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Cold & Flu

I think I have the flu. Do I need to start taking antibiotics?
No, you do not need antibiotics. Flu is not caused by bacteria. You need to rest and drink plenty of fluids. To treat the symptoms of the flu, you may try Robitussin DM for cough, Tylenol or Advil for body aches and fever, and lozenges for a sore throat.

What can I take for a persistent dry cough?
With a dry cough, try a cough suppressant containing dextromethorphan. You may try Robitussin DM or Delsym Syrup. If you have diabetes, you can take Safetussin or Cerose DM.

My 8-year-old child has a fever. How much Advil liquid do I give? She weighs 55 pounds.
She may take 2 teaspoonfuls of Children's Advil liquid every 6 to 8 hours.

Digestive Problems

What can I take for heartburn after eating a spicy meal?
You may try taking antacids, such as Mylanta or Maalox. Directions are on the back of the bottle.

What can I take for chronic constipation? I've taken some medicines before that gave me stomach cramps.
Eat a high-fiber diet, particularly fruits and vegetables. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids per day. If you still have constipation, you may try a stool softener -- such as DOS, at 100mg or 250mg per day -- which is more gentle to your system than some other medications.

What can I take for diarrhea?
Drink fluids with electrolytes, such as Gatorade and PowerAde. You may try Imodium AD or Pepto-Bismol as directed on the bottle. If diarrhea continues, see a physician. Be sure to call your pediatrician if your child has severe or persistent diarrhea.

What do I take for gas?
You may take products containing simethicone. To help you avoid flatulence in the future, you may try eating slowly, avoiding carbonated drinks, and exercising regularly. You may also try using products such as Beano before eating offending foods.

What will help with hemorrhoids?
If you have an "outty," the best is to use a hemorrhoidal cream with hydrocortisone. If you have an "inny," you can use either suppositories or a cream containing hydrocortisone. If you want soothing relief, you may apply Tucks or Americaine.

Other Conditions

I've had a headache all day. I took two Extra-Strength Tylenol two hours ago. What else can I take?
You may try taking two Advil tablets. However, take it with a meal because this may upset your stomach. If you have had an ulcer in the past, you should not take Advil.

What can I take to avoid getting seasick?
Many nonprescription medicines, such as Bonine, Dramamine, and Antivert, effectively prevent seasickness when taken 30 to 60 minutes before you embark. Transderm-Scop, available only by prescription, is a topical patch you must apply 4 hours before your trip. The patch is good for three days.

What do I do to treat dandruff?
Use a shampoo containing selenium sulfide, or a tar-based shampoo, as directed. If dandruff is persistent, you may need to seek the advice of your doctor.

My eyes feel irritated and dry all the time. What can I do?
You may try artificial tears. If your eyes are mainly irritated in the morning, use a lubricating ointment at bedtime.

When I'm traveling, I have trouble going to sleep. Is there anything I can take?
You should avoid products containing caffeine, such as soda and coffee, late in the afternoon. You may try a natural remedy, such as melatonin. Otherwise, you may take a Benadryl 25mg capsule before going to bed.

I want to take a diet pill to lose weight. What is the best product on the market?
Start by eating healthier foods which are low in fat, high-in-fiber, and high in complex carbohydrates. Start aerobic exercise, and seek support from a weight-loss program or friends and family members if needed. If you are not successful, you may want to seek a physician's advice about prescription medications.

What do I use to remove earwax?
You may use ear products such as Debrox and Murine Ear. Follow the directions on the box.

My child came home with a note that she has head lice. Is there any nonprescription medication?
Effective over-the-counter products include Nix, A-200, and RID. Use as directed on the box. Try not to let the medication come in contact with the mucous membranes (nose and mouth). Itching, redness, or swelling of the scalp may occur; notify a physician if irritation persists. All linens and personal items such as combs and brushes must be cleaned to prevent re-infestation. A second application may be necessary after seven days or more.

What do you recommend for menstrual cramps?
Menstrual cramps can be relieved by products containing ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Vitamin & Supplement Questions

What does RDA mean on a vitamin label?
Recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are levels that the National Academy of Sciences has determined help maintain good nutrition in most healthy people. The RDA for vitamins is different throughout life. However, vitamin requirements differ for infants, children, and adults; for men and women, and for pregnant or breastfeeding women. They also can change if you are taking certain medications, so you should let your doctor and/or pharmacist know about any vitamin supplements you take regularly.

What can I do to prevent osteoporosis as I get older?
You can start by supplementing your diet with 800mg to 1500mg of calcium, and 400 IU of vitamin D per day. You should speak to your physician about hormone replacement therapy. You should also modify your lifestyle to include physical exercise three times a week, and avoid excessive consumption of soft drinks, which have high phosphate contents.

I've been very tired lately and I think I need to take vitamins. What should I take?
You may supplement your diet with a daily multivitamin. You should also make sure to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Can I take my blood pressure medications with vitamins? I usually take one multivitamin every morning.
You can take multivitamins daily with most blood pressure medications

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