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Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Articles

  View the entire July 2016 issue in PDF format

  • Proton Pump Inhibitors Might Cause Chronic Kidney Disease
    (July 2016)
    Public Citizen's Health Research Group has long warned about the serious risks of the commonly used group of heartburn drugs known as proton pump inhibitors. In this article, we discuss new research suggesting that chronic kidney disease is another potential side effect of these drugs.
  • Antibiotic Misuse: Dangerous for Everyone
    (July 2016)
    When health care providers prescribe antibiotics to patients who do not need them, these drugs endanger both the patients taking them and the public at large. Find out why.
  • Vitamin D for Preventing Falls in the Elderly: Less Is Safer
    (July 2016)
    Many people take vitamin supplements to promote bone and muscle health. But taking too much vitamin D may have dangerous consequences. Read this article to find out how much vitamin D is safe.
  • Drugs That Cause Sun-Related Skin Reactions
    (July 2016)
    Summer is a terrific time for healthy outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, biking and swim¬ming. But for an unlucky few, certain medications can lead to adverse skin reactions following exposure to the sun. Find out whether you are at risk and how to protect yourself.
  • Drug-Induced Hair Loss
    (July 2016)
    For most people with hair loss, the condition usually is age-related or due to the genes they inherited from their parents. But for some patients, the cause of the problem can be found in the medicine cabinet. Learn about some commonly used medications that can cause hair loss.

  View the entire June 2016 issue in PDF format

  • Industry Money Undermines the Doctor-Patient Relationship
    (June 2016)
    Worst Pills, Best Pills News editor Dr. Michael Carome highlights new research showing that the large sums of money pharmaceutical and medical device companies funnel to physicians too often play an inappropriate role in physicians’ prescribing decisions.
  • Prostate Drugs Increase Risks of Falls, Fractures
    (June 2016)
    Symptoms of benign (noncancerous) prostate enlargement afflict most men age 60 or older. In this article, we discuss new research showing that a group of drugs often used to treat this condition slightly increase the risk of falls and fractures. We offer important advice on how to minimize these risks.
  • What Is a Drug Label?
    (June 2016)
    Drug labels provide important information regarding the benefits and risks of prescription medications. In this article, we offer guidance on where to find these drug labels and identify the sections of the label that provide the most useful information for patients.
  • Important Questions About Shingles
    (June 2016)
    Shingles is a very common disease caused by the chicken (herpes zoster) virus. Elderly adults are particularly vulnerable to developing this painful and sometimes debilitating condition. Learn the facts about shingles and how you can lower your risk of developing it.
  • SPIRIVA for COPD: Find Out Which Inhaler Is Safe
    (June 2016)
    Tiotropium (SPIRIVA) is a frequently prescribed drug administered via oral inhalers for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The drug is available in two types of inhaler devices. One of these should never be used. Find out which one.

  View the entire May 2016 issue in PDF format

  • A Guide to Drugs for Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections
    (May 2016)
    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common, accounting for more than 10 million visits to doctors’ offices and 2 million to 3 million emergency department visits in the U.S. in 2007. Hear our take on which antibiotics are safest for treating these infections.
  • FDA to Investigate Effect of Using Cartoon Characters to Peddle Drugs
    (May 2016)
    Animated characters are a feature of an increasing number of TV ads for prescription drugs. Find out why the FDA is concerned that these characters may mislead consumers about the risks and benefits of the medications being promoted and what the agency intends to do about this.
  • Memantine: Still a Poor Choice for Alzheimer’s Disease
    (May 2016)
    Memantine (NAMENDA) recently has been one of the drugs for Alzheimer’s disease most heavily promoted through direct-to-consumer advertising. Learn why we have designated memantine as Do Not Use.
  • Questions & Answers
    (May 2016)
    In this month’s Question & Answer feature, we respond to a reader’s request to explain why we recommend use of bisphosphonates for certain patients with osteoporosis despite our warnings about their risks.
  • Another Look at First-Generation Antihistamines
    (May 2016)
    Last month, we discussed the risks and benefits of second- and third-generation antihistamines for treatment of nasal allergies. In this second of a two-part series, we explain why first-generation or "sedating" antihistamines are not a safe option for managing nasal allergies.
  • Responsible Disposal of Prescription Drugs
    (May 2016)
    For various reasons, many prescribed medications go unused. Such leftover medications can pose a hazard to family members, especially young children, and the environment. Find out the best ways to safely dispose of unused prescription medications.

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