Pharmacy Q&A: March 2011

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Q. I read that a drink a day could help prevent heart disease and diabetes. Both run in my family so I am interested. But I never know how big a drink is. Is it a shot glass, a juice... (Read More)
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Q. I am in very good health except for recurrent sinus infections. Recently, my internist put me on a 12-day tapered course of prednisone. Within days I thought I was going crazy. I became extremely agitated and irritable and the... (Read More)
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Q. The past weekend I had terrible diarrhea. At first I assumed it was a virus and after three days I started feeling a bit better. But the last two days my stool is almost white, like dried up dog... (Read More)
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Q. When I had knee replacement surgery, the physical therapist recommended cocoa butter with vitamin E for the scar. It worked beautifully. Since I had some left over, I began using it on my nail beds at night. This winter... (Read More)
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Q. I am 38 years old and have never had acne in my entire life. In the past year, however, I have had a severe acne breakout, mainly on my forehead. I am not too sure about the cause and... (Read More)
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Q. I'm confused about the connection between diet, statins (Crestor) and blood sugar levels. I've taken Crestor for three years, after several years of trying unsuccessfully to lower my cholesterol levels with a very low fat diet. On Crestor the... (Read More)
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Q. My husband gets a runny nose each and every time he sits down to eat, and we are stymied as to why. He has consulted two doctors, but nothing they prescribed has helped. We cannot sit down for a... (Read More)

Managing Gas

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Q. Some time back someone wrote you about a problem with intestinal gases and you recommended a seat cushion to capture the odor. You recommended a place they could order the seat cushion as well as other products for flatulence.... (Read More)
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Q. I am worried about my husband. He is in his 80s and used to be active and fully engaged in our church and community. Now he is suffering from back and leg pain, neck spasms, weakness, dizziness and brain... (Read More)
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Q. My husband has been taking Prozac successfully for years. He was recently switched to generic fluoxetine. In the last several months he has become much the same person he was before Prozac--angry, depressed and easily irritated. The pharmacist says... (Read More)
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Q. I am in my fifties, and have herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2). I am interested in having a sexual relationship with a new partner. I don't want to transmit the herpes virus to him. If my partner wears a condom... (Read More)
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Q. I was on Prilosec for nearly two years to combat persistent heartburn. When my fingernails started to fall apart and my feet and legs starting getting numb, I did a bit of homework and discovered that this drug greatly... (Read More)
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Q. I read that the lemon wedges put in drinking water in restaurants are often contaminated with germs. Does a slice of lime also contain bacteria? Is it safe to drop a slice of lime in a bottle of Corona... (Read More)
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Q. We recently enjoyed several days with friends at their vacation condo. Now I fear we have bedbugs. Could these critters have traveled home with us in our luggage? How can we verify our suspicions? A. Bedbugs can indeed hitch... (Read More)
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Q. I took Miacalcin a few years ago, and ever since then my sense of smell has disappeared. That's dangerous, since I can't smell smoke or natural gas. It is also sad that I can't smell bread baking or fresh... (Read More)
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Q. I have slightly high cholesterol (230) but really high triglycerides (348). A friend of mine told me that when he took red yeast rice his cholesterol dropped 50 points but his triglycerides rose. How important are triglycerides anyway? How... (Read More)
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Q. I have suffered from trichotillomania for years, and I am desperate for some help. I just can't seem to stop pulling out my hair. I heard that there is an amino acid being used to treat this condition and... (Read More)
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Q. I've been fascinated by the discussion of jock itch in your column. I've had this problem for years and tried dozens of over-the-counter medicines. None of them worked for more than a few days. Last year my doctor came... (Read More)