Questions tagged [medications]

Questions related to intake, use, safety, side effects, pharmacokinetics, or any other aspect of a drug prescribed by a physician.

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27
votes
3answers
7k views

Why do doctors prescribe steroid tablets even though they know the side effects?

Sometimes doctors prescribe steroid tablets to suppress pain for diseases, such as arthritis. Why do they prescribe it even though they know the side effects?
21
votes
1answer
420 views

Is there any evidence for health benefits from cannabis?

From the Wikipedia article on medical cannabis: The Cannabis plant has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years across many cultures. Its usage in modern times is controversial,...
16
votes
2answers
289 views

Why is thalidomide a current drug on the market?

Given the thalidomide birth defect disaster of the 1960s, why was it later approved by the U.S. FDA for treatment of leprosy (1996) and of multiple myeloma (2006)? Presumably, the teratogenic issues ...
16
votes
1answer
81k views

How much food is necessary to buffer the stomach when taking medicine?

Very often, doctors or pharmacists will advise patients to take certain pills with food to "act as a buffer" so the patient is less likely to get a stomach ache from taking the pill. How much food is ...
15
votes
1answer
397 views

How exactly can/do antidepressants treat ADHD?

According to Wikipedia, antidepressants can treat ADHD, not just depression. How exactly? So far I know, ADHD is caused partly (primarily?) by a dopamine deficiency. Do antidepressants do something ...
15
votes
1answer
913 views

How often is it safe to get general anaesthetic?

There's an eye surgeon in my running club and I told him I had general anaesthetic three times. He told me that's a lot. I've heard of people thinking general anaesthetic is bad, is there any ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Can an antipyretic (I.e. Aspirin) lower normal body temperature?

Is it possible for an antipyretic medication taken when not experiencing fever to cause a person's body temperature to drop below normal? I found one article that seems to say yes, but only for large ...
13
votes
1answer
389 views

Why is it so much harder to swallow pills than it is to swallow food?

I don't have any real trouble swallowing pills, and I do it several times a day. But when I try to swallow a pill without food or water in my mouth, it is a bit tricky. We're not talking about huge ...
13
votes
2answers
28k views

Does keeping different types of medications in one pill bottle affect their quality?

I take a number of different medications and herbal supplements. Because keeping separate containers in my pocketbook is cumbersome, I've been combining them together in the same prescription bottle. ...
12
votes
1answer
499 views

What can you learn from the parts of the name of a drug?

I've noticed that many drugs have names that end in the same syllables: umab fenib tinib For example, Wikipedia on Dabrafenib lists a number of similar drugs at the bottom of the page that end with ...
12
votes
1answer
251 views

Are there any untoward synergistic effects in taking a combination of acetaminophen plus ibuprofen?

A number of years ago, it became popular to advocate a combination of acetaminophen and ibuprofen (or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication) at the usual higher doses (e.g. 1,000mg ...
12
votes
1answer
460 views

Can Neem Leaves be taken directly (Azadirachta indica, Nimtree)

Nimtree is really precious when it comes to skin hygiene. It also has other vital health benefits. Is it alright to take the Nimtree leaves directly? As I heard from a friend that it is harmful to ...
11
votes
2answers
177 views

Are OTC pain medications safer than prescriptions?

Are pain medications that I can buy Over the Counter (OTC) any safer than prescriptions I receive from a doctor to manage pain? For example, I have migraines. There are several OTC medications ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Alternative to caffeine - same effects, different chemical

I seem to have a problem with caffeine. I tend to experience a lot of the negative effects, like diuresis, extreme hunger suppression and paranoia, at two or three cups of coffee, while I don't ...
11
votes
1answer
704 views

Splitting pills in half

Sometimes a physician will instruct the patient to reduce the dosage of a prescription medication by 50%. Obviously, if the tablet has an enteric coating, or is in a special encapsulation (such as ...
10
votes
1answer
8k views

How exact are the times for how long to wait between pills? [closed]

A 120mg pill of Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride), for example, lasts for 12 hours. You are not supposed to take another Sudafed pill before the 12 hours are up. How exact is this 12-hour limit?...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does caffeine make me sleep better?

I have self-administered around 4 mg/kg of caffeine (peroral), and around two hours later I fell asleep, being just a little bit sleep-deprived. After around five hours of sleep I found myself awake, ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Effects of ARBs on potassium levels

Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are commonly used to treat hypertension. One of the side effects of these drugs is to raise serum potassium levels. This occurs because ARBs block the effects ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Long term use of stomach acid reducers: Omeprazole or Ranitidine?

I find omeprazole (Prilosec, Losec) and ranitidine (Zantac) work about equally well for stomach acid reduction. For long term daily use, which is safer?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a technical term for the phenomenon known as “brain zaps”?

Many people (especially those who take antidepressants), including myself, are familiar with the experience of what has been called "brain zaps". I was not aware that the sensation had a name or that ...
9
votes
2answers
477 views

What are side effects frequencies based on?

I am one of these patients who reads everything that comes with their pills. Including, of course, the sometimes really long side effects list. Where I am, and from what I read online this is common, ...
9
votes
1answer
432 views

Do anti-inflammatory painkillers speed up healing?

With a recent case of whiplash as a result of being on the receiving end of a car accident, I'm now wondering whether taking ibuprofen 4-7 times a week will help me heal quicker/more completely? ...
9
votes
1answer
490 views

Why would it be necessary to take a brand name medication if a generic drug is available?

Many prescription pads have a way for the doctor to indicate if a brand name medication must be dispensed instead of the generic version (e.g. a line where they can write something like "brand ...
9
votes
1answer
260 views

Antidepressant response post MAOI tachyphylaxis

In 'Listening to Prozac' (Pg. 305) Kramer notes that once monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) poop-out, depressed patients are often unresponsive to subsequent pharmacological interventions (and in ...
9
votes
1answer
162 views

Does inhibiting prolactin levels cause any health problems?

I am using a prolactin inhibitor drug called "Dostinex". In general, it has some positive effects on me (increased libido, better mood) and I haven't realized any bad side effects. I'm wondering, ...
8
votes
2answers
218 views

Do we have a general system of class of drugs that a layman can understand?

When I was reading the accepted answer in the Why do doctors prescribe steroid tablets even though they know the side effects? question, I noticed this phrase located in the second paragraph: ...if ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Does Benadryl (=diphenhydramine) lead to tolerance? Can I use it to help with sleep?

I am an insomniac and all the sleep medications that I've been prescribed have eventually had no effect on me -- I built a tolerance to them. It's a dangerous thing because I don't want to take lots ...
8
votes
2answers
313 views

Is Myopia Reversible/Curable?

Myopia, meaning short sightedness is said to develop when eyes are exposed to excessive strain. But what I've failed to understand properly is whether myopia can be reversed or cured in any manner? ...
8
votes
1answer
33k views

Use of antibiotics and the night gap

I was wondering, if medications such as antibiotics are to be taken 4 times or more a day (so every 6 hours), what happens during the night with such a long gap in between (8 hours). I have heard that ...
8
votes
1answer
430 views

Topical nifedipine cream and hypotension

Nifedipine usually is used against high blood pressure. Also nifedipine cream is used for treatment of anal fissures. Can the topical cream applied anally also cause hypotension?
8
votes
3answers
143 views

Preemptive treatment for alcohol

It's commonly accepted that most treatments for enteral poisons aren't very useful for alcohol, because it is absorbed so rapidly. For example, by the time a hospital could administer activated ...
7
votes
2answers
188 views

Why does the weight matter when consuming a certain amount of a specific drug?

My question is actually referred to hallucinogenic substances, in particular to mushrooms. I can understand why alcohol or other substances that relate to body mass (fat in some cases) affect people ...
7
votes
2answers
112 views

How can I learn to swallow pills without gagging?

Many people have difficulty swallowing pills or even find themselves unable to do so. While some medications are available in other forms, many are not. Is it possible to learn how to swallow pills? ...
7
votes
2answers
186 views

What can the variability of strength be between different brands of supposedly identical medications?

I remember reading that medications are within allowable specs if the contain +/- 30% of the labelled strength. I can't find the source of that information in order to check its validity. If that is ...
7
votes
1answer
143 views

When is a stomach “empty” for the purpose of taking medication?

Some medication (certain antibiotics, thyroxine, PPIs) need to be taken on an "empty stomach". For most patients, that just means they take them after sleeping. However, certain circumstances can lead ...
7
votes
2answers
53 views

How does the efficiency of a diclofenac patch decrease over time?

I wonder how the efficiency of a diclofenac patch decreases over time. E.g. if a patient wears a a diclofenac patch for 24 hours, how useful are the last 12 hours. Ideally I would like to see a curve (...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the tablet inside generic Omeprazole capsules

Inside every generic delayed-release capsule of Omeprazole is what you would expect, hundreds of tiny granules, but there is also an entire tablet. An oblong, white, plain (no text) tablet. What is ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Tuberculosis: Lung scarring and weight gain

I have a few questions regarding tuberculosis: If a person is cured of Tuberculosis, is it compulsory for all patients effected by Tb to have a patch/scar on their lung? (references for patch) ...
7
votes
1answer
105 views

Why isn't paracetamol routinely combined with n-acetylcysteine?

Whether it's acute large dose paracetamol or long term regular dosage of paracetamol usage, it is a problem for the liver, ototoxic and even potentially life-threatening. While one might question the ...
7
votes
2answers
164 views

Why do different pain killers have different effects on people?

I've noticed some pain killers working great for me, while other have no effect. Works for me Aspirin APC † Naproxen Doesn't work for me Paracetamol Diclofenac Tramadol I doubt there is ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How important is the amount of active ingredient in an ointment?

I own a small tin of "Dr Chase" ointment that is probably 40 years old. This stuff is amazing. In my family we save it for particularly stubborn or difficult cuts and sores because it will heal ...
7
votes
1answer
103 views

Lithium side effects (kidney)

Lithium (taken as a mood stabilizer) can lead to renal problems in patients, especially those taking it long-term. How prevalent are these side effects and how are they managed - for example, ...
7
votes
1answer
164 views

prebiotics and probiotics dosage & can I have them regularly?

I've heard some good things about prebiotics and probiotics - for example, here. I also came across this line... As with any dietary supplement, be aware that probiotic supplements are regulated as ...
7
votes
1answer
53 views

Ways to lessen or prevent episodes of sleep walking

I am currently on medication to dampen my sleep walking. The medication is amitriptilyne, but lately it seems to be having no effect. For the past few weeks I have been getting up at around 3am for ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How much space should be in between taking an antidepressant and drinking coffee?

For stimulants such as Methylphenidate and coffee, it is at least an hour, so I read: Stimulant + Stimulant = Stimulated. Don't take your Concerta with coffee in future. Space them out at least ...
6
votes
2answers
199 views

Does Dextromethorphan actually suppress coughing?

I had a pretty annoying dry cough a while ago following a cold. In the list of incredients for a cough syrup that I used, it said: Each 5 mL or 1 teaspoonful (tsp.) contains: DM | Cough ...
6
votes
2answers
195 views

Are there beneficial compounds in cigarette smoke?

The UKPDS 50 study suggested that smokers experience lower rates of diabetic retinopathy Somewhat counter-intuitively, smoking status was inversely related to the development of new lesions and to ...
6
votes
2answers
93 views

What is the amount of caffeine in the human body over time?

Let's say I know how much caffeine I drank and when. Just knowing my sex, weight (and maybe height), what is the best estimate for how much caffeine is in my system now? For example: Suppose I drank ...