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  View the entire January 2021 issue in PDF format

  View the entire December 2020 issue in PDF format

  • Alcohol and Benzodiazepines Commonly Co-Involved in U.S. Opioid Overdose Deaths, Study Finds
    (December 2020)
    Combining opioids with other central nervous system depressants — mainly alcoholic beverages or benzodiazepines — greatly increases the risk of opioid overdose and death. These dangers are highlighted by new research showing that alcohol and benzodiazepines were commonly co-involved in U.S. opioid overdose deaths in recent years.
  • Maker of “Female Viagra” Deceives Women With Misleading Radio Ad
    (December 2020)
    In his editor’s column, Dr. Michael Carome discusses a recent FDA warning letter to Sprout Pharmaceuticals accusing the company of airing of an illegal radio ad that made “false or misleading claims about the risks” associated with flibanserin (ADDYI) — a drug intended to increase sexual desire in premenopausal women with hypoactive (low) sexual desire disorder that is often erroneously dubbed the “female VIAGRA” and that we have designated as Do Not Use.
  • Dexamethasone: A Marginally Beneficial Treatment for Severe COVID-19
    (December 2020)
    In this article, we review the results of randomized clinical trials showing that the anti-inflammatory corticosteroid dexamethasone reduces the risk of death in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who require supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
  • Important Drug Interactions for the Calcium Channel Blocker Diltiazem
    (December 2020)
    Patients taking the widely prescribed calcium channel blocker diltiazem (CARDIZEM, CARTIA XT, TAZTIA XT, TIAZAC) should be aware that it has clinically important interactions with many other prescription medications.
  • Liraglutide (SAXENDA): The Wrong Choice for Weight Loss
    (December 2020)
    Find out why the FDA-approved high-dose form of liraglutide, which was originally marketed at a lower dose for treatment of type 2 diabetes, is not a safe option for managing weight loss.
  • Question & Answer
    (December 2020)
    In this month’s Question & Answer feature, we respond to a reader’s question about whether the risks of montelukast (SINGULAIR) outweigh its benefits when it is used for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

  View the entire November 2020 issue in PDF format

  • Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine: Failed Remedies for COVID-19
    (November 2020)
    Early during the coronavirus pandemic, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were considered potentially useful treatments for COVID-19. In this article, we discuss results of randomized clinical trials showing that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating or preventing COVID-19.
  • Leading Generic Drug Manufacturer Indicted by Feds for Price Fixing
    (November 2020)
    In his editor’s column, Dr. Michael Carome discusses U.S. Department of Justice charges brought against generic drug maker Teva for engaging in illegal price-gouging schemes for multiple prescription drugs.
  • Nitrosamine Impurities in Medications
    (November 2020)
    Since 2018, the FDA has found that certain commonly used medications contained unacceptable levels of nitrosamine impurities (contaminants) that are considered probable human carcinogens. Learn about the risks of nitrosamines and specific drugs that have been found to be contaminated with these compounds.
  • New Research Finds Folic Acid and Zinc Supplementation in Men Not Effective for Treating Infertility
    (November 2020)
    Supplements for male fertility often contain folic acid and zinc, likely because both substances have been shown to play key roles in the formation and maintenance of normal healthy sperm. However, data from a recently published clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health showed supplementation with folic acid and zinc in men among couples undergoing infertility treatment does not increase the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.
  • Highlights of the New Guidelines for Severe Allergic Reaction
    (November 2020)
    We review new guidelines for treating life-threatening allergic reactions (known as anaphylaxis) recently issued by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
  • Question & Answer
    (November 2020)
    In this month’s Question & Answer feature, we respond to a reader’s question asking about our recommended alternatives to the opioid analgesic tramadol (CONZIP, ULTRACET, ULTRAM), which we have designated as Do Not Use.

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