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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.
In this review of restless legs syndrome (RLS), we discuss the limitations of the available drug treatments for the disorder and the nondrug approaches that are the safest options for people with mild to moderate RLS symptoms.
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.
Weight gain is an adverse event associated with many widely used medications and may lead to significant overweight and obesity, especially in susceptible individuals. Find out which drugs have this adverse effect.
We describe the troubling story of how a pharmaceutical company manipulated the scientific literature to inappropriately promote the use of citalopram (CELEXA) for the treatment of de¬pression in children and teens despite the fact that the drug was not approved by the FDA for this use.
This article explores one of the newer classes of drugs for treating depression: serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Find out which SNRIs are safe for treating depression and which should be avoided.
St. John’s wort, an over-the-counter herbal supplement, has been around for centuries, and many patients have been using it in recent years to self-medicate for depression. In this article, we explain why St. John’s wort should not be used to treat this disease.
Some powerful antipsychotic drugs originally developed to treat schizophrenia now have been approved to treat depression. Learn about the serious side effects of these drugs that make it advisable to explore other, safer options for managing depression.
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.
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.
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).
Not only does this study find that consumer drug ads are not educational, it also says that the ads may oversell the benefits of the drugs and could put the public health in danger. For example, of the 24 drugs included in this advertising study, seven are listed as Do Not Use in Worst Pills, Best Pills publications. You should not rely on direct-to-consumer television advertisements as a source of drug information.
Canadian drug regulatory authorities reviewed reported cases of serotonin syndrome in the July 2003 issue of the Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter. The serotonin syndrome is a potentially life-threatening adverse drug reaction involving an excess of serotonin, a naturally occurring nerve transmitter.
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.
You should avoid these "new" single mirror images of old drugs, not out of concern about their safety or effectiveness, but because they are the same as the old drugs. In the long run, they cause economic harm both to individuals and to the health care system because they have come on the market with extended monopoly protection. Article lists some examples.
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.