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  View the entire March 2017 issue in PDF format

  • Beware of Ads for ‘Memory- Enhancing’ Dietary Supplement
    (March 2017)
    If you regularly watch nightly national news on TV, you have probably seen ads promising improved memory if you take the dietary supplement apoaequorin (PREVAGEN). Learn why these claims from the maker of PREVAGEN represent an apparent elaborate hoax.
  • FDA Removal of Black-Box Warning Sets Dangerous Precedent
    (March 2017)
    In October 2014, Public Citizen joined four other consumer advocacy and research groups to petition the FDA to strengthen the existing black-box warning on the label of the smoking cessation drug varenicline. In December, the agency instead decided to move recklessly in the opposite direction by removing the black-box warning from the label. In this article, we discuss the dangerous precedent set by this decision.
  • Year in Review: Troubling New Drug Approvals in 2016
    (March 2017)
    In this article, we discuss three new drugs approved by the FDA in 2016 that Worst Pills, Best Pills News has identified as ineffective or lacking in evidence to support key claims made on products’ labels. The drugs discussed include one intended to treat a rare form of muscular dystrophy and two supposedly abuse-deterrent opioid pain drugs.
  • Spironolactone: Review of a ‘Water Pill’
    (March 2017)
    Spironolactone is a diuretic (water pill) that has been used for decades to treat certain patients with high blood pressure, heart failure, swelling (water retention) and other conditions. Find out who is most likely to benefit from using this drug and who should avoid it because of its dangerous adverse effects.
  • Medications for Bipolar Disorder
    (March 2017)
    Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a serious chronic mental illness that afflicts approximately 5.4 million people in the U.S. In this article, we review the benefits and safety of several drugs that are commonly used to treat this disorder.
  • Lorcaserin (BELVIQ): Another Do Not Use Diet Drug
    (March 2017)
    Learn about the unacceptable dangers posed by lorcaserin, a diet drug that was approved by the FDA in 2012 and that has similarities to the previously banned diet drug fenfluramine.

  View the entire February 2017 issue in PDF format

  • FDA Requires Stronger Warnings for Commonly Used Antibiotics
    (February 2017)
    One of the biggest-selling but most overprescribed classes of antibiotics in the U.S. is the family called fluoroquinolones. Learn why the FDA required the addition of new black-box warnings to the labels of these antibiotics that describe risks of several disabling and potentially permanent side effects.
  • 21st Century Cures: Gift to Big Pharma, Bad Deal for Patients
    (February 2017)
    Worst Pills, Best Pills News editor Dr. Michael Carome discusses the dangerous giveaways to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries that are buried within the massive 21st Century Cures Act passed by the lame-duck Congress in December 2016.
  • Beta Blockers Not for Most Hypertension Patients
    (February 2017)
    Beta blockers have long been a mainstay of hypertension drug treatment. While these drugs remain useful for some patients, we now no longer recommend them as the starting treatment for hypertension except in special circumstances. Read this article to find out why our views on beta blockers have changed.
  • Dangerous Dosing Errors Rampant Among Parents Measuring Liquid Medications
    (February 2017)
    This article presents the results of new research showing that many parents make significant errors when measuring the dose of liquid medications for their children. Learn how to minimize dosing errors when administering children’s liquid medications.
  • Buprenorphine for Opioid Addiction
    (February 2017)
    From 2000 to 2014, almost half a million people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. Many of these deaths were fatal opioid overdoses, which have quadrupled in the U.S. since 1999. Learn why buprenorphine now outpaces methadone as a treatment of choice for opioid addiction.
  • Questions & Answers
    (February 2017)
    In this month's Questions & Answers section, we respond to two readers' important questions about our recent article about the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  View the entire January 2017 issue in PDF format

  • Drugs That Increase the Risk of Falling
    (January 2017)
    Falls remain by far the leading cause of injuries among adults age 65 and older in the U.S. In this article, we identify many of the drugs that can increase your risk of falling and offer advice on how to protect yourself from fall-related injuries.
  • Patient Safety Advocates, Industry Spar Over Off-Label Promotion
    (January 2017)
    Worst Pills, Best Pills News editor Dr. Michael Carome discusses highlights of the debate between the pharmaceutical and medical device industry and patient safety advocates at a recent FDA public hearing regarding the agency’s rules on off-label promotion — the pharmaceutical and medical device industry practice of promoting prod¬ucts for unapproved uses.
  • Many Older Adults Do Not Take Blood Pressure Medications as Prescribed
    (January 2017)
    Keeping high blood pressure under control is essential to preventing long-term complications of hypertension, including cardiovascular disease, stroke and kidney failure. Learn about the steps you can take to boost your adherence to your blood pressure medication treatment.
  • Do Not Use Linaclotide (LINZESS) for Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Constipation
    (January 2017)
    Find out why the risks of linaclotide far exceed its benefits for treating patients with irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, and learn about safer alternative treatments for these conditions.
  • FDA Advisory Committee Split on Black-Box Warning on Varenicline (CHANTIX)
    (January 2017)
    In October 2014, Public Citizen joined four other consumer advocacy and research groups to petition the FDA to strengthen the existing black-box warning on the label of the smoking cessation drug varenicline. Find out why the FDA now is considering moving recklessly in the opposite direction by removing the black-box warning from the label.
  • Questions & Answers
    (January 2017)
    In this month Questions & Answers section, we respond to a reader's question about whether calcium-containing antacids, such as TUMS, for heartburn may increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events.
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