Q: A reader recently suggested eating sunflower seeds to stay awake while driving. I, too, have looked for an antidote to feeling drowsy while driving.

I thought eating something small would help. I didn’t want to take in any more calories than I had to. It occurred to me that maybe the act of chewing would work just as well as actually eating something, so I tried sugar-free gum.

It worked like a charm! Whatever the reason, gum almost always keeps that drowsy feeling away, so I keep several packs of gum in the car at all times.

A: Thank you for offering an alternative to sunflower seeds. According to a review of the medical literature, “Many of the studies indicated that chewing exerts a positive effect on attention, and especially on sustained attention, in addition to improved mood and stress relief” (Biomed Research International, online, May 17, 2015).

We remind those who are not accustomed to chewing gum with sorbitol or maltitol that such sugar substitutes can cause diarrhea if you consume too much of them.

Q: My doctor prescribed a statin to lower my cholesterol. Then I began suffering horrendous cramps in my ankles, toes and calves.

Later I heard on your radio show that statins can cause muscle cramps. I checked with my doctor and stopped taking the statin. Miraculously, my cramps subsided to almost nothing.

During the same radio show, I heard that mustard alleviates cramps within a few minutes. Lo and behold, the next time I got a cramp I swallowed some mustard.

I do not know what I would do without this unbelievable home remedy. I keep a bottle of yellow mustard in my medicine cabinet.

A: What you experienced has a name: SAMS (statin-associated muscle symptoms).

They include muscle pain, muscle weakness, muscle cramps and muscle tiredness. A recent meta-analysis of 12 randomized controlled trials found that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplements eased SAMS better than placebo (Journal of the American Heart Association, Oct. 2, 2018).

You are not the first person to report that a spoonful of yellow mustard can relieve muscle cramps quickly. We suspect that this remedy works by stimulating sensory nerves in the mouth, throat and stomach.

This in turn overrides the hyperactive neuronal stimulation causing the cramp.

Q: I tried using milk of magnesia on my face at night for rosacea, as I read in your column. I had very severe acne-like breakouts and my skin was very red.

It took a little while, but the results are amazing. My skin is not as red, and I get very few breakouts. Thanks for the great idea.

A: Rosacea (aka acne rosacea) causes flushing, redness and bumps that resemble pimples.

Dermatologists are not totally clear on the cause, but it is suspected that it may be an immune reaction to Demodex mites on the skin.

Another possibility is Helicobacter pylori infection within the digestive tract (BMC Infectious Diseases, July 11, 2018).

We have not been able to locate any clinical trial of topical milk of magnesia for rosacea.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Send questions to them via www.peoplespharmacy.com.