October 2002

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Q. I recently learned that an uncle is using WD-40 on his arthritic joints. A friend of his has been doing this for some time. Since my uncle had some in the garage he put it on his knees. Have... (Read More)
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Q. I read somewhere recently that a woman almost died while cleaning with chlorine bleach and ammonia. I clean with these items every week. Could you tell me how this could possibly cause death? A. Combining the common cleaning agents... (Read More)
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To err is human, but mistakes are unforgivable when lives are at stake. That's why pilots go through a comprehensive checklist before takeoff and why copilots are always vigilant for any unexpected problem. Such backup and fail-safe systems are needed... (Read More)
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Q. My boy friend does not suffer from impotence, far from it. But he is taking Viagra. He says it helps him achieve better erections and last longer. I think it's ridiculous, but he jokes about it and says a... (Read More)
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Q. Periodic bouts with irritable bowel syndrome cause me painful cramping and gas. My doctor prescribes Donnatal, but it makes me drowsy. I have read that peppermint oil would help. Could you give me any information on it? Does it... (Read More)
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Thousands of older Americans are breaking the law. Most don't even realize they are engaged in criminal activity. In an attempt to save money they are purchasing prescription medicines in Canada or Mexico. They've been driven to a life of... (Read More)
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Q. I have just changed jobs and my new employer does not offer medical insurance. I am presently taking Luvox for trichotillomania and Synthroid for a thyroid condition. I am having trouble getting insurance on my own and I wonder... (Read More)
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Q. I have infrequent vaginal yeast infections, but I don't like to use creams like Monistat. They were once prescribed by doctors and now are available over the counter, but I prefer a more natural approach. I heard about douching... (Read More)
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If you watch the evening news on TV these days, you've seen more than your fill of prescription drug ads. There's the "celebrate with Celebrex" commercial, not to mention ads for the competition, Vioxx. Depressed? There's a 30 second spot... (Read More)
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If you watch the evening news on TV these days, you've seen more than your fill of prescription drug ads. There's the "celebrate with Celebrex" commercial, not to mention ads for the competition, Vioxx. Depressed? There's a 30 second spot... (Read More)
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Q. Some time ago a reader praised a moisturizer that she and her husband had been using for 27 years as a sexual lubricant. I meant to save the column, but by mistake I recycled the newspaper. This product was... (Read More)
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Q. My daughter is in the seventh week of her second pregnancy. She is experiencing excessive morning sickness, vomiting four or five times a day. The doctor at a pregnancy clinic told her to take prenatal vitamins plus Unisom along... (Read More)
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Never let it be said that Americans lack compassion. So many readers responded to a letter from a woman suffering severe constipation that our mailbox was full. She said, "Unless I use a laxative, two weeks may pass without a... (Read More)
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Q. I am going crazy looking for nits. My eight-year-old daughter caught lice at school and we are having an awful time getting rid of them. The school has a no-nit policy, which means I have to search my daughter's... (Read More)
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Q. I read your summary of the cardiovascular health benefits of pomegranate juice, and couldn't believe my eyes. I love pomegranates! Can you tell me more about the potential of this juice to promote health? A. Legend has it that... (Read More)
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Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the prescription drug Lotronex is about to return to drugstore shelves. This kind of resurrection is unprecedented in FDA history. Lotronex was approved for sale in February of 2000 as the first medication... (Read More)