Pharmacy Q&A: February 2012

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Q. I am a cardiologist with a patient who had elevated cholesterol in 2010. Her total cholesterol was 245 and her LDL was 156. This was too high, so I put her on Pravachol. It brought her cholesterol down to... (Read More)
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Q. I need cataract surgery and have been told I must stop taking Flomax pills two weeks beforehand. I need an alternative drug to help me urinate. Otherwise I might explode or end up in the emergency department. A. Tamsulosin... (Read More)
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Q. I forward your electronic newsletter regularly to my husband, a doctor. He is skeptical about some of the entries because there are no names of the people submitting questions. How can we both be assured that you are not... (Read More)

Are Eggs Forbidden Food?

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Q. My husband loves eggs and used to eat them several times a week. When he was told 25 years ago he had a cholesterol problem, he gave up eggs, butter and saturated fat. Even with a good diet, his... (Read More)
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Q. I am concerned about my sister, who takes pills for high blood pressure. She seems more forgetful now than before she started taking medicine. I read in a magazine that blood pressure drugs destroy the brain, so I am... (Read More)
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Q. I've been battling a common cold this week. One night, in desperation, I coated the soles of my feet with Vicks and the cough subsided. I have no idea how that could work, but I don't care. I slept!... (Read More)
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Q. Why are doctors so determined that menopausal patients should take estrogen? When I told my doctor that I am reluctant to take Premarin for fear of cancer, she actually said that cancer is no big deal. It is just... (Read More)
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Q. A friend and I were both recently diagnosed with perleche or angular cheilitis. Although the prescribed medicine (ciclopirox and fluticasone creams) clears it up, the irritation comes right back. I have very dry lips, and use lanolin to moisturize... (Read More)
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Q. Never, never, never trust random folks on the internet for med advice. Generic drugs have to be the exact same thing as the brand name by law. The bioavailability as well as the delivery system also has to be... (Read More)
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Q. I made it clear to my doctor a few years back that the generic brand for Xanax does not work effectively. It is at best 50% effective. I first realized how poorly it worked about 3 years ago when... (Read More)
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Q. I am appalled at the condition of the public restroom where I work. It is filthy and I hate to get close to the toilet seats. I have osteoarthritis in my knees, so crouching above the toilet is very... (Read More)
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Q. My husband has Peyronie's disease. I can't remember the last time we had sex. I know it's been over a year. He has seen our primary doctor and a urologist. The only treatment the doctors recommended was vitamin E... (Read More)
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Q. I am a professional chemist and am amazed that nobody has said that alum actually contains aluminum, because it is a potassium aluminum sulfate salt. Here is the wikipedia link, that is pretty good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alum On the People's Pharmacy... (Read More)
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Q. This has been the scariest week of my life. I suddenly developed very high blood pressure (195/118) and had to go the emergency department. I'm a student and had bought a ton of black licorice, the really good imported... (Read More)
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Q. My husband was just released from the hospital as a result of taking naproxen for tendinitis. He used it exactly as prescribed, and it still caused more trouble than it was worth. He had severe gastrointestinal bleeding, so bad... (Read More)
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CITALOPRAM (CELEXA) AND TINNITUS: Q. I developed tinnitus about 1 year ago. I do not have any type of hearing loss which would have contributed to my ringing in the ears. The only lifestyle event which I can attribute... (Read More)
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Q. I have had an ongoing argument with my family doctor about the correct dose of Synthroid. The endocrinologist who diagnosed my condition said my TSH should be in the normal range, but my family doctor is not concerned that... (Read More)
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Q. My husband has suffered from depression for years. It got really bad last winter and I finally convinced him to see a psychiatrist. Ever since he started taking sertraline he is a different person. Things are so much... (Read More)
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Q. Would you please comment on the safety of alum as a deodorant? I think it is the ingredient in many "Crystal" antiperspirant products. A. We have heard from lots of readers that they gave up aluminum-based antiperspirants because of... (Read More)
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Q. I participated in two clinical trials of ketamine for depression. The infusion was not pleasant, but a few hours later my depression was mysteriously lifted. It was as though someone carefully cleaned, polished and rejuvenated every cell in my... (Read More)
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Q. To diagnose my appendicitis a few years ago, I had a CT scan with contrast. When my energy didn't return after the surgery and my weight started dropping rapidly, I underwent tests that resulted in a diagnosis of Graves'... (Read More)
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Q. I was very upset to read your response to a question about the blood thinner Coumadin. You listed several drugs that may interact with Coumadin; one of them was Tylenol. I am a heart valve patient. My cardiologist is... (Read More)
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Q. I'm not one to take pills. I don't even keep aspirin in my house. But I have medicine in the barn for my horses and use it when I've got to have some for myself. I have a bad... (Read More)
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Q. I take simvastatin, and I am concerned that my cholesterol may be too low (143, HDL 46, LDL 75). My mother died at age 64 from a massive stroke. Somewhere I read that very low cholesterol increases the risk... (Read More)