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- What is the drug used for?
- How does the drug work?
- How should the drug be taken?
- What should you do if you miss a dose?
- What are the drug's side effects?
- What substances interact with the drug?
- What should you expect the drug to do?
- How should the drug be stored?
- How should unused drugs be disposed of?
- Should you use a generic version of the drug?
- What laboratory tests should be done to monitor the effects of the drug?
- Who is the drug manufacturer?
Whether synthetic or natural (herbal), drugs are intended to act on the body. There always is a chance that they will produce effects that we do not want. Also, if two or more drugs are taken at the same time, there is a chance that one drug will interact with another drug in either a positive or negative way. This does not imply that the drugs are bad, but rather that they should be used carefully in order to reap the greatest benefit while minimizing unwanted side effects. Indeed, when used properly, most drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration do more good than harm. Below are ten questions that apply to most drugs and are worth discussing with your healthcare provider. Most of these issues are addressed by the information that is provided with the drug.
What is the drug used for?
Drugs often have more than one use. Understanding why a drug is prescribed improves your knowledge about the drug and the condition for which it is prescribed. This promotes compliance with treatment. It is a good idea to write down why each drug was prescribed to share this information with other health-care professionals or caregivers.
Quick GuidePrescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs
How does the drug work?
Knowing how the drug works provides the rationale for its use in the treatment of a particular disease. This also promotes adherence to treatment.
How should the drug be taken?
The optimal dose and timing of ingestion of a drug is determined by scientific studies. Drugs provide their greatest benefit when they are taken as prescribed. Deviating from the prescribed dose often leads to failure of the therapy or to side effects. However, in some circumstances (for example, when severe side effects occur), changes in dose may be appropriate, but they should be discussed with a health-care professional as soon as possible.
What should you do if you miss a dose?
Despite the best of efforts, eventually everyone misses one or more doses of a medication. The remedy for this situation depends on the drug. For some drugs, simply taking the missed dose as soon as possible is appropriate. For other drugs, it is more appropriate to wait and double the next scheduled dose. (However, this can be dangerous with some drugs.) Since the recommendations differ for each drug, knowing the correct remedy can prevent therapy from failing and side effects from occurring.
What are the drug's side effects?
Since drugs provide a benefit by modifying processes in the body, it is not surprising that they also have side effects. Successful drug therapy produces the desired beneficial effect without unbearable side effects. Therefore, it is important to know what a drug's side effects are so that they can be recognized, prevented, and acted upon appropriately when they occur.
What substances interact with the drug?
Interactions with drugs are common and they can cause side effects or reduce the beneficial effect of the drug. Sometimes, the interaction may promote a beneficial effect. Knowing which interacting agents to avoid while taking a drug (for example, food and herbal drugs) will prevent failure of therapy and side effects. It is a good idea to let your pharmacist and all health-care professionals know the drugs you are taking so potential drug interactions can be avoided. Also ask about alternative treatments and how effective they are.
What should you expect the drug to do?
Some drugs cure the condition for which they are prescribed while other drugs provide only relief from symptoms. Some drugs provide an immediate benefit while other drugs require more time to be effective. To determine whether the drug is working as intended, it is important to know the expected result and how long it will take to see that result.
How should the drug be stored?
Most medications are stored at room temperature. However, some medications require special storage conditions in order to avoid premature deterioration of the drug. Look at the expiration dates written on the container and use the drug before the expiration date.
How should unused drugs be disposed of?
To safe guard the health of children, pets, and the environment; and to reduce drug abuse; drugs should be disposed of responsibly.
The FDA recommends the following for safe disposal of unused or expired medications:
- Follow specific recommendations for disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information packet provided with the medication.
- Do not flush drugs down the sink or toilet unless the packet information on the drug specifically instructs to do so.
- Check to see if your community has a drug take-back program that allows the public to bring unused drugs to a specific location for disposal.
- If you do not have access to a disposal program in your area to dispose
of unused drugs it is recommended you throw the drugs in the garbage after
taking the following steps:
- Remove the drugs from their original container and mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter (this makes the drugs less appealing to pets, children, and people who intentionally dig through trash seeking drugs).
- Place the mixture in a sealable container, can, or bag to prevent leakage.
Additional tips include:
- Remove all identifying information on the prescription labels so they are unreadable. This helps protect your identify and personal health information.
- Do not give prescription medications to friends or family members. A medication that is effective for you, may be dangerous for someone else.
- Ask your health-care professional or pharmacist if you have any questions about proper disposal of unused or expired medicaitons.
- Disposal of prescription drug disposal methods can be applied to over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
- Inquire about any special instructions for disposing the unused or expired medications you have taken.
Quick GuidePrescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs
Should you use a generic version of the drug?
Generic drugs work like the brand name drugs, but they are cheaper. Purchasing a generic instead of the brand name drug can often reduce the cost of therapy while providing the same benefit.
What laboratory tests should be done to monitor the effects of the drug?
Some drugs are monitored with laboratory tests. Adjustments of a medication's dose may be based on the results of the tests. For safe and effective use of these drugs, the laboratory tests should be performed at the recommended intervals.
Who is the drug manufacturer?
Drug manufacturers often have education materials, programs, and other resources that may help you understand your health condition and its management. They may also have prescription assistance programs.
Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Disposal Fact Sheets.
FDA. How to Dispose of Unused Medicines.
Quick GuidePrescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs
Important information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
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Related Disease Conditions
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- isotretinoin (Claravis, Amnesteem, Absorica, Myorisan, Zenatane, Sotret, Accutane)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- Aldactone (spironolactone)
- fexofenadine, Allegra, Allegra Allergy, Allegra Hives, Children's Allegra, Mucinex Allergy
- zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, Zolpimist, Edluar, [Tovalt ODT has been discontinued])
- amiodarone, Cordarone, Nextrone, Pacerone
- amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Larotid)
- flurbiprofen (Ansaid is a discontinued brand)
- estradiol, Alora, Climara, Delestrogen, Depo-Estradiol, Divigel, Elestrin, Estrace, and Others
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- sulfasalazine, Azulfidine
- timolol (Blocadren and Timolide 10-25 have been discontinued)
- bupropion (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban, Aplenzin, Fortivo XL, Zyban)
- buspirone, Buspar (Discontinued brand in the US)
- captopril, Capoten
- Carafate (sucralfate)
- diltiazem (Cardizem, Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA, Tiazac, Cartia XT, Diltzac, Dilt-CD, and several oth)
- cefprozil, Cefzil
- Cipro, Cipro XR (ciprofloxacin) Antibiotic
- loratadine, Claritin, Claritin RediTabs, Alavert, Claritin Hives Relief, Children's Claritin
- clozapine (Clozaril, Fazacio ODT, Versacloz)
- codeine (for Pain)
- colestipol (Colestid)
- nadolol (Corgard)
- warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
- losartan, Cozaar
- misoprostol, Cytotec
- oxaprozin, Daypro
- Didronel (etidronate)
- Diflucan (fluconazole)
- salsalate, Amigesic, Salflex, Argesic-SA, Marthritic, Salsitab, Artha-G
- venlafaxine, Effexor XR (Effexor has been discontinued in the US)
- amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep)
- erythromycin, Ery-Tab, PCE
- metronidazole (Flagyl, Flagyl ER) Antibiotic
- glipizide, Glipizide XL, Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL
- hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide, Hydrodiuril, Ezide, and Hydro-Par have been discontinued)
- sumatriptan, Imitrex, Alsuma, Imitrex STATdose System, Sumavel DosePro
- isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil Titradose, Dilatrate-SR, Isochron)
- cephalexin, Keflex
- digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxin Pediatric)
- furosemide (Lasix)
- levothyroxine sodium, Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, Unithroid, Tirosint, Levo-T
- chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride and clidinium bromide (Librax)
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- gemfibrozil, Lopid
- metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
- benazepril (Lotensin HTC)
- Lotrel (amlodipine and benazepril)
- fluvoxamine (Luvox and Luvox CR have been discontinued)
- meclofenamate; Meclomen
- mesalamine (Pentasa, Rowasa, SfRowasa, Lialda, Canasa, Apriso, Delzicol)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- fenoprofen, Nalfon
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant, Fanatrex FusePag) Side Effects, Dosage, and Abuse
- amlodipine, Norvasc
- ketoprofen (Discontinued brands: Nexcede, Orudis, Oruvail, Actron)
- Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen, Roxicet, Tylox, Oxycet)
- phentermine (Adipex-P, Lomaira)
- prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) Corticosteroid
- prednisolone (Flo-Pred, Pediapred, Orapred, Orapred ODT)
- lansoprazole (Heartburn Relief 24 Hour, Heartburn Treatment 24 Hour, Prevacid 24)
- omeprazole, omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate, Prilosec, Zegerid, Prilosec OTC, Zegerid OTC
- procainamide, Pronestyl; Procan-SR; Procanbid (These brands no longer are available in the U.S.)
- nifedipine, Adalat (discontinued brand), Procardia, Afeditab, Nifediac
- quinidine (Discontinued Brands: Cardioquine, Cin-Quin, Duraquin, Quinidex, Quinora, Quinact)
- metoclopramide, Reglan, Metozolv ODT, (Reglan ODT, Octamide, and Maxolon
- nabumetone, Relafen (Discontinued)
- bitolterol mesylate, Tornalate
- propafenone (Rythmol, Rythmol SR)
- minoxidil (Rogaine)
- Sectral (acebutolol)
- nefazodone, Serzone
- cefixime (Suprax)
- tamoxifen (Soltamox, Nolvadex)
- carbamazepine, Tegretol, Tegretol XR , Equetro, Carbatrol, Epitol, Teril
- pentoxifylline, Trental, Pentoxil
- triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide
- choline magnesium salicylate, Trilisate
- Tramadol: for Pain (Ultram, Ultram ER, Conzip)
- beclomethasone dipropionate inhaler (Qvar)
- penicillin V, (Veetids and Pen-Vee-K have been discontinued)
- albuterol (Accuneb, Ventolin & Proventil [all discontinued])
- hydrocodone/acetaminophen, Vicodin, Vicodin ES, Vicodin HP, Anexsia, Lortab, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, No
- diazepam (Valium, Diastat, Acudial, Diastat Pediatric, Diazepam Intensol)
- lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil, Qbrelis) ACE Inhibitor
- azithromycin (Zithromax, Zithromax Z-Pak, Zithromax Tri-Pak, Zmax)
- Zocor (simvastatin)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Alavert Allergy & Sinus, Claritin-D, Claritin-D 24 hour)
- ipratropium bromide inhaler, Atrovent, Atrovent HFA
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- temazepam, Restoril
- isosorbide mononitrate, Imdur, Ismo, Monoket
- metformin, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, Riomet
- nortriptyline, Pamelor, Aventyl - has been discontinued in the U.S.
- betamethasone dipropionate, Diprolene; Diprolene AF
- Lotrisone (clotrimazole and betamethasone topical cream and lotion)
- Primsol (trimethoprim)
- cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir)
- terconazole, Terazol, Zazole
- mupirocin, mupirocin calcium
- fluticasone (Flonase, Flonase Allergy Relief)
- estropipate, Ogen
- trazodone, Desyrel (discontinued brand)
- promethazine and codeine, Phenergan with Codeine
- bisoprolol, Zebeta
- dicyclomine, Bentyl
- nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Furadantin, Macrobid)
- sildenafil, Viagra
- lithium, Lithobid
- timolol ophthalmic solution (Timoptic, Timoptic-XE, Timoptic in Ocudose)
- clonidine (Catapres, Catapres-TTS)
- carisoprodol (Soma)
- desipramine, Norpramin
- Oxycodone: for Pain (OxyContin, Roxicodone, Oxecta)
- medroxyprogesterone, Provera, Depo-Provera, Depo-Sub Q Provera 104
- budesonide nasal inhaler (Rhinocort Allergy, Rhinocort Aqua)
- imipramine, Tofranil, Tofranil-PM
- diphenoxylate and atropine, Lomotil
- benzonatate (Tessalon Perles, Zonatuss - discontinued in the US)
- Evista (raloxifene)
- Beta Blockers (Drug Class, List of Brand and Generic Names)
- tacrolimus (Prograf, Astagraf XL, Envarsus XR)
- baclofen, Gablofen, Lioresal
- fentanyl patch (Duragesic)
- rimantadine, Flumadine
- citalopram, Celexa
- Levaquin (levofloxacin) Antibiotic
- felodipine (Plendil)
- Amaryl (glimepiride)
- hydrocortisone valerate (Westcort brand has been discontinued in the US)
- diphenhydramine, Benadryl
- hydroxyzine (Vistaril)
- zafirlukast (Accolate)
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Cox-2 Inhibitors
- chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone, Tussionex, TussiCaps, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Vituz
- mirtazapine, Remeron, Soltab
- repaglinide, Prandin
- montelukast, Singulair
- chlorthalidone, Thalitone (Hygroton discontinued brand in USA)
- atenolol and chlorthalidone, Tenoretic
- bepridil (Vascor, Bepadin - Discontinued)
- pramoxine (Itch-X, PrameGel, Orax, Sarna Sensitive, and Others)
- simethicone, Phazyme, Mi-Acid, Gas Relief, Mytab Gas, Gas-X, Gas-X Extra Strength
- orlistat (Xenical, alli)
- Actos (pioglitazone)
- oseltamivir, Tamiflu
- zanamivir, Relenza
- cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
- carvedilol (Coreg, Coreg CR)
- cefdinir (Omnicef has been discontinued)
- budesonide (oral inhalation, Pulmicort, Pulmicort Flexhaler)
- risedronate (Actonel, Actonel with Calcium, Atelvia)
- triazolam, Halcion
- haloperidol (Haldol)
- pantoprazole, Protonix
- Flomax (tamsulosin)
- Retrovir (zidovudine, ZDV, formerly called AZT)
- Combivir (lamivudine and zidovudine)
- meloxicam (Mobic) Side Effects
- Herceptin (trastuzumab)
- lamivudine (3tc) (Epivir; Epivir HBV)
- alteplase (TPA, Activase, Cathflo Activase)
- rituximab, Rituxan
- chlorpropamide, Diabinese
- Oxycodone vs. Tramadol for Pain
- Tramadol (Ultram) Side Effects
- Anxiolytics (for Anxiety) Drug Class Side Effects
Prevention & Wellness
- Leading U.S. Doctors' Group Takes Aim at Rising Drug Prices
- Americans Fed Up With Soaring Drug Prices: HealthDay/Harris Poll
- Personalized 'Pills' From a 3D Printer?
- FDA Issues Warning About Skin Lighteners
- U.S. Prices Soaring for Some Generic Drugs, Experts Say
- Faster Drug Approvals Linked to Increased Safety Issues
- Study: Wikipedia Drug Entries Not Always Up-to-Date
- Health Tip: Safely Dispose of Medications
- Pharmacy 'Robots' Linked to Bacterial Contamination of Drugs
Daily Health News
Drugs and Treatment Resources
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Disposal Fact Sheets.
FDA. How to Dispose of Unused Medicines.
Top Drugs: What You Should Know About Your Drugs Related ArticlesComplete List
Acetaminophen is a drug that reduces fever and relieves pain. It is available alone, or in combination with hundreds of other drugs available both over-the-counter (without a prescription) or that that may require a prescription from your doctor, for example, acetaminophen and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco) or acetaminophen and oxycodone (Percocet).
Acetaminophen treats a variety of diseases or other medical problems that cause pain or fever. Examples of conditions acetaminophen treats include, headache, minor arthritis pain, back pain, tooth pain, menstrual cramps, PMS, osteoarthritis, common cold, tension headache, chronic pain, hip pain, shoulder and neck pain, sore throat, sinus infection, teething, TMJ, bites and stings, and sprains and strains.
Acetaminophen generally has no side effects when taken as prescribed. When side effects are experienced, the most common are headache, rash, and nausea.
In 2014, the FDA recommended that doctors and other health care professionals only prescribe acetaminophen in doses of 325 mg or less. This warning highlights the potential for allergic reactions, for example, face, mouth, and throat swelling, difficulty breathing, itching, or rash. This action also will help reduce the risk of severe liver injury and serious allergic reactions associated with this drug. Other possible serious side effects adverse effects include anemia, kidney damage, thrombocytopenia (a reduced number of platelets in the blood), and liver problems.
Other patient information. Do not take more than one product that contains acetaminophen at the same time. Do not take more than one acetaminophen-containing drug than directed. Do not drink alcohol while taking medicine that contains acetaminophen due to severe liver damage.
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.
amiodaroneAmiodarone (Cordarone, Nextrone, Pacerone) is an oral and injectable medication prescribed to correct abnormal rhythms of the heart. Side effects, drug interactions (an extensive list), warnings and precautions, and pregnancy efficacy should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Larotid) is an antibiotic that belongs to a class of antibiotics called penicillins. Common infections that amoxicillin is used to treat include middle ear infections, tonsillitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, skin, gonorrhea, and urinary tract infections.
Common side effects of amoxicillin include nausea, itching, vomiting, confusion, abdominal pain, and easy bruising.
Drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking penicillins.
Dispermox, Trimox, Wymox, Utimox, and Polymox are discontinued brands and are no longer available in the US.
ampicillinAmpicillin is an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by:
- H. influenzae,
- N. gonorrhoea,
- E. coli,
- streptococci and
- certain strains of staphylococci.
ChemotherapyChemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with drugs that can destroy cancer cells. These drugs often are called "anticancer" drugs. Chemotherapy is often used with other treatments. Coping with side effects (fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, hair loss, infection, diarrhea, constipation, fluid retention, mouth and throat problems) are important to understand when undergoing chemotherapy treatment. It is important to eat well during chemotherapy, and get the support you need both during and after treatment.
Common Medical Abbreviations and Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
estradiolEstradiol (Alora; Climara; Delestrogen; Depo-Estradiol; Divigel; Elestrin; Estrace; Estrasorb; Estrogel; Evamist; Femring; Menostar; Minivelle; Vivelle; Vivelle-Dot) is a drug prescribed to treat the symptoms of menopause, prevention of bone fractures (osteoporosis), painful uterine bleeding, vaginal pain, dryness and atrophy associated with menopause. Estradiol is also prescribed for the treatment of breast cancer, and some cases of prostate cancer. Side effects, drug interactions, patient information, and dosage should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
fexofenadineFexofenadine (Allegra, Allegra Allergy, Children's Allegra, Allergy 24-HR, Mucinex Allergy) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of allergy and hives. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
flurbiprofenflurbiprofen (Ansaid - discontinued brand) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of inflammation and pain caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, soft tissue injuries like bursitis and tendinitis. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Isotretinoin (Claravis, Amnesteem, Absorica, Myorisan, Zenatane, Sotret, Accutane) is a drug prescribed for the treatment and prevention of severe acne. Side effects include:
- Dry nose
- Dry Mouth
- Dry Skin
Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any drug.
Ativan (lorazepam) is a prescription drug used for the management of anxiety disorders, short-term relief of anxiety, or anxiety associated with depression. Ativan is effective for insomnia, panic attacks, and is used for prevention and treatment of alcohol withdrawal. Side effects include:
- Loss of orientation
- Sleep disturbance
It is important to be aware of the drug interactions related to Lorazepam (Ativan), and the effects on pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Prescription Drug AbuseLearn about prescription drug abuse facts and statistics about the dangers and misconceptions of abusing common prescription drugs.
Aldactone (spironolactone) is classified as a potassium-sparing diuretic. It is prescribed for the treatment of congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease. It can also be used in combination with other drugs to treat diuretic induced low potassium and high blood pressure. Side effects include:
Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
sulfasalazineSulfasalazine (Azulfidine) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of mild to severe ulcerative colitis and the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) has also been prescribed "off label" for Crohn's disease and ankylosing spondylitis. Side effects, warnings and precautions, drug interactions, and safety during pregnancy should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Timolol (Blocadren and Timolide 10-25 brand names have been discontinued) is a first generation beta blocker drug. Timolol is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure, angina, heart attacks, and migraine headache prevention. Off label uses include treatment for cardiomyopathy and mitral valve prolapse. Side effects include:
- Abdominal cramps
Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
zolpidemZolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, Zolpimist, Edluar, [Tovalt ODT has been discontinued]) is a sedative medication prescribed for the treatment of insomnia. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.