Research Focuses on the Dangers of “Third-Hand Smoke”

Contact with tobacco smoke residue can have harmful effects similar to that of first- and second-hand smoke

By Marty Grossman –

The health risks associated with smoking and the use of tobacco in any form are no secret. Over the past several years, the news has gotten progressively worse with respect to the number and severity of those risks. Additional studies and surveys indicate the problems created by smoking are potentially far more serious than previously believed. Read more »

Children, Consumer Protection, Dangerous Products, Diseases, Toxic Substances

Does a Pharmacist’s Right to Conscientiously Object Put Patients at Risk?

Refusing to fill a prescription due to personal conflicts can become a slippery slope

By Justin Di Joseph –

Doctors are often called upon to treat violent criminals who have been wounded by the police. Public defenders are routinely assigned to represent people accused of horrendous crimes. Professionals who are committed to helping people must frequently perform their duties despite serious personal, moral, or religious conflicts. Most do so with the belief that any right to refuse care or services must take a back seat to the oaths they have taken as professionals. Some doctors, lawyers, and even religious observers, however, maintain that they have the right to conscientiously object to participating in certain situations, and their decisions are, for the most part, respected and permitted without penalties being imposed. Read more »

Consumer Protection, Diseases, Drugs, General

TOPAMAX, Already in Hot Water over Off-Label Promotion, Now Linked to Birth Defects

By John Saponaro –

Off-label promotion has become an ongoing issue over the past several years as pharmaceutical companies continue to violate government policies by advertising drugs for uses not approved by the FDA. Doctors remain able to prescribe drugs for off-label use based on their expertise; provided they are acting with the best interest of the patient in mind and there is sufficient evidence that suggests the benefits outweigh the risks. Read more »

Consumer Protection, Drugs, General

Study Says, Nursing Home Residents Are Being Prescribed Antipsychotic Drugs Regardless of Potentially Hazardous Side Effects

By Devon Reiff –

According to a recent report by The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), many nursing home residents suffering from dementia are being prescribed atypical antipsychotic drugs (AAP) despite potentially life-threatening consequences. Read more »

Drugs, General, Psychological/Psychiatric, The Elderly

Is Abilify Worth The Risk?

The pros and cons of aripiprazole

By Arnold Di Joseph –

The popular prescription antipsychotic drug aripiprazole, commonly known as Abilify, is an “atypical antipsychotic” that can lead to several health risks when interacting with 53 other drugs. Abilify is widely used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and it can also serve as an adjunct to antidepressants in treating major depression (clinical/manic). Read more »

Drugs, General, Psychological/Psychiatric

Is the Taser Really a “Non-Lethal” Weapon?

Numerous deaths associated with the device raise questions about its safety

By Stef Morisi –

In recent years, law enforcement agencies nationwide have sought to integrate a number of non-lethal alternatives to deadly force into their arsenal of crime-fighting weapons. The use of spike strips, rubber bullets, teargas, and Tasers has increased in circumstances where deadly force is either inappropriate or should only be used as a last resort. Unfortunately, in the case of the Taser, a “non-lethal” weapon that is only supposed to incapacitate its target, there has been an alarmingly high number of fatal encounters reported. Read more »

Dangerous Products, General

Studies Show that there is Good Reason to be concerned About the Widespread Use of Phthalates

By Robert A. Cardali –

There is currently a growing debate regarding the safety of a group of chemicals used in many personal care products and other consumer goods.  These chemicals, called phthalates, have been used for the past 50 years for everything from making plastic more flexible to slowing the evaporation process of perfumes to making nail polish that won’t chip away. Read more »

Children, Consumer Protection, Dangerous Products, General, Men, Toxic Substances, Women

When Incorrect Doses Of Over-The-Counter Cold Remedies Are Given, Infants Die

Other common drug-related errors also expose infants to potentially deadly results

By Arnold DiJoseph –

In the past several years, there has been an ever-increasing awareness of the potentially fatal effect over-the-counter (OTC) cold remedies designed for “children” have when given to infants. Read more »

Children, Consumer Protection, Drugs, General

Studies Show Serious Risks Still Exist When Treating Children and Adolescents for Psychiatric Problems with Multiple Medications

By Robert A. Cardali –

In medical terms, it’s called “polypharmacy” or “concomitant psychotropic medication.” Laymen know it as multiple-medication. When it comes to what is being done to U.S. children, however, it is nothing more than “overmedicating.” In fact, it has become increasingly common to have children and adolescents taking a number of prescription medications at the same time for the same or related conditions. Read more »

Children, Drugs, General

Drug Abuse May Increase the Risk of Brain Hemorrhage – Study Says

By Steven Di Joseph -

A study of 307 patients who had suffered an intracranial hemorrhage found 20% of the adults in that group, who were 49 or younger, had drugs in their system. The finding was presented at the American Stroke Association’s stroke conference in Kissimmee, Florida. Read more »

Drugs, General