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Marked increases in the prescribing of the gabapentinoids gabapentin and pregabalin, particularly for uses not approved by the FDA (so-called off-label uses), indicate that these drugs are widely overprescribed and misused in the U.S. In this article, we review three recent studies that characterized the growth and extent of gabapentinoid overuse during the past two decades.
Fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic opioid that has been involved in an increasing number of overdose deaths in the U.S. Learn why this drug should be used only by cancer patients with breakthrough cancer-related pain.
When the manufacturer of the amphetamine ADDERALL criticized a Los Angeles boutique for selling T-shirts emblazoned with the drug’s name, it stated that the shirts “glorify[y] the misuse and diversion of a federally controlled prescription drug.” But the pharmaceutical company itself was cited by the Food and Drug Administration for overpromoting the drug to increase sales.
This article lists 355 drugs with names that are often confused with similar-sounding drug names. Find out what you can do to prevent getting the wrong drug.
The article lists 57 different drugs that can cause dementia if used. This can be even more problematic if more than one of these drugs is being taken. These drugs are only one class of drugs that can cause mental deterioration and next month's issue will discuss additional drugs that can also impair thinking.
Thyroid medications are among the most widely-prescribed drugs in the U.S. In this article, we review 29 different medications that can have harmful interactions with thyroid medicines such as levothyroxine (Synthroid). There are four major kinds of interaction problems that can occur:
• Certain medications can decrease the absorption of levothyroxine resulting in lower levels in the blood.
• Other medications can increase the rate at which the body gets rid of levothyroxine, also resulting in lower thyroid levels in the blood.
• Other medications can cause changes of levothyroxine binding in blood, decreasing the body's ability to use levothyroxine.
• Levothyroxine can affect the safety or effectiveness of other medications by raising or lowering the levels of these other drugs in the blood, causing them to be either infective (lower levels) or dangerous (higher levels).
The article discusses 273 drugs that can have harmful interactions with alcohol. Also reviewed are several ways in which these harmful interactions can occur:
1/ Medications Can Increase Alcohol Blood Levels
2/ Additive effects of medications and alcohol. One of the best- known drug-alcohol interactions is when alcohol, a depressant, is taken with other sedative medications, and excessive sedation or depression of respiration can occur
3/Alcohol can increase the blood levels of some medications leading to toxicity of these drugs.
4/ Alcohol also can reduce blood levels of some medications causing them to be less effective.
Although some of the interactions between alcohol and medications mainly occur in people who drink heavily (three or more drinks on one occasion), many of these interactions may occur with much lower amounts of alcohol use, such as one to two drinks on an occasion.
We strongly urge you to tell your physicians and other health care providers how much alcohol you are drinking so they can effectively assess the risks and advise you about the safe use of alcohol and medications.
This article lists more than 60 prescription drugs that can interact with calcium channel blocking drugs such as amlodipine (NORVASC),diltiazem (CARDIZEM, DILACOR XR TIAZAC)or nifedipine (PROCARDIA)to either cause toxicity or to lessen the effectiveness of the calcium channel blocking drugs. Included in the lists are a number of drugs that we list in Worst Pills, Best Pills as DO NOT USE or LIMITED USE drugs. The article also explains the different kinds of toxicity that can ensue from these interactions.
The article discusses the adverse drug interactions between either of two widely-prescribed macrolide antibiotics, erythromycin (as in ERYTHROCIN) and clarithromycin (BIAXIN)and more than 40 other drugs that are listed in a table in the article. It also describes the nature of the adverse interactions that can occur.
More than 70 million prescriptions a year are filled for these popular antidepressants, including Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa and Lexapro. This article gives details about more than 60 other widely prescribed prescription drugs that can have harmful interactions if used with these antidepressants. The two different kinds of interactions are also discussed.
A recent article in Medical Marketing and Media (May 2003), aimed at the marketing departments of the pharmaceutical industry, provides an extraordinary view of this industry of which the public, unfortunately, remains unaware. Vince Parry, the “Chief Branding Officer” for a company called “InChord,” tells his pharmaceutical company readers — and potential clients — how to increase sales by combining the “creation” of a disease with a drug to treat it.
You should check the list of drugs that can cause loss of bladder control before starting drug treatment for this condition. You may be able to change from a drug that causes loss of bladder control to a drug that does not or alter the dose. This may be enough to solve the problem.