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Pharmacy Q&A

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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)
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Q. What is the best enema solution? My wife thinks an enema is essential for good health, even though I think this practice is ridiculous. A. Enemas are used for serious constipation and are not necessary if someone is otherwise... (Read More)
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Q. I have been experiencing an embarrassing anal itch for two months. My physician doesn't seem interested beyond prescribing lotions that don't do much after the first few minutes. I tried sponging the area with Bragg's apple cider vinegar, which... (Read More)
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Q. My mom is on Detrol for a bladder problem and I fear that it is causing mental confusion. She is also on two blood pressure drugs (losartan and amlodipine) that make her dizzy. Last week she fell and injured... (Read More)
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Q. Recently you mentioned Vicks as a possible treatment for nail fungus. I've struggled with this condition on both feet for the last eight months. Neither tolnaftate nor undecylenic acid was helpful. I also tried OTC foot soaks. Nothing worked... (Read More)
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Q. I've heard that taking enteric-coated peppermint oil can help IBS. My worst symptoms are stomach cramps and flatulence, but I'm reluctant to eat out or travel. Some of my friendships have suffered. What does "enteric" mean, and why would... (Read More)
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Q. I am writing to tell you how your advice helped solve a near tragedy. My husband and I were recently on a trip to Mongolia in a very remote location when he hit his leg on the sharp corner... (Read More)
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Q. Since starting on Lipitor about 10 years ago, I have developed restless leg syndrome, peripheral neuropathy in my feet, muscle cramps in my feet and legs and general muscle weakness. My liver enzymes have been elevated. I don't want... (Read More)
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Q. I have an underactive thyroid due to an immune reaction (Hashimoto's). I also have irritable bowel syndrome and don't tolerate wheat. My body aches all over and my doctor has diagnosed me with fibromyalgia and leaky gut syndrome.I don't... (Read More)
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Q. I recently read in your column about using a hair dryer to overcome the itch of bug bites. I have a much better solution than hot air or water. My daughter and I both react to mosquito bites with... (Read More)
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Q. I'm so furious I don't know where to begin. My wife had a car accident in her 20s and since then has had over 20 surgeries on her jaw. With all the pins and bone grafts, she's always been... (Read More)
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Q. Is it possible to over hydrate? When I was growing up, no one carried a bottle of water around. Now it seems as if everyone is constantly sipping bottled water throughout the day. One friend believes that if she... (Read More)
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Q. Having rosacea is horrible! I've had it for about ten years. I tried a greasy prescription cream but it was no help. My condition seems to be worsening. I have all the classic hereditary bases and many of the... (Read More)
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Q. My doctor prescribed Prilosec for heartburn and I took it for about a year. After discontinuing the Prilosec I was feeling very tired. The blood work that was done showed I had very low magnesium levels. I took magnesium... (Read More)
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Q. I am a 31-year-old man and I am writing to you out of sheer desperation. Almost a year ago, I had a headache for 12 days that was so intense I couldn't sleep or function. I went first to... (Read More)
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Q. I have a friend who is 57 and never smoked. She fell and broke her hip a couple of months ago and now has taken up chewing nicotine gum like it was candy. I can't believe nicotine gum, which... (Read More)
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Q. After reading about antibiotic treatment for asthma on the People's Pharmacy website, I am now taking azithromycin. My pulmonologist was aware of this treatment and agreed to me trying it. After four days, I already feel a difference--no inhalers,... (Read More)
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Q. Earlier this year, I heard that ibuprofen can contribute to heart disease, but I've heard no more about this. Are you aware of any information about this? 

I have also heard that ibuprofen use can block the benefits of... (Read More)
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Q. You often write about impotence or reduced sex drive in men, but what about those of us who suffer the opposite problem? I have always had an abnormally high sex drive, and believe me, this is not fun. It... (Read More)
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Q. My grandchildren started scratching their heads several weeks ago. Upon careful examination, we discovered they had lice. Their parents have been diligent in using lice shampoo, combing out nits and washing the bedding, to no avail. Are there any... (Read More)
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Q. My daughter insists that bio-identical hormones are superior to horse-derived hormones, and that they are safe to use over the long term. Every doctor I've asked says this is not so. Apparently bio-identical hormones are made in compounding pharmacies... (Read More)
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Q. I was taking Toprol-XL for an irregular heartbeat. When I was switched to generic metoprolol, I thought nothing of it. Then the irregular heartbeats started again. I had no idea why the drug wasn't working until I read about... (Read More)
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Q. I have been allergic to some metals since I had my ears pierced years ago. One of the metals is aluminum. When I used antiperspirants, they caused terrible itching in my armpits. Even if I used deodorants without aluminum,... (Read More)
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Q. I have a number of allergies and chemical sensitivities. Here's the latest reaction: every time I use an airplane toilet or a Port-a-Potty, I have very uncomfortable swelling of my privates. It happened to me today after using the... (Read More)
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Q. I've taken Lunesta for years to help me sleep. Recently, I find my mind is clouded the next day, so I would like to stop. A specialist in insomnia told me I do not have insomnia, but I had... (Read More)