Q. After a friend told me that she had great success with testosterone cream, I asked my gynecologist about it. She prescribed a low-dose cream, and I have been using it for years.
I am happy with the results. I have more energy, better mood, a high sex drive, amazing orgasms and less body fat. My husband is happy because I’m happy, and our sex life is great. Why don’t more women know about this?
A. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved testosterone for women. The only way to get this topical medicine is with a prescription at a compounding pharmacy.
An oral medicine, Estratest, once was prescribed to treat symptoms of menopause. This is now only found as a generic pill, esterified estrogens with methyltestosterone. Like other estrogen-replacement pills, it carries a black box warning about endometrial cancer and cardiovascular complications.
Q. I’m 34 years old and drive a truck commercially for a living. The Department of Transportation requires us to have regular physicals. My blood pressure (145-155/80-85) has caused the doctors concern. They all urged me to lose weight, lower my salt intake and exercise regularly.
I lost 90 pounds and now eat 1,700 mg or less of sodium a day. I ride a stationary bike for 30-60 minutes every day and have a resting pulse of about 55 bpm.
My blood pressure is 145/78 at this very moment, even after living this lifestyle for two years. This is just who I am. Obviously, I’m healthier, but my efforts did nothing for my “high blood pressure.”
A. Congratulations! Losing weight and exercising regularly are among the most important steps you can take for good health.
Guidelines for physicians encourage people with blood pressure higher than 130/80 to implement lifestyle measure like yours. If that doesn’t work to lower blood pressure, doctors are supposed to prescribe antihypertensive drugs.
A new study, however, calls that advice into question (JAMA Internal Medicine, Oct. 29, 2018). British researchers reviewed the records of over 38,000 people with untreated blood pressure between 140/90 and 159/99. Half of these individuals were prescribed medications, while the other half were not. At the end of six years of follow-up, there was no difference in the rates of heart attack, stroke or death.
To learn more about the pros and cons of medications and nondrug ways to help control high blood pressure, you may wish to consult our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (71 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. B-67, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.
Q. I have osteoarthritis of the hips. My doctor prescribed meloxicam, which only works a little bit, so I don’t take it regularly.
I recently switched to another orthopedic surgeon who told me meloxicam is a narcotic. Is that true? Internet searches have not substantiated this claim, so I was hoping you could tell me. I do not want to take an opioid for my arthritis.
A. Meloxicam (Mobic) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). That means it is similar in its action to celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen or naproxen. It is definitely not a narcotic.
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