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
Elizabeth Davis - August 17, 2016
Americans, get ready for sticker shock at the pharmacy.
In 2017, the nation’s largest insurance companies will likely exclude up to 154 different drugs from coverage. If you’re taking one of these prescriptions, your co-pay is about to go way, way up.
Last year, popular drugs including Viagra and Qsymia were dropped by major insurance plans for 2016. The trend continues this year. Almost 50 popular brand-name and generic drugs will likely no longer be covered by one of the nation’s largest prescription insurance providers. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - May 18, 2016
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, nausea, fatigue, muscle aches, chills, anxiety, and irritability. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - August 24, 2015
Almost 10% of Americans will battle depression over their lifetime. Some people will find themselves depressed after a traumatic life event; for others, it’s a constant battle.
While depression can happen to anyone, here are some surprising statistics:
- People living in the southeast US tend to have a higher incidence of depression.
- People with lower levels of education tend to report more depression. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - August 20, 2015
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
Dr. Sharon Orrange - June 10, 2014
One in ten visits to a primary care doctor is for fatigue. While certainly not the only cause, your medications can be the culprit for making you sleepy. Here are the players you need to know about.
Beta blockers. These are medications used for high blood pressure, migraine prevention, control of heart rate in atrial fibrillation, and they improve mortality after heart attack. Ok, now for the downside. They can make you sleepy. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - May 01, 2014
With depression so common, many women of reproductive age will be on antidepressant meds while attempting to conceive. Do I have to stop taking my antidepressant once I’m pregnant? That’s a question we face in primary care all the time.
It’s a complicated thing to study because comparing folks with depression taking antidepressants with folks not suffering from depression isn’t a fair study—because depression itself may be (and likely is) a risk factor for miscarriage. See More
Elizabeth Davis - March 10, 2014
Pfizer, the manufacturer of antidepressant Effexor XR (extended-release venlafaxine) capsules has issued a voluntary recall of two lots of 150 mg Effexor XR capsules and one lot of Greenstone-branded generic 150 mg venlafaxine ER capsules.
Dr. Sharon Orrange - February 13, 2014
Is there anything new for menopause?
Well, yes there is. 2014 brought some new guidelines by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for the treatment of symptoms of menopause: hot flashes and vaginal dryness/atrophy.
No new risks or dangers.
The good news is the guidelines didn’t raise any risks or dangers that we didn’t already know, for the medications or treatments we have been using. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - May 14, 2013
One of the most glaring examples of random pricing of medications is the varying price of capsules vs tablets. Most physicians and pharmacists know that the same medication will work just as well in a capsule or tablet form, but many don’t know there is such a huge price difference. Listen up.
Aside from some obvious differences (capsules can’t be crushed or split while tablets often can) here are some surprises in the capsule vs tablet discussion. See More