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Archive for November, 2020

Please Welcome Third Year Student Pharmacist, Michael Itschner, to Happy Druggist on Karl Road.


This month, we are joined at Happy Druggist on Karl Road by Michael Itschner a third-year pharmacy student from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy.

Michael will graduate in May 2022 and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. Michael will be with us for several months as he completes his rotation, so please stop by and meet him while he is in the store.

Here is what Michael tells us about himself:

I grew up in the small town of Loudonville, OH.

After high school, I attended Kenyon College where I received my bachelors degree in biochemistry and played football for all four years.

I moved to Columbus to attend pharmacy school at Ohio State and I am in my third year currently.

Shop Local, Shop Small on Small Business Saturday! By Our Student Pharmacist, Cass Baker.

Small Business Saturday is a nationally recognized shopping day to support your local neighborhood businesses. It falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 28 this year) every year and serves as a contrast to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when holiday shopping is typically focused on larger, nationwide organizations. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact the U.S. economy, it is more critical than ever to shop at local businesses to ensure that their goods and services remain under operation as long as possible.


The U.S Small Business Administration classifies a small business as an organization with fewer than 500 employees. As of 2019, there are 30.7 million small businesses in the U.S., and they account for 99.9% of all businesses in the U.S. Additionally, 98.2% of American businesses have less than 100 employees, and 89% of businesses have fewer than 20 employees. Clearly, the heart of commerce and the economy in the U.S. heavily relies on the success of small businesses.

Unfortunately, the majority of small American businesses are facing immense pressure to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the “Shop Small” movement, 62% of small business owners reported that they would be unable to keep their business open unless their sales reach pre-COVID levels by the end of 2020. This has major implications for job growth, since small businesses create 1.5 million jobs in the U.S. every year.

As the holidays arrive, please stay safe and consider supporting your local businesses whether that’s buying a Christmas tree at a local farm, or just stopping by a cafe to grab a cup of coffee. Your patronage ensures that money stays in your community so that businesses can potentially grow. Additionally, please take the time to thank the local employees who continue to work during the midst of the pandemic.



Our teams at Plain City Druggist and Midwestern Compounding Pharmacy are proud to support our community by serving their medication needs.

We thank you for your support, as well!

Please consider stopping by this Saturday, November 28 during our hours of 9:00am-12:00pm.

Please also support our Happy Druggist sister locations on Karl Road in Columbus, in West Jefferson, and in Mechanicsburg.


Vive La (Antibiotic) Résistance? Learn more about this year’s Antibiotic Awareness Week! By Our Student Pharmacist, Cass Baker.

If you’ve ever been prescribed an antibiotic, you probably remember that your doctor or pharmacist told you to finish the entire 5-10 day treatment prescribed. “Why is that so important?”, you might ask. Finishing all of your medication might seem like a small detail, but it is actually a strategy to prevent a growing issue worldwide called antibiotic resistance.

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotics are an essential tool to combat bacterial infections in humans and animals. However, every time bacteria are exposed to an antibiotic, they can develop mechanisms to combat the way the antibiotic is designed to kill them. Over time, this natural process can render commonly prescribed antibiotics ineffective.

How exactly does antibiotic resistance work?

Bacteria typically form colonies as they infect the human body, but not all of the individual cells are killed by the antibiotic prescribed at the same time. Some individual colonies may be killed after one day, while other colonies are stronger and require more time to be exposed to the antibiotic before they are killed. If the resistant bacteria survive, as shown in the below diagram as orange bacteria in steps 1 and 2, they can grow to form new colonies that are harder to treat.


Okay, but if antibiotic resistance happens naturally, then what’s the concern?

Unfortunately, an increasing number of antibiotic-resistant infections such as pneumonia, strep throat, gonorrhea, and foodborne bacterial infections occur in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. every year, causing infections that are not readily treatable and 35,000 deaths per year. Infections that are becoming resistant to commonly used antibiotics drive up healthcare costs, because they typically require longer and more expensive treatments. Sometimes they even cause extended hospital stays, potentially exposing patients to hospital-specific infections, as well.

The spread of resistant infections threatens all countries worldwide, regardless of economic status. Additionally, there are fewer research prospects for new antibiotics than in the past, which means that resistant infections are more difficult than ever to treat, if not impossible. Fortunately, there are simple behaviors that both patients and prescribers should practice in order to control the spread of these infections.

What should I do to help prevent or control antibiotic resistance?

Because antibiotics remain essential to treat and prevent certain infections, they absolutely should be used when the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks of resistance or side effects. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid antibiotic overuse when it is not necessary. Antibiotics are only effective for treating bacterial infections. Patients should refrain from demanding an antibiotic when a prescriber diagnoses them with a viral infection such as the flu; and prescribers should refrain from prescribing antibiotics unless they diagnose or suspect a bacterial infection. These practices ensure that the antibiotics we use today will continue to be effective for as long as possible.


Another important behavior that patients should implement is taking a prescribed antibiotic exactly how it was written, for the number of days that it was prescribed. For example, if you are prescribed enough tablets to last five days, be sure to take all five days’ worth! Many patients will start to feel better after taking antibiotics for a couple of days and stop treatment prematurely. However, this increases your risk of more resistant bacteria surviving the shorter than intended antibiotic treatment, and the original infection re-growing stronger than before.


Finally, it is important to remember to protect yourself and others from the spread of infections as well to reduce the number of yearly antibiotic-resistant cases. Believe it or not, practicing basic hygiene such as washing your hands and preventative measures such as vaccinations, cooking food thoroughly, and safe sex practices decreases your chances of being prescribed antibiotics in the future, reducing the burden of developing new antibiotics on the healthcare industry.

Be sure to check out the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website for World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (which occurs this year from November 18-24) for more information on antibiotic resistance initiatives from across the globe!


Please Welcome Alexandra Shuey Our Student Pharmacist at Happy Druggist on Karl Road.


This month, we are joined at Happy Druggist on Karl Road by Alexandra Shuey a third-year pharmacy student from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy.

Alexandra will graduate in May 2022 and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. Alexandra will be with us for several months as she completes her rotation, so please stop by and meet her while she is in the store.

Here is what Alexandra tells us about herself:

Prior to pharmacy school, Alexandra worked as a chemist at an environmental chemistry company called Ohio Lumex for three years. There, she analyzed samples from power plant emissions for mercury, acid gases, etc. She started pharmacy school because she was interested in chemistry as well as in medicine and healthcare.

She currently interns at Giant Eagle Community Pharmacy (since September 2018), as well as The Ohio State University’s Medical Center Nuclear Pharmacy (since May 2019).

After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in Nuclear Pharmacy; however, she considers community pharmacy to be a good option, as well.

Alexandra’s goals for this rotation:

  • Observe the verification process and how to resolve drug-related issues.
  • Explore different aspects of running an independent community pharmacy (differences from chain pharmacies).

Is It the Flu or COVID-19? Here Is Everything You Need to Know This Season. By Our Student Pharmacist, Cassadie Baker.

As the flu season ramps up this year, you might still have questions about how to protect yourself and your loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are answers to some common questions about both illnesses.

What is the difference between the flu and COVID-19?

Both infections are caused by respiratory viruses, however, these viruses are different from each other. Influenza is caused by different strains of the Type A or Type B influenza virus, which mutate rapidly and vary from year to year. COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, which began spreading in 2019. The diagram below summarizes a comparison between the viruses.


Is there a way to tell if I have either the flu or COVID-19 at home?

Unfortunately, there is no way to differentiate between the flu and COVID-19 based on symptoms alone. Both viruses cause mild to severe respiratory infections, and they cause many of the same symptoms including, but not limited to:

  • Cough
  • Fever (100°F or greater)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches or muscle aches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Sometimes a person experiences a loss of taste or smell after contracting COVID-19, however, not everyone who gets COVID-19 experiences this and in many cases will not show symptoms at all. To complicate matters, it is also possible to contract both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time!

So, what should I do if I feel sick?

While some feel pressured to continue going to work or other activities, the best thing that you can do is stay at home! Getting adequate rest helps your immune system combat the infection more effectively. Additionally, some people are at increased risk of severe complications from catching either of these viruses. Even if you’re not sure, isolate yourself to prevent the spread in case you are infected.

What are signs or symptoms that I should report to my doctor right away?

If you show any symptoms listed above, contact your primary care provider. They may refer you to a clinic for either flu or COVID-19 testing. It is especially important to notify your doctor if you are at least 65 years old, pregnant, or have chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD, or heart failure.

If you experience severe symptoms such as wheezing or a fever of at least 103°F, go to the nearest urgent care or ER. These may be signs of complications such as pneumonia, and they require treatment as soon as possible.

What should I do to protect myself and others?

There are quite a few things you can do! First, if you need to cough, do so into a tissue or your elbow. Both influenza and coronaviruses are airborne, which means that they primarily spread via droplets that are coughed, sneezed, or even talked into the air. Avoid close contact with anyone that you know is sick, if possible. Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth, and keep a distance of about six feet between individuals to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Viruses can survive on your hands or surfaces for extended periods of time. Wipe down dirty surfaces, and wash your hands regularly. If soap is not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% of ethyl alcohol (ethanol), as demonstrated below.


Finally, get the flu shot if you haven’t already! The vaccine covers four of the most dangerous strains of influenza so that if you come into contact your symptoms are minimized, if not completely prevented. It takes two weeks for your immune system to build up, so get vaccinated sooner rather than later.

Where can I find more information about the flu and COVID-19?

CDC.gov regularly updates their website as soon as new information is available about either virus. You can also visit your county’s public health website for information regarding local outbreaks and COVID-19 testing locations.