Are ADHD medications safe for children? Balancing the benefits and health risks

When parents see their child struggling to concentrate and complete homework on time, they seek to confirm ADHD diagnosis and treatment. Often medication can help children (and adults) diagnosed with ADHD to improve focus and memory and to inhibit impulsive behaviours. Although ADHD medication seems to be an easy...

How does managing your blood pressure reduce your risk of dementia?

Hypertension is a risk factor for developing dementia later in life.  Effective blood pressure control and prevention of age-related hyper and hypotension, or high and low blood pressure, is vital for reducing dementia risk.  Several medications might be needed to reduce your risk of heart disease and vascular dementia,...

Considering stopping Zoloft or Zyprexa due to side effects? PGx testing can help you continue treatment and reduce the risk of relapse

Key points to remember: If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with psychotic depression, treatment may involve both antidepressant and antipsychotic medications. Continuing treatment with Zoloft (sertraline) and Zyprexa (olanzapine) even after a patient is considered stable can be effective in preventing relapses Doctors can use pharmacogenetic...

Antidepressants not working: four alternative medications your doctor should consider

The treatment and diagnosis of mental health conditions is posing challenges for family physicians. Patients with symptoms of anxiety and depression frequently do not respond to antidepressants leading to multiple trials with different drugs. Only when a patient has failed several drug trials s/he is referred to psychiatrist for...

Preparing for cancer surgery: what you need to know to maximize the success of your treatment

A cancer diagnosis hits hard.  Despite the stress, patients must learn about their treatment options to have fully informed discussions with an oncologist and other specialists on treatment decisions. If your treatment plan includes surgery to remove a tumor, there are a few things you should know to help...

Arthritis pain? The Best Meds for Relief Are…

What all osteoarthritis and arthritis sufferers know is that this condition can severely affect your ability to lead an active life. Its trademarks are stiff and swollen joints, and lots of limiting pain. Standard treatments for relief of pain and stiffness call for cortisol injections, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), chondroitin,...

Comparison of antidepressants’ effectiveness and side effects – pharmacogenetics to assist in therapy selection

Reviewed by Alison Wong, RPH. Patients suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions are frequently facing significant antidepressant side effects and often have a hard time finding the right dose or drug. When the medication is ineffective or the side effects become intolerable, patients...

What is the difference between a drug allergy and drug intolerance?

All medications have the potential to cause side effects such as nausea, dizziness, stomach upset, rashes, and other issues. Pills contain ingredients which are supposed to improve a medication’s taste, color, absorption, or shelf life. Some of these chemicals are allergenic and can cause allergic reactions. Active ingredients of...

What alternative anxiety medication can be used if you cannot tolerate an SSRI?

Reviewed by Alison Wong, RPH. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is generally treated with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). First line SSRIs for GAD treatment include citalopram, escitalopram and sertraline. Clinical trials show response rates of 50% to 60%, remission rates between 25% and 35% and a significant proportion of patients...