Untangling web about bleeding

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

October 11, 2007|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon

While I was cutting a mat from my dog's ear, I cut a little chunk off the tip of her ear accidentally, causing her to bleed quite a bit. My husband went outside and got some spider web. He put it over the injured part of the ear, and the blood started to clot around the web instantly.

Spider webs are a traditional remedy to stop bleeding. We don't recommend using them for humans, though. They are far from sterile and would have to be collected with care to make sure you didn't collect the spider along with the web.

There are a couple of other home remedies that might help. Ground black pepper and ground cayenne will both help a cut stop bleeding more quickly. Surprisingly, pepper doesn't hurt in most cases. Pharmacy solutions for bleeding include products such as QR Powder, QuikClot Sport or BloodSTOP.

I was rubbing some Vicks VapoRub on my daughter, and by accident I touched my nose after sneezing. A minuscule amount of it went into my nostril. Will this be harmful to me?

We have warned in the past about keeping Vicks VapoRub out of the nostrils, where it could be inhaled. The petrolatum base might then accumulate in the lungs and cause inflammation called chemical pneumonitis.

This caution is directed at the practice of deliberately daubing Vicks in the nose, as some people do. We doubt the minuscule amount that got into your nostril will cause you any harm.

My husband and I were both on Chantix to quit smoking. Neither of us has a history of depression, but after he was on it he tried (with no warning) to take his own life.

I tell everyone thinking about taking Chantix to make sure he or she talks to the doctor about all of the possible side effects. In rare instances, suicidal and psychotic episodes may happen.

Chantix (varenicline) is a relatively new oral prescription medicine to help people quit smoking. Separating drug side effects from nicotine withdrawal can be tricky.

When people quit smoking, it is not unusual to feel angry and irritable. Other symptoms may include anxiety, depression, impatience and problems concentrating.

Some readers have noted similar experiences to yours. One person reported: "Two weeks after being on Chantix, my emotions have been off the scale: from crying to yelling to feeling totally helpless. I have, twice before, quit smoking cold turkey and never felt so depressed.

"After 48 hours without Chantix, I am full of energy and ready to fulfill my responsibilities. I think, for me, that the depression must be a side effect and not just the nicotine withdrawal, based on my cold-turkey experiences."

I have reached the doughnut hole in my Medicare Part D plan, and my medications are costing me a fortune. I would like to know what online pharmacies could help me with the cost so I can afford my medications. At this point, I have had to quit taking three of my medications.

Not taking prescribed medicines could be dangerous to your health, so we suggest you discuss this problem with your doctor. Ask if your state or county provides assistance for seniors who can't afford their drugs.

Another possible option is to ask your doctor to help you apply for financial assistance from the drug manufacturer. You can find out more at helping patients.org.

Turmeric is the active ingredient in mustard. When I get leg cramps, I mix 1/4 teaspoon turmeric in 4 ounces of water and drink it down. Leg cramps subside in about one minute or less, faster than mustard, which I hate, and a whole lot more palatable.

Thanks for the tip. Some may find the taste of pure turmeric even more challenging than mustard, though.

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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