Drugs & Medications

Drugs & Medications Articles

Can taking aspirin regularly help prevent breast cancer?

There is insufficient evidence that a regimen of low-dose aspirin can prevent breast cancer, and it poses risks, including severe bleeding episodes. So, unless more evidence comes to light, experts say it’s too early to recommend the use of low-dose aspirin for this purpose. Until a few years ago it seemed that low-dose aspirin therapy held potential for breast cancer prevention, but three major studies that came out in 2018 changed that picture. Studies have also suggested against the use of aspirin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease because of bleeding risks. (Locked) More »

Statin side effect could be due to the "nocebo" effect

People who avoid statins because of previous side effects may have experienced what’s called a "nocebo" effect, where they develop an unpleasant response because they expect something negative to happen, not due to the drug itself. Many such people can safely resume statin medications. More »

Treating heart attacks: Changes from Eisenhower’s era to the present day

Treatments for heart disease have changed dramatically since President Eisenhower’s heart attack in 1955. Highlights of the advances include techniques to restore a normal heart rhythm and to repair blocked heart arteries, the development of medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and advice about lifestyle habits. (Locked) More »

Will these surprising factors really raise your blood sugar?

The Internet contains many claims about factors that increase blood sugar. Some, however, just don’t hold up. For example, stress from sunburn pain, not drinking enough water, and using steroid nasal sprays will not make blood sugar spike. Likewise, it’s unclear if caffeinated coffee, artificial sweeteners, or gum disease will increase blood sugar. However, it is well established that some factors do raise blood sugar over time, such as overeating, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. (Locked) More »

An unexpected benefit of better blood pressure control?

Contrary to widespread belief, aggressive blood pressure treatment does not seem to increase the likelihood of orthostatic hypotension. Defined as large drop in blood pressure when standing up, orthostatic hypotension can lead to dizziness and lightheadedness as well as fainting and falls. People with well-controlled blood pressure may actually be less likely to have orthostatic hypotension because a lower blood pressure keeps the entire cardiovascular system functioning well. (Locked) More »

Certain foods and drugs may lower risk of colon cancer

Study results looking at a link between certain drugs, supplements or dietary approaches and a lower risk of colon cancer are mixed. However, some studies do suggest an association between NSAID use and high intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber with lower colon cancer rates. More »

Should you crank up your early allergy strategies this year?

Even if one is isolating because of the pandemic and mostly staying indoors, it will still be helpful to take allergy medications early in order to ward off spring symptoms. Doctors recommend using two drugs about three or four weeks before symptoms typically occur. One is a steroid nasal spray to fight inflammation, such as fluticasone propionate (Flonase). The other is an antihistamine to counteract histamine, a body chemical involved in allergic reactions, such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) or fexofenadine (Allegra). Once allergy season is under way, it may help to add nasal saline rinses and antihistamine eye drops to the regimen. (Locked) More »

Why am I itchy all over?

Generalized itching has many potential triggers, such as older age, dry environments, medication side effects, nerve damage, or allergens. Itch relief involves treating underlying causes, moisturizing the skin, and using a humidifier. If there is no identifiable cause of generalized itching, it may help to take gabapentin (Neurontin), use topical anesthetic patches or creams containing lidocaine, or take antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. UV light treatments and over-the-counter anti-itch creams may also provide relief. (Locked) More »