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Pharmacy Q&A

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Q. Doctors rarely if ever tell patients about sexual side effects of medication. A case in point is the prostate shrinking medication finasteride. This is how it works on your sex life over a period of time. It's like attaching... (Read More)
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Q. I have had a couple of episodes with sores on my ankles that take forever to heal. My doctors say they are venous stasis ulcers and that the only prevention is to walk. But when I come down with... (Read More)
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Q. I know PPIs have tons of side effects, but the trouble is I've taken them for years. Now I am stuck with them. I've tried to get off of them several times, and each time it ended in failure.... (Read More)
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Q. My husband has been on a low-fat regimen for over a decade, ever since his doctor said that this was a possible way to avoid taking statins. Although my husband likes cream in his coffee, he now uses skim... (Read More)
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Q. I have recently started using an e-cigarette. It has dramatically cut down my smoking of traditional cigarettes plus there is no smoke smell or residual on clothing or furniture. I initially experienced headaches and was told to reduce the... (Read More)
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Q. Insurers require us to use generic drugs. My wife and I both take Ambien when we travel, which is quite often. If we were buying brand name Ambien, it would cost us over $350 out of pocket for 30... (Read More)
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Q. Ever since I went on a low carb diet in 1964 (before Atkins) I have used only whole milk. When the government began advocating a low-fat diet, Americans became obese, because when you remove the fat from a product... (Read More)
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Q. I received a ketamine infusion several months ago and it literally saved my life. My 30+ year depression was severe (unable to feel, no relationships, unable to work, extreme anxiety and fatigue, etc). I volunteered for a study at... (Read More)
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Q. I was having a serious bout of canker sores, with two deep ones on my tongue and several new ones. I could hardly eat. I read the suggestions in your Home and Herbal Remedies book, but I had none... (Read More)
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Q. After my doctor prescribed the diuretic Lasix to keep fluid levels under control, I developed ringing in the ears, high uric acid levels and prediabetes. No one warned me about such side effects. Now that I have type 2... (Read More)
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Q. My sister had a knee replacement in October and came home with a C diff infection. Strong antibiotics were tried but nothing helped. She was so sick that her children rushed her back to the hospital. Her doctor suggested... (Read More)
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Q. When I read in your newsletter that PPIs like omeprazole can trigger an autoimmune rash, I almost fell out of bed. My husband has had an awful skin condition for six months. It began about two months after he... (Read More)
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Q. I work in the pharmaceutical industry and find your articles on statin side effects scare people unnecessarily. You fail to mention the benefits of lowering cholesterol. Patient stories do not qualify as evidence. A. Your perspective is echoed by... (Read More)
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Q. I take amlodipine, lisinopril and metoprolol for high blood pressure. My readings are 115/56. I get terribly dizzy, especially when I first stand up. My doctor says low blood pressure is not dangerous, but I feel bad and cannot... (Read More)
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Q. I have seborrheic dermatitis on my face. Countless prescriptions and home remedies did not work. I became so self-conscious and depressed I hated to leave the house. Then I applied Vicks VapoRub on the affected areas and saw good... (Read More)
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Q. Dandruff is caused by a yeast (fungus). Here's how I got rid of it 40 years ago with amber Listerine. I parted my hair in the middle, soaked a cotton ball with the Listerine and saturated the exposed scalp... (Read More)
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Q. Taking Avodart triggered the onset of both erectile dysfunction and reduced ejaculate for me. I took it for two years; my prostate did not shrink, but my penis did. These sexual side effects linger. Five years later, I still... (Read More)
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Q. I was troubled with recurrent canker sores for a while. The only thing that had changed was my toothpaste. I wanted whiter teeth, so I was using whitening toothpastes. I got canker sores when there was sodium lauryl sulfate... (Read More)
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Q. Several years ago my HbA1c test was 5.39. A recent test indicated it has ticked up to 6.0. My medical provider wants to retest it in 6 months. If the retest does not show a reduction, he is suggesting... (Read More)
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Q. When the prescription label says take before meals, what does that mean? A. Such instructions are meaningless. You need to know if your medicine works best when taken on an empty stomach (at least an hour before eating or... (Read More)
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Q. Last year I was hospitalized after lying dehydrated in the ER for 18 hours while waiting for a room. I was admitted with the wrong diagnosis and given the wrong treatment (which included a broad spectrum antibiotic). Then I... (Read More)
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Q. I went through menopause several years ago and have struggled ever since with vaginal dryness and pain. A few years ago I used Premarin cream, but it was messy and smelly and I was scared that it might promote... (Read More)
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Q. You have written about the dangers of aluminum, but you have not been keeping up with the evidence. Back in the 1960s, a few studies found high levels of aluminum in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. The... (Read More)
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Q. Some time ago you discussed a drug a person was taking for depression. It had the side effect of delaying his orgasms during sex. I meant to ask my doctor about this medicine, but have mislaid the article. What... (Read More)
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Q. Last August through September I landed in two different emergency rooms with very low potassium in my blood.  I was admitted to hospital for five days and then into sub-acute rehab nursing care.  After I was discharged, I had... (Read More)
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Q. I have a chronic case of hives. When I was first diagnosed, seven weeks ago, I was given a steroid shot and a six-pack of prednisone and told to take Benadryl at night and Zyrtec during the day. My... (Read More)
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Q. I recently started my dog on Rimadyl for his arthritis and he is like a new dog, almost like a puppy. Is there a version of this medication for humans? A. Rimadyl (carprofen) was prescribed for humans between 1988... (Read More)
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Q. I saw an article about ice craving and related vitamin or mineral deficiencies. You said a popcorn addiction could also signal a deficiency in something, but you didn't say what. I eat popcorn ALL THE TIME. Could you please... (Read More)
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Q. I've never seen this subject addressed in your column, and hope it is not taboo. My husband had one problem which Viagra addressed, but now he cannot ejaculate. I've read that ejaculating at least once a week keeps the... (Read More)
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Q. What's the story on petroleum jelly? I have used it for years to soothe dry cracked skin, split finger tips and chapped lips. Why do some people badmouth this cheap moisturizer? A. People seem to either love or hate... (Read More)