Testosterone drugs such as Androgel 1.62% and Axiron increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events in men who take the drugs. Children accidentally exposed to testosterone can experience early puberty, and women who touch the stuff can experience acne and the growth of body hair. Need another reason to steer clear of the drugs? Consider this: The gels are flammable.
My heart rate monitor has been sitting, unused, at the bottom of my gym bag for months. I couldn't get used to putting on the chest strap that comes with it, especially during winter workouts when that chest strap was ice cold from being in the car all day.
Just in time for Valentine's Day comes this, ahem, uplifting tidbit from our director of health research, who stumbled upon it while looking into the erectile-dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra) for entirely work-related purposes. It seems that in addition to its well-known human effects, the popular drug might also give a boost to wilting plant life.
For many people (me included), football and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly. That's especially true on Super Bowl Sunday, when beer ads rule the commercial breaks. This year, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, maker of Budweiser, has purchased four and a half minutes of air time, including two spots for its new beer, Budweiser Black Crown. Of course, with all the emphasis on booze, both on and in front of the TV, Super Bowl Sunday is often followed by hangover Monday.
If you suffer from overactive bladder you now have two new options: Botox injections (yes, the wrinkle-shrinking drug), and an over-the-counter version of the Oxytrol patch, which used to require a prescription. The Food and Drug Administration approved both recently. But our medical advisors recommend caution before trying either medication.
If you take a sleeping medication that contains zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, Zolpimist, or generic), you could still have levels in your body the next morning that are high enough to impair driving, even if you feel wide awake. That's according to the Food and Drug Administration, which said Thursday it was requiring manufacturers to lower the recommended dose of the insomnia drugs by half to help reduce the risk of traffic accidents. Women are especially at risk because they clear the drug slower than men.
Many dietary supplements, especially those that claim to enhance male sexual performance, are spiked with prescription drugs. That's one of the conclusions of our new report on 10 surprising dangers of vitamins and supplements.
On a recent visit to see my mom, we had a reminder about the importance of regularly checking blood-pressure levels. She's already on medication for the condition, but her hairdresser noticed her ankles were swollen and suggested we get her levels checked. Good thing: They were unusually high, indicating stage 2 hypertension, which could trigger a heart attack, stroke, or kidney problems.
Under threat of a lawsuit from the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, healthcare giant Pfizer has agreed to remove claims related to breast and colon health from some of its Centrum brand multivitamins, and to tone down certain other claims that the CSPI alleged are misleading.
Q. Are there any alternatives to Viagra that are sold over the counter?
It's official: The PSA blood test to screen for prostate cancer has been downgraded to the lowest possible rating of "D" from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an influential independent advisory board that basically decides what types of preventive care are worth the bother. That's "D" as in "discourage," which is what the task force says doctors should do when their patients ask about this test.
Any bike helmet is better than riding with no helmet. But when you're paying $50 or $60 for one, you'd like to think that it's going to protect your head if you crash into a curb, a rock, or the ground, right?
Coming soon to a store near you: sunscreens with labels that are easier to understand. The Food and Drug Administration plans to give manufacturers until mid-December to make all the changes, but many products already have the new labeling. Here are some of the biggest changes, which will also apply to moisturizers and cosmetic products that contain a sun-protection factor (SPF):
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: