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Archive for June, 2021

June 14 is World Blood Donor Day! By Our Student Pharmacist, RJ Rosia.

June 14 is World Blood Donor Day!

This year’s slogan is: “Give blood and keep the world beating.”

Did you know the World Health Organization (WHO) dedicates June 14 as the World Blood Donor Day? This day is dedicated to increasing awareness of the need for blood throughout the world and to make sure it is obtained properly and safely from individuals.

Blood transfusions are needed to save lives and are needed in every country. Everyone who can donate blood should do so to help those who are in need. You could save someone’s life!

The specific objectives of this year’s campaign are to:

  • Thank blood donors in the world and create wider public awareness of the need for regular, unpaid blood donation.

  • Promote the community values of blood donation in enhancing community solidarity and social cohesion.

  • Encourage youth to embrace the humanitarian call to donate blood and inspire others to do the same.

  • Celebrate the potential of youth as partners in promoting health.

Do you know the different blood types?

There are four primary blood types that exist. The types are:

  • O
  • A
  • B
  • AB

Blood type is passed down from your parents and is determined by genetics.

Blood type determines what antigens are present on your red blood cells. If someone is Type A, they have the A-antigen present. This person would also produce antibodies for the B-antigen. These antibodies would “attack” any red blood cells that present with this antigen, which is why it is super important that a person receiving blood is matched with the correct blood type.

There is also another factor that determines blood type, called the Rh factor. The Rh factor determines why some people are denoted as either + or – after their blood type. Rh factor is similar to blood types and if someone is positive, that means they have the Rh antigen present on their cells.

Universal donors are O negative. Universal acceptors are AB positive.

Blood type is almost evenly spread across all races around the world. AB- blood type is the rarest blood type and it is especially important for people who are AB- to donate blood when they can!

 

Donating blood is a simple process.

In the US, there are certain guidelines on who can donate blood and when:

  • Must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent)

  • Must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health

  • Must wait at least eight weeks from last donation

Certain disease states and criteria can exclude people from donating blood, such as:

  • Fever

  • Taking blood thinner (other than Aspirin)

  • HIV/AIDS

  • Men who have sex with men (must be three months at least since last intercourse)

  • Certain medications

Even if you can’t donate blood but still want to help out, there are many ways people can, such as volunteering at a donation drive.

Go to https://www.redcrossblood.org/ for more information and where you can sign up!

References:

https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-types.html

https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2021/06/14/default-calendar/world-blood-donor-day-2021

Pictures:

https://www.orthoclinicaldiagnostics.com/global/covid19/home/three-things-to-know-about-the-association-between-blood-type-and-covid-19

https://www.india.com/festivals-events/world-blood-donor-day-2020-know-all-about-the-day-and-why-it-is-important-4053098/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_type

Seasonal Allergies. By Our Student Pharmacist, Aaron Reed.

Allergies 1

Seasonal Allergy Basics

As the end of spring approaches and the summer heat begins to rise in Ohio, plants, trees, and flowers reach full bloom. This increase in plant growth also means drastic increases in the production of pollen. If you are one of the millions of individuals who suffer yearly from seasonal allergies, you have been suffering from what seems to be never ending sneezing, congestion, itchy and watery eyes, and many other bothersome symptoms.

Allergic rhinitis, or what is more commonly referred to as seasonal allergies or hay fever, can turn any day into a miserable one. Before deciding to stay inside for the rest of the summer, try these simple strategies to get your symptoms under control and get you back out the door doing the things you love to do!

Reducing Exposure

One of the best ways to overcome seasonal allergies is to reduce the amount of exposure to things that may trigger your allergy symptoms, also called allergens. Allergy symptoms can flare up when there is a lot of pollen in the air, with the most prevalent time being in the early morning. Avoiding outdoor activities in the early morning can help reduce your exposure to pollen. Local TV, radio, and weather stations forecast the predicted levels of pollen on a daily basis. Checking these levels should always be your first step before heading outdoors.

Other ways to reduce your pollen exposure are to stay indoors on dry, windy days, close doors and windows when pollen counts are high and use air conditioning when possible in your car and home.

If using central air conditioning in your home, make sure that high-efficiency filters are routinely changed to keep the indoor air clean.

Lastly, delegate outdoor tasks such as lawn mowing, weed pulling, and gardening which can severely stir up pollen around you. Thankfully as summer rolls around, so does the increase in summer storms which help to clear pollen from the air giving some symptoms relief after a good rain.

Allergies 2Best Over-the-counter (OTC) Remedies

If allergen avoidance isn’t efficient or not a viable option in your daily routine, there are several types of over-the-counter medications that are available to help ease your seasonal allergy symptoms. Any pharmacist possesses the expertise about these over-the-counter options and can help you find the medication best suited to relieve your symptoms.

Below are the best options to relieve even your worst allergy symptoms:

  • Nasal Corticosteroids – Nasal sprays such as Flonase, Nasacort, or Rhinocort are first-line treatment options to help reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies by reducing the body’s inflammatory response to allergens.
  • Oral antihistamines – the most common treatment for seasonal allergies. Medications such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra help to relieve the itching, sneezing, and runny nose symptoms. If one of these medications doesn’t work the best for you, try another. These medications are interchangeable and sometimes have different responses in different people.
  • Eye allergy relief – if you experience itchy, watery eyes in addition to your other allergy symptoms, OTC eye drops such as Zatidor or Pataday eye allergy relief are great options to reduce irritation.
  • Decongestants – These medications work to relieve the nasal pressure and congestion that can cause headaches or discomfort in addition to other allergy symptoms. They are commonly called Pseudoephed products. WARNING! Oral decongestants elevate blood pressure and are not appropriate for people with high blood pressure or certain heart conditions.
  • Combination medications – Oftentimes, medications are combined to include oral antihistamines and decongestants in one convenient dose. Products like Claritin-D, Allegra-D or Aleve-D cold and sinus offer these combination products. These are great pharmacist directed options available through the pharmacy to combat many allergy symptoms at once!
  • Non-medicated nasal irrigation – options such as Neti-Pot or other saline irrigation symptoms are great non-medication options to help rinse the sinuses of accumulated pollen and other allergens.

When OTC products are just not enough!

If you still seem to be suffering from seasonal allergies following allergen avoidance or pharmacist directed therapy, don’t give up! It may be time to visit your primary care doctor. If your allergies are bad enough, your physician is able to run skin or blood allergy tests to find out the exact cause of what is producing your symptoms. Identifying this specific allergen can help you develop a plan to avoid it.

For some people, however, even allergy testing and avoidance are not enough. If you think you are one of those people, referral to an allergy specialist can provide access to allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) that help to reduce your body’s response to your specific trigger over time.

Always remember, relief is just a Happy Druggist away!

References:

 

HIV: The Basics. By Our Student Pharmacist, RJ Rosia.

What is HIV?

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus that can affect the immune system. This virus specifically attacks immune cells that help fight other infections. If left untreated, people can get very sick from such things like pneumonia or the common cold.

People who have HIV can take medications to stop the virus from replicating in the body and help the immune system to remain strong and live a healthy, normal life.

How can you get HIV?

HIV is mainly spread through someone who is infected having unprotected sex with someone else. The virus can be spread by any bodily fluid, such as blood or semen.

There are also other ways someone can be infected such as:

  • Blood transfusion from someone who has HIV.

  • Sharing of needles from someone who has HIV.

What are some of the symptoms of HIV?

The symptoms are very mild at first and might look like a common infection.

Some symptoms include:

  • Fever

  • Sore throat

  • Muscle, joint pain

These symptoms last for about two weeks and most people might not even realize they are sick.

Some more serious symptoms can happen to people who are left untreated for a long time.

These symptoms include:

  • Stomach pain

  • Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea

  • Weight loss

Infected people can also get other serious infections, such as infections in the lungs, brain, eyes, and yeast infections in the mouth.

How do you test for HIV?

Testing for HIV nowadays is very easy and requires just a simple blood test that your local provider can do. These tests can be rapid often providing results within the same day.

There are also over-the-counter antibody tests available, however, these tests will only show a positive result if the person has been infected for over a month.

Should you get an HIV test?

Everyone should be tested at least once in their lifetime for HIV. HIV testing is a standard of care and a non-invasive procedure your doctor can provide.

People who have a higher chance of getting infected, such as males who have intercourse with other males, injection drug using individuals, and those who live in a high risk area, should be tested more than once a lifetime.

How can you prevent getting HIV?

There are medications currently available that you can take on a regular basis to help from getting infected with HIV. These medications, called PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), can be prescribed by a doctor, and can be filled at any pharmacy. These medications greatly reduce the risk from contracting HIV from someone who might be infected and not adequately treated.

Currently, there are two medications available and they are taken just once daily. The medications should be covered under any insurance plan and if they are not, there are other ways to get them covered.

Should you be worried when someone tells you they are HIV positive?

No! Nowadays, if a person is taking their medication for HIV as prescribed, the level of virus in their body is so low that the virus is unlikely to spread to someone else. There have been extensive studies done on the risk of spreading the virus and found that if someone who previously has been diagnosed with HIV and is taking their medications appropriately, there is no chance they will spread it to their partner or someone who may be in contact with them.

The bottom line:

Undetectable=Untransmittable

Here is a great link to a handout summarizing all about HIV:

https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/consumer-info-sheets/cdc-hiv-consumer-info-sheet-hiv-101.pdf

References:

https://hivrisk.cdc.gov/?id=featured-resources

https://hivrisk.cdc.gov/risk-estimator-tool/#

Picture References:

https://www.thewellproject.org/hiv-information/undetectable-equals-untransmittable-building-hope-and-ending-hiv-stigma

https://www.radianthealthcenters.org/lgbtq-medical-clinic/prep

https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html

 

Please Welcome Robert, RJ, Rosia As Our Student Pharmacist from Ohio State for June.

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This month, we are joined at Plain City Druggist by Robert, RJ, Rosia, a fourth-year pharmacy student from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy.

RJ will graduate in May 2022 with his PharmD degree and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. RJ will be with Meghan and the staff here in Plain City throughout June, so please stop by and meet him while he is here.

Here is what RJ tells us about himself:

Hello everyone! My name is RJ Rosia, and I am a fourth-year pharmacy student at The Ohio State University. I will the be student pharmacist for the month of June and look forward to my time spent here at Plain City Druggist!

I am from a small town called Alliance, Ohio, which is in northwest Ohio. I went to a small farm school and I even had “bring your tractor to school” days at my high school.

I went to OSU for undergrad in 2010 with a major in Molecular Genetics, where I wanted to be a Genetic Counselor. Unfortunately, that plan did not work out and in 2014 when I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, I started working at a pharmacy.

My first job in pharmacy was at Giant Eagle Pharmacy in Columbus. I came to love learning about the medications and being able to help people save money through finding discounts and helping them manage their overall quality of life.

I worked at Giant Eagle for four years and decided it was finally time to start thinking more about my future and to apply to pharmacy school. I was accepted to OSU before I even applied to any other school and decided it was the right fit for me.

While in pharmacy school, I added a lot more knowledge on how medications work in the body and when to choose one over another for certain reasons. I continue to work at Giant Eagle, and I have gotten to know my staff well. I also help other stores in the Columbus region and work closely with our Clinical Pharmacist who helps organize vaccination clinics in the area. Being there for eight years, I have learned a lot about how a pharmacy operates day to day and have seen many people come and go, both patients and staff!

Near the end of my second year, I also started working at Equitas Health Pharmacy. This pharmacy is a specialty pharmacy that focuses on HIV care, people who are experiencing body dysmorphia, and those who are underserved in the community. This pharmacy also serves anyone in the public as a regular community pharmacy and they offer many programs that others do not, such as counseling on all new medications, free delivery to anywhere in the state of Ohio, and options on ways to get medications covered when they cost too much.

During my time at school, I was involved with a lot of student organizations and different events that took place. I helped run the Columbus Free Clinic every other week during my second year. This clinic provided free medical services to those who needed healthcare and we had a pharmacy that dispensed medication.

During my third year, I was President of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). This organization is dedicated to helping students find alternative roles that pharmacists can do, such as working for an insurance company, in law, or the pharmaceutical industry, or even doing specialty compounding!

I also helped by being a teaching assistant to the first year students’ lab, where I assisted students with how a community pharmacy runs, such as dispensing medications and how to compound prescriptions.

I plan to go into the pharmaceutical industry field when I graduate. I will apply for a fellowship that involves working with a pharmacy manufacturer. An example of a job that might be available from this career path would be a Medical Science Liaison (MSL). This job would entail a pharmacist going to different doctors, pharmacies, or events in the community and providing the clinical knowledge on patients’ medications and answering questions when needed. It is a very niche role for a pharmacist, but that is what makes it so exciting!

I also really like helping those in the community like the pharmacists here at Plain City do every day! I look forward to this month and hope to meet some great people and learn new things while I am here. If you have any questions for me, please feel free to ask! I won’t bite!

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Please Welcome Aaron Reed Our Student Pharmacist at Karl Road in Columbus for the Month of June.

IMG_4990

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

Aaron will graduate in May 2022 and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. Aaron will be with Kristie and the staff on Karl Road throughout June, so please stop by and meet him while he is in the store in Columbus.

Here is what Aaron tells us about himself:

My name is Aaron Reed and I am a fourth-year Doctorate of Pharmacy student at Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy. I have been at Ohio State now for eight years as I completed my undergraduate Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in conjunction with my minor in Substance use and Addiction Studies. Obtaining this minor played right into where my interests in pharmacy began with drug abuse and addiction recovery.

Growing up in northwest Ohio during the peak of the opioid epidemic had a tremendous impact on my initial inclinations for pharmacy. Witnessing how the opioid epidemic impacted enveloped communities and ravaged the life of active users pushed me to pursue a career in pharmacy in hopes to join the recovery process and limit substance abuse.

My pharmacy journey began at CVS in Bexley where I started as a pharmacy technician during my undergraduate studies at Ohio State. I then proceeded to join Walgreens pharmacy in Shawnee Hills once I began pharmacy school. I have been working there as a pharmacy intern for the last three years.

Being able to serve the community through pharmacy has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As I continued my journey through pharmacy school, my interests have shifted slightly towards the side of ambulatory pharmacy with a special focus on serving Veterans of service.

Following the passing of my grandfather in 2019, my focus on Veterans intensified after seeing the level of care that was provided to him and witnessing the trauma that these individuals can face from returning to civilian life after war. These traumas can last a lifetime and I hope to have the ability after I graduate to serve these individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifices for our freedoms. Seeing the impact that war and active service can have on the mental health of veterans, I have increasingly been intrigued by psychiatry and the treatment of mental health disorders. In the upcoming year, I hope to pursue a residency program through the Veterans Administration (VA) or in psychiatry following my rotations in both settings.

In my time away from pharmacy, there are many things that I enjoy, many of which include spending time with my newly engaged fiancé and our three-year-old boxer, Harvey. I recently proposed two weeks ago and have been enjoying the engaged life so far! Once the wedding planning begins, I am sure that this might change.

In addition to my engagement and my fiancé,  my personal hobbies include golf, both traditional and disc, bowling, playing guitar, and all aspects of video games.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a Student Pharmacist this month with Happy Druggist and can’t wait for all of the wonderful opportunities I will experience.