Is it true that buying prescription medicines from Canada is illegal? I have seen ads for online pharmacies based in Canada, and I am desperate to save money on my drugs. I spend well over $100 a month that I cannot afford.
If I were to purchase my medicine using the Internet, what is the likelihood I would be caught? Does the Food and Drug Administration monitor the mail and send police if you import glaucoma medicine?
This sounds ridiculous, but I don't want to go to jail. Haven't politicians taken busloads of people across the border to buy their medicine? Are they all criminals?
It is illegal to buy prescription medicines from a foreign country. If someone has a serious condition for which effective treatment might not be available in the United States, a person can legally bring in a 90-day supply of medication. If the medicine is already available in this country, however, the FDA says you can't buy it abroad just to save money.
Neither the FDA nor the U.S. Customs Service is arresting busloads of senior citizens as they return from Canada or Mexico with medicine. Tech-nically, they are criminals because they are breaking the law. We agree that this is ridiculous. In our opinion, politicians should change the law or provide prescription drug coverage.
My husband is diabetic and takes Glucophage for sugar control, Lipitor to lower cholesterol and Coumadin because he has atrial fibrillation. The Cou-madin makes our lives extremely complicated.
His diabetic diet is already restrictive, but his doctor says he's not supposed to eat more than half a cup of salad or vegetables a day. Otherwise, it throws his clotting time off. I want to give him vitamins, but that interferes with the Coumadin, too. We've lost friends because of internal hemorrhaging caused by Coumadin.
We're also confused about grapefruit. They're just coming into season, and they make a wonderful dessert for a diabetic. But we've heard it might not be safe with Lipitor.
Coumadin is complicated because it interacts with so many foods, herbs and other medicines. Your husband doesn't need to restrict his vegetable intake, but he should keep his vitamin K consumption as constant as possible. His doctor should continue to test his blood every week.
Grapefruit increases blood levels of Lipitor. This could lead to increased risk of side effects such as muscle weakness, pain or even nerve damage. There are cholesterol medicines that are not affected by grapefruit, so if his doctor agrees to change his prescription, he won't need to give up grapefruit.
When I apply Nair cream for facial hair to my jaw line, chin and neck, it works wonders. But is it true that using a depilatory will encourage the hairs to grow back faster?
Neither shaving nor using a depilatory cream will make hair grow faster. You might notice the first bit of growth more as it pokes up out of the skin, though. The same amount of growth on longer hair is less noticeable.
Vaniqa is a prescription cream that also reduces facial hair growth in women. You might discuss this option with your doctor.
I have been taking the antidepressant Zoloft for four months, and my doctor wants me to stick with it. He keeps increasing the dose so it will relieve my depression, but it hasn't done so yet.
It has made me jittery and anxious. I have gained 5 pounds, and my cholesterol is climbing. Does it make sense to keep taking an antidepressant that isn't working? Is there a natural alternative?
There are many other antidepressant medications that could be prescribed and some lifestyle approaches, such as regular vigorous exercise, that are surprisingly effective.
Recent research, published in last month's edition of Archives of General Psychiatry, indicates that an essential fatty acid found in fish oil (EPA) can alleviate depression that persists despite prescription antidepressants. British researchers gave such patients either EPA or placebo for 12 weeks. Those taking 1 gram of EPA daily did significantly better with depression, anxiety and sleep. Discuss your concerns and this research with your doctor.
I've heard deep vein thrombosis referred to as economy-class syndrome because of the cramped seating on planes. I'm here to say that sitting in first class doesn't make you immune.
I was traveling to Europe last month when I experienced a painful blood clot in my left leg. For business reasons, I need to return to Europe again. Is there anything I can do to reduce my risk of this problem?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is not restricted to economy class, though cramped seating that discourages people from standing up or stretching can contribute. Blood clots can form deep in the legs even when a person is driving a car or sitting at a computer terminal for hours at a time. If such clots break loose and lodge in the lungs, they can cause serious, even life-threatening damage.
To prevent such clots, exercise your leg muscles periodically, wear compression medical hosiery, drink lots of liquids and avoid alcohol. Because you are at increased risk for another clot, ask your doctor whether aspirin or an anticoagulant would be advisable for your next trip.