Drugs and Supplements

Are statins enough? When to consider PCSK9 inhibitors

Statins have been used to treat high cholesterol for decades, but some people who take statins still have LDL cholesterol levels that are too high. A different type of medication, PCSK9 inhibitors, were approved several years ago and are showing effectiveness in lowering LDL in such people.

Does CBD help with arthritis pain?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If you have chronic arthritis pain, you may have been tempted to try cannabidiol as a treatment, or you may have tried it already. But is there any evidence that it works? Studies are finally addressing this question, and the results are just starting to come in.

Weight-loss drug Belviq recalled

Findings from a follow-up on people taking the weight-loss medication Belviq showed a slight increase in the occurrence of cancers, resulting in the drug being withdrawn from the market at the request of the FDA.

Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain

The FDA has not yet released the results of its testing of the heartburn medication ranitidine. The testing method used by the online pharmacy that originally alerted the FDA may have affected their results.

The scoop on protein powder

The amount of protein you need depends on your age, health, and the intensity of your fitness routine. For most people it’s relatively easy to get the recommended amount from food, but there are situations when someone might want to consider a protein powder supplement.

Beyond heart health: Could your statin help prevent liver cancer?

Irun Bhan, MD

Contributor

Statins have been prescribed for decades to lower cholesterol, but a recent study found that one type of statin may provide people with certain kinds of liver disease protection from developing liver cancer.

LDL cholesterol: How low can you (safely) go?

Lowering LDL cholesterol has been shown to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have suggested that more aggressive goals for LDL levels in people who already have CVD can decrease risk even further.

Are polypills and population-based treatment the next big things?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Combining multiple medications into a single pill, or polypill, is one approach to improving adherence (taking medication as prescribed). Depending on the conditions being treated, it may be easier for people to take a single pill, but there are also downsides to this approach.

DOACs now recommended over warfarin to prevent blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation

For decades, people with atrial fibrillation were prescribed warfarin to prevent blood clots. But a new type of anticoagulant medication (known as DOACs) that came on the market in 2010 has proven to be at least as effective as warfarin, with fewer side effects and without the need for blood test monitoring.

Lasmiditan: New first-in-class drug treatment approved for migraine

Paul Rizzoli, MD

Contributor

The first of a new class of medications for the treatment of migraine has been approved by the FDA. Lasmiditan works differently than existing medications, and does not cause blood vessels to narrow (a side effect that makes them unsuitable for those with vascular conditions).