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  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.

  View the entire April 2016 issue in PDF format

  • New FDA Commissioner: Unfit for Duty
    (April 2016)
    Worst Pills, Best Pills News editor Dr. Michael Carome explains why the new FDA Commissioner, who was confirmed by the Senate in February, was a poor choice to lead such a critically important agency of the U.S. Public Health Service.
  • Is XARELTO Really the 'Right Move' for Patients With Blood Clots or Risk for Stroke?
    (April 2016)
    If you watch TV, you likely have seen ads touting the advantages of the new oral antico-agulant (blood thinner) rivaroxaban (XARELTO). Learn why we have designated this drug as Do Not Use for Seven Years (until at least July 2018).
  • Treatment for Nasal Allergies: An Updated Review
    (April 2016)
    With spring time pollen counts soaring, many patients with seasonal nasal allergies will be looking for relief from allergy medications. Learn the best available treatments to stay safe and relatively symptom-free during allergy season and throughout the year.
  • The Best Drug for Severe Acute Low Back Pain
    (April 2016)
    Low back pain is the fifth most common reason for outpatient doc¬tor visits and leads to 2.6 million emergency room visits in the U.S. every year. This article reviews results of the newest research on which pain relievers are safest and most effective for managing severe low back pain.
  • Fluoroquinolones Linked to Life-Threatening Blood Vessel Complications
    (April 2016)
    In this article, we discuss results of new research linking the widely overused fluoroquinolone antibiotics to an increased risk of life-threatening damage to the body’s largest blood vessel, the aorta.

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