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Health News Results - 195

FRIDAY, Jan. 18, 2019 (American Heart Association) -- Flu has so far infected more than 6 million Americans this season, and winter colds are making their rounds. If you've been hit by either, you may be thinking about heading to your local pharmacy to relieve your aches, pains and congestion.

But before you do, you need to consider how some over-the-counter cold medicines may impact...

THURSDAY, Jan. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As the United States battles an epidemic of opioid abuse, people living in rural areas have nearly two times the odds of being prescribed the painkillers when compared to their urban peers.

That's the finding from a new study that suggests more must be done to curb opioid prescribing by doctors in rural America.

The research was ba...

THURSDAY, Jan. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As if the opioid crisis wasn't already bad enough, new research shows a sharp rise in the number of Americans taking dangerous combinations of opioids and sedatives.

These sedatives, known as benzodiazepines, are prescribed for pain, insomnia and anxiety. And another class of similar medications, called Z-drugs, are also being taken with sed...

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of Americans are living with drug addiction, but a free, national hotline that offers help is underused because most don't know about it, new research finds.

After the popular singer Demi Lovato was hospitalized in July, researchers found that although her suspected heroin overdose was widely written about, little mention was made of ...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Drug users suffering an opioid overdose might soon have access to an unusual lifeline -- a smartphone app.

University of Washington researchers have developed an app that can detect when a person's breathing dangerously slows or stops.

The Second Chance app accurately detected opioid overdose symptoms more than nine times out of 10...

THURSDAY, Jan. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People who overdose on opioids can often be saved quickly with a dose of naloxone, but it hasn't been clear how long someone should be kept in the hospital after being revived.

Now, new research bolsters existing criteria that say most patients can be discharged from the emergency department in as little as an hour after getting naloxone.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite being slashed by half in recent months, the price tag for advanced cholesterol-fighting drugs is still too high to make them cost-effective, a new analysis has concluded.

In March, the manufacturer of alirocumab (Praluent) announced that it would cut the cost of the medication from $14,000 a year to $7,000.

But the price wo...

THURSDAY, Dec. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- About one in every five people who take Valium, Xanax and other benzodiazepines are misusing the potentially addictive medication, U.S. survey data show.

The statistics also revealed that benzodiazepine use among adults is more than twice as high as previously reported, with nearly 13 percent using the drugs within the past year.

S...

FRIDAY, Dec. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of Americans with hepatitis C are living in just nine U.S. states -- five of those in a region hit hard by the opioid epidemic, a new study shows.

The findings offer the latest look at the fallout from the nation's opioid crisis: It's feeding new cases of hepatitis C -- a serious and potentially fatal liver infection.

...

MONDAY, Dec. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Rolling around, meowing and generally acting blissed-out: cats love the plant known as catnip.

Now, British scientists say they're closer to knowing how catnip works -- and their insights might end up helping felines' two-legged friends.

The substance in catnip that intoxicates cats is nepetalactone, explained a team led by Benjamin ...

FRIDAY, Dec. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past few months, numerous recalls of the popular heart drug valsartan have already occurred. Now, generics maker Mylan Pharmaceuticals is adding more products to the list.

The recall involves 104 lots of three medicines: valsartan tablets; combination tablets with the drugs valsartan and amlodipine; and combination tablets with vals...

MONDAY, Dec. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There's been a steady decline in opioid prescriptions for children and teens in the United States since 2012, a new study reveals.

"Understanding patterns of opioid use in children and adolescents is important because use in early life has been associated with a higher likelihood of opioid misuse in the future," said the study's first author, J...

MONDAY, Dec. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens and young adults who are prescribed opioid painkillers after having their wisdom teeth removed are at increased risk for addiction, new research suggests.

For the study, researchers looked at nearly 15,000 patients, aged 16 to 25, who were prescribed opioids (such as Vicodin or Lortab) after wisdom tooth extraction in 2015. The median num...

FRIDAY, Nov. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A smokeless method of vaporizing and then inhaling pot packs a much more powerful punch than simply smoking weed, researchers say.

That could raise safety concerns for users -- driving, for example.

Marijuana vaporizers heat pot to a temperature just below combustion, allowing people to inhale the intoxicating chemical THC from the p...

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Rebellious teens used to reach for cigarettes or alcohol. Now, marijuana is increasingly their first choice, a new study reveals.

Columbia University researchers who analyzed national survey data say the "gateway pattern" of substance use is changing. Since 2006, less than 50 percent of teens have tried cigarettes or alcohol before trying m...

MONDAY, Nov. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you're a pot-smoking parent and you think your kids aren't affected, think again.

New research found evidence of secondhand marijuana smoke exposure in nearly half of children whose parents smoke the drug.

"While the effects of tobacco smoke have been studied extensively, we are still learning about marijuana exposure," said resea...

MONDAY, Nov. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- With the rate of drug overdose deaths more than doubling since the turn of the century, the United States now leads the world in these preventable tragedies.

New research from investigators at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) indicates that drug-related death rates in the United States are now more than double what they are in many oth...

THURSDAY, Nov. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Cocaine is often cut with the anti-worming drug levamisole -- and the combination is linked to brain damage, Swiss researchers report.

"We can assume from our findings that it is not just cocaine that changes the brain, but that the adulterant levamisole has an additional harmful effect," said research leader Boris Quednow, from the Universit...

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery patients typically use only one-quarter of the opioids they're prescribed for post-operative pain, a new study finds.

And those leftover pills pose a risk of misuse, addiction and overdose, researchers at the University of Michigan said.

"It's striking to see the major discrepancy between prescribed amount and the amount pa...

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Although the herbal supplement kratom is still legal and widely available, its opioid-like effects have caused significant withdrawal symptoms in at least two newborns in the United States and that should raise concerns, researchers say.

A case study of a baby boy exposed to kratom during his mother's pregnancy -- only the second American ca...

TUESDAY, Nov. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- More than 2 million Americans have hepatitis C -- and the opioid epidemic is a major contributor to the problem, according to a new government study.

The study, by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, does highlight progress against the potentially fatal liver disease. It also shows how much more work remains, CDC officials sa...

FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- It's a twice-a-year ritual now: A day when Americans with unused prescription meds can safely dispose of them as part of National Drug Take-Back Day.

Saturday, Oct. 27, is the latest Take-Back Day, according to the program's sponsor, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Americans can bring excess pi...

FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In another distressing snapshot of the opioid epidemic gripping America, a new study reports that nearly 5 percent of older children and adults in Massachusetts have an opioid use disorder.

The study found that 4.6 percent of people over the age of 11, or more than 275,000 in the state, abuse opioids. That's nearly four times higher than previ...

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Generics make up 80 percent of drug prescriptions filled in the United States and are a big cost savings for consumers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandates that they perform the same way and are as safe and effective as brand-name drugs. However, makers of generics don't have to repeat the clinical trials done on the originals.<...

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In an attempt to head off federal regulation, America's pharmaceutical manufacturers announced Monday that they would take voluntary action to make drug prices more transparent.

Under the industry's plan, all TV drug advertisements would include information directing consumers to online resources that provide the drug's list price, estimated o...

MONDAY, Oct. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The gout drug allopurinol may offer some protection from kidney disease, according to a new study that upends traditional beliefs.

Some doctors hesitate to prescribe the drug to patients because of concerns it may raise their risk for chronic kidney disease, even though there is a lack of evidence to that effect.

As a result, many gou...

MONDAY, Oct. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People with type 2 diabetes who are taking common drugs called diuretics may be at a significantly increased risk of losing a foot or leg, according to a new French study.

Researchers found that taking a diuretic raised the odds of having an amputation, or requiring an angioplasty or bypass, by 75 percent or more, compared with those not using ...

FRIDAY, Sept. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- American teens are partaking of pot in any way they can, from smoking to vaping to eating marijuana edibles, new research shows.

The study, of Los Angeles-area high school students, found that about one-third had ever used marijuana. And most of them had used it in more than one way.

Smoking was most popular, but many kids also took...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Synthetic marijuana laced with rat poison has caused hundreds of hospitalizations in the United States this year, and a new study details just how serious the poisonings can be.

In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of recent outbreaks of severe bleeding linked to synthetic marijuana that was tainted with brodifacoum -- a b...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Against the backdrop of an unrelenting opioid crisis, two new government reports warn that America's seniors are succumbing to the pitfalls of prescription painkillers.

Issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the reports reveal that millions of older Americans are now filling prescriptions for many different opioid...

TUESDAY, Sept. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Pharmaceutical companies appear to be engaging in price gouging during drug shortages, with costs rising at double the normal rate when medications are in limited supply, a new study claims.

Prices can be expected to rise about 20 percent for drugs facing a shortage, but only about 9 percent for medicines in good supply, researchers re...

FRIDAY, Sept. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Of the 50 million Americans living with chronic pain, the pain is so bad for 20 million that it keeps them from doing the daily activities of life, researchers say.

According to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain are more common among women, older adults, the poor, peo...

THURSDAY, Sept. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- One in seven older veterans are sent home from the hospital with doses of blood pressure medications so high they can leave them feeling dizzy and at risk for falls, a new study finds.

Prescribing higher doses of these drugs occurs even though half of the patients had their blood pressure controlled with lower doses before they went to the...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- When you take your medications may have a lot to do with how well they work, new research suggests.

Using new bioinformatics tools, scientists analyzed thousands of human tissue samples and created a database of daily rhythms in human gene activity that includes many genes that regulate how drugs work. The database may help researchers id...

MONDAY, Sept. 10, 2018 (American Heart Association) -- For about one in five people with what appears to be hard-to-treat, or resistant, high blood pressure, they simply aren't taking prescribed medications, new research suggests.

Drug-resistant hypertension appears to be on the rise and occurs when blood pressure remains above normal even after the patient has been put on three or m...

FRIDAY, Sept. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A one-step nasal spray is the easiest form of naloxone to give someone suffering an opioid overdose, researchers say.

Increased public availability of naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is considered a key way to reduce opioid overdose deaths. But there's more than one way to administer it, and it wasn't clear which method would be...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. voters' despair over poor health and premature deaths might have tipped the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump's favor, a new analysis argues.

Counties that voted Republican more heavily had a 15 percent higher age-adjusted death rate than counties that voted heavily Democratic, researchers found.

In particular, count...

THURSDAY, Aug. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Rare but serious genital infections, as well as one death, have been reported in some patients taking a certain class of type 2 diabetes medicine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

As a result, the FDA has ordered a new warning about this risk to be added to the prescribing information and patient medication guide of all sodium-glu...

TUESDAY, Aug. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Drug-resistant bacteria caused nearly 6 percent of urinary tract infections (UTIs) analyzed by a California emergency department, a new study reports.

The bacteria were resistant to a majority of commonly used antibiotics and many of the patients had no identifiable risk for this kind of infection.

Most of the bacteria were E. coli ...

MONDAY, Aug. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In a finding that should give any new mom pause, researchers report that marijuana can linger in breast milk for almost a week.

Researchers tested breast milk samples from 50 women who used marijuana either daily, weekly or occasionally, and detected THC -- the active component of the drug -- in 63 percent of the samples for up to six days aft...

FRIDAY, Aug. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval Thursday of the first generic versions of the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. has pleased medical experts, who hope it will make the lifesaving medication more affordable and available.

"It's exciting for lots of reasons," said Dr. Michael Blaiss, executive medical director of the American College of Aller...

THURSDAY, Aug. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic version of the EpiPen was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, paving the way for more affordable versions of the lifesaving allergy emergency medication.

Though other injectors are available, this drug, made by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, is the first the FDA has said is the equivalent of the EpiPen...

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For women with advanced breast cancer who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, an experimental drug could improve survival, a new study suggests.

The BRCA mutations are linked with a greater risk for aggressive breast and ovarian cancer. The drug, talazoparib, works by blocking an enzyme called poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP), thus p...

TUESDAY, Aug. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A low-dose three-in-one combination pill controls blood pressure more effectively than the regular medications people take, according to data from a new clinical trial.

About 70 percent of patients with mild-to-moderate high blood pressure who were given the "Triple Pill" reached their target blood pressure goal of 140/90 or less within six m...

THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors prescribed fewer opioid pain medications after receiving letters from a medical examiner informing them of a patient's fatal overdose, a new study says.

Many people who die of opioid overdoses got addicted to the drugs after they were prescribed for common problems.

This study included 861 doctors in San Diego County who pr...

THURSDAY, Aug. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In a trend that suggests opioid addicts are turning to new fixes, a government report shows that use of an unapproved antidepressant is becoming more widespread in the United States.

Tianeptine is used in some European, Asian and Latin American countries for treatment of depression and anxiety. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has n...

FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A modified type of botulinum toxin -- botox -- gave mice long-term pain relief and may someday be a safer alternative to opioids as a treatment for chronic pain, according to British researchers.

They "deconstructed" the botulinum molecule and reassembled it with an opioid called dermorphin. The resulting compound -- called Derm-BOT -- silence...

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A close look at U.S. congressional districts has yielded new information about the opioid crisis: The highest rates of prescriptions for opioid painkillers are in the Southeast, Appalachia and the rural West.

Focusing on prescribing rates for opioids like Oxycontin in congressional districts could help improve efforts to fight the nation's o...

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Over the last four decades, more American teenagers have decided to say no to drugs and alcohol, a new report shows.

"There has been a steady increase in the proportion of students graduating high school who report never having tried alcohol, marijuana, tobacco or any other drugs," said study author Dr. Sharon Levy. She directs the adolesc...

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Lowering the default number of opioid painkillers in electronic prescription systems reduced overall use of the drugs, a new study finds.

In electronic medical-record systems, prescriptions have a default number of pills. It's been suggested that reducing this number may help curb the use of addictive opioids, such as OxyContin.

I...

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Wellness Library Results - 42

For both men and women, it takes a complicated chain of events to move from arousal to a satisfying orgasm. The mind has to stay focused, nerves have to stay sensitive, and blood has to flow to all the right places. Unfortunately, many things can break the chain -- including, perhaps, the pills in your medicine cabinet. Medicines often work by altering blood flow and brain chemistry, so its no...

How do you tell whether an online pharmacy is legitimate? Armed with the information below, you can easily weed out unscrupulous sellers and take advantage of the convenience of buying prescription drugs online. How do I know if a pharmacy is legitimate? The National Association of Boards of Pharmacies has an excellent screening tool: It issues a seal of approval, called VIPPS, which is short for ...

Anyone can make mistakes taking medication, but kids are especially vulnerable. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, half of all kids don't take their medicines properly. Of course, no one should expect a 6-year-old to read and follow the instructions on a box of cough syrup or pain reliever. It's up to parents and other caregivers to make sure kids take the right medicines in the rig...

Remember those high school chemistry experiments in which you mixed two harmless chemicals and got a bizarre reaction? You may be performing a similar experiment on yourself every time you take two medications at the same time. Certain drugs react strongly when taken with others, often causing serious side effects. In rare cases, drug interactions can even be deadly. Drugs can affect each other i...

Generic drugs are nothing new. Back in the 1920s, the company that made Bayer aspirin fought vigorously to keep generic versions off the shelves. The company lost in court, and consumers suddenly had an array of choices in generic aspirin. Today, generic drugs are both widely available and carefully regulated. This wasn't always the case. As recently as 40 years ago, drug companies could release ...

Are generic drugs safe? According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), generic drugs are just as safe and effective as their brand name counterparts. In fact, the law requires it. By FDA regulations, any generic drug has to have the same active ingredients in the same amounts as its brand name counterpart. Generic drugs must also be bioequivalent to brand name drugs, meaning that the drug h...

Why would you ever take a generic drug when you could stick with a trusted brand name? In a word: price. Generic drugs contain the same active ingredients at the same strength and purity as their brand-name counterparts, but they come at a fraction of the cost. According to the Congressional Budget Office, generic drugs save consumers an estimated $8 billion to $10 billion a year. How much you sa...

Whether you're shopping for soda or blue jeans, chances are you'll recognize a brand name. Companies like Coca-Cola and Levi Strauss Co. have spent billions trying to win our loyalty, and in recent years, changes in federal law have allowed drug manufacturers to advertise directly to consumers, too. Watch the nightly news or read a magazine, and you'll see ads for brand name medications. These ad...

Whether you're shopping for blue jeans or CD players, chances are you'll end up buying a known brand. As consumers, we tend to trust the familiar names. But when it comes to medications, brand names aren't necessarily the best choice. Hundreds of medications now have generic alternatives, drugs that contain the same active ingredients -- often at a fraction of the cost. An example: The antidepres...

What herb-drug combinations should I avoid? Herbal supplements are popular these days, but very few people have given up on mainstream medicine. Most of us still pop aspirin, see our physicians regularly, and pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy. Mixing herbs with traditional medicines can be the best of two worlds -- as long as you mix wisely. Many popular natural remedies can clash with pres...

Medicines don't do much good when they never leave the bottle. And yet the American Heart Association estimates that 12 percent of all Americans don't take their medications after getting a prescription. Another 12 percent don't fill their prescriptions in the first place. When patients do try to follow their doctor's instructions, they often miss a dose or take less than their doctors recommend. ...

Medicines don't always work the way they should. Even treatments that have helped you for years can suddenly lose their punch. You may need a slightly higher dose, or you may need a different medication entirely. But first things first: Your doctor is unlikely to change your prescription unless there's a clear sign of a problem. How can you tell if your medicine is working the way it should? It t...

In an ideal world, doctors would always prescribe the right drugs, pharmacists would never mess up orders, and patients would always carefully follow the instructions on their medicine bottles. In the real world, people sometimes make mistakes. And when it comes to medicine, mistakes can be dangerous. According to a 2006 report from the Institute of Medicine, 1.5 million preventable medication er...

Triax Metabolic Accelerator is a hazardous supplement that attempts to stimulate weight loss by capturing hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) in a bottle. It contains a natural compound used in some prescription medicines, triiodothyroacetic acid (triac), which supposedly increases the activity of the thyroid gland. The gland controls your metabolism like a thermostat, and cranking it up can help...

In an ideal world, doctors would always prescribe the right drugs, pharmacists would never mess up orders, and patients would always carefully follow the instructions on their medicine bottles. In the real world, people sometimes make mistakes. And when it comes to medicine, mistakes can be dangerous. According to a 2006 report from the Institute of Medicine, 1.5 million preventable medication er...

What are ADHD drugs? Used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), these medications are all drugs that stimulate the central nervous system. Ritalin (methylphenidate) has long been the leading treatment for ADHD. The drug helps people stay alert and focus on complex tasks, and is also considered to have a calming effect on hyperactive children. (It has also been used to treat na...

Ever since aspirin hit the market in the late 1800s, it has been a fixture in medicine cabinets everywhere -- and for good reason. It erases headaches, soothes arthritis, lowers fevers, helps prevent heart disease, and may even ward off some types of cancer. If it were discovered today, doctors would hail it as a medical breakthrough. But for some people, aspirin has a serious downside -- especial...

Whether it's smoked, snorted, or injected, cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug. The first rush is so intense that many users come back for more. As the brain grows accustomed to the drug, it takes more and more hits to reach anything close to those early highs. People who think they can use cocaine once in a while or "recreationally" may find that eventually their entire lives center around the...

When Len Bias, a 22-year-old University of Maryland basketball star, died of cardiac arrest after a cocaine overdose in 1986, some observers felt the tragedy might warn other youth off this stimulant. Whether that happened is unclear. Soon after the basketball player's death, there was demand for a type of cocaine known on the street as "Len Bias." And cocaine was involved in 448,481 emergency roo...

How can I save money on drugs? Following your doctor's orders is getting more expensive all the time. From 1997 to 2004, what Americans spent on prescription drugs more than doubled, from $429 to $1,037 per person. If your medicine is having a less-than-healing effect on your wallet, it's only natural to search for a way to cut costs. Fortunately, there are several ways to save money on medicine ...

When pharmacists are asked to work long hours under grueling pressure, mistakes happen. And although many errors are minor, some of them can be extremely grave. It was Monday, one of the busiest days of the week, and the pharmacy in South Carolina was understaffed. A pharmacist handed a mother a bottle of pills that was supposed to contain Ritalin, a medication to control her 8-year-old daughter's...

"I used to stockpile antibiotics," admits Ann Pascual, an editor for an Internet-based company in northern California. "I'd get a prescription, take half of it, and keep the rest. Sometimes I'd give a handful to friends who were sick. Instructions on the label? I don't think I ever really even read them." Fortunately, Pascual suffered no ill consequences from taking antibiotics haphazardly. Barbar...

Oxygen, light, and water are among the substances that humans need to survive. However, those same life-affirming elements can be destructive if they're present where many people keep their medications, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Take a look in your medicine chest. What's there may trigger a nostalgic swing down memory lane: the cough syrup you used to give your toddler -...

What does Viagra do? As you've no doubt gathered from the TV commercials, Viagra (sildenafil) is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction (commonly called ED or "impotence") in men who either can't have or can't maintain erections. On the market since March 1998, it is now available in generic form. It is one of the most commercially successful drugs ever launched, with millions of prescriptions ...

Is substance abuse a problem among seniors? While the nation wages war on marijuana, cocaine, and other street drugs, roughly one out of five seniors struggles with a different kind of substance abuse. The drugs that have them in their grip -- prescription medications and alcohol -- are perfectly legal, but that doesn't make the addictions any less devastating to older people and their families. ...

What is AIDS? It's a relatively new disease that first surfaced in 1981, when scientists discovered a previously unknown human retrovirus linked to the outbreak of a rare skin cancer among gay men. Researchers named the virus the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and called the disease it caused AIDS -- short for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Today AIDS is the fifth leading cause of death ...

What are cold sores? Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are small red sores that occur occasionally on or near your lips or in your mouth. They actually have nothing to do with colds or with fevers; they're caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). How do you get cold sores? Nearly nine out of 10 Americans are infected with the cold sore virus at some point in their liv...

Your liver keeps you alive by filtering dangerous toxins from your blood. So what are you doing to return the favor? It's up to you to protect your liver from viruses, poisons, and other serious threats. Take this short quiz to find out how much you know about keeping your liver healthy. 1. It won't hurt my liver to take more than the recommended amount of Tylenol if I have a really bad headach...

If you've attended a large family reunion lately, it may come as no surprise that women tend to outlive men. In the United States, the life expectancy of men is about five years less than women, according to the American Journal of Public Health. For African American men, it's still worse: They tend to live about six years less than white men. Nearly all of the biggest killers in America -- inclu...

Metered-dose inhalers: Inhalers sold since January 1, 2009 feature a new design. The medicine in them remains the same, but the propellant that forces the medicine from the inhaler canister into your mouth is different. The new propellant, hydrofluoroalkane, or HFA for short, won't deplete the earth's ozone layer the way the old propellant did. While that's good news for the planet, it means you ...

For all of the good they do in the world, medications can also be extremely risky. Even if you take your medication exactly as you're supposed to, you could still suffer side effects. Taking the wrong pill at the wrong time in the wrong way will only increase the danger. If your doctor recommends a prescription drug, you need to become an expert in your own treatment. Your doctor needs to be info...

Every day, millions of people with chronic diseases miss their best chance to control their conditions and improve their health. They may see their doctor regularly, eat right, and exercise, but they skip one of the most important parts of their health plan: their medicine. Overall, 30 to 50 percent of all people with chronic diseases fail to take their medicines as prescribed -- and they can't al...

At a time when millions of Americans are making dangerous mistakes with their medications, experts are taking a hard look at the labels on prescription drugs. Are the labels really as clear and informative as they could be? The instructions on labels are often complicated and hard to understand -- if you can read the small type in the first place. But the most baffling items on labels may be the ...

Ever since the arrival of penicillin in the early 1940s, bacteria have been evolving defenses against some of our strongest medicines. As bacteria become increasingly resistant to antibiotic drugs, some experts worry that we could once again find ourselves in the dark ages where common infections are difficult, if not impossible, to treat. Experts say we can regain the upper hand over dangerous ge...

High blood pressure is always worrisome, but it's especially dangerous in the lungs. Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) can hamper breathing, damage the heart, and even threaten a person's life. While modern treatments can often relieve symptoms, patients have to do their part to control the disease. Do you know how to stay on top of PPH? Take this short quiz to find out. 1. People with PPH ...

As the epidemic of meth use spreads across the country, two lessons have been learned countless times: Meth ruins lives. Treatment works. Users who seek treatment and commit themselves to recovery have an excellent chance at success. The challenge of withdrawal Meth is a stimulant that hooks users with feelings of euphoria and bursts of energy. It can also cause extreme agitation, hallucinations, ...

What image comes to mind when you think of a drug addict? Do you picture someone smoking crack or shooting heroin? You'd be wrong. A typical drug abuser could easily be your next-door neighbor, the teen who babysits your kids, or the grandmother you chat with at the grocery store. That's because drug abusers could be abusing the medication they bought at the local pharmacy. About 7 million Americ...

Thanks to the tribulations of Rush Limbaugh and a cover story in The New York Times Magazine, just about everyone has heard of OxyContin addiction. Naturally, some patients with prescriptions for the pain reliever are worried that they, too, will get hooked. OxyContin is one of many opioids that are used for chronic pain management. When taken properly, these opioids are very effective and very s...

The cartoonish voice of someone who's just sucked helium from a party balloon, or the giggly feeling you get after the dentist gives you "laughing gas" (nitrous oxide) may be amusing, but recreational use of inhalants is far from harmless. Sniffing glue, "huffing" gasoline, and "bagging" gasoline octane booster are just some of the creative methods kids are using to get a quick high. In a 2008 sur...

"One pill makes you larger/and one pill makes you small But the ones that mother gives you/don't do anything at all Go ask Alice/when she's ten feet tall" --from "White Rabbit," as sung by Jefferson Airplane People who abuse drugs such as alcohol or narcotics are often trying to escape reality, but those who take hallucinogens sometimes do it to distort their ordinary reality and transcen...

What is DHEA? DHEA is the most abundant steroid hormone in our bodies. (Hormones in this category include estrogen, testosterone, and cortisone.) DHEA, short for dehydroepiandrosterone, can convert to either testosterone or estrogen; it reaches its peak when we're in our 20's and then performs a dramatic disappearing act as we age. After we hit 30, our DHEA levels drop about 10 percent every 10 ye...

What is 5-HTP? Short for 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan, 5-HTP is a natural stepping-stone between a nutrient in our food and a crucial compound in our brains. Specifically, it's a substance that links the amino acid tryptophan to the chemical messenger serotonin. Tryptophan, which our bodies can't make but we do get from many foods, quickly turns to 5-HTP in the brain. 5-HTP, in turn, rapidly becomes ser...

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