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Worried or wondering about COVID-19 vaccines?

Many Americans are, so experts at Penn State Health are offering some reassuring insight.

"People are approaching this vaccine with more hesitation because it was approved quickly, but that really just speaks to how far we have come in vaccinology," said Dr. Mohammad Ali, an infectious disease physician at Penn State Health Holy Spirit M...

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists may have uncovered the reason critical medications for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder cause weight gain and diabetes — findings they hope will lead to better drugs.

The medications, known as antipsychotics, help control the hallucinations, delusions and confused thoughts that plague people with schizophrenia. Th...

You finally managed to score an appointment to be vaccinated against the new coronavirus and you're a little nervous about side effects, so taking a painkiller right before you get your shot seems like a smart idea.

Not so fast, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, the agency is telling people not to take pain medications like Motrin, Advil or Tylenol before ...

One side effect of COVID-19 vaccination is creating undue fear among women, causing them to worry that they might have breast cancer.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can cause lymph nodes to swell, particularly those in the armpit on the side where the shot was received, experts say.

Some women are feeling these armpit lymph nodes and mistaking them for breast lumps, according ...

His second COVID-19 vaccine shot wiped Dr. Greg Poland out.

Poland, 65, said he suffered five hours of shaking chills, fever up to 101 degrees, severe headache, nausea, ringing in his ears and a sore arm after getting his booster dose of the Moderna vaccine.

"I've never had a reaction to a vaccine like that," said Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "Ironic...

Doctors need to do a better job of discussing low blood sugar with patients who take high-risk diabetes medications such as insulin, researchers say.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is the most common serious side effect of diabetes treatment. Severe cases can lead to falls, emergency department visits, and may increase the risk of stroke and death.

"For patients to have safe diabete...

Patients with chronic kidney disease who stop using a class of common blood pressure medications may lower their risk for dialysis, but they also raise their odds of cardiovascular disease, a new study finds.

The blood pressure medicines in question are called renin-angiotensin system inhibitors (RAS inhibitors), which include both ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB...

A task force of allergists and immunologists recommends those administering the COVID-19 vaccine ask patients some key questions beforehand.

While reactions to vaccines are extremely rare, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) said anyone being vaccinated should be asked if they have a history of a severe allergic reaction ...

Fan-blown air is one of several drug-free treatments that may ease breathlessness in advanced cancer patients.

Researchers also found that medications -- including opioid painkillers -- do little to help.

The conclusions are from a review of 29 clinical trials involving more than 2,400 adults with advanced cancer.

"Breathlessness, or dyspnea, is a common and distressing sympto...

Strong sleeping pills known as "Z-drugs" may increase the risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia, British researchers report.

People with dementia can have trouble sleeping and are often prescribed drugs such as zaleplon (Sonata), zolpidem (Ambien) and zopiclone to help them nod off, but higher doses of these drugs can have negative effects.

"As many as 90% o...

Most of the side effects commonly blamed on cholesterol-lowering statins may actually be the product of patients' imaginations, new British research claims.

The finding follows a study of 60 patients who had been taking statins but stopped because of reported muscle aches, fatigue and/or joint pain.

But after giving the patients an unmarked eight-month supply of statins and dummy p...

Often-used drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) ease heartburn symptoms, but a new study suggests they might also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Chinese researchers drew on information from studies of more than 200,000 U.S. health care professionals and found that regular use of PPIs (such as Aciphex, Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix) was associated with a 24% hi...

Taking the statin Crestor in combination with the diabetes drug canagliflozin (Invokana) may have the potential to trigger statin toxicity, a new case report suggests.

Although this report details the problem in just one woman, the researchers noted concern because these drugs are taken by millions of people worldwide. These drugs are also increasingly prescribed together.

People taking a class of diabetes medications called SGLT2s have up to three times the risk for a serious complication called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) compared to people taking another drug, new research reveals.

SGLT2 (sodium-glucose cotransporter-2) inhibitors -- such as Farxiga, Jardiance and Invokana -- are a newer type of oral diabetes medicine. This class of medications is k...

An experimental drug may ease a range of symptoms that strike people with schizophrenia, without the side effects of existing medications, an early clinical trial suggests.

Researchers found that, over one month, the drug helped manage the different ways in which schizophrenia manifests -- from delusions and hallucinations, to flattened emotions and social withdrawal.

Among ...

Common bad reactions to marijuana include coughing fits, anxiety and paranoia, but regular users are less likely to have problems than occasional users, a new study finds.

"There's been surprisingly little research on the prevalence or frequency of various adverse reactions to cannabis and almost no research trying to predict who is more likely to experience these types of adverse rea...

With little evidence that the malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can prevent or treat COVID-19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to distribute millions of doses of the medicines to hospitals across the country.

"These drugs will be distributed from the Strategic National Stockpile to states for doctors to prescribe to adolescent and adul...

Most legal medical marijuana -- more than 90% -- is stronger than what doctors recommend for chronic pain relief, a new study finds.

"We know that high-potency products should not have a place in the medical realm because of the high risk of developing cannabis-use disorders, which are related to exposure to high THC-content products," said lead author Dr. Alfonso Edgar Romero-Sa...

Asthma and allergy drug montelukast -- sold as a generic and under the brand name Singulair -- will get a "boxed warning" over potential ties to neuropsychiatric effects, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on Wednesday.

The drug has long carried a warning that it has been linked with an increased risk of "agitation, depression, sleeping problems, and suicidal thoughts and...

People who use marijuana either medicinally or recreationally should remember that pot can have potentially harmful interactions with medications they take regularly, a new report warns.

This is particularly true of older folks, who often are on many different drugs to manage a variety of chronic ailments, said lead researcher Tony Antoniou. He's an associate professor in the departme...

Many Americans battling autoimmune illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis turn to a long-used drug, methotrexate, for relief.

But until now there's been little comprehensive research on side effects tied to the drug.

A new study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health may fill that gap. It finds that patients who take methotrexate do have a slight-to-mo...

Patients taking a common diuretic to help lower blood pressure may be better off with a similarly effective but safer one, a new study suggests.

Current guidelines recommend the drug chlorthalidone (Thalitone) as the first-line diuretic. But it can have serious side effects that can be avoided with another diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide (Hydrodiuril), researchers say.

"Diur...

Viagra can salvage a man's sex life, but in rare cases it may temporarily steal his sight.

Researchers report that some men who took sildenafil -- the generic form of the impotence drug -- suffered from vision problems, including a kind of color blindness that could take weeks to resolve.

The case report details 17 Turkish males who wound up in the hospital after taking sil...

Dry mouth can be a troubling side effect of radiation therapy, but acupuncture may ease its symptoms, a new study suggests.

Of 339 patients getting radiation for head and neck cancer in the United States and China, those who had acupuncture had fewer symptoms of dry mouth (xerostomia) than those who didn't have acupuncture.

Patients who had fake acupuncture (placebo) had a...

Many older Americans take a variety of prescription drugs, yet new research suggests that combining various medications is not always wise.

Taking lots of different drugs for different conditions is called "polypharmacy," and a team of researchers set out to find how doctors take this into account in their prescribing. To address this, providers discuss "deprescribing" -- working with...

A commonly prescribed muscle relaxant known as baclofen can leave older kidney patients so disoriented that they land in the hospital, a new study warns.

"It can present with acute stroke-like symptoms, even though it's not a stroke," said senior researcher Dr. Amit Garg, a professor of nephrology at Western University in Ontario, Canada. "It can present wi...

The widely used bladder drug Elmiron may cause eye damage, a new study claims.

A report released last year suggested that the drug -- known as pentosan polysulfate sodium and used by hundreds of thousands of people for decades -- may be toxic to the retina, the light-sensing tissue at the back of the eye.

That led researchers to examine a database of 4.3 million patients at ...

Ten years after radiation treatment for head and neck cancer, some patients may develop problems speaking and swallowing, a new study finds.

These problems are related to radiation damage to the cranial nerves, the researchers explained. The condition is called radiation-induced cranial neuropathy.

"We had always thought that radiation did not damage cranial nerves because t...

In the largest investigation of its kind, researchers conclude that subjecting prostate cancer patients to radiation therapy immediately after surgery doesn't give them an advantage in staying cancer-free.

The finding stems from a review of four studies that together tracked outcomes for more than 3,500 prostate cancer patients from multiple countries.

If the findings help c...

More Americans use marijuana to help them cope with an illness than just to get high, a new study finds.

Nearly 46% of those who use pot say they do so because of a medical condition, compared with 22% who say they use marijuana for recreation.

And only 36% of those with a medical problem say they use pot to get high, compared with 58% of other users, resear...

Do all the ads for dry eye relief have you thinking you could have this condition? If you've ever felt like you had a grain of sand in your eye when nowhere close to the beach, you could be experiencing dry eye.

Exactly what is dry eye? Simply put, it's when you aren't making enough tears to keep the front surface of the eye lubricated, or your tears don't have enough water in them. E...

Serious falls aren't the sole domain of seniors: New research shows they are a significant risk among middle-aged adults.

Why?

Blame multiple prescription medications, as well as alcohol and illegal drug use, a new study suggests.

Health care providers "typically think about falls in people over age 65. But these people were primarily in their 50s and falls were an...

In places where it's legal, people are often turning to pot to relieve pain and insomnia, a new study finds.

For many, cannabis is replacing over-the-counter painkillers, prescription opioids and sleep aids.

"These aren't the only reasons people are using marijuana, but it's one of the drivers for use," said study author Dr. Gwen Wurm, an assistant professor of clinical ped...

Many Americans with the chronic skin condition psoriasis use complementary or alternative therapies to treat their symptoms, a small survey finds.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease marked by raised, red, scaly patches on the skin. It is associated with other serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and depression. Treatments range from topical ointments to ultraviol...

A man who learns he has prostate cancer faces a difficult choice: whether to immediately treat the cancer despite potential side effects or wait and see if it's a slow-growing tumor that never needs treatment.

Men may soon have help making that decision.

Researchers from the United Kingdom report that they've created a urine test that can predict the aggressiveness of a pr...

Treating men with low-risk prostate cancer with just one high dose of radiation may be safe and effective, British researchers report.

Therapy for prostate cancer typically involves low-dose radiation given over several days or weeks. Conversely, high-dose radiation is given once through a set of tiny tubes inserted directly into the tumor.

"For low-risk patients, a single ...

One out of every three U.S. cancer patients uses alternative or complementary therapies, but many keep that info from their doctors, a new study finds.

That's a real concern, the study's lead author said, especially when it comes to supplements and cancer radiation therapy.

"You don't know what's in them," said Dr. Nina Sanford, assistant professor of radiation oncology at U...

For years, doctors have debated the safety of the acne drug most commonly known as Accutane, but new research suggests the medication does not boost depression risk among its users.

"The existing literature to date is quite mixed with regards to the issue of whether there is or is not an association between isotretinoin [Accutane] use and increased risk of depression," explained study...

Many drugs -- both prescription and over-the-counter -- can cause side effects like dizziness or upset stomach. But some can affect you in surprising ways, like causing problems with your sex life.

Sexual side effects are wide-ranging. You might lose interest in sex, have difficulty becoming aroused or achieving orgasm. Or, if you're a woman, you may experience pain because of vaginal...

As many as 7 out of 10 people with type 2 diabetes can achieve long-term disease remission by having weight-loss surgery called gastric bypass, according to a new Danish study.

The surgery isn't necessarily a cure for type 2 diabetes. Some people who go into remission and appear to no longer have the disease can relapse and start having symptoms again. In this study, 27 percent of peop...

People who take prescription opioid painkillers are at increased risk for pneumonia, especially those with HIV, a new study suggests.

The findings support concerns that prescription opioids can weaken the immune system. Doctors who prescribe opioids need to reduce patients' risk of pneumonia through vaccination and by encouraging them to stop smoking, the researchers said.

F...

If you have type 2 diabetes and you're taking canagliflozin to help control your blood sugar, a new study has some good news for you: The drug doesn't appear to raise the risk of bone fractures.

Previously, research had suggested this might be the case.

"We were interested in doing this study because there was one randomized trial that said there was an increased risk of b...