Not Use drug because it is more likely to cause irregular heartbeat than related drugs.
desloratadine (CLARINEX)
  • We list this drug as a Do Not Use drug because it is merely a breakdown product, and no more safe and effective, than another drug that was losing patent protection.
hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine (TUSSICAPS); promethazine and codeine (); promethazine and dextromethorphan ()
  • We list these drugs as Do Not Use drugs because they contain an irrational combination of ingredients.
hydrocodone and homatropine
  • We list this drug as a Do Not Use drug because it is an irrational combination of ingredients and one ingredient causes memory impairment, confusion, hallucinations, and retention of urine, without clear evidence that it is effective.


Search results below include Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Articles where your selected drug is a secondary subject of discussion.

Meclizine: A Risky and Possibly Ineffective Drug
March 2018
Meclizine is a drug that is commonly used to treat symptoms of motion sickness. Find out why we have designated this drug as Do Not Use.
Saw Palmetto Extract: Ineffective for Enlarged Prostate Symptoms
December 2011
Read about the results of a study comparing higher doses of saw palmetto extract with a placebo for treating some common symptoms of benign prostate enlargement (such as urinary retention and incomplete emptying of the bladder).
Watch Out for Interactions with Tamoxifen (NOLVADEX)
March 2009
Tamoxifen (NOLVADEX) is still widely and successfully used for treatment of breast cancer. However, when used along with certain other drugs, its effectiveness can be significantly reduced. The article explains how this can happen and lists 19 different drugs that can cause this serious problem if used with tamoxifen.
Massive Misprescribing of Inappropriate Drugs to Hospitalized Elderly Patients
September 2008
A nationwide study published in spring 2008 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine showed that nearly half (49 percent) of almost 500,000 hospital patients older than 65 have been prescribed one or more of 92 drugs known to be unnecessarily unsafe for older patients. 10,000 of these patients had four or more of these inappropriate medicines prescribed during their hospitalization. Among the most common categories of adverse drug reactions these inappropriately prescribed drugs can cause are excessive sedation, abnormally low blood pressure and bleeding. We list the 92 drugs in the article and give further details about the kinds of side effects these drugs can cause.
What Happened in U.S. Health Care in 2007?
December 2007
This article summarizes 14 important health events that occurred in 2007, including seven that involve the pharmaceutical industry or its increasingly close financial partner, the FDA. Seven other reviews involve our so-called health care system.
XYZAL: A Not-So-New Antihistamine
August 2007
There is no medical reason that you should be taking levocetirizine (XYZAL) rather than one of the many other prescription and non-prescription antihistamines that are available in the market. The article discusses alternatives.
Cutting Your Drug Bill While Reducing Your Risk Of Avoidable Adverse Drug Reactions: Six Examples
February 2005
This article will look at the potential savings for the individual consumer if the alternative treatments recommended in Worst Pills, Best Pills were used for six DO NOT USE drugs. All six are listed in the Drug Topics Magazine Top 200 selling drugs in U.S. in 2003. The drugs are: celecoxib (CELEBREX) used for arthritis and pain; the Alzheimer’s disease drug donepezil (ARICEPT); drospirenone with ethinyl estradiol (YASMIN 28), an oral contraceptive; esomeprazole (NEXIUM) the “new purple pill” for heartburn; montelukast (SINGULAIR), a drug approved for both asthma and hay fever; and valdecoxib (BEXTRA), an arthritis drug very similar to celecoxib.The combined sales of these six DO NOT USE drugs was $8.1 billion with more that 75 million prescriptions dispensed in 2003.
DO NOT USE! Asthma Drug Montelukast (SINGULAIR) For The Treatment Of Hay Fever
November 2003
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on January 23, 2003, approved the asthma drug montelukast (SINGULAIR) for the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) in adults and children two years of age and older. Montelukast is a member of a family of drugs known as leukotriene inhibitors.You should not use montelukast for the treatment of hay fever symptoms because of its meager effectiveness and exorbitant cost.
The Same Old Sad Story - Inappropriate Prescribing to the Elderly
February 2002
“Inappropriate medication use is a major patient safety concern, especially for the elderly population.” This is the first sentence of a study published in the December 12, 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The majority of the 33 drugs in this study have been on the market for years........