Q. I have been breast-feeding my baby for seven months and have suffered through recurring infections with Candida albicans. The antifungal pill fluconazole worked, but I needed a very high dose. That worries me. I’m interested in a more natural approach for this yeast infection. What are your thoughts on gentian violet?
A. Gentian violet is an old-fashioned topical treatment for fungal infections like thrush (Candida). One reader offered this advice: “Lactation consultants often recommend gentian violet for mothers who have yeast infections on their nipples. We have the mother put a little olive oil on the baby’s lips and cheeks, paint her nipples with gentian violet and nurse the baby. The mother will have two purple nipples, and the baby will have a purple mouth.”
Q. I was given a prescription for lisinopril last year to lower my blood pressure. During the winter, I developed a constant, horrible dry cough that just wouldn’t go away.
One day at work, I started coughing and couldn’t stop. It was so bad that the secretary called 911.
Various doctors tested me for sleep apnea (negative), throat polyps (negative), allergies (none) and lung function (normal). I couldn’t quit coughing.
On my own I dropped the lisinopril, and within a week my cough vanished. I am upset that I was put through so many expensive tests when the real problem was a common drug side effect.
A. Hundreds of readers have reported a similar experience with ACE-inhibitor blood pressure drugs. Some have lost bowel and bladder control from coughing so hard.
It is disappointing that you saw so many doctors who failed to correctly identify your cough as a common drug side effect.
Because blood pressure control is essential to prevent heart attacks and strokes, we are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment, which summarizes the pros and cons of medications and nondrug approaches. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (65 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.