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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.
Find out which commonly used prescription and over-the-counter diarrhea medications can cause dangerous abnormal heart rhythms and cardiac arrest if taken at higher-than-recommended doses.
If you watch TV, you likely have seen ads touting the advantages of the new oral antico-agulant (blood thinner) rivaroxaban (XARELTO). Learn why we have designated this drug as Do Not Use for Seven Years (until at least July 2018).
Clopidogrel is a widely used drug for reducing the risk of a new heart attack or stroke or cardiovascular death in patients who have had a recent heart attack, stroke or established pe-ripheral vascular disease. This article provides a detailed overview of the drug, including potential serious side effects and important precautions to follow when taking the drug.
Find out how to prevent emergency hospitalizations from two commonly used drugs, warfarin (COUMADIN) and clopidogrel (PLAVIX). There are approximately 33,000 emergency hospitalizations a year from warfarin alone. This article includes a list of more than 50 drugs that can have harmful interactions with warfarin and/or clopidogrel.
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 56 drugs that can interact with the three drugs for erectile dysfunction (ED): sildenafil (VIAGRA), tadalafil (CIALIS) and vardenafil (LEVITRA). Eight of the drugs are either nitrates such as nitroglycerin or a certain group of high blood pressure drugs.In combination with ED drugs, these drugs can cause a dangerous fall in blood pressure that could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Thirty-two other drugs can inhibit the enzyme that helps the body to eliminate the ED drugs, resulting in abnormally high blood levels of the drugs and a potentially harmful "overdose" even though you are actually taking the recommended amount. The other 16 drugs speed up the metabolism of the ED drugs, thereby lowering the blood levels and reducing the effectiveness of the ED drugs.
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.
Although the FDA medical officer in charge of reviewing ranolazine recommended that ranolazine's professional product labeling display a black box warning about potential disruption in the heart's electrical cycle, the drug does not have a black box warning.
As the black box warning suggests, fentanyl skin patches should not be used in the following situations:in patients who have not previously been prescribed opioid painkillers, in the management of acute pain or in patients who require opioid pain killers only for a short period of time.
You should not take erythromycin in combination with one of the interacting drugs listed in this article. If you are, you should contact your physician immediately. As mentioned above, erythromycin is an important antibiotic when used appropriately. Therefore, we do not recommend against its use when it is not used with one of these interacting drugs.
In May 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that new drug interaction warnings are now required in the professional product labeling or package insert for the antidepressant trazodone (DESYREL). Health Canada, the Canadian drug regulatory authority, announced similar warnings for the drug on July 9, 2004. This article lists those drugs that interact with trazodone.
You should wait at least seven years from the date of release to take any new drug unless it is one of those rare “breakthrough” drugs that offers you a documented therapeutic advantage over older proven drugs.
This statement appears in the professional product labeling, or package insert, for eplerenone: “The principal risk of INSPRA is hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia can cause serious, sometimes fatal, arrhythmias (heart rhythm disturbances).”
You should try the non-pharmacologic interventions listed in the box below before trying antacids, histamine-2 blockers, or, as a last resort, proton pump inhibitors.
If you classify yourself as a person with frequent heartburn, that is heartburn more than two days per week, and the interventions recommended above have failed, you should be under the care of a physician
You should follow the Health Research Group’s Seven Year Rule with aripiprazole. There is no evidence to suggest that aripiprazole is a “breakthrough” drug.
Escitalopram (LEXAPRO) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2002 and brings to six the number of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants now on the market in the U.S. The primary purpose for developing escitalopram appears to be nothing more than a strategy to protect sales as citalopram nears the end of its patent protection. In the long run, escitalopram will cause economic harm to individuals and the healthcare system.