Thursday, November 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Michael Cohen

Can’t swallow pills? Here’s how to do it right

Thursday, May 29, 2014, 9:26 AM
By “pills,” I mean medications that come as tablets or capsules. There aren’t any actual pills on the US market today but people still use that term so I will too. Some children and adults have difficulty swallowing pills. People may feel too sick or be unable to swallow them or... Read more

Warning to diabetics – your insulin pens should never be shared!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 11:20 AM
Many types of insulin come in a device that, with their cap in place, looks more like a pen that an insulin syringe. These make it easier for insulin-dependent diabetics to prepare and administer each injection. Although the pens hold numerous insulin doses, each is intended to be used by one person... Read more

Allergic reactions are second most frequently reported serious adverse drug event

Thursday, May 8, 2014, 10:06 AM
We recently examined a year’s worth of adverse drug reactions reported to the FDA from April 2012 to March 2013. Of nearly 150,000 reports overall, cases of drug allergy were second in frequency, trailing only gastrointestinal symptoms. Just over 4,000 of these were severe reactions involving... Read more

Prescription “take back” programs expose intolerable waste

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 9:37 AM
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is this Saturday, April 26th. It’s a good opportunity for people to properly dispose of unused or expired medications at a safe location. You can find a drop off spot here. Consumers can also find convenient access to disposal locations more than twice... Read more

Angeliq — it’s not a birth control pill!

Thursday, April 10, 2014, 11:30 AM
I wanted to remind women about an issue with the prescription product Angeliq, a hormone-based medicine used to relieve the symptoms of menopause. Unfortunately, we’re aware of errors where it’s been dispensed or prescribed improperly as an oral contraceptive. Our sister organization,... Read more

Homeopathic medicines: Legally sold but is there any evidence of effectiveness?

Thursday, April 3, 2014, 5:00 AM
Homeopathic remedies can be found on the shelf in just about every pharmacy, including the large chains like CVS, Walgreen and Rite Aid. Those who advocate their use believe that symptoms of illness are a normal response in the body to regain health. If a particular substance is causing these symptoms... Read more

10 safety tips to follow when using liquid medicines

Friday, March 21, 2014, 9:52 AM
Three out of four people make mistakes when measuring doses of liquid medicines, particularly when using dosing cups that come with OTC medicines. More than one-third of the mistakes are large overdoses, which can be particularly serious in children. The errors are most often due to: 1) confusing... Read more

OTC liquid medicines going metric

Thursday, March 13, 2014, 5:30 AM
Over-the-counter (OTC) liquid medicines can be found in practically every household. They are commonly used for children or adults who have difficulty swallowing pills. In some cases, the medicine itself is absorbed better and faster in a liquid form, so even people who do not have difficulty swallowing... Read more

Three myths that lead to fatal medication events in the home

Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 9:24 AM
Medication safety in the home is an important public health issue. Almost half of all Americans have taken at least one prescription medication in the last month and more than three-quarters have taken an over-the-counter (OTC) drug. Most of these medications are taken in the consumer’s home... Read more

FDA can help reduce dabigatran (PRADAXA) bleeding

Monday, February 17, 2014, 9:23 AM
Two recently published studies of one of the newer blood thinners, Pradaxa, point the way to reducing the risk of its major drawback—high rates of bleeding of 16% a year. Pradaxa was approved in October 2010 as an alternative to the standby blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin). Both are effective... Read more
About this blog

Check Up covers major health events in our region and offers everything from personal health advice to an expert look at health reform. Read about some of our bloggers here.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
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