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Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Articles

  View the entire July 2017 issue in PDF format

  • Do Not Use Eluxadoline (VIBERZI) for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    (July 2017)
    Eluxadoline was approved by the FDA in May 2015 for treating irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea as the predominant symptom in adults. Learn about the drug’s serious adverse effects that outweigh its limited benefits.
  • Supplements Purported to Boost Female Sex Drive Were Tainted
    (July 2017)
    For years, the Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly warned the public about dietary supplements that have been spiked illegally with hidden drugs. Find out which dangerous drug is now showing up in dietary supplements that are being promoted for increasing sexual desire and libido in women.
  • Acid-Suppressing Drugs Associated with Serious Infectious Diarrhea
    (July 2017)
    In this article, we discuss how two families of commonly used stomach acid suppressants may make patients more susceptible to Clostridium difficile infection, which can lead to severe, sometimes life-threatening diarrhea.
  • Magnesium Supplements Not Helpful for Nighttime Leg Cramps
    (July 2017)
    Nocturnal or nighttime leg cramps (charley horses) are very common in adults, afflicting nearly half of those over the age of 50. Find out why magnesium supplements are not the solution for this often distressing condition.
  • “Natural” Teething Remedies Also May Be Deadly
    (July 2017)
    Parents may be tempted to try assorted teething remedies for their infants. Learn about certain homeopathic products for teething that have been recalled because they were linked to a large number of serious injuries in infants.
  • Questions & Answers
    (July 2017)
    In this month’s Question & Answer section, we respond to a reader's question about how patients with high blood pressure should increase their dietary intake of potassium.

  View the entire June 2017 issue in PDF format

  • Benefits of Probiotics Remain Unproven
    (June 2017)
    The food and dietary supplement industries have been swift to capitalize on the excitement surrounding the microbes living on or within our bodies by selling products that contain probiotics, or live microor¬ganisms purported to improve health by altering the microbiome. In this article, we explain which claims about probiotics have been tested in clinical trials — and why many probiotic supplements are very likely a waste of money.
  • A Prescription for Making Medicines More Affordable in the U.S.
    (June 2017)
    Learn about landmark legislation recently introduced in the U.S. Senate that would lower the cost of prescription medications for all Americans, increase access to drugs for consumers and hold pharma¬ceutical corporations accountable for wrongdoing.
  • Drugs That Are Most Likely to Land Patients in the Emergency Room
    (June 2017)
    Many adverse drug reactions are severe enough to cause serious injury, hospitalization and even death. Find out which outpatient medications are most likely to cause adverse events that necessitate a visit to the emergency room.
  • Study Uncovers Serious Underreporting of Harms in Orlistat’s Trials
    (June 2017)
    For many years, we have designated the weight-loss drug orlistat (XENICAL, ALLI) as Do Not Use because it exposes patients to serious risks that greatly outweigh its minimal benefits. In this article, we describe data from a new study showing that orlistat’s side effects were seriously underreported in published medical journal articles for the clinical trials that the drugmaker conducted to support the drug’s approval.
  • Side Effects of Blood Pressure Drugs Often Unmonitored, Unaddressed
    (June 2017)
    We discuss new studies confirming that the widely used angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers can potentially harm the kidneys and cause dangerous elevations in blood potassium levels. These studies also indicated that many doctors are not heeding recommenda¬tions to look out for these side effects.

  View the entire May 2017 issue in PDF format

  • FDA Warning: Commonly Used Diarrhea Drug Can Cause Life-Threatening Heart Problems
    (May 2017)
    Find out which commonly used prescription and over-the-counter diarrhea medications can cause dangerous abnormal heart rhythms and cardiac arrest if taken at higher-than-recommended doses.
  • Nominee for FDA Commissioner: Too Cozy With Big Pharma
    (May 2017)
    On March 10, President Donald Trump nominated Dr. Scott Gottlieb to be the next FDA commissioner. Worst Pills, Best Pills News Editor Dr. Michael Carome explains why Gottlieb’s appointment would fur¬ther accelerate a decades-long trend in which FDA leadership too often makes decisions that are aligned more with the interests of the pharmaceutical industry than with those of patients.
  • Researchers Fight to Undo a Depression Drug's Dark History
    (May 2017)
    We describe the troubling story of how a pharmaceutical company manipulated the scientific literature to inappropriately promote the use of citalopram (CELEXA) for the treatment of de¬pression in children and teens despite the fact that the drug was not approved by the FDA for this use.
  • Budesonide and Formoterol (SYMBICORT): A Review
    (May 2017)
    The lung diseases asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease together afflict 40 million Americans and can result in disability and life-threatening complications for many affected individuals. In this article, we present our recommendations for using SYMBICORT, a combination of the long-acting beta agonist formoterol and the inhaled corticosteroid budesonide, to treat these lung diseases.
  • Nonsurgical Treatments for Urinary Incontinence
    (May 2017)
    Urinary incontinence — the inability to control the passage of urine — is a widespread problem that affects an estimated 25 million American adults. Learn about lifestyle changes and non-drug therapies that should be the first-choice treatments for incontinence, as well as the best drugs to use as second-choice treatment options.
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