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October 2009

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Q. My husband has high cholesterol, despite a very healthy lifestyle and weight. His doctor put him on Lipitor. After the dosage was increased, I started noticing that he wasn't as enthusiastic about our previously very active sex life. He... (Read More)
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America has been waging a war on drugs of abuse for a very long time. Are we winning or losing? A "get-tough" legal policy has resulted in many drug users being locked in prison. One guest argues that this is... (Read More)
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Q. I've been a victim of insomnia for the past two years. My doctor has tried me on three different drugs, separately of course. The side effects were worse than the loss of sleep. Melatonin popped into my head for... (Read More)
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This Week's Radio Show: 746 America's War on Drugs
The People's Pharmacy Wants You-- To Vote
When Does Your Prescription Drug Expire?
Solutions for Dog's Hot Spots
Antifungal Powder Controlled Jock Itch
Dietary Supplement Eases Urge to Pull Out Hair
Lost in Transmission--Key Facts Not Found in PDR
Side Effect Information Missing
Metabolic Effects of Anti-Psychotic Medicines in Adolescents
HDL Cholesterol Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Treating Vitamin D Deficiency (Read More)
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We've just added a new feature to PeoplesPharmacy.com which we hope will be useful to you. Each article now has a "thumbs up/thumbs down" icon beneath the title. You can use these icons to share your opinion, and help other... (Read More)
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Critical details about drug safety and effectiveness are often missing from the official prescribing information. That's the conclusion of two Dartmouth researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Lisa Schwartz and Dr. Steve Woloshin scoured clinical trial... (Read More)
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French researchers have independently observed that studies published in prestigious journals often don't tell enough about adverse drug effects. They reviewed over 100 reports of randomized controlled drug trials and discovered that one quarter of the articles left out severe... (Read More)
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When a new generation of anti-psychotic medications was introduced more than a decade ago physicians hoped these drugs represented a better way to treat mental illness. The expectation was that drugs such as Risperdal, Zyprexa, Abilify and Seroquel would be... (Read More)
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For decades people have been told that it is critical to get their cholesterol levels down, especially bad LDL cholesterol. But there is growing recognition that good HDL cholesterol may be nearly as important. A new study in the Archives... (Read More)
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Vitamin D deficiency is common, but new research shows that it can be treated easily and cheaply. Scientists in Boston report that they used 50,000 IU of vitamin D2 once a week to treat vitamin D deficiency in 86 patients.... (Read More)
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Q. When I picked up a prescription from the pharmacy, the pharmacy label had a "use before" date of 09/04/10. The manufacturer's label, under the pharmacy label, had an "expiration" date of Dec 2012. Why is this? A. It is... (Read More)
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Q. What can I use to help my dog with scratching? He scratches and bites at his leg all day. He has been to the vet and has even been on prednisone and antibiotics. Is there anything else I can... (Read More)
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Q. Shortly after moving to Charleston, SC, in 1988 I developed very uncomfortable itching over much of my body, including my armpits, groin and chest. A physician diagnosed it as "Charleston Crud" and recommended Zeasorb-AF, an antifungal body powder. The... (Read More)
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Q. I am desperate and hope you can help. I suffer from trichotillomania. I pull hairs constantly and this leaves little bald spots. No matter how hard I try I cannot stop. I seem to recall hearing on your radio... (Read More)
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Listen To Our Podcast: 745 Health News Update
Lice Advice Provokes Rebuke
Frequent Washing Leaves Hands Raw
Can You Trust Prescription Drug Information?
Unorthodox Cough Remedy Wins Praise
Peppermint and Coconut Conquer Diarrhea (Read More)
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Just think about the word lice for a minute or two and the chances are good your head will start to itch. Mention the word in polite company and some people will start to move away from you. When looking... (Read More)
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Q. I have been washing my hands so many times a day to avoid colds and flu that they are incredibly red and rough. My fingertips are cracked and split and it hurts to type on the computer. My hands... (Read More)
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There is a powerful "Perspective" in the New England Journal of Medicine titled "Lost in Transmission--FDA Drug Information That Never Reaches Clinicians" (JAMA, Oct. 29, 2009). It is written by Lisa Schwartz, MD, and Steven Woloshin, MD, from the Dartmouth... (Read More)
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Q. I am a research scientist so I like evidence. My husband is an architect who is a critical thinker and not about to fall prey to nonsense. He came down with a terrible cold that led to pneumonia. The... (Read More)

745 Health News Update

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Unusual symptoms like dizziness could signal a stroke, but they could also be something much less serious. Doctors struggle to get the diagnosis right, but now they have a new tool--and it is quicker and cheaper than the standard approach.... (Read More)
Buy This Show on CD or MP3
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Q. I have suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for months. I read that Archway Coconut Macaroon cookies might help and looked for them with no success. When I heard they were no longer available, I came up with an... (Read More)
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Scientists have been striving to link diet to breast cancer risk for years. Finally a large epidemiological study in Europe has come up with a few foods to avoid. More than 350,000 women in 10 countries participated in the European... (Read More)
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Brushing and flossing daily could help ward off rheumatoid arthritis, according to a new study. Rheumatologists in Minnesota studied more than 6,000 people between 1987 and 1998. Everyone had at least four complete checkups during that time as well as... (Read More)
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Hand washing is an important infection control method in hospitals across the country. A new mathematical model suggests that hospitals may have to become even more diligent. The investigators explored the impact of just one doctor, nurse or technician who... (Read More)
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Learning a new skill is supposed to help us stay sharp as we age, whether it is learning to play an instrument or taking up ballroom dancing. A new study shows that learning to surf the Internet can also improve... (Read More)

Skim Milk Fights Gout

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Gout is an extremely painful inflammation of the joints and soft tissue caused by the formation of crystals of uric acid. The feet and big toe are frequently affected, but gout can also impact ankles, knees and elbows. Some research... (Read More)
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A study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology reported that disappointing results from a study of the dietary supplement glucosamine. Over 200 subjects with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee were randomized to receive... (Read More)
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This Week's Radio Show: 745 Health News Update
Skipping Diet Soda Eliminated Headaches
Soy Sauce Soothes Pain of Sting
The Mystery of Missing Thyroid
Breast Cancer Links to Diet
Gum Disease Linked to Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Health Care Provider Who Fails to Wash Hands Spreads Germs
Searching the Web to Save Your Brain?
Skim Milk Fights Gout
Glucosamine Fails Knee Test (Read More)
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Q. I have had headaches for as long as I can remember. Some were debilitating, and some I just had to soldier through. Recently they were becoming more frequent, with the most common being a sharp sensation on one side... (Read More)
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Q. I was adjusting my sprinkler timer and did not realize my arm was bumping against a wasp nest. That's how I just got stung on the elbow by four or five wasps. Last weekend I heard on The People's... (Read More)