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Archive for the ‘Plain City Health’ Category

Seasonal Allergies. By Our June Student Pharmacist, Mackenzie Piché.

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Allergy season is in full-swing in Central Ohio. If you’re one of the 50 million Americans plagued by seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, you may be dealing with one or more of the following bothersome symptoms:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Itchy/watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Sore or Itchy Throat

Experts agree that avoiding your allergy triggers is the most important thing you can do to decrease symptoms. Here are some tips to keep your outdoor allergies under control this season:

  1. Stay indoors during periods of high pollen or mold counts (you can check your local weather stations for reports on counts: go HERE to do that).
  2. Shower and wash clothing after spending time outdoors.
  3. Avoid hanging clothing and bedding outside to dry.
  4. Keep windows closed, instead use air conditioning.
  5. If your doctor has prescribed an allergy medication for you, be sure to take or use it every day, as directed.

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Looking for Relief?

Overview of Over-the-Counter Treatment Options for Adults

Treatment selection can be made based on symptoms and individual preference, while also taking into consideration any other conditions you may have. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to discuss which treatment is best for you.

Saline Nasal Spray

Products:

  • Simply Saline (Sterile Saline Solution)
  • Ayr (Sterile Saline Solution)

How they work: Help to remove dried, crusted mucus from the nose.

Glucocorticoid Nasal Spray

Products:

  • Flonase Allergy Relief (Fluticasone)
  • Nasacort Allergy 24 HR (Triamcinolone)
  • Rhinocort Allergy Spray (Budesonide)

How these sprays work: Decrease inflammation and congestion to alleviate sneezing and runny or stuffy nose.

  • Patient Note: May take 3 to 7 days for maximum symptom relief to occur.

When to Avoid: If you have glaucoma or cataracts.

Oral Antihistamines

Products:

  • Claritin (Loratadine)
  • Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
  • Allegra (Fexofenadine)
  • Xyzal (Levocetirizine)

How they work: Prevent histamine release, which is responsible for symptoms like itching, runny nose, and sneezing.

  • Patient Note: These products do not cause drowsiness in most patients. Of the available products, cetirizine has the highest incidence of drowsiness, affecting about 14% of adults.

When to avoid: If breastfeeding; Consult a doctor before taking if you have liver or kidney problems

Decongestant Nasal Sprays

Products:

  • Afrin (Oxymetazoline)
  • Neo-Synephrine (Phenylephrine)

How these sprays work: Constrict vessels in the nose to stimulate clearing of mucus from the nasal passages.

  • Patient Note: These products should be used for short-term allergy relief only. Using for more than 2 or 3 days can cause “rebound” congestion and return of symptoms.

Oral Decongestants

Products:

  • Sudafed PE (Phenylephrine)
  • Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)

*Also available in combination with antihistamines (i.e. Claritin-D, Zyrtec-D, Allegra-D).

How these products work: Constrict vessels in the nose to stimulate clearing of mucus from the nasal passages.

  • Patient Note: Pseudoephedrine products are only available for sale from behind the pharmacy counter.

When to avoid: If you have high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate, or glaucoma.

Nasal Cromolyn

Products:

  • NasalCrom (Cromolyn)

How it works: Decreases histamine release in the nose, leading to less mucus release, itching, and sneezing.

  • Patient Note: May take 3 to 7 days to begin working and 2 to 4 weeks to see the full effect.

Drug of choice for: Older adults and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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When to see a doctor:

  • Children <12 years old
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Symptoms of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), like shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Symptoms of an ear infection (pain, hearing loss)
  • Symptoms of a sinus infection (sinus pressure or headache, tooth pain, congestion lasting 7-10 days that does not respond to treatment with OTC decongestants)
  • Side effects experienced with over-the-counter (OTC) treatment
  • Symptoms not improved with OTC treatment

Note: Always consult your doctor or pharmacist before beginning a new over-the-counter medication.

References: 

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/allergic-rhinitis-seasonal-allergies-beyond-the-basics

https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/outdoor-allergens

http://ohioallergyclinic.com/seasonal-allergy-avoidance/

http://www.aafa.org/page/allergy-facts.aspx

http://pharmacistsletter.therapeuticresearch.com/

Pictures:

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/discomfort-15/tame-allergies/slideshow-allergy-myths-facts

https://weather.com/forecast/allergy/l/USOH0774:1:US

https://www.pollen.com/allergy/allergy-reaction

 

Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day is Saturday, April 29 from 10 am to 2 pm.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday, April 29 from 10 am to 2 pm. During this yearly event, you can turn in old or no longer used medicines for proper disposal. We know that many of you may have medications that have expired or that you don’t take any more and this is a perfect way to make sure they are destroyed so that no one gets hurt.

To find out more about the Take-Back Day, visit the web site HERE.

To find a disposal location near you, go HERE and put in your zip code or county and city.

In Union County, you can turn in unused and expired medications at these sites:

Union County Sheriff’s Office

221 West 5th Street, Marysville, OH 43040 (Please enter the sally port from the south off of 6th St. Signs will be posted).

Pleasant Valley Fire Department

650 West Main Street, Plain City, OH 43064 (Please enter the rear of the bays).

Richwood Police Department

153 North Franklin Street, Richwood, OH 43344 (Please enter the sally port entrance).

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Sleep Hygiene and Me. By Our April Student Pharmacist, T’Bony Jewell.

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Have you ever had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?

Many of our daily activities and parts of our routine contribute to our ability to fall and stay asleep. Certain foods and drinks contain substances that can either help us fall asleep or may keep us awake. Other medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD and other restrictive airway diseases), acid reflux disease, and congestive heart failure may affect our ability to achieve adequate rest due to “variations in airway resistance” and changes in our posture during sleep.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep hygiene is defined as, “a variety of practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.”

Here are some things you can do (or not do) to help decrease time to falling asleep and help you stay asleep.

Do:

  • Establish a regular routine. Your body gets used to recurring activities. Doing the same thing every night, such as eating dinner, showering, then reading a book can help you slowly relax as you get ready for bed.
  • Make your sleep environment comfortable.
  • Turn off cellphones and televisions.
  • Use soft lighting.
  • Adjust the temperature in the room.
  • Light cardio or aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can aid in restful sleep.

Don’t:

  • Take naps throughout the day, especially close to bedtime. Your circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle can be thrown off making it harder for your body to know when to produce hormones like melatonin that aid in sleep induction.
  • Drink caffeine or use other stimulants close to bedtime. These substances can over power your natural ability to fall asleep.
  • Engage in strenuous activity (i.e. furniture lifting).
  • Use your bedroom for activities such as studying or catching up on work. Your body may begin to associate the bedroom with stimulating activities and may not begin to relax or put you in a restful state.

People with other medical conditions:

If you have GERD or acid reflux:

  • Don’t eat spicy foods close to bedtime. If you do, drink plenty of water and pre-treat with recommended medications like ranitidine or famotidine 30 minutes before your meal.
  • Raise the head of your bed to keep food from re-entering the esophagus where it causes heart burn.

If you have congestive heart failure or CHF:

  • Restrict the amount of sodium and water you consume. This helps to prevent the buildup of fluid around the lungs that can make it difficult to breathe.

If you have COPD or other restrictive airway disease:

  • Take your medications as directed by your physician, even when you feel well. Your controller inhalers usually have a steroid or other medication to decrease the inflammation in the airway making it easier to breathe.
  • Adjust your posture in bed to get the best air flow to your lungs.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sleeping like a baby.

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Heart Failure and You. By Our April Student Pharmacist, T’Bony Jewell.

congestive-heart-failure-case-study-2-638

Congestive Heart failure (CHF) is a complex disease that affects your heart’s ability to effectively pump blood to your organs. CHF is usually a result of heart muscle remodeling; the muscle can become big and baggy or stiff and rigid. It is often caused by consistently high blood pressure and coronary artery disease (CAD).

High blood pressure is an increased resistance in blood flow and can be caused by a sodium rich diet, genetics, or poor kidney function.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is often the result of plaque buildup in the arteries surrounding the heart. It can be caused by genetics or an inactive lifestyle coupled with a poor, cholesterol rich diet.

Treating the underlying causes of CHF can aide in its control and relief of symptoms.

High blood pressure can be managed by weight loss, exercise, and eating a heart healthy diet that is low in sodium (less than 2000 mg per day).

CAD can be controlled and prevented by eating a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats, adherence to cholesterol lowering medications (like Statins), and increased daily activity.

Things you can do to prevent hospitalizations from worsening symptoms of CHF:

  1. Take your medications as directed by your physician.
    • Your medications work together to prevent your heart from working too hard. They also prevent your body from holding on to extra fluid that can build around your lungs making it difficult to breathe..
  2. Weigh yourself daily!
    • Weight changes are indicative of fluid retention. Limit your fluid and salt intake to help your diuretics work more effectively Any weight gain over two pounds in one day or 5-10 pounds in a week puts you at risk for being admitted to the hospital.
  3. Stay active.
    • Improving the function of the heart is beneficial in reducing symptoms. Your medications will make you feel better and help you to tolerate physical activity.
  4. Talk you your local pharmacist!
    • Pharmacists are great at recognizing gaps in medication therapy and offering alternatives to help you stay adherent. Pharmacists may also effectively communicate with your physician to help manage your therapy.
  5. Get your family involved.
    • Having a great support system to help you maintain a routine is another way to stay healthy. Family members can help you remember what’s in your diet, notice oncoming symptoms, and remind you to take your medications and weigh yourself.

Stay heart healthy and out of the hospital by using these tips.

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Improving Access to Epinephrine Auto-Injectors. By Our March Student Pharmacist, Deanna Clause.

In the summer of 2016, local and national media highlighted the problems with the current lack of drug pricing transparency with Mylan’s EpiPen® auto-injector prices rising hundreds of dollars. Epinephrine is the generic drug name for the brand EpiPen® and would deliver the same life-saving drug needed in case of a severe allergic reaction.

As a result of this controversy, Representative Derek Merrin joined over 240 pharmacy students, faculty members, and pharmacist volunteers to announce the introduction of new legislation under House Bill 101, which aims to improve access to epinephrine auto-injectors.

HB 101 tackles this issue in two ways:

First off, HB 101 would allow pharmacists to substitute generic epinephrine auto-injectors for prescriptions written for brand EpiPen® as long as the patient agreed to this substitution. This change would prevent the current hurdles of having to contact the doctor to replace the prescription to the generic alternative since they are not considered substitutable under current law.

The second part of HB 101 would allow pharmacists to dispense epinephrine auto-injectors to those 18 years and older under a physician-approved protocol without requiring a prescription. This protocol process outlines the specific requirements that must be met for pharmacists to be able to dispense epinephrine auto-injectors without a prescription. This type of protocol process is currently available for naloxone for the reversal of opioid overdose. It is also available for all CDC-recommended vaccines so that pharmacists are equipped to fill gaps in care within the community.

With HB 101, hopefully more patients will have access to this vital medication in cases of severe allergic reactions while also facilitating better competition within the epinephrine auto-injector marketplace.

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