Pharmacy Q&A: April 2012

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Q. I am suffering with side effects from finasteride to control prostate symptoms. I have erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and enlarged breasts. Does it make sense for me to take testosterone to overcome these side effects? A. Finasteride is... (Read More)
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Q. I am at my wit's end. I've been taking Prempro for hot flashes. Now my doctor wants me to stop because of cancer concerns. Whenever I quit, though, the hot flashes return worse than ever. My friends swear by... (Read More)
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Q. I have suffered with severe, chronic nasal congestion and sinus headaches for decades. Periodically I get addicted to over the counter nasal sprays and have a terrible time weaning myself off. Sleeping with a stuffy nose is the pits.... (Read More)
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Q. Twenty years ago I started taking high doses of B vitamins to help prevent migraines. It worked, but about eight years ago I began having twitching all over, but mostly in my lower legs. I was tested for MS... (Read More)
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Q. People are concerned about BPA (bisphenol A), phthalates, and other possibly harmful chemicals in plastic containers. Instead of trying to use the "safest" kinds of plastic containers (recycling numbers 2, 4, 5), I bought glass storage containers and stopped... (Read More)
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Q. My grandmother was given Seroquel in the hospital to help her sleep. She has been on it for three months now and I have noticed symptoms such as slight head nodding and mouth movements like chewing or sucking. She... (Read More)
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Q. Last fall my doctor prescribed atorvastatin (Lipitor), and after several months I found I was having trouble remembering names and coming up with the right word. At dinner once I said "please pass the elephant" though I wanted the... (Read More)
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Q. I have been breastfeeding my baby for seven months and have suffered through recurring infections with Candida albicans. The antifungal pill fluconazole worked but I needed a very high dose. That worries me. I'm interested in a more natural... (Read More)
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Q. I was given a prescription for lisinopril last year to lower my blood pressure. During the winter I developed a constant horrible dry cough that just wouldn't go away. One day at work I started coughing and couldn't stop.... (Read More)
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Q. I was addicted to eating cornstarch for ten years. Then I was hospitalized for an unrelated problem and got a blood transfusion. My doctor also put me on iron and potassium supplements, and my cornstarch cravings completely disappeared. Other... (Read More)
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Q. I have suffered from sharp pains in my feet diagnosed as peripheral neuropathy. I heard on your radio show that a supplement called benfotiamine might help. I tried it and feeling has returned and the pain is gone. Thanks!... (Read More)
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Q. My husband is suffering seizures after being forced to switch to generic levetiracetam (Keppra). I can buy the brand for $735.00 per month, but at 62 years of age we can't afford to spend this much every month. I... (Read More)
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Q. I am taking niacin 1000 mg to improve my good cholesterol. I get a hot flash about 20 minutes later that lasts about 15 minutes. Is this normal? My doctor recommended niacin since the bad LDL cholesterol is fine... (Read More)
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Q. I have had toenail fungus for more than 37 years. I started using a light sprinkle of foot powder containing cornstarch with zinc in my shoes and socks when I go for my daily walk. This week I noticed... (Read More)
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Q. I searched the Internet looking for ways to help my husband get some sleep and not cough all night. Ever since his radiation therapy for vocal cord cancer, he has coughed at night. After applying Vicks VapoRub to his... (Read More)
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Q. I read your column about using xylitol spray to ease symptoms of nasal congestion and sinusitis. Please warn your readers that xylitol is very toxic to dogs. A friend's dog got into a pack of sugar-free chewing gum sweetened... (Read More)
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Q. I am 23 years old and having terrible trouble with constipation. I can go for a week without a bowel movement even though I am choking down gobs of fiber. When I finally do go, it can be very... (Read More)
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Q. I am 55 and have been taking fluticasone nasal spray year round for allergies since about ten years ago. (I live in California and something is always blooming.) I was having vision problems recently, and the ophthalmologist I saw... (Read More)