Prescription Drugs & FDA

  1. Diuretics can cause potassium loss

    Taking a diuretic? Take this, too

    Diuretics are commonly called "water pills" because they rid the body of excess water. They're very effective at that, as anyone rushing to the bathroom after swallowing one will tell you.

    But in reality, you lose more than just water with each flush of the toilet. These pills can also chase out potassium -- and that's why people who take them are often deficient in this mineral, which is so essential to heart function.

    So if you're on a diuretic drug, you almost certainly need to take a potassium supplement, too.

    It's not just important. It's essential -- and new research confirms they can make the difference between life and death.

    If you're taking a relatively low dose of the diuretic furosemide, potassium supplements can cut your risk of death by 7 percent, according to the study in PLoS One.

    But the higher the dose, the more essential those potassium supplements become. And if you're taking the more common dose of 40 milligrams a day or more, potassium supplements will cut your risk of death by 16 percent.

    If you're on a diuretic now and haven't been told to take potassium supplements, don't start on your own -- be sure to call your doctor first. While most pharmaceutical diuretics also remove potassium, not all of them do.

    Better yet, speak to a holistic medical doctor about safe and natural alternatives to diuretic drugs. Dandelion, for example, can flush out excess water without decreasing potassium and magnesium.

  2. Some NSAIDs pack deadly risks

    Painkillers boost heart risk in women

    It's a drug nearly everyone has, usually sitting in an innocent-looking bottle just behind the bathroom mirror.

    But that painkiller isn't so innocent after all.

    There are many types of painkillers, and nearly all of them are dangerous. But today I want to focus on just one -- certain NSAID painkillers that are so dangerous they could actually kill you.

    And this is one warning you won't find on the label.

    New research finds that certain NSAIDs, including naproxen (aka Aleve), can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and even death in postmenopausal women.

    The risk isn't found in all NSAIDs, just ones such as naproxen that target the cox-2 enzyme, which plays a role in the inflammation that causes many types of pain.

    But this enzyme has other critical functions in your body, including the prevention of blood clots. That's one reason some of the drugs that were most effective at blocking cox-2 also turned out to be downright deadly.

    You remember Vioxx and Bextra, right? Those were cox-2 inhibitors.

    After the scandal, many people switched to drugs such as naproxen because they believed them to be safe.

    But as the new study shows, they're anything but -- because even drugs that don't inhibit cox-2 as completely as Vioxx and Bextra come with risks. And in this case, the study finds they can increase the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke and death by 10 percent in postmenopausal women.

    The study in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes finds no increased risk from ibuprofen, but that doesn't mean that drug is safe. The truth is, all pharmaceutical painkillers -- both prescription and over-the-counter meds -- come with big risks.

    But you don't need those meds anyway.

    There are much safer ways to target the inflammation that causes pain, including natural remedies such as turmeric, MSM and fish oil as well as nondrug therapies like acupuncture, cold laser therapy and chiropractic.

    If your pain is chronic, work closely with a holistic medical doctor who can help find and correct the cause naturally.

  3. Losing weight can ease hot flashes

    Ease hot flashes with this one trick

    One minute, you're cool as a cucumber. The next, it's as if someone's snuck in, turned on a heat lamp and aimed it right at you.

    Yes, it's another hot flash -- one of the worst signs of "the change."

    Complain to a mainstream doctor, and he'll probably offer you a prescription drug such as an antidepressant. But those drugs have never actually proven to help turn down the heat and they come with big risks.

    The good news is you don't need meds to keep cool. There are a number of ways to fight hot flashes naturally -- and if you've put on a few extra pounds over the years, one of the most natural methods of all is to lose some weight. Continue reading

  4. Teaspoons are wrong for measuring meds

    How not to measure meds

    They're called teaspoons and tablespoons, so it's easy to see why most people believe they can measure out a teaspoon or tablespoon of medication.

    It's right there in the name.

    But kitchen spoons should be used for food, not medicine -- because when it comes to how much they actually hold, teaspoons and tablespoons don't measure up.

    And now, new research finds that they're actually a leading source of medication overdoses and underdoses in kids. Continue reading

  5. Steroid shots won't help leg and back pain

    The common back pain treatment you should avoid at all cost

    If a holistic medical doctor used a treatment that was repeatedly proven to be ineffective, you can bet the authorities would shut him down faster than you can say “quack."

    But let's find out who the real quacks are -- because mainstream doctors routinely use completely discredited therapies.

    And they get paid handsomely for it.

    One of the most common procedures in the United States is a steroid shot for back pain. It's so common that every day, 1,300 Medicare patients get these injections just for back pain -- and thousands more get them for other forms of pain. Continue reading

  6. ADHD drugs boost heart risk

    Stimulant meds for attention problems come with big risks

    The biggest problem facing many kids with ADHD these days isn't the condition itself.

    It's the drugs they're given to supposedly "treat" it.

    These drugs are both dangerous and addictive -- they've even been linked to heart problems in children, but those of us who've tried to bring attention to that risk have been dismissed by the mainstream.

    But they can't dismiss us now. Continue reading

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