Medication

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About Bisphosphonates - When to Stop Them

Medical treatments are continually studied and recommendations to medical professionals are regularly revised. In this post I will update you on the latest recommendations related to the drugs used to treat osteoporosis and osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis). Click here if you would like to review an my post about the risk factors, detection and prevention of these conditions.

If you take Fosamax, Atelvia, Actonel, Boniva or Reclast (or if your health professional has recommended you take one of them) read this post to learn how get the most benefit from them.

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Do You Take Omega 3 Fish Oils? Are You Taking Enough?

After reading this post see this link for an UPDATE: Should I Take Fish Oils - or Not

The American Heart Association recommends that patients with elevated triglycerides take 2 to 4 grams (that’s 2000 to 4000 mgs) of omega 3 fish oils a day. In my practice, I recommend 4 grams per day for almost everyone – particularly those people with abnormal cholesterol profiles, Metabolic Syndrome, diabetes, and/or cardiovascular disease.

That’s the dose I take myself - for prevention - even though my cholesterol profile is normal. But when I ask my patients how much they take, most of the time they say “one a day” – and that is not enough. Read here why more omega 3s are better than not enough.

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The Vytorin Controversy: What’s a Patient to Do?

Note; This post was originally published on May 15, 2008 and updated updated on January 16, 2009. Click here to read the update. This has remained one of the most frequently read posts on this blog.

When all the controversy about Vytorin hit the popular press in January 2008, patients immediately began calling my office for more information. They are asking a lot of good questions. They want to know whether they should stay on the drug or stop it; whether it is doing them any good – or more importantly, whether it is doing them any harm. I’m going to try to explain what the controversy is all about and give you some information that will help you figure out what to do.

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The Vytorin Controversy One Year Later - An Update

On January 8, 2009, the FDA issued the following safety review of Vytorin and concluded: “patients should not stop taking Vytorin or other cholesterol lowering medications and should talk to their [health provider] if they have any questions about these medications.”

Dear patient, you have been drawn into a medical slugfest that is being fought among leading cardiologists, so what are you to do? Read my prior post to get some background on the Vytorin controversy and then read this post to see where we are one year later.

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How to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

I have an idea about how to lower prescription drug costs and save millions (if not billions) of wasted dollars.

I know how to decrease confusion and eliminate much of the unnecessary anxiety related to prescription drugs. And I know how to decrease the cost of prescription drugs for individuals. How?

Pass a law to make it illegal for drug companies to advertise directly to consumers. Read on see why this is good idea.

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Swine Flu Symptoms and When You Need Tamiflu

The swine flu (AKA H1N1) has gotten our attention. At my practice we are getting getting calls from patients asking about the symptoms and for prescriptions for Tamiflu to have at home “just in case”.

In this post I want to explain the symptoms of swine flu and when you do and do not need Tamiflu (oseltamivir) – or the other anti-viral medication, Relenza (zanamivir). Also, I want to give you a link to good information sources about swine flu. There is a lot of hype out there and as this is a story that is still being written, so I want you to have reliable sources for the best information.

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Flu Shots: Who Needs Them and Why

Labor Day has come and gone heralding the end of summer. I’m back here at the blog after a (great) summer break. I hope you had a healthy summer and are ready to move forward this fall and winter continuing to improve your health and speaking out for health care reform.

This post will remind you about immunizations you may need to get in the next 8 weeks and provide an update on the current status of the swine flu vaccine – when it will be given and whether you need to be vaccinated.

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What to Do If You Can’t Afford Your Meds

Times are hard and people are struggling. I have written many times on this blog about the importance of medications. They are life saving, but they must be taken faithfully and exactly as prescribed if they are to do any good.

But what if you can’t afford your medications? You do have options and almost every drug company has programs that can help. Read this post for information about assistance programs for patients and what your responsibility is in getting needed meds.

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Is It Bad to Take Medications?

This blog is dedicated to helping non-medical consumers make smart choices about how to handle their health and health care. Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, is there more misinformation or more misconceptions than where medications are concerned.

Sometimes when I advise prescription drugs to treat uncontrolled medical conditions patients react as if I am literally trying to poison them. I find the majority of patients, regardless of their intelligence, are not well educated about either the danger of not treating certain conditions or the benefit of treatment with the right drug at the right dose.

Read this post if you are willing to set your preconceptions aside and look at the whole medication question from a health professional’s perspective.

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Smart Women Missing Stroke Risks and Warning Signs

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in both men and women (right behind heart disease and cancer). It occurs equally in men and women until age 75. After age 75 women are at much greater risk for stroke than men. Stroke incidence has been increasing in women of all ages. In recent years strokes have surged in the age 45 to 54 age groups – groups usually at low risk for stroke. Why? Experts believe it’s because of an increase in risk factors that lead to stroke.

In a recent study published in the February 2009 issue of the medical journal Stroke researchers reported that 215 women, all having at least one risk factor for stroke, were unable to identify their risks. Furthermore they did not consider themselves to be at risk and were doing nothing to reduce their risk. The researchers concluded “Educational strategies must advocate for and target high-risk women.”

Read this post to learn the risks and warning signs of stroke these women missed.

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