Dr Penny Adams an­swers your health con­cerns


Good Health Choices - - Content -

‘There may be com­pelling rea­sons for you to con­tinue’

I would like to stop tak­ing my an­tide­pres­sant med­i­ca­tion but when­ever I miss a tablet, I get very

dizzy. Is this nor­mal?

AIt is ex­tremely im­por­tant you dis­cuss your de­sire to stop your med­i­ca­tion with your doc­tor – there may be com­pelling rea­sons for you to con­tinue your an­tide­pres­sant or your doc­tor may want to switch you to a dif­fer­ent one. If it is

ap­pro­pri­ate to try stop­ping your an­tide­pres­sant, you may ex­pe­ri­ence ‘dis­con­tin­u­a­tion syn­drome’. Dizzi­ness is a symp­tom of this, as are sleep dis­tur­bances, headaches, nausea and ag­i­ta­tion.

Grad­ual ta­per­ing off of the med­i­ca­tion usu­ally sig­nif­i­cantly de­creases the symp­toms of dis­con­tin­u­a­tion syn­drome. If some

symp­toms still oc­cur, they will set­tle within a cou­ple of days.

When I take my con­tra­cep­tive pill, is it okay to skip my pe­riod by miss­ing the su­gar tablets?

AWomen have been run­ning pill pack­ets to­gether for decades to skip pe­ri­ods and many ex­perts now ad­vise you take your OCP (oral con­tra­cep­tive pill) this way. One op­tion is to take the ac­tive OCP tablets con­tin­u­ously un­til you get break­through bleed­ing for 3 days, have a break for 4 days then re-start your ac­tive OCP tablets. This is the ‘men­stru­ally sig­naled method’ for tak­ing the OCP. It makes it more re­li­able and you have fewer pe­ri­ods.

I’ve re­cently been di­ag­nosed with polycystic ovary syn­drome (PCOS). A glu­cose tol­er­ance test showed I don’t have di­a­betes but I have raised in­sulin lev­els. My GP wants me to take med­i­ca­tion any­way. Why is this?

AOne of the com­pli­ca­tions of PCOS is de­vel­op­ing di­a­betes. The stage be­fore full-blown di­a­betes is im­paired glu­cose tol­er­ance (IGT), which leads to el­e­vated lev­els of in­sulin in the blood. The drug Met­formin makes your body more sen­si­tive to in­sulin and im­proves glu­cose tol­er­ance. It can also de­crease an­dro­gen lev­els (that cause ex­cess hair and acne as­so­ci­ated with PCOS), in­crease ovu­la­tion and re­store reg­u­lar pe­ri­ods. It should be taken by all women with PCOS and IGT.

What is the best treat­ment for dog and cat bites?

AFor ex­ten­sive bites with lots of tis­sue dam­age or blood loss, call an am­bu­lance im­me­di­ately. For mi­nor bites where the skin is bro­ken, clean the wound with soapy wa­ter and then see your GP. You need to check your tetanus sta­tus and will of­ten need to have a course of an­tibi­otics. Cat bites are more likely to be­come in­fected than dog bites (hu­man bites are the most likely to be­come in­fected!). If you are over­seas, con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity of ra­bies and seek ur­gent med­i­cal ad­vice.

met­formin can in­crease ovu­la­tion and re­store reg­u­lar pe­ri­ods

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