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Worst Pills, Best Pills: A Consumer's Guide to Avoiding Drug-Induced Death or Illness Paperback – January 4, 2005

3.8 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sidney M. Wolfe, M.D., is the director of the Public Citizen's Health Research Group in Washington, D.C., a consumer-lobbying group that he co-founded with Ralph Nader in 1971. His previous bestsellers include Pills That Don't Work and Over-the-Counter Pills That Don't Work.

Sidney M. Wolfe, M.D., is the director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group in Washington, D.C., a consumer lobbying group that he cofounded with Ralph Nader in 1971. His previous bestsellers include "Pills That Don't Work" and "Over-the-Counter Pills That Don't Work."
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Product Details

  • Series: Worst Pills, Best Pills
  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Revised ed. edition (January 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743492560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743492560
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have consulted the several editions of this book published since the 80's. The reviews are objective and easy to read. The informed patient should know what side-effects to watch for, what to discuss with the doctor, and when to just simply say NO to a prescription drug and ask for something else. We wouldn't think of taking a drug without researching it. Just what do you expect the pharmaceutical pamphlets to say? And the FDA relies on reports from the pharmaceuticals. It is the most comprehensive, user-friendly drug book I've ever read---and I have bought and read a few.
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Format: Paperback
This book has been very valuable to me as a gerontologist working with elderly and dementia patients.
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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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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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Format: Paperback
While this book come across as a bit alarmist, it is a welcome alternative to other books on drugs, which are compilations of information provided by drug companies. The most useful feature of this book is the alternative treatments for each drug. These alternative treatments are much lower risk than the drugs they potentially replace.
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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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