Dr. Sharon Orrange - October 24, 2017
If you have depression that hasn’t responded to a single antidepressant, switching to another one or adding a second medication is your next step. New evidence is guiding what to do next if you aren’t much better after 6 – 12 weeks of treatment.
When your antidepressant isn’t working to improve or relieve your depressive symptoms, what’s your next step?
- Don’t stop and switch. 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
The GoodRx Pharmacist - June 02, 2016
According to the FDA, medications containing olanzapine may cause a rare but serious skin reaction that can spread to affect other parts of the body—and even lead to death.
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 - March 05, 2015
Bipolar disorder is associated with obesity. This is more true for women than men, as studies suggest obesity is more common in women with bipolar disorder. A troubling finding is that obesity in bipolar disorder is associated with greater illness burden and lower response to treatment. Depressive symptoms are more common in obese bipolar patients and women with bipolar disorder report the fear of weight gain as the most worrisome medication side effect. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - March 03, 2015
Bipolar disorder is just as common in men as in women, yet women are more likely to experience mixed episodes. Bipolar disorder can have many types of mixed episodes but the most common are manic episodes with mixed features, and depressive episodes with mixed features.
What does that mean? Women more often experience mixed episodes. These can be manic episodes with at least three depressive symptoms (depressed mood, fatigue, suicidal ideation, etc) or depressive episodes with at least three manic symptoms. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - January 31, 2014
You may worry it’s a tremor from Parkinsons, but often it’s not. Essential tremor (ET) is the most common tremor disorder in adults and often affects patients’ ability to write and eat. The head and voice are commonly affected, and many of you remember Katherine Hepburn’s essential tremor as the classic example. Once your doctor has told you that your tremor is ET and not something else, you will wonder what your options for treatment are. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - November 05, 2013
What’s the deal with the best selling mood medicine of the year?
Abilify. This tiny little pill, an atypical antipsychotic, made the drug company over 6 billion dollars this past year. It’s an expensive drug and there are many patient assistance programs out there for Abilify but the question you should ask first: is it worth paying for? Let’s find out.
Dr. Sharon Orrange - February 04, 2013
If you take prescription drugs to treat a chronic illness, it’s possible to save more than 50% off cost of your medication by simply splitting your pills.
Sadly, it’s not all that easy to know when pill splitting is all right.
Not all pills can be split. However, many doctors and insurance companies are advising this strategy with an increasing number of medicines. (It’s also worth noting that the American Medical Association, the American Pharmacists Association, and most pharmaceutical companies oppose pill-splitting. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - January 18, 2012
Three to four years ago those of us in primary care started to see more and more of our adult and elderly patients on Risperdal (risperidone) for many different uses. As it turns out, the drug company making that drug, Johnson and Johnson, will now be paying $158 million to settle claims that it inappropriately marketed Risperdal for non-FDA-approved uses. They aren’t the only ones; several other antipsychotic drug makers are paying big bucks for doing the same thing, specifically for Geodon and Zyprexa. See More