LATEST NEWS AND FACTS ABOUT MEDICINES YOU TAKE

Why Should I Be Concerned About Drug Side Effects?

Each year more than two million hospital admissions in the U.S. are due solely to adverse drug reactions—and 180,000 of those result in death.

Gregory Horler

Too Much of a Good Thing?

For one in five drugs, dosages are ultimately lowered years after FDA approval—after millions of people have received the higher doses.

Joan Kimball

Women May Need Different Doses

Prescription guidelines do not currently distinguish between the sexes, even though it’s well recognized that women suffer more frequently from side effects.

Adderall XR

Move Over Ritalin, Adderall is Twice as Potent

Ritalin use has widely been phased out in favor of Adderall, a powerful blend of four amphetamines that includes Dexedrine and Benzedrine.

Evgesh

Supreme Court: Generic Drugmakers Not Required to Warn of Dangers

(June 23, 2011) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, expressing frustration, said: "As a result of today's decision, whether a consumer harmed by inadequate warnings can obtain relief turns solely on the happenstance of whether her pharmacist filled her prescription with a brand-name or generic drug. The court gets one thing right: This outcome makes little sense."

Even the American Association of Justice (representing trial attorneys) said the ruling was "disastrous" for consumers.

Generics are now buy-at-your-own-risk drugs.

Satu Knape

Are You a Drug Guinea Pig?

A Hidden Threat From the Newest Drugs

Whether you know it or not, if you have purchased newly released drugs or have taken free samples of medication, you, too, are part of the great ongoing clinical trial. Find out why the hottest drugs may be the most toxic.

Stop Side Effects Before They Start

Many drug reactions are preventable. Learn how to protect yourself.

RPC

Over-the-Counter Drugs: Safe?

If over-the-counter drugs were dangerous, the FDA would never allow them to be sold without a prescription, right? Not exactly. Almost all OTC medications were at one time prescription drugs and have inherent risks of adverse reactions like any prescription.

FDA-approved black box warning label RPC

What is a “Black Box” Warning?

A black box warning means that medical studies indicate that the drug carries a significant risk of serious or even life-threatening adverse effects. It is the strongest alert the FDA can require.

Even though the bold warning label is always printed on the manufacturer’s wholesale packaging, patients may never see a drug’s “black box” risks.

FDA: Antidepressents Increase Risk of Suicidal Behavior in Users Under 25

Strong warning labels about the suicide risk associated with antidepressants are updated to add young adults ages 18 to 24. Antidepressents since 2004 have carried a “black box” warning about an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in children and adolescents. The FDA says users of all ages should be closely monitored.

Marcelo Wain

Skyrocketing Abuse of Prescription Meds

Prescription drug abuse is now the nation's fastest-growing drug problem, according to the director of the White House Office of Drug Control Policy, as reported by Associated Press.

A 400 percent increase in substance-abuse was found in children and adults (ages 12 and up) during the ten-year period of 1998 to 2008, according to the same government study. The rise in illicit use of pharmaceuticals spans every gender, race, ethnicity, education and employment level, and all regions of the country.

More Americans Taking Prescription Drugs

For the first time, more than half of all insured Americans are taking prescription medicines regularly for chronic health problems, according to data compiled by Medco Health Solutions, reports Assoicated Press.

Medication use: Number of Americans taking prescription drugs on a regular basis. Children and teenagers: one-in-four. Women: almost two-thirds. Men: more than half. Seniors 65 and older: three-out-of-four.
ABOVE: “Study shows more Americans taking prescription drugs.” Associated Press, USA Today, May 14, 2008.
Igor Kisselev

One-in-Five Teens Abuses Medications

Easy to get. Easy to use. Nearly one in five teenagers reported abusing prescription and over-the-counter medications, according to a 2006 national study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institues of Health.

Paul Hart

ADHD Drugs Send Thousands to the ER

ADHD medicines are linked to cause of death in 25 people, 19 were children, reported to the FDA from 1999 to 2003.

Udo Weber

Academic Doping

For years students have used coffee, NoDoze caffeine pills and other stimulants to help them through demands of school. Today some students are using a study aid that can be deadly.

Strattera

FDA: Strattera May Prompt Suicidal Thoughts in Children & Teens

Strattera, a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), now carries a “black box” warning—the strongest the FDA can require—following an analysis of a dozen clinical trials in which about five patients reported suicidal thoughts. One participant attempted suicide.

Maartje van Caspel

Marketing Myth: One-Dose-Fits-All

“It’s the holy grail that every drug company tries to acheive,” according to a former director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Federal drug agency who said: “One-dose-fits-all is a marketing myth.”

DEA: Explosive Rise in Childhood ADHD and Medication Use

Wakila

The number of kids taking psychotropic medication has exploded in recent years, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Methylphenidate (Concerta, Focalin, Metadate, Ritalin) and amphetamine (Adderall, Dexedrine, Vyvanse) are Schedule II drugs, considered potential drugs for abuse under the Controlled Substances Act and production levels are therefore regulated by the federal government.

SPECIAL FEATURE

Prescription Deaths

Reaction to medications is the third leading cause of death in America; dwarfing deaths caused by automobile accidents, AIDS, alcohol and illicit drug abuse, infectious disease, diabetes, and murder.

Why Are Drug Prices So High?

Harvard's Marcia Angell, M.D., former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, speaks at Rockefeller University about the high costs of prescription drugs and the economics behind pharmaceutical marketing. The Truth About Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What To Do About It Click the link below to listen to the podcast of her speech “The truth about drug companies.”

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