Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Joe & Terry Graedon answer questions about sanitizing stethoscopes, vitamin D-3 supplements and Tums as a calcium supplement.

Q: I recently have started using an e-cigarette. It has dramatically cut down my smoking of traditional cigarettes, plus there is no smoke smell or residue on clothing or furniture.

Q: Doctors rarely if ever tell patients about sexual side effects of medication. A case in point is the prostate-shrinking medication finasteride.

I tried swishing Pepto-Bismol around in my mouth before going to bed. The result was unbelievable.

Q: I work in the pharmaceutical industry and find your articles on statin side effects scare people unnecessarily. You fail to mention the benefits of lowering cholesterol. Patient stories do not qualify as evidence.

I got canker sores when there was sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in the toothpaste. As soon as I switched to toothpaste without SLS, the mouth sores went away.

Q: Last year, I was hospitalized after lying dehydrated in the ER for 18 hours while waiting for a room. I was admitted with the wrong diagnosis and given the wrong treatment (which included a broad-spectrum antibiotic). Then I was discharged with a C. diff infection.

Q: I have a chronic case of hives. When I was first diagnosed seven weeks ago, I was given a steroid shot and a six-pack of prednisone and told to take Benadryl at night and Zyrtec during the day. My doctor sent me to a dermatologist, who said I need to be on steroids at triple the dose.

Q: I would like to comment on the question of drugs sitting in mailboxes in cold weather. When I worked at a major chain drugstore in West Virginia years ago, I remember receiving a pint bottle of a liquid medication that was frozen as solid as a rock.

Q: I am a 63-year-old male who competes at the national level in masters bodybuilding. My doctor had me take Crestor for one month, and my total cholesterol went from 260 to 189. Sounds good, right?

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Joe and Terry Graedon
Joe and Terry Graedon are authors of The People's Pharmacy book and host an award-winning health talk show on public radio.