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Archive for September, 2017

A Short Guide to Everything You Need to Know About the “Flu.” By Our September Student Pharmacist, Chris Santos.

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What is the Influenza virus or “flu”?

The “flu” is a highly contagious virus that infects our respiratory system—nose, throat, and lungs.

A person experiencing an influenza infection may have:

  • fever/chills
  • sore throat
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • headache
  • runny or stuffy nose

These symptoms begin one to four days (average two days) after you are exposed to the virus.

How common is the “flu” virus infection?

  • Each year between October and February, the influenza virus infects approximately 5% to 20% of the United States population.

Who has the highest rate of “flu” infection?

  • Infants and young children have the highest rates of an influenza infection. An influenza infection is the leading cause of office and emergency department visits by infants and young children.

Who has the highest risk for complication, hospitalization, and death?

  • Adults aged 65 and older are at the highest risk for complications, hospitalization, and death.

How can I become infected with the “flu” virus?

  • The influenza virus spreads most commonly to those in close contact with an infected person who is sneezing or coughing. Although less common, the virus can also spread when a person touches an infected surface or object and then touches their mouth, eyes, or nose.

How do I prevent a “flu” virus infection?

  • The most important step you can take to prevent a “flu” infection is to get a flu shot. Even if you get the flu shot, you will experience fewer symptoms if you are infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends frequent hand washes and staying away from those infected as additional prevention strategies. 

How long am I contagious with the “flu” infection?

  • You can spread the “flu” virus one day before experiencing “flu” like symptoms and five to seven days after becoming sick. Younger children and adults with a weaken immune system can spread the virus for a longer period.

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What should I know about flu vaccine?

  • The flu vaccine exposes your body to a dead virus strain to build your immune response.
  • Each year, scientists change the “flu” virus strain in the vaccine to predict the most prevalent virus.
  • The flu vaccine does not contain a live virus and it cannot cause you to experience symptoms of the flu.
  • It takes two weeks for your body to fully develop protection against the flu virus. You can get the flu within these two weeks, as you haven’t developed full protection—the full protection lasts the entire flu season.
  • The vaccine cannot provide protection against a flu virus not covered by the vaccine. Even though the strain may not exactly match, it can still offer you some protection.
  • Thimerosal, a preservative for the “flu” vaccine, does not cause any harm. Flu vaccines without a thimerosal preservative are available.

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Who should not get the flu vaccine?

  • If you have any severe allergic reactions to any components of the flu vaccine, please discuss this with you doctor or pharmacist.
  • If you ever had Guillain-Barre syndrome, please discuss this with your doctor.
  • If you are not feeling well, your pharmacist may ask you to come back another date when you are feeling better to get the vaccine.

What are some reactions to the flu vaccine?

  • Patients are most likely to experience injection site reaction of pain, redness, swelling, and soreness.
  • Other possible side effects include: hoarseness, cough, fever, aches, headache, itching, or fatigue.
  • To help manage local site reactions, apply cold compresses. You can also take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to help.
  • If local site reactions worsen after three days or last longer than seven days, you should see your primary care physician.

These side effects occur immediately after the shot and last about one to two days.








Get a Good Night’s Sleep. By Our September Student Pharmacist, Chris Santos.

Santos_PC Blog #1

Can you remember the last time you had a great night of sleep?

If you can’t, you are not alone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, from a 2016 study, that more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep. A lack of sleep is associated with increasing your risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and frequent mental distress. Insufficient sleep is linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behaviors.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends sleeping for these hours considering your age:

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 9.48.33 AM

Insomnia is a medical condition described as unsatisfactory sleep that impacts daytime functioning AND causes difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep. Insomnia can be caused by medical disorders, medications, work shifts, life stressors, anxiety, and poor sleeping habits.

Before considering over-the-counter (OTC) medications to help improve your sleep insomnia, we recommend improving sleeping habits and sleep hygiene first.

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 Improve sleep hygiene:

  • Keep a routine of sleep/wake times.
  • Create a good sleep environment (cool, dark, quiet bedroom with good bedding and, sadly, no pets–which is very hard for some people to limit their pets’ access to the bed).
  • Stop caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the evening.
  • Exercise within 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Adjust eating and drinking times. 

Sleep habits:

  • We recommend leaving the bedroom to engage in quiet activities and returning when sleepy. If you cannot to fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of going to bed, get back up and don’t force yourself to try to fall asleep.
  • It is a good idea to avoid electronic device usage one hour before your planned bedtime and limit the bedroom for sleep only.

Over-the-counter options for treating insomnia include diphendydramine, doxylamine, and melatonin.


  • Indicated: for individuals 12 years and older (unless directed by your physician).
  • Offers relief of occasional sleeplessness.
  • Dosing: 50 mg of capsule, tablet, or liquid form once daily before bed.
  • Side effects: dry mouth, nose, eyes, as well as blurry vision, urinary hesitancy, and constipation.
  • Not recommend: Age >65, see your primary care physician.

We recommend diphenhydramine to be limited to no more than a 10-day use (unless directed by your primary care physician). Try diphenhydramine for 2-3 days, than take one night “off” to see if the symptoms have resolved.


  • Indicated: for individuals 12 years and older (unless directed by your physician).
  • Offers relief of occasional sleeplessness.
  • Dosing: 25mg once daily 30 minutes before bed.
  • Side effects: dry mouth, nose, eyes, as well as blurry vision, urinary hesitancy, and constipation.
  • Not recommended: Age>65, see your primary care physician.

We recommend doxylamine to be limited to no more than a 10-day use (unless directed by your primary care physician). Try doxylamine for 2-3 days, than take one night “off” to see if the symptoms resolved. 

Use caution with combination products labeled “PM,” as these most likely contain diphenhydramine or doxylamine.


  • Indicated: for individuals 12 years and older (unless directed by your physician).
  • Offers relief of occasional sleeplessness.
  • Dosing: 3-5 mg given 3 to 4 hours before bedtime.
  • Side effects: fatigue, dizziness, headache, irritability.

Melatonin is also approved for jet lag—a sleeping disorder caused by traveling between multiple time zones quickly.

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Skip over-the-counter self-treatment options and see a primary care physician if you are experiencing:

  • Chronic insomnia (defined as greater than three weeks).
  • Frequent nocturnal awakenings.
  • Insomnia due to psychiatric or medical disorders.
  • No improvement or continued symptoms after ten days of self-care.






image: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cant-sleep-cognitive-behavior-therapy-may-help-insomnia/

image: https://www.helpguide.org/home-pages/sleep.htm

image: https://www.helpguide.org/home-pages/sleep.htm

Reformation Renaissance Faire Will Take Place in Pastime Park on Saturdays and Sundays from September 23 to October 8.


It has been 500 years since the Reformation. To celebrate the Great Reformer, Martin Luther, and his posting of the “Ninty-Five Theses” in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Marysville will be hosting a Reformation Renaissance Faire in Pastime Park on Saturdays and Sundays from September 23 to October 8 from 10 am to 6 pm each day.

Martin Luther changed history and the religious thinking of his time by promoting the idea that God’s mercy and grace through Jesus is freely given to everyone. Five hundred years later and Martin Luther’s beliefs are still as life-changing as they were in 1517.

The Reformation Renaissance Faire will feature many performers and artists who will make you feel as if you have stepped into life in 1517. A full list of performers can be found HERE.


Additionally, get a taste of dining in 1517 by purchasing tickets for The Madrigal Dinner on Saturday, September 23 at 6:30 pm. You can see a description of the full menu and purchase tickets to this once in a lifetime event by going HERE. Unfortunately, tickets for the dinner are no longer being sold. 

To find out more, visit the Reformation Renaissance Faire web site HERE.

You can also keep up on all the news about the Faire by liking their Facebook page HERE.

To read an article in The Madison Press about the Faire, go HERE.

For more information, call: 937-644-5540


10th Union County Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival is September 23-24.

The 2017 Union County Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival will run from Friday, September 22 through Sunday, September 24. The event will be held again this year at the Pottersburg Bridge, 17141 Inskeep-Cratty Road, North Lewisburg. General admission is $5 and includes both Saturday and Sunday. Children under 12 are admitted for free. There will be tons of great music, food, and history.


When Joe and I were in Junior High School, our history teacher was Mr. Bill Purk (pictured to the right). Besides being a great teacher, Mr. Purk is also a wonderful musician who performed at my and Joe’s wedding reception. Mr. Purk and The Muleskinner Band will be playing at the Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival on Friday, September 22 for the Sunset dinner on the bridge from 5:30 to 8 pm. Unfortunately, this very popular event is now SOLD OUT!

You can still have breakfast on the bridge, however, on Saturday from 8:30 am to 10:30 am.

For a full musical line up, go HERE.

There will be a special Saturday evening Picnic on the Bridge from 5:30-7:00 pm featuring the Sugar Creek Bluegrass. The cost for the picnic is $25 per person and includes broasted chicken, two sides, rolls, drink, and pie. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling Tina Knotts, Chamber and Tourism Director, at the Union County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 937-642-6279 or by emailing: tknotts@unioncounty.org.

On Sunday, the Ohio Village Muffins Baseball Team will hold an exhibition game at 2 pm..

This is the tenth year for this festival and it only continues to get better and better!

For a full schedule of events for the festival, go HERE.

To find out more, visit the web site HERE.

To LIKE the event on Facebook and see photos from previous festivals, go HERE.


Eleventh Annual 4 Mile Run/Walk is Saturday, September 23.


The Eleventh Annual 4 Mile Run/Walk and Kid Fun Runs, held each year by UPCO, the Uptown Plain City Organization, will fall on Saturday, September 23 this year. Note that this year’s race will be held at the Plain City Elementary School, 580 South Chillicothe Street. The race this year will take runners and walkers through beautiful Uptown Plain City and neighboring areas of the Village.

The main race will begin at 8 am.

The Kid Fun Race will start at 8:45 am for those 14 years and younger. The Kid Fun Race is about a one mile race and stays within the confines of the schoolyard. All participants receive a Fun Run Award.

Registration is $35 for a timed race and $30 for an untimed race. The Kid Fun Run Registration is $5. To register online, go HERE. Registration ends on Friday, September 22 at 6 pm. For more information on registering, go HERE.

There will be awards for the top finishers, as well as awards for age categories. For more information on all awards and event details, go HERE.

All proceeds from the run/walk will go for the charitable efforts of UPCO and the Plain City Masonic Lodge (Urania Lodge #311).

For additional information on the run/walk, go HERE.

To Like the Run/Walk on Facebook, go HERE.