March 2004

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Q. One of your readers complained about music she heard playing in her head. I want to reinforce your advice to see a neurologist. I don't know if that would have helped me. I was healthy and active at the... (Read More)
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Q. When people ask about excessive perspiration you frequently recommend aluminum-containing antiperspirants. Aren't you concerned that aluminum may cause Alzheimer's disease? I have read that antiperspirants are dangerous because the aluminum they contain can be absorbed into the body. A.... (Read More)
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Ever since the "grapefruit effect" was discovered more than a decade ago, this fascinating food and drug interaction has confused patients, physicians and pharmacists. People still don't understand why it's important, how long it lasts and how to avoid problems.... (Read More)

#492 Open Lines

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The FDA is asking for a stronger warning on antidepressant drugs like Prozac and Paxil. What's behind this caution? FDA has also issued new guidelines about mercury in Fish. To help us understand this issue we will turn to Walter... (Read More)
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Q. I read about olive oil improving a woman's sex life. Vaginal dryness is the only symptom I have ever suffered due to menopause. My gynecologist has recommended almost everything, including the topical application of Vitamin E oil, but it... (Read More)
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Q. As a pharmacist, I don't understand how you could cast doubt on generics. These drugs have to go through rigorous testing to prove that they have equal ingredients and bioavailability before they are ever allowed on the market. You... (Read More)
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More than 100 years ago Listerine was developed as an antiseptic. At first, surgeons used it in the operating room, but before long it became a household brand. The Lambert Pharmaceutical Company marketed Listerine aggressively to treat dandruff as well... (Read More)
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Recent reports show that obesity is closing in on tobacco as our nation's #1 preventable killer. Over the last two decades obesity has increased substantially. Studies show that between 1999 and 2000 an estimated 31% of U.S. adults aged 20... (Read More)
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Q. I hope you will not laugh at my problem. My embarrassment over my small penis makes it impossible for me to use a public restroom to urinate. This causes me great trouble if I go to a football game... (Read More)
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Q. My wife and I will turn 65 in a few months. We've had an excellent insurance program that has paid for our prescriptions in the past, but will lose it. I am shocked to find that we will go... (Read More)
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Ask any drug company executive why his medicines cost so much and you'll get a standard answer: research and development is expensive. If Americans want wonderful new drugs, they have to be willing to pay for the research. This argument... (Read More)
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It is estimated that four million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's. Once we reach 85 years of age one fifth us will have dementia. How can you prevent this disastrous outcome? Can ridding the brain of zinc or copper ease symptoms... (Read More)
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Q. I grew up in South Texas going to the family ranch with my father, who was an excellent self-taught botanist and biologist. He had learned a lot of folk medicine from his father's Hispanic cowhands. He taught me the... (Read More)
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Q. You recently told readers not to put Vicks VapoRub in the nose. You suggested that camphor, an ingredient in Vicks, might be the problem. As a pulmonary physician, I can explain the real reason there is a warning against... (Read More)
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Cold sores are common. By some estimates more than two-thirds of adults have been infected by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), the culprit behind cold sores. People frequently catch this infection as children or young adults. And once infected,... (Read More)
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Although most of us take breathing for granted, paying attention to breathing can affect our energy level, our blood pressure and even help control asthma. On this show we will find out how the simple act of breathing can profoundly... (Read More)
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Q. I just heard on the news that large doses of vitamins C and E have been shown to help stave off Alzheimer's in older people. Do you know anything about this? And if this is true, what constitutes a... (Read More)
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Q. A few weeks ago you wrote about someone using Listerine and baby oil to treat dandruff. More than 40 years ago, my family was using plain Listerine for this purpose. It was advertised as a dandruff treatment during World... (Read More)
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Old age ain't for sissies--at least, that's what some seniors tell us. It's even harder when the medicines that are prescribed to help overcome ailments end up causing more harm than good. A new study in the Archives of Internal... (Read More)