Drugs & Medications

Drugs & Medications Articles

5 tips to help you stay safe during medical treatment

Medical errors are less common than they used to be, but they still happen. Medication errors are particularly problematic. Being knowledgeable about medications, asking questions, and speaking up when something doesn’t sound right can help prevent many of these mistakes. (Locked) More »

Are inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome the same?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are different, though they can have similar symptoms. IBS symptoms seem to arise from hypersensitive nerves and abnormal muscle contractions in the digestive tract, while IBD results from a problem with the immune system causing inflammation. (Locked) More »

Depression and heart disease: A double-edged sword?

Depression and cardiovascular disease are common conditions that often occur together. People with depression can find it hard to muster the energy to stick to healthy habits, including choosing and preparing healthy foods and taking prescribed medications on schedule. Three lifestyle changes can improve both illnesses: doing regular exercise, getting plenty of high-quality sleep, and practicing mindfulness meditation. Antidepressants such as sertraline (Zoloft) and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors help ease depression in people with cardiovascular disease. So can cognitive behavioral therapy, which is designed to help people recognize and change ingrained, negative thoughts or behaviors. (Locked) More »

Is it dementia or something else?

People often fear that memory lapses, such as forgetting your keys or people’s names, are related to dementia. But there are also many more benign reasons for forgetfulness. A lack of sleep, certain medications, or even stress, anxiety, or depression can lead to memory problems. People experiencing memory lapses should see their doctor to investigate potential causes. (Locked) More »

The story on heart stents

Close to a million stents to open blocked or narrowed coronary arteries are implanted each year, and as people age the odds of being added to the list increases. A stent can save a person’s life during a heart attack, but also may be needed if someone has significant plaque blockage. Knowing what to do before and after the procedure can help with recovery and support future heart health. (Locked) More »

’Tis the (allergy) season

Spring is prime time for seasonal pollen allergies, and older adults shouldn’t be surprised if they develop new allergy symptoms.  Getting an allergy test to identify specific allergens and using common over-the-counter remedies can often manage symptoms. If these are ineffective, allergy shots may help. People can further protect themselves by avoiding the outdoors when the pollen count is high. (Locked) More »

Did my diet cause my gout?

Diet alone is unlikely to cause a type of painful arthritis known as gout, but can trigger an attack in someone who already has the condition. (Locked) More »

Fears about statin side effects: Often unfounded?

Statins appear to have a strong nocebo effect, which occurs when people experience negative effects from a drug, placebo, or other treatment based on an expectation of harm. The true incidence of muscle aches from statins is likely less than 10%. The statin may be causing the problem if the ache or pain begins within a month of starting the drug; is symmetrical (affects both sides of the body), and is unexplained by other possible causes, such as a new exercise regimen or an injury. (Locked) More »

Understanding "blood thinners"

So-called blood thinners actually don’t "thin" blood. They are anti-clotting drugs that protect high-risk people from developing potentially dangerous blood clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. People who may benefit from them include those who have atrial fibrillation or a stent in a blood vessel, or who are immobile after surgery. (Locked) More »