If you're interested in buying Viagra, Pfizer, the drug's maker, will now sell it to you from its official website.
May 6, 2013 Men still need a prescription for the diamond-shaped blue pills. But instead of going to the pharmacy in person, or taking their chances buying from an online pharmacy of unknown repute, men will be able to buy Viagra from the maker of the drug itself and have it shipped to their homes.
OxyContin's long-acting formulation makes it popular but also prone to abuse.
April 18, 2013 A push to make narcotic painkillers harder to abuse means that generic versions of OxyContin won't be allowed. But drugs that are more resistant to abuse are expensive and can still be addictive.
Seniors in the Southeast were much more likely to be prescribed more than one high-risk medications in 2009.
Danya Qato and Amal Trivedi/Alpert Medical School, Brown University
April 11, 2013 In many parts of the South, more than one-third of seniors are taking drugs that they should avoid, an analysis of Medicare data finds. Ten percent are taking two or more potentially problematic medicines.
Dr. Sawen's Magic Nervine Pills contained calcium, iron, copper and potassium. Despite advertising claiming they were free of lead and mercury, both elements were found in the pills.
Courtesy of Mark Benvenuto
April 10, 2013 Researchers put some old elixirs and pills in the Henry Ford Museum's large collection of patent medicines to a modern test. They found a mix of potentially harmful metals like lead and mercury along with benign ingredients, including calcium and iron.
Lipitor and other statin drugs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.
April 3, 2013 A study of statin use in the real world found that 17 percent of patients taking the pills reported side effects, including muscle pain, nausea, and problems with their liver or nervous system. Many of those people quit taking the pills, at least temporarily.
Otolaryngologist Sandra Lin uses under-the-tongue drops to treat patients with allergies at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
Courtesy of Keith Weller/Johns Hopkins Medicine
March 27, 2013 Drops under the tongue to treat allergies sounds a lot nicer than allergy shots. A new review in JAMA says they're moderately effective, and relatively safe. But they're also not FDA-approved. Still, doctors, including an author of the study, are prescribing them off-label.
Heparin is an anticoagulant and the prescription version is made from pig, raising concerns for vegans.
March 15, 2013 Go looking for animal products, and you will find them everywhere, including pharmaceutical drugs. That's the word from a new guide to animal-derived products in everyday products written by two German "professional vegans."
Plan B is one of two emergency contraceptives available in the U.S.
February 21, 2013 Emergency contraceptives like Plan B and ella are effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex. Claims that the pills are tantamount to abortion, however, aren't supported by science, say researchers. The only way the drugs work is by stopping a woman's body from ovulating.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/172595689/172631873" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Hydrocodone pills, the generic version of Vicodin, shown at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.
February 20, 2013 Pharmaceuticals were involved in more than half of the 38,329 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2010. Opioid painkillers, such as hydrocodone, were the most common prescription drugs involved. But drugs for mental health conditions were also implicated often.
Perch exposed to the anxiety drug oxazepam were more daring and ate more quickly than fish that lived in drug-free water.
Courtesy of Bent Christensen
February 14, 2013 Small amounts of the drugs that people take end up in wastewater and then in streams and rivers. It's usually not enough to harm the health of humans who swim in or drink the water. But there is growing evidence that pharmaceuticals in wastewater may affect wildlife.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/171997707/172034449" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Shoppers buy smuggled counterfeit drugs at the Adjame market in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in 2007.
Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images
February 13, 2013 Contaminated and counterfeit drugs can be more profitable than illegal ones, and they're spreading. This problem is killing people around the world, including in the U.S., and hampering efforts to control diseases like tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS.
Thinking a cortisone shot would help? You might want to reconsider.
February 6, 2013 Cortisone shots offer quick relief for tendon problems. But they also carry a risk of side effects. A look at alternatives for treatment of tennis elbow finds that being patient may be the best approach to take.
Triaminic syrups and Theraflu Warming Relief syrups have been recalled by manufacturer Novartis.
Courtesy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
February 1, 2013 Triaminic and Theraflu syrups and "warming liquids," the products implicated in the latest recall announcement, contain acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. But kids were able to open the childproof caps on the products, presenting a risk of poisoning.
A package of microwave popcorn promoting Johnson & Johnson's antipsychotic drug Invega back in 2008 would have been a no-no at many medical schools.
Nurse Ratched's Place
February 1, 2013 Most medical schools have cut down on students' interactions with the pharmaceutical industry by instituting gift restriction policies. These policies can reduce the prescribing of newly marketed drugs in favor of cheaper options.
A CT scan showing an adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head.
January 23, 2013 A study of a new drug therapy for pancreatic cancer finds it works better than the standard approach. While the improvement is modest for the typical patient, some people who received the treatment lived a year or two longer than those receiving conventional therapy.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor