Month: May 2016

Medicare Part D and Advantage plans are meant to help make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors. Ask any senior about their Medicare coverage, however, and you’ll find out that Medicare coverage is far from perfect. Many prescriptions aren’t covered, there are all sorts of rules and limitations, and then there’s the dreaded “donut hole”… Read More

For years, HIV and AIDS treatment required several different pills—many of which were large and hard to take, and came with side effects like nausea and vomiting. Today, advancements in HIV treatment can mean taking as little as one pill at a time—and two more options, Odefsey and Descovy, were just approved by the FDA…. Read More

The FDA has issued a safety alert for a certain type of antibiotics: fluoroquinolones, also known as quinolones. According to the FDA, there is new information that quinolone antibiotics may cause very serious side effects when used to treat sinusitis, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections. What kind of serious side effects can occur if a quinolone… Read More

Metformin (Glucophage) is first line therapy for diabetes which carries the benefit of helping with weight loss. It’s cheap, does not result in risky low blood sugars (hypoglycemia), has a cheap generic—oh AND it may help you live longer. In a previous blog I told you about the exciting early evidence that metformin may help… Read More

There are many medications on the market that have very similar names, which can sometimes be confusing for you, your pharmacist, and your doctor. One example is Brintellix (an anti-depressant) and Brilinta (a blood thinner). Especially since they treat such different conditions, confusing these two prescriptions can cause big problems—and could even be life-threatening. To lower the… Read More

You and your healthcare provider have decided it’s time to wean off your antidepressant and now you wonder: what is the best way to stop? Does taking it slow make more sense than cold turkey? What symptoms might I feel? First: the “discontinuation syndrome” is worse when you stop your antidepressant abruptly. This may include dizziness,… Read More

clipboard with health insurance on it

Hoping to save a few bucks on your prescription? Trying to avoid a trip to the drugstore? If so, maybe you’ve considered getting your meds through your insurance company’s mail-order pharmacy. More than one-third of respondents in a 2013 Consumer Reports survey got at least some of their prescriptions through a mail-order pharmacy during the… Read More

The CDC (Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention) estimates that nearly 17.7 million adults and 6.3 million children in the United States suffer from asthma. Depending on how well it’s controlled, asthma can have an enormous effect on your daily life. More severe asthma means more frequent symptoms like coughing, wheezing, tight chest, and shortness… Read More

New Biosimilar Approval: Inflectra Inflectra (infliximab-dyyb) is the second biosimilar to be approved in the US—hopefully with more to come in 2016. Inflectra will be an alternative offered at a lower cost (similar to a generic drug) than its “reference biologic product” (similar to a brand-name drug). Like brand-name Remicade (infliximab), Inflectra will be use to treat several… Read More

Not all big toe pain is gout—but you may have been hearing more about it recently. The prevalence of gout has increased greatly over the past 30 years. So what is gout, why do we get it, and how can you get rid of it? Why more gout? There is more gout for three main… Read More