Dr. Mike: Good Side Effects Of Certain Medications - Fox 2 News Headlines

Dr. Mike: Good Side Effects Of Certain Medications

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

Seems every few days, we hear about a negative side effect from a medication; stuff that scares the daylights out of people. But not as often do we talk about the good side effects: medicines designed to treat one medical issue, but also doing good elsewhere in the body.

FOX 29 will take a look at how multi-purpose pills are pleasantly surprising doctors and patients in unusual ways.

"A warning tonight..." That's the phrase that we hear all the time, yet another warning about a bad side effect of a common medication.

But what we don't hear much about are all those "good" side effects that doctors say we can get from meds that are designed for one ailment.

"That's absolutely correct… and I do it all the time," says Dr. Mike.

Doctor Mike Cirigliano ran down a host of commonly prescribed "multi-purpose pills".

One example is Topiramate also known as Topamax.

"For seizures, but it's also useful in migraine headaches and also for weight loss," explains Dr. Mike.

Another example is Propanolol, also known as Inderal:

"This is a drug that has significant effects on both blood pressure, but also can be very effective for stage fright," he says. "It can slow your heart rate down if you're having skipped beats or if you're having palpitations[. W]hat you do is you take it an hour before you get on stage and it works like a charm for most people."

Doctor Mike has written medical papers on these kinds of pill perks or multi-uses and says he gets more excited learning something new that one pill can do.

"It's all the art of medicine," he says. "Wonderful medication!"

Aspirin gets Dr. Mike really fired up, way beyond "an aspirin a day may keep a heart attack away."

"Did you know though that it can also help reduce the risk of colon cancer?" he tells us.

It's still scary for many people who break out in a sweat every time their doctor writes a script of any kind, and they read the long list of possible negative side effects.

"There are always some potential risks with anything, but if the benefits outweigh the risks then you DO IT, recommends Dr. Mike.

By law, patients must be made aware of the potential risks. But according to the FDA, potential benefits and other possible uses cannot be advertised.

Companies cannot market medicine beyond the purposes or labeling approved by the FDA, no matter how well it works for something different.

"It's an off-label indication," says Dr. Mike.

However, doctors are allowed to prescribe medicines and treatments "off-label," using caution and taking responsibility.

"Many times, we don't know how a particular medication works. We know that it works from clinical trials, but exact mechanism, the biological mechanism, is sometimes not known," admits Dr. Mike. "Anything that you put into your mouth gets into your stomach and absorbed and has effects throughout the body."

And these surprisingly good side effects, says Dr. Mike, often allow physicians to have a way to cure what ails patients when there's no standard medication that works.

"There's always a couple of ways to skin the cat, so if you're allergic to a medicine, then you need to figure out a way with your healthcare provider on how to get around that and come up with an alternative plan."

No medication should ever be taken lightly, but Dr. Mike hopes that learning more about things, like research showing getting flu shots may cut your risk of stroke and heart disease almost in half, may encourage more people who really need it to take their medicine.

"And you make sure that you know why you are taking it. You take it properly in the right dosages at the right times and you will reap the benefits and reduce your risks," says Dr. Mike.

  • FOX 29 Health FeaturesMore>>

  • Dr. Mike: Canned Tuna Warning For Pregnant Women

    Dr. Mike: Canned Tuna Warning For Pregnant Women

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:30 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:30:23 GMT

    Expectant mothers, think it's OK to eat canned tuna? Well, think again! Dr. Mike explains why it may actually be more dangerous than fresh fish.

    Expectant mothers, think it's OK to eat canned tuna? Well, think again! Dr. Mike explains why it may actually be more dangerous than fresh fish.


  • Baby That Needs Specialized Formula Receives Overwhelming Support

    Baby That Needs Specialized Formula Receives Overwhelming Support

    Thursday, August 14 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-08-15 01:59:13 GMT
    Insurance policies have rules governing what's covered and what's not. Generally, they make sense. The rules are designed to prevent unreasonable costs from being passed along to the insurer, and by extension to other insurance customers. But listen to Sheree Kober's story. 
    Insurance policies have rules governing what's covered and what's not. Generally, they make sense. The rules are designed to prevent unreasonable costs from being passed along to the insurer, and by extension to other insurance customers. But listen to Sheree Kober's story. 

  • Cancer Survivor, Transplant Recipient, Iron Man Touts 'Donor Dash' To Students

    Cancer Survivor, Transplant Recipient, Iron Man Touts 'Donor Dash' To Students

    Tuesday, August 5 2014 4:19 PM EDT2014-08-05 20:19:30 GMT
    The 19th annual Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness, also known as the "Donor Dash," is coming up on April 13.
    The 19th annual Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness, also known as the "Donor Dash," is coming up on April 13.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Home Depot probes possible credit card data breach

    Home Depot probes possible credit card data breach

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:17 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:17:22 GMT
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a credit card data breach. The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer told The Associated Press Tuesday that it is looking into "unusual activity" and that working with both banks and law enforcement.
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a credit card data breach. The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer told The Associated Press Tuesday that it is looking into "unusual activity" and that working with both banks and law enforcement.
  • DA: 15-Year-Old Girl Was Driving At Time Of Crash In Wayne County

    DA: 15-Year-Old Girl Was Driving At Time Of Crash In Wayne County

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:14:25 GMT
    There are new developments in the deadly crash that killed three Council Rock High School South students.
    There are new developments in the deadly crash that killed three Council Rock High School South students.
  • 9-Year-Old Shot in Tacony

    9-Year-Old Shot in Tacony

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:11:59 GMT
    A 9-year-old boy was shot in the head just before 3:30pm on Tuesday afternoon. It happened on the 4700 block of Knorr St in the Tacony section of the city.The boy was transported to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. His condition is unknown at this time, but police tell Fox 29 that he suffered a graze wound to the head.So far there have been no arrests. Police are currently on scene investigating.Stay with Fox 29 news for any updates.
    A 9-year-old boy was shot in the head just before 3:30pm on Tuesday afternoon. It happened on the 4700 block of Knorr St in the Tacony section of the city.The boy was transported to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. His condition is unknown at this time, but police tell Fox 29 that he suffered a graze wound to the head.So far there have been no arrests. Police are currently on scene investigating.Stay with Fox 29 news for any updates.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices