Making Sense Of Drug Side Effects – January 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch

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Thank you to PRWeb for sharing this article….please share your comments in the section below…..

doctorThe best way to understand drug side effects is to talk with a doctor or pharmacist. Older drugs generally have better information.

All drugs have effects. Some we want, others we don’t. The unwanted ones are known as side effects. The January 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch describes ways to limit or manage side effects.

The package insert that is supposed to give information about the potential side effects of a medication is likely to be more frustrating than helpful. Written in medicalese and printed in microscopic type, these inserts contain way too much information.
“Reading through scores and scores of side effects doesn’t help you sort out what is most likely to happen to you,” says Dr. Gordon Schiff, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He suggests forgetting the inserts and trying the following instead:

1. Ask for a drug that’s been on the market a while. The information on the side effects of a newly approved medication is often based on clinical trials involving, at most, a few thousand people. An older drug is likely to have been used by hundreds of thousands, even millions, of people. That experience can reveal additional side effects and give doctors an idea of which side effects are most common, which are most serious, and which might occur only after months or years of use.

2. Learn what to expect. For example, if nausea is a potential side effect, it’s important to know whether to keep taking the drug because the nausea will eventually go away or to stop taking it. For some drugs, like benzodiazepines or opiates, it’s important to understand the side effects of withdrawal and develop a plan for tapering off.

3. Ask for help. Not sure if a symptom is a drug side effect or something else? Talk with a doctor. Doctors generally know what side effects their patients have experienced, how severe they were, and how they can be managed.

Read other tips in the complete article: “Making sense of side effects”

Also in the January 2015 issue of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

* Seven health resolutions for 2015
* Be alert to pneumonia this winter
* Help for the winter blues
* Heel pain explained: What to do for plantar fasciitis

Harvard Women’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Four Ways To Save On Prescription Drugs From Harvard Women’s Health Watch

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Thank you to PRWeb for supplying this article from last months Harvard Women’s Health Watch, please share your thoughts in the comments section…..

pillsNavigating the annual health plan changes, figuring out insurance copays, and finding the pharmacy with the best buys can be daunting. Dealing with Medicare’s medication coverage gap, the so-called donut hole, adds to the challenge. Four basic strategies can help save money on medications, according to the November 2014 Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Go for Generics – “Generics are just as good as brand-name drugs,” says Dr. Jerry Avorn, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and they are less expensive than brand-name drugs. Can’t find a generic version of a particular drug? A prescription for a generic in the same class of drugs may do nicely. For example, there isn’t a generic version of Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering statin. But there are five other generic statins that might work just fine.

Periodically re-evaluate drugs. Every year or so, dump all pill bottles in a paper bag—including over-the-counter medications and supplements. Ask a trusted doctor or pharmacist to review them. Some of the drugs may duplicate the actions of others, have harmful interactions with one another, or aren’t needed any more.

Forget about Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements – These are almost always a waste of money, and can sometimes jeopardize health.

Compare Drug Prices – Different pharmacies pay different prices to manufacturers and wholesalers. They also use different systems to mark up drugs. That can lead to big differences from one pharmacy to another. Several websites make it easy to comparison shop for medications. But trying to get the best deal on each and every drug could mean losing the advantage of having a trusted and knowledgeable pharmacist. A compromise: fill prescriptions at the pharmacy with the best price for the costliest drug.

Read the full-length article: “Four easy ways to save on prescription drugs”

Also in the November 2014 Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

* How to tell if palpitations signal a heart problem

* Tips for exercising in cold weather

* What to do about stiff, painful hands

* Dealing with the holiday blues

Harvard Women’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Young Women Suffering Old Women’s Diseases

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

girlhatMany young women today are facing the health challenges of older women. They include:

• Coronary heart disease

• Diabetes

• Osteoporosis

• High cholesterol

• High blood pressure

• Arthritis

• Certain types of cancer, like colon cancer

But why? Because it all boils down to a lack of healthy eating, a lack of exercise, and too much time sitting. You may find you have obstacles to healthy eating and living like:

• A busy lifestyle

• The ready availability of high-calorie convenience foods

• Super-sized portions

• Too little time for physical activity

• Competing information on diet, nutrition, lifestyle and healthy eating

And yet, all of this is easy to manage and handle when you have some basic information to guide you and to keep yourself motivated. 90% of all heart disease related illnesses can be prevented through proper diet and exercise. You can avoid the top list by following these two tips:

#1) Make the SWITCH.

SWITCH OUT: Saturated fats like butter, cheese and whole milk FOR: Nuts, avocados and non-fat milk, “The Good Fats”.

SWITCH OUT: White pasta and white rice FOR: whole wheat and whole grain pasta or brown rice pasta or brown rice.

SWITCH OUT: Sugary breakfast cereals FOR: whole grain, plain cereals that you sweeten with fruit and berries.

SWTCH OUT: Sugary sodas, candy and cookies FOR: plain water, club soda, fruit and vegetable snacks accompanied by a tablespoon of freshly-ground peanut butter.

SWTCH OUT: Fast food smoothies (which contain 32 cubes of sugar) FOR homemade blended fruit drinks made with ice and non-fat milk.

SWTCH OUT: Premade pasta sauces (usually high in sugar and sodium) FOR: low-fat, low-salt versions or homemade sauces you make with fresh tomatoes and herbs.

SWTCH OUT: Sodium and sugar-rich barbeque sauces FOR: homemade versions where you control the sugar and salt.

SWTCH OUT: Canned soup (high in salt) FOR: homemade soup with plenty of beans and veggies.

SWTCH OUT: Canned vegetables (usually high in sugar and salt) FOR: fresh or frozen vegetables

SWTCH OUT: Fast foods like pizza, hamburgers, and fried chicken FOR: whole grain pizza you make yourself with veggies and cheese substitute, turkey or veggie burgers without the cheese and pickles, roasted chicken you make at home or use a Panko coating for a crispy taste.

womanweights#2) Exercise. It doesn’t’ matter what you do – brisk walking is just fine! But you have to DO something to offset the sedentary lifestyle we have at our desks, computers, and television sets that keep us inactive, not refreshing our bodies, not stimulating oxygen flow and stagnating our muscles and organs by immobility . The body was designed to be in motion. When we sit for hours at a time, we stagnate the life process.

If you still think you can’t fit exercise into your life then please, if nothing else, employ these activities:

• Adopt a dog and take it for walks every day.

• Do things the old-fashioned way — get up and change the television channel; open the garage door manually; use a push lawnmower, garden.

• Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

• Walk briskly whenever you can – and do it for at least a 20 minutes.

• Minimize use of your car; walk to destinations within a mile.

• Use a bicycle to do errands and local transport. (Wear a helmet!)

• Take up tennis or any other game or sport you enjoy.

• Join a sports team, play regularly and enjoy the benefits team play can bring you.

Here are some free sites to help you work out. Set aside 15-30 minutes day for your body toning and stamina- building workout.,,20306919_1,00.html

and my favorite:

Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a PhD in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy™ is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding. While earning her PhD in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy, she completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University.