Healthcare News & Insights

The scary truth about two common drugs

A potentially dangerous side effect of two commonly prescribed drugs was just uncovered — and the way it was found is just as interesting as the actual side effect.

Researchers at Stanford University crunched data from a huge FDA side effects database, looking for evidence of diabetes-related drug interactions. They found that two drugs commonly used to treat depression and high cholesterol appear to make a dangerous combination.

According to the report, taking Paxil (paroxetine) and Pravachol (pravastin) can dangerously increase some patients’ blood sugar, sending borderline patients into a diabetic state or making existing cases of the disease harder to control. Researchers estimate more than 700,000 people take both drugs.

The finding was completely unexpected. The researchers said it showed the value of having access to large numbers of electronic health records so they can essentially study large populations in real time.

The study was published in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

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