Which side effects are common enough to be mentioned, and which are rare enough to be left unsaid? It’s your body, your appointment and the doctor is your consultant. Ask for the information you want. Once when my mother was visiting me, we went to a dollar store and she bought something that surprised me — a book about pills that discussed which medicines are for what conditions and what their side effects are. As soon as we got home, she pulled out the book and a pill bottle and searched the pages. She nearly wept when she read that…

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Think the only way to deal with a child who has ADHD is with a stimulant? Think again. More parenting skills and other resources can help your child out more than you might think. What causes hyperactivity and ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder)? A combination of temperament, environment and parenting. The most important factors are parenting skills and resources, especially those that can help create some calm. You can learn them. “I would suggest we can head off many cases of ADHD in the first 2 years of life,” says W. Douglas Tynan, PhD, ABPP, director of Integrated Care at the…

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A 6-question test purports to diagnose ADHD in adults. Can such a simple test screen for ADHD when many of its symptoms are associated with other ailments? I had a terrible time writing this blog today. While I was working, I was texting my sister, making a dentist appointment and helping my kid with his homework. I was restless and kept jumping to my feet for a glass of water or to let the cat out. Even when my blog was done, I couldn’t relax. There were just too many things on my mind. Thank goodness my husband made the…

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The primary ingredient in Benadryl and the secondary ingredient in Tylenol PM is reported to have a cumulative effect in the human brain which can cause as much as a 54% increase in the likelihood of dementia or Alzheimer’s in consumers who use it regularly. This is according to a study published by JAMA, Jan. 26. 2015. 11% of Americans 65 years and older have Alzheimer’s or dementia. A big increase in the likelihood of getting dementia is important. Before we all panic, Benadryl (and similar antihistamines/cold and flu drugs) and Tylenol PM (and similar OTC sleeping aides) did not show any relationship to…

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Abilify is used as an add-on drug for depression, but it most often causes weight gain. Doesn’t that increase depression — especially for women? That’s the question I posed to Dr. Candida Fink, board-certified psychiatrist in child, adolescent and general psychiatry in the part 2 of our interview: Is Abilify Worth the Risks?” Following are shortened and paraphrased quotes from our session. In response to my question why take the risks Abilify brings, Dr. Fink notes,  “When you go to prescribe a medication, when are the risks of not using a medication potentially equal the risks of medicating. Now the…

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