Newer classes of medications have transformed diabetes care and cancer treatment, but is newer always better? Patients often ask me if there is something “newer” than their current medication and if they should switch. My answer? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Here are 11 medications that have been around forever (and I’m talking some from the 50’s) and are still recommended as first-line therapy.
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Knowing which medications can interfere with calcium can mean the difference between being healthy and being critically ill. Not only is 99% of the calcium in adults found in the skeleton, but we need it for other everyday functions too — from maintaining healthy nerves to regulating blood clotting and muscle contractions.
The amount of calcium in your blood can tell a lot about your health. It reflects how much of the mineral is leaked from bones, how it’s absorbed in your intestines, and how it’s filtered in your kidneys. See More
If you’ve been able to control your high blood pressure with the same hypertension medications for years, it’s tempting to hold the course — but don’t. Older medications can cause serious side effects, and updated guidelines for treating high blood pressure are released every year with recommendations for current best therapies.
It’s natural for newer medications that work better and pose fewer risks to replace older ones. See More
It’s not being overly dramatic to say that abnormal levels of potassium may actually kill you. Serum (bloodstream) potassium is an electrolyte, and imbalances are called hyperkalemia (when too high) and hypokalemia (when too low). Cardiac arrhythmias are a known serious outcome of both hypo- and hyperkalemia, and national statistics indicate that almost half of 1% of emergency department visits and 2% of hospitalizations for high potassium end in death. See More
High blood pressure is a key risk factor for stroke and heart disease, but it is easy to treat! If you have tried lifestyle changes and your blood pressures is still greater than 140/90, your doctor may discuss starting a medication to lower your pressure. If this is the case, it might be difficult to decide on which blood pressure medication is best for you. However, it turns out this question has been well studied, and the answer partly depends on your age and race. See More
Sexual problems are common in both men and women. These problems take different forms including lack of desire (decreased libido), inability to achieve erection or orgasm and impaired arousal.
Medications are a common and easily treatable cause of sexual dysfunction—and these drugs are the most likely to cause problems. See More
Nocturnal leg cramps are a common cause of pain in the legs that can disrupt sleep. They are present in nearly 50 percent of those over the age of 50. Leg cramps are characterized by sudden muscle tightness, most commonly in the foot, thigh, or calf, that may last from seconds to minutes. Forceful stretching of the affected muscles usually relieves these leg cramps. For some reason, the vast majority of people have these cramps only at night. See More