Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Pharmacy

  • Radioactive iodine is a medicine that you take one time. After you swallow it, it is taken up by your thyroid gland. Depending on the dosage used, the radioactivity in the iodine destroys most or all of the tissue in your thyroid gland, but it does not harm any other parts of your body. While radiation can cause...

  • Many medicines can cause changes in how we feel. Some can cause symptoms of depression. These include: Blood pressure medicines, such as clonidine (Catapres). Barbiturates. Some examples are pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital, and secobarbital...

  • Tony has done well with getting his cholesterol under control. And he's had a notable failure. But as Tony tells it, "I've learned as much from the failure as I have from the success. Maybe more." About 2 years ago, Tony's doctor told him that he had a high risk for heart attack and that his cholesterol was high. This...

  • If you have narrow drainage angles or you have long-term (chronic) closed-angle glaucoma, you may need to avoid medicines that widen (dilate) the pupil, the dark spot in the center of the eye. Having wide pupils when you have these other problems may cause acute closed-angle glaucoma. This is a dangerous condition that...

  • Guides through decision to treat fluid buildup in the middle ear. Discusses risks and benefits of treatment such as ear tubes, antibiotics, and adenoid surgery. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines may reduce your blood's ability to clot and cause bruising or bleeding under the skin. A few examples are: Medicines (called blood thinners) that prevent blood clots. Also, taking a nonprescription medicine with a blood thinner may increase your risk of bruising and...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause constipation. Examples include: Antacids. Antidepressants. Some blood pressure medicines. Cold medicines (antihistamines). Calcium and iron supplements. Opioid pain medicines. If you think...

  • A nicotine patch looks like an oversized adhesive bandage. The outer part of the patch sticks to your skin, while the inner portion presses against and slowly releases nicotine into your skin. See a picture of how to use these patches to help you quit smoking or stop using smokeless tobacco. Nicotine patches are...

  • Guides through decision to treat abnormal uterine bleeding. Explains symptoms that doctor would look for before recommending treatment. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through decision to use antithyroid medicine or radioactive iodine to treat hyperthyroidism. List benefits for and against each of the treatments. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Learn how to prepare and easily give yourself a single dose of insulin.

  • Some breast cancers need the hormones estrogen or progesterone to grow. These cancer cells have "receptors" on their surfaces. Receptors are like doorways to let hormones in. These types of breast cancer are called estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+)...

  • Buying medicine over the Internet can make life a lot easier. Medicines on the Internet are sometimes cheaper. Your pills are delivered to your door. Unfortunately, there are many dishonest online drugstores—and it can be hard to tell the honest...

  • Learn which medicines could make your heart failure worse.

  • People who have had an organ transplant need antirejection medicines. This is because the immune system will try to destroy the new organ. These medicines are also called immunosuppressants. They weaken your immune system and decrease your body's...

  • Long-acting opioid pain relievers are medicines used to relieve moderate to severe long-term pain. They are also called extended-release opioids. Opioids relieve pain by changing the way your body feels pain. They don't cure a health problem, but they help you manage the pain. If you take a lot of short-acting...

  • Find out which types of medicines require a regular blood test and why.

  • Learn why taking a statin pill is such an important part of your treatment.

  • Learn why it's important to take antiplatelet medicine after your stroke.

  • Learn about general anesthesia: what it is, how it's done, and its safety and side effects.

  • What is antidepressant withdrawal? Antidepressant withdrawal is a problem that can happen if you stop taking your antidepressant too quickly. It can make you feel sick. This problem is sometimes called "antidepressant discontinuation syndrome" or "SSRI discontinuation syndrome." The symptoms may be...

  • When are weight-loss medicines prescribed? Losing weight can be hard work. Maybe you are wondering if taking medicines could help make it easier for you. Prescription weight-loss medicines may help some people who haven't been able to lose weight with diet and exercise. But they don't help everyone. Doctors only...

  • What is immunotherapy? Immunotherapy helps treat cancer by supporting the body's immune system. This type of treatment can restore, boost, or redirect the immune system. What types of immunotherapy are used? The types include: Medicines, such as checkpoint inhibitors, cytokines, and monoclonal...

  • Find out how to eat a consistent amount of vitamin K so your warfarin (Coumadin) medicine will work the way it should.

  • Learn what an anticoagulant (blood thinner) shot is, and see how to give yourself an injection.

  • Prescribed an opioid? Get the facts so you can safely manage your pain.

  • Opioids are strong pain medicines. Examples include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid. Taking too much of an opioid can cause death. An overdose is an emergency. Naloxone is a medicine used to...

  • Giving medicine to a child can be tricky. Some liquid medicines taste or smell bad. Or they may have a strange texture. And when a child doesn't feel well, he or she can act grumpy or more stubborn than usual. But you can take steps to avoid power...

  • If you need to give yourself injections, or shots, at home, you may have some questions or concerns. You might need to inject medicine under the skin (subcutaneous). Or you might inject it into a muscle (intramuscular). Either way, these tips may help address your concerns.

  • What is withdrawal? If you drink alcohol regularly and then cut down on how much you drink or suddenly stop drinking, you may go through some physical and emotional problems. That's because the alcohol is clearing out of your system. This is called withdrawal. Clearing the alcohol from your body is called...

  • Find out why it's important to keep taking your ACE inhibitor or ARB and how to make it easier.

  • Learn why you need to take your beta-blocker and how to make it easier to take.

  • Discover how your antidepressant can make life better and how to make it easier to take.

  • Rediscover how metformin helps and how to make it easier to take.

  • Find out how to make it easier to take your diuretic.

  • Learn why you need to keep using your corticosteroid inhaler and how to make it easier to use.

  • Naloxone can stop an opioid overdose. Here's how to give it—just in case.

  • Learn about some of the treatment options for childhood leukemia.

  • Protect yourself and others by knowing how to safely store and get rid of medicines.

  • Learn how to give an injection under the skin.

  • Learn how to give an intramuscular injection.

  • Here's help with giving your child eyedrops or eye ointment.

  • Here's help with using eyedrops or an eye ointment.

  • Here's help with giving your child a nasal spray or drops.

  • Here's help with giving your child eardrops.

  • Here's help with applying a topical cream for your child.

  • Here's help with how to insert your child's suppository.

  • Here's help with getting your child to take medicine.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help if your child has mild heat exhaustion.

  • Learn how to care for your child's IV site.

  • Learn more about how to use opioid medicines safely—if your child is prescribed one.

  • Learn how to care for your IV site.

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a doctor's prescription. This doesn't mean that OTC medicines are harmless. Like prescription medicines, OTCs can be very dangerous for children if not taken the right way. Be sure to read the package instructions on these medicines carefully. Talk to...

  • Medicines can help you manage your health, but only if you take them correctly. If you're having problems taking your medicine as prescribed, try thinking about why you're having trouble. You might not be sure why your medicine is important or if it is working. Maybe you just can't remember to take your medicine every...

  • Hormone therapy for prostate cancer is also known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Prostate cancer cannot grow or survive without androgens, which include testosterone and other male hormones. Hormone therapy decreases the amount of androgens in a man's body. Reducing androgens can slow the growth of the cancer...

  • Pain can be caused by many things, such as an injury, a surgery, or a health problem like low back pain or cancer. Long-term pain that isn't controlled can make it harder to enjoy life. But there are ways you can learn to manage pain. And managing pain can have a lot of benefits, like being able to do more activities or...

  • Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Naproxen is used to treat pain or inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, tendinitis, bursitis, gout, or menstrual cramps. The delayed-release or extended-release tablets are slower-acting forms of naproxen that are used only...

  • Many medicines and drugs can affect the rate and rhythm of the heart. A few examples are: Asthma medicines. Decongestants and cold medicines. Illegal drugs such as cocaine or amphetamines. Some heart and blood pressure medicines. Some medicines for depression and anxiety. Thyroid medicine. Illegal drugs, such as...

  • An antibiotic sensitivity (or susceptibility) test is done to help choose the antibiotic that will be most effective against the specific types of bacteria or fungus infecting an individual person. Some types of bacteria or fungus are resistant to...

  • Warfarin is a medicine that helps prevent blood clots. Coumadin is the common brand name for warfarin. Because it prevents clots, it also helps prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other problems caused by blood clots. It's important to know how to take warfarin safely.

  • Take weight-loss medicine, along with trying to eat healthy foods and being active. Try to lose weight without weight-loss medicines by eating healthy foods and being active. Being very overweight makes you more likely to have serious health problems, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Weight-loss...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause confusion or make you less alert. A few examples are: Antidepressants. Antihistamines. Opioid pain medicines. Sedatives and tranquilizers. Medicines for bladder control problems (anticholinergics). Contact your doctor before you stop taking or reduce the...

  • Insulin is used for people who have type 1 diabetes. It's also used if you have type 2 diabetes and other medicines are not controlling your blood sugar. If you have gestational diabetes, you may need to take insulin if diet and exercise have not helped to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. With...

  • Learn how depression medicines can help and why it may take time to find the right medicine for you.

  • Learn how insulin works and why diabetes causes high blood sugar.

  • In the past, opioids were used only for short periods for short-term pain or for cancer pain. Many experts now also use them for longer periods to treat chronic pain. You can take these drugs, which are sometimes called narcotics or opiates, to...

  • Jack remembers it well—and not in a good way. "I'll never forget the first time I had back pain. I couldn't move. I had to crawl to the car and push and pull myself into the seat. The drive to the doctor's was hard. The pain was unreal." When Jack got to his doctor's office, he had questions. "What can you do? Will I...

  • Medicines may stop a cluster headache after it starts and prevent more headaches from occurring. Finding the right medicine can take some time. You may need a combination of medicines to effectively treat your cluster headaches. Treatments most...

  • Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots. Although they are called blood thinners, they don't really thin the blood. They slow down the time it takes for a blood clot to form. You have to be careful when you take blood thinner medicines. They can raise the risk of serious bleeding. But you can do...

  • Several medicines can help you stop smoking. You can take medicine to reduce your craving for nicotine. You also can use nicotine replacement products to reduce cravings and give you smaller and smaller amounts of nicotine. Your doctor can help you...

  • Guides you through the decision to take warfarin or a different anticoagulant (apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, or rivaroxaban) to prevent stroke. Explains atrial fibrillation and risk of stroke. Lists benefits and risks of anticoagulants.

  • What is medical marijuana, and is it legal? Marijuana is a drug that is made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Medical marijuana is the use of this drug to help treat symptoms like pain, muscle stiffness ( spasticity), nausea, and lack of appetite. It may be used by people who...

  • Learn common myths about inhaled steroids, which are some of the best medicines for controlling asthma.

  • Learn how to deal with common side effects of depression medicines.

  • Learn why it's important to work with your doctor when stopping depression medicines.

  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body's natural defense system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease. Both the virus and the infection it causes are called HIV....

  • Learn how to prepare and give yourself a mixed dose of insulin.

  • Learn how to give yourself an epinephrine shot for a severe allergic reaction.

  • Learn how to give a child an epinephrine shot to treat a severe allergic reaction.

  • Learn how medicine can help lower your blood pressure.

  • "At first, I couldn't think of anything except how scared I was to have cancer. But as soon as I started asking questions about chemotherapy and learning how to take care of myself, I felt a little less afraid. The doctors and staff were great about answering all of my questions."—Earl, 66 "When I started...

  • Warfarin is a pill that you take regularly to help prevent blood clots or to keep a clot from getting bigger. Coumadin is the common brand name for warfarin. To ensure that warfarin is effectively thinning your blood, it's important to eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K normally helps your...

  • Salicylic acid is available as a paint, cream, plaster, tape, or patch that you put on the wart. Be sure to read and follow the instructions that come with the medicine, or follow your doctor's instructions. Salicylic acid may take weeks to months...

  • Learn how some medicines can make you dizzy or drowsy and how you can stay safe.

  • Learn how taking medicine at the first sign of a migraine can help manage headache pain.

  • Learn why taking headache pain medicine too often may be causing even more headaches.

  • Learn how depression medicines work to help you feel better.

  • Learn how depression medicines balance chemicals in your brain to help you feel better.

  • Learn how beta-blocker medicine helps your heart heal after a heart attack.

  • Get some tips on saving money on medicine for depression.

  • Learn about products and medicines that can take the edge off nicotine cravings.

  • Get some tips on how to save money on your prescriptions.

  • Learn why your controller medicines are so important.

  • Guides you through the decision to take insulin for type 2 diabetes. Provides info on when insulin may be needed to control blood sugar levels. Covers benefits and risks of insulin. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Learn how to keep track of your medicines and what you need to know about them.

  • Learn how medicine can double or triple your chances of stopping smoking.

  • What does "high-risk" mean? High-risk means that a medicine can cause serious health problems or accidents. High-risk doesn't always mean "do not use." It can mean "use with care" when a medicine is more likely to help you than harm you. If you take a medicine that may make you feel confused, drowsy, or dizzy...

  • Learn what's safe—and what isn't—when it comes to your child and over-the-counter cold remedies.

  • Medication errors aren't unusual in the hospital. As an active patient, you can keep careful track of the medicines you're getting and help prevent mistakes. If you are allergic to a drug, check your wrist band. It should include all drug allergies....

  • Learn the simple steps to give yourself an insulin shot in the arm using a syringe.

  • Learn how to give a glucagon shot to a person who is having a low-blood-sugar emergency.

  • Find out what atrial fibrillation is and how it's treated.

  • Asthma is more than a day-to-day problem that makes your life difficult. Over time it damages your airways and lungs. That damage can lead to serious health problems. So it's important to keep your asthma under control with medicine. What are the types of asthma medicine? Daily controller medicine prevents asthma...

  • See how beta-blocker medicines work in your body and can help prevent another heart attack.

  • Learn why a long-acting bronchodilator might be added to your child's asthma medicine.

  • Learn how to tell when your child is using a rescue inhaler too often.

  • Learn how other people quit smoking by using nicotine replacement and other medicines.

  • Learn how taking COPD medicines correctly helps prevent flare-ups and trips to the hospital.

  • Hear why some people choose medicine and why others try to change their habits first.

  • Compare the pros and cons of taking a statin to lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.

  • Birth control—without it, pregnancy can happen. That's why you need birth control you can count on. There are lots of good options for birth control. Your best choices are those that you find easy to use—so you never go without it. And of course, no matter what kind of birth control you use, you always need a plan for...

  • You might take prescription or over-the-counter medicines to help manage your health. But there may come a time when you no longer need to take these medicines or they have expired. An expired medicine is past its "use by" or "discard by" date....

  • Learn how to help your child deal with asthma and asthma treatments.

  • Learn how your child should use an inhaler without a spacer.

  • Compare the pros and cons of taking medicine for your high blood pressure.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to take blood pressure pills.

  • Learn why you probably don't need an antibiotic when you have acute bronchitis.

  • Learn why antibiotics shouldn't be prescribed to children who have a cold or flu.

  • Learn why taking your osteoporosis medicine is so important.

  • Learn how heart disease affects you and how to help prevent a heart attack.

  • Learn what you can do at home to slow down kidney damage.

  • Learn how others accept taking heart medicines as part of daily life.

  • See why your doctor prescribed low-dose aspirin for your heart.

  • Learn how to find what is getting in the way of taking your statin pill every day.

  • Learn from another person with heart failure about the importance of taking your ACE inhibitor/ARB.

  • Learn what you can do to be safe when you're taking warfarin.

  • Learn why you need to keep taking warfarin and how to get help so you can keep taking it.

  • Learn how clot-busting medicines are used for emergencies like stroke and heart attack.

  • Learn why it's important to take blood-thinning medicine after your stroke.

  • Learn how the pneumococcal vaccine protects you from serious infections.

  • Guides you through the decision to use the medicine metformin, lifestyle changes, or both to prevent type 2 diabetes. Provides specifics about metformin and goals for lifestyle changes. Lists benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Learn how to make a plan that helps you use medicines safely.

  • Older adults and people with long-term diseases often need to take a lot of pills. That can cause problems. If you take more than one medicine that works the same way, you could get too high a dose. Sometimes medicines work against each other . So it's really important to ask every doctor you visit to look at...

  • Learn about epidural anesthesia: what it is, how it's done, and its safety and side effects.

  • Learn about an epidural for labor: what it is, how it's done, and its safety and side effects.

  • Chemo brain is a problem with thinking and memory that can happen during and especially after chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Thinking and memory problems are called cognitive problems. Chemo brain can make it hard for you to think, concentrate,...

  • Learn how hormone therapy is used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding.

  • Learn about different treatment options for anxiety and how they can help.

  • Some over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can raise your blood pressure or keep your blood pressure medicine from working the way it should. So if you have high blood pressure or other heart or blood vessel problems, you need to be careful with OTC...

  • What are combination pills? Combination pills are used to prevent pregnancy. Most people call them "the pill." Combination pills release a regular dose of two hormones, estrogen and progestin. They prevent pregnancy in a few ways. They thicken the mucus in the cervix. This makes it hard for sperm to travel into...

  • What is a birth control implant? The implant is used to prevent pregnancy. It's a thin rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin (subdermal) on the inside of your arm. The implant releases the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy. Progestin prevents pregnancy in these ways: It thickens the...

  • What is the shot? The shot is used to prevent pregnancy. You get the shot in your upper arm or rear end (buttocks). The shot gives you a dose of the hormone progestin. The shot is often called by its brand name, Depo-Provera. Progestin prevents pregnancy in these ways: It thickens the mucus in the cervix. This...

  • What are mini-pills? Mini-pills are used to prevent pregnancy. They release a regular dose of a hormone called progestin. They are different from regular combination birth control pills. Those contain progestin and another hormone called estrogen. Progestin prevents pregnancy in a few ways. It thickens the mucus...

  • What is the patch? The patch is used to prevent pregnancy. It looks like a bandage and is put on the skin of your belly, rear end (buttocks), upper arm, or upper body (but not on a breast). The patch releases a regular dose of the hormones estrogen and progestin. These hormones prevent pregnancy in three ways...

  • What is the ring? The ring is used to prevent pregnancy. It's a soft plastic ring that you put into your vagina. It's also called the vaginal ring. The ring releases a regular dose of the hormones estrogen and progestin. These hormones prevent pregnancy in three ways. They thicken the mucus in the cervix. This...

  • Here's information to help you work with your doctor so you can take prescribed opioids safely.

  • Learn how medicines can help you manage chronic pain.

  • Learn what to expect when getting chemotherapy.

  • Learn how you can feel less tired when you're getting treatment for cancer.

  • Learn ways to manage nausea and loss of appetite from cancer treatments.

  • Get tips to prepare for and manage hair loss from chemotherapy.

  • Learn more about the different treatment options that can help you change your alcohol habits.

  • Learn how to be safe when taking a blood thinner other than warfarin.

  • Learn about the treatment options for PTSD.

  • Many people take aspirin every day, or every other day, to help prevent heart attack and stroke. But should you take it to prevent cancer? Research has shown that aspirin does help prevent heart attack and stroke in people who are at high risk for those things. But cancer is different. Yes, there are studies...

  • Learn why you may need to take medicine when you have gestational diabetes.

  • Learn about different treatments for knee arthritis other than surgery.

  • Getting great care at a lower price is possible. Just like when you shop for food or clothes, there are things you can do to lower your health care costs. Protect your health with a healthy lifestyle. Here are some things you can do to take charge...

  • List each medicine that you take. Be sure to include over-the-counter medicines, herbs, vitamins, and other natural health products. Use this as a guide when you fill out the chart. Medicine names. Include both the brand name and the generic name for all prescription medicines, even those prescribed by another...

  • Guides you through the decision to have your child take medicine for ADHD. Lists benefits and risks of medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Explains how to take medicine for congestive heart failure. Suggests schedules, lists, and pill containers to remember when to take medicines. Covers need-to-know names of medicines and side effects. Also how to handle missed doses, need to avoid certain medicines.

  • In people who have cirrhosis, portal hypertension causes many problems. One serious complication is bleeding of enlarged veins, or varices, in the digestive tract (variceal bleeding). When the buildup of scar tissue caused by cirrhosis reduces the...

  • Guides people not already diagnosed with coronary artery disease through decision to take statin medicine to lower risk of heart attack or stroke. Covers cholesterol and other risk factors. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Here are ways to help your family member take the medicines: Talk about medicines in a way that is meaningful to the person. For example, point out the reasons to take medication. Say, "Your medicines help quiet the voices you hear," or "Your...

  • Guides you through decision to take medicine for nail fungal infection. Explains fungal infections and why treatment might be needed. Lists other treatments. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to take medicine for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate. Lists common medicine choices. Discusses how to manage your symptoms at home. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are part of normal cartilage. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint. Glucosamine, also called chitosamine, is a natural substance that is found in the covering of shellfish. It is available in different...

  • Use this form to remind you when to take your medicines. Post this sheet where you can see it, such as near your medicine cabinet or wherever you store your medicines. Bring it to your doctor appointments. And take it with you when you travel. ...

  • Guides you through decision to use medicine or surgery to treat GERD. Covers medicines like antacids and esomeprazole (Nexium). Discusses laparoscopic surgery. Looks at pros and cons of each. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is arnica? Arnica, also called Arnica montana, is a plant that is native to the mountainous regions of Europe and southern Russia. The flowers and leaves of this plant have many traditional medicinal uses. Arnica is available as an ointment or gel and can be found in most health food stores. What...

  • Thrombolytics are medicines that rapidly dissolve a blood clot. They are used when a blood clot causes an emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke. These clot-busting medicines help blood to flow normally again. Thrombolytics are used as soon as...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause sleep problems. A few examples of these medicines are: Antidepressants. Cold medicines. Steroid medicines. Nonprescription diet aids. Other substances Other substances that may cause sleep problems include: Alcohol. At first, drinking alcohol may cause...

  • Guides you through decision to take isotretinoin for severe acne. Looks at the benefits and risks of this medicine. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Nicotine replacement therapies are helpful for people who quit smoking. They are available in several forms, such as patches, gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, and inhalers. All forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) work equally well. But talk with your doctor about what products might be best for you and what...

  • You chew nicotine gum as a way to help yourself quit using tobacco. The gum contains nicotine and feels and looks like chewing gum. When you chew the gum, the nicotine begins to slowly release into your mouth. Then you hold the gum in your mouth between your cheek and gums. Cigarette smoke passes nicotine almost...

  • This information is for people who may need to give a person with diabetes an injection of glucagon during a low blood sugar emergency. Giving a glucagon injection is similar to giving insulin. If possible, practice giving your partner or child an insulin injection at least once a month so you will be more ready if...

  • Guides through decision to use selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medicine for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Lists home remedies to try for PMS before SSRI. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause ringing in the ears (tinnitus). A few examples are: Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Some blood pressure and heart medicines. Some antidepressants. Some cancer medicines. If ringing in the ears occurs after you...

  • A nicotine inhaler looks like a cigarette. It has a cartridge that contains nicotine. You inhale, and nicotine vapor is absorbed into your mouth and throat area. You don't absorb the nicotine into your lungs like you do with a cigarette. As a result, you don't get the same "hit" of nicotine as with...

  • Know the benefits and side effects of a medicine before taking it. Use medicines only if nondrug approaches are not working. Follow these over-the-counter medicine precautions. Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box. Or let your doctor know why you think you should take the...

  • Explains what dietary supplements are. Covers uses including preventing illness, reducing fever, curing infection, easing pain, or healing wounds. Covers safety issues like side effects and interaction with other medicines or supplements being taken.

  • Thyroid hormones help regulate the way the body uses energy. You need thyroid hormone replacement when you do not have enough thyroid hormones in your blood (hypothyroidism). Depending on the cause of your hypothyroidism, you may need to take...

  • Guides you through the decision to use hormone therapy (HT) for menopause symptoms. Explains what menopause is and what to expect. Lists risks and benefits of HT and other treatments to try. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Insulin is used to treat people who have diabetes. Each type of insulin acts over a specific amount of time. The amount of time can be affected by exercise, diet, illness, some medicines, stress, the dose, how you take it, or where you inject it. The table below is a general guide. Your results may be different...

  • Insulin can become damaged and ineffective if it is not stored properly. Unopened insulin that is packaged in small glass bottles (vials) should be stored in the refrigerator. Liquid insulin that is packaged in small cartridges (containing several doses) is more stable. These cartridges are used in...

  • Some medicines for conditions other than diabetes can raise your blood sugar level. This is a concern when you have diabetes. Make sure every doctor you see knows about all of the medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements you take. This means...

  • Riboflavin is vitamin B2. Vitamins are naturally occurring substances necessary for many processes in the body. Riboflavin is important in the maintenance of many tissues of the body. Riboflavin is used to treat or prevent deficiencies of riboflavin. Riboflavin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication...

  • Psyllium is a bulk-forming fiber laxative that is used to treat occasional constipation or bowel irregularity. Psyllium may also help lower cholesterol when used together with a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat. Psyllium may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

  • Charcoal is used to treat stomach pain caused by excess gas, diarrhea, or indigestion. Charcoal also is used to relieve itching related to kidney dialysis treatment and to treat poisoning or drug overdose. Charcoal may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

  • Rabies immune globulin is used to protect people who have been bitten by animals (post-exposure). This medicine is given together with a full series of rabies vaccination. Rabies immune globulin by itself will not protect against rabies. You will not need rabies immune globulin if you have received a rabies vaccine in...

  • Witch hazel is a plant also known as Avellano de Bruja, Café du Diable, Hamamelis, Hamamélis, Hamamélis de Virginie, Hamamelis virginiana, Hazel, Noisetier des Sorcières, Snapping Tobacco Wood, Spotted Elder, Virginian Witch Hazel, Winter Bloom, and other names. Witch hazel is a liquid distilled from dried leaves, bark...

  • Melatonin is a manmade form of a hormone produced in the brain that helps regulate your sleep and wake cycle. Melatonin has been used in alternative medicine as a likely effective aid in treating insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep). Melatonin is also likely effective in treating sleep disorders in people...

  • Red yeast rice is a product that is made by fermenting red rice with a certain type of yeast. Red yeast rice is also known as Cholestin, Hypocol, Xuezhikang, or Zhitai. Red yeast rice supplements are not the same as red yeast rice that is sold in Chinese grocery stores. Red yeast rice has been used in alternative...

  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is important in the maintenance of many tissues of the body. Riboflavin ophthalmic (for the eyes) is a "photosensitive" solution used during a procedure to treat progressive keratoconus in adults and adolescents who are at least 14 years old. Keratoconus (KER-a-toe-KOE-nus) is a...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure to read...

  • Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure to read the...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure to read...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure to read the...

  • Medicine therapy for epilepsy can fail for several reasons: You do not follow the treatment plan. You have to follow your therapy routine exactly as your doctor orders, to have the best chance of keeping seizures under control. Missing a dose here or there or taking doses too close together can upset the...

  • It is easy to understand people's reasons for wanting to stop medicine. Some reasons are side effects and drug toxicity, the cost and inconvenience of medicine, and, for women who want to have children, the higher risk of birth defects associated with some epilepsy medicines. If you have not had a seizure in several...

  • While working with your doctor to plan a medicine routine for yourself or your child, it may help you to talk about some of the choices and issues involved. Some of the following questions might help you prepare. Some medicines for epilepsy have to...

  • Many over-the-counter medicines are available to control symptoms of allergies, including allergic rhinitis. These medicines work well but can have side effects. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. It is usually best to take only single-ingredient allergy or cold preparations...

  • Capsaicin (Zostrix), available without a prescription, is a pain reliever that comes in a cream that you apply directly to your skin (topical analgesic). It has been found to relieve joint pain from osteoarthritis in some people when rubbed into the...

  • Talk to your doctor before you take any prescription or nonprescription medicine while breastfeeding. That's because some medicines can affect your breast milk. But many medicines are safe to use when you breastfeed. These include certain pain...

  • The levonorgestrel (LNg) intrauterine device (IUD) releases small amounts of levonorgestrel, a form of progesterone, into the uterus each day. This type of IUD reduces cramping and heavy menstrual bleeding. And it is a highly effective method of...

  • Saw palmetto is a type of palm tree that grows in the southeastern United States. The berry of the saw palmetto plant contains a compound that may reduce the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is a noncancerous enlargement of the...

  • The decision to try medicine to treat behavior problems in Alzheimer's disease is different for each person. The decision weighs the risks and benefits of these medicines. Your doctor can help you decide. Medicines for behavior problems linked to dementia do not work very well for most people and may have serious risks...

  • Ginkgo extract, from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. It also is the most commonly used herbal medicine in Europe. Although the benefits of ginkgo are not entirely...

  • Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease that may last throughout your life—you must treat it long term. Taking medicines and following a management plan can be difficult over a long period of time. Taking daily medicines is often one of the...

  • Radioactive iodine, given in a capsule or liquid form, is absorbed and concentrated by the thyroid gland. The treatment destroys thyroid tissue but does not harm other tissue in the body. See a picture of the thyroid gland. While radiation can cause thyroid cancer, treatment of hyperthyroidism with radioactive iodine...

  • What is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Very small amounts of it are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. You can also buy it as a supplement. What does natural melatonin do in the body...

  • A balanced, nutritious diet during pregnancy is important to maintain your health and nourish your fetus. In general, pregnant women need to increase their daily caloric intake by 340 calories in the second trimester and 450 calories in the third trimester. Most women who are pregnant need 2,200 to 2,900 calories a...

  • Benzoyl peroxide is a medicine you use to treat acne. It comes in different strengths in lotions, gels, soaps, and liquids. How does benzoyl peroxide treat acne? Benzoyl peroxide unclogs skin pores. It also helps stop bacteria from growing and...

  • Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid, mandelic acid, and glycolic acid (for example, Alpha Hydrox) are often used in products to treat acne. These products work by drying up whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples and causing the top layer of your...

  • Salicylic acid is an active ingredient in some nonprescription acne treatments. When you apply it to your skin, it dries up whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. It also causes the top layer of your skin to peel. Products that contain salicylic acid...

  • Doctors often prescribe antibiotics to treat severe acne or acne that is likely to leave scars. Antibiotics improve the look of your skin by killing bacteria that cause acne. This means you'll have fewer pimples and redness. Less acne means less...

  • When considering whether to try medicine or hormone treatment for infertility, ask: Whether there are any possible long-term risks related to the proposed treatment. Whether you need to change your sexual activities during treatment. Your doctor may...

  • Many medicines change how well your body can stay cool. They include: Some antidepressants. Antihistamines. Some blood pressure medicines. Some sedative medicines. Thyroid medicine. Alcohol and illegal drugs such as methamphetamines, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, PCP (phencyclidine hydrochloride), and LSD...

  • Briefly discusses St. John's wort, an herbal dietary supplement used to treat mild to moderate depression. Covers possible side effects and safety issues.

  • Between 1948 and 1971, millions of women took a drug called diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent miscarriage. Daughters born to women who took DES while pregnant have a slightly higher risk of developing: Abnormal cervical cells that cause an...

  • Some people with diabetes use their insulin syringes and lancets more than once to save money. But makers of syringes and lancets do not recommend using them more than once. Talk with your doctor before reusing these items. Some people who have...

  • An immunoglobulins test is done to measure the level of immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, in your blood. Antibodies are substances made by the body's immune system in response to bacteria, viruses, fungus, animal dander, or cancer cells. Antibodies attach to the foreign substances so the immune system can...

  • Some diuretics can cause low levels of potassium. A delicate balance of potassium is needed to properly transmit electrical impulses in the heart. A low potassium level can disrupt the normal electrical impulses in the heart and lead to irregular...

  • Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria. Bacteria can cause infections such as strep throat, ear infections, urinary tract infections, and sinus infections (sinusitis). There are many types of antibiotics. Each works a little differently and...

  • Medicines available without a prescription may help relieve pain and promote sinus drainage. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. You can: Try a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve facial...

  • Birth control methods have high rates of effectiveness if they are used consistently. Follow your health professional's instructions on what to do if you miss or skip your birth control pills. Some general guidelines are listed here. Combination (estrogen plus progestin) birth control pills Always read...

  • It is not unusual for women who are taking hormone pills for birth control to have very light periods or no bleeding at all. If you have not missed any pills, skip 1 period, yet have no other signs of early pregnancy, it is very unlikely that you are pregnant. Signs of early pregnancy include fatigue, breast...

  • Before having an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted, you will probably have: A pregnancy test, especially if you have not been using an effective method of birth control, have been sexually active in the past month, and are not having your menstrual period at the time of the procedure. Testing for sexually...

  • As part of a healthy diet, eat at least two servings of fish each week. Oily fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are best. These fish include salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines. Fish is an important part of a heart-healthy...

  • Discusses using nitroglycerin to treat angina, a type of chest pain. Covers how to take the drug. Provides info on side effects and interactions with other drugs. Covers how to store nitroglycerin. Includes info on when to call for emergency help.

  • Many people take nonprescription antacids for mild or occasional heartburn. Antacids are substances that neutralize some of the stomach acid. Some antacids have a foaming agent (alginate) that floats on top of the stomach's contents. This may reduce the amount of acid that comes in contact with your esophagus...

  • Coenzyme Q10 (known as CoQ10) is a compound that is made in the body. The body uses it for cell growth and to protect cells from damage (see Question 1). Clinical trials have been limited to small sizes. It is not clear if the benefits reported were from the CoQ10 therapy (see Question 4). CoQ10 may not mix safely with...

  • Milk thistle is a plant whose fruit and seeds are used for liver and bile duct disorders (see Question 1). Milk thistle is usually taken in capsules or tablets (see Question 2). Studies of milk thistle have been done in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and head and neck cancer (see Question...

  • Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant grown in many parts of the world. It makes a resin (thick substance) that contains compounds called cannabinoids (see Question 1). By federal law, possessing Cannabis is illegal in the United States outside of approved research settings. However, a growing number of states...

  • Men in the United States get prostate cancer more than any other type of cancer except skin cancer. It occurs mainly in older men. In the United States, about 1 in every 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Most men with prostate cancer do not die of it. Complementary and alternative...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause a rash. A few common examples are: Antibiotics. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve). Pain medicines, such as codeine. Seizure medicines. If a rash occurs after your child has begun a new medicine: Stop giving the medicine to your...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure to read the information that came with your medicine. If you have any questions...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • There are many studies being done to look at whether certain vitamin and mineral supplements and combinations of supplements may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or delay vision loss in people who already have it. For example, the...

  • Muscle relaxants are medicines that block the nerve impulses to the muscles. They sometimes are also referred to as neuromuscular blocking agents. These medicines are often used during general anesthesia, but they do not usually affect whether you...

  • Aspirin (such as Bayer or Bufferin) relieves pain and reduces fever and inflammation. Warning: Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 unless your doctor tells you to do so because of the risk of Reye syndrome. Be sure to follow the nonprescription medicine precautions. Aspirin is a nonsteroidal...

  • Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) reduces fever and relieves pain. It does not reduce inflammation, as do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, but it is less likely to cause stomach upset and other side effects. Be sure to follow the nonprescription medicine precautions...

  • Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, helps reduce fever and relieve pain. It does not reduce inflammation, as do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, but it also is less likely to cause stomach upset and other side effects. Be sure to follow these medicine precautions. Your child's...

  • Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to relieve pain and reduce fever and inflammation. Be sure to follow these medicine precautions: Your child's over-the-counter medicine will have a "Drug Facts" label. On the label, you'll find directions for...

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce fever and inflammation and relieve pain. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Be sure to follow the nonprescription medicine precautions. Ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil) Adults: The initial dose is 400 mg...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause urinary symptoms. A few examples include: Antihistamines. Decongestants. Opioid pain medicines. Tricyclic antidepressants. If you develop a urinary problem after taking a medicine: Call the doctor who prescribed the medicine to determine whether you...

  • Some medicines can cause leg problems. A few examples are: Birth control pills and estrogen. These can increase the risk of blood clots in the leg, which may cause pain or swelling. Calcium channel blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure. These can cause leg swelling. Diuretics. These can cause leg...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause mouth problems. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Some seizure medicines. Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Steroid medicines. Medicines used after organ transplant. Antibiotics may cause many mouth problems. If you have recently started an...

  • Decongestants may help shrink swollen tissues in the nose, sinuses, throat, and the space behind the eardrum (middle ear). This may relieve pressure, pain, and stuffiness (congestion). Decongestants can be taken by mouth as a pill or liquid (oral) or used as nose drops, sprays, or gels. The oral kind provides longer...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription drugs can cause weakness and fatigue. A few examples are: Antianxiety medicines. Antidepressants. High blood pressure medicines. Statin medicines for high cholesterol. If you think a prescription or nonprescription medicine may be causing your weakness or fatigue, call your...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can make you feel lightheaded or affect your balance. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Blood pressure medicines. Medicines used to treat depression or anxiety. Pain medicines. Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). If you think a prescription or...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause belly pain or cramping. A few examples are: Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Antibiotics. Antidiarrheals. Laxatives. Iron supplements. Your health professional may be able to prescribe other medicines if you are...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause heartburn. A few examples are: Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Antibiotics. Steroids, such as prednisone. Some heart medicines. Caffeine and alcohol also can cause heartburn. If you think that your heartburn may...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause symptoms related to the nervous system. A few examples are: Antipsychotic medicines. Medicines taken to control nausea. Medicines used to treat Parkinson's disease, restless legs syndrome, and other nervous system problems. Nervous system problems are often...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines and supplements can cause headaches. A few examples are: Medicines that contain hormones, such as birth control pills and hormone therapy for menopause. Medicines for erection problems. Caffeine (because of caffeine withdrawal). Some heart and blood pressure...

  • Oral antihistamines are available without a prescription. Common types such as diphenhydramine (for example, Benadryl), chlorpheniramine (for example, Chlor-Trimeton), and loratadine (for example, Claritin) are used to treat allergy symptoms and itching. Look for generic or store brands, which often cost less than name...

  • Many nonprescription and prescription medicines can cause nausea or vomiting. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Antidepressants. Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Opioid pain medicines. Vitamins and mineral supplements, such...

  • What is a laxative? A laxative is a substance that helps you have a bowel movement. Laxatives are used to relieve and prevent constipation, which occurs when it is difficult to have a bowel movement. What types of laxatives are there? There are four types of products for preventing or treating...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause diarrhea. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Antidepressants. Antacids. Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec) and lansoprazole (Prevacid). Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Many antibiotics cause diarrhea. Usually the diarrhea...

  • The tables below list the vitamins, what they do in the body (their functions), and their sources in food. Water-soluble vitamins Water-soluble vitamins travel freely through the body, and excess amounts usually are excreted by the kidneys. The body needs water-soluble vitamins in frequent, small doses. These...

  • The body needs many minerals; these are called essential minerals. Essential minerals are sometimes divided up into major minerals (macrominerals) and trace minerals (microminerals). These two groups of minerals are equally important, but trace minerals are needed in smaller amounts than major minerals. The amounts...

  • Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. If your child has had a severe allergic reaction in the past, you know how frightening it can be. Symptoms of breathing problems, itching, nausea or vomiting, and swelling can come on quickly and become life-threatening. Giving your child an epinephrine shot can slow down or...

  • What is emergency contraception? Emergency contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy if: You had sex without using birth control. Your birth control method failed. Maybe you forgot to take your pill or get your shot, the condom broke or came off, or your diaphragm slipped. You were sexually...

  • Guides through decision to take antiviral medicine for the flu. Explains the two types of antiviral medicines for the flu and who should take them. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Provides guidelines to reduce problems and get the most benefit from taking antidepressants. Covers what you need to know about antidepressants, side effects, and risks. Covers how to take medicine wisely.

  • Discusses dealing with side effects of antidepressants. Links to more info on medicines, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants. Explains reasons to take medicine. Includes a warning to watch for serious side effects.

  • What is a blood transfusion? Blood transfusion is a medical treatment that replaces blood lost through injury, surgery, or disease. The blood goes through a tube from a bag to an intravenous (IV) catheter and into your vein. When is a blood transfusion needed? You may need a blood transfusion if you lose too much...

  • Immunoglobulin (also called gamma globulin or immune globulin) is a substance made from human blood plasma. The plasma, processed from donated human blood, contains antibodies that protect the body against diseases. When you are given an...

  • Guides through decision to use antibiotics for a child's ear infection. Covers symptoms of an ear infection. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision. This topic is only appropriate for children 6 months and older.

  • Guides you through decision to take bisphosphonate medicines for osteoporosis. Lists medicine names like alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel). Lists risks and benefits. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses reducing medicine costs with lifestyle changes, generic medicines, and shopping around. Also covers buying medicines online, pill splitting, and buying prescriptions in bulk. Discusses how your insurance plan and doctor can help you save money.

  • Discusses taking aspirin to prevent a first and second heart attack for people who have coronary artery disease. Covers aspirin therapy to help lower risk of a stroke. Discusses if aspirin therapy is for you. Looks at things to avoid while taking aspirin.

  • Guides you through decision to take medicines to treat MS (called disease-modifying therapy). Covers medicine choices. Covers side effects. Lists reasons for and against taking medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • The side effects of chemotherapy, sometimes called chemo, depend mainly on the medicines you receive. As with other types of treatment, side effects vary from person to person. In general, chemotherapy affects rapidly growing and dividing cells. These include: Blood cells. Blood cells fight infection, cause the blood...

  • You may be taking one or more medicines to prevent seizures. To get the most benefit from them, you need to consistently take the right dose of the right medicine at the right time. This can be difficult. But by following a few key tips, you can do it. Become informed about the medicines you are taking. Learn their...

  • Tretinoin (Avita, Renova, Retin-A) is a topical medicine most often used to treat acne. It is sometimes used to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and to smooth rough facial skin. Tretinoin is made from vitamin A and is sometimes called vitamin A acid or retinoic acid. It comes in cream, gel, and liquid forms. Side...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause a rash. A few common examples are: Antibiotics. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve). Pain medicines, such as codeine. Seizure medicines. If a rash occurs after you have begun a new medicine: Call the doctor who prescribed the medicine...

  • Many nonprescription products for weight loss are available at drugstores and supermarkets and over the Internet. Many of these have never been proved effective. And those that are effective often come with warnings. For example, many diet pills promote water loss from the body and may lead to dehydration or loss of...

  • Many nonprescription and prescription medicines and supplements can cause gas and bloating. A few examples are: Aspirin. Antacids. Diarrhea medicines, such as Imodium, Kaopectate, and Lomotil. Opioid pain medicines. Fiber supplements and bulking agents, such as Citrucel, Fiberall, and Metamucil. Multivitamins and...

  • Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the combination of several antiretroviral medicines used to slow the rate at which HIV makes copies of itself (multiplies) in the body. A combination of three or more antiretroviral medicines is more effective than using just one medicine (monotherapy) to treat HIV. The use of three or...

  • Taking antiretroviral drugs for HIV will not cure your infection. But it may allow you to stay healthy for a long time. And treatment can help prevent spreading the infection to other people. Your willingness and ability to follow your antiretroviral therapy schedule exactly as prescribed is essential for successful...

  • Snake venoms can cause many problems, such as: Blood-clotting problems. Injury to muscles. Low blood pressure leading to shock. Kidney damage. Nervous system problems. Severe allergic reactions. Swelling. Antivenom is a medicine that is given to stop snake venom from binding to tissues and causing serious...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines, including some that you put directly on the skin, may cause blisters. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (for example, Advil or Motrin), naproxen (for example, Aleve), or piroxicam (for example, Feldene)...

  • While you are pregnant, you may also have other common problems, like a cold, mild headache, backache, mild fever, or the flu, that are not caused by your pregnancy. These minor symptoms generally do not cause problems or hurt your baby. In general, doctors say it is usually safe to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for...

  • Birth control pills come in packs. The most common type has 3 weeks of hormone pills. Some packs have sugar pills for the fourth week. During that fourth no-hormone week, you have your menstrual period. After the fourth week (28 days), you start a new pack. Some birth control pills are packaged so that you take...

  • Tea tree oil can kill bacteria and fungi. It comes from the evergreen leaves of the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Tea tree oil has been used as complementary therapy in surgery, burn care, and dental care. Numerous tea tree oil body care...

  • Briefly discusses kava (also known as kava kava), a dietary supplement used to relieve anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and stress-related symptoms. Covers safety issues and side effects, including liver damage in some when used for long periods.

  • To help control the pain and stress of labor, you may get pain medicines. The medicine can be injected into a vein or into the muscle. The most common pain medicines used are opioids. Examples include fentanyl, morphine, and nalbuphine. How opioids work for labor pain Opioids suppress how you perceive pain, and they...

  • On rare occasions, cancer coincides with pregnancy. Because the medicines and radiation used for treating cancer can be dangerous to a fetus, a pregnant woman and her doctors must weigh a number of factors when planning her care, including: The fetus's gestational age. The type and location of the cancer...

  • Certain antihistamines such as dimenhydrinate or doxylamine, taken as your doctor advises, may relieve morning sickness. Doxylamine (Unisom SleepTabs) is available over-the-counter. If one of these antihistamines alone does not relieve your morning sickness, you can try taking it with vitamin B6. Talk to your doctor...

  • Ginger may relieve nausea and morning sickness after a few days of treatment. There are several ways you can use ginger to relieve your symptoms. Try: Ground ginger in a capsule, taken several times a day. Buy ginger capsules that are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not mixed with...

  • Studies suggest that taking vitamin B6 for morning sickness greatly improves nausea, though not vomiting, for many pregnant women. There has been no sign of harm to the fetus with vitamin B6 use. A typical dose of vitamin B6 for morning sickness is 10 mg to 25 mg, 3 times a day. Talk to your health professional...

  • Looks at postpartum depression. Discusses causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal counseling, and medicines. Offers home treatment tips. Links to more in-depth info on postpartum depression.

  • Soy is high in isoflavones. Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens are chemicals found in plants that work like estrogens. Soy products may improve menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes. This is based on mixed evidence. So far, studies have used many different soy sources and different...

  • Black cohosh, also known as black snakeroot or bugbane, is a medicinal root. It is used to treat women's hormone-related symptoms, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menstrual cramps, and menopausal symptoms. Studies on black cohosh have had mixed results. Some studies have shown that black cohosh can relieve...

  • Wild yam and progesterone creams are available without a prescription and are marketed for relieving perimenopausal symptoms. Wild yam. Although wild yam cream is marketed as a source of natural progesterone, it does not contain progesterone, and the body cannot convert it into progesterone...

  • Guides you through the decision to treat a vaginal yeast infection yourself. Explains when you may need to see a doctor to diagnose a yeast infection. Discusses prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Boric acid is a white, crystalline chemical substance that has antifungal and antiviral properties. It is used in various prescription pharmaceutical products and is also available without a prescription. Some experts now recommend vaginal boric acid capsules as a treatment option for vaginal yeast infections...

  • Some treatments for cancer can cause infertility in both men and women. Also, cancer treatment in children may affect their future fertility. Infertility from cancer treatment may be temporary or permanent. Whether or not your cancer treatment will...

  • Bioidentical hormones are made in a laboratory. They are based on compounds found in plants (usually soybeans or wild yams). After the plant-based hormone is processed, its structure is said to be identical to the estrogen, progesterone, or androgen hormone your body makes. A compounding pharmacist can offer you a...

  • Describes how to give an insulin injection when you have gestational diabetes. Covers what is needed, including syringe and vial or cartridge of insulin. Offers step-by-step instructions and links to slideshows on preparing an injection.

  • How does grapefruit juice affect medicines? Grapefruit juice contains chemicals that can cause problems with enzymes that break down certain types of medicines in your intestines. When a medicine does not get broken down properly in the intestines, you can have too much medicine in your blood. Having too much...

  • Probiotics are bacteria that help keep the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines. The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy...

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat mild nausea caused by cancer or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If you are having chemotherapy, your doctor can give you medicines to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting. Be sure to tell your doctor if you continue to have problems after your...

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat constipation caused by cancer, pain medicine, inactivity, or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If your doctor has given you instructions or medicines to treat constipation, be...

  • Hair loss can be emotionally distressing. Not all cancer treatments cause hair loss, and some people have only mild thinning that is noticeable only to them. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether hair loss is an expected side effect of your treatment. Hair loss from chemotherapy Chemotherapy can cause hair...

  • Decision Points are designed to guide you through key health decisions, combining medical information with your personal information to make a wise health decision. Click on a link below to learn more about medicines for your condition: Acne: Should I Take Isotretinoin for Severe Acne? ADHD: Should My Child Take...

  • Many medicines may impair kidney function and cause kidney damage. And if your kidneys aren't working well, medicines can build up in your body. If you have chronic kidney disease, your doctor may advise you to continue to take a medicine but may change how much you take. Or you may change to a different medicine. Don't...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can affect the menstrual cycle. A few examples are: Aspirin and other medicines (called blood thinners) that prevent blood clots. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (for example, Advil or Motrin) and naproxen (for example, Aleve). Hormonal...

  • Guides you through decision to use hormone therapy to treat endometriosis. Covers how endometriosis may affect you. Covers how hormone therapy works. Lists reasons for and against hormone therapy. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through decision to use gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH-a) medicines to treat uterine fibroids. Discusses how GnRH-a therapy works. Lists reasons for and against. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause dehydration. A few examples are: Antihistamines. Blood pressure medicines. Chemotherapy. Diuretics. Laxatives. If you think that your dehydration is caused by a medicine: Call the doctor who prescribed the medicine to find out if you should stop taking...

  • Skin changes are a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription medicines. Common side effects include: Rash. Any medicine can cause a rash. Two examples are aspirin and antibiotics. Color changes in the skin. A few examples of medicines that can cause this are: Birth control...

  • Guides you through decision to use chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer. Lists reasons for and against chemotherapy. Covers side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause vaginal symptoms. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Birth control pills. Hormone therapy. Chemotherapy for cancer. Vaginal sprays, douches, and spermicides. Vaginal symptoms may clear up on their own once you stop taking a medicine. A yeast infection can be...

  • Some people have a hard time swallowing medicines. Large pills or capsules can get stuck in your throat, especially if your mouth is dry. Sometimes stuck pills can lead to heartburn and other problems. Try these tips to help make swallowing easier: Take a few sips of water to moisten your throat before you swallow the...

  • Insert eye ointment (if prescribed) as follows: For older children and adults, pull the lower eyelid down with one or two fingers to create a pouch. Put the ointment in the pouch. Close the eye for 30 to 60 seconds to let the ointment absorb. For younger children, ask the child to lie down with eyes closed. Pull the...

  • Some medicines may cause your skin to sunburn more easily. Medicines used for treatment on the skin (topical) or for the whole body (systemic) can cause two types of reactions: Phototoxicity. Medicines react with proteins in the skin and sunlight and cause a more severe sunburn reaction with increased...

  • The skin (transdermal) patch is a highly effective method of birth control when it is used exactly as directed. The patch failure rate is the same as that of birth control pills. Talk to your doctor about what day to start using the patch. It is usually recommended that the first patch be placed on the first day of...

  • The vaginal ring is a highly effective method of birth control when it is used exactly as directed. The ring failure rate is the same as that of birth control pills. Talk to your doctor about what day to start using the ring. Usually, a ring is started during one of the first 5 days of the menstrual cycle. See a...

  • In some women, the estrogen in combination hormonal birth control methods increases the risk of a blood clot in a leg ( deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) or a blood clot in a lung ( pulmonary embolism, or PE). A blood clot in a leg vein can travel through the circulation system and cause pulmonary embolism. The risk for...

  • The following tables list some pros and cons of using hormonal birth control methods. Combination pills, skin patch, or vaginal ring (estrogen plus progestin) Pros Cons No interruption of foreplay or intercourse Reduced bleeding and cramping with periods, which lowers the risk of anemia Fewer or no...

  • Discusses intrauterine device (IUD) for long-term birth control for women. Covers types of IUDs. Includes how well IUDs work to prevent pregnancy. Covers updated science on IUD's link to pelvic inflammatory disease.

  • If you take a medicine that might cause bleeding as a side effect, watch for signs of internal or abnormal bleeding. This medicine might be a blood thinner. Call or other emergency services right away if you have: A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches. (It may be a...

  • Guides you through the decision to take an anticoagulant to prevent stroke. Explains atrial fibrillation and risk of stroke. Lists benefits and risks of anticoagulants. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Heart failure is most often a lifelong illness that will require frequent changes in your medicine schedule and regular follow-up with your doctor. Over the years, many things will affect the course of your disease, including other illnesses that you develop, your age, your diet, your ability to tolerate and comply...

  • One of the most frightening aspects about having heart failure is that it can lead to premature death. The increased death rate among people with heart failure is in part caused by the tendency of those with heart failure to develop abnormal heart rhythms. Some people with heart failure die suddenly from abnormal rapid...

  • SAM-e is short for S-adenosylmethionine, a substance that occurs naturally in the cells of plants, animals, and humans. SAM-e is not an herb. Because the body produces less SAM-e with age, some people think that SAM-e may be a helpful supplement for...

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are found in marine or plant sources, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil. A few studies suggest that adding omega-3 fatty acids to medicine (such as lithium) can help reduce the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder in some people. Omega-3 fatty acids don't seem to have an effect on the manic...

  • Discusses shots of EDTA into bloodstream to remove heavy metals or minerals from the body. Also discusses its use to treat atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Covers safety.

  • If you are in a cardiac rehab program, you are probably taking medicines for your heart and for other health reasons. Some prescribed medicines can change your heart rate, blood pressure, and overall ability to exercise. It's important for your rehab team to know what medicines you take. Give your rehab team a list of...

  • Discusses taking calcium and vitamin D to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Includes info on how much calcium you need based on your age or life stage. Offers list of calcium-rich foods and calcium supplements.

  • Guides through decision to take medicine to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Explains symptoms of OCD. Describes most common types of medicines used and other treatments. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through decision to take antidepressants for depression. Covers symptoms of depression. Lists reasons for and against antidepressants. Covers side effects. Looks at other treatments to try. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through deciding whether your child should take medicines for depression. Offers reasons for and against. Covers side effects, including possible increase in suicidal thoughts. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to take drugs for migraines. Covers treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through the decision to take prescription drugs for tension headaches. Covers treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and antianxiety medicines. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Covers giving yourself an epinephrine shot to slow down or stop an allergic reaction. Says why you need an epinephrine shot and how to give yourself a shot.

  • A vitamin and mineral supplement provides a variety of nutrients that are also found in food. These supplements are often called multivitamins. They come in the form of pills, chewable tablets, powders, and liquids. A standard multivitamin usually...

  • What is folic acid? Folic acid is one of the B vitamins your body needs for good health. The vitamin is also called folate. Folate is the natural form of this vitamin. It's found in leafy green vegetables, oranges, nuts, and beans. Folic acid is the man-made form. It's put into vitamin pills...

  • If you have a normal heart, you have a low risk for endocarditis. But if you have a problem with your heart that affects normal blood flow through the heart, it is more likely that bacteria or fungi will attach to heart tissue. This puts you at a higher risk for endocarditis. If you have certain heart conditions...

  • Carole lost a lot of time to migraines. Instead of playing with her children, she would lie on her bed in the dark, with a bag of ice on her head. "I kept thinking I could stop the migraines if I would just lie down and be still and quiet," says the 41-year-old mother of two. "It hardly ever worked." When a migraine...

  • Guides you through the decision to take antiviral drugs for chronic hepatitis B. Covers treatment with interferons and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Milk thistle is a plant that contains silymarin, a substance that improves liver function. Originally from Europe, milk thistle now also grows in the United States. You can take milk thistle in capsules or as a tincture (combined with alcohol). It...

  • Guides people who have not had a heart attack or a stroke through decision to take daily aspirin. Discusses benefits and risks. Looks at who can take daily aspirin. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides you through the decision to take medicines (Cialis, Levitra, or Viagra) for erection problems. Explains erectile dysfunction and what causes it. Lists risks and benefits of medicines. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through decision to take antibiotics for acute bronchitis. Explains when antibiotics are helpful. Covers risks of antibiotics. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Coughing is your body's way of getting foreign substances and mucus out of your lungs and upper airway passages. Coughs are often useful, and you should not try to stop them. Sometimes, though, coughs are severe enough to make breathing difficult, cause vomiting, or prevent rest. Home treatment can help you feel more...

  • Discusses use of dietary supplement beta-sitosterol to lower cholesterol levels, reduce risk of colon cancer, and relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Looks at safety of beta-sitosterol. Includes possible side effects.

  • Herbal supplements that may be used to relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) include beta-sitosterol, cernilton , Pygeum africanum, and saw palmetto. In general, the trials using these substances have been short, and self-reported improvement scores can be biased. Different preparations are available...

  • What is rye grass pollen extract? Rye grass pollen extract comes from the pollen of rye grass ( Secale cereale). Rye grass pollen extract may affect the male hormone testosterone, relax the muscles of the tube through which urine flows ( urethra), and improve how well the bladder can force urine out. All of these may...

  • Discusses Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as Q10, vitamin Q10, or ubiquinone. Looks at use to treat heart failure, cancer, muscular dystrophy, and periodontal disease. Covers safety and side effects of dietary supplements.

  • Looks at chamomile, an herb used as an alternative medicine treatment for upset stomach, sleep problems, or skin problems. Covers German (Matricaria retutica) and Roman (or English) chamomile. Looks at safety and side effects.

  • The American Association for the Study of Liver Disease has made recommendations for treating long-term (chronic) hepatitis B. These recommendations are based on the presence of hepatitis B antigens in your blood, the level of hepatitis B viral DNA ( HBV DNA) in your blood, and the level of the liver enzyme alanine...

  • When you use inhaled asthma medicine, you usually use a device that delivers the medicine directly to your lungs. Different types of delivery systems are available. And one type may be more suitable for certain people, age groups, or medicine than another. The following table describes how asthma medicines may be...

  • Medicines for quick relief of the narrowed bronchial tubes caused by asthma include short-acting beta2-agonists. These medicines relieve sudden increases of symptoms ( asthma attacks) quickly. But overuse may be harmful. Overuse of short-acting beta2-agonists has been associated with worsening asthma and increased risk...

  • Medicines and medical treatments can cause hair loss. Medicines Many medicines that can cause hair loss include: Medicines used to treat cancer ( chemotherapy). Birth control pills. Women who lose hair while taking birth control pills usually have an inherited tendency toward hair thinning. If hair thinning...

  • Medicines are a big part of treatment for many health problems. They fight harmful bacteria, relieve pain, and save lives. Medicines have helped cure diseases that used to have no cure. But there is a downside to medicines. Medicines work in a delicate balance with your body and with each other. Sometimes the balance...

  • In raising three teenagers, Sherri juggles the usual whirlwind of school, sports, friends, and family commitments. She also has duties most parents don't face. She shuttles all the kids to counseling and psychiatrist appointments and makes sure they take daily antidepressant medicines. For a long time, Sherri was so...

  • It's important to know as much as possible about the medicines you're taking. Here are some examples of questions you might ask your doctor or pharmacist: What can you tell me about this medicine? How will I know that this medicine is working? How long will it take before I notice anything? Will I need any tests...

  • It can be hard to keep track of when and how to take medicines. And the more medicines you take, the harder it may be. Here are some ideas you can use to stay organized and track your medicines. Know your medicines The first step in keeping track of your medicines is to know what you're taking. Make a master list...

  • Valerian is an herb that people have used for centuries for anxiety and as a sleep aid. It is also used to ease menstrual and stomach cramps. It comes from the root of the valerian plant, found in areas of North America, Europe, and Asia. Of the...

  • Medicine. Dose. How often I take it. How well it is working. Prescribing doctor. Current as of: May 27, 2020 Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family Medicine

  • New challenges emerge when your child with diabetes begins school. Starting a good communication system with key people at the school can help make this transition a smooth one. It's helpful to schedule a conference with school personnel—principal,...

  • If your child doesn't want to feel the insulin needle, your child's doctor can prescribe an indwelling subcutaneous cannula. A small needle is used to insert a soft tube into a place where you give your child an insulin shot, such as the belly. The needle is taken out, but the soft tube (cannula) stays in your child's...

  • Discusses mineral our bodies use for normal body functions like digesting food. Looks at how chromium helps move blood sugar and is used to treat problems like diabetes. Covers safe levels of chromium and possible side effects of dietary supplements.

  • Covers capsaicin found in some hot peppers. Looks at its use as dietary supplement to improve digestion and fight infection, topical skin products to relieve headaches and joint pain, and skin patch for postherpetic neuralgia. Covers safety, side effects.

  • The cravings for nicotine can be intense for the first few days when you stop smoking, but they will get better with time. Here are some tips on how to cope: Use nicotine gum, lozenges, or an inhaler. Distract yourself. Stop what you are doing, and do something else. Try to stay away from other smokers, at least in...

  • Many eye problems are treated with eyedrops or eye ointments, and sometimes with both. Even though drops and ointments are widely used, many people don't know the best way to put them in. But with a little preparation, you can comfortably and easily put drops or ointment in your eyes or someone else's. Eyedrops and...

  • Take sleeping pills for a short time, along with making lifestyle changes. Treat your sleep problems with only lifestyle changes. Insomnia can be caused by menopause or problems such as depression, anxiety, and sleep apnea. Treating these conditions may get rid of your sleep problem. This topic is for people...

  • Antidepressant medicines often work well, but they do have some risks and side effects. Their use may increase the risk of suicide, especially in the first few weeks of use. If your child starts antidepressants, be sure to be aware of this risk and get help if you see any of the warning signs. Before prescribing...

  • Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances similar to the male hormone testosterone. Doctors prescribe them to treat problems such as delayed puberty and other medical problems that cause the body to make very low amounts of testosterone. Steroids...

  • Why is it important to get enough calcium and vitamin D? Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Calcium keeps your bones and muscles—including your heart—healthy and strong. People who do not get enough calcium and vitamin D throughout life have an increased chance of having thin and brittle bones (...

  • Ask the following questions if your doctor recommends a new medicine for your health condition. General questions What is the name of the medicine? Brand name (trade name): Generic name (chemical name): What will the medicine do (for example, decrease blood pressure)? Why do I need this...

  • The goal in treating cholesterol is to lower your chance of having a heart attack or a stroke. The goal is not to lower your cholesterol numbers alone. The following guidelines are from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart...

  • Covers importance of taking the right dose of the right high blood pressure medicines at the right time. Explains how medicines control high blood pressure. Includes working with your doctor to make a plan for taking your medicines.

  • If you have heart failure, you need to be extra careful with medicines. Some can make your heart failure worse. Other medicines may not mix well with your heart failure drugs. This Actionset will help you learn which medicines you may need to avoid and what questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist. Each time you...

  • Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health, and perhaps your life, at risk. Taking your medicines as your...

  • Take medicines, along with counseling or not. Get counseling for treatment of panic disorder. Two types of medicines work well for treating panic disorder. Benzodiazepines can help you feel better right away. You can take antidepressants for long-term treatment. Counseling works at least as well as...

  • FDA advisories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued advisories to patients, families, and health professionals to closely monitor for warning signs of suicidal behavior in children and adults younger than 25 who take antidepressants. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when...

  • Guides through decision to use medicine to quit smoking. Lists benefits and risks. Discusses varenicline (Chantix), bupropion (Zyban), and nicotine replacement products such as patches, gum, and inhalers. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Discusses controlling and preventing nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Looks at antinausea drugs including Zofran and Ativan. Also discusses complementary therapy, acupuncture, and nutrition.

  • Guides through decision to take antidepressants while pregnant. Covers SSRIs (Zoloft and Prozac) and tricyclic antidepressants. Lists reasons for and against medicines. Covers benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to take or not take medicine to treat high blood pressure. Explains what high blood pressure is and risks of not lowering it. Covers treatment choices and lifestyle changes.

  • Guides through the decision to stop or keep taking depression medicine. Looks at benefits and risks of stopping antidepressants. Covers cognitive-behavioral therapy. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to use over-the-counter diet aids for weight loss. Explains lack of evidence that diet aids work. Lists the risks and side effects. Includes information about Alli. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to take antibiotics to treat sinusitis. Explains causes of sinusitis and how well antibiotics work. Lists risks. Discusses other treatment for sinus infection. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides readers through the decision to take antibiotics for sore throat. Explains the causes of sore throat and that most sore throats are caused by virus. Explains that antibiotics only work for sore throat caused by bacterial infections.

  • When Tyrell's doctor told him he had high blood pressure, he was shocked. "I thought, 'Hey, I'm a physical fitness trainer. I'm in great shape. How could I have high blood pressure?'" He knew that both of his parents have high blood pressure. And one of his uncles recently had a stroke. But Tyrell had always been kind...

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