Q. I have been searching high and low for a pillow that is supposed to deodorize gas. You sit on it and something inside the cushion traps offensive odors. If you’ve written about this product, please give me the particulars.
A. Activated charcoal has long been used to trap noxious gasses and chemicals. It is used in gas masks and has been used orally to treat accidental poisoning. Activated charcoal capsules are also marketed to alleviate flatulence.
We are aware of two seat cushions that fit the description you have given. Both contain activated charcoal to trap odors. One, called the Flatulence Filter, is made by UltraTech Products of Houston TX, at (800) 316-8668. The other is called GasBGon and sold by Dairiair of Greenville, NC, at (877) 427-2466.
Q. My daughter is a 21-year-old college student who doesn’t eat right and does not get enough sleep. What vitamin do you recommend to give her a bit of energy?
A. Vitamins cannot substitute for a lack of sleep, but they can help provide a little insurance against an inadequate diet. Any woman of childbearing age should be taking a multivitamin that provides at least 400 mcg of folic acid daily, just in case she became pregnant. This B vitamin reduces the risk of birth defects affecting the nervous system.
If your daughter is anemic, she may benefit from iron in her multivitamin. But to boost her energy, sleep, a balanced diet and exercise will work far better than supplements.
Q. Since I read that tea could interfere with the absorption of iron, I have given up on tea. I take Feosol every day, as well as K-Dur, enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide. I miss my tea and wonder if it really matters all that much.
My husband swallows aspirin at bedtime to protect his heart along with diazepam to get to sleep. At breakfast he takes a vitamin along with atenolol and Maxzide for blood pressure and Aleve for tendonitis. His doctor has just given him permission to have a glass or two of wine. He usually has one with dinner and another later on. Is this safe? Are there any other interactions he should be aware of?
A. Tea can block iron absorption, but if you drink your tea at least two hours after taking your pills there should not be a problem.
Your doctor must monitor your potassium levels carefully, since your blood pressure pills affect potassium in opposite directions. Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) depletes the body of potassium, which may be why you are on K-Dur, a potassium supplement. But enalapril (Vasotec) may interact with potassium to create an overdose. Too much or too little potassium can be equally hazardous.
Your husband’s aspirin might interact with his nightly wine, potentially raising the amount of alcohol in his blood stream. Alcohol can increase the risk of stomach upset with both aspirin and Aleve. His sleeping pill could also interact badly with alcohol. Since he is taking Maxzide, he may need extra folic acid, since this drug can deplete the body of this crucial B vitamin.
You will find more details on these issues in the Guides to Drug, Alcohol & Nutrient Interactions we are sending you. Anyone who would like copies, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (60 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. KN-610, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.

Join Over 53,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.