pharmacy

  1. The most dangerous way to lose weight

    Rejected diet drug staging a comeback

    It's the drug that could push dieters to the brink of a heart attack -- and it may be coming soon to a pharmacy near you.

    The drug Contrave has been linked to increased blood pressure levels and pulse rates -- which is why the FDA actually REJECTED it earlier this year. (Trust me, I was as surprised as you are.)

    But when the company that makes the drug stood up to the FDA, the agency backed down. (Now THERE'S the FDA we've all come to know and hate.)

    When the feds rejected the med, they demanded a major long-term study to make sure the drug's possible heart risks wouldn't kill too many people.

    That study never happened.

    Instead, they ended up signing off on a much less ambitious two-year study that proves absolutely nothing. And you know what that means. When this drug eventually hits the market, you'll be the guinea pig that determines the real heart risks.

    And believe me, there WILL be risks: Contrave isn't just one potentially bad med. It's a two-fer -- a powerful antidepressant and a risky anti-addiction drug rolled into one. And the blood pressure and pulse problems are only the beginning.

    Patients in clinical trials suffered headaches, nausea, and more -- with one battling a gall bladder infection and another coming down with seizures. It's no wonder 40% of trial participants DROPPED OUT.

    If that's not enough to keep you away from the med, consider this: It doesn't even work!

    As little as 40 percent of the people who took it in clinical trials experienced a loss in body weight of 5 percent or more -- meaning obese people who pop these pills will become slightly less obese pill-poppers... if they manage to lose any weight at all.

    But you don't need to wait for the next risky diet drug to drop those pounds. There are safe and natural ways to get the job done right, and they start with what's on your dinner plate.

    For more on the best diets -- including the low-rated lifestyle that's moving to the top of my list -- check out the September issue of the Douglass Report.

    Not a subscriber? Sign up here -- unlike those meds, my newsletter comes with a risk-free guarantee.

  2. Computers can mess up prescriptions, too

    Doctors' chicken scratch isn't the only reason for prescription screw-ups: A new study finds that computers are just as likely to lay an egg when it comes to your meds.

    Researchers looked data on 3,850 computer-generated prescriptions filled at a drug store chain over four weeks in 2008, and found that 11.7 percent of them contained mistakes.

    That's just as many mistakes as you'll find in handwritten prescriptions!

    I shudder to think of all the ways wrong drugs, botched doses and other failures could cause harm -- but the researchers say none of the errors they spotted would have been enough to kill a patient.

    Gee, what a relief -- but I wouldn't exhale just yet: At least 4 percent of the mistakes were classified as "significant" or "serious," according to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

    But is this really a surprise? I've been online longer than your doc -- I guarantee it -- and I haven't found a bug-free computer yet.

    What's more, even the best machines are only as good as the people punching the keys.

    Garbage in, garbage out -- garbage waiting for you at the pharmacy.

    That's not the only way computers have failed medical school: One study earlier this year found that electronic records did zippo to improve the quality of care.

    In fact, digital records -- a tentpole of the Obamacare future, by the way -- have been such a dismal failure that even Google is getting out the business.

    The company shut down its Google Health online medical records system -- and if Google can't figure out a way to make it work (and make money off it), then you know the system is a mess.

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