Drugs and Supplements
A new type of medication for migraine headaches is currently being reviewed by the FDA, and if approved may provide safe, long-lasting relief for many by blocking the activation of a molecule involved in the pain process.
People over 50 who want to keep their bones healthy may be tempted to take calcium and/or vitamin D supplements, but recent research found that these are not likely to be effective; for most people, getting these nutrients from food is a better strategy.
Medical marijuana is controversial, in part because many people aren’t aware of how and why it is used. Most commonly it is used to ease pain, and doctors need to be prepared for the questions their patients will have about it.
At one time there was hope that omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil capsules might prevent heart disease, but 15 years of research has found this belief to be untrue, and taking fish oil could even be harmful to some people.
People who take an anticlotting medication are at higher risk of bleeding if they need an invasive procedure, but stopping the drug ahead of a procedure carries its own risks.
Genetic testing may help identify when certain people may be at risk of having an adverse reaction to medication. Researchers hope that such testing will eventually be lead to the ability to recommend the most effective medication that has the fewest side effects for a specific person’s condition.
If you’ve had a reaction or other issue with a medication, the Food and Drug Administration wants to know about it. The FDA provides tools for health professionals and consumers to report adverse reactions to drugs and medical devices.
Conventional medical wisdom has held that taking antibiotics for longer periods of time produces better results and lowers the risk for antibiotic resistance. But the evidence for this is slim, and researchers are now questioning this approach.
A study of endurance athletes who took ibuprofen during marathon running raises questions about the wisdom of ibuprofen during exercise, and in addition that people with kidney disease may want to exercise caution when taking these medications.
The best way to get the vitamin D your body needs is through sun exposure, but since many people are now more vigilant about sun protection, eating foods rich in the vitamin is preferable to taking a supplement. It’s also important to be aware that too much vitamin D can be harmful.