Q: I am a clinical nurse specialist who has submitted 37 adverse-event reports to the Food and Drug Administration regarding generic lamotrigine. Most involved a loss of response, but many involved side effects that did not occur with brand-name Lamictal.
The FDA has acknowledged my reports but has not investigated them. When a generic for Lamictal first came on the market, I was enthusiastic. But after so many patients had serious relapses of their mood disorders or other bad experiences with several generic lamotrigine formulations, I am no longer enthusiastic.
Q: It seems living in the Pacific Northwest is a health hazard because of lack of vitamin D. Not only have I been diagnosed with low vitamin D, practically everyone else I know also has this problem. Many of my irritating but nonsubstantial symptoms went away after I got my vitamin D level up to normal. I wish doctors had found it years ago.
A: The sunshine vitamin might well be in short supply in a climate dominated by clouds and rain. Even people who live in sunny places can have low vitamin D levels, so getting tested is a very good idea.
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. http://www.peoplespharmacy.com