Want to try a new supplement? Check with your pharmacist

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 05:13:25 AM. DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 95 years old, and have been suffering from a very painful case of shingles. I take many medicines for pain, and for high blood pressure
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 95 years old, and have been suffering from a very painful case of shingles. I take many medicines for pain, and for high blood pressure and glaucoma. My health-food store advertises a natural cure for shingles, and I wonder if it would interact with the medications I take. — J.H. ANSWER: As far as I know, there is no cure for shingles, natural or otherwise. There are treatments to help alleviate the pain, but pain following a shingles infection can last for months, years or, in some cases, a lifetime. Standard medical treatments for the pain following shingles include drugs that work on pain fibers — antidepressant medicines like amitriptyline, and anti-epilepsy medicines like gabapentin (Neurontin). A natural extract of hot peppers, capsaicin, can be applied to the painful area, and this is successful in some people. I have read about numerous other putative treatments, such as olive leaf extract, but couldn’t find any reliable information on their effectiveness. Your best resource for checking interactions between your medicines and any supplements is your pharmacist, but he or she will need the exact name of the treatment you are considering. DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you wrote about low body temperature. I am 66, and my temperature has always been 95 to 96. That being so, what would a high temperature reading be for me? Should I be concerned with a temp of 98 or 99? – M.K. ANSWER: There isn’t a precise answer to your question. It is true...Read more
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