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Outlook 1/15/01

A bitter pill

MANY FORMER LOTRONEX USERS have been driven to despair as a result of Glaxo Wellcome's decision to withdraw Lotronex ["A Pill Turned Bitter," December 11]. Even with the knowledge of the "drug's dark side," users maintain that they would gladly take the risk in order to free themselves from the daily grind of living with irritable bowel syndrome.

JEFFREY ROBERTS

President & Founder IBS Self Help Group www.ibsgroup.org Toronto

LOTRONEX IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF the pitfalls encountered when one treats the symptoms of illness rather than the cause. Irritable bowel syndrome can be caused by food allergy or intolerance. Since most doctors have little or no allergy training, and even many allergists have little training in food allergy, rarely does the patient see an allergist who can determine the cause and help the patient recover. Thus, patients are given drugs with possible side effects. Of course, it is much easier to take a pill, or write a prescription for it, than to determine which foods are causing the problem and to avoid them.

JEREMY BAPTIST, M.D.

Allergy Link, P.A. Overland Park, Kan.

Correction: Filmmaker Jen Arnold's Maid of Honor ["Sites and Sounds," December 4] is about a lesbian maid of honor at a heterosexual wedding.

Mailbox U. discards standards in pursuit of a buck Washington Whispers on Bush's no-whispering attitude

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