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maria_rn
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I live in eastern Finland. I am a nurse and a freelance medical writer. I love nature photography, Formula 1 and traveling.

The side effects of anticonvulsants are often specific to the particular drug being taken, but some common effects are can be dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, weight gain, hormonal changes, photo-sensitivity, memory and liver function, and blood platelet abnormalities.

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Safety Issues

Ginseng appears to be nontoxic, both in the short- and long-term, according to the results of studies in mice, rats, chickens, and dwarf pigs. 1 2 3 Reported side effects are rare. There are a few case reports of breast tenderness, postmenopausal vaginal bleeding, and menstrual abnormalities associated with Panax ginsenguse. 4 5 6 7 Such side effects suggest that it has estrogenic properties. However, a large double-blind trial of Panax ginsengfound no estrogen-like effects. 8 Another double-blind trial found no effects on estrogen or testosterone, 9 and a carefully designed test-tube study showed that ginseng is not estrogenic. 10 Therefore, it is possible that these apparent side effects were coincidental; another possibility is that adulterants in the ginseng product used caused the problem. Ginseng and other Asian herbal products have often been found to contain unlisted herbs and pharmaceuticals. 11 Estrogen itself stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells. Interestingly, in a test-tube study, Panax ginsengwas again found to be non-estrogenic, and yet it nonetheless stimulated the growth of breast cancer cells. 12 Although the mechanism of this effect is not known, the results suggest that women who have had breast cancer should avoid using ginseng.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that highly excessive doses of Panax ginsengcan cause insomnia, raise blood pressure, increase heart rate, and possibly cause other significant effects. Whether some of these cases were actually caused by caffeine mixed in with ginseng remains unclear. One double-blind study failed to find any effect on blood pressure. 13 One case report and one double-blind trial suggest that Panax ginsengcan reduce the anticoagulant effects of Coumadin (warfarin), 14 but another trial failed to find such an interaction. 15 The reason for this discrepancy is not clear, but prudence would nonetheless suggest not combining ginseng and warfarin.

Two reports indicate that combination treatment with Panax ginsengand antidepressant drugs may result in a manic episode. 16 There are also theoretical concerns regarding use of ginseng by people with diabetes. If it is true, as the preliminary studies discussed above suggest, that ginseng can in fact reduce blood sugar levels, people with diabetes who take ginseng might need to reduce their dose of medication. On the other hand, if certain types of ginseng have the opposite effect (as researchers hypothesize), this could necessitate an increase in medication. The bottom line: people with diabetes should only use ginseng under physician supervision.

In 1979, an article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Associationclaiming that people can become addicted to Panax ginsengand develop blood pressure elevations, nervousness, sleeplessness, diarrhea, and hypersexuality. 17 However, this report has since been thoroughly discredited and should no longer be taken seriously. 18 Chinese tradition suggests that Panax ginsengshould not be used by pregnant or nursing mothers, and one animal study hints that ginseng use by a pregnant mother could cause birth defects. 19 Safety in young children or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.

Interactions You Should Know About

If you are taking:

  • Antidepressants: Panax ginsengmight cause manic episodes.
  • Insulin or oral hypoglycemics : Various forms of ginseng may unpredictably alter your dosage need.
  • Coumadin ( warfarin ): Panax ginsengmight possibly decrease its effect.
  • Influenza vaccine : Panax ginsengmight help it work better.
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Surgery is a treatment option if you're still experiencing considerable amount of back pain despite using medications and other non-surgical methods, and if your back pain symptoms result from conditions that can be corrected by surgery. Below are possible indications for surgery:

  • Herniated disc
  • Fractures of the spine and dislocations
  • Painful spondylolisthesis
  • Neurologic deficits caused by nerve compression or instability
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If drugs and other forms of back pain treatment fail to improve your condition, your doctor may suggest that you consider surgery. Surgery is usually the last resort for the treatment of back pain, except in cases of surgical emergency.

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What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

• If you are allergic to tartrazine, talk with healthcare provider. Some products contain tartrazine.

• If you have kidney disease, talk with healthcare provider.

• Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.

• Try to separate other medicines from this one by 2 hours. This medicine prevents absorption of many medicines.

• Do not take iron, zinc, or folic acid within 2 hours of this medicine.

• Limit alcohol intake (includes wine, beer, and liquor).

• Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.

What are some possible side effects of this medicine?

• Belly pain.

• Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.

• Constipation. More liquids, regular exercise, or a fiber-containing diet may help. Talk with healthcare provider about a stool softener or laxative.

Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

• If you suspect an overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency department immediately.

• Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

• Significant change in thinking clearly and logically.

• Severe nausea or vomiting.

• Severe constipation.

• Any rash.

• No improvement in condition or feeling worse.

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Calcium carbonate is available as tablets, lozenges, and liquid forms. These products must be taken exactly as directed. Calcium carbonate antacid can be taken with food or immediately after a meal. If you have symptoms at night, take the antacid before going to bed.

If you will take chewable tablets, you should chew the tablet thoroughly before swallowing so that it can produce rapid effects.

Usual Dose:

Dyspepsia: 300 to 8000 mg, taken by mouth in 2 to 4 divided doses.

Erosive esophagitis: 1250 to 3750 mg of calcium carbonate can be taken in 2 to 4 divided doses. GERD:1250 to 3750 mg daily, in 2 to 4 divided doses.

Calcium carbonate should not be taken for more than 2 weeks unless directed by a physician. Long-term and heavy use of any antacid can lead to many medical problems.

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Calcium carbonate is used for temporary relief of occasional indigestion and heartburn.

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Calcium carbonate is used for temporary relief of occasional indigestion and heartburn. Calcium carbonate is a compound that helps build strong bones and teeth. It is also the active ingredient of many commercially available antacids. It relieves the symptoms caused by hyperacidity by rapidly neutralizing the acid in the stomach

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Trade names: Maalox, Mylanta

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What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

• Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.

• Do not take other medicines within 1 hour of this medicine.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.

What are some possible side effects of this medicine?

• Abnormal taste. This is usually reversible.

• Constipation. More liquids, regular exercise, or a fiber-containing diet may help. Talk with healthcare provider about a stool softener or laxative.

Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

• If you suspect an overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency department immediately.

• Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

• Severe nausea or vomiting.

• Severe constipation.

• Unusual bruising or bleeding.

• Any rash.

• No improvement in condition or feeling worse.

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Aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide antacids come as chewable tablet and liquid forms to be taken by mouth. The tablets must be chewed thoroughly and should not be swallowed whole. Drink a full glass of water after taking the tablets. Shake the oral liquid well before each use to mix the medicine evenly. The liquid may be mixed with water or milk.

Follow the directions on the package label or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Maalox exactly as directed. Antacids should not be taken for more 2 weeks unless prescribed by the doctor.

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Aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide antacids are used for treating symptoms of GERD, indigestion, heartburn, and stomach or duodenal ulcers.

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