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I pulled my back lifting some luggage this morning. I iced it and it feels better but still hurts. Which pain killer is best for me?

Of the three over the counter NSAIDs (acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen), ibuprofen has the best antiinflammatory properties. Ibuprofen is sold as generic or brand name Motrin or Advil. It not only decreases pain but it is superior to aspirin and tylenol in decreasing swelling as well. Therefore, for muscle injuries, ibuprofen would be the better . . . → Read More: I pulled my back lifting some luggage this morning. I iced it and it feels better but still hurts. Which pain killer is best for me?

For the last couple of days my husband has been sleeping more and acted more tired. He hasn’t been sick and we haven’t done anything different but he’s been on depakote for many years to control his seizures. Last week, the doctor increased his dose to 1000 mg taken 3 times a day. That is the only pill he is taking. Could him taking more Depakote cause him to be more tired or is something else going on?

One of the common side effects of Depakote (divalproex sodium) is somnolence (excessive tiredness, sleepiness, etc). This is due to the depletion of L-Carnitine which can readily be replaced. However, one of the more rare but more deadly side effects of Depakote is heptatoxicity leading to high blood levels of ammonia which causes confusion, delirium, . . . → Read More: For the last couple of days my husband has been sleeping more and acted more tired. He hasn’t been sick and we haven’t done anything different but he’s been on depakote for many years to control his seizures. Last week, the doctor increased his dose to 1000 mg taken 3 times a day. That is the only pill he is taking. Could him taking more Depakote cause him to be more tired or is something else going on?

I had a few polyps removed on my last coloscopy. When should I be getting my next one?

After a polypectomy, the next step in surveillance depends on the amount of polyps removed and what type of polyps they were: If the polyp was benign, then follow-up is with a standard colonoscopy in 5-10 years. If a single subcentimeter tubular adenoma was discovered and removed. A repeat colonoscopy is warranted at 5 years . . . → Read More: I had a few polyps removed on my last coloscopy. When should I be getting my next one?

Women who take Accutane cannot become pregnant because of birth defects. What about men? Do we need to wear condoms? Does our girlfriend need to be on birth control? Does Accutane get into the sperm?

Only women are required to be on contraception to prevent pregnancy when on Accutane (isoretinoin). Accutane can be found in the semen of male patients but its concentration is about 100,000 times less than a standard oral dose. In addition, the actual amount absorbed by a female partner would be about a 1,000,000 times less . . . → Read More: Women who take Accutane cannot become pregnant because of birth defects. What about men? Do we need to wear condoms? Does our girlfriend need to be on birth control? Does Accutane get into the sperm?

My brother had a stent put in and he doesn’t have symptoms anymore. He works at a desk job. How long should he expect to be home before he can return to work?

After stent placement, most asymptomatic patients should be able to return to work 1-3 weeks after the procedure. Those patients with physically strenuous or high stress jobs should wait longer. Your doctor must verify that your heart has no lingering defects with imaging studies (echocardiograms) and EKGs. As each case is individual, your brother should . . . → Read More: My brother had a stent put in and he doesn’t have symptoms anymore. He works at a desk job. How long should he expect to be home before he can return to work?