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882 Unexpected Side Effects 12/1/2012

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Once-promising drugs may turn out to have unacceptable risks. Too often, however, these are discovered only after many thousands or even millions of people have taken them. Is there a way to protect yourself?

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882 Unexpected Side Effects  12/1/2012

882 Unexpected Side Effects 12/1/2012

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Product Description

Sometimes promising medications turn out to have terrible side effects. The diabetes drug Avandia was taken off the market some years ago because it increased the risk of heart attacks. Since heart disease is one of the serious complications of diabetes, an increased risk of heart trouble is especially unwelcome as a consequence of treating diabetes.

Another type of unanticipated side effect is atypical femur fracture (broken thigh bone without trauma) as a result of the osteoporosis drugs called bisphosphonates (Actonel, Boniva, Fosamax, Reclast). Even if the complication is rare, how do we cope with a drug that causes the very problem it was supposed to prevent?

We welcome listener questions and stories about prescription drug side effects.

Guests: Steven Nissen, MD, is chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He is the co-author, with Mark Gillinov, MD, of Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You'll Ever Need. The photo is of Dr. Nissen.

Jennifer P. Schneider, MD, PhD, is an internist specializing in addiction medicine and pain management. Her website is Her article on atypical femur fracture was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Additional Information

Air Date Dec 1, 2012

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