Dr Penny Adams answers your health concerns
DR PENNY ADAMS TALKS ANTI-DEPRESSANTS, THE LINK BETWEEN DIABETES AND POLYCYSTIC OVARIES, AND TREATING ANIMAL BITES
‘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