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Pharmacy Q&A

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Q. I cut my salt intake many years ago, just for good health. Now I have low sodium in my blood and suffer from low blood pressure and fainting spells. When I needed surgery, the surgeon was concerned about my... (Read More)
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Q. My vitamin D level was low so my doctor prescribed vitamin D2 in a dose of 50,000 IU once a week. Within a day I was experiencing terrible nausea and heartburn. It took a couple of weeks for me... (Read More)
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Q. I am utterly confused about aspirin. I read recently that the FDA discouraged the use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks. Now I read that regular aspirin use lowers the risk of cancer. So, should people take aspirin or... (Read More)
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Q. I have an awful problem with gas. The odor is so terrible no one would want to be around. I talked to my doctor about it, but he said there was nothing he could give me for it because... (Read More)
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Q. Years ago my mother, who was a nurse, used Vicks VapoRub almost as a cure-all for us children. One hot summer day, my family and friends were out in the yard enjoying themselves while I was in the house... (Read More)
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Q. I seem to have permanent nerve damage after taking Lipitor (atorvastatin) for six years and then Crestor (rosuvastatin) for a year. I developed severe pain in my leg muscles, primarily my calves, which led me to discontinue the drug,... (Read More)
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Q. I am allergic to ragweed. Every fall I suffer miserably until the first big frost. My allergist has suggested shots, but I hate getting stuck every week and they are expensive. What else can I do besides stock up... (Read More)
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Q. I am trying to eat healthier by eating less meat and more vegetables, but I am not yet a vegetarian. I have noticed that on the days I have a meatless meal, for example eggplant, zucchini and broccoli cooked... (Read More)
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Q. You have sometimes written about ways to treat athlete's foot, but you haven't mentioned the best one: BLEACH! On the rare occasion that I get a toe fissure or itchy sole, I just pour several glugs of bleach into... (Read More)
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Q. I have heard that many medications can cause hair loss. Is this side effect temporary? Does the hair grow back when the drug is stopped? A. A surprising number of medications can cause temporary hair loss including blood pressure... (Read More)
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Q. Recently I took a dear friend to the ER. We thought she had a urinary tract infection. She was so weak she needed a wheelchair to get into the hospital. After running numerous tests, they ruled out infection. The... (Read More)
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Q. My 82-year-old mother has had Alzheimer's for eight years. She sat all day and didn't feed or bathe herself. Although she smiled pleasantly, she couldn't retain working memory for more than two minutes. She repeated statements or questions over... (Read More)
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Q. I have fig trees in my back yard and they were especially fruitful this year. I love fresh figs, but lately I have been experiencing a scary reaction. My lips tingle and my tongue swells up. Could this be... (Read More)
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Q. Many years ago, while my dad was stationed in Hawaii, I climbed the mango trees to pick mangos for chutney. I got such a terrible reaction: my eyes were swollen shut, my hands were so swollen I couldn't close... (Read More)
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Q. No one would ever suspect that I have just been diagnosed with osteopenia (weakened bones). I am a man in remarkably good health with blood results to kill for. I work out three times a week at the gym,... (Read More)
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Q. I have had trouble with recurrent canker sores for years. I finally figured out that avoiding toothpaste with tartar control or whitening agents keeps me out of trouble. A. The medical literature is surprisingly sparse when it comes to... (Read More)
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Q. My doctor prescribed Premarin Cream for vaginal dryness. He said I wouldn't absorb enough to be a problem. The paper insert that comes with the drug makes me question its safety, however. Is it absorbed into my body? A.... (Read More)
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Q. I got stung by yellow jackets last week and reacted terribly. I swelled up and broke out in hives all over my body. It was so unbearable I had to go to the emergency room for treatment. I never... (Read More)
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Q. My doctor prescribed amlodipine for high blood pressure last month. I began retaining fluid within a week. Now my swollen feet and ankles are terribly uncomfortable. Getting into my shoes is a challenge and sometimes my skin feels so... (Read More)
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Q. I have narcolepsy with cataplexy. Cataplexy is sudden loss of muscle tone brought on by strong emotion, such as fear, anger or excitement. In my case, it is triggered by laughter. I can go a long time without an... (Read More)
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Q. Many thanks to whoever wrote about Noxzema for itchy skin. I've been plagued for over four years with a horrible itch on one side of my nose. It may seem laughable, but it's not so funny if you're scratching... (Read More)
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Q. When I was training for triathlons I was told to mix a solution of alcohol, vinegar and glycerin in a squirt bottle. After swimming I would shake the bottle and apply a few drops in each ear, letting it... (Read More)
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Q. I have frequent if not constant headaches, possibly rebound headaches. I am now avoiding chocolate, cheeses and cold cuts. I drink lots of herbal teas and very little alcohol. I am sick of waking up at night with a... (Read More)
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Q. My husband has psoriasis. His skin is dry and flaky and he gets very bad patches that bleed. He has found that the sun helps heal his skin but he refuses to wear sunscreen, thinking it will undo the... (Read More)
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Q. I am a retired dental hygienist with years of infection control experience. I know of evidence that health care workers must wash their hands between patients to prevent the spread of infection. I am dismayed when doctors fail to... (Read More)
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Q. I cannot tolerate oral antidepressant medications because of unacceptable side effects. My doctor has prescribed EMSAM, a skin patch, but it is very expensive. Does this medicine work for depression and can I buy it safely from Canada? A.... (Read More)
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Q. My husband was on Xarelto for about a year and a half because he had atrial fibrillation. When he had a hernia operation he stopped taking it for three days but had major internal bleeding afterward. Despite this, his... (Read More)
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Q. I'm an avid canoe paddler. Back in the 1970s when I got started canoeing I learned that wearing denim cut-offs on the river was a very bad idea. I developed terrible jock itch, probably because my shorts stayed damp... (Read More)
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Q. Due to a change in my insurance, I wasn't able to refill my prescription for the depression drug Cymbalta. Saturday was my last dose and by Monday I felt like I was losing my mind. Today was the worst... (Read More)
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Q. My 25-year-old grandson has been diagnosed with scalp folliculitis. The doctor gave him a prescription for an expensive cream, but it did not get rid of the problem. Is there anything else that might help? A. Folliculitis is inflammation... (Read More)