Drugs & Medications

Drugs & Medications Articles

Advice about taking aspirin and statins after age 75

Low-dose aspirin and statins are mainstays for preventing heart disease. But for people ages 75 and older, there is less information about the safety and efficacy of these drugs than there is for younger people. According to estimates, nearly half of people ages 70 and older without heart disease take daily aspirin. But as people age, they may be more prone to bleeding, a potentially dangerous side effect of aspirin. Statins are associated with fewer and less serious complications than aspirin, yet people tend to worry more about statin side effects, especially muscle aches. For avoiding heart attacks, taking a statin is probably a safer and more effective approach than taking aspirin. But older people should consult with a doctor about whether to start, stay on, or stop either of these medications. (Locked) More »

What to do about the heartburn medication recall

Due to medication recalls, people who take heartburn medication that contains ranitidine are advised to talk to their doctors about whether to keep taking it. One alternative: switching to a similar drug in the same class. More »

Who needs aspirin?

Aspirin is prescribed to help protect people with cardiovascular disease against heart attacks and strokes. Yet, because aspirin is so readily available and familiar, many people who don’t need it take it on their own. This can expose them to potentially dangerous side effects, like severe bleeding, and can do more harm than good. (Locked) More »

Will a pill really help your sex life?

Erectile dysfunction drugs are more readily available than ever before, and in general, men have gotten past any stigma about needing them to get or maintain an erection. Yet many men approach ED drugs the wrong way and think the pills can fix problems in their sex lives that are related to mental or emotional issues. (Locked) More »

Getting a grip on hand osteoarthritis

The risk of hand osteoarthritis increases with age and can cause joint pain and stiffness that affects a person’s ability to effectively grasp and hold objects. It’s not possible to reverse hand osteoarthritis, or even slow its progression in most cases. Strategies to help manage flare-ups, include over-the-counter medications, hot and cold compresses, braces and splints, and hand physical therapy. More »

Shining a light on winter depression

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs during the late fall and early winter, with lack of natural light cited as the main contributor. Adopting light therapy, which involves exposure from a light box for about 30 minutes a day, can help restore the brain chemical imbalances that contribute to SAD. More »

Taking multiple prescriptions can be risky

Taking multiple medications at one time is a common cause of adverse events. This might include dangerous drug interactions or unpleasant side effects. To reduce the likelihood of these problems, people should always be certain that their doctor is aware of all the drugs and supplements they are taking. An online drug interaction checker can help identify dangerous combinations. Automated pillboxes and other technology can help ensure that drugs are taken correctly. (Locked) More »

Were the old aspirin studies wrong?

Over the past 50 years, changes in lifestyle and new treatments have been lowering rates of heart disease. That’s led to new evidence and advice about aspirin therapy. The new advice suggests that people between ages 40 and 70 with no known heart disease may not need aspirin. Those who have a high risk for heart disease who don’t have special risks for bleeding should talk to their doctor about taking aspirin. People who do have heart disease should take low-dose aspirin unless their doctor recommends against it. (Locked) More »