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Archive for February, 2015

Common Cold Blues. By Our February Student Pharmacist, Ashley Sullivan, Who Sadly Has Suffered Her Share of Colds and Stuffiness This Month.

common-cold

It’s that time of year: the common cold has set in and if you haven’t had it yet, you probably will soon—or maybe you’re one of the unlucky ones who have already had it multiple times.

This winter has been a time of illness for many people and everyone seeks over-the-counter (OTC) medications to help them get through their day-to-day living activities. But which products should you actually buy? The cough and cold aisle at your local pharmacy can be daunting. Advil cold and sinus, Nyquil, Tylenol cold, Mucinex DM, Allegra D….the list goes on!

The key to picking a product that will help get you through the misery of being ill is identifying which symptoms you have and what you need to treat them. Combo products are great if you have all the symptoms, but you may be taking unnecessary medication or missing something you could benefit from.

If you’re ever confused about what you should take, don’t forget to seek help from your pharmacist. Following is a list of common cold symptoms and the drugs that treat them so you can make an informed decision when treating yourself.

For aches and pains and a fever that is 100.5 degrees or higher, Tylenol (acetaminophen) is the best choice.

For a sore throat, gargle salt water as often as you like (1/2 tsp salt in one cup of water) or use products like Cepacol which may help numb the area – be careful, though, lozenges can be a choking hazard.

For sinus congestion (stuffy nose), pseudoephedrine is the best choice. It’s behind the counter in the pharmacy. All products that have “D” in their name contain pseudoephedrine. Oxymetazoline (Afrin) nasal spray is also helpful, but you should only use it for three days! More than three days use may result in rebound congestion which worsens mucus and congestion. Another OTC choice is phenylephrine, a similar product to pseudoephedrine, but which doesn’t work as well; however, it’s an option if you have to buy something when the pharmacy is closed.

For chest congestion, guaifenesin (Mucinex) is the only medication option. If you feel like you can cough mucus up, this may be a good choice. Running a humidifier or vaporizer also helps with chest and sinus congestion. Vicks vapor rub is a topical option to break up congestion.

For cough suppression (if coughing is preventing you from sleeping, talking, or completing daily tasks), dextromethorphan is the medication you’ll need. Products that have “DM” in their names contain dextromethorphan.

For runny nose and watery eyes, take an antihistamine. Non-drowsy antihistamines include cetirizine (Zyrtec), loratadine (Claritin), and fexofenadine (Allegra). The most common sedating antihistamine is diphenhydramine (Benadryl), but others you may see in combo products include doxylamine, chlorpheniramine, and brompheniramine. Sedating antihistamines may also help suppress coughing and encourage sleep.

Overall, eating a balanced diet and taking vitamins helps prevent colds and fight them off once you have one.

Eating spicy foods or hot soups may help break up mucus and congestion.

Zinc may shorten the duration of the cold if taken during the first 24 hours after symptoms start.

Drinking plenty of water is very important to keep your body hydrated. Water also helps break up mucus and congestion, as well.

Aromatherapy may help with some cold symptoms, as well. Eucalyptus (diluted) applied to the chest helps with chest congestion. Peppermint or eucalyptus (inhaled) helps with stuffiness. Lavender, cedar, and lemon (diffused) may soothe nasal passages. Inhaling menthol also helps break up sinus congestion. Essential oils should be of good quality and used as directed on packaging labels. Any questions or concerns should be addressed with a physician.

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/which-medicine-help?page=2

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/understanding-common-cold-treatment

http://www.english-online.at/news-articles/health-medicine/cure-for-common-cold.htm

Lovejoy’s Ad for February 23-March 1.

LOVE the Savings at Lovejoy’s. Take a look at the Lovejoy’s ad for February 23-March 1. Wow! Can March really be here already? Wasn’t it just Christmas!?

There are lots of Deli and Bakery Specials in the ad this week, including many Lenten specials.

For more information on Lovejoy’s IGA, visit their web site HERE.

Remember, we hope you will shop locally and support locally owned businesses here in our community!

Click on each of the pages of the ad to enlarge them. When they show up on a separate page, click again to make the pages even bigger. You can also print them out and take them with you when you go shopping!

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Fish Fry Fridays Are Back on February 20!

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It is that time of year again. Time to enjoy a fish meal each Friday during Lent. Once again Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church and the local Knights of Columbus will be holding their Friday Fish Fries every Friday through March 27. The Fish Fries will be held at the Parish Activity Center (the PAC), 670 West Main Street (behind the firehouse) from 5:30-8 pm.

Meals are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for children 12 and under. You can also buy an extra piece of fish for $1 (limit of two extra pieces). Besides either fried or baked Alaskan Pollock (please request the baked fish if you would like it), the meal also includes soda or coffee, cole slaw, and fries or macaroni and cheese. Additionally, you can purchase homemade desserts for a donation that benefits the St. Martin de Porres Society.

Carry out service of the meals is also available.

So please come out this Friday, February 20, and support the Knights of Columbus. Join them each Friday (February 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27) for a delicious meal and lots of enjoyable socializing with neighbors, friends, and family.

For more info, visit Saint Joe’s web site HERE.

For a complete Lenten Fish Fry Guide that lists churches throughout Ohio hosting fish fries, go HERE.

And to read an interesting article from NPR about why Catholics eat fish on Fridays, go HERE.

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Measles and Mumps and Rubella–Oh, My! By Our February Student Pharmacist, Ashley Sullivan.

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From January 1 to January 30 2015, 102 people from 14 states were reported to have measles. Most of these cases have been part of a large, ongoing multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. On January 23, 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Advisory to notify public health departments and healthcare facilities about this multi-state outbreak.

The United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2014, with 644 cases from 27 states reported to the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

What is measles?

Measles is an acute viral respiratory illness. It is characterized by fever (as high as 105°F), malaise (general aches and pains), cough, nasal discharge, and swelling of the eyelids. Measles also involves clustered white areas in the mouth followed by a skin rash of flat, red areas covered with small bumps. The rash usually appears about 14 days after a person is exposed to the virus. The rash spreads from the head to the trunk to the lower extremities. Patients are considered to be contagious from four days before to four days after the rash appears.

Measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases. Approximately nine out of ten susceptible persons with close contact to a measles patient will develop measles. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets and is airborne when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. The measles virus can remain on surfaces and in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area.

What is causing this sudden surge in measles outbreaks?

The majority of the people who became infected with measles were unvaccinated. Measles is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S. Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated. In 2014, one of the outbreaks occurred in an unvaccinated Amish community.

What is the recommendation for vaccination?

Measles can be prevented with measles-containing vaccine, which is primarily administered as the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The combination measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine can be used for children aged 12 months through 12 years for protection against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella. Single-antigen measles vaccine is not available.

One dose of MMR vaccine is approximately 93% effective at preventing measles; two doses are approximately 97% effective. Almost everyone who does not respond to the measles component of the first dose of MMR vaccine at age 12 months or older will respond to the second dose. Therefore, the second dose of MMR is administered to address primary vaccine failure.

The CDC recommends routine childhood immunization for MMR vaccine starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age and the second dose at four through six years of age or at least 28 days following the first dose.

Students at post-high school educational institutions without evidence of measles immunity need two doses of MMR vaccine, with the second dose administered no earlier than 28 days after the first dose.

Adults: People who are born during or after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine.

International travelers:

  • People 6 months of age or older who will be traveling internationally should be protected against measles before travelling internationally.
  • Infants 6 through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine.
  • Children 12 months of age or older should have documentation of two doses of MMR vaccine (the first dose of MMR vaccine should be administered at age 12 months or older; the second dose no earlier than 28 days after the first dose).
  • Teenagers and adults born during or after 1957 without evidence of immunity against measles should have documentation of two doses of MMR vaccine, with the second dose administered no earlier than 28 days after the first dose.

Healthcare personnel should have documented evidence of immunity against measles.

Why aren’t people vaccinated?

There are several reasons children and adults aren’t getting vaccinated. These reasons include medical, religious, and personal beliefs. While it is a personal choice to receive vaccination or to have your children vaccinated, it’s a decision that doesn’t just affect one person. Unvaccinated people increase the risk of infection of themselves and everyone in which they come in contact.

There is currently a huge amount of publicity around the decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate. This is mostly due to a couple of celebrities claiming vaccination caused autism in their children. Since this media was released, these celebrities have revoked their claims, but the damage has already been done. It’s human nature to catch wind of something and run with it, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen happen during this “vaccine war”. There are thousands of claims every year trying to link autism to vaccines, none of which have held any evidence or reached a settlement. There is currently no scientific evidence that links autism to vaccinations. The accusations attempt to link autism to thimerosal, a preservative that used to be in vaccines. However, the only vaccine that currently contains thimerosal is the multi-dose flu vaccine. Most pharmacies use single dose flu vaccines which are preservative free. Removing the “cause” of the concern from vaccinations should relieve some people, but it seems there is a large population that is still concerned.

Furthermore, unvaccinated individuals are not only at risk for infectious diseases, but these diseases may be difficult to treat, life threatening, and involve expensive medications. All of this can be avoided often with one or a series of vaccinations once in a lifetime. Fortunately, we haven’t lived through things like the plague, polio, or smallpox in a very long time, which has decreased awareness of how deadly diseases can be. However, things like hepatitis, tetanus, and meningitis can be life threatening and difficult to treat and they are still prevalent in our society. These diseases are preventable with vaccination.

As a healthcare professional, I am fully vaccinated and recommend it to everyone. At the end of the day, I’d rather receive the vaccines and decrease my chance of getting a disease than end up sick and on expensive medications for something preventable! It is each individual’s choice, but they should make an educated decision and think about their individual impact on society instead of following the whims of mainstream media.

Do unvaccinated individuals put the vaccinated population at risk?

Yes! Vaccines work in what we like to call “herd immunity”. Therefore, if one person in a group is unvaccinated but the other 100 are vaccinated, the unvaccinated person will be unlikely to get an illness due to protection from everyone around them. However, not vaccinating is becoming a trend and we could see this phenomenon in reverse. If 80 people are not vaccinated and 20 people are vaccinated all 100 people may get ill due to the lack of protection from the majority of the group. While getting vaccinated is a personal choice, people that choose not to aren’t only putting their own health at risk, but also everyone around them.

http://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html

http://www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/index.html

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/hcp/thimerosalfs.html

To see photos of people with measles to show what the disease looks like, follow the links below. The images were too disturbing to post here.

http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/photos.html

http://www.immunize.org/photos/measles-photos.asp

Lovejoy’s Ad for February 16-22.

You’ll LOVE the Savings at Lovejoy’s. Take a look at the Lovejoy’s ad for February 16-22.

Check out the Lenten specials. Remember Lent starts this week, so you’ll need meat-free solutions!

For more information on Lovejoy’s IGA, visit their web site HERE.

Remember, we hope you will shop locally and support locally owned businesses here in our community!

Click on each of the pages of the ad to enlarge them. When they show up on a separate page, click again to make the pages even bigger. You can also print them out and take them with you when you go shopping!

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