May 2006

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One of the last big secrets of American medicine involves a practice called “off-label��? prescribing. Most people assume that the pills their doctors prescribe have been carefully tested and approved by the FDA for their condition. They don’t realize that... (Read More)
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Q. Golden raisins soaked in gin were ineffective against my arthritis pain, but raisins in sloe gin were immediately and totally effective. Thanks for the suggestion. A. Thank you for the testimonial. Regular gin is flavored with juniper berries, while... (Read More)
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Q. I always thought hot flashes were a woman’s problem. Ever since treatment for prostate cancer I have suffered with hot flashes day and night. My wife says I can now appreciate how miserable she was during menopause. My doctor... (Read More)
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Grapefruit interacts with dozens of drugs. Now we know what the secret ingredients are that cause this unusual effect. Is soy a miracle food or a menace? We talk with an expert about the benefits and risks of soy. Are... (Read More)
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Just over half of all prescriptions sold in this country are now generic drugs. Before long these copycat medicines will dominate the market. That’s because some very popular brand name medications are losing their patents. Drugs like the sleeping pill... (Read More)
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Q. Taking lovastatin has controlled my total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol. But my triglycerides were always very high. My doctor had no suggestions, so I decided to try cinnamon. My triglycerides went from 350 to 150 in four months.... (Read More)
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Q. I love being tan, but all the self-tanning creams give me a rash and make me itch something awful. Do you know what ingredient may cause this so I know what to look for? I have tried several. A.... (Read More)
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Why is hair so important to our sense of well being? Almost everyone has had a bad hair day. It makes you feel self conscious and undermines your confidence. Some people have to deal with hair loss at an early... (Read More)
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Celiac disease is a condition in which exposure to gluten from certain grains triggers an autoimmune reaction. Although American doctors have been taught that it is extremely rare, research over the past decade has shown it is actually far more... (Read More)
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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the investigative arm of Congress. It studies how the federal government spends your tax dollars. The GAO recently evaluated the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and concluded the FDA belongs in the doghouse. Not... (Read More)
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Q. I’ve heard that capsaicin nasal spray was used to treat migraines in a study. I've also read accounts online of migraine sufferers who put capsaicin powder into their nostrils as a nonprescription alternative treatment. I have tried this. I... (Read More)
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Q. As a pharmacist, I feel so discouraged about the unreasonable prices of prescription medicines. I used to get excited about new drugs, but now I only feel disgust. I know that the cost will be far too much for... (Read More)
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It seems as if you can't turn on television these days without seeing an ad for erectile dysfunction drugs. Levitra, Cialis and Viagra have been highly promoted. How good are these medications and are there any risks? What else can... (Read More)
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Q. For people who have general joint pain, and no specific diagnosis of arthritis, consider telling them to take vitamin D. Many more people are deficient than is generally believed, and one symptom is bone or joint pain. When I... (Read More)
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Q. I have been using a nasal spray like Afrin for at least six years. I cannot break this cycle of congestion. If I don't use the spray, I can't sleep and can't eat. Sometimes it's even difficult to have... (Read More)
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Most people look forward to spring. Warm weather means the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and the grass is growing…and pollinating. That’s why 36 million Americans may wish it were still freezing cold. In the winter, there’s no... (Read More)
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Diet research has been in the news lately, with headlines like: LOW FAT DIET DOES NOT CUT HEALTH RISKS, STUDY FINDS (New York Times) or REDUCING FAT MAY NOT CURB DISEASE (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). But these stories are often confusing and... (Read More)
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Suffering is the mother of creativity. People will do almost anything to relieve their discomfort. Perhaps that is why some folks have tried rinsing their scalps with Listerine for flaky dandruff. Others have dabbed vodka on their itchy poison ivy.... (Read More)
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Q. I frequently have heartburn and finally found a wonderful remedy: papaya pills. Every time I have heartburn I eat one of the pills and the heartburn disappears. My doctor says these are fine to use. The roll is easy... (Read More)
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Q. I am addicted to the diet pill phentermine. I have been abusing this medication for 10 years, usually taking 10 pills a day. My problem is that I have called a couple of clinics to try to get help.... (Read More)