Medications

In the News: 12/04

R.I.P. Vioxx: What Now For Arthritis Pain; Prednisone Puts RA Patients At Pneumonia Risk; Barometer, Thermometer Do Affect Joint Pain.

A Hard Pill To Swallow?

Switch to liquid or other forms, or grind it into your next meal.

In the News: 03/03

Smokers And Divorced At Greater Risk For Arthritis? Its been well established that age, obesity and physical inactivity can contribute to the onset or severity of arthritis. But researchers at Atlantas Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now have found that arthritis appears to occur more commonly in people who are separated, divorced, or who have smoked. The findings, published in the Journal of Rheumatology and based on surveys of 17,556 people who had been diagnosed…

Ask Dr. Marks: 01/03

Im a new subscriber. I suffer from moderate joint pain, and I suspect it may be arthritis. Ive decided to go to a doctor, but Im confused. What type of doctor should I go to? If you suffer from moderate joint pain, its best if you bring this to the attention of your primary care physician. He will examine you and obtain the necessary lab studies to rule out rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. If…

Dosage: Too Much…Or Too Little?

The old adage, "Pop two aspirin and call me in the morning," may sound like good advice, but how well any drug actually works depends on you. Your health, your age, even your gender have a profound impact on the effectiveness and safety of many medications. A new brand of science called pharmacogenomics has revealed many variations in how patients respond to drugs. Scientists working in the field are now researching ways to better match drug…

In the News: 10/04

U.S. Population Overdosing On Pain-Relievers More than half of the people who buy over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications either take more than the recommended dose or take them more often than the label advises, according to a large-scale study by the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association. The study, which was sponsored by Pfizer, included 3,443 men and women who had taken pain relievers for a variety of reasons (backache, headache, joint pain,…

Cutting Drug Costs

The cost of medications seems to go in only one direction-up. In 2003, prescription drug costs rose 7.9 percent, more than twice the rate of inflation, and this year isnt shaping up to be much kinder. Though drug discount cards and planned changes in Medicare may provide seniors with some relief, it may not be enough to keep drug bills from eating up a growing percentage of their income. To help seniors-and anyone else taking…

Ask Dr. Marks: 10/04

Ive seen a lot of ads for exotic herbs and special supplements that claim to rebuild worn cartilage. Do any of these treatments work? If not, are there any procedures or treatments that do work in rebuilding cartilage? No herbs, dietary supplements, or home remedies have been proven to rebuild damaged cartilage-and you should be wary of any ads that claim their product does so. Surgical procedures can rebuild a type of cartilage, called fibrocartilage,…

Dangerous Liaisons: Drugs At War

At first, a 71-year-old patient was feeling better after he began taking Celebrex to relieve pain in an arthritic hip. But he was hospitalized a week later because he was feeling weak and nauseous, and his stools had become loose and dark. He was feeling fine in the six months prior to his hospitalization, even though he had a history of atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, heart failure, mini-strokes, gout, and heartburn. For these pre-existing…

In the News: 02/03

Study Reveals One In Three Americans Suffers From Arthritis As many as 70 million-one in three -U.S. adults suffer from arthritis or chronic joint symptoms, according to new numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study confirms that arthritis and other rheumatic conditions comprise the leading cause of disability among adults in the U.S. Worse, according to CDC epidemiologist Dr. Charles Helmick, an aging population, an obesity epidemic, and the countrys…

Pain Relievers – Which One For You?

Pain takes many forms-headaches, migraines, joint pain, sore back, aching muscles, toothaches, just to name a few. Pain, in whatever form, is at best annoying and at worst disabling, but one thing is certain-you need to get rid of it to function properly and carry out your daily tasks. You reach for your pain reliever, or analgesic, and hope for the best. Youre not alone-millions of Americans spend over $7 billion on analgesics every year.…

Steroids: Therapy With An Evil Side

When cortisone was first introduced 50 years ago, it was hailed as a cure for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Everyone who took it seemed to get better. But then its down side- serious, long-lasting side effects -soon became apparent. Steroids are effective anti-inflammatory drugs that can quickly control a flare up of arthritis. But there isn't a dose you can stay on forever without suffering side effects, says Daniel Mazanec, M.D., director of the Center for…