Are anti-anxiety agents and sleeping pills making us stupid? That is a question that is giving some scientists nightmares.
More and more evidence suggests that long-term use of PPIs is bad for health. I’ve read they contribute to osteoporosis, C. diff, pneumonia, vitamin deficiencies and other problems. There are 30 million people in the USA taking these drugs long term. It is an epidemic. How can we change this?
Q. I know two senior citizens (in their 70s) who had misadventures with surgical anesthesia. They are both rapidly losing their short-term memory. Do specific anesthesia drugs cause this in genetically susceptible individuals? Or would this result from a lack of sufficient oxygen during surgery or its aftermath?
Q. My 7-year-old child had not had a seizure in four years. Her epilepsy has been controlled with Keppra and the ketogenic diet. Recently, she was switched to levetiracetam, the generic form of Keppra, and now the seizures have returned. ... How can I get the pharmacy to dispense name-brand Keppra?
Q. I was recently prescribed tramadol for pain from a bad hip. (There is probably surgery in my future.) I ended up with hallucinations. Ghostlike people were floating along next to my shoulder.
Q. I had no end of trouble with cheilitis for several years. Eventually, a very practical allergist suspected the benzones in lip sunblocks could be causing the irritation of my lips.
Q. I have bowel movements that are so large, they clog the toilet. I am not constipated and eat my share of fruits and vegetables. This is not a big deal at home, since I have a plunger in the bathroom to deal with the plumbing problem.
Q. I am a healthy, 53-year-old man with high cholesterol. I take atorvastatin to keep it under control.
Q. I am a 56-year-old woman recovering from a stroke. Although my general health was very good, I had long used NSAIDs to ease the pain and inflammation of chronic injuries from 35 years of teaching classical ballet.
Q. I have had restless leg syndrome for as long as I can remember. I've been on a lot of different medications that did not work.
Q. Yesterday, my next-door neighbor (a nurse in our local monster-size hospital) vented aggressively about doctors she witnesses moving from patient to patient without washing their hands or wearing gloves. According to her, MRSA and C. diff infections are rampant at this hospital.
Q. I have two daughters, ages 6 and 11. My oldest daughter brought home head lice, and it was a nightmare. Over-the-counter lice shampoos did nothing.
Q. Reading your column provided me with life-changing information. I am now 56. As a child and into my late teens, I endured chronic belly pain. Despite many tests through the years, no diagnosis was established.
Q. I have been reading about the advantages of a ketogenic diet to lose weight and control blood sugar. I tried this in the past. I lost fat and felt healthy, but I had horrible acetone-smelling breath. This was even mentioned in my student evaluations -- not a good thing for a professor. Is there any way to avoid this?