Of course, plenty of M.D.’s do know which prescription and over-the-counter drugs are duds, dangers, or both. So we asked them, “Which medications would you skip?” Their list is your second opinion. If you’re on any of these meds, talk to your doctor. Maybe he or she will finally open that big red book with all the dust on it.
Advair It’s asthma medicine … In 2006, similarly disturbing findings from an earlier salmeterol study prompted the FDA to tag Advair with a “black box” warning — the agency’s highest caution level.
Avandia Diabetes is destructive enough on its own, but if you try to control it with rosiglitazone — better known by the brand name Avandia — you could be headed for a heart attack.
Celebrex Once nicknamed “super aspirin,” Celebrex is now better known for its side effects than for its pain-relieving prowess. And yet Celebrex, a COX-2 inhibitor, is still available, even though two other drugs of that class, Bextra and Vioxx, were pulled off the market due to a similar risk of heart damage.
Ketek This antibiotic, which has traditionally been prescribed for respiratory-tract infections, carries a higher risk of severe liver side effects than similar antibiotics do.
Prilosec and Nexium To really cure the problem, lose weight,” says Michael Roizen, M.D., chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic and co-author of “YOU: The Owner’s Manual.” That’s because when you’re overweight, excess belly fat puts pressure on and changes the angle of your esophagus, pulling open the valve that’s supposed to prevent stomach-acid leaks. This in turn makes it easier for that burning sensation to travel up into your chest.
Visine Original “Visine gets the red out, but it does so by shrinking blood vessels, just like Afrin shrinks the vessels in your nose,” says Thomas Steinemann, M.D., a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Pseudoephedrine Forget that this decongestant can be turned into methamphetamine. People with heart disease or hypertension should watch out for any legitimate drug that contains pseudoephedrine.