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Archive for the ‘Plain City Health’ Category

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.

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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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Are Faster FDA Approvals the Answer? By Our March Student Pharmacist, Deanna Clause.

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In President Trump’s first speech to Congress, he criticized the Food and Drug Administration for having a “slow and burdensome” approval process. He gave an example of how this slow approval process had prevented a young woman with a rare genetic disease from receiving optimal treatment. He stated that he would “slash the restraints, not just at the FDA, but across the government.”

To provide some background on the drug approval process, there are multiple steps in place to ensure drugs meet necessary safety and efficacy measures. The timeline for approval starts with pre-clinical trials to determine appropriate dosing and toxicity before testing in humans. Appropriate applications and approvals of study designs/protocols are needed before initiating clinical trials in humans, which are performed to confirm proper safety and efficacy with increasing numbers of human subjects with each phase. This entire process could potentially take several years, with some instances taking up to 15 years.

Over recent years, the FDA actually showed improved and faster approvals. According to FDA figures, the median review time for approvals was 10.1 months in 2016. This is a marked improvement from 27 months in 1993. The agency even has expedited the approval process for drugs that are meeting an unmet medical need or show exceptional promise. President Trump seems to be misguided on his belief about the slowness of the approvals, as many current agency officials state that they are actually getting criticized for pushing prescription products through too quickly.

One view that seems to capture the true issue today is from Vinay Prasad, an oncologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Oregon Health and Sciences University. He states, “Republicans are obsessed with the idea that the FDA is a barrier to wonderful drugs reaching the market, but that isn’t true; the barrier is that making wonderful drugs is scientifically difficult.”

For example, some cancer drugs that have faster approvals may only improve survival by a few months while costing the patient thousands of dollars. Also, some products that are just as expensive may not even improve survival, but just add to improved quality of life. The patient may be suffering from a terminal illness, but the benefits of some of these drugs may not outweigh the costs.

This topic highlights current unrealistic expectations that a drug is the answer to everything and that we have unlimited resources to pay for these drugs. This complex issue seems to require an alternative approach in place of loosening FDA regulations.

To find out more, keep up to date with the FDA on Facebook HERE.

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