The truth about attention-deficit meds and insomnia People with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) have a harder time falling asleep — in part, says Dr. Russell Ramsay, of the University of Pennsylvania’s Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program, because our minds won’t stop working. “There’s a delayed sleep phase onset,” he explains, a self-regulation problem that keeps people with ADHD from “recognizing the cues for sleep [and] being able to turn those into habits.” Our circadian rhythms get thrown off by little things, like eating later, and we also have a harder time avoiding late-night technology distractions that keep us from going…

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“Take two and call me in the morning.” Of all the words and phrases in the medical world, this is the one so famous, it’s a national running joke. Everyone understands what it means. Well, almost everyone. For the 21.1% of Americans who don’t speak English at home, even the most common of prescription instructions can be hard to follow. Take the phrase “once a day,” for example. In Spanish, “once” means 11. When that’s the only word on a drug label you recognize, overdose becomes easy. Of course, reading the label isn’t the only way to understand what you’re…

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Take a look in your medicine cabinet and you’ll see artificial coloring everywhere: orange ibuprofen, red cough drops, purple syrups. Medicine comes in different colors for different reasons: Some capsule shades help you distinguish one dosage amount from another; differing colors separate a statin from an anti-nausea drug; and very often colors are selected by the manufacturer because they are more attractive to the consumer. After all, blue is a more marketable color for Viagra than pink, for example, so it’s made with FD&C Blue #2 aluminum lake, one of around 80 different color additives the FDA has approved for…

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Learn what binding agents are and why they — not your medication — may be causing your reaction. In the ’90s, a customer walked into Norman Tomaka’s pharmacy and told him she didn’t want to take her thyroid medication anymore. Tomaka spent the next 15 minutes asking why: What about her medicine didn’t feel right? Were there other times she also felt that way? Then he called the drug’s manufacturer, who confirmed what Tomaka had begun to suspect: The company put wheat in its pills. His patient wasn’t allergic to the actual medication: She was allergic to gluten. Today, Tomaka…

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