Harvard Health Letter

Alternatives to taking pills

Medications have their dark side. Exercise, diet, and other changes can be alternatives, but could feel like a whole lot of hard work.

We've gotten used to taking pills for much that ails us, but these days, the medicine cabinet is looking like a rogues' gallery. There's been bad news about the painkiller rofecoxib (Vioxx), the diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia), and, most recently, the cholesterol-lowering combination of ezetimibe and simvastatin (Vytorin). Problems with hormone therapy and antidepressants have also been bannered in headlines.

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