Dr. Sharon Orrange - February 20, 2018
After practicing medicine for 20 years, I’ve become adept at “clarifying” to life insurance companies why patients are taking certain medications. The same medications appear to trigger red flags for both long-term care and life insurance companies.
Their “concern” makes sense for some medications because they are used for serious chronic illnesses, but for others, the insurance companies are worried about your lifestyle. See More
Katie Mui - February 06, 2018
As we get older, our bodies start turning on us. Our blood pressure begins to rise, joints develop arthritis, and arteries start clogging up. We end up taking more and more medications. Some 90% of people over the age of 65 take at least one medication per week, and 40% take five or more. 1 in 6 people in this age group will inevitably experience a harmful side effect of a drug they are taking regularly. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - November 28, 2017
More than one in ten visits to a primary care doctor is for fatigue. Fatigue is composed of three major components: generalized weakness (difficulty in initiating activities), easy fatigability (difficulty in completing activities), and mental fatigue (difficulty with concentration and memory). While certainly not the only answer, medications may cause fatigue. Here are some of the common culprits.
Beta-blockers wear many hats. See More
Marie Beaugureau - November 16, 2017
Prescription opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine have long been considered some of the most helpful drugs for managing acute pain, where the body is immediately reacting to trauma or injury. Each year, over 200 million opioid prescriptions are given out in the United States.
Unfortunately, the rates of opioid abuse and overdose deaths have skyrocketed in recent years, leading healthcare providers and patients alike to be cautious about the use of opioids. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - July 26, 2017
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is a perception of sound in one or both ears in the absence of an external source. It’s often described by patients as buzzing, ringing, or whooshing.
Tinnitus can be a continuous sound or occur intermittently and while there is often no known cause, there are a handful of medications that can contribute. “Ototoxic medications” are those that may damage the inner ear. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - April 04, 2017
“Can I have a drink while I’m taking my medication?” This is a question that primary care doctors are frequently asked, rightly so. Almost 50% of Americans report taking a prescription medication in the previous month. Alcohol in moderation (3 – 5 drinks per week) is recommended for stroke and heart disease prevention, and many folks taking medications known to interact with alcohol still report regular use. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - December 21, 2016
“Can I just stop my medication?” This question, frequently asked of primary care doctors, has a complicated answer. For starters, if you are taking a medication that is controlling an ongoing medical problem like high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol you should never stop it on your own—or your problem will return. Many patients do come clean though, and report that they just plain stopped their meds. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - May 19, 2015
Dry mouth isn’t just an annoyance, it can lead to serious dental issues. Xerostomia is the medical term for dry mouth and when it happens, you’ll want to know what’s causing it.
Risk factors for dry mouth include medications, mouth breathing, older age, and a history of radiation therapy in cancer patients. Medical conditions that contribute to dry mouth include Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, and anxiety disorders, and these can be easily ruled out by your doctor. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - February 12, 2015
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have now passed medical marijuana laws, and four more have pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana. Meanwhile, the use of prescription opioid medications (hydrocodone, oxycodone) has increased as the number of Americans with chronic non-cancer pain has increased. With that, we have seen in the United States the disturbing rise in prescription opioid abuse and overdose deaths. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - December 18, 2014
Benzodiazepines are great for anxiety but used long term there are downsides. Long-term use of benzodiazepines can be habit forming and oh—put you at increased risk of Alzheimer disease.
Common benzodiazepines like Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam) and Valium (diazepam) are used to treat anxiety symptoms, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder and have been associated with cognitive impairment in some older adults. See More