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  View the entire April 2017 issue in PDF format

  • Study Rebuts Health Benefit Claims for Off-Label Testosterone
    (April 2017)
    Overall, use of testosterone medications in the U.S. grew by nearly 10-fold from 2000 to 2011, and by 2013, more than 5 million U.S. prescriptions for testosterone were being filled annually. In this article, we discuss new research findings showing that testosterone products fail to provide benefit to many of the men who are using them.
  • Big Pharma’s Self-Promoting Media Campaign
    (April 2017)
    Worst Pills, Best Pills News Editor Dr. Michael Carome warns readers not to be deceived by the slick advertising campaign recently launched by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — the leading industry trade group representing brand-name pharmaceutical companies.
  • Many Psoriasis Drugs Unsafe During Pregnancy
    (April 2017)
    Find out which medications that are used to treat psoriasis (a chronic condition that causes patches of scaly and inflamed skin) are particularly dangerous during pregnancy because they carry well-established, high risks of birth defects.
  • Maker of ‘Female Viagra’ Sued as Sales Fizzle
    (April 2017)
    Flibanserin (ADDYI) was billed as the "female Viagra" because it was intended to increase sexual desire in women with "hypoactive sexual desire disorder," or low interest in sex. Learn why this dangerous drug fortunately has failed to be the blockbuster that many expected it to be.
  • A Review of Anti-Seizure Drug Levetiracetam
    (April 2017)
    Levetiracetam (KEPPRA, ROWEEPRA, SPRITAM) and its long-acting variant, levetiracetam extended-release (KEPPRA XR), are approved by the FDA for preventing seizures in patients with epilepsy. Find out who is most likely to benefit from using these drugs and what adverse reactions to watch out for when taking them.
  • New Research Links Testosterone to Risk of Dangerous Blood Clots
    (April 2017)
    We review the results of a new study demonstrating that patients using testosterone products have a significantly increased risk of developing life-threatening blood clots in large veins, most often in the legs.

  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.

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