“Tear yourself away from this vigorous game of Twister so we call tell about some of the more serious side effects associated with this class of drugs.” [Consumer Reports Health]
Whether it’s rational or not, there’s something very satisfying when your pharmacist acknowledges you personally—it makes you feel like this expert you’re placing such trust in takes the job, and you, seriously. In our experience it’s a rare thing to see from pharmacists at chain drugstores, but Mike just had a great encounter with his Walgreens pharmacist when he moved to a new town.
We knew Ambien could cause sleep driving and sleep eating, but this man blames it for causing him to hook up with a woman he barely knows. Now he says the woman has called his home and refers to him as her f*** buddy, and yet he can’t even remember the act. Oh also, he’s married.
The latest study of people who take large amounts of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) indicates that, contrary to what earlier studies suggested, they don’t seem to cut the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. In fact, it’s just the opposite: “During the study, 476 people developed dementia, and heavy NSAID users had a 66% higher risk of developing the condition than those with low or no use.”
We asked for it and you sent them in, a smorgasbord of drugs with extremely disturbing side effects. Here’s nine of the most disturbing we found. Jeez! Sometimes the cure really can be worse than the disease…
Who knew botulism could be so awesome? Botox is Allergan’s cash cow, earning the pharmaceutical company $1.3 billion last year alone. The funny thing about the toxin—originally developed as a biological weapon—is it works for a lot of “off-label” uses as well (like treating anal fissures and preventing hair loss), and Allergan says that non-cosmetic applications could be an even bigger market because health insurers will help pay for the treatments. Likely upcoming FDA-approved treatments: stroke-induced muscle spasms, chronic migraines, and enlarged prostates.
Reader Pattie got the wrong pills from CVS and luckily, she noticed before taking them. She has no idea what they were, but is wondering if this sort of mistake is common.
Walgreen has announced that if you’re willing to provide proof of unemployment and sign a form that says you lost your health benefits along with your job, you and your uninsured family members can receive free treatment at any of their 300+ in-store health clinics. What’s covered: “respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions, among other ailments.” What’s not: checkups, vaccinations or other injections, and prescriptions.
Great news, 17-year-olds! A federal judge has ruled that you can now avoid accidental babies by partaking in the emergency contraceptive wonder that is Plan B. Back in 2006, the Food and Drug Administration limited the contraceptive to women 18 and over, and ordered pharmacists to hide the drug behind their counters away from other common contraceptives. Judge Edward Korman ruled this week that the agency’s decision was based on politics not science, and that it constituted an unacceptable public health buzzkill.
Consumer Reports Health says: Getting free samples of prescription drugs from your doctor might sound like a great deal, but they can end up costing you more in the long run. Manufacturers typically use free samples to promote the newest, least-tested drugs. Such gifts might lead doctors to prescribe them when other drugs might be better. [Consumer Reports Health]
Activate descending slide whistle: Bodee LLC is recalling boner pill Zencore Plus because if you use it and take organic nitrates you might die. The interaction between the benzamidenafil and the organic nitrates can cause a “life-threatening” risk of a sudden and large drop in blood pressure, the FDA said in a press release, while noting that the probability of such an interaction occurring is unknown.
If you transfer a prescription to RiteAid, you’ll receive a $25 gift card. Emily, who tipped us to this, says the cashier told her you could do this for up to four meds, but their website says just two. Also, you can’t use the gift card to pay for prescriptions. Still, hey, free money if you don’t mind where you get your prescription filled. [Rite Aid]
Two recent Supreme Court cases on federal pre-emption have made a mess of tort law, confusing and endangering consumers by holding that a patient who is injured by a dangerous drug can sue the manufacturer, but a patient injured by a dangerous medical device cannot. How this happened, and what to do about it, inside.
There’s some human-sized pills working out at Union Station in DC. It seems the mad scientists at Consumers Union have trapped them and forced them to undergo fiendish exercise experiments in front of commuters and passersby to see which drugs work best. Their findings are documented in the new publication “Best Drugs for Less” which is being handed out for free in front of these not jagged, not little, pills. Video here.
The Wall Street Journal Health Blog has some “eye-popping” news — a doctor has been caught fabricating 21 drug studies, some of which were favorable to drugs that have since been pulled from the market — Merck’s Vioxx and Pfizer’s Bextra.
We love chile rellenos, but this is just silly. A store in NYC sold peppers stuffed with cocaine to three different customers, none of whom knew they were getting a little something extra in their produce.
Latisse, a new drug that promises longer, fuller lashes, started out as Lumigan, a glaucoma drug. Now’s been approved by the FDA to treat “inadequate” eyelashes, but there are some pretty crazy possible side effects. Like permanent changes to your eye color.