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Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Articles

  View the entire May 2015 issue in PDF format

  • A Guide to Treatments for Osteoporosis
    (May 2015)
    Drug treatment can prevent broken bones in some women with osteoporosis. But drugs are not always necessary and can cause harmful side effects, especially when treatment lasts longer than needed. Read this article to learn who should take osteoporosis drugs, which drugs to take and for how long.
  • FDA Belatedly Requires Warnings About Heart Attack, Stroke Risks for Testosterone Products
    (May 2015)
    On March 3, the Food and Drug Administration finally announced that it was requiring that the labels of all approved prescription testosterone products include a warning about the possible increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Worst Pills, Best Pills News editor Dr. Michael Carome criticizes the agency for recklessly dragging its feet prior to requiring these warnings.
  • Painkiller Tramadol Increases Risk of Low Blood Sugar
    (May 2015)
    For years, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group has designated tramadol as a Do Not Use drug. We discuss results of a new study providing an additional reason for avoiding tramadol: The drug has been linked to the occurrence of dangerously low blood sugar.
  • Falls in Elderly People: The Role of Blood Pressure Drugs
    (May 2015)
    Recent studies have confirmed that a significant cause of falls in the elderly is medication (and often overmedication) with drugs for high blood pressure, resulting in blood pressures low enough to increase the risk of falling — with attendant fractures and head injuries. Learn who is most at risk and what the blood pressure goal should be for patients age 60 or older.
  • Studies Cast Doubt on the Benefits of Raising HDL (‘Good’) Cholesterol
    (May 2015)
    This article discusses evidence from recent research that calls into question the benefits of taking drugs, such as niacin, to raise blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), often called “good” cholesterol.

  View the entire April 2015 issue in PDF format

  • Further Evidence Confirms Danger Of Blood Pressure Drugs Used Together
    (April 2015)
    Patients should never take more than one of the following drugs used to treat high blood pressure at the same time: an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), and aliskiren. Learn why doing so could have serious, even fatal consequences.
  • Health Insurers Find New Way To Discriminate Against Sick Patients
    (April 2015)
    Worst Pills, Best Pills News editor Dr. Michael Carome reviews a new scheme being perpetrated by some health insurance companies in order to maximize profits: to discourage certain high-cost patients from enrolling in their health plans.
  • A Look at Treatments for Rosacea
    (April 2015)
    Rosacea is a chronic skin condition affecting 13 million Americans. Find out steps to take to prevent symptom flare-ups, and learn which topical drug therapies are most effective and safest for treating this condition.
  • Owner, Lead Compounding Pharmacist of Drugmaker Linked to Meningitis Outbreak Charged With Murder
    (April 2015)
    In December 2014, a federal grand jury in Boston indicted 14 executives and employees of a Massachusetts compounding phar¬macy on 131 criminal charges in connec¬tion with a deadly nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak. Learn the shocking details of how the company put the lives of thousands of patients around the country at risk.
  • Benzodiazepines: Widely Prescribed, Dangerous Sleep and Tranquilizer Drugs
    (April 2015)
    This article discusses recent research showing increasing frequency of benzodiazepine use as people get older in the U.S. We also review results of a new study showing a possible link between use of these drugs and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

  View the entire March 2015 issue in PDF format

  • Ten Rules for Safer Drug Use
    (March 2015)
    Patients often wonder what steps they can take to minimize their chances of suffering a serious adverse drug reaction. This article reviews 10 simple rules developed by Public Citizen’s Health Research Group for ensuring safer drug use.
  • Public Citizen Highlights Efforts By Biologics Industry to Maintain Monopolies
    (March 2015)
    In his editor’s column, Dr. Michael Carome discusses how companies that make biologic medications are using their political clout to price-gouge and maintain indefinite monopolies on their products, costing consumers billions of dollars.
  • Public Citizen Joins Other Groups in Requesting Additional Warnings on CHANTIX Label
    (March 2015)
    In October 2014, Public Citizen joined four other consumer advocacy and research groups to petition the FDA to require stronger warnings on the label of the smoking cessation drug varenicline (CHANTIX). Learn about the drug’s severe psychiatric and neurological side effects that could potentially lead to fatal consequences.
  • Big Pharma’s Drug Assistance Programs: Harmless Charity?
    (March 2015)
    Pharmaceutical companies market patient assistance programs as a goodwill solution to assist patients who are struggling to pay for expensive prescription drugs. Find out why these programs may encourage physicians to prescribe more expensive drugs instead of less expensive, equally effective alternatives, including generic products.
  • More on Overprescribing Statins
    (March 2015)
    The most recently issued prescribing guidelines for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs were partly based on a new patient risk calculator that significantly overestimates patients’ risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Learn how this overestimation will lead to overprescribing of statin drugs to patients who will not benefit from using them.
  • News Brief for March 2015
    (March 2015)
    In our news brief this month, we report on the FDA’s recent approval of a new, high-dose, extended-release formulation of the opioid drug oxycodone (HYSLINGA). Although this new version of the drug is designed to deter abuse, it may be more dangerous than other oxycodone products. Read this article to find out why.
  • Questions & Answers for March 2015
    (March 2015)
    In a new feature that will appear periodically in issues of Worst Pills, Best Pills News, we respond to some selected questions posed by our readers. In this month’s issue, we respond to questions regarding (a) whether the widely advertised drug adalimumab (HUMIRA) is a new wonder drug, and (b) what should you do if you are already taking rivaroxaban (XARELTO).

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