Essential medications for Y2KQ. I am worried about the Y2K...

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

August 15, 1999|By Joe Graedon, and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon, and Teresa Graedon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Essential medications for Y2K

Q. I am worried about the Y2K problem and how it might affect my access to essential anti-seizure medicine. How can I stock up a three-month supply?

My physician doesn't think there will be a problem and tells me not to worry. My insurance company only pays for a 30-day supply, so it is not likely to pay for three months. Do you think I can appeal this unfair rule?

A. We have consulted a leading authority on pharmacy policy. He believes that as long as people do not hoard medicine, there will not be a supply problem. On the other hand, if people begin stocking up, they could create an artificial scarcity.

It is unlikely that insurance companies will waive their 30-day policies, as they would not want to contribute to this problem.

Q. Is it true that Preparation H ointment will make puffiness and wrinkles disappear from the face if applied every day?

A. Many years ago, Preparation H contained live yeast cell derivative (LYCD) in addition to shark liver oil. This hemorrhoid treatment developed a reputation for healing wounds and smoothing wrinkles.

The FDA decided that the benefits of LYCD were inadequately documented, so the manufacturer had to reformulate Preparation H. The product now contains petroleum jelly, mineral oil, shark liver oil and the topical decongestant phen-ylephrine. We do not know whether these ingredients will do anything for wrinkles. The maker of Preparation H has never promoted this use.

Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of The Sun, 510 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278 or e-mail them via their Web site (www.peoplespharmacy.com).

King Features Syndicate

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