People's Pharmacy

People's Pharmacy

April 06, 2007|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,

I have a comment regarding the woman whose sex drive doesn't match her husband's. Perhaps a better balance in household duties would create a better balance in their sex drives.

She is exhausted from working all week and doing all the cooking, cleaning and child care. No wonder she doesn't have the energy.

You weren't the only one to react to the letter from the woman who felt overwhelmed by her husband's sex drive. Here is another reader's perspective:

"I read with interest the letter from the woman who wrote about her husband's high sex drive and her low one. Maybe her sex drive would improve if she came home from work, put her feet up and perhaps took a bath while her husband did the laundry and cooked dinner and then cleaned up the kitchen. But by then her husband would be asleep.

"She should get a checkup as you suggested, but I think the woman is just exhausted. When you are exhausted, the last thing you want is sex."

My husband is taking a lot of medicines, including Lipitor and niacin for cholesterol, atenolol for high blood pressure, prednisone for pain and Zoloft for depression.

He is having memory problems, as well as a lot of muscle weakness, pain and lack of energy. His balance is not good, and his doctor has diagnosed peripheral neuropathy. Could any of these problems be side effects from his medicine?

We cannot diagnose your husband's difficulties. Nevertheless, we have heard from hundreds of readers that statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs may cause memory loss, as well as muscle pain and weakness. Depression and nerve problems such as peripheral neuropathy might also be drug related.

The combination of niacin and a statin-type drug such as Lipitor might increase the risk of a serious reaction called rhabdomyolysis. Your husband's doctor should be informed of his symptoms. Your husband also should ask his doctor about atenolol; its effectiveness as a blood pressure-lowering drug is controversial, and it may sometimes cause fatigue and depression.

I am tired of people writing about Ambien and its supposed bad effects. I have been taking this sleeping pill for a long time, and I think it is wonderful. Not only is it relaxing, it does not produce morning hangovers. I think it is the best sleeping pill I have ever taken.

Many people use Ambien with no serious side effects. Like you, they get a great night's sleep and feel refreshed in the morning.

There are others, however, who have experienced disturbing reactions such as sleepwalking, sleep-eating or sleep-driving. That is why the Food and Drug Administration has issued a new warning for Ambien and other sleeping pills. Since it is impossible to predict who will experience trouble, everyone needs to be alert for strange behavior.

Is it true that Preparation H helps wrinkles on the face?

Decades ago, Hollywood starlets were reputed to use the hemorrhoid cream Preparation H on their faces to smooth out wrinkles. The shark liver oil and live yeast cell derivative (LYCD) the product contained might have had some benefit. We'll never know for sure.

Preparation H has been reformulated. It no longer contains LYCD. As a result, any reports about its power against wrinkles and other skin problems are probably no longer relevant.

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:

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