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November 14, 2006     Cape Gazette
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November 14, 2006

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!t all H[ IIISiiJOillillPi PHt raBBet |llLILq ...... 32 - CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, November 14 - Thursday, November 16, 2006 Can erection drugs cause sinus problems? Q.: I have taken both Viagra and Cialis. They work well, but I do get sinus-pressure headaches when I take these drugs. I feel this has contributed to sinus infections that have required lengthy courses of antibiotics. Is this possible? A." Nasal stuffiness is a relative- ly common reaction to drugs for erectile dysfunction like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. People who experience chronic congestion may develop an infection and sinusitis as a consequence. Please discuss this issue with your physician. There are other ways to treat erectile dysfunction. Check prescriptions Q.: You have suggested that people should check prescriptions carefully to avoid pharmacy errors. HOW many people read Latin? Why aren't prescriptions written in English7 Start a cru- sade! A.: We have been campaigning against Latin abbreviations in pre- scriptions for nearly 30 years. There is no excuse for physicians to use this archaic system in the 21st century. This idea makes some doctors angry, though. One took us to task after we wrote a column calling for prescriptions to be written in legible English: "You do not have a right to tell us to change the stan- dard format in which pharmacists provide service to physicians by saying that we should change the way prescriptions are written and have been forever. Pharmacists are here to serve, not to instruct." Despite this objection, the lead- ing pharmacology textbook used in medical schools is clear: "The directions to the patient should always be written in English. The use of Latin abbreviations serves no useful purpose." Nutrient for side effects Q.: I have had weakness in my arms and legs, pain in my back, aching arms, loss of memory and fatigue. I have not been able to play golf for more than two years, and I totally lost the quality of life I enjoyed prior to undergoing angioplasty and starting on Lipitor. If there is to be a class-action 'suit, I would like to be included. Your article helped me understand the pain and suffering I have endured. A.: Millions of people are able to take cholesterol-lowering drugs like atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvas- tatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor) without complications. But some experi- ence debilitating muscle, nerve or joint pain, weakness, skin rash or memory problems. The nutrient Coenzyme QIO may help counteract some of these side effects. You can learn more about how to use it and alternative ways to control cholesterol in our new book, "Best Choices From The People's Pharmacy" (Rodale Books). We cannot offer legal advice, though. Several lawsuits have been filed claiming deceptive mar- keting of statins. What is drug's shelf life? Q.: Do nitroglycerin heart tablets lose their potency once the bottle is opened for the first use, or can I go by the expiration date on the bottle? I have gotten conflict- ing answers from my doctors and my pharmacist. I'm not sure what to believe. A." Nitroglycerin evaporates easily, which is why these pills should never be left out in the Joe and Teresa Graedon the open or in a plastic pillbox. Store them in the original amber glass bottle with the cap screwed down tightly. If there is cotton in the bottle, take it out and throw it away, as it can absorb the medicine. If you replace the cap firmly as soon as you remove a pill, you should be able to rely on the expiration date on the label. Editor's note: Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is a medical anthropolo- gist. Write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019, or via their website at www.peoplesphar- PEOPLE'S PHARMACY i Dr. Pankaj Sanwal of RAINBOW PEDIATRICS proudly welcomes Dr. Vibha Sanwal, MD, FAAP starting December 21, 2006 and announces the opening of a second location on December 1st at 16391 Savannah Road, Lewes. Dr. Vibha Sanwal, Board Certified Pediatrician currently with Nemours Pediatrics (an affiliate of DuPont Children's Hospital), will be welcoming new patients. Dr. Vibha Sanwal will be seeing patients at both locations, Lewes and Georgetown. All major medical insurances, including Medicaid, welcome. Evening, weekend appointments available. P/ease call for an appointment. 21141 Sterling Ave., Unit I 16391 Savannah Road Geoqletown, DE Lewes, DE 856-6967, Fax 855-0744 856-6967, Fax 645-6457 AVAILABLE! OPEN Vaccine) Combo)