Search results below include Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Articles where your
selected drug is a secondary subject of discussion.
Learn why we have designated celecoxib, a widely used selective COX-2 inhibitor that belongs to a drug class called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as Do Not Use.
In this month’s Question & Answer feature, we respond to a reader’s question about whether the stomach-acid–suppressing drug esomeprazole (NEXIUM, NEXIUM 24HR, VIMOVO) has the same drug interactions as the closely related drug omeprazole (PRILOSEC, PRILOSEC OTC, ZEGERID).
In this month’s Question & Answer feature, we respond to a reader’s question asking about our recommended alternatives to the opioid analgesic tramadol (CONZIP, ULTRACET, ULTRAM), which we have designated as Do Not Use.
In recent years, there has been a surge in the use of compounded topical pain creams as an alternative to oral pain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids. However, a committee of experts convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently concluded that there is a lack of evidence to support the safety and effectiveness of these compounded products.
The FDA has approved five medications for treatment of cold sores — sometimes referred to as fever blisters, oral herpes or herpes labialis. Find out which of these drugs offer the most benefit.
Low back pain is a frequent reason for outpatient and emergency room visits among adults. Read why treatment with corticosteroids is a poor choice for treating this common condition.
This article discusses new research linking use of oral diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and other adverse cardiovascular events.
Aspirin is widely used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in the elderly. Read this article to learn whether such use of aspirin is the right choice for you.
The injection of corticosteroids into the knee joints of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee is a widespread practice. Find out the results of new research funded by the National Institutes of Health showing that such injections actually may accelerate joint damage.
Learn about new research that provides further evidence affirming our designation of celecoxib (CE¬LEBREX) as a Do Not Use drug and that has prompted us to reclassify diclofenac (VOLTAREN) from Limited Use to Do Not Use. Also find out which NSAIDs are least likely to cause adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.
The recent epidemic of life-threatening and fatal infections from contaminated spinal steroid injections is a reminder of the larger issue of their use, even if not contaminated. The article discusses risks that remain even with properly manufactured medications, describing how patients and physicians should know when not to use steroids, consider the risks and benefits of the procedure, and understand other treatment options before using steroids to treat lower back pain.
Although skin application of drugs usually results in lower blood levels than oral use, cases of liver toxicity have been found with topical diclofenac Sodium (VOLTAREN).
The article lists other names of these products and explains the warning signals that may indicate liver toxicity.
One of the most common drug interactions occurs when patients take two or more drugs that can each increase blood potassium levels. The resulting condition, hyperkalemia (increased blood potassium levels), can cause nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness or tingling sensations, as well as heart abnormalities, showing up as an abnormal electrocardiogram. In some cases it can be fatal. The article lists 50 drugs which, especially when used in combination, can cause hyperkalemia.
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 explains the dangers of using ibuprofen (MOTRIN, ADVIL) because it interferes with the protective effect of low-dose aspirin to prevent blood clots and protect against heart attacks or strokes. Find out how these two widely-used therapies have a harmful interaction and what you should do.
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.
This article explains how to understand the International Normalized Ratio (INR), a test applied to a sample of a patient’s blood to determine how “thin” it is when you are using the blood thinner COUMADIN (warfarin). In addition, the article lists more than 50 drugs or dietary supplements that can interact harmfully with COUMADIN to cause the blood to be too thin (abnormal bleeding) or not thin enough which could result in lessening the effect of COUMADIN in stopping blood clot formation.
The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has issued new warnings for the painkiller/arthritis drug piroxicam (Feldene). The drug "was singled out for special review because piroxicam-containing medicines are associated with more gastro intestinal side effects and more serious skin reactions than other non-selective NSAIDs." In a series of published studies, in comparison to ibuprofen (ADVIL, MOTRIN), piroxicam was between 2.8 and 7.1 times more likely to be associated with severe gastrointestinal toxicity, defined as bleeding, ulceration or perforation. No other NSAID was as consistently as high in gastrointestinal risk as piroxicam. We continue to recommend that this uniquely dangerous drug be classified as Do Not Use.
An estimated 701,547 patients were treated for adverse drug reactions in emergency rooms each year in 2004 and 2005, totaling 1.4 million visits to the emergency room. Of these, an estimated 117,318 patients were hospitalized each year. According to the study. 18 drugs were each, either independently or in combination with other drugs, implicated in one percent or more of the estimated adverse drug events. These drugs are listed in the table that accompanies this article along with the annual estimates of adverse drug events.
If you are currently taking celecoxib (CELEBREX)you should contact your physician to consider alternative NSAID treatment.
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.
Vioxx is the ninth prescription drug to be taken off the market in the past seven years that Worst Pills, Best Pills News readers were previously warned DO NOT USE. The average time between warning readers not to use these drugs and their removal from the market was one year and eight months.
Public Citizen filed suit in the District Court for the District of Columbia on February 25, 2004 against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking that they make public complete copies of the agency’s scientific reviews of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) valdecoxib (BEXTRA).
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), with the knowledge of the FDA, issued an alert about methotrexate overdoses that occur when the drug is incorrectly prescribed or used daily rather than weekly.
There is an additional similarity (aside from our listing both as DO NOT USE drugs) between valdecoxib and celecoxib, both are sulfa drugs and individuals who are allergic to sulfa drugs should not use them. Although celecoxib came on the market with a warning about sulfa drug allergy, valdecoxib did not. We previously wrote “It may be a dangerous oversight on the part of the FDA not to have required the same warning for valdecoxib.” Unfortunately, because uninformed patients have been needlessly harmed, our prediction has come to pass.
Investigators from Vanderbilt University in Nashville TN, in a study published in the October 5, 2002 issue of The Lancet, found that patients taking 50 milligrams per day of the arthritis and painkilling drug rofecoxib (VIOXX) for longer than five days are 70 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease (CHD) than nonusers of the drug.
In light of the above discussion, we continue to advise the patient-protective five-year-rule for these drugs, as we do for all other new drugs that are not breakthroughs. Do Not Use.