The People's Perspective on Medicine

Popular Articles

a surprised doctor looking at a chart
Drug Side Effects

Are You Taking an Off Label Med for an Unapproved Use?

Doctors routinely prescribe drugs for uses the FDA hasn't approved, but they don't always reveal that. If you're on an off label med, do your own research!

Hand holding up a single baby aspirin
Blood Clots

Is Aspirin Cost-Effective Blood Clot Prevention?

Some clinical trials have found that aspirin is just as good as expensive anticoagulants for post-surgical blood clot prevention. And much cheaper!

A variety of statin drugs
Cataracts

A Completely New and Unexpected Statin Side Effect

A surprising statin side effect has just been reported. How is it possible that after more than three decades we are still discovering statin side effects?

doctors performing surgery for appendicitis
Drug Side Effects

Will Potatoes Slow Your Recovery from Surgery?

Eggplants, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes all can block acetylcholinesterase. This might slow recovery from surgery in which muscle relaxants are used.

Recall Stamp for FDA
Cancer

The Zantac – Ranitidine Weirdness Just Got Stranger

What are we to make of FDA flip flop flips on ranitidine/Zantac? For many people the ranitidine weirdness is too much to take. But there are alternatives.

Packet of Antidepressant Prozac Pills
Depression

What Other Drugs Boost Antidepressants’ Effectiveness?

A meta-analysis of 30 studies finds that anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs or statins can improve antidepressants' effectiveness.

Chest X-ray showing pleural effusion at right lung due to lung cancer
Drug Side Effects

ACE Inhibitors Like Lisinopril and Lung Cancer

Tens of millions of people take ACE inhibitors to lower high blood pressure. Is there an association between drugs like lisinopril and lung cancer?

Cortisone shots into the knee
Arthritis

The Dark Side of Cortisone Shots: Joint Deterioration

When your knees, hips or shoulders hurt, you want rapid relief. Cortisone shots seem like a simple and fast solution. Are there risks with steroids shots?

list of drug side effects with magnifying glass
Drug Side Effects

Why Do Drug Companies Love Long Lists of Side Effects?

Be honest now. Do you zone out when long lists of side effects are recited on drug commercials? Do drug company lawyers use that information to avoid blame?

a smoking cigarette
Depression

Stop-Smoking Drug Chantix Triggers Violence

Commercials for Chantix, especially the "Slow Turkey" ads, are very compelling. What about side effects? Does Chantix trigger agression in some people?

doctor administers injection
Arthritis

Cortisone Injections Can Have Devastating Effects

People who receive cortisone injections into joints for pain relief may also experience systemic psychological side effects such as insomnia or anxiety.

Arthritis

Corticosteroid Injections in Joints Accelerate Arthritis

Doctors frequently use corticosteroid injections into joints to ease pain and stiffness. A new review of the evidence suggests this has serious downsides.

Podcasts

Show 1185: What Are the Risks of Too Many Meds?

Lots of Americans, especially senior citizens, are taking too many meds. This can result in undesirable reactions and dangerous interactions. Can we fix it?

Older woman taking her blood pressure
Drug Side Effects

Losartan and Suicide? Another ARB (Sartan) Concern

Canadian scientists have found a link between losartan and suicide that also implicates similar drugs such as irbesartan or valsartan.

woman using nasal spray
Allergies

Should You Use NasalCrom for Your Allergies?

Decongestant nose sprays can be used for only a few days before you risk becoming dependent. Using NasalCrom for your allergies is an alternative.

Sporanox (?) and other pills
Drug Side Effects

Is Sporanox a Versatile Cure or a Dangerous Drug?

The anti-fungal drug itraconazole (Sporanox) should be reserved for use against serious systemic fungus infections, not used off label for minor problems.

FDA Approved pill bottle illustration
Drug Side Effects

Why Can’t We Trust the FDA’s Adverse Events Database?

When a doctor tells you that you need a heart valve or a knee replacement you assume she has great data. But can you rely on the FDA's adverse events data?

Chest X-ray showing pleural effusion at right lung due to lung cancer
Cancer

Does Your Medicine Pose a Cancer Risk?

Establishing a drug-induced cancer risk may take 5 to 10 years or longer. The FDA rarely requires such long-term research. That leaves great uncertainty.

Woman holds her side suffering from acute liver injury pain or liver cancer
Drug Side Effects

What Accounts for Blood Tests Showing Liver Failure?

When blood tests point to liver failure, you need to figure out quickly whether drugs or supplements you are taking could be responsible.

a man with arthritic knees, holding his knee in pain
Drug Side Effects

Simvastatin and Muscle Pain: Beware Rhabdomyolysis!

ow can you distinguish between garden-variety statin-induced muscle pain and weakness from statin-induced rhabdomyolysis, a life-threatening reaction?