People's Pharmacy

People's Pharmacy

August 25, 2006|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,PeoplesPharmacy.com

I am highly susceptible to mosquito bites and often get a dozen bites in the same time frame that others get one. I have tried many remedies to prevent the bites, such as natural insect repellants and vitamin B. I am still "fresh bait."

Years ago, someone told me to rub hydrogen peroxide as soon as possible on the bites. Doing this alleviates the pain from the stings and itching within minutes.

We heard from another reader that Listerine can keep mosquitoes away: "I have been using Listerine as an insect repellant and wonder if other readers have tried it. ... I just wipe it on with a gauze pad, and it works for me!"

We cannot imagine why hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) would relieve the pain and itch of mosquito bites. This familiar wound cleanser foams on contact with abraded skin. We're glad this simple solution helps.

Nicotine replacement therapies such as Nicorette gum are meant to be used on a temporary basis to help smokers quit. What are the effects of continuing to chew nicotine gum beyond the recommended 12 weeks? (A person I know has been chewing it for years.)

It can be hard to give up nicotine, whether in cigarettes or chewing gum. Nicorette gum is fairly safe but can cause side effects such as nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, headache or heart palpitations.

Gradually reducing the amount of Nicorette may ease withdrawal. Using a nicotine patch instead might help.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them via their Web site: PeoplesPharmacy.com.

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