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Worst Pills, Best Pills: A Consumer's Guide to Preventing Drug-Induced Death Paperback – February 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; Revised edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067101918X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671019181
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Adverse drug reactions are the fourth leading cause of death for Americans, killing 100,000 people each year. How do these adverse reactions happen? Sometimes the prescribed dose is too high, or the drug is given to people who don't need it, or different drugs that are fine separately become dangerous in combination. Worst Pills, Best Pills: A Consumer's Guide to Avoiding Drug-Induced Death or Illness may be your worst nightmare or best friend. This hefty 772-page resource (weighing more than three pounds) is filled with the potential risks of hundreds of medications, pairs of drugs that can cause life-threatening reactions when taken together, and 160 pills you shouldn't take at all, with safer alternatives. The organization of this book can be confusing at first--it's difficult to browse, but if you're checking out your medications, go first to the index of drugs at the beginning, which will direct you to the section where your drug is discussed. After that, the book is organized by ailment. Each drug that is discussed includes brand name(s), generic name, use, possible adverse effects, precautions, warnings (stronger than precautions), when not to use this drug, what to tell your doctor that might affect your reaction, how to take it safely, interactions with other drugs, and adverse reactions that warrant calling your doctor. Considering all the information in here that might save your life, this book is a bargain. --Joan Price

From Library Journal

Updating a million-copy best seller.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By C. Johnson on May 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book has been very valuable to me as a gerontologist working with elderly and dementia patients.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Will H. on February 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a good reference, not a be all end all. Anyone taking medications regularly and wants information, as they should, ought to have this book as well as a PDR and ideally another book or two to cross reference(some have been mentioned in other reviews). Two quick points:

1-Why limit yourself to available resources because you believe a book is biased. Anyone who sits down to write has a bias. Complete objectivity doesn't exist, not even in science, so let's forget that argument. Beside, given the amount of money pharmaceutical companies spend on advertisements showing religious revival fantasies of giddy folks smiling with delight as they throw away their crutches and limbo under their SUV's, I for one would hope there would be a little bias in the other direction as a counter weight.

2- Anyone who makes a medical decision based on something they read in a book without discussing it with a doctor and checking other sources, is a fool. Instead of proclaiming a book "dangerous" what should be stated is that basing a medical decision on one reference source is dangerous. People who burn books refer to books as "dangerous". I have never seen a "dangerous" book.

That said, buy this book if you have questions about the medications you're taking and keep it handy. If nothing else it will motivate you to ask your doctor questions and let him know that you are an active participant in matters of your own health.

And above all, exercise common sense.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Walking With The Night on February 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is information you need to know. You are not going to get it from your doctor. You are not going to get it from the FDA either. Your doctor is under pressure from the pharmaceutical reps to push their respective drugs.The FDA is completely co-opted by the fact that they recieve millions of dollars each year from the pharmaceutical industry-who bombards you daily with TV ads telling you to ask your doctor for their products without really telling you what their product is. You need REAL information!!!!!!!

The bottom line folks is that the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry) and the pharmaceutical industry itself are dancing a dangerous dance, and we are the floor they are dancing on.As far as the "do not take" drug list in the book goes, all of those drugs listed have safer alternatives, most being older tried and true drugs that have been pushed aside for the new crop of "superdrugs".On a side note: I cant help but notice that on this last thursday it was reported that Bush is preparing to sign legislation limiting or capping class action lawsuits and on this last Friday it was reorted that the FDA is encouraging the readmittance of drugs live Vioxx back into the marketplace. Curious
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a very comprehesive book with a lot of valuable information. It should be used with a large serving of salt; if it is taken seriously in all its recommendations by a medically unsophisticated reader, it can easily be misused. There are many instances in which a medication is labelled "Do Not Use", when that it is in fact the medication of choice when others have proved ineffective. Enteric aspirin is not as good as NSAIDs for many types of arthritic pain, and yet this is implied repeatedly. Antidepressants which are in regular use and provide relief not available otherwise have been labelled "Do Not Use" in many instances. Many of the currently used SSRI's are not even mentioned, a real loss to patients with hard-to-treat depression. The variation between closely related but not identical medications is ignored and they are often reviewed as a group, when the differences between them, while small, would be very useful information. It would be easy for the reader to be overcautious about his/her medication and to stop taking prescribed meds that are valuable to him/her. Another weakness is the authors' well-meaning warnings to tell the doctor about symptoms which are danger signals about adverse reaction to the medication. Many doctors discount the patient's complaints or fail to pay attention. The most important warning of all should be 'know and trust your doctor', not an easy accomplishment in the age of managed care. The book, like the medications it evaluates, is worthwhile and valuable if used with caution and good judgement.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have used this book for many years and I have found it to be the best source of information to evaluate my medicines and their effect on me .
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. GOODMAN on September 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book tells you what the drug manufacturers would rather you not know; adverse reactions, side effects, etc. Also includes advice on taking new drugs not yet included in this edition.

For most drugs I take, I could not find the complete info at the manufacturers sites.

However, unless I missed an entry in the book, a website by the publisher/author for updated information would be good.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Darrin on June 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
What's cooking!? As you may have surmised from the above title, I was disappointed in having just purchased this book. Firstly, I was unable to find a listing for NARDIL (Phenelzine). That was my primary reason for purchasing this book. While MAO INHIBITORS were vaguely mentioned throughout the book, it was not given its own entry. Secondly, the title of the book is a little misleading. One is led to believe that the entire scope of the book would deal with ADVERSE REACTIONS, INCIDENCE REPORTING, easily categorized REFERENCE CHARTS which lists all the WORST & BEST PILLS, etc. None of this was to be found. Instead, this was nothing more than a regular drug reference book with a few pages dedicated to generalized discussions on adverse reactions and preventions. I find it highly ironic that a book which is titled "WORST PILLS, BEST PILLS" would choose to omit NARDIL of all pills. The same NARDIL that is infamous for its life-threatening adverse reactions.
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