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Ask Dr. Gott 7/21

Does Zoloft live up to the hype?

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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I read an article a few months ago in which you responded to a reader's question on depression. You said two things that totally didn't make any sense to me. You told the reader that Zoloft was a good medicine. A good medicine? It's proven that this drug causes more suicides in children and teens than any other antidepressant. It's even tied in with a few adult suicides.
    The reader asked if there were any natural things she could use for depression, and you said there wasn't. Hello! Did you ever hear of fish oil? I use it, and it works just as well, if not better, than the expensive prescription drugs you doctors write for us.
    I'm an EMT, so I know a few things about medication.
    DEAR READER: Thank you for your response, but I don't agree with your statements.
    First, although Zoloft can increase the risk of suicide in a small number of patients, its benefits outweigh its risks.
    Second, omega fish oil, which is an alternative medication to lower cholesterol levels, does not enjoy the reputation of being an antidepressant as well. The jury is still out on the effectiveness of St. John's Wort, an alternative nonprescription therapy.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Mental and Emotional Illness." Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092-0167. Be sure to mention the title.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: For a year or two, I had a wart-like thing growing along the side of my thumbnail. It extended from the top of my nail to the cuticle. I would often catch and tear it, and it would bleed. When I pared it off, it would grow back bigger.
    I recently scrubbed the tile grout in my kitchen with a bleach solution. I usually wear rubber gloves, but this time I didn't. Two weeks later, I noticed the warts were gone. I am delighted! I wonder if the bleach solution killed the wart virus. Whether it did or not, I do not have that ugly growth on my thumb anymore.
    Also, when I recently saw the advertisement for Lamisil ointment for rough heels, I decided to apply Vicks VapoRub to mine and noticed a difference in just two days. I had previously tried Bag Balm, going to bed with socks on, other ointments, pumice stones and appliances that rub the skin off, all to no avail.
    DEAR READER: The bleach probably killed the wart viruses. Continue the treatment as needed.
    I recently heard of a woman with an identical problem who used duct tape, and her warts disappeared. Imaginative, alternative treatments continue to astound me. I cannot always endorse them, but I can certainly pass them on for readers to consider.
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