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Reader asks about newsletter subscriptions

Updated: July 27, 2011 10:35AM

D ear Dr. Gott: I really enjoy your news column. I am interested in your newsletters and would like information and pricing on a yearly subscription.

Dear Reader: I do not offer a yearly subscription because I don’t offer monthly reports. For example, you may not be interested in vitamins and minerals but may want to learn more about hypertension. By selecting the specific category you are seeking, you will not be burdened by receiving something in which you have no interest and might choose to discard without even reading.

I update my Health Reports on a periodic basis. I was recently advised that the fulfillment center I used in the past, which by the way was a genuine dream to work with, was instructed to use all old reports in inventory and not to print new material until all old reports were used up. This will no longer be the case. I want to assure readers they will receive the newest information I have available when they log on to my site at and click on “Health Reports” to print out an order form for forwarding through the U.S. mail system. Orders should include a self-addressed stamped No. 10 envelope and a $2 check or money order for each report payable to Peter H. Gott, M.D., P.O. Box 433, Lakeville, CT 06039. They will be shipped within two days of receipt of the request if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope and the appropriate fee.

You bring up an interesting topic — informational literature and possible yearly subscriptions. This is something I had not previously considered but should, perhaps, give some serious thought to. Each month recognizes an awareness of such topics as diabetes, heart issues, breast cancer and a great deal more. For example, July is devoted to UV safety and juvenile-arthritis awareness. Piece of cake! The more I think about it, the more I like the idea, and I have you to thank. Look for this free monthly column, on my website only, starting July 1. Keep writing and, above all, keep reading.

Dear Dr. Gott: What results can I expect when taking 80 mg of Crestor and 1,200 mg of gemfibrozil on a daily basis?

Dear Reader: Crestor is a cholesterol-lowering statin drug that reduces low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides, the “bad” cholesterol, while increasing high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the “good” cholesterol. The drug is used to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack and to slow the process of atherosclerosis, which is narrowing of the arteries in patients with elevated cholesterol levels.

Side effects can include headache, nausea, constipation, abdominal and joint pain, yellowing of the skin and eyes, hives and more.

Dosing is commonly in the 5- to 40-mg range taken once daily. The higher dose should be considered only if a lesser amount is found ineffective.

Gemfibrozil, classified as a fibric-acid derivative, works along the same lines in reducing LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol, but is primarily used to lower triglycerides. Similarly, side effects include abdominal pain, indigestion and diarrhea. Less common side effects include blurred vision, depression, fever, chills, an irregular heartbeat, joint pain, headache, bruising, fatigue and still more.

Of significance is a double-blind controlled study of 2,046 patients that found gastrointestinal reactions in 34 percent of the individuals and symptoms of acid indigestion in almost 20 percent of those studied.

Dosing is in the range of 600-mg range taken orally twice daily, 30 minutes prior to meals.

I am unaware of your total cholesterol reading and its breakdown, nor do I know if other medical issues — primarily cardiac in nature — come in to play here. My guess is the 80 mg of Crestor should be more than sufficient, and adding the 1,200 mg of gemfibrozil would be the frosting on the cake, so to speak. The combination of both medications increases the risk of muscle pain and leg cramping, but I must defer to your physician or cardiologist who knows your complete history.

If the medications were prescribed by the same physician, you might question whether they are both necessary, although it is an acceptable combination for some patients. If two different doctors are involved, you should be sure they both are aware of what the other has ordered.

Readers who would like additional information on the subject can order my Health Report “Understanding Cholesterol” by sending a self-addressed stamped No. 10 envelope and a $2 check or money order made payable to Peter H. Gott, M.D., and mailed to P.O. Box 433, Lakeville, CT 06039. Be sure to mention the title or print an order form off my website’s direct link at—form.pdf.

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